Whose big idea was this?

In the fall of 2016 I got a text from my youngest son, Mark Golden. It said, “You and your sisters need to walk the Camino de Santiago. Look it up.”

I looked it up. I texted him back and said, “Are you crazy? My sisters and I are in our 60s and 70s, we’re not Catholic, and I’m not even religious.  And, for that matter, why in the world would we want to walk 500 miles for any reason?”  He said, “You just should.  Watch ‘The Way’.”

So I did more research, told my family about this idea and we all watched ‘The Way’.  Slowly the appeal of the idea grew.  There were lots of wild possibilities floated by the Johnmeyer siblings, (there are actually 7 of us: 5 sisters & 2 brothers) our children & grandchildren – seemed as if everyone wanted to go, but ultimately, available time, money, physical ability and competing interests sorted the pack.  We are now two old women walking:  Donna, aka child 4, and Connie, child 5.

We are only five days out.  Yikes!  So many “what ifs,” starting with, what if we don’t meet a Joost (reference to “The Way”).  I will be so disappointed.

The Way Collage

What to take?

We’ve been reading.  There are books; we have three because we wouldn’t want to miss anything.  I worry, “What if we get somewhere and need a spoon and don’t have one? OMG.”  But not to minimize, they are good books.  Also a friend of a friend, named Georgette, has been kind enough to tell us about her pilgrimage and to send us a written account.  She had some great tips.

So, at one week out, I (Connie) am going through my pack again and making changes.  “What was I thinking taking a sleeveless shirt.”  I have not experienced 60 degrees for awhile but I’d probably think a down jacket was warranted.  My goal is a maximum of 16 pounds.  I am pretty close.  I was at 13.9 last week but have since added important items.  Now I’m scared to weigh in.  I want everything I have packed.  Hmmm……

Today I had my last chiropractor appointment and I have yoga tonight.  I’m walking with an old vertebrae but doing the best preventive care I can think to do.  Nonetheless, as I hike with a pack, I often imagine (I hope it is only my imagination) my vertebrae compressing.  I may return from this journey as a short old woman.  Whose big idea was this anyway?  See next post for the answer.


Getting Prepared

And so it begins!  Donna & Connie Johnmeyer are 9 days out from some epic travel, so we decided to blog about it.  The first adventure is the Camino de Santiago, walking 482 miles across much of Northern Spain.

Are we ready?  Well, yesterday we hiked Tim’s favorite mountain-biking trail at Grindstone/Capen Park with loaded packs for about 3.5 miles.  Almost a fourth of the average daily distance we will be walking on the Camino.  Come on now – no judgement – it’s a start.

Walking with Newt at Capen Park, 26 Aug 2017