On Saturday July 16th, 2005, Claire Mix [about] began an extraordinary journey when she crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on her way to the California State Capitol in Sacramento, where she arrived on July 23, 2005! What is even more extraordinary is that Claire suffers from a neurological disorder in the Parkinson family of diseases, and that she crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and made this 120+ mile journey on
a Rascal Mobility scooter.
Claire is "blazen" to raise funds for - and awareness of - the Parkinson family of diseases. But this is not only a way to raise funds for The National Parkinson Foundation. She hopes to inspire her students to never give up, and to "GET UP!" (off the couch), "GET OUT!"(side), and "GET IN"(volved). The first road trip may be over but the journey has just begun, and your support can still make a big difference!
This is a fundraiser, so one important way you can help is by making a donation. Whether large or small, your contribution will help support essential Parkinson research efforts, patient services, education, and outreach.
In the United States it is estimated that 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, joining the 1.5 million Americans who currently have Parkinson disease. While the condition usually develops after the age of 65, 15% of those diagnosed are under 50, as Claire was.
A SPECIAL "THANK YOU" Christian Pflaumer is associated with Life-In-Motion.org, and Mixer wants to thank him, and the organization, for all of their help with the PR for the fundraiser. In a recent email Christian told Mixer, "(Life-in-Motion.org) made it possible that I could help you publicize your scooter ride, which was great fun."
• New in July 2015 for the 10th Anniversary we have set up a Playlist on Claire's YouTube channel featuring videos about Blaze'n For The Raise'n. Some of those videos are embedded below, but click here to take a look at the entire playlist!
• Always looking at milestones, our blog received its' 2,000th hit on July 17th or 18, and its' 3,000th hit on July 27, 2005!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Sacramento and the Universe
BLAZE'N FOR THE RAISE'N 10TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
July 16, 2005 -July 16, 2015
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Claire's insane journey, this blog was - at long last - updated so that the images and videos would, as much as was possible, be available.
Claire's Facebook page was updated, too, with photos and text, and we even Tweeted the news of the anniversary.
Claire's Flickr album for this event was also updated with additional photos and textual content.
While Claire's new adventure took her out into the universe in June 2013, we know she would be so very happy that you are here, and that you are looking at her Blog and remembering or learning about her marathon trip.
Thanks so much for being a part of this fun, exciting, amazing event.
Claire, Tanya and Gita road up to the west steps of the California State Capitol at approximately 4:10pm today. They were met by the nearly a dozen of Mixer's students and members of their families, News10, KCRA 3 News, representatives from the Rascal Scooter Company, a number of other well-wishers and even a few folks who just happened to be there at that time.
Gita and Tanya spent some of the day with Mixer and Eric. In an email, Gita mentioned that it was hot today, and that at one point they had some trouble locating Mixer on the UC Davis Campus. There was an attempt by KCRA Channel 3 to do a fly-over in the news helicopter, but it may not have worked since Mixer was .... well, kind of misplaced for a short time. Sounds like a very exciting day!! Gita also sent along these photos:
I called Mixer about 10 minutes ago and she and Eric had just gotten into the hotel in Vacaville. It was a 30 mile day and even with the temperature around 97 degrees for most of the day, the heat never bothered her once. Sacramento is looking forward to a bit of a cool-down over the next few days (mid-to-upper 90's), so let's hope that holds out for Mixer's return on Saturday.
Mixer did say she was still having a great time, and that they hit a lot of scenic areas today. Her one complaint was that, once they got to Vacaville, the handicap ramps at street corners disappeared again. She did make a point to say that the bike trails were very well maintained, though.
This morning as they were preparing to set out they discovered that the van has an alarm system, but did not know how to turn it off. Mixer said she heard a girl ask her mom if she could help, and then saw the girl race over to Eric and snatch the keys from his hand. She put the key in the lock and turned it, and the alarm went off. Her name was Kira, and she is moving here from south Florida with her parents. She is planning to be an art student, and they are staying at the motel while looking for a place to live.
One of their rest stops was at Lagoon Valley Park, where she encountered a group of elementary school children who were very curious about what she was doing and why she was on a scooter. She said they were probably 4th graders, and they followed her around the park pied-piper style for a bit before she headed out of the park.
