Heart of the Camino

Heart of the Camino Elixir.

Jane one of our Island neighbors is making a tincture of hawthorn from our hawthorn berries along Phil’s Camino.  It s supposed to be good for the heart.  So she is calling it Heart of the Camino.  Nice, right?  You could maybe find Jane and her products at ForestHalls.org .

Just had a nice evening walk with three new people.  They all saw the movie the other night and that got them to come.  The last lap it was getting pretty darn dark.  I’m threatening to make some medieval torches to light the way.

There was a very cool comment from Mary Margaret, our Camino buddy, who bought a property in France and wants to set up a trail, a Camino trail.  I think it is highly advisable that she hire a person with experience in such matters to come over and engineer it.  Let’s see, who do we have on staff here?

Well, have to go and cook breakfast for dinner and watch one more football game.  Good for the heart loves, Felipe.







Felipe’s Number One Walking Schedule 12/17/17

The wild and wacky world of pilgrimage here with Cathy and Tim.


The trail is still pretty dry with no standing water and the creek isn’t flowing.  So, rubber boots are not a necessity as of yet.

Monday 0900-1000

Tuesday 1530-1630

Thursday 0900-1000

Sunday 1530-1630

We are not walking December 22 -30, Christmas break.

Always good to see you, Felipe.x

Catalina’s Student’s Notes #6

Catalina’s class at the occasion of our video conference.


Here we are with the last of these reflections and this one from Hye:

”We are facing death in every single moment of our lives, but it is hard to recognize it.  However,  when we realize this fact, everything will change.  This change happened to Phil because of his cancer.  Cancer was a turning point for him, and I realized that he gained a new pair of eyes to see his daily life differently.  Dr. Kathryn R. Barush mentions T.S. Eliot’s statement in her article ; “an end is where we start from.”  When we get another point of view at the end of an experience, we begin a new chapter in our lives.”

Thank you Hye.  I have spoken of my cancer as being a catalyst.  That still sounds like the perfect word.  It is not a good thing in itself but it can bring about change.  And that change can be good or bad depending.  Or maybe it is partially good and partially bad but the point being that something can be made from it.  It is possible to whip up some lemonade from the situation.

Well we have covered six different views from people who have studied art and pilgrimage and who have brought up some good ways to look at Phil’s Camino and what is going on here.  Thanks you all.  I hope that you make it up here to walk at some point.

Also something really big is happening and maybe at this very moment.  We are constantly on phone alert as our daughter Tesia is about to give birth to a little granddaughter, God willing of course.

Off to lunch.  My Rebecca made this incredibly good navy bean soup and that’s what is on the menu.  Love, Felipe.


Catalina’s Student’s Notes #5

Visitors from New Zealand at Phil’s Camino.


Hi. We continue with the reflections of the grad students in the Art and Pilgrimage class. I think that there is one more after this one. This one is Minhwi’s. Thank you.

“Lastly, I would like to take a look at Phil’s contribution to the pilgrimage of Camino. As Phil’s story spread, many people made friends with Phil’s handmade Camino and they shared its various stories. Jesus said that whenever two or three are gathered together in his name, that he would be in their midst (Matthew 18:20), and he emphasized the church community of small groups. Even today, there are many forms of trails, like Phil’s Camino, where there are many people walking alone or walking with others, praying for the rosary, and creating pilgrimage communities. Furthermore, there will continue to be people who experience communitas, by looking back at themselves through the people they met, through pilgrimage and in gathering spaces.”

What sticks out at me is the line “…people who experience communitas, by looking back at themselves through the people they met…” I’ve never have thought about the situation in that way or in that light. But maybe that is what we are doing as we bat around ideas as we walk. I guess that is true that thoughts become clearer or more organized through sharing them.   And ultimately we are building a body of thought, lap by Phil’s Camino lap.  I like the feel of that whole quote and that whole idea, thanks Minhwi.

Off I go to rake leaves.  Still trying to clear up after the fall and the fall wind storms.  Not supposed to start raining til later today.  Thanks for being here, always fun, love, Felipe.



Catalina’s Student’s Notes #4

Cathy with a C Watkins adding to Phil’s Camino.

