Several years ago, a local Portland organization — I think they were called the Portland Pedestrian Coalition at the time but are now Oregon Walks — put together a Walk to Work day. They designated meetup spots in each of the quadrants of town, each about three or four miles from downtown. You’d walk, drive, or bus to your closest checkpoint at the appointed time and then everyone walks together. Eventually all of the groups join together at city hall. You’d get stickers and buttons and Trimet swag and so on. Unfortunately they stopped organizing Walk to Work day a few years back.
Today if you do a Google search for “Walk to Work Day” you end up with lots of calendar sites in the results. These are the sites that are borderline-spammy and similar to “this day in history” except they’ve mined some government or private database and ended up with things like “cherish an antique day,” “Winston Churchill day,” and “international safety pin day.” I kid you not. These are real things. The safety pin is an international celebration. Most of the calendar sites agree that Walk to Work Day is the first Friday of April, and that’s when I’ve been personally celebrating it. This year, I was clued into San Francisco’s Walk to Work Day, on Thursday April 7. It felt appropriate to fall in line with SF’s date because Portland is slowly turning into San Francisco. :sadtrombone: I tried to promote the day at work. A few people showed interest, but only one coworker joined in.
That day I walked 9.8 miles in total (I walked to lunch plus about ⅔ of the way home before giving up and hopping on the bus), but the actual walk into work measured 10,589 steps, 5.7 miles, 1h:46m, and 521 calories. The weather was perfect.
One of the nice things about walking into work is that you can, as they say, stop to smell the roses. Or if you’re more visual than olfactory, then you can stop to photograph the random and weird stuff around town — like a flamingo trellis.
You can marvel at the tiny houses of Division Street.
But be careful, for you may encounter predators.
You might also encounter countless stickers. But I only counted two as remarkable enough to photograph.
Of course this is Portland, so everyone is into organic gardening.
We have bridges. Lots of them.
Walking to work was enjoyable, healthy, and fun. I encourage you to mark your calendars for next year. Or to say “Eff it. I don’t need to conform to some fancy calendar day. I’m walking to work on Monday. Just because.”