"Every year, every beginning, every dream or life event starts with a first step."
By Richard “Moose” Auckerman
That first step ended in 2,000,000 steps
Many of us might make a resolution on January 1st and one of the most common resolutions is to get healthy. A movement is sweeping the nation called “The First Day Hike,” encouraging everyone to get out and start the year off healthy by taking a hike on New Year’s Day. For some, this first step may be a difficult one but to help encourage you to get out, I want to share this special story with you and updates in the coming weeks.
In 2010 Virginia CommonHealth partnered with Virginia State Parks in a program to get State employees active to improve their health and enjoy the beauty of our parks. From this program came one incredibly inspired individual nicknamed “Moose” and here is the story of his remarkable journey to better his health and experience the incredible splendor of our State Parks.
“After attending the CommonHealth program on 36 of Virginia’s State Parks over the next 3 years, Visiting 12 each year and at the end be able to say I walked over 13,000,000 steps.
On September 4th 2010 we hiked our 1st park; Shenandoah River State Parkthere we saw a great breathtaking view of the river from the Culler Overlook observation tower. We hiked the overlook trail and part of the Bluebell trail along the banks of the river.
My family and I learned about the Paw Paw fruit and how it was eaten by not only Native Americans but also by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The park is 1,604 acres with 5.6 miles of river frontage along the south fork of the Shenandoah River. The rolling, mountainous land features steep slopes and is mostly wooded. In addition to meandering river frontage, the park offers scenic vistas overlooking Massanutten Mountain to the west and Shenandoah National Park to the east.”
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In March of this year that “first step” and resolution by Moose has translated into, 2,000,000 steps and visits to 12 Virginia State Parks. I hope you will join Moose and his family and get out on New Year’s Day and beyond. I’ll bring you an update on “The Moose on the Loose” in coming weeks.