Keith Edwards and Reina Emerson are a couple who are currently walking across the country to raise awareness of and funds for ocean pollution. They started in Jacksonville, Florida and are planning to finish at Huntington Beach in California.
Edwards explained what motivated the two to start their journey:
“Reina and I met in Hawaii through a mutual friend about two weeks before we decided to walk across the country together. I had been dreaming of walking across the country for many years. After living on the island of Oahu for 10 years, I had the itch to travel and go on a big adventure. When I discussed this with Reina, we were both in the position (with our jobs and living situations) to be able to embark on this journey.”
Emerson added that “Growing up in Seattle, Washington, I had always enjoyed the outdoors. I never drove, so walking was my main mode of transportation. Some may think that walking is an inconvenience but I always found it to be extremely enjoyable.”
“We are in New Mexico, about a week away from getting to Arizona. So far we have walked over 1,900 miles. We are on our 3rd pair of shoes and our cart is on his 6th front tire and 2nd pair of back tires.” Edwards updated.
Crossing the country on foot can be hazardous, Emerson explained:
“One of the more dangerous experiences we have encountered was in a small town in Louisiana. While camping in the middle of a field, I woke Keith up in the middle of the night after I was awoken by something that had hit my head. I was sleeping in the corner of the tent with my head pushed up against the side. At first, I thought that Keith had elbowed me in my sleep, but soon realized that it wasn’t him since he was sleeping a couple of feet away from me. Now alarmed, Keith looked out of the window of our tent to see a black bear running back into the woods. Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep that night after realizing that I was stomped on by a bear.”
Keith and Reina are using one third of the funds that they raise to support the Surfrider Foundation and the other two thirds to equip them on their trip. Edwards explained why they chose this specific cause, “We realized that we were going to be meeting a lot of different people from all over the country and thought that it would be a good opportunity to raise awareness about ocean pollution during our walk. The ocean and beaches of Hawaii are very important to us so we also decided to raise donations for the Surfrider Foundation.”
The couple has set up a GoFundMe online fundraiser for their walk. To find out more about them and their journey visit GoFundMe.com/walkthecountry. For more information on the Oahu Chapter of Surfrider Foundation visit https://oahu.surfrider.org.