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kottke.org posts about Beau Miles

Four-Day Commute to Work Via Kayak

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 11, 2021

Adventurer Beau Miles has been focused recently on exploring near where he lives rather than in far-flung locales. He’s walked 56 miles to work a couple of times, adventuring and foraging along the way and recently posted a video of him commuting to work in a kayak. It took him four days. Miles explains:

I’m really fascinated by something as mundane as a commute to work. I think it can offer me a whole bunch of adventure. I’ve already walked to work — I stripped it right back and it was hard and challenging, and really insightful of me and humanity. Now to extend that idea, why don’t I try and paddle to work? I can get to work via the very water that falls on my roof. In doing so, I’m reinventing my idea of adventure. I no longer feel the need to go and paddle great distances down a continent shore, or go to the highest peaks. Your carbon footprint goes through the roof, just so you can go and find yourself, somewhere else. And so I really want to do these things in my backyard now, and why not my boyhood river that I want to reinvent with some adult ideas?

Update: Inspired by Miles’ journey, a high school senior did a kayak commute to school: The 54.5 Hour Commute.

Throughout the trip, Gralyn was offered help from friends and family — everything from transportation to Clif bars — but he accepted none of it. “That would be cheating,” Gralyn says, it would have completely changed the experience. He wanted to experience the full challenge, he wanted to be self-sufficient, and he wanted to know if it was even possible. “Water used to be so common for traveling everywhere and now we never use it. It’s the road less traveled now.”

Update: Back in 2007, Tom Chiarella walked to the mall in 2.5 days.

In the days before I left, everyone told me it was a stupid idea, pointless, fraught with risk. My brother called me an idiot. My golf partners cackled. Many people worried what would happen to me in the city. Another group of friends saw the isolation of the country as more threatening. My wife wanted to forbid it, thinking it incredibly stupid, a blatant invitation to dismemberment, a prelude to disappearance. I told her I’d be okay, that I wasn’t afraid. I was plenty brave enough to handle what came my way. “You think you’re brave,” she said. “You’ve always had a car. It’s easy to be brave when you have a car.”

(via @DavidNir)

Walking 56 Miles to Work

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 30, 2021

A few years ago, Beau Miles walked 56 miles to work on a college campus, leaving home with just the clothes on his back and a hat. He foraged what he needed along the way, including food, water, and a pair of shoes. Recently, he was asked to give a lecture on adventuring and, as part of his preparation, decided to walk to campus again. I really enjoyed watching this — Miles’ curiosity and drive is infectious. And his roadside scavenging reminded me of the survival scenario exercise where you need to rank salvaged items in terms of usefulness.

You may remember Miles from the “mile an hour” marathon he ran around his neighborhood over the course of 24 hours. (via craig mod)

The “Mile an Hour” Marathon

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 28, 2020

Over the course of 24 hours, Beau Miles ran around his mile-long block once every hour (plus a few more at the beginning) to complete a marathon in a day. But he also did a bunch of other stuff along the way: cooked dinner, made a table, fixed things, picked up trash, played Scrabble, got a bit of sleep, and made the short film above.

A different kind of marathon; running one lap an hour, for 24hrs, around my perfectly mile long block. The rest of the time I do as much as possible; making things, odd jobs, fixing stuff. It’s about running, doing, and thinking.