Colorado Front Range (Denver-Boulder) Chapter

The Colorado Front Range chapter of American Pilgrims covers the area between Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs, Colorado centered on Denver and Boulder. The purpose of local chapters is to keep members connected to the Camino and to introduce new people to the phenomenon. We plan to accomplish this in a number of ways, such as social events, walks, mentoring future pilgrims and serving as a local host for hospitalero training through American Pilgrims.

  • To offer opportunities for local pilgrims to gather and hold events related to the Camino.
  • To mentor future pilgrims, promote the pilgrimage and American Pilgrims through social gatherings.
  • To serve as a local host for hospitalero training in the Colorado Front Range region.

The chapter will be scheduling walks, talks, potlucks and much more! These will be listed here but you may also want to check the Local and Regional Events page for non-chapter events that may be of interest. Contact chapter coordinators Kris Ashton, Chris Petty and Gene McCullough at ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org for more information. If you'd like to be added to the chapter's e-mail list, click HERE.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

• If you'd like to be added to the chapter's e-mail list, click HERE. For information about the chapter and its activities or about membership in American Pilgrims, contact us at ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org.

• Looking for a day hike in the Front Range area? We'd suggest checking out the website Day Hikes near Denver! If you live between Larkspur and Longmont there will be something to your liking close by.

•  The chapter now has its very own sello! If you've already requested and received your credential, we can make an arrangement for you to receive your first stamp before you leave home. Just contact us through the chapter e-mail address, ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org. We will endeavor to have the sello at all chapter events as well. Don't have your credential yet? When you return to American Pilgrims' main site, click on Request a Credential. On the Request page read all of the text at the top of the page and then carefully complete the form. Triple check your entries before clicking SUBMIT. Errors result in delays and even non-delivery! (This sello doesn't actually do anything for you other than indicate that you're on your way!)

• Many peregrinos maintain blogs before, during or after their Camino. If any chapter participants have created one, let us know and we'll link to it here..

• You've arrived! You have your compostela. You've attended the Pilgrims' Mass. You've hugged the Saint. Now what? You need to scan through this blog entry by the venerable Johnnie Walker: 20 things to see and do in Santiago de Compostela

• There are a thousand and one packing lists out there but THIS is our take on the topic.

Hospitalero training in Colorado! While registration won't open until late summer, if you are interested in attending an hospitalero training session without large transportation costs, put Friday, October 13 through Sunday, October 15, 2017 on your calendar. The session will be at La Foret Conference & Retreat Center just north of Colorado Springs. A reminder that in order to take part in this training:
     • You must have walked at least 100 km (or biked 200 km) on the Camino.
     • You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of the training.
     • You must have overnighted in at least three non‑private (municipally-, parochially- or association-run) albergues on the Camino. If you haven't yet walked your Camino, keep this requirement in mind as you decide on places to stay.
     • You must be a member of American Pilgrims on the Camino. Many people are confused about membership in American Pilgrims — being on the e-mail list of a local chapter is not the same as being a paid member of the national organization. See the Membership page for further information.


EVENTS:
Scheduled Events: 

DENVER, COLORADO
Tertulias at The Goods
Third Sundays (January 21st) 3:00 PM - about 4:30

Tertulia? “Un grupo informal de personas que se reúnen habitualmente para conversar o recrearse.” “An informal meeting of people who gather regularly to talk about current affairs, arts, etc.” Well, we all know what “etc” means!

Past and future pilgrims are invited to convene for conversation, a small plate or two and a beverage. This will be a great chance for not-yet-veterans to talk with experienced pilgrims and for the experienced pilgrims to get some great ideas for their next walk. Or simply to talk about whatever comes up! The Goods Happy Hour menu will be available.

Mark Whistler, one of the owners of The Goods and a Camino veteran himself, will be our host.

The Goods Restaurant
(Immediately east of and in the same building as the Tattered Cover on Colfax)
2550 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO. 80206
Parking is available in the parking structure immediately west of the Tattered Cover or on the street.
Download the flyer

We hope to have a bunch of people at these informal third-Sunday events. Event day contact will be Chris at 563-505-6105 or Kris at 720-733-6750. We look forward to seeing a bunch of you there!

