Dale Sanders, is a record holder, world-class champion spear fisherman, accomplished photographer, river trailblazer, godfather of river-angels, recreation and parks professional and the oldest person to have solo paddled the entire Mississippi River as well as the Appalachian Trail.
A surprise Birthday Party was held on the banks of the Mississippi River for Sanders less than a month after he began his Lake Itasca solo Source to Sea Mississippi River journey. He had just turned 80. He finished the paddle in the Gulf of Mexico, on August 15, 2015, all 2,345 miles in 80 days, one day for each year of life. His customer chopped We-no-nah Canoe named “AnnA” was his sole means of transportation.
Sanders, also known as the Grey Beard Adventurer was recipient the acclaimed 2016 Canoe and Kayak Magazine’s Spirit of Adventure Award. A prestigious honor given to the person(s) who most inspires others to pursue outdoor adventures. His Mississippi River Source to Sea paddle was the focus of this award. After completing the Mississippi River paddle he and teammates, also in record time, successfully paddle-boarded the MR340 human powered boat race across the State of Missouri, from Kansas City, Kansas to St. Louis.
On 26 October 2017 Dale completed a “Through Hiking” on the Appalachian Trail. At 82 years old he currently holds the record as the “Oldest Person” to ever hike this trail, which took him through 14 states in less than one year.
Some quotes from Dale related to his Appalachian Trail Adventure: “My thanks must go to my friends, family, and faith that God was with me each and every step of the 4,625,250 taken. I had just finished hiking 2190 miles and passed by all 165,000 white blazes. Emotions were running high. Now I must dedicate this hike to my wife Meriam Sanders. I love you with all my heart. Your support was crucial. Your love for God, me and family Meriam makes all things possible. The Appalachian Trail was just one of them.