Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Live and learn - best to re-commit to that practice now!

As my Facebook friend Walkin' Don Moseman* emphasized, it will be of primary importance to '...listen to your body; pay attention to your body.'  Typically, I think I am already doing that.  And to some degree it's true.  But lately I've had the opportunity to further sharpen that skill...

Regular visits to the fitness center continue, and have been good therapy in many ways; however, a particular stretching exercise I've been doing seems to have had a detrimental effect.  Luckily I've noticed the connection, and found another way to do the same stretch.  Clearly, healing is happening now, with a little help from acupuncture and KT tape.  But here's the thing - it's time to resume those practice walks, and the question is:  how far and/or vigorously shall I exercise while still slightly injured?  The obvious answer - listening to my body!

*Walkin' Don has crossed the U.S. on foot multiple times.  On meeting him (a big, strapping, long-legged fellow of about 6'5") I could see why he was able to cover as much as 50 miles in a day(!)  My own ambitions fall a bit short of that!

Unseasonably warm night with no wind at all; at a bayside restaurant we actually sat outside - in December!

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Walk in the Park!

Yay!  Today was an important milestone, in that I took the newly assembled walking trailer for a 'test-drive' through Golden Gate Park to the beach (Java Beach Cafe, to be exact) and back to my house, for a modest distance of about 7 miles. I will now (formally) stop numbering practice walks, although there have been a couple.  Distance has not always been the main focus, and today was specifically for trying out the trailer, weighted with 35 lbs. of kitty litter(!) and approximately10 lbs. of other stuff.

Amazing!  This is such a brilliant piece of equipment.  It maneuvers very smoothly; I could even negotiate curbs without too much trouble and barely felt bumps on the paths/walkways.  Inclines were pretty easy, although I know that more weight would make a difference.  The only way I noticed my gait being affected, was that the natural swing of the arms has to avoid those handles when they're not being used.  Seemed like a pretty minor adjustment, though.  Suffice it to say that I was more than satisfied with the test outcome.  Check it out!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Colors!

Many inquiries over the past year finally paid off with usable info on the Climate Summit at the United Nations, and the preceding huge climate rally in NYC.  I was fortunate to be able to attend the rally - it was a great day - and I haven't heard any statements by the Summit attendees about how the week-long event evolved.  Did anyone in the media mention the Summit, except to cover the rally?  Well, it was a good trip east, with family and friend visits included, and a lot of trees changing color.

What now makes this walk one step more real is/was yesterday's delivery of my most important piece of gear - a walking trailer made in the Netherlands, by a company called Radical Design.  I seriously did not fine anything as well designed for my needs, and locally made.  Not even close.  I am quite excited about it and look forward to seeing it assembled!

Met another Bay Area resident in my same hostel.  And with the same Climate Flag.

I linked up with some folks from SF Zen Center

Monday, September 15, 2014

Practice Walk #5 and some musings...

Walk #5 to Tiburon by way of Sausalito happened as planned, on the 5th of this month.  A hiking-friend and I parted company at the Sausalito ferry, and I made it to Tiburon in time to catch the 5:00 (PM) ferry to the SF Ferry Building.  Another (approximately) 17-mile day.

Regarding the physical challenges of distance walking, especially over the course of days, weeks, and months(!):  Though it feels as if I am no longer young, I remember that I wasn't young on my last pilgrimage either!  Suffice it to say I am not one of those lucky pain-free individuals, but so far am encouraged enough to think that a combination of conditioning and faith might carry me along for a while!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Supports, Therapies and Practice Walk #4

The walk last week was a variation on my usual theme of crossing the GG Bridge, only this time I did it twice!  And realized that, iconic though the site may be, the walk is actually not very pleasant, being quite noisy and crowded.  It's worse on the southbound leg, as one is walking against traffic, and getting an extra dose of wind and exhaust...  Nevertheless, the plan was to walk to the library in the town of Sausalito and then reverse the trip, making it just a little shy of 18 miles (edging a bit closer to 20.)  A friend wants to take part of a day's trek with me this week, so I/we will be back on the bridge, with my ultimate destination being the Tiburon ferry.

OK, so we don't need any more photos of the bridge, but here are a few of my other support activities, for the sake of diversity!  

Fuzz therapy! - working with 'under-socialized' kittens at the SPCA

Since I turned 65 my gym membership is FREE(!) with the insurance I have...)

Running/jogging in the woods near my house.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Practice Walk #3

This third hike, taken last Friday, was also just about a 17-mile day.  I haven't yet managed to plan a longer walk that works well with transport home at the end of the day.  But I think that 3-4 more miles would be do-able at this point.  Friday's route was to Green Gulch Farm on Highway 1 in Marin County, a Zen Buddhist community where I lived for some years.  The hike included some trails over the hills in Marin and the weather was great - not too hot.

I am using and appreciating the walking poles acquired on the previously mentioned Spanish pilgrimage.  For next year's 'long walk', the plan has been to utilize some sort of push/pull cart, since carrying all gear on my back, including water, will not be possible.  As I walk with the poles it seems clear that this cart will have to work either way (pushed or pulled).  I have been looking without much success for something workable so if anyone has an idea (or knows of a local machinist who could fabricate something) it would be great!

A pretty crowded day on the GG Bridge
Surfers off of Fort Point

Miwok Trail 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

US Route 6 Walker

An east coast friend introduced me to this website:  http://route6walk.com.  It's about a retired newspaper man, Joe Hurley, who walked US Route 6, a highway that stretches all the way from Cape Cod in Massachusetts, to Long Beach, California.  (Who knew there was a single route across the entire U.S., and a walkable one at that.)  Mr. Hurley traveled from east to west, and had a photographer with him.  I am copying a couple of the photos below.  We have exchanged a few e-mails and Mr. Hurley has been generous with his offer of advice/contacts and so forth.

(Mr. Hurley has a book for sale through is website.  Photos are by Travis Lindhorst.)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Practice Walk #2

Although I cannot be as precise about the distance covered in yesterday's San Francisco loop walk,  I think it compares adequately with Practice Walk #1.  (It's on my agenda to acquire a pedometer that measures distance as well as steps...)

The route from my address described the 'northern SF perimeter', first over 17th Street to the Castro, and down to the Ferry Building via Market Street, and then along the waterfront from SF Bay around to Ocean Beach.  Most of this was along city streets, but there were trails in the Presidio and Land's End Parks.  Asphalt and packed earth are both so much more 'forgiving' than concrete, so I try (wherever it is safe to do so) to walk on the roads, in bike lanes, and on asphalt paths.  The return home was through Golden Gate Park.  I believe this amounted to 15 - 16 miles distance.  

It does not escape me that I have some gorgeous and panoramic scenery to enjoy while I'm working on strength and stamina.  Also, that I have a shower and a comfortable bed and the end of a day's work-out!  

Lotta's Fountain on Market Street

View from Ft. Mason

View from Land's End, with lots of pretty red poison oak in the foreground!

 Mile Rock and Pt. Bonita in the distance.

Ocean Beach from the Cliff House.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Practice Walk #1

Yesterday I took my first practice walk, from home in S.F. to the Larkspur Golden Gate ferry landing.  The route (according to Google maps) was 16.8 miles and took me about 6.25 hours, not including rest stops!  This was encouraging in view of my eventual 20+ mile per day goal while on the road.  Not surprisingly, I'm sore today, but feel good about the outing yesterday.  It's all about conditioning, right?

Andrew Goldsworthy sculpture in the Presidio.

Crissy Field overlook

Climate Flag created by a local 350.org group.  Mt. Tamalpais in the background.

Return trip on the ferry from Larkspur ferry dock.