Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, #268 Nov. 2021

Hi everyone,
It’s good to be back in the Bay Area for Thanksgiving and all of the other fall events. There wasn’t an October issue of this newsletter because Ralph and I were in France completing the last section of the Chemin Vézelay pilgrimage route (plenty more about that below).

Contents:
#1. Susan’s book party/event for Walk, Hike, Saunter: Seasoned Women Hikers Share Tales and Trails—and some of the women featured!
#2. Opossums: How much do you know about this marsupial?
#3. Chemin de Vézelay (pilgrim route through France)
#4. Supporting American Pilgrims on the Camino
#5. Regional: Free admission to our National Parks for veterans and active military on Veterans’ Day and through the weekend, Nov. 11-14, 2021
#6. Regional: Sonoma County: Geyserville, Northern CA. — the Geyserville Tree Lighting and Tractor parade.
#7. Regional and widespread: King Tides will be happening soon.

Articles:
#1. Susan to host a book party/event: We’re going to feature my most recent book, Walk, Hike, Saunter: Seasoned Women Hikers Share Tales and Trails at Book Passage Corte Madera, CA on Nov. 13, 2 PM. And, some of the women whose stories are in the book will also be reading. We’ll be talking about some of our trail adventures, and encouraging other to enjoy some of the rewards (and challenges) of hiking and backpacking.

We would appreciate an RSVP if you are coming so we can have enough seating and goodies. To rsvp, follow this link: http://evite.me/t5GC9dWDjU

However, no registration required so come on by if you can. Free to celebrate with us and enjoy a bit of wine and munchies! (We will be inside for the book event, and outdoors for the snacking!). Book Passage, Corte Madera, is 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 925-927-0960.
#2. Opossum or possum? Either is ok. Most English speakers call it possum, whereas most scientists refer to it as Opposum, or more technically the Virginia Opposum (Didelphis virginiana). Whichever term you prefer, it is found from southern Canada to northern Costa Rica, and is the only marsupial found north of Mexico. Its furless hands, short legs, and heavy body make it unsuited to snowy areas, but researchers have observing that it’s range is gradually expanding with climate change.

Marsupial? Yes, it has a pouch—at least the all female opossums do. And, the male Water Opossum, found in Central and South America, is the only living species where both females and males have pouches. The male water opossum uses its pouch to hold and protect its genitals during swimming.

But back to the Virginia Opossum—baby opossums are only about the size of a jelly bean when born. The “joeys” crawl to the pouch and attach themselves to one of the mother’s teats where they will stay for eight weeks. After they have matured, they climb to the mother’s back where they will spend another two months learning survival skills.

If you have seen one living near your home, it means you have supportive habitat: water within 10 square city blocks and food (dead animals, bugs, ticks, fruit, and vegetables). If you see them out and about, you are probably outdoors after dark, because Opossums are nocturnal. There probably are trees nearby because that’s their preferred home, but I have seen them living in thickly-covered vines growing on fences. Like our new-world monkeys, opossums have prehensile tails—they can hang by their tail and use their hands to hold onto branches and so forth. Their opposable thumbs help with this effort.
#3. Chemin de Vézelay: There are four major pilgrimage routes in France: from Paris, Vézelay, LePuy-en-Velay, and Arles to Santiago de Compostela. Ralph and I have now competed three: the Vézelay, the GR 65 from Geneva to LePuy-en-Velay continuing on from LePuy into Spain; and the GR653 Arles route into Spain. (We did the Frances route through Spain in 2001)

We did each of the French routes in sections. With Vézelay for example: Vézelay to Saint Amand Montrond; Saint Amand Montrond  to Limoges; Limoges to Bazas (near Bordeaux), and Bazas to St. Jean Pied du Port (in the foothills of the Pyrenees—a popular town for beginning the Frances route to Santiago de Compostela).

The charming village of Vézelay is in the north-central part of France. It is partially protected from attack by its hillside location and stone walls partially surrounding it. It entered into history in the 9th century, when it first hosted the relics of Saint Mary Magdalene. It became even better known when its 11th-century Romanesque Basilica of St Magdalene was constructed, and subsequently when the Third Crusade (1189–1192) aka “The Kings’ Crusade,” set out from there. It is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The historical route was “described by Aimery Picaud in his 12th century Pilgrim’s Guide. It was used by pilgrims coming from the north (Scandinavians) and the east (Poles, Germans) of Europe, and sometimes called also the Polish route. Its Latin name, the Via Lemovicensis derives from its crossing of the Limousin, and from the historical, religious and cultural importance of the city of Limoges.”

