Taking a Pilgrimige

Taking a Pilgrimige

Pilgrims and America has gotten into the habit of walking

Back in 2016 or so I read a book by the positive psychologist Martin Seligman “Flourish” where he suggested walking 10,000 steps everyday for your health. I read it and began a habit of walking. One that has become a lifelong habit and today i still her my steps in even after 7 years since first reading about walking 10,000 steps.

So then when the pandemic began everybody sort of got into doing the things I’ve been doing for a while like walking and gardening. But these traditions are not new, they’ve been around forever even if people have only recently began getting into these things.

So here is a California thing you as elected leaders should be aware of. Pilgrims and doing a pilgrimage to a church and living “the way of the pilgrim” is a major tradition in Europe. Non Catholics and Catholics alike have enjoyed going on 500+ km walks over multiple weeks as a life changing accomplishment and personal growth. In America we learn about 2 guys named Lewis and Clark who went on a journey, but hardly any American over the last 150 years or so has had the need to walk from St. Louis to Astoria. The Oregon Trail and Santa Fe trail has become a where in the world is Carmen San Diego video game trivia question. My point being is that us Americans don’t do these long walks from our history. But Europeans do them to learn their history.

Now California is somewhat an anomaly in the USA when it comes to pilgrimages. Especially since one guy about 10 years ago got together with some friends and decided to walk from San Diego to Sonoma visiting every Spanish mission which took them about 90 days. Also they were probably the first people to have walked to every mission in a hundred years. But since the pandemic these long treks are becoming more popular.

The point is that California is kind of the one spot in the USA where an actual “El Camino” exists. They were built about 30 miles apart from each other which is about how long it takes for someone to go from place to place on horseback.

I saw on the news recently that Sacramento Unified School District is changing some names of their schools including Kit Carson and John Sutter. The logic is because according to some people and professors in CA they were part of the genocide of Native Americans in CA. One of the new names of the schools is Miwok.

But if CA were to apply that logic to every name in CA you would have to change the name of almost everything in CA. California would need a new name because it comes from a best selling book in Spain about an island ruled by women who murdered every man who tried to get on the island by feeding them to their puma cats they kept as pets. It was a fictional tale kind of like Wonder Woman’s island popular among explorers. When Spanish explorers discovered the peninsula in northern Mexico they named it Baja California, when the arrived on land in San Diego they named the land “California”.

A couple hundred years later they began building missions along the coast to convert natives to Christianity.

This is kind of a problem with the name of Sacramento, as far as I know there is no legend of bones of a saint or something who is buried in Sacramento. And San Francisco is not Tuscany or anywhere near Assisi in Italy.

But there is an odd name thing that is going on in the political correct world.

Why Europeans go on pilgrimages in part is to escape city life and learn humbleness and history, and get a sense of connectedness to their fellow humans and shared history.

There’s no reason CA can’t do that via roads. We have disconnected and connected roads with names all over the place. All are signs to help point us in a better direction. And road trips are pretty much as American as  pie and football on Sundays.

The best route for CA is obvious, it points to San Francisco and Lincoln Park where there is an art museum and memorials. Along the way are smaller towns like Davis, Vacaville, Fairfield, Suisun, Benicia, Martinez, Richmond, each with backroads and city streets to get to know the towns a little better by getting off the interstate. You can even take Mission Street in SF to Mission Delores and all the way to Santa Clara where it ends at another Spanish Mission.

It could also be kind of fun for Southern Californians to go from a Spanish mission to another Spanish mission but do it in a way that avoids the interstate and freeways.

It would be like doing s European thing but in a better and more improved and quicker American Way.

Pilgrims in Europe

Title: Embracing the Sacred Journey: The Importance of Making a Pilgrimage in Europe


In the heart of Europe lies a rich tapestry of sacred destinations, each holding profound historical, cultural, and spiritual significance. Pilgrimages have been an integral part of European tradition for centuries, offering individuals a transformative experience that transcends mere travel. Whether driven by religious devotion, personal reflection, or a desire to explore the depths of one's soul, embarking on a pilgrimage in Europe can be a truly life-changing endeavor.

1. Connecting with History:

Europe's soil is imbued with stories from time immemorial, tales of saints, sages, and ordinary individuals who embarked on extraordinary journeys. From the Santiago de Compostela Camino in Spain to the mystical isle of Iona in Scotland, pilgrimages in Europe offer an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of ancient travelers and connect with the vibrant tapestry of human history. The sacred sites, churches, and monasteries encountered along the way become living witnesses to the faith, devotion, and struggles of those who came before us.

