I’ll push you: Something to learn

As Patrick and Justin continue their amazing Camino de Santiago across the Meseta, the vast open landscapes push Patrick to reflect on this very special journey, what the Camino is teaching him and his future legacy.


By Patrick Gray

We have now passed the half way mark with regards to both distance traveled as well as time spent away from our wives and children. In this portion of the journey we find ourselves in the desert region known as the Meseta.

In the days up to now, we have required assistance in various situations including climbing a vicious hill and had the joy of meeting up with a fellow Idaho native named Joe, who pushed the majority of the day when we walked together.

But now there is little need for assistance and Justin and I often find ourselves alone in the vast expanse of the Meseta where miles seem endless and landscape never seems to change.

We have been told that the first third of the Camino is physical and the second is mental. I appreciate that now. When you are wrapped in silence and unchanging landscape with headphones in, you frequently find yourself alone with your thoughts. All the questions, doubts, and fears you don’t have to face when distracted by something as simple as changing horizons are suddenly very present.

While I don’t think the Meseta itself is teaching me anything directly, it is forcing both of us inward, and for me looking inward is challenging.

The other morning we spent extensive time in an old monastery in Carrion de los Condes and as I looked at the building, the carvings, the sarcophagus for each family member; I thought about how those items and carvings where someone’s legacy…what they have left behind.

I want to leave a legacy that demonstrates compassion, love and beauty, but haven’t necessarily done that well. While I don’t have the answer worked out just yet, I plan on doing so from here on.

This experience is the start of something grand and it is teaching me so much that I can’t wait to share. While I might be the horsepower behind Justin, I know that being here is not something I ever would have chosen on my own. He pushes me in ways I can’t adequately describe, but they are beautiful and I hope that others can see that, embrace it, and become better at life because of it.

As the Meseta is coming to a close, I am looking forward to new terrain and the beauty of Galicia. However, I want to hold on to these thoughts and the wrestling that is going on inside my mind. I am being pushed in ways I never could have imagined and look forward to sharing more as we continue the path to Santiago.

*You might also want to read Patrick and Justin’s previous blog post: 

Part 1 – The Journey Begins

Part 2 – Mountains and Valleys

Part 3 – Familiar Faces

and their next step:

Part 5 – Bittersweet 


  1. By Denise Matos

    Amazing, inspiring and just simply beautiful. I was just made aware of this journey via watching you both on a television program. I was so blessed to hear your story and I too wanted to take this journey years ago when I saw the movie Emilio Estevez and dad Charlie Sheen did based on this journey. Wow I thought this is amazing. I would love
    to be a part of that journey. Watching both of you accomplishing this was a testimony of the love you both share for one another. Thanks for the inspiration knowing that people dealing with a physical condition can continue to aspire for more and want to achieve it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. By Margaret

    I think it’s a lovely blog. It’s hard when you are out on the Camino to keep everything going, I found keeping my own little diary difficult at times. Well done guys, amazing.

  3. By mae murphy

    very inspiring

  4. By Maria

    Hi Colin, sorry to hear you are disappointed by Justin and Patrick’s blog updates but you must understand they had limited time while on the way, as you can imagine. As well as limited access to the internet. We’ll be hearing more about their incredible trip, as well as seeing the full video of their experience, once they are back home. Stay tuned!

  5. By Colin Herring

    The ‘blog’ is a letdown (five entries and a half dozen pictures) and feels a little weird considering the heroic and dramatic nature of the experience.

  6. By Mia

    What a wonderful journey you are on. I became newly abled due to a rare inherited disorder and resulting surgery.
    Your voyage is inspirational.Thank you for sharing it. I can no longer do what I was able to do, but I am still able to send cards to friends who need encouragement. Thank you for brightening my day. Safe travels!

  7. By Bev

    Saw the article in Yahoo News and you were one more reason I have to take stock of my life! What a wonderful friendship you have (& supportive families also).
    I will pass on something that I think is worth looking into. [if u listen to her suggestions for eating to feed your mitochondria & brain cells, you’ll be much healthier (even if disease doesn’t go into remission)]. Dr. Terry Wahl’s (see her website, TEDx Talk, or look at her books on Amazon) has Secondary-Progressive MS & had gotten to point where she had to do her rounds at the hospital in a tilt wheelchair. She had taken all the meds & advice the specialists had suggested/prescribed, but was getting worse & was afraid she’d soon be bedridden. She decided to become a human guinea pig of sorts by looking @ successful results of studies that had been trialed on animals, but not humans (yet).
    Long story shorter, she’s out of her wheelchair, riding her bike to work, etc! The foods she came up with that nourished her brain/mitochondria to the point of lessening some symptoms are easy to buy and not that expensive (except maybe the grass fed meat).
    Best wishes… our “life is but a vapor…” so look for the eternal!

  8. By Jan M.

    This facinating journey will be full of adventures & change your lives in many ways. God bless you both and give you a safe trip. I hope to hear more about it.

  9. By Mae Murphy

    thankyou so much for sharing your journey with me. although I am not being pushed on a camino, I have my two daughters and a lifelong friend. who have been pushing me through a new way of living. your story gives me strength to carry on.

  10. By carolyn leetch

    Gives me goosebumps to see the ultimate in love in a friendship, the perseverance of one afflicted, and the dedication of a friend. Priceless. And how they help each other.

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