Walking Everywhere, and Anywhere!

Every now and then I will update this blog with thoughts about walking, and being a pedestrian in Southern California. As of 2014, this blog will also be featuring posts about my bicycle adventures around Southern California.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Beautiful Trees Spotted During A Walk In The San Bernardino Mountains

During Thanksgiving I took a break from my usual walks around the city to enjoy a few strolls up in the San Bernardino Mountains.  The golden leaves of the oak trees were truly mesmerizing in late November, and got me in the mood for the commencement of the holiday season.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Holiday Season And Walking Off The Pie

The holiday season is now upon us as we enter into November, but I have already been in a pie baking frenzy for over a month now.   A large part of this is because I have mass quantities of fruit that I want to preserve and use so that it does not go to waste, but I have also discovered that I really love making pies.  With all of these extra calories around the house, it is easy to put on pounds.  More than ever I am happy that I am a pedestrian so that I can burn off calories, and that I do not have to schedule gym sessions.

One of my favorite aspects of living in Southern California is watching the sun glimmer off the tops of palm trees, and witnessing a breath taking sunset as I am walking home around five or so.  If you are stuck in a gym on a tread mill you will never be able to appreciate those things.  Life is slower as a pedestrian, and I am thankful for this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pedestrianism Saves On Oil And Helps The Environment

Here is something I am seeing as a pedestrian during the presidential debate over oil prices, why not encourage more walking and biking?  Maybe if people were walking more and driving less, then we could save on gas.  I know I do not have to spend money on gas, and I can buy a bus ticket when I need to go on longer trips.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scary Walking Encounter

I am walking home minding my own business and I noticed a man in the distance.  At first he looked like a typical middle-age guy walking up and down the streets with his cherry colored shirt with the blue and white stripe, but his stringy gray hair flapping around under his black baseball cap made him character right out of a movie.  He scream at me unprovoked, "Go suck a ....you whore.  The next time I see you I will split your lip."

I was freaked out and kept walking, and a bit disconcerted such an individual said this to me at six o'clock in broad daylight next to a major post office, and across the street from several restaurants.  I refuse to let a drugged out homeless dude make me afraid to walk, and he went to wait at the bus stop after the barrage of words he poured upon me.

Honestly, I have never had an encounter that left me shaken before, and even walking in scarier parts of San Bernardino people never threatened me in this fashion.  It snapped me out of my reverie of looking at the palm trees and the mountains, but I am glad I could run pretty fast if this man had tried to chase me.  Today I am going to be hyper-aware of everything around me.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Walking For Health

Walking is the best way to keep your weight down and to focus on your health.  I lost weight a few years ago, and I finally learned to focus on my health by getting out and walking most places I need to go.  I do slip up and drink soda sometimes, but I try to remind myself not to do it by drinking water and eating more balanced meals.  Exercising can change your life, and walking is a great way to jump start your exercise routine.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pedestrians Wear Flat Shoes

Pedestrians and people who are on their feet wear flat shoes because this is what is practical.  I have been a walker all my life, and I shall continue to be a walker because it is my favorite form of transportation.  I love walking swiftly down the sidewalk, and heels make that harder.  When platform wedges were in style in the early 2000's I made the mistake of walking in those because I wanted to look trendy, and it always hurt my feet.  I cannot believe I once walked three miles in platform wedges, it is quite daunting to think about!

Then I got into my late twenties and realized I look good in walking shoes and a skirt, and that is how I am going to dress.  I am not going to buy pairs of flat dressy shoes that cut up the back of my heels, because even with minimal movement these always do.  Yes I try shoes on often, but my heels are very thin and always end up getting cut up.  Even with tennis shoes I have to be very careful, and wear certain types of sock.  So wearing flat shoes is perfectly fine, and men do it all the time.  I feel like I have so many opinions bubbling up to the surface as of late, but why do women have to be told heels are dressy when a guy would never wear those.  Tell men they should wear heels to if you think women should wear heels.  Sometimes I think women are more judging about what they think other women should be wearing then most men who could care less if women were walking shoes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Maybe Someday I Will Meet A Fellow Walker

For the most part I am happy being single, but if I am destined to ever meet someone, I think he might be a walker like me. I think maybe we will meet each other on a walk and talk about how we have both vowed to stop drinking soda, even though we occasionally slip once and awhile. There is just something about the idea of meeting a fellow walker, I am going to keep this a bit more in mind.

