Iowa Man's Commute: 35-Mile Walk

But janitor Steven Simoff has many 'road friends'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2015 4:03 AM CST
Iowa Man's Commute: 35-Mile Walk
Steven Simoff kisses his wife, Renee, goodbye as he leaves Davis City, Iowa, for work at Lakeside Casino in Osceola.   (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Rodney White)

After hearing about the Detroit man who walks 21 miles to work, a Des Moines Register reporter was told about "a guy in southern Iowa who walks even farther" and discovered resolute pedestrian Steven Simoff. The 61-year-old regularly walks 35 miles from his home in the small town of Davis City near the Missouri border to his job as a casino janitor in Osceola, setting off at 3:30pm to start the night shift at 11pm. He says he makes the trek to support wife Renee, who has suffered serious health problems, and grandson Steven III, whom the couple has adopted. "First of all, when you got a family, and you've got a job, you've got to be able to support your family," he tells the Register. "And you've got to keep your job—the most two important things I can think of."

Simoff, who earns $9.07 an hour at the casino and lives in Davis City because rent is cheap there, has a 2002 minivan but can't afford to fill it up very often. But he does get plenty of help from the community, the Christian Science Monitor reports. He often gets rides home from work from colleagues who live in nearby towns, and he has a network of "road friends" who give him rides at least part of the way to the casino most days. Still, Simoff says he averages around four hours of walking a day, much of it on Interstate 35. "If I don't get to work, bills don't get paid," he tells the Register. "As long as my two feet are good and my health is good, I don't think I'll change." (A Canadian city is considering freezing an old rail line so commuters can skate to work in winter.)

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