Rhode Island to South Dakota, one step at a time

    A Rhode Island man finished his 1,700-mile journey from his hometown of Woonsocket, R.I. to our own Woonsocket this past week and was given a hero’s welcome by the local school.
Bill Fagan began his journey in 2008, deciding he needed a bigger project than his frequent walks to a town nine miles from home. He decided on the trip to Woonsocket, SD because he wanted it to be unique. All along the 1,700 miles he took the less traveled roads staying off the larger highways, even taking gravel from time to time.
Fagan would walk around 30-miles a day at about a 15 minute per mile pace and his wife, Janice, followed much of the way in a car. He would walk for around 10 days and then fly home and a few months later fly back to the spot he stopped and begin again. The entire process took about four years.
Fagan was welcomed to his sister city in high style as he finished his trek Thursday around noon. The entire student body and faculty of the Woonsocket  School greeted him with enthusiasm at the edge of town complete with homemade signs and the band playing.
A reporter from KDLT even showed up to get in on the story. Coincidentally, he was also from Rhode Island.
After the grand entrance, Fagan visited the school and talked to the students about his journey. The students asked a number of interesting questions, the most unique of which was, “What was the worst smell along the way?”
Fagan replied that it was a toss up between roadkill and the hog confinements.
Following his visit at the school, he was invited to Prairie View Care Center for their coffee hour and then spent the late afternoon riding in a combine, something he and his wife were both quite curious about.
Saturday, a number of Fagan’s family members flew in for a ceremony commemorating the walk. On behalf of the city, Tara Weber presented him with a plaque and a key to the city.


TARA WEBER, FINANCE Officer, presented Fagan with a plaque and key to the city on behalf of the City of Woonsocket, on Saturday. They are shown with Bill’s wife, Janice.






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