Man on coast-to-coast journey passes through Oregon

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 5:18 AM PDT
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CASCADE LOCKS, Ore (KPTV) - One Florida man has just arrived near Portland. Normally, that wouldn’t be much news. However, this man has walked from the other side of the country and is nearing the end of his journey.

“A lot of people need positivity in the world right now,” Kyndal Ray Edwards, who goes by Kyndal Ray, said.

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Ray said he began the trek at Jacksonville Beach in January of 2022.

“There’s been so many days where I’m like, ‘I really don’t want to walk today,’” he said.

He said he dreamed of doing the cross country walk since 2014. However, he said he has been struggling with getting his life on track.

“The last 13 years of my life,” he said. “I’ve dealt with depression, addiction and a life of crime.”

He said in 2014, after serving a year in prison, he ran into an article about a guy who had walked across the country. He was inspired, and managed to speak with the man who did it on social media. During that conversation, he said he was told the only thing he’d have done differently would be doing it for a cause. Seven years later, he said his cause for walking the past years is “mental health awareness.”

“If we can keep one person from putting a gun to their head and pulling the trigger, or putting a needle in their arm not knowing that they’ll never wake up the next day,” he said, “then we did our job.”

On his shirt, he’s walking with the names of 180 people who have lost their lives, and “bringing them on the journey.”

Living through it himself, Edwards said there’s a way to get on the better side of depression, addiction and a life of crime.

“Look at me,” he said gesturing to himself, “I’m almost 3,100 miles across America and I’m less than a year and a half out of prison.”

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Ray plans to arrive at his destination, Long Beach, Washington, on April 12. The date is also the anniversary for him being drug free for four years. He invites anybody and everybody to come and say hi.

To learn more about Ray’s journey, visit his Facebook page here.