Keep walking – at a safe distance!

May 3, 2020

Social distancing is my new favorite pastime. Every day, I walk some distance to discover a new place, all the while enjoying a social visit with friends. We honor the six feet distance. Or at least I try to.

Sometimes I move away and then moments later my friend edges closer, and then I move away again. After a bit, here comes the friend over into my lane. It’s like there are magnets inside our coats.

Bike trails present unique challenges for multiple walkers. Bikers who normally pass on our left sometimes end up going right between us. But we are all trying avoid collision.

Just need to say here as a walker, I am grateful for every biker who announces their presence. Thank you.

My goal is to walk as much as possible and to experience new places! Last week, my husband suggested we consult the 2018 book Great Walks & Trails in Sussex County, created by the Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary Club and Sussex Outdoors. 

Rather than a usual trip to Cape Henlopen State Park where we would encounter more people, we recently chose the Assawoman Canal Trail in the Bethany-Ocean View area. This trail connects Route 26 and Central Avenue, and parallels the waterway. Tall pines and songbirds create a lovely, peaceful setting. We also enjoyed seeing new neighborhoods on our left.   

To my surprise, my friends Mark and Karen, who live in Rehoboth, had not experienced the charm of my area nor downtown Lewes. I became their tour guide last Saturday and proudly showed them Shipcarpenter Square, the Overfalls, the Cannonball House and the pink blossoms of the cherry trees along the canal. 

The previous week, these Rehoboth friends showed me new neighborhoods, too. North Shores wasn’t crowded, except for a few landscaping vehicles, and what fun to see the variety of home styles, some modern, while others appear quaint. It’s fun to look at the architecture and landscaping of homes.

On another day, we toured Bay Vista neighborhoods. I had never traveled farther than the Big Fish restaurant. Who knew that those ‘hoods were there? It’s like turning off Sloan Road on Route 24 – you will be amazed!

A few of my other favorite areas to walk and keep a social distance are Baywood, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, and Trap Pond State Park. You can enjoy the car ride there and appreciate the fact that you aren’t quarantined inside like so many others.  

Next on my own list is Burton Island Loop and the James Farm Ecological Preserve, a 150-acre tract of land managed by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. 

If you can’t walk a great distance, walk a short one. Walking helps burn calories, strengthens the heart, lowers your blood sugar, eases joint pain, boosts your immunity, provides energy and improves your mood.   

That last benefit is why I keep lacing up the tennis shoes. When I walk, I am not fearful. And for those of you who say it’s too cold, my friend Beth in Vermont would say, “There’s no such thing as cold weather. Just inadequate clothing.” 

Great news! The 2020 Great Walks and Trails book is at the printer and will be available to the public in mid-May according to George Jarvis of the Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary Club. Some 10,000 copies will be distributed to bike shops, homeowners associations, libraries, realtors, and other groups. Readers should keep an eye out for a copy, as they are not distributed on a one-by-one basis.

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