The Walking Show

Jul 14, 2015

Even as a child, Charles Dickens was an avid, sometimes compulsive walker. So much so, he once wrote, “If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.” Today’s show is all about walking, from the ancient origins of labyrinths, to the early 20th century phenomenon known as pedestrianism, to its ongoing benefits in a world built for cars. 

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Darwin's "sandwalk" at Down House was his usual "Thinking Path".
Credit Public Domain

Damon Young is the author of How to Think About Exercise. During his research for the book, he learned a lot about Darwin and his daily intellectual routine of walking, every day, rain or shine. 

Edward Payson Weston, the Father of Modern Pedestrianism, 1909

The writer Wayne Curtis follows competitive walker, Edward Payson Weston’s final pilgrimage in 1909, and contemplates the role of walking in the physical and social development of human beings in a book called, The Last Great Walk

Credit Elvert Barnes via flickr Creative Commons /

Walking is a symbolic act across religions, but there is a walking ritual that pre-dates Moses, Christ, Buddha and Mohammed: labyrinths. Eunice Schroeder found a new path for her life through this ancient practice. Julie Sabatier brings us the story.

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In areas where shale-drilling/hydraulic fracturing is heavy, a dense web of roads, pipelines and well pads turn continuous forests and grasslands into fragmented islands.
Credit Simon Fraser University - University Communications via flickr Creative Commons /

Journalist and UNH Professor Tom Haines, embarked on a project he calls “Fuel Walk” last summer. His goal is to explore on foot some of the places where America’s energy is produced.

Credit Anne Ruthmann via flickr Creative Commons /

In 1992, NHPR's Sean Hurley tried to walk across the country, and failed.  And while he may not have achieved what he set out to do, he did record his journey on a handheld cassette recorder.

You can see video and read a transcript of this story at this link: A Walk Across the Country