The Storm Is Rolling Over The Area

Felipé on the flank of Sunrise Peak.
(photo J Hyde)

It is pretty mild here in the lowlands with mainly gusts of wind and rain coming down. Nice not to be up at higher elevation. Almost seems too easy down here.

We got all the canvas from the tent dried out and Wiley and I are off later this morning to the Sportsmen’s Club to use the large floor in their clubhouse to fold up things nice and tidy for storage for another year. That tent is 25 going on 30 years old and still is in pretty fair shape, a testament to good care.

And Catherine will be here in a few minutes to walk and say the rosary with me. I so value our friendship and all that entails. I think that we help each other “figure things out” as they say at Phil’s Camino. Speaking of which I had the trail closed for today because I thought that I may not be back from the mountains. But after today we will be open. It has been slow participation with the pandemic in full swing lately but we are in fact still operating. Blog readership has been down this months also I guess with the distraction of the election. Hopefully we can button that up shortly and get back to some semblance of regularity. Praying for that.

So hang tough, I know things are gittery and slip sliding around but we will get through this. And a reconfiguration of the Thanksgiving holiday in progress. Improvise, adapt and overcome, remember?

no slip sliding loves here, Felipé.

An Orderly Retreat

The Elk Hotel at our snowy campsite.
(photo drone shot from J Hyde)

Eggs and roast beef hash with toast.
(photo P Volker)

James and Wiley geared up.
(photo P Volker)

Wiley, James and I scampered out of the hills on Thursday afternoon ahead of a winter snow storm predicted to dump another one to three feet of snow on us. Yup, it was disappointing in a way but it was the only thing to do. We left the elk to their winter wonderland and headed downhill.

The guys had a good time and learned some valuable lessons. I‘m glad that I left midweek for a break and gave them time to themselves. And I got to go to Cabela’s Outdoor Store and get some badly needed gear and clothing then. Picked up a new coffee pot because my old trusty one that I got for a 25 cents forty years ago sprung a leak, cost $59.
Also got a new chore vest to replace the one I found out in the sage brush two years ago, cost another $59. Yup.

So, the election is over sort of. Still a mess but we go on in spite of the silliness. We still have coffee to drink and chores to do and of course faith to maintain. And great to be back in communication with you all. We have lots of time to sort things out.

your love is never a chore, Felipé.

(Our moon is a waning crescent, 1% illumination)

Ryck CEBC, Fresh In From Washington DC

Our Ryck
(photo R Thompson)

No Hope = Riots
Hope = Dancing in the streets

I moved to the D.C. area from my beloved Poulsbo, WA in June this year.
In July as I walked around the White House streets in Lafayette Square, the tension was insurmountable in D.C. . You could feel in the air that at any split-second people could start rioting, and the Secret Service would be enforcing the gates of the White House…
No one was happy. No one. It was a build-up of the last year, the last 4 years as well.
The fence around the White House had hundreds of pictures of folks of all races attached to it. I saw one picture in particular that looked familiar. It was a picture of a man that was shot in Poulsbo last summer. Shot in the park next to the marina, next to my boat. It seems like that was the start of the year to come.
Last weekend, I went to the same Lafayette Square Park, as I go into downtown D.C. with my Segway scooter and zip around the city often. When I approached Lafayette Square, which is not blocked off, (Black Live Matter BLVD is now the closest you can get) ……it was different..
The tension was not there. In fact, people of ALL races were literally dancing in the streets. Dancing. (“Everyone around the world, people dancing in the streets” was blaring on a stereo speaker and doezens of small groups of people were dancing and singing along with this song…even some of the police).
The Riots had literally turned to dancing. People were so happy, even the reporters and camera crews.
It can be hard for some folks to read this and not get political. I understand that. What I can offer to you though is simple……when rioting turns to dancing, there is something to be said of that. HOPE.
People need hope. Empathy. Love.
I think many of us had travelled to Spain to walk the Camino because we needed the same things….
I feel as if a mental weight had been lifted in the past week. I am not minimizing the thoughts of the other half of America, but for me, the effects of the last week is the same feeling of having a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day. Like hearing noise and then you put on the noise cancelling headphones and it is calm…like the sound under water in a swimming pool, calm.
I felt the same way on the Camino. The noise of my life was muffled by nature. By foot pain. By day after day of sweltering, July 2017 heat. By kindness of people. By laughter. By amazing tapas. By town after town of celebrations and people dancing in the streets….

