An 82-Year-Old Guy Nicknamed 'Grey Beard' Just Conquered the Appalachian Trail

He's the oldest to ever do it. What’s your excuse?

By Tanner Garrity

 
An 82-Year-Old Guy Nicknamed 'Grey Beard' Just Conquered the Appalachian Trail
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27 October 2017

The Appalachian Trail’s footpath from Georgia to Maine was officially finished in 1937.

Dale Sanders was two years old at the time.

On Thursday, October 26, Sanders, known on the trail as “Grey Beard” for his thick Santa Claus scruff, bested the trail, finishing a seven-month route that took him on two separate legs — one from Georgia to Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the other from Maine to Harpers Ferry.

The numbers?

2,190 miles. An estimated 4,625,256 steps. And at least 25 to 30 falls, especially in New Hampshire, where the White Mountains’ elevation changes and intense weather could hang-up any hiker, no matter the age. Sanders battled internal bleeding from a ruptured hemorrhoid, an injury to his hip, heart palpitations, not to mention loneliness along the trail, but reached the finish line and his family in Harpers Ferry just the same, with enough energy left to dance a jig.

What’s next for the world’s most adventurous and best-nicknamed octogenarian? Seeing Sanders paddled the length of the Mississippi two years ago, the man's got plans to tackle the Missouri River in 2019, from its source in Montana, all the way down through the Gulf of Mexico.

No Bingo nights for this guy.

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