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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-29-2005, 11:33 AM   #21
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Re: Walking in America

Dantien,

I had the same experience during my 6 week backpacking through Mexico trip. We walked a lot, frequently with luggage. We ate tons of stuff (mmm... mexican food). When we came back, I figure I had lost 10-20 lbs and 2 inches on the waist.
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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-29-2005, 11:41 AM   #22
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Re: Walking in America

Living in Europe or some other areas of the "Old World" can easily allow one to walk to just about anywhere you want to be. *Larger cities with good transit systems also allow more walking and less driving. *

Cities in the US were not designed around a small core area like most older countries. *Horses were the primary transport system in the US when these cities were created so distances between towns was more reflective of how long it took to get from one place to another on horseback. *Twenty miles looks to be a standard distance, on flat ground, for a reasonable distance to cover in a couple of hours. *It would take most of a day for a human to walk 20 miles.

The later the city was developed, the further apart many things became. *Housing was placed further and further away from the core cities and where many of the jobs existed. *Without good public transit systems, a car is about the only way to get you and your stuff around to all the places you need to go on a daily basis. * Add weather to the mix and tight work schedules and you far less time to simply walk to where you want to go. *And, as was stated earlier, crime is a major consideration for walking around in many cities.

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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-29-2005, 11:44 AM   #23
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Re: Walking in America

It's important to keep fit as you get older, my granny started walking 5 kilometres a day when she was 60. Today she's 97 and we don't know where the hell she is!
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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-29-2005, 11:48 AM   #24
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Re: Walking in America

Interesting tidbit: In my field of expertise - transportation engineering and planning - the accepted standard for what is "walkable" in America is 0.25 miles, which can be walked in about 5 minutes. That is only 2.5 standard city blocks. It is hard for me to believe, but I suppose it is true.
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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-29-2005, 11:53 AM   #25
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Re: Walking in America

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Originally Posted by justin
Interesting tidbit:* In my field of expertise - transportation engineering and planning - the accepted standard for what is "walkable" in America is 0.25 miles, which can be walked in about 5 minutes.* That is only 2.5 standard city blocks.* It is hard for me to believe, but I suppose it is true.*
If you live in the upper midwest in winter I would say that a 0.25 mile walk into a brisk 35 mph wind, which creates a minus 40 degree windchill, is about right.

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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-29-2005, 11:56 AM   #26
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Re: Walking in America

I guess you remember NC summers (you must have been at RTP?). 100 degrees F, 100% humidity, bright sunny day, no breeze. 0.25 miles does sound about right
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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-29-2005, 06:26 PM   #27
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Re: Walking in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Dantien,

I had the same experience during my 6 week backpacking through Mexico trip. We walked a lot, frequently with luggage. We ate tons of stuff (mmm... mexican food). When we came back, I figure I had lost 10-20 lbs and 2 inches on the waist.
Justin - Cool adventure - Mexico yet. What part? Used to backpack - Sierras, Northern New Mexico, and Northern Minnesota mostly, now the old bones can't do the ground anymore...my outdoor adventures now are day hikes or canoes and back to the lodge with a whirlpool, restaurant with a decent kitchen and red wine. Does cut back on the special remote spots, but finding a balance is my MO now.
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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-30-2005, 09:16 AM   #28
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Re: Walking in America

It is healthy...

http://walking.about.com/od/healthbenefits/
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Re: Walking in America
Old 11-30-2005, 09:23 AM   #29
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Re: Walking in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
Justin - Cool adventure - Mexico yet. What part? Used to backpack - Sierras, Northern New Mexico, and Northern Minnesota mostly, now the old bones can't do the ground anymore...my outdoor adventures now are day hikes or canoes and back to the lodge with a whirlpool, restaurant with a decent kitchen and red wine. Does cut back on the special remote spots, but finding a balance is my MO now.
I should have put "backpacking" in quotes. It was like the typical "backpacking through Europe trip that college grads do after graduation (except I did it over the summer while still an undergrad). We mostly traveled by bus for long distances (including 1600 miles from Raleigh NC to Laredo, TX on Greyhound - it as an "experience"). We crossed the border on foot into Nuevo Laredo, hopped a bus to Northern Mexico (Monterrey), went to Tampico on the gulf coast, then traveled down the gulf coast, stopping occasionally. We ended up in Veracruz, MX for a week (nice beaches and Caribbean atmosphere, and summer is the off-season apparently). From there we went to Jalapa (namesake of the jalapeno pepper, nice quaint college town, bohemian, very hilly, chilly at times due to high altitude). Then to Puebla for a while, then on to Mexico City (Distrito Federal or D.F. to locals) for about 10 days. Then we went to Cuernavaca for a week where I had lived for 6 weeks the previous summer for study abroad. Met up with the host family I stayed with and knocked back a few 4 for 1 coronas at the town square. Bumped in to some buddies at the bar. Took two side trips at this point to show my wife (gf at the time) some neat spots I went to while in Mexico a year prior to our vacation. The first was Tepoztlán (big pyramid after a 1000' almost vertical hike, lots of new-agey mystical powers there supposedly - think Taos, NM). The second side trip was to Taxco (old silver mining town - lots of cheap silver) I think for the day. After that, we went on the long bus ride back to Monterrey where we stayed for another 4-5 days or so to recuperate (I got pretty sick) before the long bus ride back to Raleigh.

