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Experience the new hiking and walking club

Dear Mills community,

There is a new hiking/walking/outdoors club taking shape, and you are invited to help its creation! The greater the interest, the more diverse experiences the club could entail. There is probably something for your time, energy and flavor of movement.

Rachel and I come from different places in wanting to start the club. Rachel grew up with true wilderness knowledge and skill. For the past few years, I’ve been wishing that I did! We can’t change where we came from. While the experience I bring to this club is modest in scale, it covers the urban perspective. I have some lofty ideas which I’m not ready for. So I’m going to start small, Rachel has already started large, and together, we want to ask about your level of interest in various types of projects.

“You need a car to get anywhere.” To hear this phrase in many parts of the US is not a surprise. But I have been hearing it since my arrival at Mills a year ago. With that outlook, will we keep the Mills AC Transit pass going? Sometimes transferring to multiple buses feels like a hassle. I urge you to ride this hassle with your friends, homework, a good book, and by meeting the person in the next seat.

My experiences of “urban hikes,” or walking distances that are not “walking distance,” have fostered a deep appreciation for the slow route. If the primary purpose of tranportation is to get from Point A to Point B, then a car is perfect. Commute time evaporates. But what if the commute itself is the purpose? Walking for 3 to 15 miles connects neighborhoods in a way that speeding past in a pod does not.

Last year, I brought two speakers to campus. John Francis walked the vertical length of South America, the horizontal length of North America, and wrote oil spill legislation in Washington. John Fazel helped to co-found the American Discovery Trail. It is unfortunate to summarize two humans in terms of their “grand accomplishments”; life is not about grades or honors awards. In the future, I hope to bring speakers of a similar nature, who are womyn.

Project Ideas:

1) Spring break backpacking trip. (maybe not local due to weather.)

2) Bay Area hikes to explore the stunning parks. And when/how we can connect them to the “city” through walking/public transportation.

You might say you’ve got school and work and no time to change your relationship to cars. That’s probably true. But could no time become a once a month short walk? Or the sharing of knowledge and resources? We plan to hold meetings which will address the many hiking needs and capabilities of this community.

Get inspired! Put on your shoes.

— Eva Damrosch. sophomore