Königs-Pittsburgh walk success (mostly)

The Königsberg bridge problem is an (unsolvable) problem where you want to cross each bridge in Königsberg exactly once and end up on the landmass you started from.

The Königs-Pittsburgh walk, similarly, is a 39-mile walk that crosses each pedestrian-accessible trans-river bridge with at least one endpoint in Pittsburgh exactly once and ends at its starting point. (Thanks to the exploded nature of the 31st Street bridge, this is possible and you can end on the same node you started from.)
Today we attempted this walk with mostly success. (With thanks to Greg for planning the route, organizing the trip, and jotting down the timing information that I have used below.)

Keith, Dan, Ben, Greg, and I started the walk this morning around 5:30 in Friendship, then first crossed the Highland Park bridge around 6:30.

Next up were the 62nd street bridge at 7:23,

the 40th street bridge at 8:14,

and the 16th street bridge at 9:25 putting us in the Strip District where we met up with Owen and had a small ~30 minute stop for snacks (bread, pastries, hot dogs, chow mein).

Next we crossed (in quick succession) the 9th street bridge (where we also picked up a cbuckey) at 10:27,

the 7th street bridge at 10:31 (followed by a quick stop for camera batteries, as Greg’s point-and-shoot was sad),

and the 6th street bridge at 10:54,

putting us in the North Side where we had a long detour up to the McKees Rock bridge, crossing it at 12:22. We had an hour-long detour afterward for lunch (at a Subway). After lunch, it unfortunately started raining, and didn’t let up for the rest of the trip.

Crossed back over the West End bridge at 3:07

followed by the Fort Duquesne bridge at 3:39, putting us at the Point.

At this point, we lost an Owen and cbuckey, took a 20-minute break, and then crossed the Ft. Pitt bridge at 4:10 to the South Side.

Next were the Smithfield Street bridge at 4:34,

the Liberty bridge at 4:50,

and the 10th street bridge at 5:26, after which we lost a Keith.

We crossed the Birmingham bridge into South Side around 6, where we stopped for a 70-minute dinner at OTB Bicycle Cafe.

Next up was the Hot Metal bridge, leaving South Side around 7:42.

About 15 minutes before the Glenwood bridge, we lost a Dan. We crossed that bridge around 8:48, followed by a 15-minute break in West Homestead.

We crossed our final bridge, the Homestead Grays bridge, at 9:54, finishing around 10:05.

Despite my feet still being fine, and over Greg’s desire to “properly” complete the hike, we decided to stop it there (due to the cold and rain and time) and caught a 64 bus home, for a total trip of just over 35 miles. (Hence the “mostly” success of the trip.)

Overall though, the trip went very well. Learning from the Ohio walk earlier this summer, I bought some cloth tape and taped my toes (for padding), then taped them together (so they wouldn’t rub into each other and blister). This worked far better than anticipated, resulting in my feet feeling completely fine up until around the 10th Street bridge, and even then it was more of a “my feet are getting tired” feeling than a “my feet and legs hurt” feeling. (I suspect blisters make me start walking strangely, which makes my feet and legs hurt because they’re not used to it… so normal walking throughout means my legs and feet don’t really hurt.)
After sitting down over dinner, I had fully recovered and they felt perfectly fine through the end of the walk. Even now, I don’t feel any real pain in my feet or legs… they definitely feel overused, but they’re not complaining like they usually do after a walk of more than 20 miles.

Blister-wise I came out great also. I ended up with only one blister (in the weirdest place; on the very tip of my toe, where I guess I hadn’t covered it with tape and so the sock rubbed against it).

More photos can be found at my photos page.

So mission success. Congratulations to everyone that walked, and particular congratulations to Dan for making it more than 32 miles (including his 2-mile walk from home to the starting point) on his first long-walk experience.

In other, non-bridge related things, I went PIUing with Max and Yubin again this past Wednesday, and Thursday was the usual board games night. Yesterday, all four of the other house inhabitants had a pumpkin-carving party on the porch, and it was kind of awesome. It’s been a good week. :) Photos of games and the pumpkins will be on photos tomorrow, since it is now late and I would like to sleep.

Edit: Board game photos are here and pumpkin carving photos are here.

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