Description of the record attempt:
This event had me traveling to one waterway and wakeboard in each of the 50 USA states. This event was to wakeboard in all 50 States in the fastest time. This could be a lake, river, reservoirs, bay or any body of water that one can wakeboard in. We drove to all 48 of the contagious states and we flew to Hawaii and Alaska.
When I started my journey, my goal was to Wakeboard in all 50 States in 21 days. I thought this was a great goal that added a challenge to the attempt. I set the list of lakes I wanted to visit and calculate out the time it would take. My initial calculation was to do this in only 21 days. This turned out to be a great challenge. After all said and done, we drove 12,403.8 miles and used 1,108.9 gallons of gas. It took me 23 days, 6 hours, 5 minutes
Wake The World Charity
During my record-setting attempt, I was trying to bring awareness to WAKE THE WORLD. Wake the World (WTW) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. They are a group of boat owners providing watersports opportunities to abandoned, abused and neglected children, as well as for the handicapped and our wounded warriors.
I was so lucky to be able to join this group. They are doing so much happiness to people. Greg Hodgin who is the founder / CEO of Wake the World has brought so much joy to my life in the short time that I have known. Him. I was able to help out at the 2016 Summer events on Badin Lake in North Carolina the summer of 2016.
On my trip, I was able to bring awareness to Wake The World through my Social Media campaign and I had several TV and Newspaper interview on my trip that allowed me to help bring awareness to Wake The World. The following links are all of the Media Outlets I did interviews with.
During my trip, I also was able to meet up with two different WAKE THE WORLD event. I meet the first group in Vancouver Washington and Isabella’s WTW Washington. This took place on the Columbia River. The second was in Kansas City Missouri on Smithville Reservoir. Both of these events we awesome and I was able to help out while I was at these events.
I was able to draw some additional media exposure on my trip. I have submitted the links to all of the media we had.
Independent Tribune – Concord, NC My Local Newspaper
WBTV Channel 9
Charlotte 5 Magazine
Discover Bay Good Morning Sacramento
Idaho CDA Press Newspaper
Kansas City KMBC TV
Alliance Wake – Online Wakeboard Magazine
Independent Tribune – Concord, NC My Local Newspaper – Follow up after trip completion
Independent Tribune – Concord, NC My Local Newspaper – Follow up after I received my Guinness Record Certificate.
The Journey Begins
Start of Event: Day 1 July 9th, 2016
Lake #1 Lake Norman, North Carolina
My trip started on July 9th, 2016 at 8:15 am on Lake Norman in North Carolina. I was fortunate enough that Tanner Lawson who works at Malibu Boats of Charlotte brought a new Malibu Boat to the lake to help us kick off this trip. We are so grateful that Tanner took the time to help us out. We had a lot of our friends come to witness the start of our trip and give me a big send-off.
Lake #2 Lake Hartwell, South Carolina
This was a great stop. We stopped at Steve Miles house. Steve heard about our trip a few weeks before the start of our trip and invited us to come to his house so he could pull us on his boat. Steve loved what Becca was doing and wanted to be a part of the trip. Steve and his neighbor Kenneth both signed our witness statement. This was two awesome total strangers that welcomed us into their home, and to use their boat.
Lake #3 Lake Lanier, Georgia
We stopped at Lake Lanier in Georgia. It is a beautiful day at the lake. We had a little trouble finding someone to witness Becca wakeboard attempt. My Dad and I were able to find a family having a family reunion across the cove from where we launched the PWC. This was such a nice family and they were so nice to me and loved what I was doing. The Wells family signed the Witness Statement for me. I really loved this lake. The water was very clear and the water temperature was very comfortable. After I completed my wakeboard run I also took the ZUP board out for a little fun. I really want to come back here next summer for a long weekend. The terrain of the lake was very pretty.
