I admit it, I’ve been bitten! I’ve got the Camino de Santiago virus and I’ve got it bad.
I hadn’t even begun my 2013 Camino and I was already signed up for a 2014 Camino.
In April of 2014, I will be walking northward from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Porto to Santiago is only 240 kilometers or approximately 149 miles. The distance is enough to be awarded another Compostela once I arrive in Santiago.
I have already begun my training for this Camino. With the help of my trainer and the strict diet he has put me on, I think this Camino is going to be a very exciting and strong Camino.
Today I decided to hike Saguaro National Monument which is not far from my house. I drove my car there and parked outside the Park Loop which is called the Cactus Forest Drive. I stretched next to my parked car, grabbed my trekking poles and started to walk to the entrance.
A big black Mercedes was following me and the fellow inside tells me “I don’t think you are going to find much snow in here today.” I turn to tell him they are trekking poles, and to my surprise it is John Goodman. John Goodman the actor, the one who played Roseanne’s husband on the Roseanne television show and starred in HBO’s Treme!
By this time, I was at the entrance to the park and had to show my pass and identification. John Goodman started saying something to the Park Ranger and I simply walked on. He didn’t drive through the park because I never saw his car again.
It was a beautiful day to be walking in the desert. The temperature was in the mid 60’s F, the sun was shining and a very slight breeze was blowing. Cactus Forest Drive is 8 miles or 13 kilometers of paved road that winds its way through the Saguaro National Monument East. It is a peaceful place to walk for the most part, although one must watch out for cars especially on the weekends and cyclists.
I carried my trekking poles because I know there is one especially steep incline at about the 4 mile point. For most of my trek, those poles were over my shoulder, but I was very glad I had them with me once I reached that 4 mile mark.
At one point today I saw a baby bobcat. I wasn’t quick enough to retrieve my camera and capture a picture of the kitten; it ran away when it saw me. There were many birds but mostly I saw a lot of cactus.
I walked today with music in my ears and a bounce in my step. It was a great day; I logged in 8.11 miles in 2 hours and 48 minutes which included many stops to take pictures. I was quite proud of my accomplishment today.