Ryck, CEBC

(Our moon is a waning crescent, 4% illumination)

The Night The Whiskey Froze

William in Canadian snow but it looks pretty similar here south of the border.
(photo W Hayes)

I really don’t know how cold it would have to be for your brand of whiskey to freeze but I got your attention anyway but that would be pretty damn cold. Well, Wiley’s callsign is Whiskey and he froze a few nights so that counts pretty much. I am back for a mid week break from the Elk Hotel so I thought that I would hammer out a communique to you guys. As of the time I left we saw recent tracks but no critters actually standing in any. But having a good time playing the game.

There is snow there where we are camped and deeper stuff higher up to tromp around in. The high point in the neighborhood is 5900 feet above sea level with the tent at 5000. And snow is much easier to deal with than rain so happy about that.

It has been down in the teens at night, temperature wise. We have the fly on the tent for extra insulation and the Lil Buddy propane heater runs all night on low setting. And we have the propane cook stove that we had at the Veranda going. I’m pretty much the cook leaving the climbing around to the young bucks. The guys aren’t complaining too badly about the food so I guess I have future employment.

One morning out there after I got the guys off I spent a good hour standing in the first sunshine thawing out. Something so simple can be such a joy. And there is a young cottonwood tree that was basking also. Half of it’s leaves had already fallen of over previous days. Then as I watched the tree warm, leaves started falling in a rush. That continued for half an hour maybe at the rate of ten per minute and then it stopped. It was entertaining me as I tried to guess which one would fall next. I guess I am easily pleased and it was fun while it lasted.

So, I have the afternoon here to gather up things that the guys requested and fix a few things and round up more water and propane. And I’ll be off early tomorrow morning. Going to stop at Jessika’s on the way and delivery some of her stuff that needed hauling. And I want to stop at Cabela’s, the mecca of outdoor stores for a few things.

Well, thanks for checking in here at Caminoheads. I will be back On the air Sunday or Monday. Happy Marine Corps Birthday today for anyone who might be a Marine out there.

simple sunshine loves, Felipé.

Ron In Astorga And A Day Early

(Our moon is waning gibbous, 79% illumination)

Ron’s favorite.
(photo R Angert)


Expectations are funny creations – molded and polished in our minds and played out often in our sight, hearing, and touch, even our sense of smell. They may have been hatched by an event in a dream, a song lyric, or a comment overheard while standing in line. And now-a-days they are often germinated from others’ expectations posted on-line.

But expectations supply the foundations for plans and plans lead to action, reaction, and reasoning. Expectations are easy for some of us to achieve and seemingly impossible for others of us. How many times do we under-estimate our abilities, the external conditions, the phrase uttered by another or the quality of those expensive hiking socks? And the opposite: over-estimating those same things?

For so many of us the Camino provides a lab environment for testing Expectations. Just how long is a ‘long day’ for me today? And for that other guy, the one who reminds you of your grandfather? How long was his day? How DID he beat you to the albergue?

The pilgrims walking the camino these days have some different challenges. Living in Astorga we meet and speak to pilgrims often and I thought I’d share one experiences Ann and I had recently.

