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, March 16, 2009

My walking distance log with a few observations along the way:

Please be sure to check out the newly posted walking routes I take on a regular basis. To find them, simply scroll down to the bottom portion of this blog to the "MapMyWalk" widgets. Once you pick a route, click on the "view full" button and then select "hybrid map" from the map type drop down menu - this allows you to see actual satellite images...Enjoy!!!

  • 03 June, 2009 ~ 10622 Steps ~ 5.02 Miles :: the weather outside for the past few days has been very "june gloom" - overcast and humid - it even rained a little yesterday, i walked to bel air first to mail some packages and was greeted with smiles from all the customer service clerk ladies who all know me - i stopped to show them my shiny new ipod shuffle...and they all marveled at it.
  • 31 May, 2009 ~ 9641 Steps ~ 4.56 Miles :: another walking expedition at denio's with my push cart at the ready, did a brisk run through first, then negotiated a few items down, ran into the nicest couple (clinton & becky) again - previously purchased some chairs from them several months ago and got 2 beautiful statues from them today: a stunning madonna and child icon and a chippy gold chalkware classical bust - thanks guys!, got to the auction at 8:30am and didn't leave until 1:30pm.
  • 24 May, 2009 ~ 11337 Steps ~ 5.36 Miles :: i got up at 9:00 and headed out to denio's and walked the entire market probably 3 times over, summer is definitely approaching - it totally worked up a good sweat today.
  • 23 May, 2009 ~ 13143 Steps ~ 6.22 Miles :: i decided to get up early and walk before it got too hot today and i was comfortable the whole time - nice breeze and no crowds, my feet ached a little today - maybe because i walked late last night and again early this morning, planning on adding more variety to my walking by trying a little jogging too - perhaps i'm inspired to do this because i had a funny dream that i was running last night - and when i reached the end i realized that i just completed a marathon - weird!...we'll see how that goes over.
  • 22 May, 2009 ~ 12763 Steps ~ 6.04 Miles :: all i have to say is: i was almost attacked by a large white dog at the park today!!! - good thing the owner had him on a leash because the beast lunged at me and almost bit me on the arm but i managed to swerve out of his way in time - whew!, i totally love my new 4GB ipod shuffle - this miniature wonder of technology is astounding - i just wish the ear buds fit a little more snugly into my ears, it is totally hot in california nowadays so i didn't finish my walk until nearly 8:30pm - the last 30 minutes cooled down, but i definitely got a good sweat on today - yes!!!
  • 17 May, 2009 ~ 7707 Steps ~ 3.64 Miles :: late evening walk with anne, bailey, & maya - it was way too hot to walk any earlier, an entire field was mowed down revealing a vast plain of golden hay - such a pretty sight against the verdant green foothills...i absolutely love living in california.
  • 14 May, 2009 ~ 9394 Steps ~ 4.44 Miles :: brisk morning walk at jill & julie's house, the 2 fields i usually cross are now overgrown with weeds so i cross the street to walk pavement, back to wearing my shoes - way better on my feet, the sunshine is blazing outside nowadays - i need to start using sunscreen!
  • 07 May, 2009 ~ 13394 Steps ~ 6.34 Miles :: spring showers have kept me from walking outside - along with other last minute duties, it was a splendid 72 degrees in petaluma today - still a little cautious about the recent 200 pound bear sighting in the hills last week, a ruby-throated hummingbird sat perched in a branch, chirping a song forever, until i approached within a foot of it when suddenly it darted off skyward toward another mate - the two shot off like missles and quickly disappeared into the deep blue yonder in courtship, i forgot my walking shoes in sacramento and had to walk in my slippers today - i now have the blisters to show for such regret.
  • 30 April, 2009 ~ 14104 Steps ~ 6.67 Miles :: a man and his daughter fly a really nice remote control plane in the sky above the park, a group of about 7 teenage boys gather around a picnic table after school and sip on cheap beers and puff on cancer sticks - they try to look cool everytime i pass by, but yet there are no girls to be seen anywhere in the near vicinity - omg...losers!, received a sad phone call from mom early this evening - uncle benji passed away after his long fight at the hospital - uncle...your happy face and funny stories will be sorely missed - my heartfelt condolences, prayers, and thoughts go out to the cabansag family in this time of loss and mourning.
