11-year-old girl nears end of walk from Arimo, Idaho to Grantsville
SALT LAKE COUNTY— An 11-year-old girl was nearing the end of her journey Monday in a walking trek from Idaho to Grantsville to visit her cousin.
Laneah Knickerbocker and her father, Jean-Michel, departed from Arimo, Idaho on Aug. 8 and as of Monday evening had reached a frontage road that runs north of S.R. 201 in Magna.
“Everybody tells us it’s inspiring and we’re just out here grinding,” Jean-Michel laughed. “It’s hard!”
Laneah said she hatched the idea to walk from Idaho during a phone conversation with her cousin in February.
“I’m like, ‘I want to come see you,’ and she said, ‘okay, come down here,’” she recalled during an interview with KSL 5. “I said, ‘well, I can’t drive, how am I supposed to get down there,’ and she said, ‘walk.’”
Laneah became serious about the suggestion and in May she and her father began training for the walk that was unlike anything the 11-year-old had ever experienced.
“Our first day (we went) from our front door down to a restaurant,” Laneah recalled. “It was 16.1 miles and the next day we were like dead. We could barely stand up.”
The training, however, continued until the two left for Grantsville earlier this month. According to the dad, the two had been averaging roughly 20 miles a day on their journey.
While it started as a journey to visit a cousin, Laneah along the way derived a purpose for the adventure.
“I thought of support for cerebral palsy patients and cancer patients,” Laneah said.
She had both in her family.
A Facebook page centered around her walk links to charitable organizations related to cerebral palsy and leukemia and Laneah and her father have urged others to donate in honor of Laneah’s relatives.
“You need to have a cause so that when the hard times come you have something to walk for,” Jean-Michel said.
The father and daughter said they were on track to reach the Maverik in Grantsville, 825 E. Main St., by 1:00 p.m. Wednesday and they encouraged whoever wanted to join them at that point to accompany them on their final leg to their relatives’ home.
While the two were still firmly in the moment of completing their journey Monday, they acknowledged it would be something they would remember for a long time to come.
“We probably will, but right now we’re in the middle of it and it’s hard!” the father said.
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