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Lank
Level 4: 556 points
Alltime Score: 13458 points
Last Logged In: October 12th, 2012
BADGE: Senator BADGE: Winner of a Duel BADGE: INTERREGNUM TEAM: The Disorganised Guerilla War On Boredom and Normality TEAM: El Lay Zero TEAM: Group Creation Public Badge TEAM: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse TEAM: Team Shplank TEAM: San Francisco Zero TEAM: ALL THINGS MEATIFUL! TEAM: Public Library Zero TEAM: Urban Picnic Society TEAM: Whimsy BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 2: Trafficker
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45 + 230 points

Walking by Lank

March 15th, 2008 2:48 AM / Location: 37.708776,-122.3744

INSTRUCTIONS: Walk 25 miles.

Epic.

In terms of the solo tasking I have done for SFØ, this weighs in as about the most epic, in my opinion. Especially because after thoroughly destroying my body on a 10-hour death march, I thought I had failed.

You see, San Francisco is basically a 7x7 mile square. My original plan was to walk from my home in the center of San Francisco (Cole Valley) to the southeast corner of town, then to walk around the perimeter of the city in a counter-clockwise direction (the entire waterfront), and back home. I figured that this was about 30 miles and that it could be done in about 9 hours.

Boy, was I wrong!

What I ended up accomplishing was a little over half of the distance I had originally intended to walk. When the sun was going down and my body was unwilling to push itself any farther, I called it quits and got on a bus to go home. I felt that it had been a great walk, but that I had only made it about 20 miles. When I got home, in extreme fatigue and pain, I mapped out the route I had covered. Lo and behold, I had walked 25.12 miles! So my original plan would have been more like a 40+ mile walk. Here's a link to the interactive map of what I did:

The Map

And here is a neat picture version:

Map

In case you didn't already know, the distance covered (25 miles) is marathon length. I refer you to this info that I pulled from the inter-web:

"In modern times, the choice of distance for different so-called
marathon races was somewhat arbitrary. The first modern Olympics in
1896 had a marathon distance of 24.85 miles (40 km). Before the 1908
Olympics, the official marathon distance was exactly 26 miles.


However, since 1908 the well known 26 mile marathon has actually
been 26 miles, 385 yards. This is because, for the 1908 Olympics in
London, it was decided that the royal family needed a better view of
the finish line. The race started at Windsor Castle and organisers
added an extra 385 yards to the race so the finish line would be in
front of the royal box.


From that point, the marathon distance became 26 miles, 385 yards
(41.195 km). The International Association of Athletics Federations
(IAAF) adopted the distance as the "official" marathon distance in 1921."


I didn't realize this until afterward! I walked a marathon! (Even if it was only the 1896 version.)
________________________________________________________

Side Note:

One of the best things about this task is that I got to really explore Psychogeography. This is great, because as some of you know, I didn't understand Psychogeography or what BartPA was all about as of not long ago. Then anna one sent me this interview with author Will Self:

http://audio.wnyc.org/studio/studio120707b.mp3

After listening to this, I had a better grasp and appreciation of the whole Psychogeography concept. I was excited by it. So I really tried to make this trip about exploring my urban environment on a human scale.
________________________________________________________

I had to follow surface streets most of the time, but when surface streets didn't go where I wanted to go, I improvised. So I sometimes had to traverse overgrown areas, hop fences, and trespass through off-limits property.

Hole

When I encountered the 280 freeway, rather than just follow the underpass, I tried to go over the freeway. But what appeared to be a pedestrian overcrossing only went to a bus stop in the middle of the highway. So I tried walking over an onramp bridge, but again just ended up in the middle of many lanes of fast cars. But I walked to a hole in a fence and off-roaded to another spot that went under the freeway.

At another point, I was walking along the Bay in an undeveloped area and hit an inlet that I had to go around.

Rocks

To do so, I swung around the right side of the fence above and clambered over those rocks in the center. Then there was a lot of trudging through foliage, avoiding of encamped homeless folks, and hopping of fences.

But the great thing about traveling this way is that I discovered a hidden treasure that I would not have otherwise known about. Near Candlestick Point Recreation Area, there is a site that I can only describe as Modern Urban Ruins:

Ruins

There were structures made of piled-up blocks of cement with steel cables sticking out of them, laid out in intriguing patterns. There were also rusted steel sculptures dotting the landscape:

Sculpture

All in all, it was an amazing experience. I got to explore amazing new (to me) parts of San Francisco and re-confirmed that the city is gorgeous. But the task physically ruined me.