  • 28 April, 2009 ~ 12030 Steps ~ 5.69 Miles :: the weather has cooled down significantly - might even rain this weekend, decided to walk in the late afternoon since earlier today was full of errands - post office, library, one thrift store, walmart, ebay, and cooking an early dinner.
  • 26 April, 2009 ~ 10485 Steps ~ 4.96 Miles :: the only walking i did today was at denio's flea market with dad, if the sunny weather keeps up my skin will - as canyon exclaims "richert, you are so dark you turned dark green!", mental note - buy sunscreen.
  • 24 April, 2009 ~ 16682 Steps ~ 7.89 Miles :: the temperature has cooled down significantly, back walking loops at blue oak park today - i was taken by surprise yesterday when a minivan appeared out of nowhere behind me - i need to lower the volume on the mp3 player when i cross roads in the neighborhood, i am toying with the idea of doing 20 miles on monday - we'll see how the weekend goes.
  • 23 April, 2009 ~ 12491 Steps ~ 5.91 Miles :: it has been a while since i walked last - lots of easter activities and busy working, the weather has gotten blazing hot - for a week now the temperature has climbed into the high 90's, by accident i walk into the women's restroom at the bank after my walk because i was totally rushing - even though there was a keypad code required to get into the bathroom i still managed to gain access to the wrong one - you would think the men's room would have a different code than the ladies - anyway, i found out when i was washing my hands and a black lady walked out of the stall next to me and squealed "you are in the women's bathroom!!!" and she proceeded to crack up hysterically - i thought it was a joke - the worst part was walking out out back into the bank lobby after my folly, everyone was staring because the lady was still laughing out loud - she even tried to give me a high five, but i scurried out in shame!
  • 14 April, 2009 ~ 12402 Steps ~ 5.87 Miles :: dad, bailey, maya and me walked to the park to play basketball, i did a late afternoon walk to the softball park by myself and the wind was crazy - felt like winter again.
  • 13 April, 2009 ~ 17777 Steps ~ 8.42 Miles :: dad, bailey, and maya drove to the golf driving range and i met them there - it is just a little more than 3 miles but it is a little dangerous with all the cars speeding by, taking it a little easy on my left foot - i twisted it on saturday when i walked into a crack in the sidewalk, i think i need to take pain pills after my walks instead of before - my lower legs seem to cramp up more when i do things in this order.
  • 11 April, 2009 ~ 15664 Steps ~ 7.41 Miles :: i walked the back route at the tiu house once by myself and another time with dad, bailey, and maya while they rode their bikes, totally windy outside and not many people on the trail - i guess everyone is getting ready to celebrate easter, i drank a little too much last night visiting with the fisher's at susan and tim's dinner - i could feel it in my legs and was a little lethargic!
  • 08 April, 2009 ~ 31815 Steps ~ 15.06 Miles :: i would not have been able to break the 15 mile mark on national start! walking day without madonna, the bee gees, and tracey ullman...their tunes kept me motivated!, totally broke a sweat today and got rained on simultaneously - that is definitely a weird feeling (hot & cold at the same time), i saw the most glorious John F. Kennedy rose bush in full bloom today - the perfume was intoxicating!
  • 07 April, 2009 ~ 12926 Steps ~ 6.12 Miles :: thank you so much mom for letting me borrow your mp3 player and sending me the "alive whole food energizer liquid" - you are my savior!, i listened to an intriguing podcast on "guerilla gardening" while on my walk and couldn't help but notice all the beautiful plant specimens people plant in their front yards...you just can't appreciate them speeding by in a car - check out the conversation between josh and chuck here: How Stuff Works, the rain is back - i made it home just in time before the downpour.
  • 03 April, 2009 ~ 11683 Steps ~ 5.53 Miles :: my pedometer broke today but walked the same exact route as yesterday, i didn't see a jackhammer operator repairing the road and the sound totally scared me!!! - i thought i was being shot at!, the dead squirrel i saw yesterday really is dead - he's not just sleeping, it was so windy that i didn't have a drop of sweat but my allergies sure are back.
  • 02 April, 2009 ~ 11683 Steps ~ 5.53 Miles :: switched up the route and walked along elverta - about 4800 steps from our door to walmart, today was the first time i've seen a dead squirrel, passed by the old acappella house - the neighborhood sure has changed, found a nickel on the sidewalk.
