Foot Bath. 6 AM.

This morning, I’m soaking my feet in epsom salts and lavender essential oil while reading a terrific book I was gifted for my birthday: The Emerald Mike by Kevin Fedarko, all about the history of the Grand Canyon and the river guides who run it. And the politics of dam building and conservation and a lot of other things. A great meaty adventure story. And Fedarko is a fine writer.

I’m taking the advice to rest my feet and let them heal in these two weeks leading up to my departure for Madrid. I’m still prepping for hiking the Camino, but not physically. I’ve done enough. I’m thinking about how I’m going to teach writing on this trip when our 14 pilgrims will be far too tired from multiple days hiking to have the energy or bandwidth to attend any kind of formal class—I’ve got some great ideas about how to weave the whole concept of pilgrimage into small daily on-the-go mini-assignments. Pairing that with Brenda’s sketching and watercolor lessons is going to be great. Each participant will receive a special notebook, good for writing and art, and a small art kit on arrival, and they’ll go home at the end of the trip with a personalized travel journal documenting their Camino.

I am so excited about the whole concept of this trip. Brenda and I have been dreaming of it and trying to make it happen for six years since we first brainstormed it on a Writer’s Journey trip to Peru. We had to cancel it in August 2020 and it’s taken us three years to mount it again. And it’s almost here!

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