I think we stopped at a few other places along the way that we decided didn't look too pretty, so we continued on, and as a result, I've forgotten their names. We made a general schedule of where we'd go before we left, but it changed from day to day depending on how cool a city was, or if we needed more time. We were exhausted at the end of the trip and decided to skip Queretaro and another city and just relax in a sweet little hotel in Monterrey. The route was a big loop around the northern, eastern and central parts of Mexico. We walked a lot, especially once we dumped our luggage off at the hotel. But 1-2 miles with luggage was pretty much the norm. We picked hotels mainly based on price, but tried to get in the center of the action.

Great trip overall, but we did get homesick at points due to culture shock. Very relaxing though. None of the typical one week vacation crap of getting up at 6:00 am every day to cram as much activity into your day as possible. We'd wake up at 9 or 10 or whenever the maid started knocking to clean the room. Go out for a pastry at the bakery or pick up something at a street vendor or the local market. Go check out something on our touristy list. Stroll through the parks, sit and watch people, lots of amazing museums and artwork (loved the murals). Went to the National Ballet. It was a very amazing trip that changed my life I'd say. I hope to do a similar trip again sometime in the near (and far) future.

Here's an excerpt from an earlier post of mine on this topic:

"My last vacation to Mexico was 6 weeks. My wife and I spent $1400 total. This was in 2000. This amount included everything we spent from when we left North Carolina till we returned (from buying souvenirs (lots of silver!) to the transportation to/from Mexico). We were very stingy with money. We didn't have to pay for health insurance, but I think we had to buy some pharmaceuticals. This works out to about $1000 a month. We stayed in crappy hotels frequently. We ate out a lot, went to some touristy things (museums, attractions, etc), travelled extensively by first class bus (they have cafes on those buses!!!). We also spent a lot of time relaxing and buying food at the grocery store/bakery. Getting by on $1000 a month in Mexico would be possible, but it would be lower class by our US standards. Double that amount, and you could have middle class probably. For $3000-4000/month, you could live the high life (within limits). Take a month off and rent a place down there to see for yourself."

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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 11:03 AM   #30
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Re: Walking in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin

"My last vacation to Mexico was 6 weeks.* My wife and I spent $1400 total.*
Argh! We are probably going to spend more than that for three days of skiing over Christmas. We just had the "save more or live now" debate over it last night. We always wait until the last minute to decide what to do. We are going to Whistler for three nights - about $450 for three nights lodging, another $200 or so for lift tickets, plus ski rentals and dinners out... argh.
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 12:11 PM   #31
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Re: Walking in America

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Originally Posted by Sheryl
Argh! We are probably going to spend more than that for three days of skiing over Christmas. We just had the "save more or live now" debate over it last night. We always wait until the last minute to decide what to do. We are going to Whistler for three nights - about $450 for three nights lodging, another $200 or so for lift tickets, plus ski rentals and dinners out... argh.
Well, obviously it is worth it to you, or you wouldn't spend the money on it! We debated at the time whether we could afford the $1400 to go on the trip (we were still in college). The decision to spend the money and go was one of the better decisions we've made. I knew I wouldn't have a 6 week block of time free for vacation for a long time after that.

My next "crazy idea" is a trip around the world. I figure it will take many months to do what I want to do. May have to wait till the kid is older and I can find time for a "sabatical". Hopefully I can do it before ER, which is a long way off still for me. But better late than never!
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 12:21 PM   #32
 
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Re: Walking in America

We went on our last ski trip last year around Christmas.* I say last because we got bored.* At night we were in our cozy room reading, but just thought "We could be in our cozy house doing this."* The music at the bar was deafening.* The skiing was fine, but we got bored with it.* Not really sure why.

We ended up leaving a day or two early, even though we had paid.
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 12:36 PM   #33
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Re: Walking in America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
We are going to Whistler for three nights - about $450 for three nights lodging, another $200 or so for lift tickets, plus ski rentals and dinners out... argh.
Gosh I miss skiing.

Could you achieve the same effect by going out in your back yard, beating your knees to a bloody pulp, stuffing snow in your bodily orifi, and shredding $20 bills?

