Monday, January 22, 2007

Everyone Walks In L.A.: Two More Urban Hikes

Bust out your Reeboks: Our Great Wilshire Walk last November (above, a pic of participants at the starting point downtown) has inspired two more urban hikes. Both are being thrown by fellow L.A. bloggers -- and one's a doozy.'s (and blogger) Will Campbell is looking for some company on Feb. 10 as he hikes all 24 miles of Sunset Boulevard, from downtown to the Pacific Coast Highway.

Yowza. That sure makes my 16-mile Wilshire jaunt look like a piece of cake. Sunset is more hilly, lacks sidewalks in spots and is eight miles longer. (That said, I've wondered myself if Sunset were doable in a how-do-I-top-my-Wilshire-hike sort of way.)

But Will has a good reason to test his endurance: He's one of about 100 brave (or shall we say, crazy?!) souls who are participating in both the 21-mile Acura L.A. Bike Tour and the 26.2-mile L.A. Marathon on March 4. You read that right -- two body-thrashing, heart-pounding crushing endurance contests in the same day!

That means some serious training -- including a lengthy Sunset Blvd. jaunt (which sounds like a cakewalk compared to his dual marathon day). He writes:

As I'll also be attempting to complete the marathon on foot -- walking, mind you -- in somewhere around six hours, I need to start getting my ped on and quick. And one way I'm going to do that these next few weeks is by rapidly building up to taking a long walk. A r-e-a-l-l-y long walk.

Drawing inspiration from Franklin Avenue's MIke and Maria and friends who a couple months ago walked the 16 miles from the downtown beginnings of Wilshire Boulevard to its end in Santa Monica, I started looking around town at other avenues and boulevards and it didn't take long for me to settle on the one, the only, the Sunset Boulevard. Thus it will be that after mustering at nearby Philippe's for a 6 a.m. breakfast I will set out at 7 a.m. on Saturday, February 10 from Union Station and hoof it the 24 miles all the way through the wide variety of socio-economic strata to Gladstones on Pacific Coast Highway at the other end.

Sha in LA's Shannon, meanwhile, is planning a seven-mile hike down 6th Street, starting at San Vicente and winding up downtown. No wake-up call here: The walk starts at noon on Feb. 11 (hey, between Will's and Shannon's walks, you could make a weekend of it!) and winds up downtown just in time for a drink.

She writes:
I don't like to wake up early and I'm gonna have a drink when all is said and done. Join me if you wish on a very special day in my life, February 11th, starting out at noon on 6th Street at San Vicente, we will then proceed East toward Downtown enjoying lots of beautiful residential, a little Koreatown, a little industrial and finally a drink....most likely at The Daily Grill although I'm open to nearby options.

Unfortunately, we can't make either hike -- it's Grammy Weekend, and with a nominee in the house we'll be plenty busy! But we'll be throwing our next day-long L.A. hike in November. Until then, it looks like you'll have many more options to explore our city's main drags as well.

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