Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Slogging Away - Day 4 on the Inman 300

I am worn out tonight after a long day of many miles and stairwells, plus climbing quite a few steep streets to reach the stairwells. I am struggling with drinking enough water on this hike, because it's difficult to locate bathrooms the appropriate distance after consuming water. When I can on my maps see that a likely bathroom is coming up in about a mile, then I can guzzle whatever is left in my quart bottle. Bathrooms can be found occasionally in parks, but more often in eating establishments and grocery stores. These generally require a purchase, so I have been trying to save my purchases to overlap with when I need a bathroom. This is a different way to think, an expansion of urban living practices that I learned living in Seattle and San Francisco. It's a difference from planning bathroom usage in the wilderness, which usually focused more on being an appropriate distance from water sources. In the city the issues are based on desire for privacy, societal norms & public health. 

I started the morning by climbing up high on a ridge, which provided an excellent view of the areas to come in the next few days, including downtown LA. 

Today's section was more 'gritty,' as it traversed working class neighborhoods, near the freeways and through parks that are both beautiful and blighted with garbage. By day's end, my legs had dirt and sand caked into the sunscreen. I was grateful for the hot bath. Sandra, you're right - a hot meal and shower at the end of the day are lovely. 

The best part of the day was having company. I received a somewhat surprise visit and accompaniment from THE Bob Inman, the logistics man behind this route and from whence the name of the route originates. He volunteered his time and attention to guide me through some of the more navigationally difficult portions. What a treat to get to hike with the very person who put this route together. I was walking with a luminary. 

Another treat - one of my childhood friends, Todd, drove up from San Diego to slog away some miles & stairwells. We haven't seen each other for a few years. It was delightful to chatter along with him while pounding the pavement and going through the portions that felt like an urban jungle. Thanks to Mr Logistics - Bob Inman - we were able to get everyone back on their separate tracks after hiking together for a couple of hours. Bob on a bus, Todd on his way back to San Diego and me back to hiking. 

There were beautiful sights to be seen, and artwork spread throughout the city. This is a statement at Abraham Lincoln High School. A man walking by saw me taking the picture. "That's true," he said, "you can't fail at Lincoln. I should know, I went there." ... he smirked wryly "They just pass you based on age, so that's true, you can't fail at Lincoln." We walked together for a few blocks, chatting and then I split off to stick with the route. A couple of blocks later, we intersected again. "You following me," he stated as he kept walking. I consulted my maps and then started walking again - "Yes I am," I yelled after him. 

1 comment:

  1. You are doing great Kelley and it was fun to walk with you today. The first half of "D" is kind of a slog too. Then it flattens out quite a bit and your pace will pickup the closer you get to downtown. See you on the trail soon, stay in touch. BTW, we call that "Kite Hill" where you shot the photo looking beyond downtown. Bob