A 120-plus Mile Feat: Golden Valley Residents Walk Every Street in City
A long journey is better with a friend. Two Golden Valley women know that well after logging hundreds of miles on their city streets.
Andrea Rauser and Michelle Andraschko walked every mile of the Golden Valley streets. By Rauser’s calculations, that’s 120 miles– and then some.
“Definitely a lot more,” Rauser said. “There’s a ton of paths as well.”
The pair live in the same neighborhood and raised their families in the city. Most days, they hit the streets of their neighborhood. Walking the entire city was Rauser’s idea, inspired by other Minnesotans who accomplished the same task.
“I always thought that was a really great way to see your city and connect with your city,” Rauser said.
Every Mile Together
Rauser finally found the time when the pandemic hit in 2020 and gyms temporarily closed their doors. Andraschko was along for the ride.
“Well, she dragged me into it,” she said, laughing. “We both had the time and we enjoy walking and enjoy each other’s company… We love to look at the different houses.”
Their over 120-mile journey is documented on a large paper map of Golden Valley. Rauser said they carried it often with them as they walked.
“The yellow is marking the route, to know that and to confirm that we walked it,” Rauser said. “The yellow is every walkable street.”
The pair completed their walk in November 2023, rounding out three years of mileage and memories. They battled illness, inertia, tough times and changing weather patterns. Still, they trudged on.
“One of the commitments we made was that it did not count unless we walked it together,” Rauser said.
Together, they got to know every piece of the city.
“Golden Valley is incredibly eclectic. You have pockets where they are just unique and interesting, and you can’t help but be drawn to the architecture,” Andraschko said.
Rauser’s favorite neighborhood to walk was the Tyrol Hills area.
“They are beautiful, there’s actually hills in those neighborhoods, too, so that was more of a workout for us,” Rauser said.
The walk gave them new eyes for a community they raised their children in.
Andraschko said she was to blame for more than a few pit stops along the way.
“It was really a good chance to even say ‘Hi’ to everybody, too,” Andraschko said.
“We enjoy walking and we enjoy each other’s company,” Rauser said.
Andraschko and Rauser’s next goal is to bike every road in Golden Valley. They also hope to walk every road again, including every trail in Golden Valley.