2. Spiritual Awakening:

A pilgrimage is not merely a physical journey but a profound inner quest for spiritual enlightenment. It allows individuals to detach from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, fostering introspection and contemplation. The serene beauty of nature, the sacred silence within holy places, and the camaraderie of fellow pilgrims create an environment conducive to spiritual growth and self-discovery. The transformative power of a pilgrimage lies in its ability to ignite a spiritual awakening, offering solace, clarity, and a renewed sense of purpose.

3. Cultural Immersion:

European pilgrimages provide an extraordinary opportunity to immerse oneself in diverse cultures, customs, and traditions. Whether it's the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Vatican City, the ethereal beauty of Mont Saint-Michel in France, or the mystical folklore of Ireland's Croagh Patrick, each pilgrimage route is a gateway to experiencing the unique blend of art, architecture, music, and cuisine that define Europe's rich heritage. Engaging with local communities, partaking in rituals, and witnessing centuries-old traditions help foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of European cultural diversity.

4. Personal Reflection and Healing:

Pilgrimages have long been associated with healing, both physical and emotional. The act of embarking on a pilgrimage can be a catalyst for personal reflection, allowing individuals to confront inner struggles, seek solace, and find emotional healing. The physical challenges encountered along the journey often mirror the obstacles faced in life, encouraging pilgrims to persevere, build resilience, and emerge stronger. Whether seeking solace, seeking forgiveness, or seeking direction, the pilgrimage offers a sacred space for individuals to confront their own truths and embark on a path of personal transformation.

5. Community and Camaraderie:

One of the remarkable aspects of a European pilgrimage is the sense of community that emerges among fellow pilgrims. Shared experiences, common goals, and the camaraderie of the road create bonds that transcend nationality, age, and social backgrounds. Along the journey, pilgrims have the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, share stories, and support one another. The pilgrim's path becomes a microcosm of society, reflecting the ideals of compassion, empathy, and interconnectedness that form the essence of the human experience.


Embarking on a pilgrimage in Europe is a journey that transcends physical boundaries and delves deep into the realms of spirituality, history, culture, and self-discovery. It offers a unique opportunity to forge a connection with the past, find solace and healing, and immerse oneself in the diverse tapestry of European heritage. The act of pilgrimage reminds us of our shared humanity, ignites a sense of wonder, and reminds

popular routes

1. Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James), Spain: The Camino de Santiago is a network of routes that converge at the shrine of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela. The most famous route is the Camino Francés, starting in St. Jean Pied de Port in France and spanning approximately 800 kilometers.

2. Via Francigena, Italy: The Via Francigena is an ancient pilgrimage route that stretches from Canterbury in England to Rome, Italy. It passes through picturesque landscapes, historic cities, and cultural sites, offering a profound journey of over 1,800 kilometers.

3. St. Olav's Way, Norway: St. Olav's Way, or Olavsleden, is a pilgrimage trail leading to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. This route follows the path taken by King Olav II in the 11th century and offers a scenic and spiritually significant journey.

4. St. Cuthbert's Way, England/Scotland: St. Cuthbert's Way is a 100-kilometer trail that crosses the border between England and Scotland, ending at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. It follows the footsteps of the 7th-century monk, St. Cuthbert, offering a tranquil and scenic pilgrimage experience.

5. The Holy Land, Israel and Palestine: The Holy Land is a significant pilgrimage destination for Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. It encompasses sites such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the Sea of Galilee, offering pilgrims the opportunity to trace the footsteps of religious figures and connect with their faith.

6. Lough Derg, Ireland: Lough Derg is a remote island in County Donegal, Ireland, and is a popular site for Catholic pilgrimages. Pilgrims undertake a three-day pilgrimage known as the "Station Island Retreat," involving prayer, fasting, and contemplation.

7. Mont Saint-Michel, France: Mont Saint-Michel, located in Normandy, France, is a stunning island abbey and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It attracts both religious and non-religious pilgrims who come to admire its architectural beauty and experience its spiritual ambiance.

8. Rila Monastery, Bulgaria: The Rila Monastery, nestled in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria, is a revered Eastern Orthodox pilgrimage site. Pilgrims visit the monastery to pay homage to its founder, St. Ivan of Rila, and to seek spiritual solace amidst its picturesque surroundings.

These are just a few examples of the numerous pilgrim routes available across Europe. Each route carries its own unique history, spiritual significance, and cultural experiences, providing pilgrims with a diverse range of options to embark on a sacred journey.

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