A message from the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation
Started in 1991, the Arthur C. Luf Children's Burn Camp is located in northern Connecticut on 176 acres. Every summer, burn survivors come to the burn camp, which is a safe and fun environment that helps kids heal emotionally and physically. The Burn Camp is free to the children, who come primarily from the Northeast and some foreign counteries, but any burn survivor child anywhere is welcome. More than 70 adult counselors, primarily active and retired firefighters and burn unit nurses, occupational and physical therapists, child psychologists and even a doctor will serve as mentors for the week.
It's also our goal to promote burn awareness and fire prevention and education, which we do year around. We sponsor a burn survivor, burned in a car accident that involved speeding and drinking alcohol, who speaks to high school students throughout Connecticut. We also support the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital, helping to purchase equipment.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
We rolled out of Yorba Linda with the intention of reaching Ventura on the first night, but, in spite of our ambitions, were happily ensnared about 40 miles down the road in the hospitable arms of Ryan's (and now, I hope I can claim them as my own) friends, Brendon, Larla and Stanislava in Culver City. They prepared us a hearty meal and shared music and spirits with us before taking us out on the town. They are a fun, warm-hearted trio and, though I was initially eager to be getting on, I'm really glad we took the time to stop and hang out with them on our final evening before the end. Ryan was courageous enough to let Larla give him a ride in a shopping cart we found on the street at midnight, and nearly paid with his life. Thankfully, he sustained no serious injuries, and we were still able to continue our quest the next day. We set out, in routine fashion, later than planned, leaving ourselves about half the daylight we needed to finish the roughly 100 miles to Santa Barbara. We rode down to Venice Beach, our first sight of the Ocean, and continued along the (very crowded) bike path up the beach to Malibu, where we got on the Pacific Coast Highway. The road strayed from the coast and became a bit elusive in Oxnard, where we ended up on route 101 for a bit, and I was forced to face my nemesis, the long-slotted storm drain, around every bend. Thankfully I was a bit too clever for the son of a gun, this time, and did not fall for that gap-toothed grin, again.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Out of Las Vegas we rode 45 miles and over the border into California, where we camped in a state wildlife area just short of The Mojave National Preserve. The next day we rode over a mountain pass called "Mountain Pass" and down into The Mojave Desert, the hottest part of our route, where temperatures were getting up around 110 degrees.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Dwight - a blur on a bicycle
Another long-awaited visit for me. It seems that is the case for most of the places in this part of the country. We rode right after we finished the North Kaibob trail in The Grand Canyon to Zion National Park. It was a night ride, so we weren't able to see most of the scenery on the eastern entrance of the park but when we woke up the next morning, inside the park, the sight was breathtaking.
Feeling so close to the end of the trip and the urgency to finish, we wanted to make sure we didn't forget one of the focuses of the trip which fueled it in the first place; to explore and enjoy the most beautiful parts of the nation. With this in mind, we decided to stay two nights in Zion, which made it possible to do a balanced, two day-hikes.
The first one being, Angel's Landing, which brought hikers to the very top of the canyon, a strenuous, steep climb.
The second one, The Narrows, which was an easier hike and brought hikers into the depths of the canyon, hiking upstream the Virgin River through the water.
The small portion of Zion we were able to see was unbelievable. There is something for everyone. Go there.
On a cold night on the Navajo Reservation we found ourselves in Kayenta, Arizona after riding just about 100 miles through the desert, from dawn till dusk. It was around 11pm when we arrived and we were exhausted, hungry and covered from head to toe in dirt and road debris. We grabbed something small to eat at the only gas station opened in town at that hour and I went off on my bike looking for a camping spot while Dwight watched our gear at the gas station. I rode around town scouting out spots to camp for the night. With absolutely no luck, for the first time this trip, I returned and shared the bad news with Dwight. Without any other options, we decided to set up camp in the local supermarket's front parking lot. As we were searching for a decent place to lay our heads, a movie theater employee walked out from the theater and asked us if everything was okay...I started talking with him for a bit and after understanding our story, he asked us if we wanted to sleep in the movie theater!
He invited us indoors and we immediately set up our bags and pads on the floor in the lobby of the theater with the comforting smell of popcorn saturating the air. It turned out that the movie theater employee was actually the owner and he lived in the theater, his name is Gordon.
Gordon invited us upstairs to the projection room and we were able to take a shower in the bathroom of the living quarters next to the projection room. We got all cleaned up and retired to the theater lobby for a great night's sleep.
In the morning, we were awoken to a breakfast which Gordon bought for us and had ready in the theater lobby. He introduced us to the laundry mat and the grocery store next door to his theater.
That night in Kayenta was truly looking bad. We had beaten ourselves to get to civilization and once we arrived, we found nothing which advanced our situation. We were beaten, battered and discouraged. Then we bumped into Gordon and everything changed. We were dry, clean, comfortable and safe because of his help. This was another example of the effect one individual can have on two others when he lends a helping hand. This is one of the dynamics of a trip like ours, which makes it so special. Thank-you Gordon.
Toward Angel's Landing