Reid Sanford, 64, of Redmond, is the first — and for now — the only known person to have walked the entirety of all paved, public streets in town — north to south, east to west. He did it over a stretch of nearly eight months, starting in May and finishing two weeks ago. The 270.7-mile trek took 85 hours and he averaged 3.19 mph.
Sanford, a retired engineer with Nike, moved to Redmond with his wife, Jenny, in 2019. He is an avid walker but neither compulsive nor record-setting. The idea and inspiration came from reading about a Bend couple who ran every street in Bend.
“I didn’t set out to create any records or attract attention,” Sanford told The Spokesman when we sat down with him to learn about his walkabout.
He is quick to point out that there were no rules or precedent so he made his own.
“I didn’t include non-motorized ways such as trails. I avoided trespassing when I encountered a gate or other signage indicating that I was about to enter upon private property even if that property was on a public street,” he said.
He was clearly not in a rush and didn’t walk when it was raining or otherwise unsavory weather. His wife accompanied him on parts, completing about a fourth of the distance. It was never her intention to be part of the venture.
Along the way his worst encounters were with stray dogs. He carried mace, but never having to deploy it, always able to calm the dog with his own demeanor that is immediately apparent.
“I met people along the way, naturally,” Sanford said, adding, “There was the obvious curiosity and surprise when I’d say why I was in any given place. I got quite a few words of encouragement.”
He walked into some areas where he received hard stares as if he was crossing some imaginary line that indicated strangers were not welcome.
In the end, it was a good experience and one he has documented in several ways. He sees no reason to repeat the effort.
He was aided by a GPS tracking app named Gaia, free on the Apple App store and Google Play store. He wore out two pairs of shoes in the process. He was surprised at how fast his shoes broke down on pavement as opposed to trails.
Sanford has jumped out of planes, run marathons and hiked long distances. He completed two-thirds of the 2,200 mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail and one-third of the 2,653 mile Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
A recently developed heart condition makes it harder for him to take on trails with a lot of elevation.
“I can do it,” Sanford said. “It just takes me more time.”
You wouldn’t know it looking at him. He appears as a model of good health and shape.
His next major walk will be hiking the Corvallis to Sea Trail (C2C). He expects to complete the 60-mile journey in six days, in 10-mile bites. As interesting is his plan to get to Corvallis and home on public buses. Just another of the random ideas that pop into his head.
If past is prologue, Sanford will put another notch in his “what-can-I-do-with -my-life-today” belt.
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