Greetings from sunny Oakland, and happy November! Below is lineup of upcoming Camino-related events and hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area. You will also find a sneak preview of NorCal Chapter T-shirts that I’ve been working on. And for those who might enjoy some different ways to alleviate stress, check out my November Yoga & Wellness Tribe Newsletter. As always, our chapter kicks off each month with the Lake Merritt walk on the first Saturday. Experienced and virgin pilgrims are always welcome.
Lake Merritt Walk
Saturday, November 3, 2018 10:30 AM
Join our walk that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. We meet at the Pergola (aka “The Columns”) on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt at 10:30 AM and start walking by 10:45 AM. It’s a level, 3.3-mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. Whether you’re a newbie or Camino veteran, everyone is welcome. Bring your questions, answers and pilgrim spirit!
Directions: Take BART to the Lake Merritt or 19th Street Oakland station and navigate your way to the Pergola.
If you drive, make sure to give yourself enough time to find parking, as there are many activities on Saturday mornings in the Lake Merritt area. FYI: There is a small fee lot at the corner of Euclid and Grand Avenues that is close to the Pergola.
RSVP not required, but if you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event.
Welcome Home Potluck
Saturday, November 10, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
St. Augustine Catholic Church
400 Alcatraz Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Help us celebrate this year’s returning pilgrims at our annual Welcome Home Potluck. We’ll be gathering at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Oakland, near the border with Berkeley. To start us off, Emilio Escudero will lead a session on returning home that focuses on “unpacking” the psychological and spiritual aspects (the “intangibles”) of the Camino. He’ll share a strategy for reflecting on your experience and keeping those things you want in your life going forward. After lunch, we’ll take our Camino “Class of” photos and returnees will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and share a little about their experience. RSVP required. Click here to RSVP.
Galician-style octopus, wines, tapas (and beds!) advertised in O Cebreiro on the Camino francés.
Doors open at 9:30 AM and we plan to finish up by 3:00 PM. If you can help with setting up, meet us at 9:00 AM. We also need help with cleaning up afterwards. All are welcome (paid members and non-members).
To help us with planning, a response is required. Use our online RSVP page to respond by Thursday, November 8. Please, responses via the online page only.
By Car: Use Google Maps or your favorite map app for directions. St. Augustine is located at 400 Alcatraz Ave. off of College Ave. in Oakland. Meet us on the bottom floor of the gym/multi-use building across the courtyard from the church (follow our yellow arrows). The church is on the right side between Dana and Colby Streets. The parking lot is located on the west side off Alcatraz Ave.
By BART/Bus/Foot: From the Rockridge BART station, take AC Transit bus 51B towards the Berkeley campus and offboard at College/Alcatraz (15 min). Walk west on Alcatraz Ave. to St. Augustine (0.3 mi). To walk from the station, head north along College Ave. towards campus and turn left on Alcatraz Ave. (0.7 mi).
What to Bring
Your favorite dish or drink to share. Extra points for something from the Camino. Wine counts, too! Here’s a request to cover our bases: If your last name begins with A-P, bring a food dish (main, side, salad with serving utensils). If it begins with Q-Z, bring a dessert or beverage (coffee will be provided). We’ll have 3×5 index cards on hand to make a label for your dish.
Be Green! We encourage you to bring your own plates, cups and utensils to help us to minimize trash and reduce costs on disposable items. There is a kitchen to wash items after use.
El Rastro is a gigantic flea market in Madrid. We’ll hold our own version again. Bring your excess gear, memorabilia, guidebooks and other good “junk” you thought you needed, but don’t anymore. There will be an area to display your items. This will be a “cash free” zone. Bring it and forget it! See something you want? Take it.
We’re excited to unveil new shirts with an updated design, based on our chapter sello (stamp) that features the beloved shell motif and Latin quote, Solvitur ambulando (It is solved by walking). Come check out the new fabric, style/color options and find out how to order your own.
Please help us cover our expenses (room and supplies) with a cash contribution to our donativo box at the check-in table. Your generosity allows us to focus our resources on our mission that includes supporting the Camino infrastructure through our grant programs.
Unpacking the Camino- Silicon Valley Chapter
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 12 PM – 3 PM
One of the challenges of walking the Camino is the re-entry into our everyday life at the conclusion of our pilgrimage. People will have the opportunity to reflect and participate in the discussion with other pilgrims. This event is for everyone, not just those who walked this year, but anyone who walked in the past or hope to walk in the future.
Potluck-please bring a dish to share. Meet at 12:00 p.m. for a potluck lunch, followed by our discussion.