Monday, July 2, 2012

You Know You Are A Hardcore Pedestrian When You Enjoy The Summer Heat

You know you are a hardcore pedestrian when you can walk over three miles in the summer heat and it does not faze you a bit. However, I have been walking, running, and biking in the heat of Southern California my entire life, and my penchant for warmer weather makes this appealing to me. As long as I take my water bottle and wear a hat I am good to go! I remember about ten years ago when I was still living up in the mountains a repairman gasped when he spotted me emerging from the woods, and commented on how it was a hundred degree outside. "I love the heat I told him," and I watched his jaw drop.

The reality for me is walking in the summer heat in the city is really no big deal for me because I used to bike, run, and hike up in the San Bernardino Mountains, and during the summer months the barometer can rise on the backside of the mountain. The summer months were always my favorite because I did not have to dress in layers, which I have never enjoyed to be honest. Now that I am older I make sure to wear sunblock more often, shirts that cover my shoulders, a proper hat, and I am ready to go. When I see bikers training throughout the city I know I am fine walking in 90+ degrees, but I do not recommend this for most people. I just wish others would realize some people like to walk and train in the warmer months, and we do not let the high temperature outside keep us from enjoying nature. I live in a city with many palm trees and other trees, and it is almost like being in the woods when I walk along certain arbor laden parts of town. Of course I need to visit the mountains again soon, but living in a city with trees is definitely my cup of tea.
Abandoned portion of the Santa Fe Railroad with many trees growing nearby.

I still think about getting a bike because I spotted a cute one the other day, but I am quite afraid of driving conditions in SoCal. Until there are more bike routes in our cities, and drivers are a bit more cautious of pedestrians, I am going to keep walking. So if you enjoy walking, running, or biking in the summer heat, know you are not alone. Just remember to hydrate!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Black Sketcher D'Lites Are Comfortable

The other day I purchased these black Sketchers D'Lites at the shoe store, but I noticed these are a bit cheaper on Amazon.  I have grown fond of the Sketcher D'Lites because these are not clunky when I walk, and these particular shoes do not fall apart after just a couple of months.  Yes, as a pedestrian I have had some shoes fall apart after about three or four months, or begin to rub the back of my heel after that amount of time, so it is nice to find a pair of walking shoes that are both cute and durable.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Skip The Repetitive Exercises And Go For A Walk To The Grocery Store

Exercise DVDs and videos are a good way to stay in shape if you do not have time to go to the gym or for walks during the week, but do you really want to do repetitive exercises on your day off?  I found exercise tapes helpful in the past, but I got bored quickly because I like a change of scenery, and I like my workouts to have a purpose.  As a pedestrian I get both of these things, but even drivers can experience this by walking to the store on your day off.

If you live two blocks from the store you could walk there for a change of pace, and a change of scenery.  Believe me: you will notice birds in the trees, the man walking that fluffy dog, and a myriad or things you would never notice if you were zooming by in your car.

Once you get to the store keep your shopping trip small because you are walking back, and pack exercise into it by taking one of those carry around baskets.  I limit amount I buy according to what fits in the carry basket, which really helps you assess whether you need the stuff you are putting in or not.  With all the exercise you are doing you really will rethink purchasing that frozen meal, or that ice cream as well.  I know if I go shopping with a shopping cart I can push around that I will mindless throw lots of stuff in, but with a carry basket I just will not do that!

