Thursday, November 29, 2012

Urban Rangers

I just came across a website called Urban Ranger. Its mission is "to make a habit of purposeful, sustained walking." While the mission as quoted doesn't refer to cities, this is certainly implied by the name. More than implied, actually, though I doubt anyone who doesn't live in an urban area would be excluded if they wanted "to make a habit of purposeful, sustained walking." The dangers of a sedentary life style are not inherent to city dwellers!

In any case, I like it. Here is an anthem, also from the website:

Song of the Urban Ranger

I am an urban ranger,
I walk, it's what I do.
The city is my wilderness,
Sky scrapers are my trees.
I hang my thoughts on lamp posts,
And park my dreams in metered spots.
I populate the empty lots
With my good ghosts,
And invest the pavement
with diamond recollections.
Exertions are my exercise,
My labors for effect.
I walk to go and go to walk.
I walk to work and work that I might walk.
I walk to dream up orders
For my servile sitting self.
No stagnant sedentary thoughts
Shall rule this life.
But who knows what's for what.
I sure walk a hell of a lot.

I would like to be an urban ranger myself. Although I can claim "purposeful" about my walking, I would do well to work on the "sustained" part of the program.

On one of my recent purposeful walks I discovered a shallow stretch of the Menomonee River where there is an abundance of exposed rock. An unknown number of people, fellow urban rangers perhaps, have piled these rocks into towers that are reminiscent of ancient ruins like Angkor Wat.

In Los Angeles there is a much more well established organization called the LA Urban Rangers, which I also just ran across. They have an impressive series of programs. Check them out. Every city should have a group like this!


  1. Nice post. Where about is that spot along the Menomonee River?

    I do often tend to wander about.

  2. Richard-- although I don't know where those pictures were taken, I have seen rock piles in the river about half way between Burleigh and Hwy 100.

  3. Good question, Richard. Thanks for asking. And Marty is quick on the draw with the correct answer! Just behind the lagoon north of Burleigh where it empties into the river, to be exact.