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.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Steady, mate, steady

Crawl up one side, bomb down the other. That's the name of the mountain game.

Since we took to the mountains we have met with nothing but kindness and hospitality. We're getting less 'Why?' and more 'Wow! That's awesome!' The first day out of Denver (more like a half- or a quarter-day since we spent most of it running errands in the city) we rode 28 miles (and climbed about 3,000 feet) to Windy Point, just short of Conifer. The couple at Boulder Gas gave us free coffee and tea and let us camp in the adjacent lot. The next day we rode 40 miles and crossed the Tarryall Mountains at Kenosha Pass (10,001 feet), ending at Jefferson, where Tess and Garrett, who run a realty agency and a snack bar (in a town of 16 people), fed us and gave us a bed to sleep on. Our third day out of Denver finds us over one more big pass and 74 miles down the road in Salida, at the home of fellow cyclists Zack and Robin.

We've met with a lot of friendly faces between stops, too, from a free meal and computer use (when it was hard to come by) at the Knotty Pine in Bailey to words of encouragement and lunch money from a couple of sweet hearts in the Conifer post office. A lot of motorists are giving us affirmative little horn messages, so gentle that it's not quite "toot toot", but more like "t't...t't t't." And there are bugs that hang out among the red rocks that sounds like little machine guns.

Look what altitude has done to packaged food!

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