July is a special month for the Camino de Santiago. The Apostle James, the reason for the Camino pilgrimage, is celebrated throughout the world on July 25th, his designated saint’s day. In Santiago de Compostela, Saint James is honored in a spectacular way on July 24th, with fireworks and a multimedia show in the Praza do Obradoiro. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, our chapter offers unique events to celebrate St. James. See below for the lineup of Camino-related events and hikes in July.
Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland – Every First Saturday
Saturday, July 6, 10:30 AM
Join our popular and easy walk that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. 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! But leave the dogs at home (for insurance purposes.) Stay for lunch after the walk at a local restaurant, location TBD. If you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event.
Attention members attending this walk: Be the first to check out items from our revamped NorCal Chapter Library! It’s as easy as Uno – Dos – Tres!
1. Request up to 3 items using the new form: https://forms.gle/SJiVuMYxkzkuJNKL8
2. Pick up your items at the Lake Merritt walk from a library volunteer and write your name on the item’s pocket card. You may keep them for up to 4 weeks.
3. Return items to a library volunteer at the next Lake Merritt walk or NorCal chapter event (per request form)
Silicon Valley Chapter Meet and Greet
Sunday, July 14, 3 pm
Panera Bread Los Gatos
Come join our friendly neighbors in the sunny South Bay for a Meet and Greet at Panera Bread in Los Gatos. This is a great opportunity to get together to talk Camino. If you are thinking about or planning a Camino, Camino veterans will be there to talk with you about all things Camino-routes, what to pack, etc!
Address: 15200 Los Gatos Blvd. Suite 100 Los Gatos, CA 95032
Click for directions
Using Poles for Hiking & Outdoor Exercise
With Jayah Faye Paley (highly recommended!)
Free Sessions at REI stores: July 17 Berkeley; July 24 Corte Madera
Power & performance with trekking poles! Whether you’re a beginner hiker, a back packer, a cross-training athlete or someone who faces mobility challenges, learn how and why optimal use of poles significantly improves your performance and confidence on the trail. Using poles while hiking or walking engages your whole body and is terrific exercise. Save your knees as well as improve endurance, balance, spine function, agility, core strength and weight management. Optimal use of poles means achieving the many benefits without creating stress or strain in the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, even the neck. This session will include a discussion of movements and techniques that provide a noticeable difference in your spine function and posture. Jayah Faye Paley, creator of two award-winning DVDs (one for hikers and one for people with mobility challenges) (www.PolesForMobility.com), will discuss how anatomically-optimal use of poles can expand your horizons and make it easier to enjoy the trails. You spend less time looking at your feet and more time really being in nature.
Wednesday, July 17, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Wednesday, July 24, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Corte Madera REI
REI Camino 101: Resources
July 23, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
REI – Sacramento
Click for details
Join the Sacramento Pilgrims the last session of their 3-part Camino 101 Series: Resources!
REI – Sacramento
1790 Expo Pkwy
Sacramento, CA 95819 United States + Google Map
The Sacramento Pilgrims chapter is also having an event on St. James Day:
A Night of Camino 10×10’s
July 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Arden-Dimick Library in Sacramento
891 Watt Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821 United States + Google Map
Follow Sacramento Pilgrims Chapter.
Saint James Day Potluck and Presentation with Guest Speaker Alexander John Shaia
Thursday, July 25, 6 – 9:30 pm
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Piedmont, CA
Date / Time:
Thursday, July 25, 6 – 9:30 PM
Doors open at 5:30 PM (We appreciate volunteers to help with setup or cleanup)
6 – 7:45 PM Potluck Dinner and Shell Ceremony for NorCal Chapter Members
8 – 9 PM – Presentation by Alexander Shaia, book signing to follow
RSVP required by July 23 at:
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Gibson Center
322 St. James Drive, Piedmont, CA 94611
A free parking lot is located at the Corpus Christi school behind the church at 1 Estates Drive. As always, we encourage carpools, public transportation and Lyft or Uber.
The Gibson Center is downstairs from the west side of the parking lot.
Presentation by Dr. Alexander John Shaia:
St James: The Despairing Evangelist Who Becomes An Inspiring Pilgrim
A Story for Today
Have you walked, or ever had the calling to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain? One of the three major Christian pilgrimages together with Rome and Jerusalem, the Camino follows various ancient paths to the tomb of St James located in the crypt of the Santiago Cathedral.
Join the Northern California chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino for a special presentation by Alexander John Shaia, internationally sought speaker, author and guide who annually mentors a small band of pilgrims walking the Camino.
Alexander will give an overview of St. James’ life and spirituality as well as speak of pilgrimage as a contemporary rite of passage and an extended practice of mindfulness. Alexander’s most recent book, Returning From Camino, is the first book to address the spiritual and psychological needs of a pilgrim upon returning home. For more information on Alexander’s life and work, see www.Quadratos.com
Returning From Camino (2019, 2nd Edition)
Whether you are a pilgrim on the Camino, or elsewhere in the world, this is the first guidebook that physically, mentally and emotionally prepares you to return home.
“I wish this book had existed when I walked my first Camino!”
Lydia B. Smith – Producer/Director of the Documentary:
Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
Heart and Mind: The-Four Gospel Journey for Radical Transformation
“Dr. Shaia gives us back our central sacred text, the Four Gospels, not as conflicted and faulty historical records, but as a vibrant, luminous path of transformation.”
-Marc Andrus, Episcopal Bishop, Diocese of California
Alexander’s books will be available for purchase (cash or credit card) after the talk. He will be delighted to sign them.
Save the Dates:
St. James Day Walk
Saturday, July 27
San Francisco, CA
We’ve scheduled the annual St. James Day Walk for Saturday, July 27. We are still fine-tuning the route so we’ll follow up with a formal announcement with all the details ASAP. We’ll be returning to San Francisco and walking to the Mission District again, but this year, we’ll be starting from the Balboa BART station at 10:15 AM (about 8 miles). The walk will finish up late afternoon at the St. James Church on Guerrero St. with optional visit and then dinner in the neighborhood. Hold tight – more to come on this post, our Facebook group, and NorCal chapter email.
Angel Island Walk
Saturday, August 24
More details coming soon!
In case you missed it, read the interview with Karin Kiser, author and peregrina who has been spotted picking up trash on the Camino! Karin recently published two mini guidebooks, Your Inner Camino and After the Camino.
I brought the green booklet on my Camino because I like to have something meaningful to read each day, yet the small size didn’t weigh me down. I’ll read the yellow one soon, because the PCBs (post-Camino Blues) are a thing! The books are available in Spanish too. Order the paperbacks at: www.CaminoChroniclesPress.com
Order the Kindle edition on Amazon.
Northern California Chapter T-Shirts
NorCal T-Shirts in lightweight tri-blend fabric with the shell design on front and “Solvitur Ambulando – It is solved by walking” on the back.
The Camino Provides Patches
St. James Special: 7 for $25
The 7/25 patch offer is back! Buy 7 patches for $25 and get free shipping through July 25, 2019. Use this link to purchase.
Free shipping US (Reg $3.85)
Free shipping International (Reg $5.85)
Choose 2019 or original design (no date). Use this link to purchase 7 for $25.
You can mix and match! Just write quantity of each design in order note.
Original (no date) and 2019 patches are $4 each at etsy.com/shop/caminoprovides.
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!
To everyone heading out on a pilgrimage or staying home, Buen Camino!
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 hot spots 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.
Join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook group (closed group for Northern California residents only)
Visit the Northern California Chapter page on the American Pilgrims on the Camino website.