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A Different Camino?

Michael McGlynn

Mike Mc
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2020)
For more years than I can remember, probably since watching The Way with Martin Sheen, I have wanted to do the Camino Frances. I put it on my bucket list and everything. I have been part of this forum so I could hear the stories and somehow live vicariously through others as I waited for my own opportunity to experience the Camino de Santiago.
But, the reality of life has conspired against me... I can't get enough time off work to do it all at once; doing the Camino in phases to accommodate my work schedule exponentially increases the cost; waiting til I retire and not working with greatly reduced income to say nothing about an aging body doesn't seem feasible.
Could I can get a taste of "Camino" at home? Maybe. I think I have come up with an "alternative Camino". It will happen in my home state of Michigan in the U.S.
In the Northern part of Michigan is a National Catholic Shire called the Cross in the Woods. I believe it is the largest outdoor crucifix in the world. I have mapped out a walking path from my home in Battle Creek to the Cross in the Woods. It on back-roads and through small towns. I will need to carry my food and shelter. It will take me about 4 weeks in total (2-2 week segments). I don't know exactly but it will be between 320 and 360 miles in total.
I know I will miss the special fellowship of other pilgrims. I also will not be able to drink in the history of the pilgrims who over the centuries have suffered and walked the way of St. James. But, I hope to find a similar spiritual experience of pilgrimage.
I guess I just wanted to encourage others who may not be able to make it to Spain to find their Camino, to walk in the Way, wherever they may be. Buen Camino to all the pilgrims
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@Michael McGlynn I wish you Buen Camino.

You obviously have a Pilgrim soul. Your proposed journey sounds wonderful, and challenging, and will have a magic of its own. There is a frequent quote from a good Bishop's sermon that might give you some comfort: "God does not count your steps, nor Santiago weigh your pack. Look to your heart pilgrim..." I'll avow that neither party is to worried about which particular path you are on as long as its a pilgrims path in your heart.

If its any comfort or none many of us have had to wait for retirement, redundancy or luck to find a window to walk the long Camino's. There are no rules that say you have to walk the Frances nor where you should start from. If you want to make Pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago and all you have is 14 days leave then walk 10 days to Santiago - the old boy won't mind, and there are plenty of routes and starting places to choose from.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I have the feeling you will have the opportunity to walk a long Camino one day, and perhaps before then as already mentioned, you could do a ten day or so stretch of it when finances and time allows.
ultreia
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
For more years than I can remember, probably since watching The Way with Martin Sheen, I have wanted to do the Camino Frances. I put it on my bucket list and everything. I have been part of this forum so I could hear the stories and somehow live vicariously through others as I waited for my own opportunity to experience the Camino de Santiago.
But, the reality of life has conspired against me... I can't get enough time off work to do it all at once; doing the Camino in phases to accommodate my work schedule exponentially increases the cost; waiting til I retire and not working with greatly reduced income to say nothing about an aging body doesn't seem feasible.
Could I can get a taste of "Camino" at home? Maybe. I think I have come up with an "alternative Camino". It will happen in my home state of Michigan in the U.S.
In the Northern part of Michigan is a National Catholic Shire called the Cross in the Woods. I believe it is the largest outdoor crucifix in the world. I have mapped out a walking path from my home in Battle Creek to the Cross in the Woods. It on back-roads and through small towns. I will need to carry my food and shelter. It will take me about 4 weeks in total (2-2 week segments). I don't know exactly but it will be between 320 and 360 miles in total.
I know I will miss the special fellowship of other pilgrims. I also will not be able to drink in the history of the pilgrims who over the centuries have suffered and walked the way of St. James. But, I hope to find a similar spiritual experience of pilgrimage.
I guess I just wanted to encourage others who may not be able to make it to Spain to find their Camino, to walk in the Way, wherever they may be. Buen Camino to all the pilgrims
I sympathise to a certain extent but I was 65 before I started ( now 81) and had to do my caminos as and when I could for lack of health and wealth to do them in oners! I live in England tho and an hour takes me to the airport. I have never worried about doing things in bits otherwise I would never have got out of bed! One of my favourite journeys was when I traversed Spain from Malaga to Bilbao using bus, train, taxi, two feet and the trusty thumb! It took me a few years and damn near killed me on several occasions but I still ache for the road. Dont put yourself off doing your Camino de Santiago and you dont need the fellowship of other pilgrims. You will not be lonely if you let your self meet your Self. Whatever you think and do, I wish you well.

Buen Camino

The Malingerer.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Camino de Santiago is a path or way to a specific place. Camino is simply a way or path or route, etc. Most certainly, the art of the long distance walk has commonalities whether your route is on Camino de Santiago or a different camino. I think your plan to substitute what you want to do, with something that you CAN do, will be of benefit to you and your spirit. If it helps to soothe the thing that you long for, until you can pursue it, then pursue that camino plan of yours.
 

