Tuesday, September 29, 2009

American Cammino

Last week, an article in the Wall Street Journal focused on the increased number of hikers along the Appalachian Trail. Evidently, it is a kind of "marker" for the economy: people are out of work, have nothing to lose, so they "take a hike" on the ultimate American pilgrimage. Hikers find a variety of places to stay, and many farms and small businesses along the route will exchange a place to stay for a day's labor. It reminds me a bit of the ultimate European pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, from the Basque country of France to the tip of Spain. Not that I've done either (I'm not the outdoorsy type), but I have a sneaking suspicion that the American hike may be somewhat easier than the Spanish one, even though the Appalachian Trail is 2158 miles compared with the Camino's 486. (I've seen a good bit of the Camino!)
Has anyone done both?

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