Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Walking to Lancaster

Ben Leech has a habit of putting wild ideas in my head. Most recently, he suggested walking from Lancaster to Philadelphia. The distance of about 60 miles travels along one of the oldest roads in North America, the King's Highway. The year 2014 seems like a good year to walk the walk.

On the left you see my little study of King's Highway (in black) along the Pennsylvania Main Railroad line (in red) as mapped in 1855. I commute from Philadelphia to Lancaster, while Ben commutes from Lancaster to Philadelphia, sharing a common view along the red line. I have blogged before about this amazing Trainscape, that presents the most succinct navigation of America's social history in one hour. In a British context, Patrick Keiller entitled his collection of essays, The View from the Train: Cities and other Landscapes (2013), which gets to the heart of this vantage point.

Is a walking journey realistic? In my estimation, it would take 20 hours. Before committing to the whole stretch, I hope to complete it in seven pieces, by riding the train between stations. The segments would look something like this.

1.  Philadelphia-Ardmore, 2:00 hrs
2.  Ardmore-Paoli, 3:45 hours
3.  Paoli-Exton, 2:40 hours
4.  Exton-Downingtown, 1:45 hours
5.  Downingtown-Coatesville, 1:10 hours
6.  Coatesville-Parkesburg, 2:10 hours
7.  Parkesburg-Lancaster, 7:10 hours


Kevin Brady said...

Kostis, This might be fun to do in two days, plenty of training and testing of shoes, and an overnight somewhere in the middle . . .

Tyko said...

Were I still in Lancaster, I would offer to join you: you with your sketchbook and I with my camera!

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States