Recently, I laced up my Nike Pegasus and embarked on an 800-mile walk to visit California’s 21 Spanish Missions along the El Camino Real. I divided my peregrination into 10 months, taking four days each month to cover approximately 80 miles, with Amtrak as my chauffeur to and fro. Google maps and Ron Briery’s book, A Hiker’s Guide to California’s 21 Spanish Missions Along El Camino Real, were my compass. Prior to launch I sent an e-mail inviting friends and family to join me on any segment of the excursion. A surprising number said yes. What ensued was the journey of a lifetime!

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