The Western North Carolina chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino now has a 16-mile walk around Asheville to give people an idea of what a typical day on the Camino would be. Sixteen miles around Asheville is not as difficult as it sounds and not like 16 miles in the Smokies.
We now offer a guided walk every month. In December, I’ll be leading the walk for both the Camino group and Carolina Mountain Club.
A couple of weeks ago, the WNC chapter hosted the Atlanta Camino group. About sixteen hikers and Camino enthusiasts came for a weekend of hiking and sociability. We walked the Asheville Camino and dined in our fine restaurants – probably much better than on the Camino in Spain.
On Monday Oct 2, I’ll be speaking on The History and Culture along the Camino del Norte at REI Asheville at 7PM. The talk is free. Register at www.rei.com/asheville.
What does it mean to walk eighteen miles through a city? It’s sidewalks, grassy verges, greenways, footpaths – and food.
Yesterday was my third or fourth walk on the Asheville Camino. As our WNC American Pilgrims on the Camino gets more popular, people are wondering – can they do it? So an AVL Camino was developed. The walk starts and ends at the Asheville Visitor Center, encouraging visitors to also walk it.
What a great way to explore the city! The route takes you to the River Arts District, West Asheville, various greenways, past Mission Hospital, Beaucatcher Mountain, downtown and eventually back to the visitor center. Since you’re in town, you don’t have to do the whole 18 miles and many don’t. They quit when they’ve had enough and figure out how to get back to their cars.
Fourteen hikers met at 8 o’clock. By the time we stopped at Edna’s at the River for Asheville, we had already done almost four miles. We stopped for lunch and at the Bountiful Cities Edible Gardens, we were down to ten hikers and a dog. Pickles was our first dog; he made it just fine and behaved so well around other dogs who were yapping and snarling. See the picture above.
The AVL Camino is a great way to see the city. It’s also a good way to test out your boots, socks, pack and feet. I changed socks at lunch time to see how my new Farm to Feet socks would fare – great!
So after 18 miles, could I do another 18 miles today? Well, if I was on the real Camino somewhere in Europe, I would be on the trail again today, and the next day… The energy and the expectation would be there.
The AVL Camino now has a Facebook page. Join the group and learn the next time that we’re walking the AVL Camino.