The Camino de Santiago, or “The Way of St. James”, is a 500-mile journey starting in France and working its way through the Spanish countryside and cities to the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims can travel the route in many different ways – by foot, bicycle, horse, or even by wheelchair. The book I’ll Push You, by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck, chronicles the journey of a man pushing his best friend in a wheelchair the entire way.
Our son, Hudson, who just turned one this September, is taking a similar approach, only in his trusty Bob Revolution Stroller. We’re calling it BOBpacking. Similar to backpacking, the BOB is carrying all of our stuff. All we have to do is push. When the terrain becomes extremely rough, Kristin (mom), carries Hudson in a baby carrier. The BOB continues on behind him like a trusted companion, pushed by Rob (dad).
Hudson reached the halfway point this past week, having traveled over 250 miles in 16 days from the cockpit of his BOB. Hudson’s journey so far has taken him from St. Jean Pied-de-Port in France, over the Pyrenees, through La Rioja wine country, over rocky terrain and narrow, muddy roads, and through countless cities. He has made dozens of new friends, both young and old, and is likely the best-known pilgrim currently traveling along the Camino Francés route. Fellow pilgrims have been extremely generous with Hudson, treating him with gifts on a daily basis, including cookies, candy, biscuits, and tiny scallop shells. He was even handed a fresh cluster of grapes by a picker at a locally owned vineyard. To top it off, a 103-year-old woman treated him to a serenade.
Hudson travels an average of 15 miles per day. He takes 2-3 naps and multiple milk breaks. He’s quick to share his award-winning grin and usually a high five “cinco” whenever we stop alongside other pilgrims. Having Hudson along on this family adventure has brought us abundant joy and support as we travel step by step, taking in the moments and being present, and as we grow closer as a family.
This is a transformative journey for Hudson. He is proud that he is able to greet the other travelers from the comfort of his stroller. Even though Rob is pushing, Hudson is able to carry the load and almost all the gear for our family of three as we make our way to Santiago.
You can track Hudson’s journey live through late October 2017 as he becomes one of the youngest perigrinos to ever journey to Santiago. You can also follow Hudson via daily Facebook and Instagram posts at #tinyshellcamino.