The route runs southwest from  Vézelay (in Burgundy),  There are two distinct branches, the Bourges and Nevers routes (the one we took), which meet in the village of Gargilesse.

The Bourges route “is slightly shorter and much flatter, with many large forests and cornfields, and so to some, more monotonous. Bourges Cathedral is well worth a visit and some say this city is more interesting than Nevers. The Nevers route, also passing through Saint-Amand-Montrond and La Châtre is 31.6 km longer than the Bourges route, unless the variant via Augy-sur-Aubois is chosen which halves the extra distance. The terrain is more undulating and varied, and Nevers has the shrine of Saint Bernadette Soubirous (of Lourdes) which is a pilgrimage centre in its own right.

“The route then continues across the foothills of the Limousin, the hills and valleys of the Périgord and the plains of Aquitaine and the Landes. It joins the two other routes (from Tours and le Puy-en-Velay) near Ostabat.”

It’s approximately 900 km from Vézelay to St Jean Pied-de-Port, and a total of 1700 km if you continue to Santiago. Although guidebooks may divide it into 36 stages, of 20 and 30 km, we generally did shorter walks depending upon the accommodations available.

The route is waymarked, but is slowly moving to change the markings from the earlier red and white or red and yellow, to the yellow and blue that you’ll see on the Frances.

The scenery is quite varied: hills, valley, forests, historic sites and monuments. It’s primarily small towns, many losing population as young adults move the larger cities for work. However,, there are also some beautiful cities—including Saint-Léonard, Limoges, and Périgueux.  The Limousin is a land of forests and springs, of extensive cattle and sheep-raising.

In the Gironde, you’ll come across vast vineyards with the grapes for Bergerac and Bordeaux wines. As you continue south, you’ll find plantation farms with pines interspersed with fields of corn and some sunflowers. In wilder forests you find more variety— including oaks and deciduous trees and rich understory plants. On the last one or two days approaching St. Jean, you’ll have a couple of steep climbs with extensive views of the Pyrenees ahead and the plains behind you.

Walking the Vézelay is a very different experience than walking the Frances. As the CSJ says in their write up, “It is a route for pilgrims who are looking for tranquility and a meditative environment.” Translated that means — except in the larger cities, on market days, or during festival, you will see very few people. Most days we didn’t see anyone on the trail.

We stayed in a variety of accommodations, but there was seldom any choice. A back bedroom, a pilgrim refuges, small or large hotels, chambres d’hôte (bed & breakfasts), or gîtes d’étape. “The route has simple but sufficient facilities, calling upon the rigour of the pilgrim’s commitment (whatever his deeper underlying motive), in the context of a relatively deserted rural environment sufficient to discourage the ‘tourist’, and to deter therefore all those who embark on the pilgrimage in a spirit which is not ‘serious’ (i.e. who want simply to ‘play at’ being a pilgrim).” Quotations from the Confraternity of St. James, based in London. 

 

Guidebooks: The Dutch Pilgrim Association has produced two guides in English (updates 2021) from Vézelay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port: one covers the variant via Nevers and the other of the variant via Bourges. These are available as books or free in PDF format, santiago.nl/english/vezelay-main-page. The main page will orient you, the “Tracks and Guides” section shows maps and trails in detail. (Both the Nevers and the Bourges books are available from their online shop.)

We also used the Miam Miam Dodo: Voie de Vézelay (2019), which is available from the Confraternity of Saint James. It is in French, but easily understood by those of us who are not fluent in that language!

#4. Supporting American Pilgrims on the Camino. APOC is just what it sounds like, an organization primarily for those of us in the U.S. who want information about the Camino and to support the infrastructure of the Camino with grants for various projects undertaken by various non-profit albergues, etc. Membership includes a subscription to the quarterly publication of La Concha. There is also a Facebook group for meeting with new and experienced pilgrims. www.americanpilgrims.org

It is also a place to find a local chapter near you. Activities vary, but may include getting together for coffee, a potluck, or a hike. Our Peregrinos — Northern California chapter not only has walks and hikes, but also has informative meetings about such topics as how to get ready for a Camino walk to how to reenter the “real world” after your pilgrimage.

