Welcome Family & Friends

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting ~ a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last year as I was contemplating my 40th year on this big blue planet, that I have not seen nearly enough of, I thought that it was time to set some firm goals for myself rather than constantly saying “Wouldn’t it be nice to one day…”. Instead of having another blowout birthday bash, I have decided to opt for something a little more introspective. So, that’s it. 2011 is the year I’m doing my Pilgrimage on The Camino De Santiago De Compostela.

Why have I waited so long? Well to be truthful, I really had not heard about it until recently. I actually happened upon the idea watching an episode of "Burt Wolf's Travels & Traditions" on PBS one weekend. Then there's also the finances associated with such a long journey rife with logistics. This endeavor isn’t going to be cheap when you add up plane fare, hiking equipment, 50 euros a day, and time off from work. But my plans are slowly materializing. It’s going to happen - I can see it! I've even asked my friends and family to keep me to my word on this one. I plan on starting my trek in late September during the less congested season. If all goes well, I should end my journey close to the end of October 2011!

I created this blog to keep you all informed on my progress in the months leading up to my trip. This blog will give me a forum to educate everyone about the Pilgrimage and its history...and even comment on the French and Spanish cultures. I also plan on doing a lot of fundraising to help me pay for things I will need, so check back often as I announce events and opportunities for you to help me reach my goals. Speaking of goals, I will also be doing a lot of physical training to ready my body for the long walk. I will be sure to post all my trials and tribulations here as well. I know a lot of you will get a kick out of hearing how I "get back into shape" over the next few months. Please don't hold back if you have any tips that will aid in my fitness.

I will also utilize this blog to diary and chronicle my days while on the Pilgrimage. It will be my main mode of communication since I will be all the way in Spain. I will try and post daily musings of my travels, send out pretty pictures of the contryside, and tell you about all the wonderful people I encounter along the way. My path will take me across 350+ miles of beautiful landscapes starting near the Pyrenees and traversing all the way out to the Galician coast. I’m figuring on 4-5 weeks to reach the Cathedral where the remains of Saint James The Greater rest - I know, can you believe it?!!!

So thanks for visiting my blog! Please come by and poke around as I send out future updates and please spread the word - I want to share this story with everyone and anyone that is willing to listen and learn!

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

Love Always,
Richert Gordon

The Cathedral De Santiago De Compostela

The Cathedral De Santiago De Compostela
Click the above image to visit the Catedral de Santiago

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Donation Buttons are up...let the gifting commence!

Dearest Family & Friends,

I am very proud to announce the official launch of my new blog christened “The Staff & Shell”:


For those of you who don’t yet know this, I am planning on taking a Pilgrimage through France and Spain in the fall of 2009. I will be following the Camino de Santiago de Compostela…a Pilgrimage route that has been in existence since Medieval times. Once you arrive at the blog, everything will be spelled out for you so I won’t go into too much detail here in this email message.

I have been slaving away struggling through HTML code trying to tweak and snap all the loose pieces of content together. Please bear with me as I do my best to create a blog that is both interesting and compelling. I appreciate any feedback you may have - even corrections to my spelling or syntax…I really mean it! Please take a moment and become a “Fellow Pilgrim” by following my blog – you can do so in the left hand margin right below the “Blog Archive” section. Also, be sure to click on any pictures to see full size images or be instantly transported to links related to the Camino. You can also leave direct comments to any of my posts.

I really appreciate everyone taking precious time to read a little about my trip and learn how I will achieve this goal I have set before myself. I will need to raise a lot of money to get there, so I am coming up with a lot of creative ways to solicit your help. This journey really means a lot to me and my hope is that some or all of you can share in this awesome experience. So please visit my blog often and keep in touch with me in the following months!

In lieu of birthday and christmas presents this year, I am asking that you please donate to my trip. Watch out...if you attempt to buy me a beer at a bar this year, I may just pass and ask for a contribution instead! Today I successfully posted donation buttons, so now I am totally in business! I have created a variety of donation levels or “cliques” that one can join. Each one has different benefits, so please check them out! I am proud to announce that my Grandmother Eugenia Ompad was the first to donate to my cause to the tune of $1000.00!!! Thanks Grandma, I am already 1/10 of the way to meeting my goal! Additionally, I give you the option of purchasing individual items I will need for my trek like hiking boots, guide books, and a pedometer. You can find these in the left hand margin of my blog. There will be lots of other “brick–and–mortar” fundraising events that I will announce in the near future. These will give me the chance to meet with you in person so I can share all the finite details, and spread the word.

I am so full of HOPE and excitement for the coming months. Thanks again for all of your Support and Love as I welcome a new chapter in my life. I am so fortunate to have all of you around to share such a wonderful endeavour!

Love Always,
Richert Gordon

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