Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dracula's Dash for Hope 2014

This was another fun year of running for Bridge of Love's annual 5k race, Dracula's Dash for Hope. I am happy to say that I ran much better this year than last year. I even medaled and got third in my age group! After four years of running cross country in High School and not being very good, this made me feel pretty happy. Here are Jamie's instagram pictures of the race. It was a fun event this year. Lots of volunteers came to help out and the race had a fairly good turnout. Next year we hope to see even more of you there!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Concussion: A Reminder To Wear Helmets

A friend of mine just posted this to Facebook. It is a video of his sister-in-law after a bad bicycle accident. It is pretty funny but also a good reminder to wear a helmet. If she hadn't it might not have been so humorous but tragic instead. 

Hope you enjoy it! Don't forget to wear a helmet!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

One Year (and a Few Months) Later

I had hoped to write this post exactly one year from the completion of our first trip. Unfortunately due to a busy life schedule I couldn't find the time. Better late than never. Here is a little review of what is going on with Kenton and I, as well as Longboard For Love.

Life has been crazy this past year. A few days after finishing our longboard journey I went back to Utah and married my sweetheart Jamie. We have had a wonderful year since then. Almost immediately after getting married we moved to Davis, California to research at the California National Primate Research Center. After working there a few months we moved back to Utah where I picked up my schooling again and Jamie started working. School has been crazy. Currently I am trying to pack a full years worth of Organic Chemistry into one summer (...I have dreams where I am studying chemistry...or taking exams...terrible dreams...) as well as preparing two papers for publication based on the research I did last summer. Life is good.

Kenton and his beautiful bride at the Mesa, Arizona Temple
Kenton went home to Arizona where he worked with his dad's business and tried to find true love. Soon after he went back to BYU Idaho where he continues work on his business degree. He has since been blessed to find love and was recently married to an enthusiastic and adorable young lady, Alexis. They are the cutest couple and I am so happy for the both of them. She is up at school with him and they are just studying away. Life is filled up with school...school seems to be taking the most of our time and energy.

As far as Longboard For Love well....between new marriages, jobs, and school it has been difficult to plan out another trip or even organized our schedules to decide when we want to go again. Things are in the works though. I am going to do a short trip in celebration of the completion of my final exams. I just submitted an application to the Guinness Book of World Records for another journey we hoping to do. We won't give details yet but it will involve a relay of sorts with a larger team of people coming to Longboard For Love. We will be doing it to raise money for charity again. The big details still need to get hammered out and when/if Kenton and I find time we will do that.

Just wanted to keep ya'll updated. Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Computers for Romania

Check out this sweet article
Students repairing the computers.
 Courtesy of Shaun Stahle and Deseret News
about students at the LDS Business College getting more computers for the children of Bridge of Love (Podul Dragostei). The business students are learning to refurbish old computers that are just lying around and then donating them to the children of Romania.  Huzzah for an education that keeps giving. This will make a huge difference in the education and futures of the Romanian children.

It is really cool what people can accomplish when they get an idea and follow through with it.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Good Man

Kenton and I happy
to be hanging out
Throughout my life my cousin Kenton has been one of my closest friends. Each summer my family would drive to my mother's ancestral home in Arizona. There Kenton and I would get into all sorts of boyhood shenanigans camping, climbing trees, swimming in the irrigation ditch, swinging on hammocks, etc.

Gathering eggs and catching chickens
When Kenton and I were about 14 or 15 years old, we went to a summer camp together. During a break I was a little bored and I saw Kenton's journal. He let me take a look at it so I started flipping through. I found an entry he had written a few days before. In it he wrote that one of his heroes was....me. I stopped reading and sat up, frankly shocked. I got my journal and showed Kenton an entry I had written in my journal, where I wrote about my hero...Kenton. We had a memorable moment as we sat shocked and flattered that the person we looked up to though so highly of us as well. Afterwards I was thinking of the irony of the situation and I thought, "You know what. I am right. Kenton is the better one, but I want to live to be as good as he thinks I am." 

When planning our recent longboard adventure I thought long and hard about who I would like to have with me. Who would actually follow through on such a crazy adventure? I thought about it and suddenly it came to me...Kenton! Kenton was the perfect choice for so many reasons. I knew that if Kenton said he would come, then Kenton would stick to his word and he would follow through. I knew the trip would get hard and we would want to quit, but Kenton is one of the hardest workers I know and I knew that he would do all he could to push himself and push me during the hard times.
Building boats to float down
 the river on our camping trip

Another reason I asked Kenton to come is that Kenton is the nicest and happiest people I know. I am often very sober minded, but Kenton always has a smile on his face. Just being around him helps me be more cheery. We weren't always happy and didn't always get along on the trip, but Kenton's sterling example and happy disposition helped me set aside whatever petty thing was bothering me (like maybe we were lost) and apologize or figure out solutions. Kenton's happy attitude was vital to our trip.

