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Posts Tagged ‘walking’

 

To be outdoors and walking during Arizona sunrises and sunsets makes one feel good to be alive. — Photo by Pat Bean

          ‘The wisdom of age: Don’t stop walking.” – Mason Cooley

A Daily Ritual

            After retiring in 2004, selling my home, and taking to the road in a small motor home, I began a daily ritual that continues to this day. I walk my dog,

Mourning doves are almost a daily sight as Scamp and I take our morning walks. — Photo by Pat Bean

First, there was Maggie, a spoiled cocker spaniel who didn’t wake up until 9 a.m. and who didn’t like to get her feet wet. She was my home-on-wheels companion for eight of the nine years I lived in it.

Pepper, a sweet, gently Scottie-mix who never wanted to get out of my sight, came next and traveled with me for my final unrooted year before we began life in a third-floor walkup apartment, a choice I made because I like being on top and having a view. Six a.m. was Pepper’s wake-up time but she could be persuaded to sleep in for another hour before I had to get up and walk her.

Scamp, a Siberian Husky-Shih Tzu mix who is perfectly named and who has now been with me for a year, demands a 5 a.m. walk, and bullies me until I get up and take him for it. Thankfully I’m a morning person and am usually just as eager for the walk as he. But occasionally, especially when I get to bed late or spend most of the night reading, I get a bit grumpy about the early start to my day.

Living in a third-floor apartment without a yard of my own means these early walks are not optional. I call them my fool-proof exercise program. This is especially true since four more walks are required during the day as well.

But since its summer, and Scamp and I live in the desert where it’s currently hot as heck, our morning walks are the

Cactus is plentiful around my apartment complex, and one or another is usually in bloom. — Photo by Pat Bean

only ones of much duration. And these have been shortened in recent years because of the physical limitations that come with becoming an old broad. The long walks I used to have with my other canines is one of the few things I truly miss.

Even so, I find that if I’m observant, each shorter walk these days contains a special moment. Perhaps it’s the sight of a Cheshire moon grinning back at me between the trees as I walk down the steps. This morning, it was one of our resident great horned owls sitting on the pool fence and screeching a hiss at us as we passed it by.

Scamp was intrigued and stopped to watch until I finally pulled him forward. At 40 pounds, Scamp doesn’t much interest the owl, but my downstairs neighbor picks up her four-pound chihuahua whenever she knows this bird of prey is around.

Right now, the saguaros are beginning to bloom, and I have two large ones picked out to watch their day by day progress. Where I live is half city landscape and half undeveloped desert ridges and washes. Morning sights have included a bobcat, roadrunners, Gambel’s quail, and javelinas

Most months, it’s still dark at 5 a.m., but currently, the sun is just beginning to makes its appearance at this hour. Today was a bit overcast but the sky was full of lavender-tinted clouds. Scamp led us to the small dog park here in the apartment complex, and while he ran free for a few minutes, I watched a pair of mourning doves as they sat side-by-side on a high utility wire.

A cool breeze, like a gentle lover’s touch, ruffled my hair. It felt good to be alive – and have a dog that must be walked.

You can read more about Maggie and our morning walks in Travels with Maggie, available on Amazon.

Bean Pat: Listen to a great horned owl hoot, coo, screech and hiss. https://www.birdnote.org/show/voices-and-vocabularies-great-horned-owls

            Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

 

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Take a Walk

            “The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This was  a great ;pp[ walk, loop, mostly on a boardwalk, at Point Pelee National Park in Canada

This was a great loop walk, mostly on a boardwalk, at Point Pelee National Park in Canada. — Photo by Pat Bean

            It’s Good for the Soul

While I can no longer do a 20-mile hike, or even a 5-mile one, I do try to get out and walk every day. But while two to three-mile hikes are still on my agenda, I haven’t been taking enough of them lately, especially through amazing landscapes.

