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.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Big Getter

"There's nothing worse than going through life with a great big wanter and a little bitty getter. The way to stay happy is to make sure your getter is always bigger than your wanter." These are the words of Justus's great grandmother, whom he never met but whose wisdom has been passed down to him by the intervening generations. Hence, the name of his vessel, Big Getter. We met him in Hannibal, just over the border of Missouri, and he offered to give us a ride down river the next day on a pontoon boat he had designed and built himself, and which he had been piloting down the Mississippi since June 1. We thought about it for a minute, which was about how long it took us to realize we would have to be fools to pass up the opportunity. So we met him on the dock in the morning and spent the day drifting down the river, playing dice and shooting a beebee gun at a floating target. The water was milky with debris churned up by the recent floods. Apparently not a week ago all the roads and bridges around here were closed, so we timed this pretty well.

Lock and dam 22

Justus is an awesome guy and he showed us a really good time (you can follow his journey at biggetter.com). We landed about 27 miles down river at Two Rivers Boat Club on the Illinois bank, across the water from Louisiana, Missouri. There's also a town of Mexico and a town of Paris within fifty miles, so it would be easy for us to pretend to be well-traveled. Paris, Mexico and Louisiana, all in one day! Lloyd and Mary from the marina gave us a ride across the treacherously narrow bridge, and directions to their home in Bowling Green, where we camped for the night. We tacked on 11 miles of riding to get there at the end of the day.

These signs confused me, at first. Junction with Nine Inch Nails? Apparently Missouri has not only numbered routes, but lettered ones, as well.

From Bowling Green we rode 74 miles to Moberly, "The Magic City," where the fire house hooked us up with a shower and a place to camp in Rothwell Park. Slept like a baby. Yesterday we ate lunch at a Mexican place called Santa Fe (very good) where they served us water in the biggest glasses I've ever seen. With our bellies full of beans we rode 67 miles to Marshall, where the fire department helped us get vouchers to stay in a motel(!) last night.

Missouri River Crossing

Recent deaths: One gofer, two big, awesome frogs, four unidentifiable gut rugs, two little baby turtles, one of what looked like a small sloth or monkey, five raccoons, seven rabbits, and one magnificent doe, her beautiful, delicate face undone, deflated, ruined.

1 comment:

Albert said...

You two do qualify as "Big Getter" characters as outlined in in this web address: http://www.biggetter.com/

Imponderables: Why is Dwight's bike pink?
I get the lawn variety pink flamingo, packaged pink "Snowballs" at a convenience store, and pink eye. A pink bike should at least come with handle bar grip streamers and a white plastic weaved basket.