From left to right: Diane Erk, Treasurer; Marilyn Buckley, PR manager; Stan Follis, VP; Elaine Berger (president, holding resolution), Norm Vigeant. (Not shown, Donna Farris, Bob Buehler, Larry Forman, Dan Haslam (photographer).

At its January meeting the Walkabout Board voted to honor its co-founder Larry Forman with the establishment of an annual Forman Forum to bring a noted speaker to San Diego to speak about issues related to walking. “We are delighted to announce this testament to Larry Forman, who in 1977 had the foresight to bring organized urban walking to San Diego,”stated Elaine Berger, Walkabout’s president. “This is a living tribute to a man who has for decades put a face on a great form of daily exercise and adventure.” Forman has been challenged in the past couple of years with brain cancer. In 2017, however, for Walkabout’s 40th anniversary he organized a speaker series of prominent walking notables who spoke at Liberty Station’s McMillan Center. The Forman Forum will continue Larry’s concept and will be funded through individual donations, grants, and through Walkabout’s resources. Larry has been a legendary walk leader, with high-spirited North county coastal walks, and numerous walking tours through Switzerland. Although his illness has slowed him down physically, it has not dampened his enthusiasm, and he has remained an active board member. Plans for the first Forum are underway, with the hope that Walkabout could attract walking film creator Matt Green from NYC for a film screening and discussion (see related story, this issue). The forum will be held on at least an annual basis.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Walkabout Naturalist Walter Konopka will guide the bus though the mountains, discussing local geology, etc. with a stop for restrooms and bread at the famed Dudley’s Bakery. As we get into the desert we will stop for views and photos, and for a short walk to see some hard to find wildflowers hidden in Surprise Canyon and discuss some of the remarkable adaptations of desert plants. We will go on for a stop at the Borrego Springs Visitor Center and Museum for a visit and a place where you can eat your box/picnic lunch. Walter will be available to talk about the pupfish and plants in the area. We will go on, discussing the amazing giant metal sculptures by Ricardo Breceda, scattered in clusters in a “Sky Gallery” throughout Borrego Springs. We will make stops to examine the detail and take photos at some of the most impressive of the sculptures, as well as at any areas with extensive blooms of wildflowers before heading back. We will stop in Julian on the way home and Dan H. will lead a walk around town. Send your check for $59.00 marked Borrego Desert Trip to Walkabout International, 2650 Truxtun Rd. Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92106. Picnic lunch, bottled water and light snacks will be provided. Bus will depart from the Walkabout office in Liberty Station. Please included a stamped/self addressed envelope to receive your itinerary.


To close out 2018, about twenty walking enthusiasts attended the traveling world premiere on 12/31 of a documentary film about urban walking. “The World Before Your Feet,” a full length 95 minute documentary, was released in NYC a month before and was shown at the tiny Digital Cinema in North Park for just a few days. Walkabout was notified about the film and a possible movie viewing. Lunch out and walk in North Park was quickly arranged to take advantage of the film’s release in San Diego. It did not disappoint and was reminiscent of Downtown Sam’s eclectic walks through alleys and little known urban paths. The film is set in NYC and chronicles the walking adventures of Matt Green, a 37-year old engineer who walked away from his career in order to walk every block and park in NYC. At the time of the film Green was still walking to cover the estimated 8,000 miles it would take to accomplish the task. He walks about 10-15 miles per day over 8 hours and stays in homes of people he meets, with an occasional cat or dog sitting gig. He estimates he spends about $15 per day in living costs. As of the film date he had gone through two girlfriends, a serious bicycle accident, and numerous adventures on the streets of NYC. Matt’s story is told through the generosity of executive producer and film star Jesse Eisenberg. It is costly to produce a film of this quality, and by Jan 6, 2019 the film had grossed about $143,000. Walkabout will be in discussions with the distributor to arrange a future showing as well as to bring Matt Green to San Diego to share more of his adventures (see related story about Forman Forum)


Over the last 19 years Walkabout has offered a walking trip adventure to Washington, DC innumerable times. So much so that tour leader Dan Haslam didn’t think he could fill another DC trip with just Walkabouters, so he offered it to his church, University Christian Church in Hillcrest. The results were astounding and in early May more than two dozen people will descend on our nation’s capital for first time visits to the new Smithsonian African American Museum and many other DC sights, as well as a 3-day van trip to Charlottesville, VA to tour Jefferson’s Monticello, another presidential retreat and the famous Michie Tavern. “The trip sold out in just a few days,” Haslam noted, “And unfortunately we had to turn some people away.” The travelers will use the DC Metro subway system while in the capital and stay in nearby Rosslyn, VA, just across the Potomac River. The group will hike the historic C&O canal envisioned by George Washington and saved by Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas. They will visit the national memorials, Washington Cathedral and sights that most tours miss. Haslam trained as a tour guide in DC and according to him “he knows where the bodies are buried,” having lived and worked in the area for 15 years. Jim Miller will co-lead the tour, which is comprised of about half church members, half Walkabouters. All are expecting considerable walking as part of the walking adventure