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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Into the shadows of the valley at night

In the distance the mountains grow, forming a smoky silhouette only dimly discernible in the waning twilight. As they approach, their enormity describes a stark, jagged edge, an impossible blackness carved out against the starry night. And those ghostly cliffs close in all around, standing tall like giants, quietly menacing, as rank upon rank of looming pines peer down darkly from the barricades.

A buck stands on the shoulder thirty paces ahead, in an island of light cast by the glow of a lonesome street lamp. The too sudden realization of his gaze startles you. He seems to you an apparition, staring, motionless. There is a strange power in his stillness, a self-assurance which makes you think that he must be more than the animal you see, all the vital energies of the wilderness manifested in the form of an antlered beast. And then, slowly but with confidence, he approaches.

We spent the other night in a gazebo in the park at Ouray (58 miles from The Black Canyon). I was a very comfortable until the sprinklers gave me a soggy surprise in the middle of the night. Ryan happened to be lying on the dry half of the gazebo. In the morning we bathed in the nearby hot springs. Ryan was disappointed that they didn't look more rustic and less like a pool club.

Yesterday we crossed the San Juan Mountains at Red Mountain Pass (11,018 feet), Molas Pass (10,910 feet) and Coal Bank Pass (10,640 feet). In total we rode around 74 miles and ended up in Durango, where we spent the night at Jared's house, who is a friend of a friend.


Albert said...

Are you sure you saw a buck and not "lepus cornutus" – a beast better known as the “jackalope?” Your description of the foreboding mountain habitat and the eeriness of the encounter makes me think you had a rare sighting. Pity there was no photograph.

Claudia said...

But you don't really need a photograph to see what Dwight is saying. That boy does have a way with words, if I do say so myself. I do enjoy the photos though, so don't quit with those.
Keep traveling safe and remember what I said about food in the tent and bears.
p.s. - did that buck have really, really long ears?