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Setting foot in a street makes it yours in a way that driving down it never does.” Nicholson is best known for his self-described “study of obsession and obsessives” in novels like ; he finds similar material among walkers like the artist Mudman, who covers himself in mud to walk the city streets, and Captain Robert Barclay Allardice (1779-1854), a Briton who was one of history’s first competitive pedestrians and who achieved the record of walking one mile an hour for a thousand consecutive hours. Just as no two walks are ever the same, no two books about walking are the same, either.But the act of walking is not new, so books about walking tend to tread (so to speak) on common ground.
It’s then that I’m reminded of my first year in the mountains, new, fresh from college, walking along what seemed to me to be a simple country road. ” Because it was inconceivable to these good folks that anyone would walk simply for the sake of walking.Gone are the RVs towing boats, the buzz of jet skis on the lake, the crush of cars heading north to Glacier National Park.Gone too are the hummingbirds and the bees, the snakes and the bears, the turtles and frogs and toads — even the woods take on a sort of hush.The question ripples up and down the chain of walkers, and one or two people raise the serious possibility of turning back right now.Their voices are bright with certainty, seeming almost to hold apart the foliage we are struggling through, making our way easier for a moment.On any walk into dense bush, at some point we ask one another, “Why are we doing this?” We could be at home, we say, where there is hot water and a flushing toilet.Dance is particularly integral, often synchronised between groups, and “point” dancing, where the dance moves match the lyrical content of the song.hen autumn comes to the mountains of northwest Montana, it announces itself quietly, mostly in absences.Author Rebecca Solnit, whose book Paleontologists, anthropologists, and anatomists have launched a passionate and often partisan argument over when and why the ancestral ape got up on its hind legs and walked so long that its body became our upright, two-legged, striding body.They were the philosophers of walking I had been looking for, speculating endlessly about what each bodily shape says about function and about how those forms and functions eventually added up to our humanity — though what that humanity consists of is equally debatable.