On November 1st, University of Connecticut Graduate Hannah Bacon set out to walk from California to Virginia Beach, a journey of around 3,000 miles in around 215 days. On day 112, with a little over 1,600 miles wearing through a third pair of shoes, Hannah found that her sleeping plans for the night had fallen through. Having left Route 66 and headed south toward Shawnee, Hannah knew she needed to start making phone calls.
“I found that Methodist Churches have always been kind and helpful to me along the way. Shawnee St. Paul’s was the first church that came up on my search and I was lucky to get in touch with Tate Monroe.”
“For several months I’ve been going on long walks, sometimes up to 20 miles, to connect with God and creation and to train for bigger challenges ahead. I’ve been reading books and watching documentaries on things like hiking the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, and recently about walking across the country. When Hannah told me what she was doing, I immediately wanted to help!”
Because of the relationship Shawnee St. Paul’s has developed with Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Tate made a call and arranged for Hannah to have a safe campground with amenities to set up her tent. Inspired by her story, a member of the tribe covered the cost of the stay.
It wasn’t long before Tate heard back from the tribe and was asked if he would like to join CPN journalist, Paige Willet, for a podcast interview with Hannah the following morning.
“I enjoyed getting to meet someone I’d been able to help. Getting to discuss her walk and ask questions I’d wondered about a trek like that was very interesting.” Tate remarked on the experience.
“It was a beautiful morning,” Hannah said of her location, the hospitality and conversations, “I left Shawnee and CPN feeling so full of love and gratitude, wishing I had more time there!”
As a part of the Shawnee St. Paul IGNITION YOUTH’s Empowered Women worship series, Hannah will be joining an upcoming Wednesday night virtually from whichever mile she happens to have stopped on to rest for the evening.
“I admire the work being done with the multiple generations at Shawnee St. Paul’s and I am excited to talk to the youth group and look forward to keeping in touch.”
Hannah Bacon is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and has served as an ESL instructor, an EMT and has helped adolescents in substance-abuse recovery. She believes she will reach Virginia Beach sometime in July.
*Hannah was recently featured in People Magazine, will be a feature in the CPN news, and will host Tate Monroe for a discussion on her podcast.