Bill Fagan holds a picture of himself taken during his 1,700-mile, multi-year walk between sister cities Woonsocket, Rhode Island and Woonsocket, South Dakota, which he will complete early next month. Photo/Ernest A. Brown
WOONSOCKET â€“ Though Bill Fagan has pretty much lived his whole life within a few blocks of his home on Gaskill Street, sometimes he wanders.
Itâ€™s no big deal for the reedy fellow with a gentle manner to walk to Mendon, Mass., where the locals know him so well they toot their horns when they see him.
But Faganâ€™s fairly certain thatâ€™s not going to happen when he finishes his longest walk ever, one that will lead him to a place heâ€™s never been. Located halfway across the country, with a population of fewer than 700 people, itâ€™s a place with a familiar ring to it, which may be the main reason it caught his attention in the first place.
If all goes according to plan, on Oct. 6 heâ€™ll reach the outskirts of Woonsocket â€“ the one in South Dakota, that is â€“ ending a journey heâ€™s been chipping away at for nearly four years.
â€śIâ€™m excited,â€ť says Fagan. â€śItâ€™s going to be the end. Itâ€™s going to feel pretty weird not having to plan the next route.â€ť
Why Woonsocket, S.D.?
Fagan says he wanted his trip to be unique. He toyed with the idea of going cross country, but there was something, well, pedestrian about it.
â€śLots of people have done east-west,â€ť he says. â€śI thought about the Appalachian Trail, but I didnâ€™t really want to sleep outside every night.â€ť
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