The Chanterelle Trail Walk

Entrance to Lake Whatcom Park, Whatcom County, WA

This post is a long time coming! Of course, there are many reasons for such a long interval between posts…a busy year, life transitions, etc. And while all of that is true, it really just comes back to an undercurrent of Fear that I’ve recently began to observe in myself. I’m pretty sure its been there all along, slinking along the sheltered recesses of consciousness, out of sight, out of mind, adding its commentary to the ongoing narrative, and ultimately having an influence on decisions and outcomes. “Surely no one wants to hear about the Chanterelle Trail (or anything else for that matter),” Fear whispered to the Walk Blogger.

This past summer, I transitioned from a busy 24/7 teaching position to a part-time shop girl job. Talk about Fear! But the image of unloading a mountain of responsibility for a simple, quiet, inward year of self-reflection and artistic exploration could not, would not, be dampened by Fear’s insidious methods. This professional “pause” is my 60th birthday gift to myself and what I’ve come to realize is that the real gift has been the space to reestablish a relationship to time, that construct that maintains order in our lives…sometimes at a cost.

Don’t get me wrong though. I have been a fast-pace junkie. I perform better, think better, and possibly feel better when cramming 30 hours into 24. You too?! Lucky for me, my teaching position provided an organic moment to come up for air and upon reaching the surface, I wasn’t just breathing, I was gulping.

So where does Fear fit into this narrative (or the Chanterelle Trail, for that matter)? I’ll get to that, I promise.

One of the benefits of increased “free time” is the opportunity to observe and reflect on oneself. Through this reflection, I have become aware of the ways in which Fear weaves itself into every day life. Some Fear is healthy Fear. “You should not walk alone on that trail under the freeway where the man was stabbed last month.” Thank you Fear. Duly noted. I wholeheartedly agree.

On the other hand, the Fear that no one would want to read a blog about The Chanterelle Trail, and possibly more accurately, one written by yours truly, is simply rubbish. So, after that long introduction, it was our first go at hiking The Chanterelle Trail that brought into clear focus the presence and effect of Fear.

One very rainy day, about a month ago, Aaron and I decided on a spontaneous hike up the 2.4 mile Chanterelle Trail, in Whatcom County’s Lake Whatcom Park. We donned full rain gear and set out at about three in the afternoon. For some reason, we did not expect a fairly rigorous ascent in the wilderness. I think the word “Park” fooled us into believing that this would be akin to walking in Whatcom Falls Park or similar. Anyway, as this was a spontaneous walk through a “park,” we totally abandoned all the rules of setting out into the rainy wilderness late in the day and didn’t bring water, snacks, headlamps, or first aide. Nothing.

The Chanterelle Trail ascends fairly dramatically for the first quarter mile or so and then levels off to a more gradual ascent for the remainder of the hike to the lookout and turn around point. As we ascended on this rainy day, the deep dark woods slowly became deeper and darker. The sound of the wind rustling the leaves was amplified by the cover of clouds, which hung in the trees creating an eerie landscape of limited visibility and unsettling noises. Needless to say, Fear was having a heyday with my imagination and before long, I was convinced the woods were full of bears and/or cougars. In my defense, there have been many sightings of bears and cougars in the area and knowing this did not help. I was sure that with every step forward, the odds of encountering a large carnivore became greater and greater. We were about 1/2 mile from the lookout when up ahead came a loud crashing noise through the forest. Well, that’s all it took. I turned around and ran down the trail…so fast in fact that I couldn’t hear Aaron calling to me that a large branch had broken and fallen, making the crashing sound. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. I was so hijacked with Fear that the only antidote at that point was the comfort of knowing we were heading towards the safety of the truck and home. On the ride home, we decided we would return on a sunny morning with water and snacks, which we did about three weeks later!

Rainy day at The Chanterelle Trail trailhead

The Chanterelle Trail is a great hike for getting the heart and lungs pumping and offers an amazing view of Lake Whatcom, Bellingham Bay, and the San Juan Islands. It is 4.8 miles round trip, with 1000 feet of elevation gain to the lookout point. When we returned, the leaves were half off the trees, allowing for peek-a-boo views of Lake Whatcom.

Sign and map in parking lot
walking from lower parking lot to upper lot where trail begins (already busy in the morning!)
Rules of the Trail
Chanterelle Trail crossing Wickersham Road
lush forests line the switchbacks
small bridge over stream
peak-a-boo view of Lake Whatcom on our ascent
Almost there!
View looking west over Lake Whatcom to Bellingham Bay and Orcas Island in the distance!
Looking south over Lake Whatcom
Aaron’s panorama of both previous photos with Lookout Mountain directly across lake.