#5. Veterans, active military, and Gold Star Families: Free admission to  U.S. National Parks for veterans and active military on Veterans Day and through the weekend, Nov. 11-14, 2021.  https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/veterans-and-gold-star-families-free-access.htm

I recently visited Jack London State Park and can vouch for its attractions–beautiful views, historic buildings, and hiking trails. They are eager to welcome visitors. They write, “In recognition of their service to the United States, Jack London State Historic Park [in Glen Ellen, CA] will provide free admission to all active-duty military and veterans on Veterans Day and through the following weekend…” “An active duty or retired military identification or form DD214 can be presented at the entry kiosk to receive the free admission. Admission, regularly priced at $10, covers one vehicle of guests (up to nine people) for the day.  Park hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily”

“Blending the fascinating history of one of America’s most prolific and successful writers with the serenity of nature, Jack London State Historic Park offers more than 29 miles of back-country trails that roam through mixed forests, redwood groves, oak woodlands, and grassy meadows in Sonoma County’s Valley of the Moon.  Learn more about the park at https://jacklondonpark.com/

 #6. Regional: Geyserville Tree Lighting and Tractor parade. Saturday, November 27, 2021 – 4:30pm-8:00pm.Downtown along Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville, CA, 95441 (Sonoma County/Nor. CA).  Geyserville Chamber of Commerce https://geyservillechamber.com/
Local:  707-276-6067. email: geyservillechamberofcommerce@gmail.com
Combine a hike in the area and then watch the festivities. Saturday, November 27, 2021 – 4:30pm-8:00pm.

#7. King Tides near you? “A King Tide is a non-scientific term people often use to describe exceptionally high tides. Tides are long-period waves that roll around the planet as the ocean is “pulled” back and forth by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun as these bodies interact with the Earth in their monthly and yearly orbits. Higher than normal tides typically occur during a new or full moon and when the Moon is at its perigee, or during specific seasons around the country.” National Ocean Service https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/kingtide.html

Here’s a related Bay Area walk you can take with Berkeley Path Wanderers: “King Tides Walk: History and Rising Seas.” When: Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. Leader: Susan Schwartz. Sea Breeze Market, 598 University Ave., Berkeley. Click here for info.

“During one of winter’s highest tides, enjoy a relaxed loop around Berkeley’s restored “meadow,” with short spurs. We will walk rain or shine. Dress in layers for quick-changing weather, and expect puddles, muddy or even flooded paths, and crossing a construction site. Sorry, no dogs allowed in part of the area we will cross.”
++++++++++++++++++++
Thank you everyone. Stay well, keep hiking when prudent. I encourage you to send in items of interest to the hiking community to me at backpack45 “at sign” yahoo.com

Susan ‘backpack45’ Alcorn
Shepherd Canyon Books, Oakland, CA

https://susandalcorn.com
https://www.backpack45.com

Author of Walk, Hike, Saunter: Seasoned Women Share Tales and Trails; Healing Miles: Gifts from the Caminos Norte and Primitivo, Patagonia Chronicle: On Foot in Torres del Paine; We’re in the Mountains Not over the Hill: Tales and Tips from Seasoned Women Backpackers; and Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago.

Please note: Hiking and backpacking can be risky endeavors. Always be prepared for emergencies and carry food, water, shelter (warm clothing, etc.), flashlight/headlamp, matches, first aid supplies, and maps. Cell phones don’t always work. Leave word where you are traveling and when you are due back.

