Imagine a mile of this:
followed by a mile of this:
I’ve been walking somewhere between 2 and 6 miles a day, most of it either straight uphill or straight downhill. The place I’m staying is in a very walkable area with easy access to the Commons and Wegmans on level ground. When walking to get my groceries (either from the farmer’s market or from Wegmans), mass and volume purchased become a significant factor, and I think this has helped me keep my pantry and my menus simple and cut down on snack food.
Access is slightly less easy when it comes to Ithaca College and Cornell. It is common wisdom in Ithaca that one does not simply walk from the Commons to Cornell (nor into Mordor, but that’s another story), and most Cornellians have a tale to tell sheepishly about the one time that they did it, and learned their lesson. Ithaca College people, similarly, have the story about that one time that they missed the bus and had to hurry up the South Hill to make it to class. And I had these stories, too, when I last lived in Ithaca.
But if you are in shape, know what you’re getting into, and take your time, it’s really not so bad. It’s fairly strenuous, and I’d find it a lot harder if I hadn’t been running. It’s also fairly time-consuming—but I listen to podcasts, which pass the time pleasantly, and I figure that walking this much and on these slopes provides a perfectly adequate amount of aerobic exercise, so I’m not also going running for exercise, which creates more time in my day. It’s no surprise that the walk is significantly more pleasant when it’s under 80° than over, though even below 80° it’s pretty gross when the humidity is high.
I doubt I will find getting by walking to be as attractive when my free employee bus pass from Ithaca College starts working and/or it gets cold. Also, it is easier to knit on the bus than while walking. But until then, I’m hoofing it.