Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Reminder: You Could Walk

Tweet from Richard Masoner corroborating my feat of walkmanship
I suppose had I not been bitten by the cycling bug in my childhood years I may have become an advocate for walking. I don't talk about it much on here, but I've walked some pretty long distances in one go during my lifetime. This all came to mind this past week on Twitter when a cycling advocate I follow on Twitter was bothered by the lack of cycling options from McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas to the Strip. 

This prompted my memory of going home from Interbike the last year it was held at The Venetian Expo, which if you are at all familiar with Las Vegas' Strip, is about halfway down that lit up circus show of the city. Anyway, I decided to walk from where Interbike was to the airport, and that route I chose was along The Strip. Not the shortest route, but definitely the most interesting one! I figured it was about five miles or so. Oh....and I did this after dark. Which only added to the adventure. 

But that was not the only time I walked several miles in one go. The first times were probably on some of my old paper routes which would snake around my home town as I delivered the newspapers. Then later I was out checking the mail for a rural family who were friends of my family while they were on vacation. My car would not start, and I walked about seven miles home. Then there was the time I forgot my keys in a Cedar Falls restaurant and had to walk from where I lived in Waterloo to Cedar Falls and back again, probably about 16-17 miles. 

West 50th and South Vincent during my long walk at Frostbike in 2015.

Then there was the infamous walk in 2015 during Frostbike. I walked around 90-ish city blocks, (approximately 12+ miles) in the middle of the night, severely under-dressed in 17°F temperatures in about 3-4" of fresh snow. 

So, yeah....I'm not afraid of a 'long walk', and I realize that other folks walk much longer distances, but most folks won't even walk across a parking lot, and instead they choose to be fighting for the closest parking space to the front door, so they can avoid walking as much as possible. 

I find that to be 'anti-human' actually. We were made to walk. Not sit on our butts in a chariot of plastic, rubber, and steel hurtling down a paved causeway at breakneck speeds. But then again, I am probably the odd-man out here. Walking, to my way of thinking, is natural and as necessary as breathing air. More necessary than riding a bicycle, dare I say. 

So, I just wanted to put in a plug for the odd walk here and there. I hope that you get out for one soon...

UPDATE:  I forgot about another crazy walk I did once, but today I was reminded of it because I was walking in the same vicinity that this walk went through. So, a quick addendum....

This must have been the mid-80's, but it was New Year's Eve and I had gone out with friends to hit several parties. Instead of bundling up, I only wore a long, wool dress coat, a stocking hat, and I believe that was it. I didn't want to have to keep track of gloves or wear boots that evening despite the fact that it was windy and snowing heavily. 

My friends ended the evening by going to their apartment, which was all the way across town from where I lived, and they refused to take me home then, saying that they were too tired and too drunk to do so. I, being just as stubborn and drunk, decided I'd walk home. So, I trudged as straight a line back home as I could, which took me out into open country, and across a stream, which wasn't frozen over, by the way! I waded across this short crossing, getting wet up to my knees. The snow was flying, and the wind was out of the Northwest. I had an icicle form off my left ear lobe! When I got back to the house, an 8-10 mile walk, I am not sure about the distance, I had to kick my Chuck Taylors against the cement foundation to break off enough ice to get out of my shoes! 

Dumb, and I was very lucky not to have died, much less escape frost bite, so I get that. But it was another example of my willingness to walk. 


teamdarb said...

I always tip my hat to people who walk. I am too lazy for it. Despite, I do find myself walking to points which make folks scratch their heads. A few years ago for no reason, I sent a bike ahead and walked from Fort Campbell, KY to Savanah, GA. People thought I was crazy. Yeah, I could have hopped on the bus, plane, or ridden the bike. I have even done the commuter walking, walking from S.E. DC to Bethesda, MD for work via bike route and alley. You will beat the traffic and metro often. I also walked across Lake Erie back during the '13/14 Polar Vortex winter from Canada into the park at Erie, PA. The drama that caused was epic.

Guitar Ted said...

@teamdarb - That's an awesome walking resume'! I'd love to hear more about the walk across Lake Erie. What an experience that must have been!

teamdarb said...

The Lake Erie walk was done out of ignorance for how dangerous it really was. I later found out I was lucky to not have fallen through a snow cave or get lost. I had no fear and it was slow going. The wind chill with no wind block were next level. I could have gone blind from ice forming over my lashes. That was with wearing dark sunglasses, not googles. It was done to feel what people would have gone through escaping America on the Underground Railroad. In reverse direction, obviously. It was easy to see how one could be confused hearing all the voices travelig across the ice or falling through snow cave pockets. It was on the news and several articles. Someone referred to it as a "stunt". Once the word got out I was traveling the UGRR from freedom to slavery, the narrative changed to make me out as some kind of hero. Which may sound cool until they start asking for your credentials and sponsors.

Guitar Ted said...

@teamdarb - I understand that you weren't fully aware of the dangers, but I'll wager neither were the slaves that ran that route North. So, an authentic experience, I would say. Very interesting!

I find the voices part very interesting. I know I have experienced hearing conversations across glass smooth lakes as if I were standing next to the people talking. It is a very strange sensation. I don't know if what you are referring to is similar or not.

Thank you for sharing that. I find it intriguing.

teamdarb said...

Yes, we are referring to the same voice exp. I found myself several times looking over my shoulder expecting someone to be there or feeling like I was super close to shore.

Guitar Ted said...

@teamdarb - Whoa! That raises the hair on the back of my neck just thinking about it. Wow!