MORONGO VALLEY — Bruce Guthrie started his higher education at College of the Desert in 1971, a few years after he graduated high school, but then he started a job, got married and didn’t finish his education, until now.
This June, the Morongo Valley man graduated magna cum laude from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies and minor in environmental studies. He retired from the post office in 2009 and said finishing his degree was something that has always been on his mind.
With his degree achieved, his adventure is just beginning.
Guthrie spent time in Spain in 2015 when he volunteered two weeks in the pilgrim office in Santiago in the northwest part of the country. He plans to return this fall, when he will walk the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. He will cover more than 620 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela before going on to the coast at Finisterre and Muxia.
Through this pilgrimage, Guthrie said he hopes to gain “a better understanding of myself.”
He said the camino provides everything for people and he hopes to gain just that. Not necessarily a religious person, he hopes to gain spiritual value from this trip.
“I am really looking forward to it,” he said.
Guthrie also likes the idea of a moving community and reconnecting with people at the end of the pilgrimage whom he met in the beginning of the journey.
Some walkers complete the Camino de Santiago in around 30 days, but Guthrie expects it will likely take him closer to two months.
“I want to do it for the experience, not how quickly I can do it,” he said.
After his pilgrimage, Guthrie hopes to finish remodeling his house in Morongo Valley, which he put on hold to go back to school. He also is looking at master’s programs, such as a Master of Fine Arts in writing. He is visiting Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, which offers a non-residency program where he could attend two weeks out of the semester on campus and take the rest of his courses online or over the phone.
He also hopes to visit Ireland next summer, maybe Scandinavia, and hopefully Spain again in the future.
First, though, there will be a brief look into the past. On his way to Spain, he will have a layover in Miami to attend his 50th high school reunion.