A bit later she met a family from Brazil, who had never been to the US before. They thought she was crazy for what she was doing.
Following doctor's orders, Mixer will be taking a day of rest on Wednesday. She and Eric will spend the day relaxing at the hotel, and resume the trip on Thursday.
This must have been a long day for Claire as she made her way along a 10 mile stretch of Lopes Road running between Benicia and Vallejo. I caught up with her and Eric at about 5pm, and they were still quite a few miles from the hotel. It was incredibly windy, enough so it was hard to open the car door. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have been continuously pelted by the wind while moving at just a few miles per hour on a mobility scooter. The good news is that the road did not have much traffic on it, but it was just two lanes and quite narrow, so Eric kept a few yards behind her in the van with the emergency flashers going.
But Claire said she was feeling great, and was "having the time of my life".
The Blog achieved a milestone this week when we passed 2000 hits. Our thanks to everyone who is stopping by for updates!
If you are in the Sacramento area, be sure to tune in to News10 during the 11 o'clock hour on Tuesday (tomorrow) or during the 5 o'clock hour on Wednesday. Dale Shornack's second "Good People" segment about Claire is scheduled to air at those two times.
I didn't get over to take any photos today, but I did just off the phone with Mixer (no internet in her room tonight). She was just checking into the hotel when I called, and had travelled 29-32 miles today. Her trip passed through Pinole, Rodeo and into Vallejo, along the San Pablo Bay. On arrival they found out that the A/C was not working at the hotel, but are not too worried since it is not all that hot in Vallejo (Weather Underground has the temperature at 82 in Vallejo and 101 in Sacramento as I type this). She said it was hot on the road today and that she "drank 16,000 gallons of water" and used "60 tons of sun block"!
Earlier in the day Mixer and PG went through the drive-thru at a McDonalds on their scooters. The staff was a bit confused, but served them anyway!
There was one scary section going through an industrial area that she thinks was Pinole. While never any actual danger, it was an uncomfortable ride and the van stayed close behind with the blinkers on. She also mentioned that handicap access was not great, and that there were a couple of places where she had to backtrack to find a driveway or ramp to get across a street.
Last, she mentioned a wonderful incident last night at the hotel. Standing outside waiting for Eric to pull the van around, she spotted a jewish man as he walked out of the hotel door. She went over to speak to him and ended up celebrating Havdalah with him, his friend and Eric. She was even able to say the blessing over the wine which, according to one web site, might have been: Barukh atah Adonai Elohaynu melekh ha-olam, borei p’riy ha-gafen. (Amein) (Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. (Amen))
She was starting to munch on a salad as we hung up, and is looking forward to a dip in the pool later, and then ... relax!
8:43pm Day One wrap up
Well, my family and I are back in Sacramento and Mixer is at the Holiday Inn in San Pablo. I just spoke with Mixer, who wanted everyone to know: "What a fun day! I am so tired! It was so great to have my family and friends there at take off. It gave me the stamina to go the distance."
Highlights from today (all times are approximate):
• 12:38pm: I got a voicemail from Mixer telling us that she is "almost there". We are still 20 minutes away.
• 1:00pm, Ann, Sean and I arrive at the SF side of the bridge (IMG_4910), park in overflow parking, and then WALK the 1.7 miles across the Golden Gate Bridge to Vista Point.
• 1:30pm, Ann, Sean and I meet up with Mixer at Vista Point and hang out until everyone arrives (IMG_4912M / IMG_4957)
• 2:30pm, we (Claire and the Blaze'n squad) head out toward the bridge (<IMG_4959 and IMG_4960)
• 2:40pm, a quick blessing offered by JD and a countdown (10,9,8,7,6...) from Sean ..... (at about IMG_4962)
• 2:40pm, Claire and PG start off across the bridge (IMG_4966). The rest of us then drive back over the bridge to wait to meet them when they arrive.
• 3:10pm, back on terra firma, Claire and PG arrive on the San Francisco side of the bridge (IMG_4978 and others)
• Mixer takes about a 20 minute break and refreshes herself with a bagel and a hot chocolate, and then Team 2 takes off to go to Pier 39.
