On May 21, Michele and I participated in the Big Parade III – a fun walk through the streets, stairways, and walkways of Los Angeles. Although the parade lasted two days, Saturday and Sunday, we only did Saturday’s walk.We met early in the morning (8:00 AM!) at Angel’s Flight in downtown Los Angeles with a crowd of around 150 people. The organizer of the parade, Dan Koeppel, led us around some interesting stairways in walkways around the skyscrapers before heading towards Olvera Street. Here we got to hear some history from a sixth generation marketplace vendor and toured Avila Adobe, the oldest house in Los Angeles.
From their we made our way to Union Station and then up through Chinatown. After Chinatown, a very interesting part of our walk started – we travelled along a trail that was right in the middle of the Pasadena Freeway. There is a little known pathway that is right beside the Southbound lanes of the highway. This is probably a route that I would not want to take without a large group though – it was fairly isolated and a little sketchy.
We left the freeway path and started along the LA River, where we had lunch in a pocket park. We left the river and then climbed up into the hills of Echo Park. Here the mist grueling part of the walk began. We twisted and turned our way through Echo Park, hitting lots of stairways along the way. Dan planned a great route that didn’t repeat any portions and managed to go up most of the major stairways in the area – the longest one was the Baxter Stairway with 237 steps up.
After that we walked some more stairways in Sliverlake, saw the old Victorian mansions along Carroll Avenue and ended up at the bottom of the Music Box staircase in Silverlake.
This was only day one of the walk. Sunday’s walk went from Silverlake to the Hollywood Sign, but we did not participate. Saturday was a great day and we are looking forward to it again next year. In the meantime I’ve started exploring some of the stairways in Hollywood.