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I invented a sport called Urban Hiking. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

I love hiking–and walking in general. I walk about 4-5 miles a day on average. It’s great for contemplating thoughts, catching up on phone calls, and also helps me stay trim.

Hiking is one of my favorite past times too. It was one of my missions when I first arrived in California to hit up all the green in Los Angeles. My girlfriend and I go hiking about 2-3 times a month.

On one of our first dates we hiked Mt. Wilson in the Angeles National Forest, a 13-mile trail with a 3,800 foot rise in elevation.

Mt. Wilson - Angeles National Forest

Mt. Wilson – Angeles National Forest

In the past month, we’ve hiked a couple trails in the San Gabriel Mountains like Bridge to Nowhere and Icehouse Canyon Trail.

Team Awesome @ Bridge to Nowhere

Team Awesome @ Bridge to Nowhere

Bridge to Nowhere is named literally. At the end of the 5 mile trail is a bridge that connects to a rock wall and ends the trail abruptly above a river. During the day time, a group called Bungee America sets up Bungee jumping off the bridge.

I didn’t do it–I’m not a fan of bungee jumping–but there was a big crowd there on the Saturday we went.

Bungee Jumping Bridge to Nowhere

Bungee Jumping Bridge to Nowhere

We also took a day trip to Palm Springs to hike some of the trails atop the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which takes you over a mile high in elevation.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway View

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway View

I love hiking in the wilderness, but it comes with it’s own set of obstacles.

Wilderness Hiking Pros:

  • Nature is beautiful and relaxing
  • Escape from the Internet and LCD screens
  • Spend time enjoying the uninterrupted company of others
  • It’s a workout!

Wilderness Hiking Cons:

  • Pooping outdoors
  • Carrying all the food and water you need for the day on your back
  • All day commitment driving to and from nature trails (depending on where you live)

So that’s why I came up with my idea of Urban Hiking. It’s technically just a fancy name for the long walks I do every day–a unique way to market my super long walks so that my friends will join me.

I also love it because it’s a fun way to explore the city and enjoy new areas in a way that you can’t from your car. When whisking past stores and restaurants in a car, it’s hard to take everything in. Urban Hiking allows you to see things from a different perspective.

Urban Hiking Pros:

  • Discover new shops and restaurants
  • No need for carrying 6 bottles of water on your back, as it’s easy to refill throughout the day
  • Eating at delicious restaurants in the city
  • Pooping indoors

Urban Hiking Cons:

  • It can actually be more tiring walking that great of a distance on pavement than it is in the wilderness
  • City traffic

Where have you Urban Hiked?

During the past few years in Los Angeles, I’ve walked from Woodland Hills to Studio City (about 14 miles) along Ventura Blvd. I’ve gone from Glendale to Highland Park to Pasadena (about 10 miles). I’ve walked from Glendale to Boyle Heights (11 miles).

And recently, Narda, Mike, and Natalia and I did our longest Urban Hike to date. We started at 7:00am and walked from Glendale to Ocean Drive in Santa Monica–20 miles!

Glendale to Santa Monica - 20 Miles

Glendale to Santa Monica – 20 Miles

The longest I’ve ever walked in my entire life was a few years ago when Peter and I walked from Tijuana, Mexico to San Diego, California in the middle of the night. However, that wasn’t for fun… that walk was because we got robbed and had no money for bus fare to get back to San Diego so we had to walk. One of the worst and best days of my life–but that’s a story for another day.

This 20 mile hike was the longest distance I’ve ever intentionally planned on walking in one day. Mostly I did it just to prove that I could. If other people can run marathons then I can walk 20 miles!

We started in Glendale at my apartment and walked down San Fernando Rd to Los Feliz Blvd. The end of Los Feliz Blvd connects to Franklin which took us through Hollywood, and then we took Santa Monica Blvd the rest of the way through West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, and finally Santa Monica.

At about mile number 16, Natalia says, “Let’s just stop at a place to eat in Santa Monica. We’ll technically make it to Santa Monica.”

I said, “No way! I’m hiking to the end. If you want to stop, I’ll meet you there afterwards.”

Reaching the ocean was my finish line.

Paul and Narda - Ocean Drive, Santa Monica (The Finish Line)

Paul and Narda – Ocean Drive, Santa Monica (The Finish Line)

My favorite comment on that photo came from Kathy:

Kathy's Comment

Here’s Mike and Natalia at the finish line. They had no problem finishing this hike as they have been training the past year to hike the Pacific Coastal Trail this summer, an experience that will take them over 2,000 miles from Mexico to Canada.

Mike & Natalia at the Finish Line

Mike & Natalia at the Finish Line

Once we hit the finish line, Narda and I were limping. Her legs hurt and I had a huge blister on my foot but we felt like champions! Team Awesome had a celebratory drink and snack at a Mexican bar in Santa Monica and then hopped a bus home.

You can probably imagine what Team Awesome looked like on the 2 hour bus ride home–we were in a pitiful state!

Mike and Natalia were done!

Mike and Natalia were done!

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