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or send a message to this (almost) monthly newsletter, please email Susan at backpack45 “at sign” yahoo.com

Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, Sep. 2021

Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, #267 Sep. 2021
Contents:
#1. Mark your calendar for Susan’s book celebration: Nov. 13
#2. Lyme Disease — perhaps a cure is upcoming?
#3. Less litter and plastic use?
#4. Bear encounters on the rise?
#5. ALDHA-WEST events
#6. Jaunting Jan lives up to her name
#7. State of California closes National Forests due to fire risks
#8. Books to inform and entertain
#9. Regional: The Crosstown Trail: How to walk across San Francisco in a Day.
#10. Regional: New East Bay campground opens

Articles:
#1. Save the date! Please save November 13, 2021 for my first real, in person (we hope), book party/event featuring my most recent book, Walk, Hike, Saunter: Seasoned Women Hikers Share Tales and Trails. I’ll be at the Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA talking about some of our trail adventures and experiences, and about long some of the rewards (and some challenges) of hiking and backpacking.  Details will be provided later on, but the plan is also to have a couple of the women featured in the book read from their stories they contributed to the book, and to enjoy some wine and nibbles. Anyone vote for GORP (Good Old Raisin and Peanuts)? Since most years the weather is great around here that time of year, we expect an event at 2 PM and outdoors to be quite fun. Info on the book here. 

#2. Preventing Lyme Disease: Finally, a Shot to Prevent Lyme Disease Could Be on Its Way. (Aug. 16, 2021, Outside Online). Lyme Disease is a tricky disease. About 3/4 of people who become infected will get the get a red rash, in the shape of a bullseye, after a Lyme-carrying tick bite, but some people do not. When other symptoms show up: fever, fatigue, headaches, and swollen joints, the patient may not attribute their symptoms to the disease because those symptoms often resemble the flu or COVID-19. 

Lyme disease is so named because it began in the U.S. in Lyme, Connecticut. While it remained in the Northeast and Great Lakes area from a long time, it has  now it has spread to all 50 states, and more medical providers are familiar with it.

Lyme is treatable, and most people who are infected recover after a month of antibiotics if the disease is caught early. However, that means that the infected person needs to seek care, and the medical team needs to start treatment. It also tells us that not everyone will respond to the antibiotics.

Things to consider: The black-legged tick (of different varieties according to location) is also often called the “deer tick,” because deer are the most frequent carriers, but mice can also be hosts. Deer populations are increasing—not only in the wilderness, but also in our suburban areas.

But, Sam Telford, a Tufts University professor of infectious diseases, says “Even if you have an infected tick attached to you, if you remove it within a day [to 36 hours], it doesn’t matter.’” 

The best defense at the moment — short of not going outdoors, is to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants and/or to treat clothing with permethrin.

Mark Klempner, a physician and infectious-disease scientist at the University of Massachusetts … is the lead creator of a first-of-its-kind antibody shot for preventing Lyme infection. The idea is to administer the injection annually, so that people are protected from during the time that tick nymphs are most active — late spring through early fall.

The article, click here,  gives more history of the disease and of previous research toward eliminating the disease as well as explains more about Klempner’s research and hope for a future without Lyme Disease.  

#3. Amy Cantrell Morton on the John Muir Trail facebook group, wrote, “I started using these this summer for the Tahoe Rim Trail and they work great! “Compostable & Biodegradable Food Bags – Responsible Products” 

#4. ALDHA-West is again having a virtual Gathering. “We will be hosting two different virtual events during the week to connect with our hiker community this year: the Triple Crown Award Ceremony will be on Tuesday, Oct 5 – 5-7pm PT, the Gathering on Thursday, Oct 7 – 5-7pm PT.

“If you’re a member, make sure to log into your account on our website before registering.” Register here.

Yosemite black bear

#5. Are bear incidents on the rise (there have been more than usual this year)? There have been five incidents in the U.S. and Canada combined this year. Two in April (a grizzly in Yellowstone, a black bear in Colorado). Two were in May (both incident involving grizzlies in Calgary). One in July (a grizzly in Ovando, Montana). This is a slight increase from recent years. In 2020, bears killed 4 people in all of the U.S. and Canada. In 2019, there were 2 fatal bear attacks.

Bear attacks do make the headlines, but the numbers don’t warrant concluding attacks are trending upwards. Speculation is that with increasing numbers of people being outside for recreation with COVID-19 circulation, there are also increasing numbers of bear encounters.

Frank van Manen, Team Leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, explains, “In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzlies have tripled their range over the past 40 years.” He adds, “It is important to recognize that in the vast majority of bear encounters, bears avoid any form of confrontation and leave without incident, which of course does not make the news.” he says.  Outside Online article here.

