Some friends have made glowing endorsements of the Camino de Santiago, a relaxed east-to-west hike (can hundreds of miles really be a ‘relaxed’ hike?) across the northern tier of Spain. Looks like I’ll ratchet up plans for just such a jaunt next summer.
That is, if I survive the Minnesota State Fair.
August 17, 2015
Ellen/Reid: Things are in gear for Labor Day in the Twin Cities. Tell Emma that I’ll escort her to the rides but will leaving the twirling and tilting to you and Tim, Ellen. Papa doesn’t want to lose it in front of his granddaughter. The girls look so good these days. It is so wonderful to see little Georgia beaming. She is just such a precious little one. Can’t wait to get up there. The ticket will be purchased today. I’ll come up on Friday night and scoot early Monday morning.
War is declared on the ground squirrels that are munching on my tomatoes. They leave the half-eaten fruit on the ground. This will be a guerrilla fight in the trenches. All they had to do was leave the hard-fought tomatoes alone and we could have co-existed. But that won’t happen now. They wanted a fight, and how the little striped creatures are going to get one. The basil adjacent to the tomato plant remains undisturbed and has made for fantastic pesto. Quite a lot of it has been prepared.
The call came in last week that the program that let thousands and thousands of workers like me work from home is coming to an abrupt end. The bank now sees ‘synergies’ and ‘positives’ by having ‘teammates’ work and collaborate together. This is a thinly veiled plan to use the glut of existing space. Since there’s only one person on my ‘team’ that I can have synergy and positives with, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There’s a fair amount of grumbling about it. When the bank got on the work-from-home train a few years back, it was to save on energy (gas) and transportation (cars) and parking (now about $140/month). But that forward thinking has evaporated. So they are to move me to an office on the west side of Uptown in mid-November. I may apply for a waiver since I’ll pull the plug in February.
There is a strong chance I may head to Spain next summer for a solo walk of the Camino de Santiago across the northern tier of the country going from east to west. Reid, Tom has done it and two other friends had a great time on the trip this past summer. It’s really the route (there appear to be several routes) followed by pilgrims for many centuries although for me it won’t be as spiritual as it might be for some people. Thousands and thousands of people do this every year, and you walk a leisurely pace and stay in hostel type accommodations. A friend of mine, Richard (he went to Wyoming with us in 2013) cautions me that it is a 5-6 week marathon rather than a hurried walk through. Sort of a stop-and-smell-the-roses type of deal. I’ll probably piggy back it with a side trip to London, Reid, and I might lean on you for some navigational help/directions. I don’t mind doing this on my own. It’ll just add to the sense of adventure. The only nation I’ve been to is Switzerland and I never left its borders for three weeks during the 1982 World Rowing Championships. There is a group here that meets quite often on the Camino and the thinking now is to get my feet wet by attending their meeting tomorrow night.
Reid, I’ve settled on some slip ons for the bike rather than a full exhaust system. This will save me about $500 over a full exhaust system. Ellen, the pictures of Tim and Emma fishing at the Pagoda were so cute. He’s a good dad, and she’s a good daughter. The kayak has been gathering dust for a couple of months now and it’s time it got hauled to Charleston. The paper keeps running photos of big fish caught in the salt flats and I want to join in on that party. Or at least try to join in. As they say, and as Emma found out, you can’t catch fish unless your line is in the water.