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’!!

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Downtown WSNC and Beyond, July 9, 2016

I know we’ve walked downtown WSNC a good bit and the reason we did it this week was more about race against time that it was exploring, although, we still did some of that.

I’m going to back up just a hair. Chad Nance, of Camel City Dispatch (also a filmmaker) and I worked on the video intro for the upcoming web series on Friday and we started walking at 6am to get the best light and it was cooler but you could tell it was going to get thick as the day went on. I’m not going to tell you where we did that as I want you to have extra incentive to watch; to see if you can figure out where I was in it. But, anyway, by 8am that morning I had already walked 7000 steps. By 2:30pm that day, I had my 10,000.

The last 1800 steps were a doozie because it was really, really hot and I almost lost it in that. After that, I walked as little as possible, I’d say because I ended up with 12, 019 steps, walking 6.01 miles and burning 3388 through midnight. I also drank 96oz of water. I’ve upped my water intake, too. I’ve got to get rid of some weight.

Now, all that being said, I realized it was pretty easy to get all those steps earlier in the day. It was cooler and the humidity, while there wasn’t as bad. So, Stephanie and I agreed we were going to walk before we ate and try to be through all of our steps and seated at Mary’s Gourmet Diner by 10am. So, we set off on out trek.

We decided it was a matter of beating the heat today and an experiment so we were less about taking new scenic routes and stuck with what we knew. We knew we were coming back to Mary’s and Atelier on Trade afterwards, so we parked in Mary’s lot at 6:45am which was before any of the other places in town were open. So, there was no search for a parking space. Mary’s lot is at 723 North Trade Street and we started there and headed south on Trade passing by Finnigan’s Wake, which was being attended to by two firetrucks. We were afraid something had gone wrong but it seems everything was okay, and that’s good; it’s where Stephanie and I met.2016-07-09 23.24.37

We followed Trade until Fifth Street where we turned east and walked until Main Street where we turned south. We walked Main Street all the way down into Old Salem and west on, well, West Street, where we met up a friend or two at the Cobblestone Farmers’ Market. When we were done talking, we walked south on Salt Street until we came to Walnut. We turned east on Walnut back to Main and went into the traffic turnaround at the end of Old Salem’s Main Street (WSNC’s Main Street picks back up past the roundabout at Salem Avenue) where we exited out of Old Salem and headed west until we hit The Strollway. We walked The Strollway from it’s southern most point on Salem Ave, northward to its northernmost point at Town Run Lane. There are some hills on that bad boy and we walked fairly briskly so we were winded. We had to stop along the way not once but twice. It wasn’t over hard but again, we were winded.

When we got to Town Run Lane and Second Street (again, where The Strollway ends) we walked Town Run north until we crossed Third Street and along the private drive (I believe formerly the connector to Fourth Street) and turned east on Fourth. We then went north on Trade until Seventh Street. We realized we were going to come up a bit short if we walked straight to Mary’s so we turned east on Seventh and then north on Liberty Street until we reached Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. We walked west on MLK until we again reached Trade. We turned south and decided that even though we were 430-ish steps shy of 10k we were going to go ahead and stop and eat. We were both famished at the point.

So, we ate at Mary’s, our “official carb loader,” and then continued south on Trade until we got to Atelier on Trade, our “caffeinator.” About 10 yards away from Atelier’s we hit our 10,000 step goal, according to the Garmin Vivofit 3 (thanks to the sponsorship of Omega Sports)! That was exciting. And had we not stayed an extra 5 minutes talking at Mary’s we would have made 10,000 by 10am; we were about four minutes past. That got me to thinking. I felt better eating after the walk, we missed the heat and humidity and we had the rest of the day to do whatever after we ate and had coffee. Because we did this by 10am (not counting the 3 minutes), I set a new goal for us. We’re going to do what I’m calling “10k before 10a” which means 10,000 steps before 10am. Well, we had to walk back to our car that was sitting at Mary’s and that gained us a few more steps.

I am an organizer of a street festival in downtown Winston-Salem, that happens every second Sunday of the month from May until October, called Second Sundays on Fourth or SSO4, for short. I had to do the voice overs for Sunday’s event so we parked on the corner of Spruce Street and Fourth. We walked to The Less Desirables Studios so I could do that. Getting there, in the building, to the studio, incidental walking and walking the two blocks back to the car, added to the step count.

Then, my sister and brother-in-law met up with us at our house and we went back downtown, back to Mary’s parking lot and walked around with them. We followed Trade, south, all the way to Fourth (making a stop at Artivity on the Green on Liberty Street) and around Marshall Street to the north, east on Fifth and back to Trade turning north and back to the car. We at dinner at another local restaurant and afterwards in the parking lot, I realized I was almost at 17, 000 steps so while we were talking I walked in big circles to get steps in. I hit 17k and then some.

At home, I realized that I was close to 18,000 but I didn’t want to go back out. Even though it was dark, I just didn’t feel like going outside. So, since I have a fairly open floor plan in my house, I made laps in the kitchen/living room until I hit 18k steps. Then after syncing with my phone/Garmin app, I realized I was not far, say .75 miles, from 9 miles on the day. Stephanie reminded me that 9.33 miles is the equivalent to a 15k (if they even have those) and I said, well what the heck? and continued on until that. Then I realized that got up to almost 20,000 steps. You guessed it, I went on. When I reached 20,000, my app said I was but. 05 miles away from 10 miles. So, of course, I had to do that.