#6. Jaunting Jan, who goes by the name Jaunting Jan on Facebook and elsewhere, should be a poster child for successful rehab after having “spent September learning a lot about knee anatomy, followed by knee surgery in early October. For six weeks, it’s crutches and 8 hours a day in a CPM (continuous passive motion) machine, so basically 24×7 in bed.”

But Jan, whose story in also in Walk, Hike, Saunter, is not a quitter. As I followed her rehab process through the subsequent months, I was inspired by her strength and discipline. She followed doctor’s orders and set reasonable goals for getting back onto the trails. First it was on flat trails near her home using crutches, and gradually increasing her distance. When she could throw out the crutches, she continued slowly increasing speed, distance, and then level of difficulty. She was soon saying such things as “only” being able to walk eight miles, etc. At this point, she has traveled to dozens of hiking trails on the west coast and even been able to do a few backpacking trips.

From Jaunting Jan’s June 26, 2021 blog: “I’ve mostly decided to embrace this forced pause as a preview of how I might enjoy my wild places as I continue to age. There’s no doubt that my body will fail again and what once was moderately challenging will become too much. I’m grateful I’ve found places to go where I can just sit and admire nature’s beauty without having to hike into higher country, although that will always be where my heart sings loudest.

“Maybe it’ll be the motivator to find a more suitable place to make my home base. It has reaffirmed the pluses of having the security blanket of a home where I was able to escape COVID and rehab from my surgery. It’s nice to have a home gym and a trail system within 5 minutes of my door where I can ride or walk. Convenience is worth a lot like having a community pool in my backyard or a lake just 15 minutes away where I can swim or take my paddleboard.

“I know you and many others are also going through personal challenges. We may not have decades and decades of adventure remaining as those much younger but hopefully it’ll help everyone reset priorities and try to live with fewer regrets and more purpose.”

#7. USDA Forest Service Temporarily Closing All California National Forests for Public Safety. “VALLEJO, Calif., — August 30, 2021. To better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forests in California. This closure will be in effect from Aug. 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. through September 17, 2021. This order does not affect the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, which is not in the Pacific Southwest Region.

So no Labor Day camping, hiking, biking. Those caught entering Forest Service lands — including developed campgrounds, hiking trails and recreation sites — typically face fines of up to $5,000 for violating closure orders. The closure order only applies to Forest Service lands. State and national parks and private lands set their own rules.

“’We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,’” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “Factors that led to this decision include …  [by] temporarily reducing the numbers of people on national forests, we hope to minimize the likelihood that visitors could become entrapped on National Forest System lands during emergency circumstances….” Info here.  

“Earlier this summer, two of California’s largest private forest companies — Sierra Pacific Industries, and W.M. Beaty & Associates — closed nearly 2 million acres of private timberlands to public access due to what the companies’ foresters described as unprecedented dry conditions.”

#8. Books not to miss:
If you are interested in the Camino: Moon Camino de Santiago: Sacred Sites, Historic Villages, Local Food & Wine (Travel Guide) by Beebe Bahrami.

If you are interested in Vermont’s Long Trail: A Short Walk on a Long Trail: A Couple’s Sauntering on the Vermont Long Trail.  Dennis and Jane Blanchard each wrote up their backpacking adventures on the trail. Of particular interest to me was their day-to-day description of the conditions they encountered. This is one TOUGH trail. Dennis, who had previously completed the entire Appalachian Trail, found that the Vermont Long Trail was even more difficult. Also interesting to read their comments regarding how aging and/or training can affect such a challenging undertaking. 

S.F. Crosstown Trail goes through many interesting neighborhoods. Great fun!

#9. Regional: Article about the San Francisco Crosstown Trail. Even though the article was written to describe how to do it in one day, Ralph and I did it in four sections, on different days, with various friends. Instead of doing out-and-back hikes, we did each section as a loop by choosing alternate routes/streets to return to our starting points.  Article here.

#10. New East Bay campground opened: The East Bay Regional Park District recently invited the public to celebrate the opening of a new campground in the S.F. East Bay. It is their first campground on the bay shoreline. The Dumbarton Quarry Campground, in Fremont, has 60 sites with full RV hookups. Article here.  

