West Salem/Washington Park – January 14, 2017

It was our first walk of the post-holiday/post-snomageddon/new year. I was feeling a bit sick to my stomach but decided to walk anyway.  I thought perhaps that we’d just do a truncated walk; around 5000 steps. A caveat that I need to tell is that we started around 10:45am so we weren’t going to get the “10k by 10a,” either way. But, that’s 16114026_399904763693149_650896801991361802_nokay. The point is, we weren’t just lying around in bed or lazing around. It was a day to get out and do some moving.

We parked at Diggs-Latham Elementary School, a school that our son, Trey, attended for three years and where Stephanie taught for two years. Diggs-Latham is on Hutton Street, in the neighborhood of West Salem. We walked north on Hutton, admiring several of the homes on the street. We’re looking to relocate and are exploring several neighborhoods that we think would be good for us. Hutton turns east onto Montgomery Street and ends at Granville Drive, right across from Granville Park.

We turned south on Granville and continued on southeast to where it veers off south, but we continued on Walnut Street. We stayed on Walnut southeast until it crosses South Broad Street. We walked south on Broad until we came to the Washington Park leg of the Winston-Salem Greenway system. Now, we didn’t officially walk in the Washington Park neighborhood, but in the actual park itself. We walked past the dog park and crossed Salem Creek on the wide bike/pedestrian bridge to where the Washington Park #1 ball field is and continued south to where it comes out at Marketplace Mall Shopping Center at Peters Creek Parkway. We debated going back the way we came or going up to Peters Creek and walking back down to Link Road and then to Hutton.

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©Bruce Chapman/Winston-Salem Journal

We decided to go back the way we came and when we crossed back over the bridge, instead of going back to Broad, we turned northwest past Washington Park fields #s 2-4 and the park drive to Hutton, right across from Diggs-Latham and back to our car.

There’s lots of things to see on this route, at least the early parts. Like I said, the houses on Hutton are cute bungalow styled homes. When you’re on Montgomery and Holland Street, there are five (I think) new homes that are very modern. So modern, in fact, they’re almost futuristic. These were designed by Stitch Design Group in Winston-Salem. The houses don’t fit the West Salem mold but at the same time, brilliantly fit in the community. They look cool to me.

Granville Park, it’s said, has been popular since the 1910s-1920s. The city of Winston-Salem purchased it in 1920, it was around a few years prior to that. It has a lot of deep valleys and a few trails that appear “off the beaten path,” but aren’t really. I’ll admit that I can’t remember seeing anyone in the park area, itself, but I’ll also admit that I’ve only been there on Saturdays or late at night. I know that the tennis courts are lit up a good bit when it’s a bit warmer. Several houses in this area are listed in the book, Winston-Salem’s Architectural History by Heather Fearnback. The one that we actually walked past that was listed is the “Fred Nelo and Ruth Miller-Snyder House” at 704 Walnut Street, which is known, obviously, for its architectural significance. It’s a rather large house, at that.

The dog park in Washington Park is a fairly good size run. Separate for larger and smaller dogs, there were several people in the large dog fence and letting their pooches run free-ish. The city needs more of these. The weird part is, this park isn’t even listed on the city’s website. There’s one at Tanglewood and one at Horizons Park. A personal tidbit about the Washington Park softball fields, I’ve played on each of them. That is until an injury ended my softball career. I was hit in the face by a line-drive hit on #4. I was playing shortstop in a co-ed league when a guy bigger and wider than me hit the ball. It was like a knuckleball, with no movement and it caromed off my glove and cracked me in the cheekbone just below my left eye. If it had hit anywhere else, it would have shattered my face. It 2017-01-15-23-41-31did crack my sinus which still gives me problems today. It lifted me off my feet and turned me around. I have only stepped onto a softball field once since then and that was in 1993.

After the walk, which again wasn’t 10,000 steps, we went to our official “carb loader,” Mary’s Gourmet Diner, and ate. After a brief stop at the record store, we headed to our new official “caffeinator,” Twin City Hive and grabbed our coffee (or in my case, decaf) beverages before heading home. We didn’t get to head down to Hoots Roller Bar and Beer Company, but we’ll get back down there, soon!

