Monday, May 14, 2012

What's New?

I've been back at my home base in Denver for a few months now and my silence on the blog has been my way to transition back into 'normal' life. I've been far from idle, of course, and just walking around the city to all the things I keep myself busy with adds up to about 50 or 60 miles every week.

Three exciting announcements from winterpilgrimland:

1. I'm developing a camino in the US!  Denver, Colorado to the Santuario de Chimayó, New Mexico.  I'm collecting the information about it in another blogsite -  It's a camino for everyone, stylized after the Camino to Santiago with regard to a network of pilgrim houses and support facilities.  There's a lot to organize, but I think there's sufficient interest to give it a try.  The Santuario is America's most visited pilgrim site and of the 300,000 pilgrims who visit annually, more than 30,000 walk there during Holy Week, so there is a long tradition of foot pilgrimages, but as of yet, no network of pilgrim houses exists.  Because it's new and the land is rugged and vast - 550 kms/350 miles - the pilgrim houses will only be opened for a week-long season... well, wait, enough here, go visit the site to get the details.

2. I'm a solo pilgrim through and through, but for 18 days this summer, I'll be a pilgrim leader and guide a group of pilgrims from Denver to Chimayó on the above-referenced camino.  I've got to walk it to mark the way and test out the shade stations and pilgrim houses, so I'm happy to guide all the pilgrims who leave Denver on 22 July, or hop in along the way to arrive in Chimayó on 8 August.  Anyone who's interested should sign-up on the other blogsite or contact me directly.  I think we'll limit it to around 15 or 20 pilgrims, so don't wait too long, and as I'm starting from Our Lady of Guadalupe church, there will be a lot of Spanish spoken.  The parish pastor will come along as the spiritual guide of the group and say daily Mass on the trail (in Spanish).  Any pilgrims who leave Denver in the days after the 22nd, will still benefit from the trail markers and the trail descriptions I'll leave with each pilgrim house.

3.  Finally, I'm a winter pilgrim, aren't I?  Winter will be upon us soon enough, so I'll be off again on another epic pilgrimage.  I was hit with unbounded inspiration one Thursday morning walking to a neighborhood coffeeshop to meet a friend - South America's calling... Argentina to the Basilica of Guadalupe... following the spine of the Andes right on up, through the Darien Gap, the rainforests of Central America... leave mid September, arrive late spring-ish.  Map to follow soon... A long one it will be, perhaps 13,000 kms/8,000 miles -ish, I'm not really wrapped up in the distance, just the number of villages I can visit, the cultures, the fun people, the astonished children... stay tuned for updates.

I'll be better at updating this blog to wrap up the last great pilgrimage and develop plans for the future one.