Whether you feel the official celebration of Los Angeles’ 225th birthday this coming Monday is right on target or righteously insufficient, it is what it is: a symbolic nine-mile walk tracing the journey made September 4, 1781, by the 11 original settling families known collectively as los pobladores from the Mision de San Gabriel to a place near El Rio de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula where El Pueblo de Los Angeles was founded.
While it may not have all the pizazz (cough!) that came with shining a big flashlight at the Hollywood sign to ring in the millennium, I think it’s a cool concept and I’m onboard to participate in the public parade — even if it does begin at 7 a.m. and requires some consideration devoted to figuring out how to transport myself to the starting point… especially since
no city shuttle services are to be available (updated at the end of the jump), and neither are basic commute tips even offered on the event’s official webpages, dammit.
So, do I drive there and then have to deal with getting back out to my vehicle after the walk? Oh heeeeell nah! Do I pedal out but then wind up walking my bike most of the nine miles back to the plaza? Maybe, but I’m thinking I’d really like my hands free throughout the trek for picture taking and spontaneous applause and to semi-goodnaturedly muss Mayor ‘Tonio’s hair should that opportunity arise. So instead I’m left trying to figure out my mass transportation options that morning. That early morning. That early Labor Day holiday morning. But it seems totally doable. And by totally I mean hopefully.
Being but a handful of miles from downtown I’m lucky in that I don’t need to chart a convoluted multi-bus course (via the MTA website’s Trip Planner feature) to get me to the civic center. Hell, I’ll probably bike down there. But if your homebase’s distance makes the idea of involvement entreily discouraging, my suggestion is to aim your vehicle for a parking space in the vicinity of Union Station/Olvera Street and walk yourself over to the corner of Cesar Chavez and Vignes (map) to catch the eastbound No. 78 bus, which is scheduled to stop there at 6:05 and 6:38 Monday morning. Exiting at Las Tunas and Mission Drive in San Gabriel you’re left with a short stride south on Mission Drive to the mission itself and the start of the walk. Then, at the other end, your car’s conveniently located wherever you parked it near neighboring Union Station.
P.S. If the nine miles seems about six more than you want to do, there’s a three-mile stretch from Lincoln Park (map) to the plaza that might be more to your liking.
UPDATE: Why am I not surprised that the City of San Gabriel is better informing the public than the city whose birthday is being celebrated. According to the City of San Gabriel website, there will be free early morning bus transportation from Los Angeles to the San Gabriel Mission available from the corner of Cesar Chavez and Main Street, departing every 20 minutes beginning at 5:15 a.m. Free afternoon bus transportation back to the San Gabriel Mission will be available from the same place, departing every 20 minutes beginning at 11:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m.