Oh, but then you wouldn't be able to share the experience with hundreds of strangers!
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 12:38 PM   #34
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Re: Walking in America

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
We went on our last ski trip last year around Christmas.* I say last because we got bored.* At night we were in our cozy room reading, but just thought "We could be in our cozy house doing this."* The music at the bar was deafening.* The skiing was fine, but we got bored with it.* Not really sure why.

We ended up leaving a day or two early, even though we had paid.
Hey Al,

What is with all the negative vibrations on skiiing? *We are trying to entice more ski bums here all the time to help us with our local economy. * *

By the way, it is snowing and all the resorts will be open by tomorrow. *Some already have a nice 5 foot base and are expecting another 2-4 feet by Sunday. *

I don't ski....you think I an crazy? *Even the bunny hills here are Black Diamonds most other places. *

Come and ski Utah......the Greatest Snow on Earth. *


As aside....the reason the snow is a nice fine power here is due to a couple of factors:
High overall altitude, dry air and mostly the Great Salt Lake. *The suspended salt crystals from the lake create tiny "seeds" for snowflakes but because it is salt, the flakes form in a small mass more like a ball bearing than a snowflake. *(Think about what that does under a ski or snowboard). * 8)

So, come on out and ski till you drop! *But be sure you spend lots of $$ while you are here. *I have a couple of spare rooms I can rent out pretty cheap * and I am only 20 minutes from two major ski resorts.
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 02:35 PM   #35
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Re: Walking in America

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Originally Posted by Sheryl
Argh!* *We are probably going to spend more than that for three days of skiing over Christmas.* We just had the "save more or live now" debate over it last night.* We always wait until the last minute to decide what to do.* *We are going to Whistler for three nights - about $450 for three nights lodging, another $200 or so for lift tickets, plus ski rentals and dinners out... argh.
So why go if it upsets you? Drive up to Baker, eat a box lunch, and sleep in your van.

Ha
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 04:38 PM   #36
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Re: Walking in America

DH ventured out today. He met with a former co-worker, who is also retired, and they had breakfast -- after that, they went for a 10 mile "walk/hike." It is wonderful that he now has the free time to pursue more meaningful life experiences. I walk on my lunch hours with my old-fashioned headset. Hoping to upgrade to a Nano this month!
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 05:34 PM   #37
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Re: Walking in America

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Originally Posted by HaHa
So why go if it upsets you? Drive up to Baker, eat a box lunch, and sleep in your van.

Ha
Oh, it doesn't really upset me. Sometimes I'm not sure it's the best use of the money, but I don't want to live for tomorrow and miss today. I do love skiing - Nords if you're good, you don't beat yourself to a pulp! I started skiing shortly after I could walk, and it's always been one of my favorite things, although I'm not really all that good.

It probably would be a lot less expensive if we'd planned ahead, but we never seem to think about these things until it's too late. I wanted to do something special, since this is the first time in my 45 years that I won't be with my family. My mom died in '04 and everyone has sort of scattered, since she was the center of all things Christmas.

So - it's worth the money - we will ski until everything hurts, have too much fun in the apres ski bars, collapse in the hot tub, probably never make it to dinner, then do it all over again the next day.

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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 08:48 PM   #38
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Re: Walking in America

Have fun, Sheryl

ha
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-02-2005, 09:47 PM   #39
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Re: Walking in America

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Originally Posted by Nords
Gosh I miss skiing.

Could you achieve the same effect by going out in your back yard, beating your knees to a bloody pulp, stuffing snow in your bodily orifi, and shredding $20 bills?

Oh, but then you wouldn't be able to share the experience with hundreds of strangers!
Not just any strangers, Nords. Some of those stangers are @ss%ole jerks. And if you are only shredding $20 bills, how can you expect to have fun? You have to start with $50's.
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Re: Walking in America
Old 12-03-2005, 04:56 PM   #40
 
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Re: Walking in America

Here's a fun story regarding walking during our St. Louis trip.

On Thanksgiving day, we didn't have dinner reservations until 5:30 PM, so we had to kill some time during the day. We wanted to go to White Castle, since I hadn't been to one since I was a kid -- DW never. We'd seen one during our one taxi ride, and I knew generally where it was. We couldn't find out if it was open on Thanksgiving.

So we decided to make it a quest to get to White Castle, even if it turned out to be closed. We walked to the Arch and then south along the Mississippi river. Soon we were stuck on one side of a freeway, and the area was getting deserted. We continue on, and were soon in among abandoned factories, not a soul in sight. If a bad guy came along we'd be in trouble.

We eventually find a road that goes under the freeway, and just as we're making it back to civilization, there, like a mirage, is the White Castle Hamburger place. And it's open.

It was a religious experience, and one of the main things we'll remember from that trip.

[img width=750 height=562]http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a39/TromboneAl/77WhiteCastle.jpg[/img]

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