In repetitive exercise videos you always see those moves with weights, but I always found these boring!  I just do not feel like concentrating on lifting the weight to the side, and contorting my my arms behind my back.  As I said if I am moving about I want a purpose, and carrying the bags home from the grocery store I am lifting weights in a natural way, and my journey home gives me a purpose. 

They always say to take reusable bags with you, but I say it is okay to get the plastic bags at the store.  Do you know why I say that?  A lot of people think they are helping the environment because they use reusable bags at the grocery store, but then they have to buy plastic bags for their trash.  What I do is limit my trash to the small plastic bags from the grocery store, which are made of recycled plastic.  Now if they start charging for these bags I might start rethinking this approach, but right now I just cannot see the point of paying for a large plastic trash bag, which would take me weeks to fill, especially when I can cut down on my waste and throw it all in a small plastic bag from the store.

Monday, May 7, 2012

June Gloom In May

I know they call it June Gloom, but we often have overcast days in April and May as well. Actually, the last few days have been overcast with a bit of sprinkly rain here and there, but I am always expecting a larger rainstorm when the sky is gray and blustery like this. In other news I noticed they have finished cutting down a large portion of the orange field, so I am glad I photographed and documented it before those beautiful trees were destroyed.

There are still more trees that can be seen in he distance since this is quite a large field, but I just do not see the point of destroying perfectly good trees that are still bearing fruit. If they are planning to build a business in the cut down orange field this seems redundant as there are several empty buildings already, and one is a store that never opened. I am just way too much of a conversationalist/environmentalist, but I hate to see trees cut down when there are empty buildings that could have been used for whatever they plan on building. Oh well, I really do not have much of a say about this.

The Orange Field

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How Did Jaywalking Come About Anyway?

As a pedestrian I never jaywalk because I find this way too dangerous. There are some people who jaywalk across larger streets where there are no cross walks for about half a block, and I always find this practice way too reckless. I would rather walk two blocks to cross at a cross walk rather than putting my life in jeopardy to run across several lanes of traffic. Here is an article in the Atlantic that talks about how the concept of jaywalking has evolved over time, and it is very interesting to read. Honestly, I see people jaywalking on a daily basis, and these pedestrians seem to think nothing of the potential danger of being hit. Maybe I am overly cautious, but this walker is too afraid to jaywalk.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Walking To The Recycling Center

As I was walking my empty cans and bottles to the recycling center, it made me think about how I really want to stop drinking soda again. I have not drank soda for a couple of days, but over the last few months I have been drinking more of it than than I had for awhile. Even drinking juice creates bottles that need to be recycled, and even though I am recycling, each of these bottles still create a bit of waste. However, I often feel drinking tea is best because at least I am not creating lots of waste with this beverage, and it still takes energy to recycle bottles and cans. I sort of wish we could have milk delivery even, which comes with reusable milk bottles. I am not a big milk drinker, but it is good in coffee and baking.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pedestrians Have Leading Roles In Novels, Too

It was not my intention to write a novel about pedestrians when I started working on the rough draft over two years ago, but from the start I decided to make my main characters pedestrians because I wanted to write about people I could identify with on a daily basis. There are many books about cross country road trips and high-speed car chases, but there are not many novels about a single woman who happens to be a pedestrian. In my novel the leading man is also a pedestrian because I always felt that when I met someone I am compatible with, he will most likely have certain major things in common with me, like a penchant for not driving. Sure I met a lot of men on the bus over the years who asked me for my phone number, but to be honest none of them were really what I would consider relationship material. At this point of my life I am not looking for a relationship anyway, but I have enjoyed writing about characters who do not care about what kind of car they drive. My hero and heroine are more concerned with buying comfortable walking shoes, which is a refreshing change in the world of fiction.
Snow On The San Gorgonio Mountains zazzle_postcard
Snow On The San Gorgonio Mountains by Bearie23

