Guest blog – Susan S

Susan S has taken up the offer / challenge / opportunity! to post a guest blog.

Susan lives in Washington State, in the US, and she's a very keen photographer.

She is also famous on this blog, and the PGS forum, for coordinating the KIT THE NUN program. Already she's been instrumental in sourcing a huge amount of gear for Sister Clare, for the Camino Portuguese Tour next year.

As well, she has liaised with all those other very kind people who have donated gear and clothing etc, and in some instances cash, so that Sister has all she needs next April.

Susan just told me that a very generous man, Tom Turtle, has just donated a sports watch, and an iPod Touch so that Sister can be connected to the Internet during her walk! And Susan herself has donated an iPod Nano!

I am bowled over by their kindness.

So here is Susan's guest post –

Playing Peregrina

I won’t be walking my Camino until either spring or fall of 2014. It will be 1/3 to ½ the Camino Frances. Meanwhile I walk vicariously with the PGS family as you walk your 2013 Caminos.

I’m currently training by working down a list of local walks that as I go down the list, grow in length and/or in elevation gain. Eventually I’d like to work up to walking to our favorite taco truck 25km away, followed the next day by a 22km round trip from my house trip up Badger Mountain with its elevation gain carrying my full pack.

A few years back I felt “constipated” with my photography. I was not happy with any of my photos, not happy with the subject matter, suffering from photo cabin fever.

I mentioned it to a Boston friend of mine who said try being a tourist in your own town. It will open your eyes to what I have been missing and taking for granted. (easy for him to say living in Boston) So I tried it and it worked!

Now I play peregrina with my camera on my training walks and imagine I’m in northern Spain rather than south central Washington. Which is easy since I live in a high steppe channeled scabland area with few towns and hills rising out of ancient riverbeds.

I walk and stop by little latte stands and sit a few minutes with a small cup of coffee.

I notice decorative ironwork on farm fences that I’ve driven by for 28 years unseen. I notice that the bridge over the Yakima is over 20 years old and think has it been that long that the road into town has been 4 lane instead of 2?? I see that one of the farms has both alpaca and llama!

On a clear day I stand at the edge of my yard and I can see the Blue Mountains 100km away and calculate that the hour drive would be a 4-5 day walk following the route that Lewis and Clark traveled over 200 years ago.

When you slowed down to smell the roses and train for your Camino by walking your locale, what things did you notice that you otherwise passed by unnoticed?


6 thoughts on “Guest blog – Susan S

  1. I am awestruck by our local manzanita trees. The rich brown, and uncommonly smooth, trunk reminds me of mahogany. The trees seem to grow in clusters like aspen. I was not even aware that the trees grow in Prescott, AZ!


  2. Its wonderful to see my personal hero and macabi sister finally taking your place as a guest “post “er! You inspire and support me every day, and I feel so much richer for knowing you -which would be the case whether or not you were my Camino angel. So I hope the people who are only now getting to know you realise how special you are, and how lucky they are to have “met” you here.
    What I notice on my walks are all the tiny animal habitats, especially now that the long grasses and bushes are drying for fall -that I just don’t take time to examine when I’m rushing by at ‘normal speed’ with blinders on!


  3. Hi Susan

    It’s funny that I was late in reading this blog but was doing exactly as you said this morning. I had to go into the City early today for an appointment. I usually walk through the grounds of a grand old Cathedral in the city. It’s not really a shortcut but it’s very sparse of people at all times of the day. My parents used to take us to this Cathedral every Sunday for mass when we first arrived in town. I hated it as I used to get carsick every Sunday. It was like clockwork. Throw up on the way to church, throw up on the way back from church. To this day I don’t enjoy church.

    However, as an adult I now enjoy walking through the grounds and sometimes going inside the church and either just looking or sitting. Today I walked on the opposite side to where I normally walk and noticed and enormous bell. It’s almost as tall as me and certainly wider than me. It’s under a structure looking like some sort of monument. I walked over to it to see if there was a plaque explaining it’s history. It is the old Cathedral bell that was donated to the church in 18?? and used until 1988. It occurred to me that for many, many years this was “the” bell I heard ringing. Until I took the time today to pause as I walked through the grounds I never even knew this bell existed.

    As I left I thought to myself, I really need to get my camera and spend a day in the city just taking photos of things I see all the time but never actually see.

    I’d love to see everyone’s photos of their discoveries.



  4. Dear Susan, what an amazing part of the world you live in!! I originally come from Denmark and the last few times I’ve been back, I’ve taken time to wander around the streets of Copenhagen seeing the ‘tourist shots’ and interestingly my very well travelled nephews just love my photos of ‘their’ town because I see it with those different eyes. It’s a habit I now try to employ wherever I am 🙂


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