St. Louis Park graduate walking across America to call attention to homelessness

Abby Bongaarts and Danny Finnegan crossing the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan into New Jersey on March 4. It was super windy and they were getting blown around, but said it was a lot of fun to walk over the bridge since they had the pedestrian path almost all to themselves. (Submitted photo)

Abby Bongaarts and Danny Finnegan crossing the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan into New Jersey on March 4. It was super windy and they were getting blown around, but said it was a lot of fun to walk over the bridge since they had the pedestrian path almost all to themselves. (Submitted photo)

Abby Bongaarts, 24, of St. Louis Park is nearly two months and 850 miles into a journey not a lot of people will ever attempt. She and Danny Finnegan, 23, a friend she made while volunteering for the civil service program, AmeriCorps, are walking across America.

They began their journey March 1 in Long Beach, New York, and are headed for San Francisco, California. Averaging 20 to 25 miles a day, they expect the 3,200 mile trip to take until September.

The route they planned has already taken them through Manhattan, New York; Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana. They are also planning to pass through Kansas City, Kansas, and Denver, Colorado, eventually ending up in San Francisco. They are currently near the Indiana-Illinois border.

“Walking across America is a dream I have had since my freshman year in college. You get to see the country in a way you normally wouldn’t get to see it and meet people you otherwise wouldn’t meet,” said the 2011 St. Louis Park High School graduate, who has always enjoyed being on the go. In high school, she ran cross country, played lacrosse and ice hockey, and wrote and edited for the high school newspaper.

Continue reading this Sun Sailor story.

 

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