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DIARY of Events: Meetings, Hikes, Etc.


Aug 15, 2015         Saturday 'Get Together':  Coffee, Tea and Muffins followed by 4 Mile Walk 

                       We gathered at 9am under a cloudless and hot sun that got even warmer through the morning . The                               drought certainly made itself known but the Pilgrim spirit was alive and sparkling. Layna had much to say                         about her recent Camino, she was especially concerned that others hear about her unloading extra pack                           contents - something nearly every Pilgrim learns despite all the warnings from Pilgrim friends and reading                       material.  Layna has caught the Pilgrim drive and drreams of walking some of the Japanese temple                                   routes. Jacqueline is a new face and will retire Sept 1, from 20 years in the US military. Second week of                             Sept., Jacqueline plans to walk the Camino from St Jean pdp to Santiago and brought her full pack to get our

                  advice  - we did indeed have suggestions from shoes to pack towels.  Plus how to ship extra pack "stuff" to                     the much appreciated storage service of IVAR in Santiago.  Although the walk was hot, it reminded us of the                     hot days on the Camino. We were grateful at the breakwater for the high waves that crashed the barrier                         and treated us to cold ocean sprays.  




July 18, 2015          Saturday 'Get Together':  Coffee & Biscotti followed by 4 MIle Hike

                              A Carpinteria Bluffs Trail hike. The day was overcast but there were many surfers on the water

                       anyway. About an hour after setting out, we were treated to a lightning and thunder 'show'... but

                       only a few (large) raindrops fell which is the root of the southern California drought problem. The Q&A                              focused on foot care and travel to and from the Camino.  It also seems there is a substantial leeriness                              among pilgrims-to-be about starting off in St Jean and walking over the pass to Roncesvalles. Our                                  response is agreement that the pass out of St Jean p.d.p. can be difficult and the majority of                                            Pilgrims choose walking around the pass to Roncesvalles (there's no sense in ending one's Camino the                            first day just on 'principle' when there is 790 km to go to reach Santiago).


                                     '           Taking a break under a Eucaplyptus
June 13, 2015          'Get Together':  Coffee & Rolls followed by 4 Mile Hike. Shoreline Park (SB)

                           Another day in paradise at Shoreline Park. The SB Chapter is combining 'Walks' and 'Meetings'

                       for the summer months...and maybe thereafter with film events indoors later in the Fall. A dozen

                       pilgrims and interested persons came and enjoyed a lively Q&A, coffee and bagels, and then a 4 mile                                walk down to the harbor breakwater and back.  The Q&A focused mainly on foot care and selecting boots

                       with several pilgrims-in-planning receiving inspection and comment regarding their hiking boots and

                       sock systems, packs and planning how to get to St Jean or Pamplona or somewhere further down the

                       Camino if they were planning to do the 'short' Camino as their first segment. 

May 2, 2015               4 Mile Walk. Shoreline Park (SB)

                            Bright, sunny (and warm) morning overlooking the ocean towards the Channel Islands.  




March 7, 2015         4 MILE WALK.  


                              A beautiful warm and sunny walk from the west end of Shoreline Park to the end of the                                                  breakwater at the harbor and back.  