Proving that Mixer has both domestic and international appeal, these sailors spotted her at Pier 39 and asked to have their photo taken with her.
@9:26am Saturday Morning: It is sunny and cold in South San Francisco this morning, overcast and a bit foggy in SF. Projected high is 65-68 (106 for Sacramento).
• Check current weather conditions in Sacramento
• Check current weather conditions in San Francisco
I think we may have arrived in SF an hour or so before Mixer, and we won't actually catch up with her again until sometime tomorrow, but here are some photos taken as we crossed the Bay Bridge and then drove down 101 to where we're staying tonight. The temperature dropped more than 50 degrees between Sacramento and San Francisco (it was 53 in SF, and about 105 in Sacramento). It was foggy and cold.
Here are Mixer and Tanya flint on board their scooters!
11 year old Tanya is the child that suggested to Mixer that she do this fundraiser in the first place.
It was Tanya’s mother, Gita that surprised Mixer with a mobility scooter when she was loosing her ability to walk, and the rest is history. Gita and Tanya (aka PG) have been pivotal factors in the success of Blaze'n for the Raise'n. Their volunteerism has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Mixer and Tanya will ride over the Golden Gate Bridge to start off Mixer’s trip, symbolizing all the work this family has done. Tanya says she is very excited about going over the bridge with Mixer and riding along the route with Mixer for as long as she can. It will be a day she will never forget.
Update 07/16/05, 10:23PM: Mixer made it across the GG Bridge today, so we have removed the feed from the GG Bridge web site. You can view their web cam image by going to their site, http://www.goldengatebridge.org/. Here's another view from the KRON TV web site: KRON LIVE CAM.
Preflight: Blaze'n For The Raise'n Starts Tomorrow!!
Mixer will start off from the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate Bridge at about 1:30pm PST tomorrow (Sat, July 16th). Come wish her well and count down the final moments to "take off"!!! Tanya (aka PG) will join Mixer on a second scooter, and the two will cross the Golden Gate Bridge on Rascal mobility scooters. Looking forward to seeing you there!! Update at 8:00am: News10 meteorologist Darla Givens is predicting that the temperature will reach 107 degrees today in Sacramento, but other reports are saying it will only be 65 in San Francisco. While it's likely to be slightly cooler here tomorrow, this is another reason for us all to see Mixer off!
Preflight: News 10's Dale Shornack meets up with Mixer
Click on any photo to view a larger image.
ABC affiliate NEWS 10 anchor Dale Shornack met with Mixer this afternoon to tape a second "Good People" segment, and made a big impression on Mixer and the Blaze'n Team! What a great guy, and how generous of the him, and the station, to do this second piece on the fundraiser! Isn't that a Mixer "GET UP, GET OUT, GET IN!" wristband on his right wrist?
Mixer's family got into the act, as well. From left to right: Mixer's niece Charlotte, her sister Ardy, her brother Eric, and her mother, Ruth. Oh, and that's Mixer wearing the Blaze'n baseball cap & Tee-Shirt (get yours)!
NEWS 10 Camerman Dave, caught in the act!
The segment taped today will run next week while Mixer is on the road, first on Tuesday evening during the 11:00pm broadcast, and then again on Wednesday during the 5:00pm broadcast.
Dale Schornack, nightly anchor for the Sacramento ABC affiliate NEWS10 (KXTV), talked to Mixer yesterday about featuring her in a second GOOD PEOPLE segment. Tentatively it has been set up to tape the piece this Thursday at 2:00pm, although this is subject to change. An air date has not been set, but we will keep the Blog updated, so check back.
As I write this there are just four days left until Claire begins her trip on Saturday, July 16th. We are setting up our "on the road" version of the Blaze'n Blog, using this new template and blog (what do you think?). But don't worry, the original BLAZE'N Blog still lives!! More than two and a half months worth of posts, plus all of your comments, the NEWS 10 QuickTime segment and something like a couple dozen photos are still available! You can find it all at http://blazenarchive.blogspot.com/. So bookmark both sites, sign up for our RSS feed, make a donation to a great cause, and check back over the next week and a half for last minute updates and reports from the road!