Our second hike was successful! We sat at the top for a while, eating our bananas, drinking our water, soaking in the stunning views without a trace of the Fear that so punctuated our last attempt. I’ve thought about that Fearful day many times since then. There may have been a bear or cougar nearby. My Fear may have been spot on. I’ll never know. But what I do know is that all one has to do is turn on the TV or radio or open the newspaper to totally justify a heightened sense a Fear in our lives. I had just begun to write this post earlier in the week before going to a yoga class with Amy at 3 Oms Yoga in Bellingham. It was election day and Amy talked about Fear in her opening words, which was incredible given that I had just been writing, quite candidly, about my experience with Fear. One thing she said resonated with me and helped me bring balance to this experience. She said, and I paraphrase, Fear does not define us. It is not who we are. It is an experience we are having and because we can look it at it objectively, talk to it, and ask it questions, we are able to discover what Fear is trying to tell us about ourselves and the world. Somewhere I knew this but it was good to have it offered in this way. Amy’s words brought normalcy and a sense of wholeness and unity to the experience. I was no longer alone in my Fear.

If you’ve read to here, thank you! I usually don’t share such personal reflections and thoughts in my posts. I wonder what insights our next walk will offer! Stay tuned!

Happy Walking!


A happy hiker!



The Friday Harbor – American Camp Walk

This is the second of two walks we took over New Year’s 2018 in the San Juan Islands. The first was The Shaw Island Walk from our previous post.

Surprisingly, this sign is only posted at American Camp, not in town where the walk begins. It would be helpful if it was posted at the trail head in town.


This round-trip walk begins and ends in Friday Harbor, Washington on San Juan Island. The map for the walk says that the mileage is 6 miles to the American Camp Visitor’s Center. We have walked it twice now and believe that it’s more like 7 + miles one way, making it 14 or 15 miles round trip. Additional miles and time are added if you hike on any of the trails in this National Park Service Historic Park, which you really must do. So, prepare for an “all-dayer.” Pack a lunch, snacks, plenty of water, warm layers, and of course, rain gear. We lucked out on both trips here and didn’t need it. It can also be a help against the winds at the southern tip of the island, which is a peninsula of sorts and exposed to the elements on all sides. The trail offers amazing views of Griffin Bay and Mount Baker at many points along the way. Walkers will also enjoy views of the open pastoral land common on San Juan Island.  Miles of additional hiking trails and views of Haro Strait, Vancouver Island, and the Olympic Mountains reward the walker’s efforts at American Camp.

Finding the trail…

This was our second time walking this trail. The first time was at New Year’s, when 2015 turned into 2016. We stumbled upon it quite by accident, not knowing there was a trail all the way to  the south end of the island. Much to our delight, we have found many trails in the same way. This time we knew about the trail, of course, but also found the true beginning of the trail on Spring Street in Friday Harbor. If staying in Friday Harbor, walk up Spring Street, the main road up from the ferry, until the airport becomes visible on the south, or left, side of the street and watch for the teeny-tiny sign that indicates the trail. The signs to follow are green and about 4″ x 4″ and say “American Camp Trail.” Sometimes they are just a small green arrow. The walker must be diligent in looking for them at every crossroads, corner, or intersection. It’s a bit of a fun scavenger hunt as you look for the next clue leading you ever onward towards your destination. There is one short section (about 1/8 mile) of road walking on busy Cattle Point Road. Road walking is never fun for me, but the shoulder was wide-ish and the drivers, for the most part, gave us the space we needed to feel safe.

I would suggest getting an early start if hiking in the winter. We opted for a leisurely morning and found ourselves returning to Friday Harbor just after sunset, which is early here in the Pacific Northwest on New Year’s Eve day…somewhere around 4:15 p.m.. The late start meant we couldn’t spend as much time at American Camp as we had during our first time there.

