Search 58,412 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos

Asbury Park Press, June 29, 2005


Prof makes canine friend during contest

By Terry Gauthier Muessig
Staff Writer

Most people would presume a 200-mile pilgrimage from Leon to Santiago, Spain, and the Asbury Park Press pet photo contest's winner would have nothing in common. That is, unless you knew Carl Calendar, an English professor at Brookdale Community College in the Lincroft section of Middletown.

"I don't mind being upstaged by a dog," Calendar, 61, of Tinton Falls said. Calendar is an animal lover by nature. He also dubbed himself campaign manager for Elroy, a Redbone Coonhound, when the newspaper held its photo contest in April. Kelly Parr, 41, of Howell, who owns the dog, is a learning assistant at the college.

"Carl hung posters around the school, "vote for Elroy,' " she said. "Carl said, "He (Elroy) can't lose to the iguana (another pet who was in the contest).' "

Calendar said he enjoyed promoting Elroy's campaign. However, his dream of walking the camino (road) that men such as St. Francis and Pope John II had walked thousands of years ago was just weeks away.

About three weeks after Elroy took the top prize of $500, Calendar left for Europe on his pilgrimage.

"There were a lot of people my age and older walking just to prove they can do it," he said."

As Calendar's colleagues heard about his pilgrimage, it was decided that his trek would be a fund-raising event for the Marge Ryan Scholarship Fund to help the school's students who want to study abroad.

"I'm amazed over the amount we raised, about $2,000," he said.

The pilgrimage took 18 days. While trekking the countryside, he carried an 18-pound backpack filled with two sets of clothing, a poncho, a sleeping bag, and the bare essentials, he said.

"I did it. A lot of people don't make it," he said.

He began training for his walks up and down the mountains by walking at Hartshorne Woods and trained for the flatlands at Thompson Park, both in Middletown.

"The toughest day was climbing the second mountain, El Acebo," he said. The climb was about 3,500 feet straight up.

His most joyous day was the walk into Santiago, he said. During the journey, he stayed at the "pilgrim hostels" along the way, he said. The cost is about $6 or $7, and the people are very accommodating to pilgrims, he said.

His e-mail contact at home was Parr. Each chance Calendar got to write home, he would send her an e-mail of his journey. In turn, Parr sent his letter via e-mail to all the supporters of his trip.

Calendar said about 100,000 people take the pilgrimage each year during June and July.

When he was asked if he would ever do the walk again, he said "absolutely."

Upon his return, Parr, who helped collect the money for the scholarship, wanted to include Elroy in the check presentation as a thank you to Calendar for helping her and Elroy win the pet contest. Parr arranged for Elroy to be at the college to present Calendar with the check for the scholarship fund.

For more information about the student's international programs, call (732) 224-2174
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 101 ratings
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources