A Flurry Of Pilgrims

Phil Sunday.

Dinner time now and still working on the blog.  We had a flurry of folks here the last few days.  Roni and Callum from Tulsa were here over night.  We had six more for the Phil’s Camino walk yesterday afternoon.  We had a nice outdoor tapas party afterward.  Then Kim from Lafayette, CA rolled in today to walk.  I met her at the Berkeley showing.  Well, she just shoved off for the airport and I am hot on writing this post.

Kim had a lot of good insights and on the Camino.  So great to meet and hang out with folks that have walked.  We are the alumni.  I was class of 2014.

We are outside with dinner this evening, spring is here and almost summer really.  So quiet right now, just the birds.   The sun is beating down on the soil in the corn field, warming that up.  I can plant this coming weekend, God willing.

Oh, our dinner guests are walking over right now.  Time to grill.  Have to go, summertime loves, Felipe.


What I Really Want To Do Is Roast Marshmellos.

One of my favorite pics, thank you Karen Fuller for getting out there at dawn.  You see the blue heron there, don’t you?


I thought that I would do this post late Saturday night instead of tomorrow morning.  I have way to may things going on tomorrow, Mass, Roni, Unity speech, walk, tapas.  Just want to let you know that this is the third anniversary of Caminoheads blog also.  How much more do you want, I ask you?

And the Mariners are losing to the White Sox, 15 to 1, yikes, can you imagine.  But you know I am ecstatic because I am in communion with God.  It’s all happening right here right now!

Thanks, for being with me these three years, love you, as always, Felipe.x

P.S. – 16 to 1.

Erica’s Blog

A sunny Erica de America


I discovered a blog that I didn’t know existed.  It is from Erica de America who we first met in Austin at the premiere of Phil’s Camino in Austin, her hometown.  She is on the road now studying in Germany.  But somehow I stumbled across her blog and signed up.  She caught me with this line: “Healer – anyone who chooses unconditional love as a way of life.”

Erica is here to shake us up and she is doing a great job.  We hang around her and begin to see things in a new way.  Or she helps us to see things in a new way.  She seems to bring it to us in a 2017 version.  Thanks Erica.  Her blog is Erica Benedicto by the way.

I’m letting this all sink in.  That’s my story.  The sun is shining here to encourage me.  Other places have heat waves and snow storms.   Pilgrim Farmer John in Iowa is dealing with some severe wind damage to his place, downed power poles and flattened buildings.  I’m just dealing with sunshine, lucky me.

Tomorrow Roni and Callum show up and I get to give my Unity speech again.  Come down to Burton Church for that at 1100.  And here is the next installment of thoughts from my friends.  This one from Carolyn in Iowa: “Interconnection is the ground of being.  All separation is illusion.  When we begin to feel and sense our connectedness, miracles start to occur.  It is no longer possible to harm another person or life form intentionally because in so doing, we know we are harming ourselves.  Instead, we stop and listen, and then we listen some more…”  Carolyn

Yup, that’s it for today from Raven Ranch, Washington.  Talk to you soon, love, Felipe.

Thank You Nancy

Animating each other!

In answer to yesterday’s blogpost Nancy wrote: “Just so you know I’m here listening and walking with you in this journey we call life. It helps to ground me too…..thank you.”  And thank you Nancy for taking the time to send that in to us.

Somtimes it all seems worth it, do you know what I mean?  It is a long road we are walking and there is plenty of time really to listen to each other and to acknowledge and validate.  It is only when we isolate ourselves due to whatever reason that we miss out on that.  Isolation is one of the worst things ever.  When we can’t buoy each other up we are not in good shape.  It is our first job to be open and available.

So, this Sunday is my Unity speech at Burton Community Church at 1100 for all you locals.  Here is Steve’s quote that I am using as part of that:

“When I think of unity I wonder with whom we should seek to be united?  Are we meant to unite with those closest to us or who are most like us?  Do we unite as an island?  A state? A country?  Do we unite with other believers or seekers?  Or must we seek unity with all people?  God tells us he loves us all equally.”  Steve

OK Nancy and all, that is it for now.  I have to get my work done so I can be with my visitors Sunday and Monday.  Thinking of you, praying for you, love, Phil.





Don’t You Think It’s Weird?

Sunset over Phil’s Camino.


“Don’t you think it’s weird?”  My Rebecca came up with that yesterday.  We were talking about all the people that were going to come to walk at Phil’s Camino this summer.   We have laughed in the past about the idea that we have become a destination.  Well, yes we have.

This conversation that we were having was doing me good because I have been grappling with this for a while.  Rebecca was saying don’t you think it weird that all these folks are coming to see you.  Well, I replied that I don’t think that they are coming to see me but they are coming to see what I have discovered.  Or maybe more accurately what we have discovered.

If you are not a Caminohead maybe it is hard to put your finger on what it is.  But people that have partaken of the essence of pilgrimage know what that essence is.  They/we probably can’t put words on it but it resides in us just the same.  But it seems to be somewhat fragile and can get overwhelmed or eroded by the concerns of life in general. I think the way to look at Phil’s Camino the trail is to understand that it is a sort of laboratory for the nurturing and keeping of that flame.

This blog is part of that effort.  For three years I have been writing this journal of my journey with “The Way”.  It is not always pretty but it is definitely what it is.  It is all here somewhere.  All of this is in the neighborhood of being as long as the novel Don Quixote.    It my not have the literary value of that great work but it has value as a log of everything that has happened in three years, the ups and downs and the in betweens.

So, that is my defense to “don’t you think it’s weird?”  It’s not weird and as a matter of fact might it be the most sane thing that we are doing or will ever do.  I don’t think that is too strong.  Caminoheading along is a most positive healthy state of mind, of being.

Here is a sidebar to this.  I just heard that there was a woman visiting our neighborhood that had the ability to read the landscape and tell if good or bad things had happened in places.  She reportedly said that this stretch of road where we are located had some lingering signs of something bad that had happened in the past.   Well, OK, maybe we are here to rectify stuff like that.  We have power, we could do that.  Just a little side job.

OK, I have a walk in ten minutes, time to dress for the occasion.  Love you most certainly, Felipe.



From Australia

Thank you Gracie.

I just got a message from Gracie all the way from Sidney.  She finally got a chance to view Phil’s Camino after all these months.  So glad that she liked it, heck she was in it too.  What a great person and wonderful walking companion.  We will put up a pic of her  if I can find something.

I associate Gracie with the sunflowers.  To see millions of sunflower blooms in the Spanish sunshine did make us giddy.  Most of my fondest memories of the Camino were these moments of pure elation mixed with pure exhaustion.  Giddy is our closest word to that.  And we discovered that Spanish language doesn’t have an equivalent to giddy.  I will have to consult with Professor Dunn from Henderson College, a Spanish scholar.  Yes, that will be a good excuse to say hello to her.

There I found some good shots of Gracie along the trail.  Crazy us, giddy us!  This all was definitely an adventure in God’s playpen.  Gracie was next to me in the film where I pass out in church and she prevented me from injuring myself on the stone floor.  Catalina and my African-American friends say that power was the Holy Ghost getting my attention.  And it was the occasion of my big claim to fame of me surrendering and falling into the arms of Grace.  God’s playpen, right?

Ah, can’t make this stuff up in a hundred years, that’s the beauty of it.  And so glad that Jessica captured that on video.  She dropped the camera in the process of trying to catch me and then picked it up and continued filming.  Crazy scene that one.

Well, all major fun.  Off today on more adventures.   We are home but that doesn’t mean that adventures are not possible.  They are hidden there somewhere.

Love, Felipe.

A Summer Of Visitors

Last evening, a little beauty to end the day.


The weather is threatening to break for the good here any hour.  Spring to reach it’s full bloom still in the making.  In the meantime travelers, pilgrims really, are starting to come to Phil’s Camino for a walk.  The season is upon us.  We have made it through the rain and the snow, the flooding and the wind storms.