So, all-in-all, yesterday, I ended up with 20,139 steps, walked 10.01 miles and burned 3782 calories. That is the most I’ve ever known me to walk in one day, although as a younger man, I probably did that, plus all the time I spent in Walt Disney World, but for sure since I’ve gotten old and fat, this is the most. My Vivofit even showed that I had gotten my goal… TWICE! I was 2016-07-09 23.26.18proud of myself. Plus, I drank 144oz of water throughout the day. That’s an overall fantastic day. Well, we’re not done, just yet, and I apologize for this being so long.

Sunday was SSO4 and it was a long day; lots of walking back and forth, checking on the bands, checking on the vendors, checking on the guests, it was a lot of walking. I drank 112oz of water and ended up with 6810 steps, walking 3.29 miles and burning 2874 calories. The weekend total was 38,968 steps, 19.31 miles (wish I could have hit 20) and 10,044 calories. Thank you, again, to Omega for supplying me with the Garmin Vivofit 3 to keep track of all of this.

We didn’t get to our “liquid reward” at Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Company on Saturday because we were under a time restraint but I did have 2 ESBs from Hoots at dinner on Friday night. And, I appreciate that they’re there for Stephanie and me and support what we do. All my sponsors are awesome and so is this town. Let’s say that I’m tired and a bit sore, but I hope to keep up a minimum daily step count (of 2500-5000) and water intake (64oz) to keep my road to wellness in focus. Sorry, we didn’t talk about many landmarks or points of interest, like I said, this was more an experiment than practical exploration. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more about the web series.

Where did you walk to? Get to steppin’!

West Salem, July 2, 2016

Stephanie and I went downtown to get our day started. The July 4th weekend is always Heavy Rebel Weekender here in WSNC and that takes over Trade and Liberty Streets. So, in order for us to get to Mary’s Gourmet Diner and Atelier on Trade, thus starting our walking day, we had to park a good few blocks away. So, really, our walking day began before brunch. That doesn’t happen very often, but that’s okay with us.

We started on the corner of Fourth Street and Spruce Street. We walked north on Spruce until Sixth Street. We turned east on Sixth and made it to Trade Street. We made our way through the classic cars and Heavy Rebel folks as we walked north on Trade. We made it to Mary’s and had our brunch. We finished and walked south on Trade to get to Atelier on Trade. We had our coffee, looked at the cars on that end of the hoopla and then walked south until Fifth Street where we turned west. We walked Fifth to Cherry and then south to Fourth and turned west. We stopped at the current The Less Desirables studios to grab13557828_10154143684445490_6913325956064767359_n something out of it. We continued west on Fourth back to our car (we call him Nigel, yes we name our cars).

We decided on the West Salem neighborhood while eating at Mary’s. We parked at the Old Salem Visitor Center, slathered ourselves with suntan lotion and head out on our trek. We crossed Marshall Street and went southwest on Walnut Street. We crossed Poplar Street and Broad Street before we hit an incline and northwest until Walnut merged with Washington Avenue and Granville Drive, all becoming Granville.

We continued northwest to Franklin Street where we turned northeast. We came to Green Street which we crossed to get to the campus of Piedmont International University 13557660_10154143745815490_3699088274687714053_n(formerly called Piedmont Bible College) and walked the sidewalk until the water fountain. We had to stop and take in the view of the WSNC skyline along with the fountain. We walked that to Broad and turned north/northwest until we got to Wachovia Street. We turned east/northeast on Wachovia until we crossed Marshall and to where it merged with Brookstown Avenue. Brookstown took us past some of our favorite restaurants, the Winston-Salem Visitor Center (once the Cotton Mill) and the historic Brookstown Inn.

We followed Brookstown until we reached The Strollway. We walked south along The Strollway until we came across the first bench that was available on this segment of the The Strollway. We’re not only doing walking but taking in what the city has to offer. It’s shaded and offers a glance into classic/historic homes behind us and Old Salem to the southeast. Funny enough, we saw a friend of ours, Chris Zona (an avid runner), run past us. That was pretty cool. We continued down The Strollway until we got back to the Old Salem Visitor Center. 13533321_10154143807590490_2055435058900825249_n

We hadn’t hit our 10,000 step goal just yet, so we went up the wheelchair ramp (every step counts) to the Old Salem Heritage Bridge and crossed it. We walked north on South Main Street back to Walnut and took Walnut back across Old Salem Road and to our car. We were about 30 feet from our car when my Vivofit 3 (thank you Omega Sports) alerted me that I had hit my goal. We stood and raised our arms in the air and jumped like Rocky on the steps of the library and high fived and kissed before collapsing back into the car.

We then headed to have our post-walk celebratory adult beverage at Hoots Roller Bar and Beer Company.

2016-07-03 12.19.45It was fitting that we walked West Salem and along and into Old Salem since this is the July 4 Weekend. The very first July 4 celebration in the entire country happened in Old Salem, then called only “Salem,” in 1783. Other cities dispute that, but they’re wrong.

All in all, considering the entire days strolls we walked 11,319 steps. That equals 5.47 miles and I burned 3251 calories. A good day, indeed. It was hot, but West Salem offers a great bit of shade. The shade made for what felt like a 10 degree difference. No way to know for sure, but oh well. There’s a lot of cool older houses and buildings along this route and we will walk it again, in more detail once the video web series kicks in. I’ll keep you informed about when that is happening. I only have two to three more steps to get that rolling.

Thanks for reading and, as usual, get to steppin’!!