A Million Steps: Kurt's 500-Mile Journey on the Camino de Santiago 

Tuesday, Jan. 14

One of the most famous depictions of pilgrimage comes in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, published in the 1300s. In it, a ragtag bunch of seekers hit the road for a variety of reasons: spiritual, social, economic, artistic.

It's no different with the 500-mile Camino de Santiago, which crosses northern Spain to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, and provides a modern spiritual journey on which people forget the hustle and bustle of cell phones and traffic jams to spend their days crossing the Pyrenees and their nights in shelters, tents and hostels.

Kurt Koontz traveled the Camino to heal. He was physically fit; he'd packed his bags with everything he thought he might need, but on the path through the Spanish foothills, he found himself addressing personal issues like his past as an addict, his recovery--and love.

Stateside, he wrote a book, A Million Steps, in which he recounts the details of his journey--the high Pyrenic meadows, the winds of the Meseta Central, dusty trails marked by the seashell symbol of the Camino--and makes clear what a pilgrimage can mean, even when it's not a religious journey, per se.

Koontz will be at the Idaho Outdoor Association Hall, Tuesday, Jan. 14 sharing stories about his time on the Camino, discussing the trail and how it changed his life.

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