I'd decided to start as early as I could and go for as long as I could, hoping to reach Griffith Observatory for the solar eclipse.
I made it, just barely. And then I had to find my way back to my car.
I hiked over 17 miles that day. And although it was along a circuitous path only bringing me 4.5 miles from my original starting point, it felt like I went a very long way.
I was excited to embark on the other day of The Big Parade this year, though I felt less of a personal challenge. I'd already walked the 17 miles. I didn't need to break my record. I didn't really need to go anywhere.
But it was something I wanted to be a part of.
Yesterday, I only did the Main Loop of The Big Parade, joining the group in Elysian Park...
... and winding our way through (only) five or six miles of the park, Elysian Heights, and Echo Park before bailing out and heading back to my car.
But actually, despite being much shorter than last year, it was plenty.
Apparently, though I am an avid hiker, I don't climb enough stairs.
My ankles aren't used to walking on that much asphalt and concrete.
I long for the earth under my feet.
Fortunately a lunch stop back in Elysian Park provided a soft grassy seat...
...plenty of doggies (whose stamina far outlasted mine) and the dulcet tones of a ukelele orchestra, the highlight of my entire weekend.
Compared to last year...
I don't feel like I made it very far.
It wasn't as hot as last year, but, without enough breaks, the stairs really wore on me.
Walking in circles wore on me.
I wanted to have somewhere to go, some destination to draw me closer.
As we were tracing the historic steps of long-gone commuters who once needed to climb down to the streetcar and back up to their homes...
...we climbed up...
...and sometimes down...
...through one zen-like garden...
...past homes teetering on the edge of the world.
At one point, there were over 200 walkers trekking through LA with The Big Parade, a record-breaking turnout.
This year, I wanted to parade so I could be part of something, but our crowd was so big...
...we ended up spreading out into several distant chunks, taking few breaks to let the stragglers (like me) catch up.
And so, for too long, I walked alone.
As I usually do.
I just couldn't keep up. So rather than be left behind, I left.
And afterwards, I still didn't have anywhere to go, or anyone to be with.
Keep on Moving
Photo Essay: The Big Parade Day Two (Silverlake)
Photo Essay: The Big Parade Day Two Part 2 (Franklin Hills, Los Feliz, Griffith Park)
Photo Essay: Elysian Park, Beyond Dodger Stadium
Photo Essay: The Stairs of LA
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