Many of us are looking for ways to remain active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.
A member of Sarah’s Walking Club is making it his mission to walk 1,000 miles in 2021. No easy feat!
Dick Grant kicked off his journey in January. The 69-year-old spends six months of the year in the Crystal River area and the other six months in Michigan.
He completed just over 400 miles in Florida in three months, averaging five to six miles a day. His wife, Sallie, came along for about 350 miles and his dog, Gracie, has nearly always been by his side.
“I’ve hiked all over the country and I don’t think I’ve come across as many hiking trails as I have in Florida,” said Grant.
Grant spent 40 years as a director of a nature center in Michigan so he an experienced outdoorsman.
If you’re going on an extended hike, he recommends bringing 16 to 32 ounces of water per person, light snacks, a whistle, bug spray, sunscreen, hat and portable charger for your phone, especially if you’re using it as a compass.
“Always expect the unexpected,” he said. “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”
As for wildlife, Grant says, don’t chance it, especially when it comes to wild boars.
“If you encounter them, don’t hang around to take selfies,” he said. “Just get out of there. Don’t run, just walk fast.”
Grant expects to wrap up his 1,000 miles in the late fall here in Florida, but he says he probably won’t quit counting there. He’ll likely continue until the end of the year to see how many miles he can get.
Join Walking Club!
Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming #WalkingClub stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!