Monday, November 10, 2008
Great Los Angeles Walk 2008 FAQs
Last chance to get your Great Los Angeles Walk T-shirt in order to wear it while hiking on Nov. 22! Several different T-shirt styles available, all with the cool logo designed by Maria. We're not making a dime off these things; the prices you see are exactly what Cafe Press charges. Check out our Cafe Press site to order.
Now, the Walk FAQ:
1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving. We're meeting at Union Station; people will start to gather in the front of the historic train station in the 8 a.m. hour. Just look for the crowd of people who look like they're about to embark on an urban hike. We leave at 9 a.m. sharp.
2. WHO? We're expecting over 100 hikers this year. We're still taking RSVPs at franklin_avenue(at)yahoo(dot)com... but we'll take anyone who shows up too!
3. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? C'mon, it's completely free! But you're on your own when it comes to lunch, dinner, water, etc. So don't forget to plan accordingly.
4. WHAT'S THE PATH? From Union Station, we'll hike down Cesar Chavez, which turns into Sunset. Near Sunset Junction, we'll switch over to Santa Monica Blvd. After that, it's Santa Monica all the way to the ocean.
5. WHAT IF I CAN'T GET THERE THAT EARLY, OR DON'T WANT TO START THAT FAR EAST? Just wait for us somewhere on the path and join in once we pass by. Several hikers will likely be Twittering as well; if you're interested in sending Tweets throughout the day, let us know.
6. HOW LONG IS THE HIKE? 18 miles. That's two miles more than last year's; but we're also hiking down a much more lively (and, dare I say, pedestrian-friendly) route this year.
7. WHEN WILL WE GET TO THE END? With so many hikers, people will eventually start to space out. Faster walkers will get to the end sometime after 5; others will get there closer to 6. We'll stop midway for lunch, likely in West Hollywood.
8. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take a group photo at the ocean... and then celebrate at a TBD restaurant. The fine folks at Yelp are helping us determine the best spot. Stay tuned for details; even if you can't stay, you'll want to at least stop by for a special souvenir that's being planned.
9. HOW DO I GET HOME? Last year, we arranged for a bus to take stranded walkers back downtown -- but didn't get enough takers. We'll throw it out again this year: The bus costs $300 -- and we need to hear from enough people to make it worthwhile (and make sense cost-wise). I figure we'd need at least 10 people (at $30 a pop) to make it reasonable. If you want to join in, email franklin_avenue(at)yahoo(dot)com by Friday.
But as Great Los Angeles Walk vet Will Campbell notes, MTA's No. 704 line runs regularly from 2nd and Santa Monica Blvd all the way to Vignes and Cesar Chavez beside Union Station. That obviously would be a lot cheaper... and would also make your return a little more flexible (allowing you the chance to stay longer at the after party).
10. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt and then bring a jacket -- it gets chilly in Santa Monica. Also, tennis shoes... sunglasses... a hat... sunscreen... extra socks... a blister kit (optional, of course -- I haven't brought one, although Band-Aids are a good idea)... and most importantly, a camera! We'll all be documenting it and posting pics later.
11. HOW SHOULD I TRAIN FOR THIS? It's not a marathon, so training isn't really necessary. I suppose you should walk around your neighborhood in the days before hand... but I'd avoid any big gym routine the day before, so you're not sore the day you're hiking. But other than that... I didn't train at all for the last two walks, and came out just fine.
12. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? Why not? There's no special reason, no charity, no protest, no issue we're promoting -- other than a passion for Los Angeles. In 2006, I organized our walk down Wilshire to mark my 10th anniversary in Los Angeles. But it was so much fun, and it was a chance to meet so many new people, that we did it again last year, down Pico. It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving as well, so somehow I don't feel as bad gorging on sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie a few days later. And hey, it'll be a cool conversation piece at your holiday party.