A message from the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation

Ryan and Dwight hope to raise $10,000 to support the burn camp, which will host 70 children between the ages of 8 and 18. They are determined to reach the West Coast as a personal challenge as well as helping young burn survivors.

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.

Friday, June 20, 2008

6/18 Wednesday

The most annoying day yet of the trip...yet.  The weather was inconsistent and relentless.  The rain would pour down and the sun would be hiding behind the clouds so we would be cold enough to have to get off our bikes and put on pants and rain jackets.  As soon as the sun came out again, it would be strong enough and stay out long enough, so we would have to get off our bikes again, put away the extra layers and put on sun-block.  This process of adding and removing layers continued all day long, slowed us down and took a heavy toll on us.  What made this day even more exhausting was that we were still climbing through the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.  

...Every once in a while we would have to take shelter under a porch due to passing lightning storms...After taking a rest under a residential porch on the side of route 30 and nearly getting struck by lightning (25 yards away, splitting a tree in half) we continued the climb up and up and up!...

But the view was worth it.

When we arrived to Jennerstown that evening we were both exhausted.  I started some more random conversations inside a gas station/sandwich shop on the main drag in Jennerstown.  I was kind of tip-toeing around asking people if we could sleep on their lawn for the night. (hoping they would just invite us over for a feast of a dinner and warm shower!)  I wasn't really getting anywhere until an angel walked through the door!  Dorothy!  

Dorothy overheard me talking to this guy Darrin.  She interrupted us and told me that with help from her friend, Georgeanne, she would set us up for the night in the church basement.  (She later told me that she interrupted my conversation with Darrin because "he's a few fries short from a happy meal!")  I told Dwight the news and we followed these lovely ladies to the church. We had our own kitchen, bathroom and warm carpet to sleep on.  Paradise.  It was much appreciated after such an annoying day.

Church camping...

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