One of the casualties of the pandemic has been the annual Great Saunter, a hike around Manhattan organized by the Shorewalkers group. In the last years before COVID-19 arrived to make us all miserable, the Great Saunter used to attract several hundred walkers. Now, of course, a gathering of that size would be viewed as an unacceptable health risk, so Shorewalkers have scaled back the operation.
It’s still possible to walk the full thirty-two miles, either alone or as part of a group of limited size. But Shorewalkers have also introduced the notion of a ‘virtual’ Saunter, made up of smaller walks. Back in the spring, I joined a walk that followed the Saunter route up the east side of Manhattan, from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to Inwood Hill Park. Today, I completed the circuit, starting where I left off in May and walking down the west side of the island to the Ferry Terminal.