February 20, 2015     MEETING.   Health Care on the Camino
                 A special power-point lecture and demonstration from Nurse Vicky (aka, Mrs Vicky Diaz-Pagenkoph)
                     and husband, Daniel (as demo-ee).  Topics covered: foot care (in detail), hydration, diet,
                     sun protection and treatment of sunstroke, and other topics.  Lively Q&A.  Nurse Vicky and daniel                                    will give their presentation again in the future so keep an eye open to this site - we will, of                                            course, email advanced notices.
February  14, 2015   4 MILE WALK. Rain Date.  Carpinteria's Viola Fields. Carp Bluff Trail.
               9:30 Start as planned.   8 walkers.  A beautiful, sunny, warm morning.  The bluffs Trail was
                 sparsely occupied. We were accompanied by new walkers planning to go to Spain in May and
                 September.  One has planned a one-way flight (best wishes)! Stopped at the Seal Rookery and
                 heard a brief lecture from a Park Service staff monitoring the birth of new pups. Then on to 
                 Carp where 4 of us decided to test the 2 mile 'add-on' through the Salt Marsh Preserve. And some 
                 decided to rest at the 2 mile half-way which nicely corresponds to the main street of Carp (with
                 restaurants nearby).  Much appreciated veggie burgers were consumed.  On the way
                 back, there was big surf booming and adventuring surfers.  Attention paid to hydration.
                 Completed this walk a bit tired but happy from the companionship.
February  7,  2015   4/6 Mile Hike.  Carpinteria. Viola Fields. Carp Bluffs Trail. 
              RAINED OUT!  We were rained out in Nov 2014. Should we contract to Calif
              Drought Commision to schedule more hikes per month?
              One coordinator drove to the trail head 'just in case'. No one. Walked anyway.
               Wind and rain. A Zen experience. Tested rain gear - Gortex low-cut walking shoes,
               "Omni All Weather Jacket" (both by Merrell). Base layer (synthetic by Costco - OK).
               Trail bars for energy (2). actually walked 6 miles.  Even the seals had hauled up in the big waves.
January  16,  2015   MEETING.  (7-9 pm    Movie: 'Walking the Camino')
December 6, 2014    4 Mile Hike. Santa Barbara. Shoreline Park on the West Bluff.  
              A beautiful, warm & sunny 9:30am start from the far parking lot on the bluffs above West                             Beach .... looking across 24 miles of calm blue ocean to the Channel Islands. The start of another                 day in Paradise.  We began with introductions and discovered old SB friends who have
                developed their own plans to walk the Camino and were eager to hear as many tips we had to                       offer. Wonderful also to discover that altogether our little group had walked pilgrimage trails from
                Japan to South America and the John Muir Trail hereabouts..  
                We then hiked down Shoreline Drive through palm trees to the West Beach and on to the Harbor.
                At the Harbor, we took a rest room/water break then proceeded out to the breakwater point there                 we found a nice cement bench area has been built by the city to make it convenient for bag
                lunches and solitude (except in heavy swells and surf when the benches are drenched and almost                   always underwater). This morning, however, the swell was gentle and we took out energy bars and
                sandwiches. After a 20 minute rest, we started back past the fishing boats and then back up the                     Drive to the park bluff. The Shoreline bluffs hike to the breakwater was almost exactly 4 miles                     roundtrip. We will keep this route in mind as easily accessbile and appropriate for all hikers.
October  15, 2014    Meeting.  Unity Center. Wednesday.
                Discussions and Films.   We talked about gear selection (packs especially) and foot care.
                We viewed 2 short internet films about packing for the Camino and boots. We then viewed 30
                minutes of film snaps from the ''Walking the Camio: 6 Ways to Santiago' (Lydia Smith, producer). 
                We realized that 5pm was too early to start for those who still work (they were missing) so we
                decided to change future meetings to 7-9pm and hopefully on Friday evenings.
                (Note: Unity Center has since given us Friday evenings 7-9. HooRah!)
October 4, 2014    "4 Mile Hike". Carpinteria. Carpinteria Bluffs Trail. 
               Where to begin. First, we met at 9am on a beautiful California morning full of blue sky                overlooking the seal rookery at the edge of a shimmering Pacific Ocean. Untypically,                    it was a very hot morning, 91 degrees, but that was forgotten as we enjoyed a joyful