Learn more and RSVP on Silicon Valley Chapter’s Facebook Event
Free Oakland Hiking Tour on Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 22, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Join us on a hike from Oakland’s Dimond District up to Joaquin Miller Park, where we’ll catch AC Transit 339 for a ten-minute bus ride back down to Dimond. Primarily an uphill route, this beautiful hike will go through Oakland’s Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park, and will finish at the top of the ridge at the Chabot Space & Science Center. Hikers may choose to catch an earlier bus at mile 4, though the hiking tour leaders will complete the 6-mile hike.
When: Thursday, November 22 at 8:30am (the group will leave promptly at 8:40am)
Where: Meet at La Farine Bakery: 3411 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94602 – free parking in back
Details: Steady, 6-mile hike in Oakland’s largest wildland trail system, with some steep uphills and downhills, and narrow trails through the canyons. Bring water, sturdy shoes, and bus fare ($2.35).
Register: Register on Eventbrite.
Extreme wet weather would cancel.
Hiking tour participants acknowledge there are inherent risks associated with outdoor recreation, and attest to being physically fit for the chosen activity.
San Francisco to Sausalito Hike
San Francisco, California
Sunday, November 25, 10:00 AM
The hike will be moderately paced, mostly on flat pavement, from the San Francisco Ferry Building to the Sausalito Ferry. Be advised that there is a steep uphill path to the GG Bridge and a steep downhill road. We return to San Francisco on the 5:35 PM ferry (bring a Clipper Card). Because the hike is 12 miles, it is recommended for experienced hikers who have done at least three 8-10 mile hikes recently.
Bring: sturdy walking shoes, water and lunch. Meet: at main entrance to the San Francisco Ferry Building at 10:00 AM. We leave at 10:15 AM sharp. Early birds can join us at Peet’s Coffee and use the public restrooms inside the Ferry Building. Take: BART and avoid the hassle of driving and parking. Catch the train which leaves from Walnut Creek (or other stations along the line) at 8:56 AM and arrives at Embarcadero at 9:31 AM. Walk east on Market St. to the Ferry Building. People from Marin can take a Golden Gate bus to downtown SF. Return: to the Ferry Building at 6:05 PM via ferry. Leader: Dick Duker. Level of Difficulty: 3A (10 to less than 15 miles, less than 1,000 ft elevation gain). Bonus Hike: Join us for an after-hike walk to Union Square to view the Christmas lights.
Visit the Northern California Chapter page on the American Pilgrims web site for more details.
NorCal Chapter T-Shirts – Sneak Preview
I’ve been busy working on a design of new T-shirts for our Northern California chapter. This involved refining the logo I made for our chapter stamp earlier this year; doing research on best fabric; asking feedback from chapter buddies; and making design tweaks. I’m happy to reveal the two styles that we have narrowed down, both in a super-soft blend of 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon. Unlike our previous chapter shirts in 100% cotton, these shirts are lightweight enough to actually be worn on the Camino.
The ladies style is a form-fitting t-shirt with a slightly lower neckline than the classic T-shirt. They come in five sizes: S, M, L, XL and 2XL (note: they run very small) and a variety of colors including Clay (pictured above).
The Unisex crew comes in 8 sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL and a variety of colors, including Maroon, pictured above. NorCal chapter logo front center or upper left chest.
The shirts will sell for around $25 each + tax & shipping. These shirts should be available to order by the general public in November, just in time for holidays. I’ll be showing samples at the Nov. 10th potluck.
There are always opportunities to train for or learn about the Camino. If you know of any Camino related events for the SF Bay Area that should be included in the monthly roundup, please use the comment form below, or email me.
For those who live elsewhere, there are Camino hotspots all over the USA and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) website has a listing of local chapters where you can find Camino events. There are also many active Facebook groups to learn about events in your region. Check your local REI store for workshops and presentations about the Camino. Check http://www.rei.com/ for events in your area.
Visit the Northern California Chapter page on the APOC website.
Join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook group (closed group for Northern California residents only)
The Camino Provides patch
2018 is almost sold out, but I will be ordering the 2019 patches soon.
My mission is to celebrate the Camino de Santiago and the pilgrim’s journey, from the calling to Compostela and beyond. I do this by sharing informative tips on training, gear, and routes; by promoting Camino related events in the Bay Area; by interviewing pilgrims and sharing inspiring stories; and by curating content relevant to the Camino. Purchases help to defray the costs of hosting and managing this blog so that I can keep sharing the Camino love!