Teeny-tiny marker for American Camp Trail just past the office supply store. Walk down that dirt road and between the warehouses. This is the beginning of the trail that one can follow all the way to American Camp.
This is the second sign a few paces past the first. It’s the little green signs to watch for on this walk.
Trail running behind warehouses at airport
A short bit of road walking near airport. That is the back of the Friday Harbor Hospital.
San Juan Island Airport is a busy place any day of the year!
This is the first sign on the other side of the airport, where the trail becomes a grassy path.
The trail goes through brushy wetlands south of the airport. See that little green sign? Those are the ones to watch for. This section of trail was also called the Minnie Mae Trail…Minnie Mae from Anne of Green Gables, I’m guessing?
View of Griffin Bay south of Airport on Cattle Point Road
The trail follows Cattle Point Road for quite a distance allowing for views like this one. It’s wonderful how the San Juan Island Trail Committee asked for and received permission of many land owners along the way to construct the trail on their land keeping walkers safely off the road.
The trail following alongside Cattle Point Road.
The trail lies on west boundary of the Frazer Homestead Preserve

The Frazer Homestead Preserve would be a nice side trip to this walk. Here’s a picture of the original farm house with Mount Baker in the background. What a view to wake up to!

Frazer Homestead Preserve with Mount Baker in the distance
Luckily, we passed these gals going both ways. The second time they were brave enough to come as far as the fence would allow to say hello. They both appeared to be pregnant…although I’m no expert on donkeys. ( : They sure were beautiful though.
Cute sign…a little humor never hurts.
We made it!
American Camp view
The sun is well on its way to setting behind the Olympic Mountains as we decide to head back to Friday Harbor about 7 miles away. Luckily, we had our headlamps if needed but there was still plenty of light as we arrived at town tired and hungry.

We saw no other walkers on the trail except a young trail runner close to American Camp and a man walking his dog on the Minnie Mae section. We had to wonder how many people walk from town to American Camp and hope we are not the only ones who enjoy these kinds of adventures. Admittedly, winter walking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’m betting more walkers take advantage of this trail during the summertime.

Thanks for reading and as always, Happy Walking and Happy New Year!

Ann and Aaron


The Shaw Island Walk

Friday Harbor ferry dock from top level of ferry just before setting sail to lovely little Shaw Island for one of two New Year’s weekend walks!!

Getting There (with this walk, getting there was half the fun!)…

This walk begins at the ferry dock on Shaw Island, Washington. You can park your car at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal for $5.00/day, buy a ticket inside, and off you go. Be sure you’re on the correct ferry as this is a busy place, with many ferries coming and going. Also, be sure you know what time you need to be back at the ferry dock on Shaw Island to catch the ferry back to Anacortes. The ferries to Shaw Island are fairly infrequent compared to the other islands, especially in the winter months. Aaron and I were staying on San Juan Island and caught the smaller inter-island ferry over to Shaw Island in the morning and back to San Juan in the afternoon, which was super fun and added to the adventure!

Early morning in Friday Harbor, WA
Boarding an almost empty inter-island ferry at Friday Harbor bound for Shaw Island.
A couple cars loading the ferry at Friday Harbor.
The unmatched sunrise beauty of the San Juan islands at New Years 2017.
Orcas Island Ferry Dock. Our ferry stopped here on its way to Shaw Island.
Arriving at Shaw Island. The dock has retained an original hand-carved sign over the landing.

Shaw Island…

Washington State Ferries serve four of the 172 named islands of the San Juan Islands: San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw. Shaw Island is the baby in size and population. It has a year-round population of about 250. There is a historic general store at the ferry dock (closed for the winter), a post office, and an active community center. In a word, it is idyllic, making it the perfect venue for any walk.

The Walk…

I had a fairly good idea of where we were headed, “from the ferry dock, walk south along Blind Bay until you come to the Community Center, turn left, walk some more until you come to Shaw Island County Park, check out the beach at Indian Cove, then continue, in the same direction, to Squaw Bay, where you’ll see the trail head leading north into the Graham Preserve. Follow the trail through the Preserve back to the Community Center and walk back along Blind Bay to the ferry dock.” And that’s pretty much what we did…easy peasy. A few cars passed as we walked and we met two other walkers, who were on holiday on the island. Other than that, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Oh, I musn’t forget the two cats at the ferry dock, who entertained and kept us company as we awaited the ferry back to Friday Harbor.

View along Blind Bay. That’s the Orcas Island ferry dock across Harney Channel
Traffic sign along Blind Bay
The junction of Blind Bay Road and Squaw Bay Road at the Community Center
Community Center, Shaw Island, Washington

Beach at Shaw Island County Park, a rustic campground.
Squaw Bay
A curious llama at Squaw Bay…he/she was BIG!
Trailhead marker at Graham Preserve

At the terminus of the trail just behind the Community Center…we’re still trying to figure out where to look when taking selfies! ( :
The warming hut at the ferry dock. It had a heater!
“Open the door or else!”
Our new Shaw Island friend…
Shaw Island Ferry Dock and Marina
Arriving back in Friday Harbor just as the BIG ferry from Victoria BC was leaving on it’s way to Anacortes

This walk could easily be made longer by continuing west on Squaw Bay Road, turning north on Hoffman Cove Road, which brings you back to Blind Bay Road. We were constrained by ferry times and actual hours of daylight, which are few at this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll save that walk for one of our long summer days perhaps.

