1) Can I really walk 35 miles in 2 days?
With a reasonable amount of training and a willingness to suffer sore legs and blisters you can! If you are between 16 and 36 years old and in decent shape you probably can do it without a lot of prep, as long as you don’t mind a little pain. We recommend training by walking 3 miles at least 3 days a week and 5 to 10 miles on one of the weekend days and maintaining a speed of 3 miles per hour. The more weeks you train in advance the easier it will be for you. Remember, this is a pilgrimage and we can always offer up our suffering!
2) How do I prevent blisters?
Train as much as you can with the shoes you will wear. Since moisture and friction are the cause of blisters we HIGHLY RECOMMEND merino wool hiking socks. They are not scratchy and effectively wick moisture away from your feet. As soon as you feel foot discomfort you should put a band-aid or moleskin on the area. Airing out your feet on breaks also helps. Pack a pair of sandals or flip flops with your camping gear to further air out your feet in the evening.
3) What if I find myself unable to keep up?
We will have a shuttle vehicle that can take you to the next rest stop to allow you to recoup.
4) Are families with children welcome?
Absolutely! This is a Catholic event! We do not recommend attempting the entire 35 miles with pre-teens, but leave the judgment to parents. For younger children a jogger would be good to have. Some parts of the route would be difficult with a stroller. Parents could alternate walking with kids while the other follows the route with a vehicle. All minors must have a designated accompanying adult.
5) What if I do not want to camp?
Carpinteria has a number of hotels to choose from that are not far from St. Joseph's Church. RV camping in the church parking lot is allowed.
6) What do I need to bring for camping?
A tent (unless you want to sleep in the open), sleeping bag, and camping pad. Please have these items labelled with your name and phone number, ideally in a single duffle bag or backpack with whatever clothes you may need. We will transport these items from SB to Carpinteria and to Ventura.
7) What do I need to bring with me while walking?
DEFINITELY A HAT AND SUNSCREEN. You should only need a daypack for a water bottle and your snacks, a long sleeve shirt for breaks, and any other personal items. Trekking poles or walking sticks can be helpful.
8) How will I get back to Santa Barbara for my vehicle when it is over?
We will provide a shuttle service from the Ventura Mission, after mass and dinner are over. If you want to go sooner you will need to make your own arrangements, possibly carpooling.
9) Any other rules or guidelines?
We ask that you not smoke while walking or close to others during the non-walking time.
No alcohol is allowed except for the final dinner Sunday night.
Please follow all traffic laws and the directions of any of the staff while walking.
Please be respectful of all non-participants and show Christian charity to any who may voice opposition. Your participation is a form of evangelical witness as was the life of St. Junipero Serra!
Please no signs or flags, this is a spiritual pilgrimage, not a political protest. Images of St. Junipero Serra are welcome!