Front Porch Blog

225 Miles! Ed Wiley is HALFWAY to DC!

imageWell we have arrived at our mileage halfway point, and I must say it is an amazing feeling. Yet there could not have been a more challenging obstacle in front of our hallowed halfway point than Cheat Mountain. This particular mountain which rises just before the Maryland border has been looming over our heads for the past two days. To drive it is difficult, to walk it was insane. Three miles straight up, with a dozen blind curves and logging trucks careening down our own little West Virginia Everest. But ofcourse, Ed conquered this mountain with the ease of a mountain goat. At the top of this treacherous peak Ed was no more flustered than he had been walking on flat ground. After 225 miles I guess the man has adjusted to walking all day! Ed stopped outside Ausrora West Virginia, with the bluest sky I can remember as his backdrop of success. Tomorrow we will walk into Maryland for just a few miles before dropping back into West Virginia. But we won’t pass through Maryland without making some noise. The local press has already been clued into to Ed’s walk, they are planning to meet us on the roadside for photographs and an interview. The news of Ed Wiley and the plight of Marsh Fork Elementary School is spreading like wild fire. We are still receiving amazing support, people from all walks of life agree on that we must get the students of our community a new school. Just yesterday on a lonely stretch of road I had the opportunity to share Ed’s story with a small group of state inmates working with the WVDOT. These men were outraged at the situation, awestruck that children would be subjected to this clearly negligent situation. As I told these men of Ed and his journey they became visibly inspired. I spoke with them for a half an hour. By the end o our converstation they had given Ed their snacks from their bag lunches, and vowed to write letters to Joe Manchin quoting with a grin ” All we have is time, we can manage a letter”. This encounter further assured me of the validity of our cause and the worth and purity this walk carries with it. I will not forget these men and their whole hearted support, of a man they would not even have a chance to meet. One inmate who wished to remain anonymous, expressed his concerns about his own children and that Ed is truly fighting for all children of Appalachia. Upon seeing the aerial flyover shot of Marsh Fork Elementary he exclaimed ” man, they wouldn’t even build a prison there much less an elementary school”.image Ed especially wanted to convey his heartfelt thanks to all of the supporters of this walk. Especially now that we are halfway to Washington, we realize we have made it here with y’alls support, which aids Ed through each long mile. I also wish to convey my thanks, I see firsthand how the support of everyone is making this walk a true success. So call the Governor tell him of our achievements!!
Later Days,
Austin Hall





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