Good morning! Here are some thoughts from Elizabeth:

Phil’s desire to walk in his backyard in a meaningful, pilgrimage-like way quickly became its own ritual act, a proper pilgrimage in its own right, and was concretized by his use of material culture. Phil turned walking into a way – his efforts made ceremonial the core elements of a pilgrimage, which are deceptively basic and fundamental to the human experience (walking, eating, communing with others). Without a site or a historically-christened journey on which to base his spiritual exercise, Phil’s pilgrimage may have initially seemed impossible, or perhaps merely a shadow of the “real” experience. However, it is clear that he distilled the important aspects of the pilgrimage and incorporated them into the space he had and the life he lived. His walk became a journey and his actions became those of a pilgrim, and the materials he used to bring this about (maps, records, schedules, food) were crucial to signify and sacramentalize this activity. There can be no doubt that Phil embarked upon and experienced a true pilgrimage, and now others follow in his footsteps on his way, and use his cues to also create their own.”

Thank you Elizabeth in coming up with the word “concretized”. But I get it, thank you. Again, here is another one of Catalina’s students who each in their own way came up with a little different view of the workings of Phil’s Camino. Each has a little different angle. This is all very helpful to me as I am too close to it. I don’t see it in a larger context the way that these folks do.

It just came to me that maybe most of the art and artifacts that are studied in Catalina’s class are from other eras and when they look at me and my walk it is current, evolving and changing. I just walked with Dana just minutes ago for our Thursday morning walk. She adds to it as she walks for instance. And so do all the others.

Well, off to work outside. According to the weather man this is the last good day with rain coming tomorrow. Have to get some leaves around the house cleaned up. OK, see ya, love, Felipe.

Catalina’s Student’s Notes #3

Here in front of me I have a reflection paper from Lauren and this is part of what she says:

My Rebecca and Javier along Phil’s Camino.

“The courage and creativity that was necessary to create his own Camino brings tears to my eyes. He didn’t resign himself to despair and inaction with a stage four cancer diagnosis, but rather created something of great meaning that would help him (and his family and community) find healing with his given circumstances. The Camino de Santiago inspired, and he created his own sacred site. St. James was certainly afoot.”

This is a nice simple statement of what went on here in 2013 with challenges, inspirations, influences colliding. The result was the trail and a way to think about it. In other words a physical trail and a way to link it with something bigger. Somehow it all worked out. I didn’t have anything to work from really, had to make everything from scratch.

And we are started walking again across Spain. We are a ways past Orrison. I am doing a whiteboard map this morning to keep track of progress. OK, here we go, love Felipe.

Catalina’s Student’s Notes #1


(This blog post should have been posted two days ago and somehow it wasn’t published on that date. But here it is now)

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of having a video chat with Catalina’s grad class on Art and Pilgrimage. I was with them for a little over an hour answering questions. So, after getting permission to share some of their thoughts I am presenting them to you.

The value of these is that we get an educated view of what we are up to. You know when I say that I am a guy just walking in the mud that is what it mostly is but it is more than that. And these folks are going to tell us what that more is. That is their value.

Here are a couple of quotes from Mira. Thank you Mira we appreciate your thoughts and your willingness to participate in Caminoheads blog.

“First and formost, Phil’s project of walking the camino in his backyard is a demonstration of understanding pilgrimage to be primarily a personal journey of the heart, body and mind.”

I guess thinking back on the beginnings of the trail here I built the venue to be a place primarily for my exercise program. But it soon started it’s evolution to pilgrimage trail though. It maybe happened in stages or lurches as time progressed. Father Marc blessed the trail and Annie was sending me chapters from her new book and this was all working on me. Everything was in process but remember there was six months there of walking so there was plenty of time for things to percolate.

“Although he does not stray from his physical location, he is changed (as is his landscape) through the process of daily devotion, intention and physicality. Then once he gets to Spain and walked the literal Camino Santiago, he experiences similar personal transformation.”

Looking back the local camino seemed more internal. Most of it was alone. While in Spain things were more social. But given that, one built on the other. I believe things were richer in Spain because of all the homework that I did here. But they were both remarkable.

OK, wrapping it up. Alperfect, love, Felipe.


