Daily Promt: Be the Change. Take a Walk.

I want to change how people think about walking and where they walk.

When I tell people, I walk – they usually respond, “I can’t hike,” or “I wish I had the time.”

My responses are either “I can’t hike either,” or “I make time for walking.”

Santa Rosa Creek from Willowside

Santa Rosa Creek from Willowside

I can’t hike because I have arthritis in my knees, I have COPD and I’m not willing to go out for 4-6 hours.  However, I can make time for a 1-2 hours walk in some of the most beautiful country anywhere.

Most hiking or walking guides call an “easy” hike 5-8 miles with 500 feet of elevation change. If I take a 5-mile hike, it’s a mistake or it’s a once a year trek. And a 100-foot elevation change is a challenge.

Jack London Trail

Jack London State Historic Park

I’ve done over 110 posts. That’s about 55 different places to walk in Sonoma County, California. (I’m not done.) Some have hills and many have mountains nearby, but there’s a warning for those who don’t want uphill or a come-on for those who want a hike. Major hint for a short walk – only walk as far as you want.

The blog travels and explores the flat walks from Redding to San Francisco to San Diego to Yosemite.

Yosemite Valley and Merced River

Yosemite Valley and Merced River

To find those flat walks – anywhere – the blog provides general hints. Resources and guides abound from signage about creeks and watersheds, to the increased number of bike trails thanks to bike coalitions, to articles about restored landscapes that include hiking trails. Organizations with an emphasis on the outdoors often lead walks or have open trails in their territory. (My blog links to many local groups and resources.)

A growing emphasis on walking as a healthy alternative to an aging population makes ‘where’ to walk more important. I want to be in the thick of it.

I’ve included my husband’s pictures to represent the kinds of places we find to walk. While I stroll the dog around the neighborhood and take breaks to walk at work, I’m not otherwise walking up and down driveways and around garbage can and pickups. Walking isn’t just about exercise.

Above Wright's Beach

Above Wright’s Beach

Wildlife abounds, in gorgeous places and some not so gorgeous. I’ve seen otters along a flood control creek, also alive with turtles, kingfishers. egrets and herons. Walking along a flat ocean bluff, I have been eyeball to eyeball with gulls and seen brown pelicans skim over the ocean. I know where the best wildflower show is and when.

I can’t hike and I don’t have the time. But I can walk in some beautiful places. Walking inspires, relaxes, energizes, and renews me. It has changed me. Pass it on.

Ellis Creek Petaluma

Lynn Millar at Ellis Creek

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar

Photos by Mike Millar

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/daily-prompt-be-the-change/

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2 thoughts on “Daily Promt: Be the Change. Take a Walk.

  1. I too love walking! I recently moved from California to Arizona and have been lamenting the “loss” of what I thought was breathtaking scenery. I am now opening up to the beauty that exists in the desert. It takes time, but walking slowly allows me to let my senses absorb the natural world. Keep walking!

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