Long Walks To No Place In Particular follows a series of April 2019 day treks with my wife, Gail, across our home city, Winnipeg. These were practice walks for our upcoming pilgrimage from London to Tergnier in northern France, the first leg of our foot journey to Rome, following the historic Via Francigena pilgrimage route.
Long Walks To No Place In Particular is an apt title in the practical sense that our Winnipeg destinations were not that important relative to our grand London-to-Rome walk. Here, at home, our only goal was to walk twenty-plus kilometres carrying loaded backpacks with the promise of a sandwich or some other small comfort at the furthest point of our local round-trips.
Therein lies the real significance of this book and its title: we were wandering, more or less aimlessly, in the direction of small dots on a city map. We made our way through parks and industrial dead-zones, all strikingly bare or barren or banal in the cool pre-Spring netherworld of melting snow and mud. At any time, we were at no place of import yet we were always some place that described “home”.