Catalina’s Student’s Notes #2

The wild and wacky world of pilgrimage here with Cathy and Tim yesterday.

Here are some thoughts from Marinda:

“Phil’s spirituality of healing and curing is real. It comes from a deep sense of knowing who he is and where he is going. Life is a pilgrimage and we are pilgrims walking on our journey of life. Phil has inspired so many people in his life. By watching his film and talking to him in person, I had a sense of touching the divine ascent of my life. It had a healing affect like what we discussed in the class, whether relics, icons or holy shrines are copies or not, the divine touch, now in our case, through a film, is how we encounter the divine. My encounter with Phil has lead me into a divine space, like my various pilgrimage experiences, touching the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem, touching the stone wall of the Holy House of Loreto, touching the holy ground that Jesus prayed at before his agony in Gethsemane. I am very glad to meet my fellow pilgrim – Phil – in my life pilgrimage, our encounter is a healing experience in my own self transcended toward my ultimate and divine. Thank you Phil.”

Wow! Thank you Marinda for your thoughts after seeing Phil’s Camino. I need another coffee before commenting on this. That was quite a heady thing to open up. I should say that the class was involved with studying the way that material items as icons for instance have been recognized as having the ability of inspiring people and having them get closer to the divine. So here we have this little documentary, a film, that has ability. I am not sure a film is a material item but maybe that is another topic for another day. But the jist of the idea is that out film has that power.

I am truly honored to be associated with the film. It now has a life of it’s own and I occasionally get to share in the lights by it’s side. It is amazing that it has this ability to inspire people and maybe give them a different way to think about difficulties in their lives. I mean it is amazing from my point of view of a guy who started out walking in the mud outside his house and made it 500 miles and then made it most of the way across Spain and then gets to walk on stage with the documentary about the whole journey. All pretty amazing. Thank you Saint James.

So last night I did the hour long radio interview with Eric Pryne on his show Island Crossroads. It will be up on the website in the IC archives for listening at any time soon. That’s at www.voiceofvashon.org It takes them a few days to get it organized and up there.

That’s it for now, off to my day. Thanks for being here. Love, Felipe.

Ok, Say Hello

The sun is with us but stays close to the horizon.

My Rebecca is just leaving, off to her church and her friends. So, I said to say hi to them. Frosty here although the sun is warm. This isn’t our usual weather but we’ll take it.

Everything is getting very Christmasie around town. It is going to be a little different for us since we aren’t going to be here for the holiday. Seems odd not to have a tree for instance. And I don’t have to worry about outside lights.

I have to get some kind of excitement going though. I still got gifts to think about. And of course to spend some time and effort meditating on the meaning of the whole shebang.

That is the challenge but that is always the challenge to keep the important matters first and foremost in mind and heart. There are numerous other things going on always and everywhere it seems but what is really important. Well we have our work cut out for us.

I am going to take off. I have archery students showing up in half an hour. It’s a beautiful day here. The best to you, love, Felipe.

The Bible Big And Small

Felipe’s 1960 bible.

William’s 1958 bible.

A few days ago or a few weeks ago I got on the topic of Gideon Bibles and I was telling how I got mine in a mad mob scene in school. Don’t ask me how I got on this topic but anyway William from Calgary send in a pic of his Gideon Bible. So all of a sudden we had two of these babies and the thought was maybe there was more out there. So, if you have one in your possession send me a pic so we can document that.

Those were really physically small copies, good for backpacking maybe. I’ve had many “better” Bibles since then but I still keep it. Another special small copy that I really cherish is the zippered copy that my Dad carried on his person through his travels in the Pacific during World War II.

Well whether big or small there is a lot of good reading there between the covers if you take the time. Of course it takes a while to get used to the texture and the language of it.
Remember that it is a little library as it is a collection of books. So there is no good reason to start at the beginning which is not the way to approach it for starters.

If you feel the urge to read it start with one of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John with maybe Mark being the easiest. Then Paul’s Letters and by that time you will have a feel for it and you can explore on your own.

Well, yea and remember that there are certain aspects of the study that are down right mysteries and we had better save that for another day as Jim is here my guy to help me look at a problem on my tractor. Have to go. Love, Felipe.