At the end of the day, including our supplemental activities (a step is a step, is a step, is a step) we walked 8,367 steps, for a distance of 4.06 miles and burned 3125 calories. Those stats are courtesy of my walking sponsor, Omega Sports. You can get all your walking equipment needs at Omega Sports. They are the sports hook up for the everyday active types.  Thanks to them and all our sponsors and anyone that believes in what we’re doing.

Until next time, get to steppin’!!

Sentry Pointe: December 17, 2016

We decided to do something a bit different this trek. I have lived where I live for over 30 years. Stephanie has lived with me for six of those. In all those years, I haven’t done a lot of walking through the neighborhood. Truth be known, I didn’t even know what neighborhood I actually live in. I always thought, looking at antiquated maps of the 15590425_383481428668816_6196515815357712057_n city that I lived in Hootstown. However, in looking it up and researching, I have figured that I live in a neighborhood called Sentry Pointe. I like that name and I know where Sentry Pointe is, but I don’t know why it extends over to my house. Oh well.

So, with the weather being in the frozen tundra range Saturday morning, we didn’t start our walk until almost 9:45a so we obviously didn’t make the 10k by 10a but that’s just a goal, anyway. Even at that time it was pretty cold. We went southeast on Gyro Dr. and to Old Salisbury Rd. where we turned south. It’s a very narrow bit of ground between the street and the front door/fences/cars of other folks on Old Salisbury. It’s obviously not meant for walking, although there are plenty of people that do. It was a rough and unlevel terrain that we had to traverse and it was wearing on my ankles after a while, even after some stretches.

We walked south until we reached the traffic circle on Ardmore Rd./South Park Blvd. We turned west on Ardmore. More of the same terrain was there. We tried to walk on the actual street as much as possible but it is a well-traveled pair of roads. Luckily, Ardmore has more shoulder space than Old Salisbury. There is also a stretch of Ardmore that has a sidewalk. It’s only about a quarter of a mile. We continue along Ardmore Rd. until we get to Park Terrace Ln. where we turn north. Park Terrace Ln. is a relatively new development, built within the last 20 years. Some of the houses are only around 12 years old. We continued on Park Terrace until it bends west and to Hawkcrest Ln. We took Hawkcrest north until we hit Gyro Dr. south. We took it east and back to where we started. 15622469_383483475335278_8958670415798173052_n

15622043_383482485335377_5080745867573722584_nThis area, the best I can tell, is some of the “youngest” areas of Winston-Salem. I know that when I moved here 30 years ago, it wasn’t actually within the city limits. That didn’t happen until a few years later. Given that, there’s not a whole lot of interesting things to see or really even remark on about this area. In fact, it’s a very boring part of town. It’s quiet and not a lot goes on around here, which is ideal for living, really, but, that’s about it.

There were a few interesting things we did see on the trek. First, were two ducks that Stephanie remarked that they were competing to see which was going to tell us their joke. It was funny. We just called them, “MR Ducks” and continued on. Another thing was this ridiculously large reindeer that was in a wide open patch of land right beside an equally large light tree. I’ve never seen that before. We laughed and moved on.

Between the cold and the fact that both of us needed the facilities plus we were pretty much out of walking real 2016-12-18-18-22-40estate, we stopped at about 7800 steps. So, no we didn’t make the 10,000 goal. But, the day went on and at the end of the day we had 9,275 steps. We walked 4.73 miles and I burned 3,289 calories.

After we walked, we went to our Official Carb Loader, Mary’s Gourmet Diner. From there we went to our brand new coffee sponsor, Twin City Hive. We had a party to get to so we didn’t get to make it to our Official Liquid Reward, Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Company, but I am ready to go grab one of the new “crowlers.” I cannot thank my sponsor, Omega Sports enough for the most comfortable walking shoes I’ve ever had and the Garmin Vivofit3 that keeps track of all my progress. Many thanks to all of my sponsors for everything they do for, and believing in, me.

Do you have a recommendation for a neighborhood for Stephanie and I to walk in or talk about? We’re always looking for new places and new areas. Partly because we could be in the market for a new home in the near future and like to scout the different areas around time. Let me know by sending an email HERE.