CRANFORD - Cranford resident Adrienne Petrino calls herself an "explorer by nature."

When COVID-19 lockdowns went into effect, Petrino found herself in front of her computer working remotely for over eight hours a day. Looking to keep her sanity, Petrino began her exploration of her hometown, sparking memories of her childhood.

"I grew up walking in Cranford," said Petrino. "My mom didn't have her license, so my sister and I walked everywhere with her when we were little. My parents use to take early morning and late evening walks around Adams Avenue Park and Unami Park, so I guess walking Cranford is part of my DNA."

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Petrino started her walk each day at her home near Riverside Drive and Casino Avenue. She set no timetable or daily goals to complete her journey. Just one goal - get it done. 

"My goal was just to complete it. I didn't give myself parameters and deadlines to complete it by," said Petrino. "I think that was why I succeeded. I knew myself and knew it was an attainable goal. Curiosity drove me."

There were a few bumps along the way. Petrino had to take a break between July and August due to a knee injury, but her focus never waned. On August 29, Petrino was able to complete her final walk - a 5.2 mile trek from her home to Roger Avenue and Fairfield Avenue, the street of the house she grew up in.

"It was very important to me to end there. It was the street of my parents house who are now both deceased," said Petrino. "Walking Cranford for me was ignited by curiosity, powered by my thirst for continuous movement, and accomplished by gratitude - gratitude to my parents who chose Cranford to build roots, and gratitude to this community who shows up and is by your side."

In total, Petrino's journey included more than 300 streets, over 250 miles, and spanned roughly five months. Her longest walk was 7.2 miles.

"I never expected what this was going to bring," said Petrino. "It was cool to see a side of Cranford I had never seen before and make the connections I made along the way."

But she doesn't want to stop there. Petrino says she enjoyed the experience so much that she plans to walk every street in Garwood and Kenilworth next. 

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