The first time I went on a long distance backpack hike with my husband Mark, I had to sit down and have a long cry. It was hard, hot, and a little scary. I missed my kids, and my comforts. All we did all day was walk – up hills, up mountains, across sketchy, loose, scree-covered narrow trails. Mark just kept walking, and I just kept trailing along. But by the end of the week, I had decided it was not so bad. The stars were beautiful at night, I was met by a dazzling sunrise each morning, and we had long hours of just being together without interruptions, which was priceless.
I got to know my husband better with every trip and we learned each other’s strengths (and weaknesses) and relied on each other for companionship, navigation, food preparation, and someone to serve as lookout when we answering those important calls of nature that require a little privacy. We completed all 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017 and were not ready to settle down.
At Finisterre, the end of the earth
Mark and Lorie, known on the trail as “Snickers” and “Veggie,” volunteer as trail stewards in Trionne-Annadel State Park, walking foot patrol as a way to keep those trail legs in shape. Mark’s favorite trail snack has always been Snickers candybars and Lorie packs a bag of cut carrots whenever they head back to trail. He is a devoted carnivore who is allergic to sea food, and she is basically a vegetarian. In Spain, they both ate a lot of eggs.
Though they are very different, they are always able to find a common ground. At home in Santa Rosa, Mark brews his own beer, and Lorie makes a tasty Kombucha. They are also active members of the American Long Distance Hiking Association (ALDHA – West).
This year, they will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. They have covered almost 4,000 miles together and do not plan on stopping anytime soon.
I am featuring Camino love stories on this blog. Why? Because love is in the air! I certainly respect the premise of what happens on the Camino stays on the Camino. However, love is a splendid thing that should be celebrated. Has the Camino provided you with more than just a long walk? If you have a Camino love story to share, email me or use the form below. Photos and video links welcome.