Reading and Walking

Walking, Reading, and Reading about Walking

Walking for Fort McMurray

Just in case you think my walks around town are difficult, a fellow from Sioux Lookout, Ontario, named Stanley Barkman is on a 2,000 kilometre walk to Fort McMurray to raise money for that community after it was devastated by wildfires last month. Now that’s a pretty amazing walk. Barkman and his two friends have been on the road for a month already. Read about this tremendous walk here, and take a look at their Facebook page.

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Michael Leunig’s “How to Get There”

My Australian Camino buddy Neil Millar suggested that I take a look at Michael Leunig’s cartoon and poem “How to Get There,” and it’s too good not to share.

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I think that is how you get there: by keeping on with it, one step at a time. Thanks, Neil, for letting me know about Leunig’s work.

Another Walk Around Town

What would it look like to walk 32 kilometres–20 miles–around town? Today, it looked like this:

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It wasn’t the most exciting walk, I’ll give you that. I walked out to the east end of the city and ate a sandwich. Then I walked to the south end and drank an iced latte. Then I headed north again, towards home. Along the way, I saw lots of birds and flowers and rabbits and gophers, and even more tent caterpillars. In some places, the sidewalk is black with their droppings and the trees have been stripped bare.

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If it’s not the most interesting walk in the world, why do it? The answer is easy: I found out last summer what happens when you attempt a big walk without getting ready for it–you have to quit early because of blisters and exhaustion–and I don’t want that to happen this time. So I walk all over town, hoping the kilometres will make a difference when I’m on the road in two weeks.

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I ran into one of my colleagues, Craig Melhof, and we chatted briefly about what I’m up to and what he’s doing. And a young fellow at Starbuck’s–a pipefitter, originally from Ottawa, who likes living in Alberta better than living here because of the mountains–told me to make sure I take good pictures with my camera. I’m doing my best, although sometimes I know I need to take more time composing the shot than I do. I’m always eager to get walking again.

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Once again, no blisters, which is very encouraging. And I made it home before the thunder started! What else could you ask for?

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