Only a pedestrian could capture a picture like the snow capped Mountains of San Gorgonio picture above.  one of the perks of walking over driving.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pedestrians Can Look Good Without Resorting To Shape Wear

One of the reasons I have never been overly enthusiastic about shape wear is because it cinches you in, and is incredibly constrictive and uncomfortable. I am the type of woman who loves to wear skirts, but these will always be flowy with enough room to allow me to move around. Actually, shape wear usually only makes a person look like they lost a few pounds, and you can do the same thing by walking more often. Thus, pedestrians most certainly do not need shape wear since everyone can look fit and amazing through exercise, and by wearing clothes that are not so ridiculously tight. Actually, I totally advocate wearing a cute shirt rather than a constructive outfit, such as the one I have designed below.
The shirt above was designed with a photograph I took of acorns in the San Bernardino Mountains, which just goes to show all the amazing things you can see in the world when you are being active.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thoughts On Pedestrianism

Walking to work and to appointments is quite easy. Sure I could get a bike, and I admire those who enjoy it, but I never felt comfortable riding with traffic, which can be quite a bit daunting in SoCal. I am all about promoting pedestrianism in So Cal, and more than ever I am seeing more people walking to go places. Usually people just go for a walk or a run for exercise, but now I am seeing people actually get out to walk as a form of transportation. Sure you could buy a bus pass, but that still costs money, and walking will conserve a large amount of cash in your budget. People say oh it takes time to walk, but it also takes time to work out at the gym. So if you are driving all the time and never going to the gym, how do you burn calories? I guess if you have a high metabolism you never need to work out, but eventually that will catch up with you.

 Part of the reason I admire Michelle Obama is because she is promoting the Let's Move program for kids, and in all honesty, this generation of kids really does need more exercise. With kids constantly in front of the computer playing video games or texting their friends, when do they get time just to walk and look at the trees. When parents take out their smart phones and start chatting on Facebook, what kind of message are they sending to kids? Part of the reason I am hesitant to get an iphone is because there is enough access to the Internet as it is, and why would I want to be connected 24/7? If I had kids I would most likely never be texting or talking to other people because I would be keeping an eye on my children, and wanting to engage with them. I would rather have a conversation with my kids on a healthy walk than chatting on an iphone. By the way, I was cut off in an intersection when I had a walking light again the other day, and the woman who did this was punching away on her iphone - and had kids in the backseat of her car.
Enjoying a SoCal sunset during a walk.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pedestrians Should Be Given Free Identification Cards

Many states are proposing that voters show identification at their polling place, and honestly I am not completely against this.  When you apply for a store credit or use a credit card you are expected to show identification, so why is it so unreasonable to have to show ID at your polling place?  My one objection to having to show identification is the cost, which some people who do not drive cannot afford.  If you are an American who does not drive, there are chances you could not afford a car or ID.  It is unfair to expect the poorest Americans, many of who do not drive, to have to pay for their identification cards.  Also, why must pedestrians have to go to the DMV to get their identification cards?  As a pedestrian I can afford to buy my identification card, but I just find it a bit funny having to do so at the DMV since I am not a driver.

A few years back there was talk creating national identification cards for legal US citizens and residents, and I think that would be a good idea.  However, no one should be charged for these cards in order to keep these accessible.  This way pedestrians do not have to trudge to the DMV just to fill out paper work for an identification card, and the poorest Americans will not be subjected to the humiliation of not being able to afford their ID.  This might not be an issue for a large number of people, but the cost of an identification card can cost about a week's worth of groceries for many families.  We get free social security cards, and I believe it should be the same with a national ID card.  Actually, perhaps another idea would be to turn social security cards into national ID cards with a photograph.  Those who have been victims of identity theft who be more protected if a social security card was a form of photo identification.  If people lose their national ID card or social security card, then they could pay a reasonable price to replace it.  With all the arguments swirling around about how it is a violation of civil liberties to show an identification card at the polling place, why not just eliminate this problem by providing this cards for free for all legal US citizens and residents.  Problem solved, and the price of creating these cards for all Americans would be well worth the cost.

