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Camino, California Style?

March 10, 2021

Kenton called a few days ago to invite me to walk the California Missions Trail. Kenton got me onto the European Peace Walk in 2019 and had planned to walk with me in France on the Via Francigena. Walking in Europe is still out of reach for Americans; what do I do in the meantime? I met Kenton in Portugal and he was invited to this adventure by Laura, a pilgrim he also met in that lovely country. We are meeting at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala in San Diego on April Fool’s Day.

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala (

There are several notable differences between the Camino Real in California and any Camino trail in Europe – there is no pilgrim infrastructure: it’s not marked, it is primarily on roads, and there are no cheap places to stay. However, there are campgrounds, so we will be taking minimal camping gear. On the plus side, there will be Mexican food. So, I bought a plane ticket, the Kindle version of the only trail guide, and signed up on the Mission Walkers Facebook page. That’s when I found the other big difference: I got numerous responses from my post on that Facebook page offering rides and lodging and meals along the trail. Wow! This is different.

The total from San Diego to San Francisco is 800 miles and 21 missions. I have no expectations about how many days or far I will walk, I’ll walk until it is time to come home. I have headed out for distant trails both solo and with friends, and along the way have found that the fraternity of walkers is an open and welcoming group. I already have new friends on this walk.

Walking in France

From → Writing Fiction

  1. Angela Finnigan permalink

    Thanks for sending this, I think I’m already on their Facebook page and will follow you. Looks exciting!


  2. Wow, fantastic. I visited all the missions ( in 3 or 4 trips down south( I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada). One day while visiting one of the mission, I met a man ( a priest/ a monk) who was walking between the missions. I have written about all the missions in my first blog but your story will be much more exciting ! I hope you will share this adventure with us here on the blog ! 🙂 stay safe.

    • I don’t know that my trip will be more exciting than yours! I will be writing about it on this blog and on the California Mission Walkers Facebook page. There appear to be many supporters along the way who offer support for walkers.

  3. Sara Allerkamp permalink

    So awesome. I think I would love doing that!
    Congratulations and good health to you!

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