Unforeseen Hat Trick. 

For the past month my brother has been visiting from San Diego. He has been very supportive of my Camino focused activities. He endured numerous visits to REI, which has become my supplier of choice (they will take anything in return for one year!) He has also had to tolerated my telling many Camino related stories. He has cheerfully joined me on a variety of hikes around the area, many of which neither of us had ever walked even though we both grew up in the area and I’ve been here my whole life.

One of the first was Sleeping Giant Park, just north of New Haven, where we joined numerous vacationing families as they hiked to the observation tower on a beautiful day just before Easter.

Another day Rick mentioned that he had never been to the top of East Rock, in New Haven. So we drove over for a visit and brief hike around to enjoy the beautiful view of the city.

With the end of the visit drawing near, we met an old time friend for lunch in Westville. Afterward, we went in search of West Rock Nature Center. We both have fond childhood memories of school and family visits to see the various animals and birds on display. While we succeeded in locating the Center, what we found was not the lovely gem of our memories but a very sad shell of the former facility.

We decided that as long as we were in the neighborhood we might try hiking up West Rock to visit the Judges’ Cave landmark.

I had just bought the backpack (yes REI) I plan to wear while walking the Camino. This seemed like a good opportunity to try it out. So we loaded it up with about 15 lbs of bulk and enjoyed a delightful hike on freshly maintained paths to the top. Neither of us had visited the “Cave” in 30+ years. While taking in the panorama we realized we could also take in all of New Haven and into Hamden including good views of both East Rock and the Sleeping Giant, in full repose.

Bingo! We had completed an unplanned Hat Trick of New Haven’s three peaks.

This very special month together is yet another gift of the Camino 🙏 Only 4 1/2 months till I leave.

Sadly Rick returns home tomorrow….

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