Thanks for reading. Happy Walking,

Ann and Aaron





The Big Rock Garden Sculpture Park Walk

Imagine an outdoor museum with native ferns, salal, and vine maple for a floor and a glittering ceiling of sunlight twinkling through the canopy of towering cedars above. This is what makes this special park a feast for the eyes and a respite for the soul. Once you enter the park and begin winding your way through the gently rolling serpentine paths, an unmistakable mantle of peace and quiet envelops you while sculptural delights surprise you at every turn. Some are whimsical, some invite heartfelt contemplation, while others are meant to be puzzled over. Over 39 artist pieces dot this 2.5 acre haven of artistic exploration. If you’ve never been to Big Rock Garden Sculpture Park, you have a real treat awaiting you! For directions, hours, and events at the park, please see the City of Bellingham’s website here.

Entrance into Big Rock Garden Park. There is a fence around the entire park.

There is a small parking area at the park but I would suggest parking your car or taking the bus to Bloedel-Dovovan Park and walking up through the quaint Silver Beach neighborhood, into the cedar and sword fern forests of the Silver Beach Preserve, and on to Big Rock Garden Sculpture Park. The entire walk there and back is no more than 2 miles, making it great for kids or when time is limited. Once you’ve arrived at Bloedel-Donovan Park:

  • Walk north on Electric Avenue and cross Alabama Street.
  • Continue straight up the slight incline on Dakin Street about 2 blocks and turn R on Silver Beach Avenue.
  • Walk about 2 blocks and turn L on Peters Street.
  • Walk up Peters Street until you see the path directly in front of you (as if Peters Street continued but turned to path) This section is short but steep. Yay for walking workouts!
  • Keep following the path until you see sign for Big Rock Garden Park…it’s super easy.

A Handful of Big Rock Garden Park’s Treasures…

Sculpture. Big Rock Garden Sculpture Park

If you want to add more walking to this walk, you can follow the path back (the way you came) through the Silver Beach Preserve and follow the well-marked trail signs north to Northridge Park. This park is at the very top of Barkley Hill and the main trail makes a big loop that brings you right back to where you began. This would add roughly 2 more miles to your walk. It’s definitely worth the time and effort.

Sign to Northridge Park
The trail goes under Barkley Avenue on its way to Northridge Park.

I hope you find your way to this special park. It is sure to surprise, delight, amaze, and possibly even inspire you!

Happy Walking,


The Western Washington University Outdoor Sculpture Collection Walk

On a personal note…

This is my first post in quite a while. In late March, I fractured the 5th metatarsal on my left foot, resulting in a complete cessation of any walking. Four months later, I’m up to about an hour of walking every couple days and lots of yoga. That is all my physical therapist will allow. We’re looking at six months to full recovery and that’s only if I’m ‘good’ and follow his advice. It’s been a real learning experience. I’ve learned about patience, how to care for oneself, how it feels to be disabled, how society views, cares for, and accommodates the disabled, and the precious gift of health. May I never take it for granted…

Western Washington University…

WWU, Garden Street entrance

Western Washington University began in the 1890’s as a “State Normal School,” eventually becoming a college devoted to education majors. Since then, it has become a larger learning center with degrees offered in many majors.
This was a perfect day to stroll through the hillside campus of WWU in Bellingham, Washington. It had rained in the morning leaving the air fresh and the earth well-watered. The temperature was cool but not too cool. The campus looks out over Bellingham Bay and the distant San Juan Islands. The grounds in summer are spectacular. Century old trees, fragrant rose gardens, and native plants are cared for in a manner that support the ideals of education: imagination, vision, beauty, balance, and purpose. The natural world that has been artfully created on WWU’s campus, invites the visitor and student to stand up straighter and lift their gaze to a higher potential and goal. So, in addition to the sculpture garden, there are the nature gardens too…an added treat.