I thought I'd be able to hack 25 miles, no problem. But by the time I got through Hunters Point, I was totally worn out. I rested for about 15 minutes, and kept going. By the time I hit The Embarcadero, my feet hurt and my leg muscles felt kinda numb. When I got to Chrissy Field, I was in serious pain. I was walking like a man with two artificial legs. I imagined that passers-by looked at me and wondered, "Does that guy have two artificial legs?" Obviously, I was getting delirious.

Since the sun was going down and I had only achieved half of my intended course, I headed towards home, planning to catch a bus as soon as I could. I ended up having to go a ways into The Presidio before I could catch a bus that would take me anywhere near home. I considered trying to walk the extra couple of miles home, but my body was saying "NO" loud and clear.

Finally, I got a bus that brought me within a block of home. Thank goodness I only had to walk a block. I was in bad shape. My legs were all pain. Blisters on my feet. And terrible, terrible SUNBURN:

Burn

I've been hurting all week. I was sure that I had permanently damaged my left knee. The pain was awful, and being on my feet all day for work didn't help. The "redneck" jokes because of my sunburn didn't help, either.

In the final analysis, I must concur with niallsb: DO NOT attempt this task unless you're in good physical shape! Good enough shape to do a marathon. Because that's what it is.

(NOTE: I'm working on a slideshow of my walk that condenses the 10-hour journey into 5 minutes, with many more pictures than what you see here. I'll put that up as soon as I can work it out.)

Thanks!

- smaller

Facing North

Facing North

That's my shadow, all right. Taken at the Bayview Caltrain station.


Map

Map

This is nuts!


Weather

Weather

A lovely day for a walk. This was at 8:45am - it got warmer later.


The Start

The Start

View of my starting location, the intersection of Carl & Clayton. Notice how the shadows tell you it's 9am.


Vista

Vista

View of The City from Twin Peaks.


My Other Girlfriend

My Other Girlfriend

Isn't she grand? I like how the houses and trees at the bottom provide scale.


Glen Canyon

Glen Canyon

This is a gorgeous park! I must go back and explore it!


Hole

Hole

In true Psychogeographer style, many of my passages had these kinds of elements.


Tracks

Tracks

Not to be crossed.


Candlestick Park

Candlestick Park

Because it's too pretty for me to call Monster Park. See Sutro Tower in the background? I'd come a long way...


At last...

At last...

...I made it to the Bay. Had to get proof!


Ruins!

Ruins!

I found Modern Urban Ruins! It was so cool!


Ruins Art!

Ruins Art!

These not-so-ancient people left metal sculptures!


Junk

Junk

Some of the less seemly sights of San Fran...


Passage

Passage

I went straight ahead.


Hunters Point

Hunters Point

It's so inviting!


Flag

Flag

Painted outside the old Hunters Point fire house. (Thanks to anna one for pointing this out to me originally.)


Intersection

Intersection

Proof plus a cool photo subject.


Cranes

Cranes

These were big and neat. Bayview (Dogpatch?) area.


Dilapidated Pier

Dilapidated Pier

I really liked the look of this broken up, broken down section of pier(s). I like old stuff! It's cool!


Spider-Thing!

Spider-Thing!

My favorite public sculpture in SF! It's creepy! See the Bay Bridge in the background?


Total Coital Eclipse

Total Coital Eclipse

Taken from The Embarcadero at about 5:30pm


Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay

I like that you can see into the works of this Pier-39-adjacent aquarium, so I took a pic of myself in the front window.


Tallship

Tallship

More cool old stuff! This tallship is in Aquatic Cove, on the north coast of SF, due south of Alcatraz Island. You can see the ship on Google Maps satellite photo.


Tunnel

Tunnel

This looks like the mouth of an old train or maybe cable car tunnel from Aquatic Park to Fort Mason. Old: check. Cool: check.


Beach

Beach

Nearing the end of my body's endurance. Sun is getting low. I'm facing east, of course.


Cannon

Cannon

One of many cannons in The Presidio that is both old and cool. This is a French WWI cannon used on the US west coast in WWII.


Blister

Blister

The worse of two gnarly blisters on my feet. But the major damage was not visible.


Sunburn

Sunburn

My only excuse is that I really never expected to get a sunburn in San Francisco!



46 vote(s)


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31 comment(s)

Need I say Shplanked?
posted by Tøm on March 15th, 2008 5:42 AM

I love the fact you went in unusual routes as much as possible. Old things are indeed cool, and I love the photos of the city, the train tracks and the urban ruins.


Awesome.

(no subject)
posted by GYØ Ben on March 15th, 2008 6:18 AM

Sunburn looks ouch.

(no subject)
posted by Haberley Mead on March 15th, 2008 7:57 AM

Wow. Just... wow. And Goddammit, why is it that as soon as I get an idea for doing a task, there's someone who'll get there a few days earlier? There's no way I'm gonna top this one...

