JOIN US SATURDAY, NOV. 23, 2019

For the 14th year we're walking across SoCal -- this time from Arcadia, through Pasadena on Colorado Blvd. and down Figueroa St. through Highland Park on the way to downtown Los Angeles and City Hall!

Save the date: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at 9 a.m. -- Meet at the War Memorial Fountain at Arcadia County Park!

To join in, just EMAIL US at greatlawalk@mail.com or check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greatlawalk

Make sure you're on the email list! And check back here for more details!

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2019 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


[Click on map for closer view]

OK, you know the drill by now: Is walking 18 miles even humanly possible? (When you're taking your time on an all-day leisurely stroll, sure!) Can I bike it? (Yes!) Take the Metro? (Of course!) Bring a dog or my kid? (Sure!) Quit half way through? (Whatever you want!) Does it cost money (No!) Are you personally driving me back to my car? (Well, no.)

Here it is, the unofficial Frequently Asked Questions roundup for the GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2019! 

1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving, like we do every year. We're meeting at the Arcadia County Park fountain, located at the corner of Huntington Drive and S. Santa Anita Ave. in Arcadia. Look for the crowd of people who look ready to hike their way through Los Angeles!

Feel free to get there early and grab breakfast at one of the nearby spots. Across the street is Denny's, located under a windmill — a remnant of the site's original tenant, the now-defunct Van de Kamp's bakery. Then there's Monarch Donuts on Huntington, which will be making additional goodies for Walk-ers to buy.

Before 9 am we'll gather for a pep talk and some info about the day. Then, we're off right at 9 am! THE WALK HAPPENS, RAIN OR SHINE! (We had light rain one year, but it cleared up by mid day.)

2. WHO? We're expecting 300 or so urban hikers this year. We're taking RSVPs at greatlawalk(at)mail(dot)com (yes, "mail," not "gmail"), but RSVPs are not necessary. We'll take anyone who shows up too! Also sign up for our email list if you want future info about the Walk.

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 the fountain, we'll head west on Huntington Drive, cutting through the Santa Anita Park parking lot before turning north on Baldwin Ave. (past the Los Angeles County Arboretum). We'll walk under the 210 to Foothill Blvd., turning left and walking west until we get to Michillinda Ave. We'll then walk South to Colorado Blvd., and begin our journey through Pasadena.

At the edge of Old Town Pasadena, we'll make our way over the Colorado Street Bridge, then continue to Figueroa Street, where we'll turn left and head south. We'll walk through Highland Park and then make a left at San Fernando Rd. to North Broadway, where we'll hang a right, walk over the Los Angeles River, and then walk through Chinatown. Our final destination: Grand Park, in front of City Hall.

After taking celebratory photos, we'll then celebrate nearby at an after party at the Redwood Bar & Grill.

We strictly walk down sidewalks. As for bathroom breaks along the way, it's up to you to find businesses that will let you go. Coffee shops like Starbucks and The Coffee Bean are usually pretty good for that.

5. WHAT IF I CAN'T GET THERE THAT EARLY, OR DON'T WANT TO START THAT FAR WEST? At 9:30, some Walk-ers will be waiting for us in front of the Los Angeles County Arborteum. At 10 a.m., Walk-ers who want to start in Pasadena will be waiting for us at the corner of Michillinda and Colorado Blvd., in front of the paint store there. Or 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. WHAT DO WE DO ALONG THE WAY? Explore! The whole excitement of exploring L.A. by foot is to get up close and personal with sites you might normally miss while cruising down the street in your car. And there's a lot to see this year, as we pass sites such as Santa Anita Park, the LA County Arboretum, Historic Route 66, Pasadena City College, Old Town Pasadena, the Rose Bowl, the Colorado Bridge, the Arroyo Seco, the Eagle Rock rock, the historic homes and buildings of Highland Park, the Southwest Museum, the Lummis Home, Chinatown and more.

6. HOW LONG IS THE HIKE? Around 18 and a half 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 end and stop frequently to take in the sights.

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. CAN WE BIKE IT? BRING KIDS? PETS? Because you're walking on your own accord -- remember, this is an unofficial gathering of passionate Angelenos walking the streets of our communities -- you can do whatever you want. Use your best judgement, of course. We're not responsible for you.

9. WHAT ABOUT INJURIES? Again, there is no infrastructure to our Walk, so you need to take care of yourself just like you would whenever you walk anywhere. Be careful, stay safe and stick with a group of walkers!

10. WHAT ABOUT LUNCH? We'll be taking a lunch break -- probably around an hour or so -- around the halfway point, likely in Old Town Pasadena. Again, that's up to you.. 

11. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take group photos at the end... and then celebrate by grabbing food and drinks between 5 and 8 pm at the Redwood Bar & Grill, 316 W. 2nd Street in downtown.

12. HOW DO I GET THERE, OR GET HOME? Either plan with a friend and get to downtown early morning, parking one car, then carpool to Arcadia (where you'll park the other car). OR: Park in Arcadia, walk to downtown, then eventually take Gold Line Metro back to your car in Arcadia. Check out LA Metro for bus or train times!

13. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt (and perhaps a sweatshirt, depending on the temperature). 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, your phone! Take photos, share on social media, and document your experience.

14. HOW CAN I GET A T-SHIRT? T-shirts are now for sale at http://greatlawalk.spreadshirt.com (we don't make any money off of these). But order fast, in order get the shirts in time for the Walk.

15. HOW SHOULD I TRAIN FOR THIS? It's not a marathon, so training isn't really necessary. I suppose you could 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 any of the previous nine walks, and have turned out just fine.

16. 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. In 2010, we returned to Wilshire for the fifth walk; in 2011, we hit Hollywood; in 2012, it was Melrose's turn; in 2013, it was all about Sunset Boulevard; in 2014, we hit the Valley via Ventura Boulevard; in 2015, it was Olympic Boulevard; in 2016, we returned to Pico; in 2017, we hit Beverly Boulevard; and in 2018, we walked on 6th Street and through Koreatown.

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.

17. CAN I SEND IN PHOTOS? READ A RECAP LATER? Of course! We'll have an official GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2019 page on Flickr for you to upload your pics. And check out www.greatlawalk.com the Monday after the Walk to read a full recap! Send us links to your own recaps, YouTube videos, etc.

18. 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 region. 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.

Any more questions? Add 'em below and we'll answer them!

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