Woodswoman walking: a journey toward solitude
Merriman, Joannah L., author
Calderazzo, John, advisor
Thompson, Debby, committee member
Viney, Wayne, committee member
On September 1, 2013, Joannah Merriman, not at all a hiker, not really an outdoor athlete of any sort, set out to walk the Camino de Santiago from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. A card-carrying member of AARP, armed with a passport, a camera, a journal, and a deep desire to find solitude for longer than a day or a week, she began an 800 kilometer "walk" along the Camino Frances, alone and with the many other peregrinos who happened to be on the path during that time period. Throughout the six weeks of her personal journey, she discovered that the walk was much more difficult than she had imagined, and that she was much stronger than she had ever thought she might be. She met and embraced the Spanish countryside, her fellow trekkers, gratitude for a bed at night, sometimes in a room with up to a hundred fellow pilgrims, and most important, herself.
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