A lone, leafless tree backed by a small lake and mountains at dawn.

Two High-Impact, Low-Effort Ways to Support Transit Trekking

I’m out of office so I’m scheduling a few quick posts for while I’m away. Here are two easy things you can do that have lots of potential to spur support for transit trekking and improved transit overall.

Talk About It.

Whenever you travel for recreation, be sure to mention that you either came by transit or that you would like to. This is especially important to mention to smaller, local businesses when you’re visiting smaller communities in predominantly rural areas. These are the folks that are likely to have the ear of electeds and other decision makers, and if the small business community hears it enough, they are more likely to make sure that electeds know. I will write more about this in The Transit Trekker Manual, but if you are able to work in language about how the people in the area who depend on transit also deserve more frequent transit service, great.

Review It.

Write reviews of your trips in All the Places, and mention if you came by transit, bike, etc. and include a few details. Didn’t come by transit but know a place can be reached that way? Mention it. I have started doing this with my trip reports for hikes over at WTA. Here’s a recent one for a day hike at Rattlesnake Ledge. When I visit restaurants or stay in private campgrounds or motels or wherever while I’m on a Transit Trek, I will mention how bike-friendly or transit accessible that place is. TripAdvisor. TikTok. Yelp. Like I said: All the Places.

These are small but potentially powerful ways to show key people — small biz owners, outdoor advocacy organizations, and other travelers — that transit-based recreation is not only possible, but in demand.

View of Deception Pass bridge in the far distance, looking across the water from near Deception Pass Marina

3-day Car-free Vacations Around Washington state

I’m away this week so I’m scheduling a few quick posts sharing some of the car-free content I’ve found around the web in my research for The Transit Trekker Manual.

Here’s an old post from The Sightline Institute asking for car-free vacation ideas, with a bunch of comments offering up suggestions and experiences. Not surprisingly, the San Juan Islands and Port Townsend make a lot of appearances.

All of my vacations are car-free because I don’t have a driver’s license (fun, random fact: for some reason the WADOL styles this “driver license.”). But it’s interesting to see the interest even 15 years ago for car-free recreation options….

The photo above is from my March 2021 transit trek to Deception Pass on Whidbey Island.

Peek the TOC!

A Preview of the (Draft!) Cover and Table of Contents

Seems time to give folks more of in idea of what to expect from The Transit Trekker Manual. So here’s a draft — and I emphasize draft — of the current working cover concept and the table of contents (TOC).

NB: I will try to include at least one trip in each subregion listed in the TOC, but can’t guarantee that — some regions of Washington state really have near-zero transit service. Read on below the embedded PDF if you’re interested in learning about that and other choices I’m making.

Voila.

(I’m still on a learning curve for creating accessible PDFs; if you use a screen reader and this embed is not legible, please leave a comment and I’ll follow up with you.)

Why go to the effort of including trips in regions that have poor transit service? Because it’s important to highlight the underserved parts of the state that need deserve better transit for their communities — and to show the possibilities for transit-based recreation.

The division of regions and subregions in the TOC follows only my own logic based on a loose approximation of how I have seen other regional outdoor guide books divide the state up, how I think about the state, and, to some degree, where transit service is and isn’t robust. The TOC is roughly organized to place regions with more transit-based recreation opportunities higher and those with fewer opportunities lower. However, I’m hoping to include a Destination Index that allows folks living beyond the state’s larger population centers to find a list of the easier transit treks near their communities.

One reason I chose to use manual as part of the title in lieu of the other obvious choices —guide or travel guide — is its connotation of practicality. A manual is a book of instructions for how to do use a tool or create some thing. That choice helped me solve the problem of how I would pay for design and branding with a budget of $0: around the time I settled on the idea of this being a manual, I happened to also be reviewing my old Bernina sewing machine’s manual. Although dated, it was still imminently useful, designed to make its contents easy to find and use. Why not go with the plain aesthetic and solve my branding, design, and budget limitations all at the same time?

I work on an iMac and iPad, so I purchased an inexpensive Pages template for a manual that I liked the look of. I’m using that template as my basic book format, customizing as my needs demand. For icons that I don’t have available in my existing software, I’m purchasing very affordable licenses from The Noun Project.

In the next few weeks I hope to post a sample trip guide to give you an much better idea of the kinds of detail The Transit Trekker Manual will include. Check back!

In the meantime, here’s a few asks if you’ve read this far:

  • Share this post with friends and ask them to sign up here to get notified when the manual is ready.
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