Sunday, March 31, 2013

39 States

Kellisa has visited 39 states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin

Last new state(s) in red.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


2013 Bataan Memorial Death March
White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico

It was all planned and we were ready. However, Kellisa's customized off-road chair broke between Houston and El Paso. Unable to fix it and with no time to ship a replacement part, we were finished before we could even start. 

Kellisa not having a wheel is like me breaking an ankle. In other words, she wasn't going anywhere unless I carried her because we didn't bring a standard wheelchair on this trip (lesson learned the hard way). Maybe I'll write about the struggle of carrying Kellisa and moving our ton of gear from El Paso - Albuquerque - Chicago - Orlando - Jacksonville at another time, but I'm sure you can imagine.

Below is the one good tire and the broken tire:

The only bright side- at least this happened at the airport and not in the middle of the unforgiving desert!

We'll be back in 2014 with spare parts and tools!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

El Paso Times- Kellisa Video

Below is the video that the El Paso Times made about our 2012 attempt to complete the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, NM. We completed 20 out of 26.2 miles because the temperature was above 90F and I was worried that the extreme desert sun and heat would trigger Kellisa's seizures. It wasn't worth the risk.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Run on Water

Run on Water
Bayfield Winter Festival
Bayfield, WI

March 3, 2013

A 2.1 mile ice road connects Bayfield, WI to Madeline Island across frozen Lake Superior. Every year as part of the Bayfield Winter Festival, a race to the island and back is held. I had decided to try with Kellisa as a new and exciting challenge. Originally, I was going to leave Egypt at home with Lisa. However, Egypt has been very interested in seeing snow and she really wanted to try sledding. I was hesitant to bring Egypt since this would be her first weekend of real cold and snow. I decided to bring her and she did not disappoint me. My plan was to push Kellisa and pull Egypt in a sled at the same time. Not knowing if Egypt would sit on a sled for 4.2 miles, I brought Kellisa's Wike chair which is barely big enough for both girls in full winter attire.

We almost didn't make it to the race. About 20 minutes from Bayfield, Kellisa started crying a little. Kellisa never cries unless she's about to blow. I quickly pulled over, jumped out of the van and opened Kellisa's door. I told her that she was OK, but I could tell from her face that all the liquids I gave her for breakfast were on their way out of her stomach. It was cold, just above zero with the wind chill and we were in the middle of nowhere. Any chance of participating in the Run on Water would be over if either Kellisa or myself got soaked in projectile vomit. 

Thinking quickly, I undid Kellisa's seat belt and leaned her out of the van as I spread my legs apart. Within an instant, 16 ounces came flying out and luckily, most of it landed on the road. My boots got a little wet as did Kellisa's waterproof wind pants. At the same time, Egypt was screaming in horror because the whole process in pretty violent and scary, even though she has witnessed this many times. I had to calm Egypt down as I wiped Kellisa's face. I knew Kellisa was feeling better and asked her if she was still up to the race. She smiled and signed "yes". I got back in the car and raced to the registration and then to the starting line. 

We barely had time for this picture before the race started: 

Looking out to Madeline Island:

Egypt sledding across frozen Lake Superior:

Kellisa with Bayfield in the background:

Heading back to Bayfield, after reaching Madeline Island:

Egypt was done sledding. I was glad I had the bigger chair:

A large crack in the ice:

Kellisa was the only participant pushed and Egypt was the only one pulled (for most of it anyway). 

We weren't last- the finish line (1:27:10):

Kellisa wanted her chance on the sled:

Arrival back at Orlando International Airport with our ton of weekend gear:

Thanks to Lisa for trusting me with the girls in the far north. A big thanks to Scott Armstrong for allowing us to race in our own special way...see you again next year!

Voyageurs National Park and Run on Water Trip Totals:

Miles Walked:      6.58
                                  2.38 (Voyageurs)
                                  4.2 (Run on Water)

Miles Driven:        1,166 
                                  280 Jax - Orlando (RT)
                                  886 MN and WI 

Flight Segments:   2 (Orlando - Minneapolis - Orlando)

Air Miles:              2,620

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rainy Lake Ice Road

Rainy Lake Ice Road
Voyageurs National Park, MN

March 2, 2013

We traveled to the far north to play in snow and to drive on the Rainy Lake Ice Road:


Looking out the van door to see a crack in the ice:

Parked in the middle of the lake for some winter exploring:

The girls are excited to get out and play:

Egypt was so excited to go sledding (this was her first time). I left Kellisa in the van because Egypt couldn't wait:

After a little sledding with Egypt, I got Kellisa ready and into her Wike. I then pushed Kellisa and pulled Egypt:

Sun setting:

I used the GPS to route our way back to the hotel while we were still on the ice and took this cool picture:

Just before driving back on land, I saw the Voyageurs National Park sign for the customary pictures (Egypt was a little chilled):

Voyageurs National Park and Run on Water Trip Totals:

Miles Walked:      6.58
                                  2.38 (Voyageurs)
                                  4.2 (Run on Water)

Miles Driven:        1,166 
                                  280 Jax - Orlando (RT)
                                  886 MN and WI 

Flight Segments:   2 (Orlando - Minneapolis - Orlando)

Air Miles:              2,620

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