Fridays of Bureau Chiefs: Reposting “Ryck’s Ridiculously Good Friday Post¨

Dear Caminoheads, Dear Ryck,

Because I had no chance yet to reach out to the Caminoheads Bureau Chiefs yet to reorganize our Fridays, I thought to repost one of the ones that other BCs have written. And I thought of looking for this one from Ryck. No, I do not remember what all the posts say, but I often remember where I was when I read them: when I read this one, I was in Buenos Aires airport about to fly to Warsaw, Poland for a work meeting, barely a bit more than a month since we were all together in the Veranda 2019. Ryck´s words touched me very deeply and I started to cry, to the point that a man next to me came to ask if I was ok. And I was, I was just very moved for realizing I was “chosen” by the Camino and by Phil too, like so many of us.

Thank you Ryck! I hope it was ok to re-post without your prior consent!!!!


Ridiculously Good Loves,



The post below was written by Ryck, Caminoheads Puget Sound Bureau Chief, reposted by Cris

Ryck’s Ridiculously Good Friday Post


I am so honored to write this Blog post on behalf of Phil for the Friday BC, Caminoheads post…One day as I walked through my local park, “Fish Park” in Poulsbo, WA, I saw on the ground, nestled next to some wet, Washington State autumn tree leaves, a cover of an old newspaper. The cover of the old “North Kitsap Herald” had a small picture of a guy on it with a ball cap and he was walking around a path. The title of the picture said, “Vashon Island man walks his own Camino”. I knew what the Camino was as I saw the movie, “The Way”, like so many of us pilgrims have. This was sometime in 2015. I had only moved to Poulsbo some 2 years earlier as it was my last duty station in the Navy before I retired in 2017. When I saw “The Way”, I knew that I would walk the Camino when I retired from the Navy. It finally happened in the summer of 2017. When I walked, a man named Steve Watkins began to follow me on Facebook. We became good Facebook, Camino chums. One day Steve messaged me to inform me he was coming to Seattle to visit “Phil’s Camino”. He invited me to meet Phil at Swedish Institute in Seattle. It was then it dawned on me that Phil was the guy from the old newspaper on the ground in the middle of the park in Poulsbo I had read about some 3 years prior. When I arrived with Steve Watkins to Swedish to meet Phil, I expected to see someone looking like perhaps they just got a chemo treatment. Then when Phil walked out, that is not what I saw. I saw a man that instantly reminded me of my Grandfather who had passed in 2009. He had the same demeanor, same mannerisms. Phil has a way of bringing a certain energy into the room unlike no other person I have met. Later on after meeting Phil, I went to his house and walked the path I originally read about on that old, faded newspaper I saw on the ground at the park. As I walked with Phil, I realized that I felt like I was at home in his yard, on his path. I love his wife Rebecca as dearly, such a straight shooter that lady, I couldn’t have loved it any better. I knew then as I know now that all of us here on this blog or at the Veranda, or that go to Raven Ranch, we are all a part of something much bigger than the Camino itself. The Camino was merely the conduit that brought Phil to us, and us to him. The energy that comes from these gatherings, these conversations are truly magical to me. To us. In the Navy, if you make Chief Petty Officer, the saying is, “The Anchors pick you, you do not pick the anchors”. The anchors are the symbol of the rank of the Chief. I always felt as if the Camino either calls to you or it doesn’t. The Camino calls to you, you do not pick the Camino. Certain energies attract certain people. How lucky are we all to have that, whatever it is, attract us all together from many different backgrounds and areas of the world. I know, matter of fact, that what is happening at Phil’s house, on Phil’s Camino is something that we will always reflect on for the rest of our lives. Something we will all know we were so fortunate to have been a part of. Henry Ford once said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it….” With Phil, I feel that is exactly what he does with each chemo treatment. He flies against the wind and every time he does this and he fights back, we are all inspired. We all fly with him. We fly with him on this blog and on his Camino. We are all flying with you, Phil. Please know that.
Flying loves for Phil,
Ryck Thompson – Puget Sound, WA. Bureau Chief.