The first building on the campus was the 3-story, 36-room, “Old Main.”
Rose Garden to the side of Old Main.
Edens Hall

The Sculpture Garden…

The sculpture garden is overseen by the Western Gallery. There are 27 sculptures on the sculpture garden map. It seems you can pick up a handy booklet about the sculptures in the Western Gallery but I used only the map and it was fine. I want to take this walk with Aaron soon so we will pick up a booklet then. Honestly, it was enjoyable just contemplating the artist’s meaning of the sculptures rather than reading the meaning. When I have the booklet, I’ll be able to see how close I came to understanding the artists’ messages.
The map uses letters of the alphabet (A to Z to AA) as a key to the location of the sculptures. For the most part, it was accurate. I expected the sculptures to be in plain sight and and most of them are. Some are more difficult to find as they are on walls, in buildings, or off the main trails, which added to the ‘discovery’ aspect of the walk. There were two that were missing (I could see where they had been) and one that I searched and searched for but never found. It was disappointing too, as it has the most interesting title, “The Islands of the Rose Apple Tree Surrounded by the Oceans of the World For You, Oh My Darling.” Who wouldn’t want to see that sculpture, right?!
Parking can be tricky at WWU. I was lucky to get a parking spot on Garden Street just below the campus. One could easily take one of the numerous public buses that go up to WWU from downtown too. After parking, I walked up (and I mean up) to Red Square, the heart of the campus, where exhibit A was waiting. I followed the ‘alphabet’ on the map, making it a scavenger hunt of sorts.

“Sky Viewing” by Isamu Noguchi ~ The first sculpture on the map, under construction.
“Scepter” by Steve Tibbetts, 1966. I am amazed at the age of some of the sculptures. This is in Red Square about 30 feet from the previous one. It has stood there for many years, quietly observing campus life. I had to wonder if anyone takes much notice of it. It was one of my favorites.
“Scepter” from another angle.
Here are the previous two sculptures from across Red Square. You can just make out “Scepter” to the left of “Sky Viewing”
“Wall Relief” by Norman Warsinske. This was difficult to find because I hadn’t expected a sculpture to be on a wall. There were supposed to be two of them, one on each end of the Humanities building, but…
…all I could find was where it’s pair had been.

Some of the sculptures are favorites of the students and visitors for obvious reasons…this would make a great walk for little people, as many of the sculptures are interactive, as you’ll see.

“The Man Who Used to Hunt Cougars for Bounty” by Richard Beyer
“Bayview Station” by George Trakas. This was made from railroad track and wood, hence the name, Bayview Station. It also looked out over the bay, making a great hang out spot.
“Bayview Station,” WWU Outdoor Sculpture Garden
“Wright’s Triangle” by Richard Serra. This makes for an awesome hide and seek type game!

“Log Ramps” by Lloyd Hamrol. I think this is the same family that was climbing on one of the previous sculptures.
“Stadium Piece” by Bruce Nauman. This one just makes you want to run to it. Kids were on it and under it…
“Stadium Piece”

We’ve seen this next one for many years but have never gone up to it and inside it. It has a quality like no other. It is titled, “Stone Enclosure: Rock Rings” by Nancy Holt. I felt an inner quiet immediately come over me like never before.

“Stone Enclosure: Rock Rings” by Nancy Holt. The setting is breath-taking.
“Stone Enclosure: Rock Rings”
Looking all the way through to the green beyond…
Contrast between styles…

The map takes you all the way to Fairhaven College. This is not to be missed. The campus is designed in such a way that you feel you are at a mountain retreat. It would be great place to have a picnic lunch…
After Fairhaven College, you walk over to the state-of-the-art Wade King Student Recreation Center. Wade King lost his life as a youngster in the catastrophic Whatcom Falls Park fire. His family has given countless dollars, in his name, to promote the education of youth in Whatcom County. I was struck by the symmetry of the flags leading to the Center and the next sculpture, a water sculpture, dedicated to all those who served in WW II.

Wide open walkway leading to the Wade King Student Recreation Center, WWU

Here is a  video of the water sculpture, “Rain Forest,” by James Fitzgerald at Wade King Student Recreation Center, WWU.

and another…

Here are a couple more of interest. One is inside the library. One is below a sky bridge of sorts, which given the layout of the sculpture was the best place to view it.

“Minds Eye” by Mark Di Suvero is inside the library. You can see it through the window as you approach.
“Untitled” by Meg Webster as seen from above.
These playful turtle-like characters, found in Haskell Plaza, are titled “Feats of Strength” by Tom Otterness.
Pretty cute…

As you can see, this is a wonderful walk. The pictures in this post are just a handful of the entire collection. The campus is built on the side of a hill so the walker can get their muscles working. The sculptures are varied and artistically and thoughtfully created and placed. They are truly beautiful and inspiring. I ended up buying lunch from one of the vendors outside the student union and ate at a picnic table on the plaza outside the Performing Arts Center with it’s fabulous view of the bay. The book store is worth a look too. I was on campus for about 3 hours total. This is a wonderful walk for visitors and locals alike!

