Walk Western With Us This Saturday

This Saturday is the day!  Join Will Campbell (WILL•I•AM) and me as we march down Western Ave. Here are the details:

Meet-up time:  6:30am

Meet-up/Start location:  Fern Dell Park at Fern Dell Drive (the first street east of the Western/Los Feliz bend. There is some on-street parking in that area as well.)

End location:  Friendship and Bogdanovich Park (click here and here for more details. They share a parking lot off of W. 9th street) We will find a spot in the park that has great views to end the day. (Click here for an interesting tidbit on who this Bogdnaovich was.)

A note on the end location. Will and I haven’t decided if we might end up two more miles down Western, at the ocean. We like to be flexible and see how we feel by then.  

Duration:  I’m calculating 9.5 to 10 hours. (The distance is approx. 26 miles, so divided by 3mph is 8.6 hours, but factor in rest stops, photo ops, blister protection rearrangement stops and the time adds up.)

Obviously, this will not be a round trip walk so plan for a pick up at the end. Even Will and I have not confirmed our own rides back, though I’m fairly certain our respective spouses may provide transport.

Along the way Will will be on Twitter so you can follow our progress from the comfort of your couch.   

When I first posted about our little event a few of you readers/commenters said you might like to join in. We are counting on you because, as you know, the more, the merrier.

I’ll probably post one more time with last minute updates this week.  But for now, go get some moleskin, make sure your shoes are broken in, charge those camera and phone batteries and we’ll see you Saturday morning.  My one piece of advice:  HYDRATE on Friday!

17 thoughts on “Walk Western With Us This Saturday”

  1. hmmm…my youngest isn’t in tournaments this weekend, I quite possibly could meet you all at the end and bring you back to the top for cars or just get you home. Maybe I could even meet you for a pitstop or water break. Should be a fun walk, my knees are shot after the weekend art event.

  2. As a kid I used to walk home from Western and Hollywood Blvd. to 16200-block of Western in Gardena on Saturdays, after spending all my dough on snacks, English imports at Lewin’s Record Paradise and softcore porn at the Apollo Arts Theater. That trek took me 6 to 8 hours. Much faster by skateboard.
    It’s a fascinating walk and it’s really not that far if your feet are in shape. However, boredom might set in during the uphill South Bay section.
    I may check it out. I’ll be in the sinister-looking black Porsche.
    Have fun, kids.
    Deke Babamoto

  3. My advice is to walk all the way down Western and end at Royal Palms State Beach. Friendship Park is up at the top of a hill, and there’s not much to do there, but the beach can’t be beat, and you’re pretty much heading downhill at that point.

  4. I am not prepared, but I don’t think I ever would be. I don’t expect to finish but I’ll be there at the start!

  5. Evilgerbil, I would be happy just to meet a person with that name…so walking with you a bit would be icing on the cake.

    Marshall, thanks for the advice on Friendship Park. Though I won’t actually be looking to DO anything there. I’ll be sweaty and smelly and tired and wanting to hit the showers. So if it’s just a nice view and “woot! We did it!” that’s all I need…

    Babamoto — I am amazed at your weekend walks, that’s amazing.

  6. Just wanna chime in with couple pointers, suggestions and other minutae for anyone joining Julia and me (in no particular order):

    1) Public transportation bail-out option: The No. 207 bus can get you back to Hollywood Boulevard form whatever point south you opt to exit. It runs about every 20 minutes from Imperial Highway. Fare is $1.25.

    2) Bring sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, packable snacks/lunch, bottle o’ water, cash, ibuprofen, stowable light jacket, spare socks, lip balm, cell phone, camera, blister kit (bandages, antibiotic ointment), and duh, a pack to carry it all.

    3) Socks. Other than brand new shoes, there is nothing potentially worse for your feet on long treks than socks whose insides resemble towels. All that terrycloth goodness may seem soft and comfy, but take it from someone who knows, those things turn on you and can leave you feeling as if the soles of your feet are one giant blister. Wear socks that are as smooth inside as they are outside. Buy a pair if you don’t have a pair. Remember, friction and feet hate each other.

