The 18th edition of the Great Los Angeles Walk returns on Saturday, November 18, 2023! (Always the Saturday before Thanksgiving.) Details to come.
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Monday, November 5, 2012

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2012 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

"Wait, you're doing what?"

"Is walking 17 miles even humanly possible?"

"Can I bike it? Bring a dog? Quit half way through? Are you personally driving me back to my car?"

Here it is, the unofficial Frequently Asked Questions roundup for the GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2012!

1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving, like we do every year. We're meeting on the front steps of downtown’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (at 1st and Grand). We'll probably have a speaker or two to kick things off, at around 8:45, so get there early. The Walk leaves PROMPTLY at 9.

2. WHO? We're expecting over 250 hikers this year. We're taking RSVPs at greatlawalk(at)mail(dot)com (yes, "mail," not "gmail") and on Facebook, but RSVPs are not necessary. 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 the Walt Disney Concert Hall, we'll walk west on 1st, which turns into Beverly Blvd. And then north on Virgil, west on Melrose Avenue, to the end -- when we then make a left on to Santa Monica Boulevard, which we'll then take to the ocean. (Check it out here.)

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? 17-ish 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.

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 their favorite city -- 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, near La Cienega. We're talking to a restaurant about giving us a Walk discount -- stay tuned.

11. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take group photos at the ocean... and then celebrate at WOKCANO Santa Monica from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.!

12. HOW DO I GET THERE, OR GET HOME? Either plan with a friend and get to Santa Monica early morning, parking one car, then carpool to downtown (where you'll park the other car). OR: Park at downtown, walk to Santa Monica, then eventually take Metro back to downtown. OR: Park at Santa Monica at 7 a.m., allowing yourself enough time to board a Metro bus to downtown. 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: Visit Metro ( for details. But here's a thumbnail:

The last Big Blue Rapid 10 bus ( leaves Santa Monica for downtown at around 7pm. It's the return from downtown that's at around 8pm. But if you're going to stick around the Afterparty beyond 7 after the walk, your choices are the 704 (or the local 4, both via Santa Monica/Sunset), the 720 (via Wilshire), and the 733 (via Venice Blvd). some run more often than others, some will drop you off closer to the Civic Center than others.

Your best bet, in other words, is to carpool. But if you can't do that, I strongly recommend parking in Santa Monica in the morning. As long as you get on the Big Blue Bus Rapid 10 before 8 a.m., you'll get to downtown before 9. It will be a quick, pleasant ride during daylight... and you'll be so happy knowing that your car is waiting for you in Santa Monica.

13. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt (and perhaps a sweatshirt, depending on the temperature) and 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.

14. HOW CAN I GET A T-SHIRT? We've just posted a bunch of T-shirts for sale at We weren't impressed with Cafe Press anymore, so we're trying out Spreadshirt as a new vendor. Order directly from them, and it looks like they're shipping shirts in a pretty quick turnaround -- but if you wanna wear one on the Walk, you should probably order one soon!

15. 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 any of the previous six 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, and in 2011, we hit Hollywood. This year, it's Melrose's turn.

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. 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.

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