Speaker series finale to feature 85-year-old adventurer

Dale "Greybeard" Sanders became the oldest person to complete the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim trail in Grand Canyon National Park. CONTRIBUTED
Dale "Greybeard" Sanders became the oldest person to complete the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim trail in Grand Canyon National Park. CONTRIBUTED

7 events to be held virtually March 11 through April 22

Outdoor adventure and breaking records go hand-in-hand for Dale “Greybeard” Sanders.

The 85-year-old’s most recent venture into the Guinness World Records was as the oldest person to complete the rigorous Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim trail in Grand Canyon National Park. He completed the six-day, 52-mile journey in October.

Sanders – who, at 82, was the oldest person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail – is one of the many accomplished presenters who will participate in the upcoming Adventure Speaker Series. The event, which is a partnership of Five Rivers MetroParks and Wright State University, will be held virtually this year on Thursdays from March 11 through April 22.

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The seven-part series includes a variety of local and national outdoor adventurers who’ve led exciting expeditions in Ohio and beyond. The series will also include two interactive panels that explore diversity and representation in the outdoors, as well as working remotely while adventuring during the pandemic.

“Armchair adventures are great any time, but especially now,” said Angela York, Five Rivers MetroParks outdoor recreation event coordinator. “People are looking for inspiration for when restrictions are lifted and they can go adventuring.”

Sanders’ accomplishments are definitely inspirational. The octogenarian’s life philosophy is one he often shares with audiences. It all comes down to three things.

“You have to learn how to be happy, and that’s a formula each person has to find for themselves,” he said. “And if you really want to be happy, you have to have a good quality spiritual life and, lastly, be active. No matter what age you are, there is nothing like getting out on the trail or just getting outside.”

The Adventure Summit first brought outdoor adventure enthusiasts together in 2006. The Adventure Speaker Series began in 2011, with the events now alternating annually. Links and additional information will be available at http://theadventuresummit.com/ or on the Adventure Summit Facebook page.

2021 Virtual Adventure Speaker Series

All presentations and panels begin at 7 p.m.

March 11: Pedaling Good Vibes Around America, with Tom Helbig. Tom Helbig traveled the perimeter of the United State on his bike – yep, his bike. Beginning in San Diego, he pedaled through Tijuana, Mexico to Key West and Lubec, Maine to Vancouver Island, Canada. He set out on this expedition with a mission of spreading “good vibes” from coast to coast. Helbig will share inspiring stories of the people he met along the way as well as the challenges he faced during his incredible journey. Learn more about Helbig at www.tomfooleryoutdoors.com/.

Tom Helbig Pedaling Good Vibes Around America - CONTRIBUTED
Tom Helbig Pedaling Good Vibes Around America - CONTRIBUTED

March 18: Turning Remote Work into Remote Adventures: Wander While You Work. This past year, many people started thinking about how to make the most of remote work. In this interactive panel discussion, hear how ordinary people have leveraged their remote working situation to take trips and adventure around the continent without taking time off. Panel members include Shannon Thomas and Tina Hohman.

Thomas is a Dayton native, local business owner, and athlete who converted and outfitted several vehicles so he can travel with his dog Bailey in search of rivers to surf while working and managing Four Ambition and Surf Dayton. Hohman is a senior studying theater at Wright State University, and finishing her last semester of college while traveling the country in a borrowed van. She works for Wright State’s Outdoor Resource Center as a trip leader and loves everything outdoors from gardening to backpacking. Learn more about Thomas at www.surfdayton.com/ and follow Hohman @teenteen13 on Instagram.

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March 25: Broken Pieces: Injury and Survival on the Oregon Desert Trail, by Stacy Boone. Accidents happen; they can happen to anybody. Stacy Boone’s knowledge of wilderness medicine and survival made the difference between life and death. Boone began backpacking in 1998 with a thru-hike of the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail. Known as Simply Seeking in the hiking community, she didn’t stop at one thru hike but continued and completed the Triple Crown in 2006. This presentation shares the experience of this long-distance backpacker, who experienced a major knee injury while backpacking the Oregon Desert Trail. Boone shares what happened after the injury and the survival mechanisms that should be considered by all recreationalists. Learn more about Boone at www.stepoutdoorsadventures.com/colorado-hiking-2/.

Stacy Boone presents Broken Pieces: Injury and Survival on the Oregon Desert Trail. CONTRIBUTED
Stacy Boone presents Broken Pieces: Injury and Survival on the Oregon Desert Trail. CONTRIBUTED

April 1: Finding Your River, by Ellen “Magellan” Falterman. Finding Your River is a story of realizing and executing your life’s purpose. Falterman shares her personal journey relating experiences from adventure expeditions around the world. These include a three-month canoe exploration of the Amazon Basin and a four-month cycling tour from England to Greece with her brother Patrick.

Her story continues after suddenly losing her brother. She finds motivation and solace in his memory, and continues her adventures on a mostly solo river trip from Kansas City on the Missouri, and down the Mississippi to the Gulf, then west along the coastline and up the Intracoastal Waterway to Galveston Bay, completing the journey on the Trinity River near her childhood home. Falterman looks to her experience and mentorship from her brother as she plans her next big adventure – solo rowing around the world. Learn more about Falterman at https://ellenmagellanexpeditions.com/.

Ellen "Magellan" Falterman will share her story of realizing life's purpose. CONTRIBUTED
Ellen "Magellan" Falterman will share her story of realizing life's purpose. CONTRIBUTED

April 8: Tykes on Hikes: Adventuring with Kids of All Ages, by Nailah Blades Wylie. As a busy mom, life coach and lover of the outdoors, Wylie wants everyone to get outside but it can be difficult with kids. Wylie will share how you can keep up your outdoor adventure lifestyle with children and still have fun. When she’s not leading adventure retreats or consulting with brands, you can find her hiking with her husband or playing intense games of hide-n-go-seek with her kids. Learn more about Wylie at www.coloroutside.org or on Instagram and Facebook @wecoloroutside.

Nailah Blades Wylie will share the fun of Adventuring with Kids of All Ages. CONTRIBUTED
Nailah Blades Wylie will share the fun of Adventuring with Kids of All Ages. CONTRIBUTED

April 15: The Adventure Color Gap: Diversity in the Great Outdoors. In this interactive panel discussion, panelists will discuss concerns regarding barriers of entry, pathways to inclusion, challenges for people of color in the outdoors, and lack of representation in the outdoor industry. Panel members include Quatez Scott and Nailah Blades Wylie. Scott is the Intercultural Specialist of the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center at Wright State University. He previously served as director of diversity and inclusion at Mercy College of Ohio. Wylie is the founder of Color Outside, a coaching practice for ambitious women of color who are ready to create unapologetic, soul stirring lives through outdoor adventure, as a safe place for women of color to come together and unlock where they’re feeling stuck so that they can fully step into their joy and shine.

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April 22: Setting a New World Record at Grand Canyon National Park, by Dale Sanders. The Adventure Speaker Series finale brings the return of Dale “Greybeard” Sanders to the virtual stage. Sanders will share his latest accomplishment of setting another Guinness World Record. In October, at 85, Sanders became the oldest person to complete the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim trail in Grand Canyon National Park. Hear about the challenges and rewards he experienced and what motivated this lifelong adventurer to attempt this grueling expedition. Sanders is the recipient of many awards, including the acclaimed 2016 Canoe and Kayak Magazine’s Spirit of Adventure Award. Learn more about Sanders at www.greybeardadventurer.com/.

Contact this contributing writer at djuniewicz@gmail.com.

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