    4) Rest stops and breaks. Julia and I are cut from the same cloth in that we don’t foresee regimented breaks spaced out every four miles on either side of an extended restaurant-style lunch break. We’ll stop at convenience stores and restrooms as needed with lunch tentatively slated to be taken between miles 13-14 somewhere near El Segundo Boulevard. Having said that a halt will be called because There Will Be Donuts not too much further along after lunch at Donut King II in Gardena (lesser known sibling to Inglewood’s Randy’s Donuts).

    5) Weather. According to weather.com Saturday will be sunny and the high temp for San Pedro near Friendship/Bogdonavich parks is to be 74 degrees.

    6) Sun stuff: Sunrise will be at 7 a.m., coincidentally when we will be sharply starting the walk. If we’re able to maintain a 3-4mph pace we should arrive well before sunset, taking place at 6:15 p.m.

  7. hee hee!

    I also found another public transpo bailout option further south in the MTA No. 232 line. It runs about every 30 minutes along Sepulveda/PCH with a stop at Western & PCH that can either get you to LAX bus center or over to the transit mall of downtown Long Beach.

  8. First of all, Best of Luck, and Thank You to Will and Julia for the inspiration. Due to other plans for this coming Saturday, I did a preemptive Western Avenue Walk over the past weekend.

    Walking 27.6 miles is far, very far. It took me two days. Taking photos, talking to locals, sampling local cuisine, and having to stop and recharge my phone, and camera battery really cut into my forward progress.

    What to expect, and some tips:
    1. The southward walk means walking into the sun all day long. The shade will be on the east side of the street in the morning, and the west side of the street in the afternoon. Wear a shade-tastic hat, and expect the sun to get in the way of taking photos.

    2. Take your chargers and extra batteries.

    3. Keep hydrated. Drink more water than you think you need.

    4. Don’t worry about the Bloods, Crips, Surenos 13, or 18th Street gangsters. They may stare at you and wonder aloud at your presence on their South LA streets –just keep walking.

    5. Too much good food to be had. Korean Pancakes, El Cholo, Soul Food, BBQ, (Sorry, the original Fatburger is no more) Jack’s Family Kitchen across from MLK Park, M’Dears Bakery & Bistro at 77th street, Ramona’s Mexican Food Factory in Gardena, Donut King II also in Gardena, or King’s Hawiian at the 405.

    6. Reaching the beach is worth it. Though, I don’t think it can be done in one day.

    If anyone is taking a bus as I did, MTA’s line 446 picks up from Peseo Del Mar (the street where Western ends) near the Korean Bell in San Pedro and goes to Union Station. The 205 also hits portions of Western Avenue near the end. Gardena’s #2 Bus runs south from Imperial to PCH and then heads back north up Vermont Avenue to the Metro Green Line station / 754 Rapid Bus.

    Here is my flickr set from the two days of walking. Enjoy!

  9. Wow Waltarrrrr! thanks for the tips. What an adventure you had. With our focus on the finish line I think we can reach the beach. Unfortunately it won’t give us any time to experience the real flavors you found. Sorry you won’t be joining us.

  10. My boyfriend, who was the more gung ho one at the beginning, is getting cold feet! I think it’s the earlier start time than anything else. Nevertheless I shall drag him out of bed in the morning. Make sure you’re wearing good shoes with support. I finally had to break down and buy a pair of running shoes, because all my now incessant walking is taking a toll on my lower back. As far as socks go, Smart Wool cannot be beat. I have long, slender feet and these socks keep my feet cool and dry, and are tight and supportive enough to not rub between my toes. I think the boyfriend was going to walk in some white crew socks but please, don’t anyone try that. I’m bringing my Camelbak and might get some powdered Gatorade or other sports drink. I’ll have plenty of SPF 45 for anyone that needs it. See ya bright and early tomorrow!

  11. Now all you have to do is guess which one of the people that show up is me! (“Is SHE evil gerbil? No, wait, it’s totally that guy!”) It was my first screen name on AOL in 1994 and I’ve been using it ever since.

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