PTSD Awareness Adventure 2013 New Kayak

DCIM100GOPROI am spending as much time as I can on the water these days. I really need to know how to use this boat and I have to make sure Scrubs is not just comfortable but safe. She seems to enjoy it and she actually sleeps a lot when we are out on the water. I guess after riding 4000 miles on the back of my bicycle, lying on a trampoline and gliding above the water would seem like a vacation for her.

As I start to talk to people about this year’s PTSD Awareness Adventure, the comments and responses I’ve been getting lately all focus on the water. People talk about the currents, the river barge traffic, tugboat traffic, and speedboats. They talk about the locks and dams and portaging.

Army Vet, Thomas Skinner

PTSD Awareness Adventure 2012

To me, this all seems a lot less dangerous than 4000 miles on the interstate and on the side of Route 66 which I encountered on last year’s Amazingly awesome bike trip across the country. I will be careful. I’m interested in the current, the turbulence in the wakes, in the shoreline and how it changes as we go down south. I can’t wait to feel the Mississippi and how she holds us and pushes us down river. I would like to take a picture of every mile of the shoreline so I when I am done I would have 2552 pictures.

The ocean is pretty tough in this little craft. I get beat up or at least that was what I was feeling the first time out in the ocean past the breaker walls. I did not know if I could trust my equipment. The bow of my kayak would be swamped and then the waves continued until I stopped them with my body. The kayak took it in stride as yet another wave soaked us from head to toe. The cold water would take my breath away. I love that part. The tough part was me not knowing how the kayak would handle it; how I would handle it; how Scrubs would handle it. Now we sail around the bay during the week and like to hit the ocean on Mondays. I am thinking that ocean kayaking to Mississippi River kayaking styles should be a fairly safe transition.

Understanding PTSD

PTSD Service dog Scrubs has a nice spot to ride.

It may seem like we’re just playing in the bay every day on a brand-new Hobie Mirage having a good old time, but in actuality we are in training. Okay, so we are playing and having fun in the water, but for the bigger picture – my mission! I like pushing this thing really hard. I want to see what may break and what’s going to hold up before we ever leave San Diego. I am very impressed with my new Hobie. Tomorrow I will be building some custom platforms for scrubs so she has her dog bed with shade up and off the water.
PTSD service dog scrubs has a new spot on the boat

PTSD service dog scrubs has a new spot on the boat

I have a presentation coming up on May 19th at Holiday United Church of Christ in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The presentation I give is called “What Comes After Welcome Home”.  I tell my personal story, describe signs and symptoms of PTSD, and give a demonstration of Scrubs’ abilities and how she helps me with my PTSD.  This is the presentation that I will do with the new team as we kayak 2,552 miles down the Mississippi River this summer for PTSD Awareness Adventure 2013.  The schedule should be up in the next few days detailing our venture down the river!
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One Response to PTSD Awareness Adventure 2013 New Kayak

  1. Catherine T. says:

    I had so much fun following your bike trip online; I can’t wait to follow this one! Besides all your other strengths, you are an extraordinarily gifted storyteller. Just as last year, you will be in my prayers the whole length of your journey.

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