My friends and I joined the Secret Stairs meetup group for a stairwalk along the ocean in Long Beach. We took the metro from Universal City down to Long Beach. The total ride was 1.5 hours, a bit too long in the uncomfortable seat. It would have been quicker to drive but we weren’t sure how the traffic would be since it was carmageddon weekend-the weekend where the 405 freeway was closed for construction. Even though we would not have taken the 405, traffic on the 5 freeway might have been heavier due to the closure. After arriving in Long Beach, we walked half a mile to join the meet up group where we all made our way over to Ocean Avenue.
We walked Ocean Avenue, turning down streets that led to the beach, going down the stairs to the beach and taking the next stairway up to the street. We did this for 3 miles, ending at the last stairway before the pier. According to the organizer, there were 14 stairs and 600 steps. I started to count the stairs but quit after the 5th or 6th one. I decided I’d take the organizers word on how many stairs there were and just take in the beauty of the ocean, the sand, the palm trees, and watch the bicyclists pedaling on the bicycle path which runs parallel to the ocean. One lane is for bicyclists and the other is for walkers. When walking, you really need to watch out for the bicyclists when you attempt to enter or leave the walk lane. It’s like looking both ways before you cross the street.
It was a warm fall day and even though it was in October, it felt like summer. The temperature was in the 80’s and very little breeze. The beach wasn’t crowded and there were plenty of parking spaces in the big parking lot next to the beach. Summer is officially over and most of the tourists have returned home and the kids are back in school. This is unlike the Long Beach I know that is jam packed with people and cars which makes it difficult to find parking. It was a small group of nine people and everyone really enjoyed themselves. At about the half way point on our stair walk, we came to Bluff Park, 25.8 acres of park that runs parallel to the beach from 20th to 36th place. The park is dotted with benches, palm trees, and a few big trees with large roots. It’s a nice park to walk your dog, since the only part of the Long Beach that allows dogs on the beach is the dog Beach located at Belmont Shores.
I thank David, the organizer, for leading this walk. It was a great idea and a new way to spend the day in Long Beach. I was able to get exercise while alternating between walking on Ocean Boulevard and the beach, taking in the views of the neighborhood and the Pacific Ocean. Finally it was time to get on the metro and take the long ride home.