Meet Ross. He is from Australia and earned the chef position on a large private yacht recently completed in northern Europe. He was involved in the food storage and prep area planning and construction and its maiden voyage was to Malaga where he was given ten weeks off before meeting the ship again in the Caribbean. At least that is what I recall from our café con leche conversation. He is used to living out of a backpack and thought that the Camino was a perfect use of his time. He began his walk in León and stayed in a hotel for three days when the city was in isolation – no pilgrims allowed to stop or eat there, but could walk through. He enjoyed seeing the town and eating at restaurants unaware of the lockdown which he was amazed to find out about after leaving León. Because of Galician weather and shutdowns in the days since he jumped on a bus to Portugal and is walking there.

I’d guess he had some expectations that varied from a sail from Europe to the Caribbean, that varied from the things he’d read about walking the Camino and more. It is this shaping of the expectation that brings pleasure to some of us and distress to others. Often it includes both, don’t you think?

So what of our expectations these days? Phil is expecting to ‘get an elk’ and enjoy that special time tracking them down with old friends and Wiley as I recall. All of us are preparing for some kind of different holiday season, wondering how that will play out. Many are shaping expectations for this time of year that traditionally includes people, places, and things that might just be impossible now. I’d like to suggest that you let your senses give you hope, your dreams give you new inspiration and that the people you do meet while enjoying coffee add to your lifes’ story and to theirs. Pilgrim, walk the Camino wherever you are.

Ron Angert in beautiful Astorga, Spain


(Our moon is waning gibbous, 87% illumination)

A new one on me.
(photo P Volker)

Woke up this morning and pretty much first thing flipped on the Tube. And now it is two hours later and we are still in the same place in the election news. There are eight states too early to call or too close to call. It’s a real logjam. I have to find something else to do and do it. Well yes, I have a full list of details to deal with before our trip.

It is snowing on Mt Rainier and Mt Adams in our neighborhood but it is not snowing at the elevation where we are camping. But things could change later on. But it is fun to have a little snow to track in. Tracking is half the fun of hunting whether it is small or big critters. It is the closest thing to the newspaper out in the woods and fields. Who’s who and what is going on is all there if you can read it.

OK, this is all I can do for today. Oh, and a thank you goes out to Bob and Elizabeth who sent a book for the Caminoheads’ library. Hiking the Camino by Father Dave Pivonka was in our mailbox!

logjam o’loves, Felipé.


(Our moon is waning gibbous, 93% illumination)

Where are my roses?.
(photo K Burke)

Trying to put a sentence together. Feel pretty scrambled here right now and don’t know if I can assemble sentences. The commercials on the news station bring peace of a sort. Voice of Vashon, our local radio station, is playing some good stuff to keep things calm, like Woody Gutherie’s This Land is Your Land.

Here is a guy I used to play flag football with on the verge of being the Prez. We played flag football because the Kennedy boys had in Massachusetts a state over. That was back before the Sixies got really crazy. It was when a pack of smokes from a machine was 35 cents and Levi jeans were 5 bucks. Of course no one had any money.

But today the TV news chases it’s own tail till the polls close. Then what do we stay up all night trying to eke out meaning? Geez, maybe I can hibernate till breakup and skip this.

Yea, I am glad I have deadline of the elk trip to give me some structure. I have to grease boots and find my gaiters and stuff like that. And where are my Big Bill’s, my dark green wool made in Quebec overalls. I bought all the canned goods and dry goods for camp meals this morning. When we are living in the cold it seems to take twice the normal calorie intake to be happy and be thinking straight. Oh, have to check the air in the tires.

Well, that‘s about it for Felipé for today, Election Day 2020.

wish us luck loves, Felipé.

No Joke

On the ranch.
(photo P Volker)

Yea, no joke, this blog has been hopping lately. I was really serious about Jessika becoming our new Liaison yesterday. And yes, I was semi serious about all my friends being major quirks; well, maybe just half of them. And no joke our readership is up these last few months. I have to thank Annie and Catalina for mentioning us with their groups. So, welcome new folks, hope you are getting the drift of what is going on here. If you figure it out please let me know, I’d be interested.

