I'm curious to know how far a plein air painter will usually walk from the car to the painting spot. There's a poll in the right column for this, and I hope you'll take it. (If you're reading this through your newsreader or via e-mail, you won't see the poll; click here to go directly to my blog.)
Some of us like to paint right out of the car; others of us may walk a mile or more to get the right scene. The farthest I've hiked was a day hike in the San Juan range near Ouray, Colorado; I threw a box of pastels and some paper in my backpack and went up, up, up. I don't remember exactly where I stopped - it was years ago, and I had more hiking stamina then - but it was at least a couple hours in. Experience has shown me that I don't have to hike anywhere near as far to find a good scene. Sometimes the best ones are right under our noses.
On the other hand, there's nothing like having a good story to tell about a painting. As you can tell, I still like to tell the one about hiking into the San Juans to paint.