Jeff Titelius

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (León to Santiago) 2018
For more years than I can remember, probably since watching The Way with Martin Sheen, I have wanted to do the Camino Frances. I put it on my bucket list and everything. I have been part of this forum so I could hear the stories and somehow live vicariously through others as I waited for my own opportunity to experience the Camino de Santiago.
But, the reality of life has conspired against me... I can't get enough time off work to do it all at once; doing the Camino in phases to accommodate my work schedule exponentially increases the cost; waiting til I retire and not working with greatly reduced income to say nothing about an aging body doesn't seem feasible.
Could I can get a taste of "Camino" at home? Maybe. I think I have come up with an "alternative Camino". It will happen in my home state of Michigan in the U.S.
In the Northern part of Michigan is a National Catholic Shire called the Cross in the Woods. I believe it is the largest outdoor crucifix in the world. I have mapped out a walking path from my home in Battle Creek to the Cross in the Woods. It on back-roads and through small towns. I will need to carry my food and shelter. It will take me about 4 weeks in total (2-2 week segments). I don't know exactly but it will be between 320 and 360 miles in total.
I know I will miss the special fellowship of other pilgrims. I also will not be able to drink in the history of the pilgrims who over the centuries have suffered and walked the way of St. James. But, I hope to find a similar spiritual experience of pilgrimage.
I guess I just wanted to encourage others who may not be able to make it to Spain to find their Camino, to walk in the Way, wherever they may be. Buen Camino to all the pilgrims
Nevertheless, I wish you a Buen Camino on your way to the Shrine of the Cross. Until now, I have never heard of this holy shrine but still, I believe you will share a fellowship with those who share a similar mission. I just looked it up online and saw a picture of worshippers climbing a special set of steps on their knees. Reminds me of the Holy Stairs in Rome. Now that was an inspiring and profoundly moving experience. I wish you the same in your pursuit!
 

Dàoest

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2020)
Michael,

Your enterprise in "walking your own Camino" in Michigan is inspiring.

However, I wonder if you have the preconception that to walk a Camino to Santiago de Compostela requires a long walk. Since you have two weeks, could you not fly to Spain and do a walk of (say) ten days. That would give you all the experiences you crave and enable you to complete sufficient distance to be presented with a Compostela (and a credential with lots of stamps).

For your other two week break from work you could do the first leg of your "Cross in the Woods" walk.

The distance you walk is less critical than the spirit of your experience
 

Kevin Malinak

-kevin-
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, St Jean PdP, March 18 (2018)
I like the idea!!! I wish I lived closer so I could walk your route some day.
Buen Camino
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I am currently doing some long distance walking at home, as a attempt to mimic my Camino walks. It is not the same, but still very enjoyable.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I really like this thread because it is about what so many not on this forum go through. Wanting to walk the Camino but unable to so for different reasons. Financial. Time. Age. Health. Family situations etc. Those are the prospective pilgrims I want to assist the most with any useful advice I may or may not have. The others, myself included, who have the ability and time to walk it for weeks at a time do not really need any assistance. What is mostly discussed by pilgrims prospective pilgrims like us is how to deal with inconveniences on our walk not actual, real dilemmas. "Is this 200 euro backpack or sleeping bag better than the other 200 euro ones." "Should I spend a couple of extra days in Paris on my way down to Saint Jean"? etc.
 

cherrys

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct (2013), Finisterre/Muxia Oct (2013), Camino Frances and on to Finisterre Sept/Oct (2016)
For more years than I can remember, probably since watching The Way with Martin Sheen, I have wanted to do the Camino Frances. I put it on my bucket list and everything. I have been part of this forum so I could hear the stories and somehow live vicariously through others as I waited for my own opportunity to experience the Camino de Santiago.
But, the reality of life has conspired against me... I can't get enough time off work to do it all at once; doing the Camino in phases to accommodate my work schedule exponentially increases the cost; waiting til I retire and not working with greatly reduced income to say nothing about an aging body doesn't seem feasible.
Could I can get a taste of "Camino" at home? Maybe. I think I have come up with an "alternative Camino". It will happen in my home state of Michigan in the U.S.
In the Northern part of Michigan is a National Catholic Shire called the Cross in the Woods. I believe it is the largest outdoor crucifix in the world. I have mapped out a walking path from my home in Battle Creek to the Cross in the Woods. It on back-roads and through small towns. I will need to carry my food and shelter. It will take me about 4 weeks in total (2-2 week segments). I don't know exactly but it will be between 320 and 360 miles in total.
I know I will miss the special fellowship of other pilgrims. I also will not be able to drink in the history of the pilgrims who over the centuries have suffered and walked the way of St. James. But, I hope to find a similar spiritual experience of pilgrimage.
I guess I just wanted to encourage others who may not be able to make it to Spain to find their Camino, to walk in the Way, wherever they may be. Buen Camino to all the pilgrims
I’m glad you’ve come up with an alternative that will work for you. The Camino ate at me for over ten years after hearing about it from my father, and visiting Santiago with him after the birth of his great grandson in Spain. Finally, in 2013 I managed to walk the Frances in his honor, solo. After my husband retired we’ve been fortunate to do three Camino, but this year just couldn’t rationalize the expense etc. Since we live in upstate New York we decided to walk the historic Erie Canal Trail instead. After two days of walking on bike trails we bought bikes and biked the remaining 320 miles! While it was not the Camino, we still found it satisfying, and did meet a few kindred souls along the way. You will have the added benefit of a more spiritual path while ours was more historic. Enjoy it and as everyone on this forum knows, you will do a Spanish Camino one day.
 

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