Walking In L.A.: The Lincoln TownCamper


One of many oddities encountered along the walk was this prototype vehicle found at at the junction of Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards in Silver Lake — one of only one Lincoln TownCampers manufactured in 1977 by the Lincoln luxury car division of Ford Motor Company. Not the original paint scheme obviously, duh! But do note the ingenious use of jack and levelers along the rear bumper. Unseen inside, a 400-watt portable generator and water system housed in what would normally be the front passenger seat. Ahhh, they just don’t make ’em like this anymore.

s.jpgo you might recall my post of a few weeks ago in which under the guise of getting myself conditioned for the upcoming L.A. Marathon I staked out my eccentric plan to walk from the crackadawn the length of Sunset Boulevard from Union Station to the edge of the North American continent, a distance according to Google of 24.3 miles.

I’m pleased to report that not only was I successful in the strange endeavor, but there were some fellow eccentrics willing and able to come with me. Regular B.la reader Don Hosek met up with me and my wife Susan for a 6:30 a.m. breakfast at Philippe’s before I gave my entirely noneccentric wife a kiss goodbye and she drove home and we made our way to Union Station where we hooked up with Lisl Walsh, a USC grad student who speaks like 12 languages and can tell you who Aescalipius was (because there’s a frieze of him that we passed by somewhere in Hollywood, of course). P.S. “Eccentric” is a diplomatic way of saying looneybird. But in a good way.

Anyway, we covered the first 12 miles to the Will Rogers Park (the one with the George Michael Memorial Restroom across from the Beverly Hills Hotel) at a respectable 3-mph clip and after a stop for lunch continued across the potentially treacherous and at times sidewalkless pedestrian-free zone that made us feel like bipedal strangers in a four-wheeled land until it finally grew a little more walker friendly once we got to the north side of the UCLA campus.

A few more miles to the 405 Freeway at mile 17 or so is where Don opted to retire and await a ride home from his wife rather than continue on and get blisters on his blisters. So after a sentimental group hug photo Lisl and I trundled onward alongside the long and winding and rising and falling road until somewhere approaching the final mile a white Mercedes convertible came to a stop beside us and its kindly pilot asked me “Are you Will?” to which I said “Who the hell wants to know!?” “Why yes, I believe I am but a far more exhausted version of him” wherein he wanted to know where all the other walkers were and Lisl said “We’re it!” and then he introduced himself as regular B.la reader Edward Padgett and compimented us on our perseverence before saying he’d meet us at Gladstones and we said cool. After he pulled away I only half (OK, two-thirds) jokingly asked after him if he’d give us a ride, but deisel-powered Lisl who had her eyes on the prize had already gotten back into step and onward we soldiered until we kicked ass in acheiving our PCH destination at 4:13 p.m. wherein we proudly retired to Ed’s congratulations and his table inside Gladstones and he bought us a round of drinks and we talked until it was time to get back up Sunset to catch the No. 2 MTA bus that would bring us back from whence we’d come. And it did.

Other then some lingering lower back, ass and upper leg aching, I came through the challenge surprisingly well and miraculously blister free. But being that I’m still pretty beat I’m just gonna shut up now and point you to the following Flickr photoset if you wanna see some of the stuff like the Lincoln TownCamper above that we saw along the long way:


10 thoughts on “Walking In L.A.: The Lincoln TownCamper”

  1. As an act of solidarity, I walked the entire length of Hollywood Blvd. between La Brea and Highland, and then back again.

    Awesome stuff Will. It inspires me to push myself. But walk the length of Sunset? No, no… I’ll leave that to the gods.

  2. Will,

    I’m really amazed you and Lisl walked the entire length of Sunset.

    It was a pleasure meeting the two of you, I’ll send you the picture in the morning, watching the Grammy’s.


  3. congrats! and no rain to boot. i set out on my 6th street adventure this afternoon and had a great time but can’t even imagine 24 miles! you are a madman in the best sense of the word.

  4. Some day, we’ll travel the full east/west distance of 29 miles; or in a full weekend adventure, we can walk the north/south distance of 44 miles of the City of LA. I’ll do it if you do.

  5. Thanks, Ed. Pleasure meeting you too.

    Shannon, I was indeed very pleased that the threat of rain stayed just a threat Saturday and I’m glad to hear it didn’t affect your walk. When I woke up Sunday morning to the showers I was worried they wouldn’t get outta town in time for your journey. Glad to hear they did.

    City Nerd: You are on! Hell, I’ll even sign a nondisclosure statement promising not to reveal your identity!!

    David: The Nerd was certainly interested in coming on Saturday’s excellent adventure, but anonymity concerns prevented that. I tried to convince Nerd to come along under an assumed nom du marche but that idea was tabled, leading me to think Nerd is someone readily identifiable.

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