Kenton sacrificed so much to do this trip. He was taking summer classes WHILE ON THE TRIP! We had to buy him an ipad and stop at every library we found so he could do homework. I am sure he sacrificed the quality of his grades for the trip. He gave all this up for people he doesn't even know. Kenton has never been to Romania, he has never met any of the kids we helped out. Despite all of this he sacrificed a month, lots of personal funds, grades, and personal comfort to go on this crazy adventure. All to support his crazy cousin and help people he hadn't met. Kenton is so full of charity and love.

Grown up and building
a camping shelter
The most beautiful thing we experienced on our longboard trip was the kindness and giving attitude of others. People who donated. People who gave us something to eat or a place to stay. Newspapers who spread the word. People who gave encouragement. Out of everyone who gave to the trip I think Kenton gave the most. He really is my hero and I look up to him in so many ways. I called Kenton a few days ago to talk about our next longboarding adventure and we ended up chatting for about 40 minutes until I had to go to class. I am glad to have someone so happy, so hard working, so giving, and so kind in my life.

Kenton recently got engaged and I am so proud of him. I hope his fiancee knows how lucky she is because she is marrying a good man, my cousin and hero, Kenton Durfee.

Up to our waists in mud

Guess we haven't really grown up that much.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just Dance

Here is the final poster for the event. We got
it up on our facebook page but I have to
apologize for forgetting to post the final
version here on the blog. 
Well, we have a big thank you to Yasmeen! She organized an phenomenal event in New York. The Dance-Off Competition was a huge success. All the proceeds from the event went to Bridge of Love, for which we are grateful. Yasmeen was also able to get donations from a few organizations like Blue Sky Longboards.

Yasmeen sent me some pictures (you can see some really cool ones here) and the event looked like a ton of fun! I really wish I had been able to attend but distance prevented me. Instead Bridge of Love sent a representative who lived in the area.

I am looking forward to next year's dance contest. Maybe we should organize one here in Utah too.

Thanks once again to all the New York boarders. It really is awesome to see great people who want to use longboarding to help others, who want to have a good time and help others out at the same time.

I put a few pictures below but, you really should check out all the pictures from the competition. The dancing looks good and the fall leaves are beautiful. Click here to see them.

These are the winners from the event.  Ian, in the middle, got first,
Steven Vera on the left was second and Jason T. Quinn on the right won  third.

Just chilling and watching the event

Everybody excited about it all

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What We Will Do Differently

Longboard For Love is trying to look forward to next year. However, in order to adequately plan for the future we need to look back on what we learned from the past. Let me tell you, from our recent trip, we have learned quite a lot. We did our best and got advice from a lot of people, but we were not totally prepared for the trip. After a month on the road we feel pretty confident in our knowledge.

Our "Final Map" plan. We were so excited when we
finished the plan....and we threw it out the first day!
Mapping it out
Last trip I spent months and months going over the route again and again. However, all I had at my disposal was Google Maps. I had to redo the route about eight different times. Then...after the first day we had to throw the whole map out the window. It failed. Thankfully Kenton brought his phone which had a GPS. All we were able to do was each night we planned out what we could do the next day. We only had a few days planned out at a time. I said before I had no idea where we were going, only south. That is the real truth. Next time we will make a rough but realistic plan, and definitely bring a good GPS with a great battery.

Ben Smith, who went across Utah on his longboard, had a good idea. His support drove the route in a car before he did it on a board. This showed them problem places and allowed them to plan. I think this is a good idea. However if we had done this before we might not have actually done our trip. Some of the roads were sketchy. Although maybe we would have planned a better route instead.

Rob Thompson who first
used Longboard Larry's
Self Supported
We really wanted to do our trip self-supported, meaning we carried everything with us. We can now say we did it... but we aren't sure we will do it again. The backpacks did save us money on cars and gas, but they really slowed us down. Days where someone took our backpacks for us we went about twice as fast, and we enjoyed life quite a bit more. I still suffer from chronic lower back pain as a consequence to my heavy backpack and the repetitive motion of pushing the board.

Backpacks are probably a no go. We may look into the longboard trailer idea from Longboard Larry. The best idea, in our opinion, is to have a support vehicle.

Now that we have done a trip we will definitely contact the press earlier. That helped us out a ton. More people offered to let us stay a night in their yard or home. People donated more, people honked and cheered on the road which helped our moral. Getting the press earlier will really help

Enjoy the Journey
If we do another long-term trip, we will try to "stop and smell the roses" a bit more. With the backpacks we
were slowed down a lot. In order to make our goal of 650 miles we were always in a hurry. It was stressful. Our schedule was typically as follows:  7:00 wake up, hit the road by 7:45, 8:30 take a break, take a ten minute break every hour afterwards, at about 7:00 pm we would start looking for a place to stay. At nightfall hopefully we were ready to sleep, and then do it all over the next day.

On a future trip we may try to be less ambitious with our daily mileage, or more realistic, and thus be more free to take joy in the journey.

Kenton was enrolled at the BYU-I Business School during the trip. He was doing all he could online. This was stressful for Kenton. We will plan better and take a hiatus from school during the trip.

Relay Race
In the future we will probably do some form of a relay race. This divides into two trains of thought. One idea is to make it competitive. A couple of teams going 24 hours in shifts. Maybe a 250 mile race with one member of your team going at all times.