Sunday, August 30, 2009

Backpack45.com Oldest US based Camino website still active?

I've thought this was true for some time, but decided to do some checking with the wayback machine, etc. After some poking around, decided to expand this to a short history of the online/internet English language sources of Camino de Santiago information.

2000, when I was searching for information, I found two sources. The GoCamino listserv was the best, but the Online Telegraph provided good basic information. Around that time the St. James Yahoo Group existed, but I didn't find it.
It was an outshoot of Caminho de Santiago de Compostela website - the Brazilian based site said to founded around 1996, but its first appearance on the wayback machine is Sept 14, 2000.

The US based GoCamino listserv was setup by Maryjane Dunn and Linda Davidson, and had a supporting website - Friends of the Road to Santiago. Both the listserv and website ceased to be active in Aug of 2004 as the founders moved on to other interests. GoCamino was reborn as an oakapple.net listserv a few months later and all the GoCamino listserv archives can be found there.

The British Confraternity of St. James has maintained a site since Oct 11, 1999 and now has a wealth of information, but in 2000 it was minimal.

The Yahoo Group Santiagobis has been around since Oct 19,2000 and has been consistently an excellent source of information. European based, but pilgrims worldwide participate.

Aug 14, 2002 the Canadian Little Company of Pilgrims website started. This site has a strong Canadian focus, so has not attracted much US participation.

Backpack45.com was setup on May 24, 2003 as a way of giving back for all the support we got while on our pilgrimage in 2001. We have continued to update it ever since, as we walk the French routes, and from Portugal. I have yet to find a US based site that started earlier and is still continuing.

April 6, 2004 American Pilgrims sets up their initial webpage. Oct 14,2007 converted to their new full service website.

May 12, 2004 Grant Spangler sets up the excellent US based msn group ElCaminoSantiago. That continued until Feb 2008 when Microsoft discontinued group support. He has since setup the website ElCaminoSantiago.com.

Dec 23, 2005 James Clem sets up US based ourcamino.com


Doing this post got me curious enough to do some more research. You can find the resulting page on our website: http://www.backpack45.com/camino-web-history.html

Insert to slow down blog thieves: ©2009 backpack45.com - ok to quote if credit given.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pacific Crest Trail - this year's trip




Toads, slugs, volcanos. People say that Oregon is just a fast long green break on the way to Canada, but that is not the way we found it. Some truly spectacular mountain wilderness areas - The Sisters, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood, to mention the main ones. It might have been 100 degrees down in Bend, but we had about a week of hiking most of the day in below 40 weather. Still, the ghostly appearance of 100 foot trees shrouded in the fog is worth seeing. Even Mirror Lake was beautiful, with mist rising off of it, and not a mountain reflection to be seen, not even the far shore.



This year we started at highway 58 in Oregon, just past Lake Odell, and finished in Panther Creek Campground, about 3 days into Washington.

In Southern California, lizards are always zipping away from your feet at the last minute. In Oregon it was small toads. Their color varied according to the terrain, but all had a faint yellow stripe down the back. Days later we went through a stretch where we saw more slugs per mile than anywhere else on the PCT. These were sort of a dark olive green.


Our one innovation this trip was cooking breakfast in the tent vestibule (very carefully) - a real luxury on those cold mornings.

Insert to slow down blog thieves: ©2009 backpack45.com - ok to quote if credit given.

I had better give you at least one mountain picture.