Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"You're right?...."Right.?" (Day 2 Adventures)

A mere 50 miles outside of Charleston, and Ed finds himself surrounded by tractors, big trucks, and good ole southern boys.  Welcome to small town America.  The biggest thing they have going for them in these parts is the annual Tractor Parade and well, now some dude running across the country. 

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The morning started around 6:45 a.m. when two reporters caught up to Ed, hanging out their car windows with cameras and mics for an interview with the man himself.  The Hampton County Guardian and a small local paper, the Hampton County Good Times, got wind of Ed's journey and came looking for a real life "Forest" running through town.  They found him, were able to snap a few photos and ask a few questions. (There were a little surprised he wasn't sporting a long beard, but it is still early in the journey.)

Ed banged out 12 miles before his first pit stop to chug some water, Vega, and Cytomax.  Staying moving is the name of the game, so a quick two minute stop, and Ed was back pounding the pavement.  Too long of a break, and cramps settle in (or perhaps thoughts like "Charleston is only 62 miles away if I want to turn around.".... or maybe that is just what I'd be thinking.)

Feeling strong today, though running slightly slower than day one, Ed again took a pit stop at mile 24-25 for hydration.  He was back on the road in no time, thinking, "I really am in the middle of no where" when a big green tractor was spotted.  Ed exchanged some words with Bill his father-in-law via walkie talkie,  and they were certain the man on the tractor was eyeing Ed.

Picture an older gentleman, a true southern farmer, coming across a 40-something San Francisco prepster on a lone country road in South Carolina. Concerned, obviously, the old man, stops his tractor, heads over to Ed and Bill and says, "what y'all doing?"  Ed, wondering how this man will take to his news responds, "Well, I'm running across America." 

The old man, still concerned but more confused at this point, asks "what you doing that for?"

Ed explained that he is fulfilling a dream of his while running for Freedom is Not Free and Soles4Souls.

"You collect money?" the old man inquires.

Ed tells him about his website, or if he so inclines, he could use the ole snail mail method to make a donation.

"What if I want to give you money now?"

This old man, who hopped off his tractor to stop Ed on the side of the road in small town America, pulls open his wallet to reveal a $100 bill, and asks just to confirm, "You're right?.... Right?"

"Yes sir.  I'm right,"  Ed humbly proclaimed as he graciously accepted a complete strangers will to help.

After handing the old man ome of Ed's cards, just to complete the "rightness" of this whole deal, the old man said, "Imma have my friends look you up.  We might be able to collect some more money to help."

This unexpected exchange gave Ed more energy than two moonpies could propel him, and he settled back in for the second leg of his trip.

Not 10 miles later, down the same country road, a big ole pick-up truck pulls up next to Ed.  The two men in the truck are waving, holding out their phones to snap pictures of the big excitement.  It's almost like the old man called his brothers and told them about Ed, only in reality there was no relation, these men were just stopping to see what a San Francisco prepster looks like running across America.

A brief exchange of words, lasting no longer than 30 seconds, and these men pull out $40 for the cause leaving Ed speechless (and with 15 or so miles left to run).  

The old man and the two in the pickup made Ed's Day 2 run.  I have a burning feeling there are many more random acts of kindness coming his way over the next two months. 

While running 2,500 miles coast to coast is quite the adventure (and warrants the biggest of bragging rights), it will be the generous people across the country that really make this journey memorable.

Day 2 Complete!
 Until the next update,

Be well,


  1. Ed; you are awesome and I want to give you some of my allowance to donate. Hope you liked the poster and thank you for the shirt, i am going to wear it to softball practice tomorrow and tell everyone about your run!!!!!! good luck in day three, we are following you each step of the way.


  2. Thank you Melanie for the poster and cheerleading! Maybe your mom can raise your allowance! I am feeling good and looking forward to getting closer to home by 50 miles today!

  3. Carolyn: Love the daily update! And what a great story about the tractor guy... there ARE GREAT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!
    Ed: Keep going! You have a lot of fans you don't even know about!!

  4. Ed,
    Only day two and already some great stories coming out of the great state of SC. Great people out there!
    Keep 'er going!


  5. Such great stories about people getting involved! There are some wonderful people in this world :)

    You're doing great, Ed- virtual cheering sounding out from Scotland for ya!