Day 12 was a good day. I was joined by the Blankenship family. Annette Blankenship had contacted by e-mail first. Her husband Donald had stopped on the front lines the day before to drop off water and juice. I mentioned him nameless earlier seeing I am terrible keeping names straight. Anyway this morning I began walking as the sun was coming up. The sun roasted me the day before so I wanted to get a good 10 to 15 miles head start early in the morning. Annette was on her way from I believe near 100 miles away not sure but it was a distance. She was gonna pick me up, to then go get my gear from the hotel to move it on to the next stop.
Before Annette reached me I had somehow made a wrong turn walking about 2 miles out of my way. I was walking at traffic so Annette could see me so I could read the sign's. I got off the road an slipped into an Exxon station and called Annette to pick me up there. While I was waiting I had a great talk with the woman working behind the counter who agreed with me 100% on the death penalty issue. She was great peoples, she fed a soldier a sandwich and coffee on the house. Bless her. I gave her a Stop Execution button and moved on.
Annette found me and we sure enough went and got my stuff from my hotel room. She was joined by her son Jeffery and his step grandma. Small army put we packed a lot of power.
We first drove some 40-50 miles and found me my next hotel in Danville, VA I couldn't find support out in these neck of the woods. Anyway after I checked in and dropped of my stuff, we hit the road.
I had about 15 miles already giving myself credit for the miles I strayed off, now Annette's son Jeffery was ready to walk the next 10 with me. Jeffery is 17 a high school student. He wants to be a professional wrestler. I think that is fantastic. He is young and already working hard towards his dream. I hope I get free tickets when he makes the big times, cause I have no doubt he will get there, just like he got to the end of 10 miles up 2 huge hills.
It was great walking with Jeffery, he talked non-stop even when he was out of breath. He was funny and just had great energy. After like 2 miles we came up to a hill. Not steep but hella-long, about 3 miles. I thought I was going to lose Jeffery a couple of times but for the most part he did not slow me down at all. He kept up the pace jogging at times to catch up. Just as we reached the 10 mile mark, we hit hill number 2. Not as steep as the first, but to us it looked like mount Everest. Jeffery was running out of gas, but he didn't stop till I said it was 10 miles. After that, it was hard to get him up to even get in the car. 10 miles at 3.5 miles an hour is serious, up hill is insane. Jeffery Blankenship. A true soldier fighting on the front lines of the struggle.
I have to mention that Jeffery's grandma and Annette were doing roadside. At one point they stopped to give us water. We were paid a visit by 3 sheriff's cars along the road side. This was classic. As the first officer arrived he pulled right up to me in the shoulder. I was holding a sign END The Death Penalty NOW. It was like right in his face. He got out of the car smiling along with his posse. I paid them compliments, their hats that is. They wore wide brim hats that could keep 5 people out of the rain. Anyway they stopped smiling when I explained what I was walking for. They said just stay out of every ones way. I was like ahhh ok. I have nothing bad to say. They ran Annette's plate, checked her license and drove off one at a time.
The last of our friends leaving the scene. Virginia's finest on highway 29-S.
After our little pow-wow grandma and Jeffery took over on the roadside and Annette walked the next trek with me. The road was busier reaching into Danville, VA so we walked with signs. Hundreds seen our opinion. We walked and talked and kept up the pace without problem.
The day went well, they always do when I am joined by other soldiers willing to make that sacrifice. I am so grateful for the Blankenship family. After a number of miles we took some photo's as we spread the word, bid our goodbyes and I walked the last 10 or so miles solo, reaching my hotel after sun down. On this day I walked for Carol King - PA - Female on death row.