Back to Books . . . Here’s a recent publication from Oregon State University Press called Walking Distance – Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People by Robert and Martha Manning. The Book is an introduction to (and not a thorough guide for) various long distance walking trails throughout the world. Some of them are famous such as the John Muir Trail, the Kaibab Trail, and the Milford Track, but most of them are more obscure, and can be found in places that would be fascinating to visit even without a long distance trail, such as the Long Trail in Vermont, the Camino de Santiago in Spain, or the South Downs Way in England.
The opening of the book is a reminder of why people should walk and includes many great quotes on the subject throughout the book. The photography and the maps are excellent. Of the many thought-provoking quotes in the book, I think I like the following one the best:
“It is solved by walking.” – Latin Proverb
Because of its Latin origin, it harkens back to a time when walking was much more of a necessity than today, but it also alludes to the idea that walking can be not only pleasurable, but a productive use of our time. We are always thinking of arriving at our destination as quickly as possible, but we are missing the problem-solving-rhythm that walking can induce. The pace and the time of a walk allows our brains to wander into the more constructive and creative territories of our minds where we can find a solution to a current dilemma, or maybe just enjoy the moment.
One day, the Great Plains Trail will be a special place to do just that!