by Brandon Rhodes • Home

Walking to PyCon on your own two feet

Date: 13 March 2012

Before arranging for a cab ride or airport shuttle, have you considered that your own body is designed for traveling long distances under load?

Last Tuesday I simply walked the 5 miles (8 km) from the San Jose Airport to the PyCon 2012 venue. My route included a stream lined with willow trees, a beautiful nature preserve whose educational displays used wonderful words like “chaparral,” and a glimpse at the games that employees get to play in the back yards of Silicon Valley companies.

What could happen next year, if more people were interested in walking — could we designate a meeting place at the airport, and have a group of PyCon walkers leaving every hour to enjoy the journey together?

5.1-mile nature route from SJC to PyCon

Several people have expressed interest in my walk, so here is a map and details about the route. I will be walking back to the airport on Wednesday morning — probably, judging from the forecast, in my wet-weather gear!

View Walking to PyCon in Santa Clara in a larger map

The bridge that turns right off of Airport Drive, crosses the Guadalupe River, and connects to the Guadalupe River Trail. You can see the Trail running right to left beneath the bridge.

Attempt the hike only if you are familiar with walking similar distances at home, if you are sure that you can carry your luggage, and if you bring a water bottle or snack if you will need one. My Rick Steves Convertible Carry On has built-in shoulder straps that convert it into a backpack, which was ideal. But if your bag has wheels you will probably find the trail unmanageable, since most of it is surfaced with gravel. Remember that even if you take more conventional transport to PyCon, you can always take a break later, walk east along Tasman to the Ulistac Natural Area, and enjoy this bit of beauty that Santa Clara offers!

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