Jim Schmid’s Trail Quote of the Day #259 – June 28, 2016

Sandra-Schmid-walking-at-Sabino-Canyon-Tucson-AZ-1991

Sandra-Schmid-walking-at-Sabino-Canyon-Tucson-AZ-1991

When I see the discomforts that able-bodied American men will put up with rather than go a mile or half a mile on foot, the abuses they will tolerate and encourage, crowding the streetcar on a little fall in the temperature or the appearance of an inch or two of snow, packing up to overflowing, dangling to the straps, treading on each other’s toes, breathing each other’s breaths, crushing the women and children, hanging by tooth and nail to a square inch of the platform, imperiling their limbs and killing the horses—I think the commonest tramp in the street has good reason to felicitate himself on his rare privilege of going afoot. Indeed, a race that neglects or despises this primitive gift, that fears the touch of soil, that has no footpaths, no community or ownership in the land which they imply, that warns off the walker as a trespasser, that knows no way but the highway, the carriage way, that forgets the stile, the footbridge, that even ignores the rights of the pedestrian in the public road, providing no escape for him but in the ditch or up the bank, is in a fair way to far more serious degeneracy.

—JOHN BURROUGHS, The Exhilaration of the Road, Winter Sunshine, 1875


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