David and Elissa
Cobb walked 285 km on the Camino de Santiago in late May and early
June of 2016. They began in St. Jean Pied du Port in France, walking
the first third of the Way and then the final 120 km into Santiago. On this
cultural and spiritual journey, their experiences were both life
affirming and life changing. Although it was not what they
expected, somehow it was exactly what they needed, including
a reconnection to each other. Both intend to return
and walk additional sections of the path when possible.
Elissa Cobb wrote several poems about her pilgrimage that she will
share during her presentation. Read a few that are attached at the bottom of this webpage.
Motivated by a long-held dream of walking the Camino, Gregor
Clark, Gaen Murphree and their two teenage daughters set off
this past July as a family of four to explore the Chemin du Piémont
Pyrénéen—an ancient feeder route from Carcassonne that passes through
the Pyrenees foothills of southern France before joining the main Camino
Their goals were many: to slow their lives down to a walking pace,
to spend some meaningful family time together before their older
daughter graduated from high school, to engage in a spiritual pilgrimage,
and to share their love of French culture and language with our
children. They chose this particular route based on written
accounts of its scenic beauty and off-the-beaten-track nature.
They set off on their journey with no set itinerary, no obligatory
pace to keep, and no foreknowledge of the places they were passing
through. Moving at a snail’s pace (unlike more ambitious pilgrims, they often
covered as few as five miles a day), they made their way through
rolling farmland, sleepy mountain villages, and lesser-known UNESCO World
Heritage Sites like St-Lizier and St-Bertrand-de-Comminges. They spent
most nights in pilgrims’ hostels hosted by French families, with an
occasional night of camping thrown in. Along the way, they found the
family togetherness they were seeking and fell in love with this
less-traveled corner of rural France.
Stevie Spencer’s best
friend, Tina Christensen, decided to do a self-guided walk of
sections of the Camino during a three-month sabbatical to travel
around Europe. Like a good friend, Stevie asked to come along. Their group
also included Stevie’s sister, Luisa Finberg, with whom she
often travels. Even though their time on the trail was only 8 days,
they saw some of the most beautiful sections, enjoying incredible food and
generally staying in small towns. The One World Library
Project has acquired several new items in conjunction with this program
and which will be available for the public to check out at the
- The Way is a film
starring Martin Sheen who embarks on the pilgrimage as a way to
deal with the tragic loss of his son.
- Travels with my Donkey is a
wry story by Tim Moore, Britain's indefatigable traveling Everyman,
who sets out on a pilgrimage to the cathedral at Santiago de
Compostela with a donkey named Shinto as his companion,
despite having no knowledge of Spanish and even less about the care
and feeding of donkeys.
- A Million Steps is part diary,
part travelogue by Kurt Koontz, who follows the yellow arrows that
mark the route over high meadows of the Pyrenees and through the
unceasing wind of the Meseta while also navigating through his
personal history of addiction, recovery and love.