Roni and her husband Callum will be getting here this Sunday.  Roni came to that great confab that happened in Hot Springs AK last year.  We were all there for the film festival but really we were there to meet each other.  I think we were the center of gravity for the universe for a little while there.  Anyway, that’s Sunday.  Sunday also I am regiving the unity speech at Burton Church at 1100.

Then Monday Kim from the Berkeley area is rolling through.  She came to a showing of Phil’s Camino that we did there with the Jesuits in January maybe, I forget exactly.  Anyway, there was a bunch of us that went out for tapas and laughs and she was there.  So that’s Monday.

If you are coming to Spokane, Portland, Victoria, Vancouver you are in striking distance of Vashon Island and Phil’s Camino.  Don’t get that far and not come.  We will fit you in somehow.  It is part of our mission here.

Is it part of unity?  Yes, absolutely.  And continuing with our thread on this topic here is part of the email that I got from Cris from Buenos Aires:

“There is the point for me for unity, ourselves and the others are together on this earth, and with each other, we could represent us with a Ven’s diagram, there are places were we are common, there are places where we are different, and for me fairness is what drives me to do whatever I can to enlarge the place where we are equal, diminishing the places where we are different. ”  Cris

There is a description of an ongoing process, of a sort of dedication.    It is something to work on over time.  And it is simple enough that we can all understand it.  It is not complicated nor hidden.  So reviewing, we have uncovered four precursors or attributes of this idea of unity.  One, from Father Tom is hope,  two from Kathy is faith, three from Catherine is gratitude and now with Cris there is dedication.   That’s good, right?

Yup, on to my day.  Comment when you get a chance.  Thanks.  Love, Felipe.



Cancer, It Changes Everything

Animating each other!


I was just merrily crusing through my morning when I got this notification that one of my associate’s wives has been diagnosed with colon cancer.  They are in that early stage of recognition.  It was a crazy whirlwind for me back five and some years ago.   Prayers for Shawn and Anna please.

I am just overwhelmed with thoughts of my own experience of all that.  It is and it becomes a whole world overnight.  It is something totally outside of your thoughts for your particular precious future.  I say precious lovingly.  All of a sudden someone else or something else is driving your bus.  Things that seemed rock solid become molten and move around or become fuzzy and lost in a fog.

I know that we don’t talk about cancer often but it is part of this blog: Cancer, Catholicism and Camino are our center around which we revolve.  Cancer is hard to talk about or maybe most don’t want to hear about it.  But it becomes a big reality for many of us and that happens like the blitzkrieg.  So we are still talking about it.

Thoughts on cancer are woven into the three years of this blog, sort of imbedded.  It would be hard to pull them out if you just wanted that separate from the other two.  But maybe that is the point. Maybe my relative success has been because I embrace it and keep it close to the other two.

Well, it is all part of the big picture somehow.  99% of us must deal with the big picture at some point in our lives and we get drug kicking and screaming into it by some cause.  This cancer that we curse and battle against is underneath it all that a catalyst for change.  Working with that idea is the art of this whole deal.

OK, off to walk Phil’s Camino.   I will be thinking more about this as I go I will guarantee you.  I will say a rosary for Our Shawn and Anna.  You are the best, love as always, Felipe.

P.S. – this is one of my better posts.  Thanks for being here.



Mother’s Day Camino 2017

My mom Jean.


Happy Mother’s Day to all Mom’s out there.  And to the whole spectrum of Mom’s from wanna be’s to Great Grandmas.  All the same energy.

I was up early this morning before I realized it it was Mother’s Day.  Out the kitchen window new birds were foraging around for a meal.  You could tell they were new guys, fresh out of the nest.  They were so dorky.  They had none of the elegance and economy of there older relatives.  They would be too fast or too slow or scare each other.  But they will figure out how to make a living.

Later when I realized it was Mom’s Day I was wondering if their Mom’s were watching their offspring from some overhead branch.  And all that brought back thoughts of my Mom watching me find my way, yea wasn’t always pretty for sure.  Bless you Mom for all that.

Speaking of gratitude I want to give the next installment of the emails that supported my unity speech.  The next one is from Our Continue reading