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JIM CREEK, WINTER PARK, COLORADO
2 ¼-mi one-way XC ski/snowshoe outing
Monday, January 29, 2018, Meet-up options below

The Chapter is heading to the Jim Creek trail near Winter Park for its fourth annual snow outing! This is a lovely trail that collects snow early in the season and keeps it late.

We’ll suggest two options for meeting up:
Option one will be to meet at the upper end of the Wooly Mammoth parking lot (upper end under post AA) between 8:30 and 8:45 AM to assemble carpooling and leave at 8:45. This is a Monday so maybe traffic won’t be too bad — should be about an hour and a quarter from there to the trailhead.
Option two is driving straight there to arrive about 10:00. Take I-70 to US-40 toward Berthoud Pass and Winter Park. Beyond the bottom of the Pass, take a right at the first traffic light (opposite the entrance to the Winter Park Ski Area). Park right there — the trail starts at the “Bonfils-Stanton Foundation” sign.

This is a beautiful tour but we must offer the following advisements: This is winter in the mountains! The suggested turn-around point is 2 1/4-miles in but turning around at any point is certainly an option. This is at moderately a high altitude — the trailhead is at about 9,200 ft and the suggested turn-around point is just short of 10,000 ft. The trail is wide and not at all steep for about the first mile then it becomes slightly more narrow with a few steepish sections. All in all, it’s not terribly difficult.

This is winter in the mountains (!) and so the appropriate items should be in your pack:
Map and compass; Sunglasses, sunscreen; Extra layered clothing, gloves, cap/headband; Headlamp/flashlight; First-aid supplies; Waterproof matches; Repair kit for skis or snowshoes; Food for the day; Water for the day.

If you have definite plans to walk or cycle on the Camino for the first time later in 2018 and would like to receive a scallop shell and a blessing, just let us know through ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org. However if you’re leaving after March 24th, we would strongly suggest that you wait for our “formal” Shell Ceremony on that date. More on that later!

Click HERE for the trail map. Click HERE for REI’s winter checklist. And the Wooly Mammoth parking lot.

Any who are interested could convene at The Buffalo in Idaho Springs afterward to recover. We can sort that out on event day.

This is a snow or shine event — within reason! Actually the most likely reason to cancel will be too much snow – as in hazardous winter driving conditions. (If we decide to cancel due to forecast weather/road conditions there’ll be an e–mail the day before.) Although not necessary, you may let us know that you’ll be coming through ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org. Event day contact will be Gene at 303-999-5179. After about 9:00 that morning, phone coverage will be on again-off again.

(We tried this outing last winter and had to cancel that morning because Berthoud Pass was closed due to an avalanche. Should something like that happen again, we’ll have Hefferman Gulch up the Mount Evans Road from Idaho Springs as a backup.)

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BOULDER, COLORADO
Presentation: A Walk across Spain: A Journey through Time
Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 7:00 PM
(Also in Denver on Wednesday, March 21st)

Boulder REI  Store

1789 28th Street
Boulder, CO  80301

Join Camino veterans and Colorado Front Range Chapter coordinators Kris Ashton and Gene McCullough for a presentation on the Camino de Santiago, the medieval pilgrimage route across northern Spain. The presentation will cover the historical and cultural background of the Camino and the practicalities of walking the routes including distances and difficulty, packing lists and modern support infrastructure (lodging, eating, etc). Whether you have only heard of the Camino (or you saw the film The Way) and are looking for more information or whether you are actively planning your trip, this talk will be entertaining and informative.

This is an REI event, and while free, it requires registration with REI to guarantee a seat. This event usually fills! Click HERE to register. Contact the chapter through ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org for more information.

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DENVER, COLORADO

Presentation: A Walk across Spain: A Journey through Time
Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 7:00 PM
(Also in Boulder on Wednesday, February 28th)

Denver REI Flagship Store
1416 Platte St
Denver, CO  80202 

Join Camino veterans and Colorado Front Range Chapter coordinators Kris Ashton and Gene McCullough for a presentation on the Camino de Santiago, the medieval pilgrimage route across northern Spain. The presentation will cover the historical and cultural background of the Camino and the practicalities of walking the routes including distances and difficulty, packing lists and modern support infrastructure (lodging, eating, etc). Whether you have only heard of the Camino (or you saw the film The Way) and are looking for more information or whether you are actively planning your trip, this talk will be entertaining and informative.

