Hiker on journey to set Appalachian Trail record, promote inspiration

Hikers are making their way along the Appalachian Trail in Western North Carolina right now. But one of them is trying to set a special record.

The oldest thru-hiker on the AT was 81. Dale Sanders, who will turn 82 at the half way point of his 2,200-mile trek from Georgia to Maine, hopes to capture the title for oldest thru-hiker when he finishes later this year.

During a rest period recently in Franklin, Sanders shared some of the motivational lessons he’s learned during the steps of his life.

Sanders, known as the “Grey Beard Adventurer,” said a spiritual life and activity and exercise are needed for long-term endurance.

Sanders said his competitiveness comes from being bullied in high school. “So, I couldn’t play any sports. And so I always struggled to find something I could do better than somebody else.”

Just two years ago, Sanders achieved the title of oldest man to solo paddle the length of the Mississippi River, drawing attention to juvenile diabetes.



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