25 January 2007

Walkabout to The Whistlestop

Last year TNNA rubbed shoulders with the Extreme Sports trade show. This year it was Mary Kay. I don't know if there was any overlap but the Extreme Sports folks are back at the convention center this week.

In a totally unrelated note, while I was distracted by heading off to work on Thursday morning, I narrowly missed a little neighbourhood drama. Apparently there was a police chase that started about 6 blocks away, involved a naked guy and ended not far from my apartment. My neighbourhood is weird but naked guys and car chases are pretty far from the norm.

On one of my many duh camera days I didn't capture the walkabout to the Whistlestop. On Sunday I corrected that omission and not only managed the walk (there and back is about 4.5 miles) but also to take some snaps.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I need to get back to writing about knitting circles, TNNA etc. but I also need to do laundry and I'm not doing that right away either.

Since I seem to be losing the same three pounds over and over again before moving down the scale, I figured that tackling the hills along the way would be a good kick start to my metabolism. So I set off with swatch knitting and the body of the pentagon sleeves project for walkabout knitting.

The route starts at Robinson & Park Boulevard and ends at Fern/30th/Juniper. It is about 2.25 miles one way and has two significant uphill climbs.

East on Robinson to Indiana, South on Indiana to Cypress. If you're not feeling up for a hill challenge, you can go cross Florida and go down to the "end" of Cypress and take the stairs up to Alabama. Then South on Alabama to Upas.

If you're feeling a bit more energetic, head South on Florida until you see Upas to your right. It's a steep downhill that starts at Park and Upas by the Blind Recreation Center. If you feel really ambitious on the return trip, you can tackle that hill instead of the slightly shorter (but also steep) walk up Cypress to Indiana.
To your left, Upas continues up a sidewalk that looks rather daunting from the base.
I don't know what the rate of the grade is for the hill but I don't recommend it when you've any lung congestion going on. When I topped the hill, I had worked up enough of a sweat to want the hair off the neck. My hairsticks were hiding, but the honking huge needles that were part of a very clever package of yarn samples that I had from Universal Yarn served the purpose quite nicely.

In one of my career incarnations, I was involved with packaging so I have soft spot for clever packaging and not only do I like the yarn I've been swatching with (photo coming) I really like this sampler packaging:

At the top of the hill, go South on Alabama to the intersection of Alabama, Upas and Morley Field Drive. Continue East on Upas to 28th, South on 28th to Palm, East on Palm to 30th, South on 30th to the intersection of Juniper/30th/Fern and you've arrived at the Whistlestop.

The Upas to 28th is mostly on the downhill until Texas Street when you get another little hill to keep things interesting.
The 28th street route gives you some great views of the Balboa Park and the city skyline with a nice green zone. Continuing on to 30th (or coming back that way) will give you the option of stopping in for a bite at The Linkery or zensei Sushi.

Besides the Universal Yarn knitting needle and swatch knitting, there's another TNNA tie-in to this story. Sunday, while I was waiting for a ticket for one of book signings, I got to talking with Kerry at the STC (table over at Unicorn) about both the Knitting for Peace and Punk Knits titles and somehow, huge shock, the WhistleStop and the whole local indy music scene came up. Just a a few hours later Share and I ran into each other at the Unique Kolours booth and chatted up a storm. I even modelled Bucket O Bones for her amusement.


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