Monday, February 27, 2012

With Gas Prices Soon Reaching $5 Per Gallon, I Am Glad To Be Walking

Sunset During A Walk

Of course prices at the store will rise with gas prices nearing $5 a gallon here in Southern California, but it is good to know that now, more than ever, I can save money by walking.  The pedestrian lifestyle has many benefits, with the primary one being that I never have to pay to go to an exercise class.  However, one thing I have to do is plan a bit ahead when it comes to transporting a cute pair of shoes I want to wear somewhere.  For the last couple of years I had just been wearing tennis shoes most of the time since I am on my feet, but I finally decided to buy a cute pair of flats, which meant I needed to devise a simple plan for carrying my shoes.  I settled on using a cloth grocery bag for transporting my cute flats when I am walking, and I keep my tennis in the same bag when I am wearing the more dressy pair.

This has also allowed me to cut down on the amount of things I take with me on walks since all I now bring are my shoes, and snacks that will fit in the bag.  Many people talk about the different types of exercises they do to stay in shape, but what about being a pedestrian?  Of course on a daily basis I have to watch out for drivers who fail to stop behind the crosswalk line, and those who feel making their right-hand turn on the walking light are of paramount importance, but for the most part the pedestrian walking life is good for me.  During my long walks I gaze upon the San Benrardino Mountains and the beautiful palm trees that adorn our Inland Valley below.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Taking A Walk Near An Orange Field At Sunset

The other day I decided to take a walk near an orange field at sunset.  Loma Linda is one of the few places in Southern California that has a large orange field, as many of these have been cut down over the years to build new homes and businesses.  Taking pictures of the orange field around sunset is like going on a walk down California's memory lane.

As I walk by the orange field I took some pictures to show everyone what this part of Loma Linda looks like around sunset. I highly recommend walking so you can see all the magnificent views that usually wiz by as you are zooming down the street in your car.

Southern California At Sunset Southern California At Sunset The Orange Field The Orange Field The Orange Field 013

Monday, January 23, 2012

"The Pinnacles by Julia Hanna" T-Shirts & Hoodies by Bearie23 | RedBubble

"The Pinnacles by Julia Hanna" T-Shirts & Hoodies by Bearie23 | RedBubble:

This is a t-shirt I designed with my colored pencil sketch of the Pinnacles.  Many of the sights I see on the walks through out my life have influenced my artwork, and this would be a colorful shirt to wear if you go walking around town.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dressing For The Southern Califronia Weather On My Early Morning Walks

As a Southern California pedestrian who commutes to work on foot, it is essential to bundle up in the early morning hours.  Southern California has major dips in temperatures from about 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the early morning, to 70 degrees in the afternoon.  It certainly can be annoying in the afternoon when I have to carry my jacket because it is too warm to wear, but those who prefer lighter layers can always purchase a well insulated jacket.  I must say that gloves, a hat, and a jacket are essential for me on the frigid morning walks, but at least its better than being a pedestrian trekking through the snow, which is what I used to do when I lived up in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why A Car Can Be More of A Burden Than You Think

Having a car can be way more of a burden than you think.  As a pedestrian it becomes a bit grating to have people who drive constantly ask, questions such as: "How can you get around without a car?"  Since I never felt ashamed to take public transportation, which I can use that for long trips, and most short trips are within walking distance.  Not everyone wants drive around on the congested Southern California freeways, and living in walking distance from work can actually save you a lot of money.  People always say that they feel more independent with their cars, but I never felt dependent because I do choose not to drive one.  Actually, not having to worry about a car payment, gasoline bills, and washing my car weekly is very liberating.  People think they have to have a car, but a lot of people get around each day fine without one.

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