Happy Walking!
Yours Truly,


My lunch spot, with Bellingham Bay below, on the plaza outside The Performing Arts Center at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington





The Bellis Fair Mall Walk

Early Morning at Bellis Fair Mall, Bellingham, WA
Early Morning at Bellis Fair Mall, Bellingham, WA…welcoming the Mall Walker Community

Have you ever gone to the mall to walk? Before this week, the idea of mall walking was a fuzzy concept for me, hovering somewhere between “I’ve heard of it” and “you’ve got to be kidding.” I might have even rolled my eyes and chuckled at the thought. Well, my experiences of the past two days have totally humbled me. I am now a champion of mall walkers everywhere and their mission to maintain and enhance their physical and emotional health and well-being by taking advantage of this clean, warm, indoor venue for walking.

Strong winds are common in the Northwest’s Puget Sound, making walking in our thickly wooded parks and streets, a bit risky. These strong winds frequently topple trees and any wind advisory means walkers should stay out of the woods until the winds calm down. It was this scenario, a few days ago, that gave me the idea to try mall walking and I wasn’t the only one! There were probably 50 – 75 seasoned mall walkers there. All ages. All abilities. All cool.

Family of three walking at Bellis Fair Mall
Family of three walking at Bellis Fair Mall
These people were MOVING! I thought they would lap me twice, and I'm no slowpoke! ( :
These people were MOVING! They lapped me once and I thought they might lap me twice, and I’m no slowpoke! ( :
Mall walking is awesome for those needing an even surface
Mall walking is awesome for those needing an even and stable surface
This gal pushed a stroller with her two dogs. Sometimes they walked and sometimes they strolled.
This gal pushed a stroller with her two dogs. Sometimes the dogs walked and sometimes they rode. Pretty sweet.
As people warm up, they leave their coats and hats on the food court chairs
As people warm up, they leave their coats and hats on the food court chairs and keep on moving!
Apres-Walking social time at Starbucks, open at 7 am
Apres-Walking social time at Starbucks, which opens at 7:30 am, in the food court
A train of walkers in Bellis Fair Mall
A train of walkers in Bellis Fair Mall

Tips, Suggestions, and Observations from Two Mornings of Mall Walking:

  • Our local mall, Bellis Fair, opens its doors at 7 a.m., year round, Monday – Saturday, to provide a warm and welcoming space for walking. It is located just north of Bellingham, at the intersection of Meridian Street and I-5.
  • There is mall walking etiquette. Everyone walks anti-clock wise. I suppose you could walk clockwise but no one did.
  • Mall walking is an inclusive and social atmosphere. People greet you and say ‘good morning’ and seem genuinely happy.
  • I walked during the holidays, so the music was 100% Christmas. I’m thinking the music is normally soft rock.
  • Some people had ear buds in, listening to news, music, books on tape, This American Life, or whatever. Great idea!
  • You don’t need to bundle up. The mall turns the lights and heat up at 8:00 a.m. because the big stores, such as Target, Kohl’s, and Macy’s, open then. During non-holiday hours, lights and heat probably go up at 9 a.m.
  • After my walk on my first day, I went to Macy’s (Yes Lisa, my Macy’s guru, I thought of you!) and did a little shopping before it got busy.
  • This could be a great way to entice teenagers to walk with you. First a walk, then a shop!
  • This is the ultimate window shopping experience. I was told once that modern malls are the equivalent of ancient shopping bazaars with their textiles, food vendors, jewelry, etc. and it’s so true!
  • There are bathrooms and water all along the way. Never a bad thing.
  • One seasoned walker told me that “one full lap, without cutting corners, and twice around the food court,” was one mile. I would agree. I did four laps minus the “twice around the food court,” in just over an hour.
  • Here’s a very informative booklet on the benefits of mall walking published by the CDC and University of Washington: Guide to Mall Walking
  • Mall walking is a good use of this huge, vacant, indoor space and it’s far more interesting than walking on a track.

Mall walking is a definite alternative to walking in severe weather. It’s a good “go-to” walking venue when the winds are strong. I’ll probably continue to walk primarily in nature, but it’s fun to mix it up and experience another community that promotes walking. See you at the mall!