A small role in a Big Parade

May 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had the pleasure of meeting up with the Big Parade today as they walked along the Los Angeles River. If you’re unfamiliar with this event, it’s a walk that meanders through Los Angeles stairways, neighborhoods, etc – see their website. Part of their two-day this weekend included a stretch of the Glendale Narrows, so my friend, who’s the walking-force behind the parade, Dan Koeppel invited me to talk with the group.

The Big Parade picking me up at Confluence Plaza

I gave a very brief intro after meeting up with the group at Confluence Plaza, then we walked over the soon-to-be-demolished-and-freewayified Riverside-Figueroa Bridge to their lunch stop at Steelhead Park. I spoke about the past, present and future of the L.A. River. 

Parade leader Dan Koeppel addresses the paradeers at Steelhead Park

Then we actually walked up a somewhat-secret, closed-to-vehicles access road that goes up the back of Elysian Park and into Echo Park:

The Big Parade walking up the access road on the north side of Elysian Park. Great views of Taylor Yard and Elysian Valley.

I can’t walk all that much, due to a knee issue, so I turned back and collected my bicycle back at Confluence Plaza.

I stopped along the river in Elysian Valley and sketched for a bit: (more of the day’s sketches posted at my art blog Handmade Ransom Notes)

It’s great for me to take the time to sit and be at the river on a beautiful day. I saw quite a few carp, and heard and saw lots of birds including red-wing blackbirds, phoebes, swallows, cormorants, a green heron, and others.

Then I rested with my feet in the water:

Getting to know your local stream includes getting your feet wet!

All in all it was a great day out on the Los Angeles River.

Check out the Big Parade (if you’re reading this the day I am writing it, Sunday May 20th 2012, you may be able to catch day 2 – or go on one of their walks that take place now and then throughout the year.) The Big Parade is an excellent event, a good non-strenuous workout, and an great way to see hidden corners of Los Angeles.

cell-phone shot of the L.A. River’s Glendale Narrows section, taken yesterday

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