++++
Thank you everyone. There will not be a newsletter in October. Stay well, keep hiking when prudent. I encourage you to send in items of interest to the hiking community to me at backpack45 “at sign” yahoo.com

Susan ‘backpack45’ Alcorn
Shepherd Canyon Books, Oakland, CA

https://susandalcorn.com
https://www.backpack45.com

Author of Walk, Hike, Saunter: Seasoned Women Share Tales and Trails; Healing Miles: Gifts from the Caminos Norte and Primitivo, Patagonia Chronicle: On Foot in Torres del Paine; We’re in the Mountains Not over the Hill: Tales and Tips from Seasoned Women Backpackers; and Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago.

Please note: Hiking and backpacking can be risky endeavors. Always be prepared for emergencies and carry food, water, shelter (warm clothing, etc.), flashlight/headlamp, matches, first aid supplies, and maps. Cell phones don’t always work. Leave word where you are traveling and when you are due back.

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or send a message to this (almost) monthly newsletter, please email Susan at backpack45 “at sign” yahoo.com

Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, April 2021

Prime Hiking Season is HERE!
 
Indian Warrior
 
Question for you hikers out there: Why is everyone exhausted on April 1? 
 
Because we just finished a 31-day March. (Thank you, I guess, Distractify.com)
 
In case you wondered, there wasn’t a March issue of this newsletter; I needed the extra time for hiking in order to see the wildflowers emerging. Don’t miss out on this prime hiking season!
 
Contents:
1Treeline reviews and backpacking gear list
2. Grand to Grand Ultra
3. Anish’s podcast on her newest book, Mud, Rocks, Blazes. Interviewed by Jennifer Pharr Davis
4. Film screening and Q&A of Wesley “Crusher” Trimble’s short film, “Within Weakness.” 
5. New edition Sierra South by Elizabeth Wenk  
6. Ivar reports from Santiago weekly’ the March 22nd report had hopeful news.
7. Marcy del Clements new book of poetry and prose about Appalachia.
8. Regional: California: Tom Courtney suggests a California Walkabout
9. Regional: Northern California: Envision ‘The Great Redwood Trail’ 
10. Regional: SF Bay Area: Bay Trail: Osprey and the Lone Tree Point Bridge Installation.
11. Regional: SF Bay Area Ridge Trail: Ridge to Bridges. 
 
Articles:

Read More

Continue reading “Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, April 2021”

Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales & Tips, February 2021

Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, February 2021

Contents:

  1. Camino news
  2. ALDHA-Virtual RUCKS
  3. Bear “Attack” in the Trinity Alps, CA
  4. Thru hikers’ medical guide
  5. Safety plea from the father of 2020 PCT fatality
  6. Grizzlies or humans? The 1,200 Pacific Northwest Trail
  7. Andrew Skurka offers guided backpacking trips
  8. “Anish” and Mud, Rocks, Blazes
  9. Heading for Yosemite soon?

Articles: Read More

Continue reading “Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales & Tips, February 2021”

Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, January 2021

“Hope, sanity, compassion, thoughtfulness, health, recovery — it’s time to WELCOME 2021!”  Couldn’t say it any better than how friend Katie Williams recently posted it on Facebook!

The trails await — though many are muddy!
Alviso Slough Trail (near San Jose, CA)

Contents:

1. The “New” Cathedral in Santiago
2. Pacific Crest Trail — time to apply for permits coming up soon!
3. Bay Nature: “What’s it like inside a Woodrat Nest?
Regional, SF Bay Area:
4. Bay Trail extension coming to Richmond, CA
5. The Alcorns explore new and old local hiking trails
6. Two rewarding hiking challenges for you

Articles:
#1. The “New” Cathedral in Santiago: Big happenings in Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral is open to the public again. Ivar, who hosts a Camino forum and manages the Casa Ivar in Santiago, has also been doing a weekly podcast about what’s happening pilgrimage-wise in Santiago. He recently took a walk through the cathedral and gave us a look at the restoration of what he calls the “New” Cathedral. Have a look here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2sSUoL8tDk&feature=youtu.be 

Read More

Continue reading “Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, January 2021”