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.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The fields of grain are freshly shorn

Lady luck landed on my arm, last night

As we got closer to the Illinois River we started seeing less corn and more wooded areas, open pastures and rolling meadows. We spent much of the afternoon in Beardstown's library and super market (hadn't seen the likes of them in a while) before crossing the river and continuing on to Sloam Springs State Park, where we made camp. West of the river there were actually quite of few hills, like we haven't seen since Pennsylvania. In spite of the time we spent in Beardstown, we covered about 81 miles, partly because we stayed on the road a little later than usual. The sunset was wildly beautiful in every direction. As the sky went dark the fields lit up with fire flies flickering like a million flash bulbs, which was something to see from a moving bicycle.

Today we crossed the Mississippi River to Mark Twain's boyhood home, Hannibal, Missouri. This makes one month and one day since we left New Haven, almost to the hour, during which time we've covered roughly 1,300 miles. That's not quite as far as we'd hoped to be by this time, but consider that fully six days (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Chicago, Chicago, Chenoa) and most of a seventh (Sandusky) were spent off the road, and we're not looking too bad.
Some neglected thanks that should have been made in the beginning: Thank you to my brother, Travis, for painting my helmet. It still looks beautiful. And thank you to Erik Becker for loaning me his tent, it has been a great comfort.

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