Well, it was not a bad showing for the first day of the iPLOD campaign. The balmy weather and abundant blossoms no doubt helped.

The inaugural group of iPLOD walkers gathers in front of The Press Democrat on Monday

The inaugural group of iPLOD walkers gathers in front of The Press Democrat on Monday

 

 

 At first, I was guessing about 40 people showed up for our hour-long walk Monday.  But Becky Lunders of the iWALK program said she handed out 42 T-shirts, and a number of people didn’t get one. So maybe it was closer to 50.  Anyway it was a better turnout than I expected. 

 Thanks to all who came. It was an enthusiastic, good-natured crowd that included the likes of Mayor Susan Gorin and City Council members Jane Bender and Ernesto Olivares as well as Sonoma County Supervisors Shirlee Zane and Efren Carrillo. Chris Smith, Diane Peterson and Jim Sweeney from the PD were there, too. Also in the crowd was Ellen Bauer, Health Action program manager for the Sonoma County Department of Health Services. She’s the one who deserves credit for dragging me out of the office and encouraging me to be part of  a walking group.

17iwalk2The iPLOD day-one group also included at least one dog, a stroller or two and a walker who was a mere 4 years old. A highlight of the day included being serenaded by a saxophone player beneath Highway 101, and somebody said they spotted an otter somewhere near W. 3rd Street.

We got a bit of a late start and the bulk of us only got as far as Pierson Street before turning back. (I had promised everyone we would be back by 1 p.m. and some were concerned about parking meters.) But next week I hope to get at least as far as N. Dutton Avenue before turning around.

The best part is that with all the healthy conversation, I didn’t notice I was getting some needed exercise.

Anyway, if you missed it, we’ll be out there again next week. Noon on Monday. Rain or shine.  Don’t forget to bring water. I’ll try to remember to bring a few extra quarters for parking if you need one . . . Then we can spend time talking about downtown’s parking problems. 

– Paul Gullixson