Rhonda Brown
Brian Kern, co-owner of Dandelion Botanical in Ballard, walks the talk with "vosilando" adventures on foot.

Green My Ballard: Vacilando? I mean, just walk

I really like to walk. I do it mostly because I have two dogs that like to walk even more than I do.

There’s something about “just walking” that feels good and gets the blood flowing. I love seeing different gardens and what folks do to them.

Walking in the rain? Great! Walking at night? Well, that’s a treat only city-dwellers can do.

I had a conversation with someone recently that makes my little jaunts look like a walk in the park.

Brian Kern, co-owner of Dandelion Botanical, an herbal apothecary located in downtown Ballard, likes to walk, too.

He and local author and friend Tom Trimbath go for all-day walks, 10 or even 20 miles at a time.

He calls it “vacilando," a quote from Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley."

Steinbeck writes: "In Spanish there is a word for which I can't find a counterword in English. It is the verb vacilar, present participle vacilando. It does not mean vacillating at all. If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere, but does not greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has direction."

With vacilando in mind, Brian and Tom have walked all of the named streets in downtown Seattle. Then, on another outing, the numbered ones.

What’s a day of walking like?

“We walk until we’re hungry, then we walk until we’re tired”, says Brian.

He makes it sound easy, but I bet he sleeps well at the end of the day.

Other trips have included walking from Fremont to the Bremerton ferry and exploring downtown Bremerton.

In a time when everyone seems so driven and busy, it’s great to hear stories about just walking for the heck of it – just because it’s fun.

Next chance you get, walk on down to Dandelion and visit Brian for yourself. Start your own “vacilando” and see your city from the ground up.

Rhonda lives in Ballard and is the Urban Crop Circle Project Leader for Sustainable Ballard. Questions, Comments, Ideas? You can reach her at Rhonda@sustainableballard.org.

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