Lake Wedowee is our first rainout of the trip. We were very excited that we thought we were going to get four lakes off the list the first day. The weather ended up being an obstacle that we continued to have to overcome. We made it is Lake Wedowee but it is raining really hard. It took us a little bit of time to find the boat ramp because our GPS took us to the backside of the dam. We could not put the PWC in on that side of the dam. We backtracked and found a public boat ramp. By this time it was still raining but not as hard. Our problem now is that there is no one at the ramp or on the lake to witness my wakeboard pull. We were starting to lose daylight and no one had shown up to witness. We had to come up with an alternate plan.
Wrong side of Lake Wedowee
Our GPS took us here. This is not where we needed to be. There is no place o Wakeboard on this side of the dam.
Funny Lake Sign at Lake Wedowee: Apparently it is ok to take turtles from the lake.
There is actually a limit of 2 legal turtles per day. I am not sure why, but we had a really good laugh over this.
We checked the map to see if we could find another lake to the south and travel to that lake, then do that lake in the morning.
It looks like Walter F. George Reservoir will be the lake we need to use as our alternate. We had to make this change and finish our Alabama lake the next day. Funny how we were off track the first day.
The first real problem of the day. A rainout in Alabama this evening. We were going to go on the lake and ride anyway but there absolutely no one at this lake this evening. Back up plan is in place. Head south toward Florida and catch new Alabama lake first this in the AM.
Day #2 July 10th, 2016
Lake #4 Walter F. George Reservoir Alabama
We spent the night at a local hotel and we headed out early to try and make up some lost time from the rain out yesterday. Our first lake for today is Walter F. George Reservoir in Alabama.
There were not very many people at the lake this early in the morning. Thankfully there were some people fishing off the peer that signed out witness form.
The water was nice and glassy.
Lake #5 Lake Seminole in Florida
I was very excited to get to Florida. This is our second lake of the day. I have been thinking a lot about this Flordia Lake because I was worried about alligators in the water. Once we got to the lake, we found a women fishing that signed my required witness form. I talked to her about alligators in the water and she said there are alligators in the lake. She said not to worry because they are mostly on the edge of the water and they don’t like noise and they usually swim away. Knowing they are there had me worried. My Dad went far out on to the lake.
Once I was done my Dad jumped in the water with me so I wouldn’t be so scared. While we were swimming his foot hit my leg and scared me to death. I thought I was being attacked. we got a real good laugh out of it.
Lake #6 Simpson County Lake in Mississippi
This stop was such a crazy stop. We saw a huge rain storm coming in and we knew we were not going to make it to our schedule lake at Ross R. Barnett in Mississippi. Because of this, we started to search the maps for a closer lake we could make so we would not get stranded in Mississippi. While driving we passed Simpson County Lake in Mississippi right off the highway. While driving by the lake we saw some people on the Lake Wakeboarding. We turned around on the highway and headed back to the lake. We pulled up to the boat ramp and the family we saw wakeboarding behind their Jet Ski we pulling off the lake because of the skies we getting dark and lightening way moving in. We talked to the family and they agreed to take us out on the lake on their Jet Ski since it was already in the water. This would save some time for unloading our ski. We rushed and got the ride done in time. Right when we finished, the skies opened up and rained like crazy. We could now drive all night to our next stop and make up some time. This was such a blessing.
So thankful for some people at Simpson county lake. We were trying to beat this storm and we just so happen to see someone wakeboarding at this lake. These people were so kind enough to pull us on their jet ski. We made it out just in time to get Mississippi down and now we are on our way to Louisiana.
Day #3 July 11th, 2016
Lake #7 Cross Lake in Louisiana
We drove late last night and stopped to spend the night at the Tredmont Rest Area on WB Interstate I20. This is about an hour from Shreveport Louisiana. We got an early start and made it to Cross Lake in Shreveport before noon. We had to find the Cross Lake Police Lake Patrol so we could buy our boat permit. We found the office and was helped by Officer Moore who was so nice to us and was a big helping giving us direction to the private boat ramp to load the PWC. Once we were on the water we noticed the water was a very dark brown. The water temperature was very nice. We jumped in and got my ride in pretty quick.
After my ride, we drove the PWC close to an island that we were close to and it was populated with thousands of birds. It was noisy and smelled really bad. It was pretty cool to see. This is another lake we talked about having alligators. Never saw any. That goodness!!!!