(no subject)
posted by Magpie on March 15th, 2008 8:47 AM

YOU ARE MY HERO!! I think that I will have to break this task up and not do it all at once. I owe you a drink.

(no subject)
posted by Lank on March 15th, 2008 9:15 AM

Well, I've still got another half of the city to cover. Anyone up for PART TWO?

(no subject)
posted by Adam on March 15th, 2008 10:02 AM

25 Miles is insane.

That is:

Liverpool Street to
The Strand to
Belgravia to
Brompton to
Fulham to
Shepards Bush to
Notting Hill to
Marylebone to
Kilburn to
Cricklewood to
Hamstead Heath to
Upper Holloway to
Highbury to
Islington to
Shoreditch to
Liverpool Street.

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on March 15th, 2008 10:15 AM

Near perfect human scale psychogeography: from space, SF is a 7x7 mile square. At the level of human streets SF is a 40+ mile endurance adventure.

(no subject)
posted by Soren THREEdux on March 15th, 2008 10:31 AM

We don't know each other, but I am TOTALLY down for a part deux! This is an awesome completion.

(no subject)
posted by Lank on March 15th, 2008 10:40 AM

Slipstream - do you live in the Bay Area? Able to have a weekend day free? Let's plan it.

(no subject)
posted by Ink Tea on March 15th, 2008 11:00 AM

Dear Lank,

As usual, fantastic. Wow wow wow.

Love,
inky

(no subject)
posted by Adam on March 16th, 2008 8:28 AM

You are the podcast's Praxis of the Week!

Hoorah.

Decided by Ben, Lincoln and myself.

I thought Id tell you since the podcast appears to be pretty borked but yeah.

(no subject)
posted by Lank on March 16th, 2008 11:07 AM

Woo hoo! Praxis of the Week!

Thanks, guys!

Gotta listen to that podcast...

(Cut to an hour later...)

Ha!

I want my flowers and puppy!

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on March 16th, 2008 1:59 PM

POW!

(no subject)
posted by Lank on March 16th, 2008 2:02 PM

SWEET!

(no subject)
posted by Soren THREEdux on March 17th, 2008 11:48 AM

Lank - How does the 29th sound?

(no subject)
posted by Lank on March 17th, 2008 8:07 PM

If my knee is healed by then...

(no subject)
posted by anna one on March 17th, 2008 11:36 PM

Now that your sunburn is peeling and you can walk without limping... I think I'm ready to vote for this.

(no subject)
posted by Magpie on March 17th, 2008 11:53 PM

wow, you're a tough voter!!

(no subject)
posted by Secret Agent on March 18th, 2008 4:41 AM

Impressive, and gorgeous photos.

But I'd recommend waiting a couple more weeks before finishing the circuit. I've had a recurring knee problem since a giant walk I did back in 2005, and I think pushing it probably only made it worse. Only now are the flare-ups spacing themselves out to more than 2 months apart. I'd say 'Wait til I'm next there' but that could be a long time indeed.

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on March 18th, 2008 12:51 PM

Wow...that's so totally great...but maybe wear a sunhat next time? (Or, a veil?)

(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on March 18th, 2008 7:28 PM

Journey To The End Of The Night - Chicagø is only a 2169 mile walk from San Francisco. You have until April 19th at 7PM to get here.

(no subject)
posted by Fonne Tayne on March 18th, 2008 7:31 PM

vote for no more anti-public-transit sarcasm!! whoo hoo!!

(also for the splankish foto of the rusty street signage)

(no subject)
posted by Lainthulu on March 27th, 2008 1:12 PM

You deserve so many kudos for this...holy crap.

(no subject)
posted by Fonne Tayne on March 28th, 2008 6:08 PM

so this has five flags, too... are flags somehow manually monitored slash censored?

(no subject)
posted by Tøm on March 28th, 2008 6:10 PM

http://sf0.org/completedTasks/?t=cycle&order=votes&s=0

Flags galore...

(no subject)
posted by Lank on March 28th, 2008 7:45 PM

Yeah, I noticed recently that six of my old, old Glasnost tasks had 4 flags each. They weren't that bad.

(no subject)
posted by Bjørn Teuleuse on April 29th, 2008 11:07 PM

i went by that train tunnel yesterday on a bike ride... SFzero meet n' greet potluck dinner party, great gatsby themed?

(no subject)
posted by Lank on April 30th, 2008 7:18 PM

I like the sound of that. I like it a lot.

Where and when?

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on July 22nd, 2008 1:46 AM

Curious.

Snatch!
posted by niallsb: Forevolution on August 3rd, 2008 2:42 AM

Arrgh! I thought the fleur was mine to keep. Well done, I take my beanie off to you for a valiant effort.

Oh my!
posted by Tøm on August 3rd, 2008 3:50 AM

Does this mean you have returned?