Beginner Stairwalk with Dan Koeppel

My friend and I joined Dan Koeppel and about forty other stair walkers for the “beginner stairs” walk.  Dan leads walks and is organizer of the “Big Parade,” a walk that encompasses 35 miles and 101 stairways over a period of two days, which takes place in May.  He did three stairwalks in Echo Park, stair walks #15, 16, and 17 from the book “Secret Stairs” by Charles Fleming.

Dan Koeppel

The three walks began at 10:00 am, 11:00 am and 12:00 PM.  This is good for any- level walker and the purpose was to introduce

Dave Ptach

newcomers to stair walks and also to work up to the Big Parade. You could either do all three walks, or as many as you like, since each walk starts and ends at Fix, a coffee house/restaurant.

Fix

This area has some very steep streets.  I was nervous driving up some of them because you cannot see the top where it levels out until you get right up to the top.

On the first walk, stairwalk #16, Allesandro Loop, I noticed a lot of barking dogs.  Charles Flemings says in his book that El Sereno Circle, stairwalk # 9, has more barking dogs than you can shake a stick at.  I haven’t done that walk but I’d say this walk has more barking dogs than you can shake a stick at.  One long-haired little dog followed the group, walking alongside us and barking.  He followed us up the stairs and finally went back home.  I thought he’d never leave.

Dog that followed us

The second walk was stairwalk #17, Fellowship Park. This is one of my all-time favorite walks. I love the winding stairs and the green woodsy area.  From the stairs you can walk out to an unpaved area and onto a dirt path that winds through the woodlands which has a variety of trees– pine, oak, elm, palm and walnut.

House in Fellowship Park

Fellowship Park

This area is known as Fellowship Park and the stairs and dirt path are actually public roads.  Dave Ptach, organizer of Los Angeles Stair Street Advocates, lives in a house located on the stairs.

This is a true walk-street, and Dave, as well as the other residents that live on these stairs, park their cars at the bottom of the stairs in some garages located on Cerro Gordo and walk to their homes.

Dave's 100 year old house

This minor inconvenience doesn’t bother Dave, who has lived in his 100 year old house for more than twenty years.

Creek on Dave's stair street

He tells me he will never move.  I don’t blame him.

I was not able to do the third walk, stairwalk #15, Avalon-Baxter Loop, due to a previous engagement.  I have done all three walks before and if you’d like to read more about the walks, you can read them on my blog.  They are posted by the name and number that Charles uses in his book.

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One Response to Beginner Stairwalk with Dan Koeppel

  1. Karen says:

    Dan Koeppel informed me that the walks were not the exact walks that are in Charles Flemings book “Secret Stairs.” I have cut and pasted his response. He also provided a google map of the route.
    Thanks so much, Karen. I’d point out that the loops aren’t the same as Charles’ numbered walks that you city – though they’re close.

    For anyone who is interested, here’s a route map on Google Maps. (Unfortunately, Google recently introduced a bug in the maps that makes them difficult to directly follow; by the end of the week, I’m told, that bug will be fixed at the map will be back to normal.)

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=204007525790966495324.0004ad173424a486fad12&msa=0
    Baby Steps/Easy Eight – Google Maps
    maps.google.com

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