I’ve not done a lot of exploration since my return from my vacation trip in June. Yes, there’s been some, but not much. While there are various reasons I’ve not traveled, it doesn’t mean I’m not getting outside. The world is just outside my door, and I’ve been indulging in walks.
Where isn’t terribly important. When is whenever I can fit it into my schedule. If its a place I drive to, I find a place I can park the car and walk along the road. I find churches are generally a good place to park, as they have vacant parking lots on weekdays. If I am walking before or after work, I’ll bring a change of socks and shoes. I have no need for poles, and if the walk is short enough I don’t need to bring water.
I walked as a child. And I walked everywhere. Walking, especially on a road, isn’t done any more. It should be. Yes, I know there’s more auto traffic now than four decades ago, but its not especially dangerous. As a child I learned to walk facing traffic on the shoulder, and in places where the shoulder is narrow or non-existent I walked on the edge of the traffic lane. If a car needed space I stepped onto the grass next to the road. The rules haven’t changed. Fortunately most country roads are low traffic, which makes encounters with cars infrequent. And if there’s a sidewalk, I’ll walk on that.
The pleasures of a walk in the country are different than a hike in the woods. The animals are more likely to be domesticated and fenced. The surface is pavement. I pass buildings instead of boulders. But its a chance to look at a world you never notice traveling at 45 MPH in a metal and plastic box. I feel the sun on my face, or see it set. I feel my body in movement. And I am part of the environment, not passing through it. I’m part of the scene below, a scene I’d never have noticed before the wheel of my car.