Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Cross Country walker rests at Kimball's Brookside Farm

 

Dakota Kuhns/Western Nebraska Observer

Kendal and Beverly Atkins welcomed Erin Parete into their home at Brookside Farm for a few days of rest. Parete expects to complete her cross country trek, which began in Rhode Island, late in September in Oregon.

Another walk across the country, Erin Parete is making her way east to west across America.

From her starting point in Rhode Island on March 25, 2017, Erin Parete is more than half way done with her cross country trek.

Her plan is to follow I-80 up through Wyoming and into Utah, just before reaching Salt Lake City, Utah, she will head north into Idaho, then will walk west to her final destination outside of Portland Oregon.

On average Erin walks 30 miles a day, "My longest was 40 miles in one day and I don't want to do that again." That 40 mile trip was the stretch between Grand Island to Kearney.

Throughout her journey Nebraska is Erin's tenth state to walk through, she said it is by far the friendliest state she has been through. On Parete's adventure, so far she has only slept outside six times, she has come in contact with many people along the way who have offered her a place to stay and meals.

During her trip through Nebraska decided to "night hike" to try to keep out of the sun and hot weather as much as possible, once Parete arrived in Pine Bluffs, Wyo., Sunday July 23, she got a motel room to sleep most of the day to try to get back into the routine of walking during the day. At that point, Beverly Atkins, and husband Kendall, picked up Erin and took her back to their place in Kimball where she could stay and rest for a day or two.

Once Erin is rested up and ready to hit the road again the Atkins' family will drive her back to Pine Bluffs so she can continue the final leg of her trip.

She said that about 20 years ago she decided she wanted to walk across the country, "There is no reason why, I have just wanted to. When I was 18 I drove across America and I think that is where this idea started."

She said she has nearly been hit by cars a few times and added that each time it has happened the driver was on the phone texting. She wants to remind everyone how important it is not to text and drive, stay off your phone and pay close attention to the road.

Once Erin reaches Oregon in late September, or early October, she said all she is going to do is relax, "I'm not getting out of bed for a week, and I'm going to let my body soak for a long time."

If you see Erin along I-80 in the next few days give her a big wave and a bright smile, and remind her why she thought Nebraska is the kindest state she has been through.

 

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