               Pilgrims' 'Re'Union' at the Viola Fields parking lot where we shared personal Camino                    experiences and got to know one another. Then we set out along the 'Bluffs' trail, hiking                next to high Eucalyptus trees on the northern, mountain side of the trail and with                        scattered sail boats on the southern, ocean side. Looking out to sea, we observed the                    seals cooling in the kelp beds about 75 feet offshore. Eventually we reached the                          Carpinteria State Park where we waved at campers sitting at breakfast. After 2.4 miles
               we reached Carpinteria's charming downtown district where we took a rest and water
               AND! A surprise gift! We hadn't noticed that our hike day was also the annual,                            downtown, one block ahead, CARPINTERIA AVOCADO FESTIVAL!!! What a treat. Like                all good Peregrinos, our energies were magically restored by 'Festivale!'.  We split into                  small groups, decided on a re-grouping time and place, and then set off on shady                        Linden Street exploring the many craft booths and consuming some of Carp's famous                    Avocado ice cream.  Satisfied after 40 minutes of music, crafts, beach fashions and                    endless aromas of tacos, cotton candy, corn cob etc., we re-shouldered our packs and                    waist pouches and started back.
               All in all, this first hike was a success. We met our '4 Mile' goal, plus. We learned the                    Carpinteria Bluff's Trail. And, we had an unexpected treat, the Avocado Festival. (Plus,                  along the WAY, we signed up 2 more members for the SB Chapter.) Next year we will be
               sure to remember the Avocado Festival and make this hike a special EVENT.
July 26, 2014        First (Official) Gathering. To honor St James Day (July 25) we called out for a Gathering                         at the steps of the Old Mission of Santa Barbara. It was an unusually hot weekend so the                           turnout was about 20, less than we expected, but we had a successful Gathering inside the                           Mission meeting rooms where we received an opening 'Pilgrims' Blessing' from Fr. Larry,                             followed by John's announcement of the official installment of the chapter with                            explanations about the local and national interface as well as a request for all                            attending to join APOC. Then we had a round-table of self-introductions and                              finally, and centrally,  a lively Q&A period where almost everyone participated - we                      found that maybe 80% or more of the Q&A suggestions are already planned into the                      local website though all have not been completely developed. Near 4pm the Mission                      bell called everyone to a SRO Mass where Fr. Larry made special reference to                            St James' Day and our presence as Pilgrims.  
                     All in all, a successful First Gathering with things learned and more tweaks to be                        done to the local website and Gathering planning.
June 20, 2014       We are officially installed as 'Santa Barbara Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino''.
May 1     2014      Brian and Donna (81 & 71) in Paris to start their camino. Buen Camino, Peregrinos!
April 1-6, 2014      2014 Gathering of Pilgrims. 'Fierce Landscapes: The Inner and Outer Camino.'
                        (incl. Hospitalero Training.) The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville,                               Illinois.
March 26, 2014.    The First (informal though) Gathering of the Santa Barbara Pilgrims
         (WED)      We did it!  Our first Gathering was successful. Over 50 people attended who shared in                                 an active and often energetic exchange of ideas , hopes and experiences.  The Gathering                             ended with a 'Pilgrims' Blessing' from Padre Larry of the Old Santa Barbara Mission.
                        Padre Larry's delivery was most moving to many at the phrase that repeated what is                         likely the Camino mantra,  'Walk, Walk, Walk'.
                        The agenda topics went well. The movie and powerpoint presentations from co-chairs John                           and Franc were well-received.  Olga's 'What-to-Pack' demonstration was timely for several                             pilgrims who are leaving for Spain in the coming months. (Olga was in rare form as she                             deconstructed her pack contents with flair and humor to everyone's enjoyment.)  Grant                                 dropped  by and was invited to give an impromptu overview on cyber-trekking (GPS) I-phone                         and mapping software.
                        For refreshments, we were treated to homemade scallop-shell cholcolates from
                        Jeanette ('08) and Nancy's (Mrs Randy) crunchy chocolate chip and lemon-drop cookies.
                     The Veterans Hall facilities worked out beautifully and we were treated for a while                      to look out over the beach and surf across the street as a short and refreshing

                     rain passed through.​​​​​​​​​

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