And this photo was taken during a recent walk up Ramsey Canyon, an hour and a half away from my Tucson apartment. Nothing gets much better than walking beside a gurgling stream as it ripples its way down a canyon. - Photo by Pat Bean

And this photo was taken during a recent walk up Ramsey Canyon, an hour and a half away from my Tucson apartment. Nothing gets much better than walking beside a gurgling stream as it ripples its way down a canyon. – Photo by Pat Bean

I realized this while looking through my photos of paths I’ve once hiked, which I did after stumbling on the post that gets today’s Bean Pat. The photos inspired me to look for more such paths, especially short ones, that might at least let me work up to 6-mile ones again

Now here’s what a few other people have to say about walking:

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. – Fredrich Nietzsche

            “I understood at a very early age that in nature, I felt everything I should feel in church, but never did. Walking in the woods, I felt in touch with the universe and with the spirit of the universe. — Alice Walker

            “Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.” Thomas Jefferson

            “Walking is Magic… I read that Plato and Aristotle did much of their brilliant thinking together while ambulating. The movement, the meditation, the health of the blood pumping, and the rhythm of footsteps… this is a primal way to connect with one’s deeper self.” – Paula Cole

            “I don’t know what my path is yet. I’m just walking on it.” – Olivia Newton John           

And just for laughs, and because I’m a transplanted Texan: “Some folks look at me see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called Walking.” – George W. Bush

Bean Pat: 28 Magical Paths http://tinyurl.com/j6mwd34 I got this one from a Stumble Upon recommendation. If you hike, you’ll love it.

 

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Walks by the Water

Water and birds often go together, just one more reason I like walking beside water. I found this great egret at the Sea Center in Lake Jackson, Texas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Water and birds often go together, just one more reason I like walking beside water. I found this great egret at the Sea Center in Lake Jackson, Texas. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” – John Lubbock

Wet Your Eyes and Drink in the Ripples

I’ve been told that a monsoon is coming to Tucson soon. It’s hard to imagine as I pass by dry gullies and creek beds — and even rivers with nary a drop of water to be seen.

sight.

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         “Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” — George Eliot

Think all doves do are coo. This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. -- Photo y Pat Bean

Think all doves do are coo? This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. — Photo y Pat Bean

Letting my Mind Wonder as My Legs Wander

            I’m recovering nicely from my broken ankle, but still not up to the adventure of a trail hike. Instead I have to get my kicks from walking on level ground. Mostly, on the four daily 15-20 minute walks I take with Pepper around the apartment complex, she and I retrace the same territory over and over.

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. — Photo by Pat Bean

But each walk is different because of the people we meet along the way, a suddenly blooming plant, an old sight seen in a new way, the variety and activity of birds at the time, and always the varying thoughts in my head.

My best and brightest or most absurd and ridiculous ideas bounce through my brain like a ball in a pinball machine when I’m walking.

Pepper, who sniffs every twig, every new flower and urine bulletin board messages left behind by her doggie colleagues, always adds a layer of fun to the walks.

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

So far she’s never met another canine or human whom she didn’t like, although thankfully she’s come to know which four-footed and two-footed beings don’t want anything to do with her, and has learned to sit quietly by my side while they pass.

Dogs, I’ve come to believe, have much better instincts than we humans

But a smile or a tail wag from any of our apartment neighbors is enough to make her deliriously happy and playful. She is forever bringing smiles to my face.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Like a moment from Midsomer Murders: http://tinyurl.com/d2rrved  A First of May sunrise. I suspect the reference to Midsomer Murders is because there is always one village celebration or another taking place in the English TV mystery series, which is one of my favorite shows. The blog’s title is what caught my attention, but the photo is awesome.

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 “This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy. – Susan Polis Schutz

While the walk across Frank Jackson Lake and the exploration of this island wasn't a lengthy one, it was an interesting one. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 And Scenic Places to Park Gypsy Lee

I had a great view of the evening's sunset from the Gypsy Lee's rear window. Discovering Frank Jackson Park off a less traveled road was a great find. -- Photo by Pat Bean

State Parks top the list of the places I prefer to spend the state when traveling. These days, most are set up for RVs. The sites are almost always larger than those of commercial parks with the bonus of usually providing access to hiking and biking trails.

The South, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are all full of especially nice parks.

Alabama’s Frank Jackson State Park, was one I cam upon unexpectedly on Highway 9/331. I had planned to drive farther this day, but stopped instead — and stayed for a couple of days.

My camp site even came with a cable TV hookup, although I didn’t use it. The cement pad that backed right up to the lake was also a nice touch – as you can see.

Bean’s Pat: Earl’s World http://earlrrichardson.wordpress.com/ A person who can simply walk out into his backyard and find nature’s treasures is my kind of person.

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