Half a saunter

New York, NY, USA


Well-prepared walker with large sock collection

New York, NY, USA

… is better than none.

I had forgotten that this Saturday was the day of the Great Saunter, and had made an appointment for the afternoon. In previous years, I've been able to do the full walk; thirty-two miles around the rim of Manhattan. This year, I only had time to do half.

The weather, for the half that I was able to do, was beautiful: the sky was blue and almost cloudless, but it was not too hot. The fruit trees in Riverside and Fort Washington Park were all in bloom, and people were out running and bicycling and playing games. It was an almost perfect day for a lazy stroll along the edge of the Hudson.

The Saunter seems to be a bigger affair than I remembered. The lines snaking in and out of Fraunces Tavern, the starting point for the walk, were very long, and even with people starting off in separate groups, I had the impression that there were many more walkers than before. It also seemed to be more organized. The photocopied paper maps of previous years have been replaced by a glossy printed map, and instead of the indefatigable Robert sprinting back and forth to act as a human signpost on the less obvious parts of the route, they now had literally dozens of volunteers spaced at intervals along the way, giving out directions and, in some cases, granola bars. (The granola bar was very welcome; having failed entirely to prepare or even eat breakfast, I did the whole sixteen miles on one granola bar, two squares of chocolate and a few sips of water, which is unduly masochistic, even for me).

It was a good walk, and I was sorry to have to leave at Inwood and catch the train downtown. Maybe next year I'll do the whole thing again.