Almost a year ago, I went to an event that in Ann Arbor and met up with my friend Breeda Miller. She was excited at the time because her husband Jim had set off that week for the Camino de Santiago in Spain. She shared the story that had attracted them to the Camino, the death of her husband’s brother the year before, and a quiet quest to honor his death with something substantial.
They had seen the movie The Way, which is a lovely story of a father (Martin Sheen), who tries to honor his son’s free spirited legacy by hiking the Camino. The story attracted them, and likewise attracted me. During the weekend that I saw Breeda (and Jim was underway on his trip), I watched The Way several times, and something about it spoke to me.
I’ve done a few trips that are like this, perhaps vacations that are more fun in retrospect than they are in the moment. In 2010 I did a 400 mile solo bike trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to meet up with some friends. In 2014 and 2015 I repeated a somewhat shorter version of this same trip (250 miles) with first one, and then two friends. There is something profoundly appealing to me about tackling something that’s really hard.
So, the Camino trip really appealed to me, and knocked around in my brain for a few months.