how far?


my first step in the parks in my first pair of shoes

steps in the parks somewhere in the middle

my last step in the parks in my last pair of shoes

with all of this stepping into the parks

i thought it was be easy and interesting

to look back and see just how far i had walked

using multiple sources

and multiple attempts

it turned into quite an impossible task

as each park was shaped differently

i had walked in no particular pattern

and converting the 2061.6 total acres into distance

proved to be a bit more complicated than i expected.

s0me of my early rough calculations

(having dinosaurs on the paper seemed fitting)

scenes of me asking the big questions

with no definitive answers

i went to my daughters

who tried to create an algorithm for me

but they again pointed out that i had no consistent shape of the acreage

nor did a have a consistent path of travel through them

i then went online to an international group

of physicists, mathmeticians, engineers, etc. to seek their answers

here is a sampling:

after walking 2,061.6 acres of parks, how far have I traveled in distance?

and :

There is no way to tell. You tell us areas but not distances, nor do you give us times or velocity.

i have decided that according to my calculations

my final answer is that i traveled pretty far

during the time i spent covering the 2,061.6 acres 

and interesting coincidence

the last park on the list

the last steps i took

were in a park at the top of the very street 

where i first lived in ann arbor

in my rattletrap apartment with no money

when i moved here at age 40

having quit my job to go to grad school

and change the course of my life

this long journey with it’s twisty and immeasurable path

had somehow led me straight home.

‘only those who will risk going too far

can possibly find out how far one can go.’

– t.s. eliott

39 responses »

  1. Google-Earth each park and calculate the distance, sort-of?
    Get a Fit-Bit from the daughters for Christmas and do it again next year?
    Oh, Beth, you most likely want to leave the true number out there for all of us to estimate!
    I say you went the whole length of The Mississippi River, at least.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was going to suggest a Fitbit too. Then you would at least have the steps you took. That would be amazing in itself — in the millions, I’d say. Your own Appalachian Trail. We’re all impressed with the idea alone. Such a fun endeavor. State College is much smaller, but I may try the parks here next summer.


  3. I love this Beth, what great paths to travel.

    My geeky question is how many shoes did you wear through during your park trek?

    Modern day running shoes are good for 300 to 600 miles approximately depending on the manufacturer. It might be a quick way to estimate your distance based on your shoes. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 🎉 Congratulations 🎇 and I am very impressed with the distance you walked. 👟👟Thank you so much for sharing the ones you felt stood out, Beth. Also, I didn’t know you went back to become a kinders teacher. So cool!! 🎓 xo

    Liked by 1 person

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