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.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Let's make the most of our youth and ride our bicycles across America

Riding your bike from coast to coast is the coolest job in America. Also, it's not a job. Yet.

I am just a scrawny boy from the wetlands of southern Connecticut. Wherever I can ride my bike, so can any body with two good legs.

What is good about traveling on a bicycle?
1. You can feel good about moving on the strength of your own body, and that strength only grows
2. You can move slowly enough to see where you are
3. As Hemingway has written, and as Gilhuly has quoted in a recent photograph, "you learn the contours of a country best"
4. You are exposed to the world, which means that you are vulnerable to more dangers. But your reward for this risk is an unmediated encounter with the places you move through. The sun and the wind and the rain all have meaning to you, because they touch you, and they affect you directly. The real temperature of the air, the strength and direction of the breeze, sounds and smells, all are available to you. Your relationship with the passage is imminent, intimate, direct, for better or worse.

Zach and Robin made us a delicious pancake breakfast (it was vegan). It gave us fuel to climb over Monarch Pass (11,312 feet high). We crossed the continental divide, there. Now, all the water that we see will be running towards the Pacific.

Blue Mesa Reservoir

Dillon Pinnacles


That day we rode 65 miles to Gunnison. They say that winters in Gunnison are some of the coldest in the nation. Fifty degrees below zero is not uncommon. In Gunnison I met a woman on a bike with two small dogs trained to respond to commands in Italian. We received more than one invitation to hospitality, the most appealing of which was the couch and spare bed of Steve and Nicole, for which we were very grateful. Steve, if your name is actually Scott, please forgive me. You deserve to be named correctly, but my namemory is very bad. It's something I need to work on.

Yesterday we rode another 65 miles to Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park, where we slept.
Black Canyon of The Gunnison


Albert said...

Remember that very first day you learned to ride? In fits and spurts you toggled between one state and another, caution being your friction and delight your flight.

Claudia said...

Hi Guys!
My husband is getting jealous of your trip. If you are planning on riding back to Connecticut from California let me know and I'll get him out there to come back with you. He's 65, so you might have to pace yourselves now & then. Just kidding - he's in good shape. Thanks for sharing your adventures. I'm going to send you some more $!

Ryan said...

thank-you Claudia for your continued support! Easily the best librarian across the country!

Unknown said...

Across the Great Divide*... you made it. It's all downhill from here.


*The Band

Unknown said...

Across The Great Divide*... you made it. It's all downhill from here.


*The Band