Dale Sanders, alias “The Grey Beard Adventurer” has been an avid paddler, competitive spear-fisherman and aquatics outdoorsman his entire adult life. Retired from a career in Parks and Recreation that spanned six decades, including 37 years with the US Navy, Dale has a Masters Degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and post graduate achievements in the field of Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Since retiring, Dale has worked almost full-time as volunteer/staff for the Wolf River Conservancy in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1965, Dale received the prestigious International Spearfishing Association Athlete of the Year Award, and prior to that held the World Record for Underwater Breath Holding (6 mins, 4 secs). He has won numerous US and North American continent Spearfishing Team and Individual awards. In his professional field he was awarded the USA National Sports Foundation Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation Administration, an annual award for achievement in Parks and Recreation development.
Dale is an Internationally Certified Instructor/Instructor Trainer in the fields of: SCUBA Diving, Water Safety, Small Craft, and First Aid. Often referred to as a “River Rat” Dale is the only person known to have canoed the entire Wolf River from its source, Bakers Pond, in Holly Springs National Forest, to the Mississippi River in one continuous trip. He said one of his most memorable adventures was backpacking around the world with his wife (now of 36 years) but that “back-fired” because “she is now burned-out”.
The Grey Beard Adventurer claims that, if successful, he will be the oldest paddler ever to solo paddle, in one continuous trip, the Mississippi River from its source in central Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. But more dear to him is that the “Cruising for a Cure” expedition raise awareness and funds to fight Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes, a life-long disease that afflicts Anna, his Grand Niece (and boat’s namesake).
By mid June, 2015, Dale will 80 years olf and paddling the epic journey he has been planning for years. Launching his modified We-no-nah Wilderness canoe at Lake Itasca, Minnesota and averaging 30 miles per day, he expects to reach the Gulf of Mexico in 80 paddling days.
Dale currently serves as Director of Outreach for Wolf River Conservancy (WRC), and a notable recent paddling event was when he and others blazed the “New Trail” on Wolf River between Bateman Road and Moscow, Tennessee. An accomplished photographer, he enjoys sharing via wolfriver.org, his Facebook page, and the Waters Less Traveled venue at: www.dalesanders.zenfolio.com.
Come hear Dale tell his his story in ports, towns and cities along the river. He will be reaching out in person and online for donations ranging from $8.00 to $80.00. The 2,340 mile journey will lead through several major cities and will reach out for “River Angel” support. He hopes fellow paddlers, friends and followers will donate a minimum of $8.