Sunday, March 8, 2009

Urban Hiking 101

Lauren and I have been supporters of the Atlanta Beltline ever since its inception - or at least since we first heard about it over a year ago.

(For our non-Atlanta readers, the Beltline is a HUGE city-wide urban development project. It's still in the initial stages, but will eventually encompass new development, public transit and greenspace that follows 22 miles of historic rail circling the city center.)

So when I found out about a group of urban hikers getting ready to go on their third Beltline tour, I (easily) convinced some friends to come with me:

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(L to R: me, Matt, Ameila and Lain)

I was foolish enough to let Lar take all the pictures, so there are none of her from our hike. Needless to say, she was the most fashionable of the bunch.

There were about 25 of us total in the group. We ended up walking about 6 miles of the Beltline in about 3 hours and spent a lot of the time listening to Angel, our tour guide who knows everything about the Beltline AND use to be a train conductor (he's the one in the orange shorts).
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Of course no urban hike would be complete without graffiti. Scarface and the cow face were our two favorites:
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The best part about the hike was getting to see the city from a different perspective. Imagine taking a train through your local city, but on foot - if that makes any sense. Some of you Atlantans might recognize the local spots in the photos below.

Starting at the top, left to right: Taking a break in Atlanta's Glenwood Park neighborhood, City Hall East (formerly the Sears building), Krog Street tunnel, and the rail bridge over Ponce de Leon Ave. facing east (that's Paris on Ponce on the left).
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By 3 p.m. we were all exhausted, hungry and sunburned, but it was so much fun we're all looking forward to the next hike. For some more photos from the hike, check out the Urban Hiking Atlanta blogpost.

After a couple of hours of walking on rail, rocks, sand and branches, Lar, our friend Amelia, and I agreed the following would make up the perfect urban hiking outfit:
  • Shorts, tank top and hoodie.
  • Sneakers and tube socks.
  • A large water bottle that won't leak in your backpack or one that attaches to a beltloop with a carabiner.
  • Sunglasses that aren't so cheap they leave indentations on your checks (these are the only type of sunglasses I own).
So, dear readers, we hope this post inspires you to go out and explore your own city by foot - preferrably with a great group of friends and, if at all possible, a guide named Angel.

- CL

38 comments:

proudly says, said...

thank you soo much for dropping a comment in my blog.
mr. freddy's happy to hear about it.
btw, i love your sneakers (black&pink).
i hope one day i could go for hiking. looks exciting!

Munted kowhai said...

Exploring the city by foot is the best way because this way you find the best nook and cranny places! Yay for urban trekking!

lisa said...

Aw this sounds like quite the urban adventure! If I'm ever in town I should remember to pack my Asics sneakers and some shorts. ;-)

Fashion Tidbits said...

looks like you had an awesome time!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-well done to you all, it sounds like a real healthy fun time!

Songy said...

That looks like a nice outing. I love the urban environs..

remote shutter release not lens. :)

Look at the D40 manual. It will tell you which model of remote release is compatible. Mine was less than AUD20 I think. Not expensive specially for D40 I wouldn't think. Enjoy!

June Shin said...

Looks like a fun hike. I would totally be up for a hike on the Belt line.

Sal said...

How INCREDIBLY fun! Playing tourist in your own city is so rewarding, ain't it? And I just love that Angel was a train conductor ...

Tatamwari said...

I think when you said, "the guy in the orange shorts" what you meant to say was "the smokin' hot guy in the orange shorts." Just thought I would help you out with that. ;)

Ediot said...

thanks sweetieS.
i really like these pics. railrowtrack are a nice backround for any picture. these were so nice.-- it looks like it was an interesting trip.
have a good day

J said...

oh no way! We were reading an article on this beltline in my law and development class. It's pretty cool to see fun pictures of it after reading the drabby academic journal on it. :-)

<3
blackpatentstilettos.blogspot.com

Maeko said...

I've taken a few urban hikes around neighbourhoods in Detroit with my future mother-in-law, however, that's died down recently. With the downturn of the economy, the cost of these hikes really has decidedly been something I can't pay for, secondly, most of the neighbourhoods end up being really, really unsafe for walkers.

I joined the Detroit Historical Society, in which we do tours and what not, but we end up doing them only once a year.

Lesley said...

That seems like so much fun! The graffiti is so cool! I wish I was artist in some way!

First Lady of MADE said...

that sounds like so much fun! i think everyone needs to take time and explore their respective cities! i think we spend so much time planning vacays abroad that we forget about all the cool things to do in our own hometowns. great post!

Shin said...

Looks like you guys had a great time! I haven't hiked for so long so this definitely makes me want to find some great hiking spots in my town. If you have any suggestions for an affordable pair of sunglasses that are good for this sort of thing, please let me know. xxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Amie said...

I just have to say how much I love the new header!!

Finally I got my mac back. (Totally rhymed!) I don´t know how I survived without it...


HUGS! ♥

Asianmommy said...

What a fun way to spend the day!

~ Faith said...

Looks like a lot of fun! Here it's brutally cold and snowy everywhere so hiking is definitly out... *sigh*

~F

Hot Bot said...

Oh, I wish I did something like this when I visited New Orleans last January!

Hanako66 said...

It sounds like a blast!

Stacy said...

Cute photo. Looks like you had a great time.

Shelly's Style Shop said...

Looks like you had so much fun. Great photos! xoxo, Shelly

Franco said...

aww this ounds like fun, i never heard of this.
i wanna join

indigotangerine said...

I've never heard of this, but I must say, I'd think I'd rather hike in washington rather than the crazy hot Atlanta (i'm pretty sure your "winters" are as hot as our summers"

phamzy said...

thanks for the comment in my blog.

you are so wicked towards lar. lol. poor her, been the photographer. thank you for sharing the photos!

http://ckuf-info.blogspot.com/

Ike said...

how cute that the guide is named Angel :)

ZombieLace said...

This looks like so much fun! I heard the city was thinking about putting this project on hold but I really hope not!

xs said...

sounds like a lovely day out. i'm still learning more about my city.

Ciambellina said...

Sounds like total fun! Nice photos.

Anonymous said...

If you ever want to try running on courses like this, try "Hashing". We are always running on old railroad tracks, woods, tunnels and some road surface running and then end up somewhere to eat and drink beer at the end. Monday night is usually in town, not too technical and not too far. Bring a flashlight, change of clothes, some money for beer and food and a good attitude. Check out atlantahash.com and look for Monday Moonlight hash. On On!

AsianCajuns said...

Anonymous, I have never heard of Hashing before. Sounds a bit intense for me - walking is more my speed. But maybe I'll work up the courage to try it out. Going to visit atlantahash.com once I finish with this...

Jimmy? said...

Hey, I was so styling that day. How come I'm not in any of these pictures? Just kidding. It was nice meeting y'all. Come see me at the library sometime.

bonjouritsjinah said...

This looks so awesome! I wish I had weekends off so I could get some of my friends to do something like this with me.

A few of my guy friends decided to randomly go on a walk a few years back and it looks like they took a very close route to yours! The pictures were fantastic.

Whitney said...

I enjoyed reading your post and REALLY enjoyed the hike that day although I don't know if I was in any of your photos because my work computer won't open them. However, you neglected to say that in addition to 25 two-legged there were 5 four-legged hikers and they were intrepid and enthusiastic participants and TIRED at the end! Our party had 3 dogs and they were dragging when we took them home!

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