The response to this year's Great Los Angeles has so far been amazing! It's on track to be our biggest yet.
A few things to note (and check both here at the Great Los Angeles Walk's Facebook event page later this week):
If you are planning on Tweeting the walk, please send us your Twitter account name ASAP! We'll be compiling them so folks at home can follow along all day. Leave a comment below.
And now, the Frequently Asked Questions:
1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving, like we do every year. We're meeting at Pershing Square. We'll probably have a speaker or two to kick things off, at around 9:30, so get there early. The Walk leaves PROMPTLY at 10.
2. WHO? We're expecting over 250 hikers this year. We're still taking RSVPs at greatlawalk(at)mail(dot)com...(yes, "mail," not "gmail") 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? A straight shot once we get to the start of Wilshire -- ONE WILSHIRE, natch -- 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 be Twittering as well -- including us, at @greatlawalk. Check one of those Twitter accounts to figure out where we are.
6. HOW LONG IS THE HIKE? 15.6 miles. IMPORTANT: This is not a race. Sure, you can sprint all the way to the end, but where's the fun in that? There's no prize for who gets there first. Instead, take a breath, and join the bulk of us as we leisurely stroll toward the ocean and stop frequently to take in the sights.
The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is sponsoring a mid-morning snack and water stop, while O.N.E. Coconut Water will be passing out water on the afternoon side.
7. WHEN WILL WE GET TO THE END? With so many hikers, people will eventually start to space out. Impatient, faster walkers might get there soon after lunch. But the bulk of the walkers will get there around 5.
8. WHAT ABOUT LUNCH? We'll be taking a lunch break -- probably around an hour or so -- at LACMA. (Approximately 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.) We've got four food trucks lined up to feed you, but LACMA also has a cafeteria, and other eateries (Black Dog Cafe, Johnnie's Pizza, Baja Fresh) are nearby.
9. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take group photos at the ocean... and then celebrate at Border Grill Santa Monica.
10. HOW DO I GET HOME? Either plan with a friend and get to Santa Monica early morning, parking one car, then carpool to Pershing Square (where you'll park the other car). OR: Park at Pershing Square, walk to Santa Monica, then eventually take Metro back to Pershing Square. OR: Park at Santa Monica at 8 a.m., allowing yourself enough time to board a Metro bus to Pershing Square. Traffic's light that time of morning, so the bus ride is relatively quick. And that way, when you arrive in Santa Monica, your car is waiting for you.
BUSES: The Big Blue Bus #10 stops near Pershing Square, and MTA's 20/720 bus also gets you back to Pershing Square, even late at night.
11. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt and then bring a jacket -- it gets chilly at the beach in the evening. 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.
Several of you have ordered Great Los Angeles Walk T-shirts, which is cool (www.cafepress.com/franklinavenue) but not mandatory. For the rest of you, I suggest white T-shirts -- so we can all recognize each other as Great LA Walk walkers!
12. 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 first three walks, and came out just fine.
13. 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 in 2007, down Pico; in 2008, via Sunset and Santa Monica Blvd.; and in 2009, we hit West Adams as we walked down Adams and Washington to Venice Beach.
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.
14. IMPORTANT: You are walking on your own volition. The Great Los Angeles Walk is just a casual opportunity to walk with other Angelenos through the city. It's not an official organization of any sort -- and is therefore not responsible for your conduct or anything that may happen during your hike. Be careful, and be respectful of others and of your city.