Carlsen’s do Mount Rushmore

After EIGHT years of living SIX hours from Mt. Rushmore and we never made the trip, Greta joins us from Germany and we decide that we have the time. So we made the little drive up to the Black Hills. It was Kyan’s 11th birthday so Mama got in the Mini and picked him up from school early. She then headed to SD before the rest of us to have some personal time with Kyan. I then picked up Syrafina, Kyra, Syrena, and Greta in the truck and left about 3 hours later. We had a great drive and arrived in the Black Hills South Dakota.

Kyan’s 11th Minecraft Birthday party

VA Clinic Decorate the Door 2020

The VA clinic had an idea to create an environment of friendly competition. Several people in the clinic chose to decorate a door. I wanted to be involved with the rest of the clinic. However, I didn’t feel that I was going to have the time to do it. Karen decided to help me by hand creating the door decoration.

She started with a serving platter as the basis of her planet earth. She then put the blue burlap around the platter with a hot glue gun. She then cut open a pillow and stuffed the inside of the burlap with pillow guts. She added some lights to the inside of the planet that were battery powered. She made the continents out of twirled piece of paper. It turned out awesome.

Decorate the Door at the VA 2020
Karen with her door.

A fishing journey in Nebraska.

Our tackle.

So I have worked understand why fishing is so big for certain people. I feel that there is an attachment to being able to feed your family from your own labor. It is the same concept of farming.

I definitely felt some enjoyment from this opportunity to fish with my family and friends. I hope to do this more often.

Kyan caught his first fish.

2020 Inaugural Annual, Memorial day, Vigorously Embrace The Suck, half marathon WALK (IAMVETS)

Freaking another SARS COV2 viral pandemic issue, the Lincoln half marathon that my daughters and I signed up for was canceled.

They declined to reimburse our money but did agree to allow us to submit virtual times for our own half marathon. We had somewhere between April 15 and May 31 to complete this half marathon and submit our times to the Lincoln run club for credit. We were told that they would send us our finisher medals and participation T-shirts.

Socially distanced photos.

We put it off for several weeks.

Then, over the memorial day weekend I decided that running a half marathon without training on memorial day would be a fun tribute to our men and women in arms who have died serving our country.

We have not really been training because nobody was really interested in doing a virtual 13.1 mile run. We decided to make it a walk.

We invited a couple of family friends who graciously agreed to go and socially distance with us. I monitored the weather and found that it would be raining most of the day on memorial day. I found a break in the weather around 4 PM.

I calculated that walking a 15 minute mile would be difficult for a bunch of untrained walkers and an old guy. I put our aim somewhere between 15 and 20 with an estimated four hour finish time.

If all went well we would be at the finish site by 9 PM and just before dark. We took two cars to Ta-Ha-Zouka Park and met with our guests there.

Facemask, Camelback, jacket and hat.

We took some appropriate socially distanced photographs and hugged and kissed our family who are staying behind as our support team. We then without fanfare head off down the trail to walk to battle Creek. It is 10 miles from our town To Battle Creek Nebraska.

Immediately after starting the journey we came across a large puddle of water that covered the entire pathway.

Not the large puddle, but shows our path conditions when we started out.

I was apprehensive about getting my feet wet so early in our long walk. We climbed through the bushes around the water puddle. Something I hadn’t considered was parts of the path being flooded because of the recent increased rainfall. This definitely made me nervous but at this point we weren’t going to turn around. They rain had really slowed and the weather was perfect.

Starting to Chill walk.

It was fun to watch the boys and girls fighting back-and-forth for lead position as we continued to walk. I was happy to just continue walking.

I tried to be the walking map but at some point we came across a Y in the path. The young people were approximately 50 feet ahead of me or so. They asked what direction to go, I had them go left thinking we were further than we were. They started down the road and then stopped when they saw a private property do not enter sign. I realized my error and directed them down the other path. This allowed the girls to get back ahead and they disgruntled young men to hustle down the road.

We continued walking for the next few miles running across extremely large earthworms, normal chipmunks and baby rabbits. We got to talk to several large cows. Overall the early segment was quite nice.

We met up with our family at the 3.2 mile marker and they walked back with us back to their vehicles. This was a nice get together and regrouping up a bit for our next 7 mile stretch.

The 7 miles of Green farmland with water everywhere peeping frogs and chirping birds was absolutely mazing. I took as many opportunities as possible to enjoy the sights and smells and sounds of our journey.

At about mile nine I saw a large structure that I presume it was in the middle of battle Creek.It motivated us to continue going forward. It was pretty cool to know we have an obvious end point. Arriving into battle Creek was bittersweet. We were tired sweaty and in large amount of pain. Nobody was complaining, which was amazing but you could tell by the limping and abnormal walking but this was not fun. We saw our families were waiting in Battle Creek when we arrived. There was some quick hugging and kissing and we headed off to finish our last 3 miles of the journey.

We would have to walk 1.5 miles out and then turn around and head back to the spot we were currently at. This took a large amount of willpower because we were standing at our stop point and we had just walked 10 miles and now we were going to keep going walking about 3.1 miles. We were joined by Sophia, Kyan for this last leg of our journey.

The wind started to pick up and the temperature dropped a little bit. However, it feels like we were really being pushed to quit and we had to use our mind to overcome this.

I spent some time during our walk talking about some of the wars that our country has been involved with and the actions taken by our American service men and women.

We finally arrived at the turnaround point there was a lot of whooping with joy and we waited for everybody to get to the turnaround point before starting back.

Several people took off and sprints to begin the journey back. I was able to find some more purple flowers on the side of the path to pick for my wife before arriving back at the end point. They smelled kind of like jasmine but I have no idea what those look like. They were amazing.

When we finally finished our 13.1 miles everyone went up into their own directions to rest and recuperate. I went home had some food and some Motrin and a little muscle relaxer and went to bed.

I had a great nights sleep.

I’m not sure the next time I decide to do something like this again. I hope to train before I do something like this again. So it’s not as hard on my body.

The 2020 Covid 19 Inaugural Annual Memorial day Vigorously Embrace The Suck (IAMVETS) half marathon is complete.

Carlsens do DC

Kyra a conference and we traveled to DC to celebrate Karen’s grandad’s 95th birthday. He is a very inspiring active 95-year-old man. He is a WWII veteran and still very active. He pinned me when I became an officer in the Air Force along with my son Christian.  It was a great trip and awesome to reconnect with family.

Cracker Barrel checkers fun.

Mama making her orzo pasta…YUM YUM

Granddad’s car

Kyan being funny

Kyra learning how to play Shanghai.

Happy Birthday Granddad

Kyra enjoying her conference.