But also, no joke, tomorrow is the long awaited election day here in these United States. Everyone here is just pulled as taunt as possible. It is amazing anyone is sleeping anymore. But fortunately nature marches on to it’s own beat feet away from me. The weeping willow still weeps and the nuthatches still hatch right outside the window. This is all fortunate as one needs frequent breaks from the political reality swirling around. Oh, the ravens are squawking overhead, complaining that I didn’t mention them. OK, OK, calm down. Yes, they are still raving.

Our son Wiley and his good friend James and I are off on the big elk hunt this Friday. So, I am making out menus and buying supplies and trying to locate all my gear. So, I don’t really know how may blog posts will be coming out in the next two weeks. There is zero internet and cell contact at our camp or the environs.

So, we all (the American electorate) bravely march on through this Election Eve hoping for the best. Prayers would help from any direction. Fastening our safety harnesses.

weeping, hatching and raving loves, Felipé.

An Introduction!

(Our moon is waning gibbous, 99% illumination)

OK, must be pranksters, sorry don’t have time to straighten out this submerged pic. But this is Jessika and myself this morning, fresh shot.
(photo P Volker)

I have a new member that I would like to add to our staff here at Caminoheads. Always ever present and hard working we have our Relentless Bureau Chiefs that I want to acknowledge. And also we have our Spiritual Advisor Padre Tomas and our Historian Professor Catalina. So I am adding Jessika (callsign Secret Agent) to our staff as the Liaison to the Order of Malta (the Knights Hospitaler).

Jessika has completed her two year apprenticeship (not the right word) to the Order but has yet to get her cape because of Covid complications. But the Order has been around for eight hundred years taking care of the well being pilgrims world wide. We won’t get into all that right now, perhaps another day, but she was here on the ranch and I grabbed a pic with her so I thought that this was a perfect time to introduce her. You may have met her somewhere on the trail or at the Veranda way back when.

But what I really had on the agenda to write about today was something different but since Jessika was here egging me on to write about this I will now. Although we may just be scratching the surface with one post or really part of a post. But I had a realization just yesterday and I wanted to run it by you. And maybe this all has to do with Halloween, I don’t know. And I hope that this doesn’t offend anyone here, but Jessika reassured me that it wasn’t too weird. OK.

Well, remember when you were a kid and you and all your friends had a weird wild and crazy aunt or uncle that you would get to see only a few times of year, weddings, funerals, holidays. And your folks would sort of try to interpret them for you all the time. Yea, you know what I am talking about. They were probably totally lovable and innocent but just a half notch off. Got that image?

Well, here is the maybe offensive part. All of my friends are starting to appear to me as crazy aunts and uncles. Not more than a half a notch off but still clearly identifiable. So there, what do you think?
Am I wrong? Thanks Jessika, it needed to be said.

So Happy Halloween, full blue moon, the whole thing, loves, Felipé.

It’s Today

(Our moon will be full tonight)

all fired up
(photo P Volker)

Yea, Halloween today. It’s also the last day of October and the full moon appears this evening. It is directly opposite the sun. The sun will go down and the moon will come up in the opposite sky all in the same breath.

And yesterday that was such a great story that Cris brought to us on her blogpost. It was so rich and at the same time so simple. Love that, thanks Cris. So like Debra dreaming that dream as message for me. Or maybe this happens in many kinds of ways more commonly. We learn all the time by other people’s example. That’s a message for us.

Joyce Rupp in her blog that just came in to me today had a quote from Flavia Weedn, “Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.” Yea, ain’t that the truth.

I was just tossing some more chucks of maple in the woodstove and reminded of the fact that one piece of wood just doesn’t burn on it’s own but the heat and light come from in between pieces. They seem to egg each other on so to speak.

Well OK, time to get going. A beautiful day here on the ranch. Need to get out there. The best to you.

Heat and light come from in between loves, Felipé.