  • 31 March, 2009 ~ 12895 Steps ~ 6.10 Miles :: my first walk with roxanne, bailey, and maya (on her brand new bike!) through their neighborhood, we see rich coming back from renting his car, we get a little lost crossing picturesque bridges and find a beautiful softball park, nicely paved trails with pretty landscapes but it got chilly toward the end.
  • 30 March, 2009 ~ 10943 Steps ~ 5.18 Miles :: my first walk with julie through her neighborhood, we find the back trail and cross the creek where a little kid's bike is trashed and dumped in the water, i tell her she would love hiking at cherry creek and tell her she should come with us this summer.
  • 27 March, 2009 ~ 12763 Steps ~ 6.04 Miles :: little kids rollerblading with sweaty faces remind me of small kid time when i would bmx with my friends to the pink store in maile - we would buy a cold coke when we got there to refresh ourselves from the scorching summer heat in hawaii then we would sell the glass bottle back for the deposit and buy candy with the refund, a bazillion red ants swarm on a poor baby bird that fell from the eucalyptus above, at dusk 2 ladies ask me for directions on my last lap around - i notice that they are drinking king cobra 40's from paper bags.
  • 26 March, 2009 ~ 21961 Steps ~ 10.39 Miles :: i decide i like walking in a counter-clockwise direction around the park, i become perturbed when i overhear a fat soccer mom refer to her kids as "troops" as in "let's go troops" and then plead with her oldest daughter to drink more banana-orange juice so that she stays "hydrated" when all the little girl wanted to do was hang off the monkey bars, i witness 2 teeneage boys sell weed to 3 of their friends and not look concerned about being watched, 21961 steps = 24 laps around blue oak park = i finally break the 10 mile mark!!!
  • 25 March, 2009 ~ 18453 Steps ~ 8.74 Miles :: the park is filled with chirping birds heralding the return of spring, an old russian couple and their family cheer me on by keeping count of how many laps i do but leave before me, it's a BIG day - i broke the 8 mile mark.
  • 23 March, 2009 ~ 14231 Steps ~ 6.73 Miles :: teenagers eat at picnic tables and let their cheeseburger wrappers fly in the wind and litter the park - they pick them up after i give them dirty looks, looks like the oak trees are finally gaining the first sign of leaves - spring is here.
  • 21 March, 2009 ~ 12746 Steps ~ 6.03 Miles :: group of teeneage boys sing cool rendition of Run DMC & Aerosmith's "walk this way", a little pug/chihuahua puppy named Rocky chases me while his owner picks clover weeds - she claims that if you eat them after parboiling, they aid in curing diabetes.
  • 19 March, 2009 ~ 11450 Steps ~ 5.42 Miles :: 2 laps into my workout my legs start cramping up - i need to return new boots and get re-fitted at REI, i try to keep up with 2 black girls doing exercises but they whiz past me and kick my butt.
  • 18 March, 2009 ~ 10146 Steps ~ 4.80 Miles :: russian lady fills a grocery bag with dandelion flowers probably for tea, fat retired golfer uses park for his own personal driving range, i find one lonely freesia flower in bloom in the rocks.
  • 16 March, 2009 ~ 4995 Steps ~ 2.36 Miles :: dogs in obedience training, i make bailey and maya kick the ball while swinging in the park, bailey's basketball falls in the creek - we retrieve it with sticks.
  • 12 March, 2009 ~ 16073 Steps ~ 7.61 Miles :: almost pooped my pants - plan bm's accordingly, i find a sterling silver dragonfly pin with turquoise stones laying in the grass.
  • 11 March, 2009 ~ 14478 Steps ~ 6.85 Miles :: i am saddened by the flowers, pictures, and letters left tied to a tree where someone died in a car accident, the plum trees are in full bloom.
  • 10 March, 2009 ~ 12341 Steps ~ 5.84 Miles :: mysterious tied-up plastic bag in bushes - does it contain money or dog poop? i decide to leave it alone.
  • 09 March, 2009 ~ 12070 Steps ~ 5.71 Miles :: the walking path in jill & julie's new neighborhood is nicely paved, the smell of garlic and onions cooking at the amy's food factory nearby makes me hungry.

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