Sunday, June 7, 2009

Walking to Work

Yesterday morning I had a small little adventure. (I firmly believe, by the way, that such little adventures are needed once in a while to keep life interesting and fun). Anyway, for some time now I have been using my very long lunch break to take increasingly long walks in various directions near the office where I work. I used to take time to hide in a corner and read a book, but now that I have discovered podcasting (particularly the new Mormon Channel podcasts) I have started to put podcasts and audio books on my mp3 player and go on a little walk while listening to these productions.

Well after doing this for a while I decided that then next logical step was to try and walk to work some day. I picked yesterday after I had switched schedules with another employee so he could have the day off to try my little expedition.
For those of you who know me well you will hardly be surprised that I didn’t just do this off the cuff. Brooke helped me find a rout using Google Maps and I even checked the weather forecast to make sure that it would not be raining. The rout was about 6 ½ miles long and Google suggested that it would take about 2 hours!

Anyway, I woke up early yesterday morning and looked out and it was an amazingly beautiful day! So, I got dressed, ate breakfast, fed Hector and kissed Brooke goodbye and set out. At first it was pretty easy going because it was mostly downhill and in a familiar area with very little traffic. I was listening to an audio book on Naval History and was happy as a clam. Soon I came to Liberty Park, and I decided to try and cut across it. And I saw all kinds of interesting people! There was a lady in a burqa who was jogging, a very skinny guy jogging along with a very fat dog, a bunch of people preparing for the National Psoriasis Walk for Awareness and an older gentleman feeding a huge flock of Canadian geese.

After Liberty Park I turned down 1300 South and walked past the Baseball Stadium and TRAX station, and then under the freeway. This had been my greatest concern about the trip and the real reason that I had got directions in the first place. As all of you who are familiar with Salt Lake City well know, it is very difficult to get lost if you know the number address of where you are going. However, I was worried about finding a place that would let me go under the freeway without making me backtrack to try a different rout. Anyway, it went off without at hitch.

Next came perhaps the most interesting part of the trip. 1300 South turns into California Avenue somewhere on the west side of State Street and I found myself in residential area. I walked past old established homes with beautiful flowers (and yes, I am proud to say that I did stop to smell the proverbial and literal roses!), new Mc-Mansions, and some old run down and even abandoned homes. In some places the sidewalk was so overgrown that I had a hard time getting through without getting bits of grass and seeds all over my pants.

I saw all kinds of interesting things on this part of the trip. Roosters and chickens running around front yards, horses in a field, and even a car with a Hawaii license plate! Eventually I turned south and then west again on 1700 South and continued walking. Then I was suddenly I was back into familiar territory again! There was the Arby’s on Redwood Rd. that I had walked to a couple of times during my lunch break! Now it was only about another 20 minutes to pass the post office, go under the onramp onto the freeway and make it to work!

In total the trip took me just under the two hours needed to complete the trip. Now undoubtedly most of you who are reading this are wondering “why?” and “what did you hope to gain?” Aside from the exercise, fresh air and sunshine that I got I really don’t have an answer. Maybe it has something to do with the Clear the Air Initiative from Governor Huntsman that I had been hearing about on the radio. Maybe it was just to prove to myself and my coworkers that I could do it. And maybe it was just so that I could do something unique and somewhat strange!

I think thought, that I was motivated by one of my occasional moods where I need to do something in a self sufficient way. It reminds me of my first trip to Hawaii with my family when I used a kit consisting of two nails, a compass, a wristwatch, a straw, a protractor, a piece of floss and a lead weight to make some crude navigational equipment and try and find the longitude and latitude of the place where we were staying. (Incidentally I was within 90 miles- not very accurate, but not bad for an untrained 16 year old using home made instruments!). Not that I will ever need to walk to work every day or find my longitude and latitude, or any other of pretty useless but interesting skills and bits of information that I have accumulated. But it sure feels good to know that I can if I need to!

1 comment:

  1. What a great adventure! I enjoyed your description of the trip, and could picture your route very well. I think exercise in the fresh air is very important to our health, and as you pointed out, we really miss a lot of the details when we commute in our cars. Congratulations on accomplishing your goal and even enjoying it!! You have inspired me to get moving more!!