This is an REI event, and while free, it requires registration with REI to guarantee a seat. This event usually fills! Click HERE to register. Contact the chapter through ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org for more information.

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DENVER, COLORADO
Fifth Annual Shell Ceremony
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

During the Middle Ages, before pilgrims left home they were afforded the benedictio perarum et baculorum, the ritual blessing of the pilgrim satchel and staff. Following in this ancient tradition the Colorado Front Range chapter of American Pilgrims is very pleased to announce its fifth annual Camino de Santiago Shell Ceremony. The purpose of this ceremony is to confer a blessing those who will be walking or cycling during 2018 for the first time. We will also present scallop shells to those first-time peregrinos.

If you will be walking or cycling on the Camino later in 2018 for the first time, please respond to this invitation (ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org) with the names and departure dates of those wishing to take part.

There are two deadlines for recipients: We will be ordering shells around March 1st and, while we'll order a few extras, we need to know the count. And the program with recipient names will be finalized and printed around March 17th.

Capitol Heights Church
1100 Fillmore Street
Denver, CO 80206

The Shell Ceremony will be followed by a 10-minute walk to Sienna Wine Bar and Small Plates for small plates (i.e., tapas), wine and conviviality.

All others – family members, friends, others in the Front Range chapter - are most cordially invited to attend and celebrate this occasion!.

Recent Events:

Saturday, December 9th: Eighteen of us had a nice walk around Barr Lake in the State Park of the same name. We enjoyed balmy 60° temperatures while East Coast chapters were madly cancelling events due to a rather unseasonable winter storm. 

Wednesday, December 6th: Our 4th annual Camino 8X10 ended up being a Camino 6 X 12 but that was just as well! We heard various experiences on the portugués, the del Norte and primitivo, the francés and the le Puy route in France. So many paths! Lots of good ideas!
Sharptail - Roxborough Trail

• Friday, November 23rd: A dozen of the Chapter celebrated in #OptOutside Friday with a hike of about 9 miles in the Sharptail Open Space Area and Roxborough State Park. Aside from the fierce headwind the last hour, we enjoyed weather beyond imagining for the last week of November.

• Saturday, November 4th: Nineteen members of the Chapter gathered for "Unpacking Your Camino: Camino Companions, Camino Stories": Reflections on the recent Caminos of three recent pilgrims. The stories, reflections, observations and lingering questions and concerns were all impetus for reflection by all present.

• Saturday, October 28th: Twenty-severn of our number did the loop in Littleton: Mary Carter Greenway — High Line Canal — Lee Gulch Trail, followed by lunch and great conversation at Breckenridge Brewery's Farm House Restaurant.

Staunton State Park, August 12th

° Saturday, August 12th: About 20 chapter members enjoyed an awesome day in the mountains on our fifth annual Camino de Staunton. That's for Staunton State Park! Chapter members Mark and Sandy Fisher once again organized a great route!

° Tuesday and Wednesday, August 9th and 10th: Chapter coordinators Chris Petty and Kris Ashton presented back-to-back talks on two fabulous walks in Japan: The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage and the Nakasendo post-towns route.

Are you interested in learning more about the Camino?
The Colorado Front Range Chapter Camino Mentor Program can pair individuals who have questions about their upcoming Camino with a nearby veteran who can answer questions. Contact ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org for details. Experienced Camino walkers and cyclists who would like to serve as mentors should contact us so that you can be added to our resource list. Potential mentors should provide us with your name, ZIP-code and a brief rundown of your experience including walking or cycling, which route and when. Also you can visit American Pilgrims on the Camino on Facebook for great dialogue, photos and a running commentary about the Camino from like-minded pilgrims.

If you'd like to be added to the chapter's e-mail list, click HERE. For information about the chapter and its activities or about membership in American Pilgrlims, contact us at ColoradoFrontRange@americanpilgrims.org.

Rev 12/11/17