The path is an archaic technology; the foot that fashions it, even more so. In a so-titled travelogue, Robert Macfarlane refers to walking and its synonyms—way-faring, trekking, traversing—as one of "the old ways." The foot progresses precisely as quickly as its body allows, and precisely as far as its terrain extends. Each step is a repetitive terraform over a jagged quarry, or a well-trod mountain trail, or a barely hardened square of urban concrete.
For Paul Salopek, paths are an artifact of humanity's self-propelled evolution: the universal, oft-retold story of the progress of the human species from here, where we are, to there, where we were and will [...]