Lake #8 Lake Ouachita Arkansas
Before we headed to our next lake my dad had to stop and do some camper repairs. Once the rear latches that head the top part of the camper on had come loose. We stopped and Walmart and bought some screws to fix it. My Dad got is prepared and we headed out for Arkansas.
We stopped and Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. We have driven by this lake many of times but have never been on it. I have family that lives about an hour away from Lake Ouachita. Since they were so close they came and cheered us on from the marina.
My Grandma Phillis, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Larry, and Uncle Mike all came to see us. It was such a nice short family reunion. It meant a lot to me that they took the time to support me and my trip. I love them so much.
The people working at the Marina were excited to hear about what we were doing. We loaded the PWC and got right out on the water. The water was very nice. I even carried a GoPro so I could shoot some selfies while I was Wakeboarding.
Lake #9 Sardis Lake in Oklahoma
After we left Lake Ouachita, we drove through Mena Arkansas to get something to eat. Mena is where my Grandma Phillis, and Uncle Mike live. We left there headed to Sardis Lake. By the time we got to Sardis Lake, we were quickly losing the Sun Light of the day. This was not the original lake we were supposed to be on. We are a little behind schedule so we went to Sardis lake to ensure we would get out their lake in today. There were only three other people on the lake. We ask one of the guys fishing to be our witness. Jim was awesome and excited to help. There was some great karma in his signing the witness form for us. Check out the big bass he caught right after helping us out.
When we finally got on the water the wind had picked up and the water was pretty rough. I was able to stay up long enough to get the Wakeboard run completed.
It was so pretty here at Sardis Lake. When we got off the lake the water calmed down some and I took this awesome picture looking over the lake.
When we left the lake we drove over the dam and there was a parking area you could park and walk out on the walkway. We stopped and took a walk. We found that there were hundreds of birds that made their nest on the dam building. This was such a great day.
Day #4 July 12th, 2016
Lake #10 Lake Meredith in Texas
We drove late last night to make up some time. This will give us a better start of the day. We stayed at a KOA campground last night just outside of Oklahoma City. We got there late after the campground office had closed. We paid via their overnight envelope process. We had a nice shower, and it was good to get cleaned up. It was a very nice KOA campground.
We only got a few hours sleep as my Dad got us up early again to hit the road. He is always trying to make up lost time or trying to get ahead of schedule in case we have other obstacles to overcome.
We got to Lake Meredith but we could not find the public boat ramp to get on the lake. We had to stop at the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority to get directions to the boat ramp. Once we got to the ramp we loaded the PWC and met a very nice young family there that help us with my witness form.
My Mom talked the young mother we met to riding on PWC as the observer. It was nice to be able to get our new friends involved with my wakeboard run. Once we got on the water I got the wakeboard on and jumped in. My Dad had to untangle the rope before he could pull me. Funny, but we kept having problems with the rope tangling when we rolled it up.
While I was in the water waiting I noticed that we were drifting a little closer to the bank. we were still about 40 feet from the bank but that was when I started to get attacked by red fin minnows. There were hundreds of them and they kept nibbling on me. I did not like this. I kept splashing my wakeboard to keep them away. My Dad kept laughing at me.
Once we go the rope untangled we were able to pull me the required distance. The water was really nice and the desert banks of the lake were beautiful.
Once we were done, we were packing up and the Father of the family we met caught a big catfish. I think that is more good karma again for helping us.
Lake #11 El Vado Reservoir in New Mexico
After we left Texas, we had a long drive to make it to the next lake in New Mexico. We need to get this lake in before the sun sets today. It was fun driving through the desert. This is the first time I have ever been out west. I was able to do a lot of the driving today and it gave my Dad a nice rest. Most of the early drive was so flat, and all desert. I loved it.
We arrived at El Vado Reservoir late in the afternoon. Again, we had to hurry so we would finish before we lost all of the sunlight. It was so beautiful here. We loved the mountains, and the views were epic.
El Vado was a small lake that was mostly snow and water runoff from the mountains. The lake elevation if 7,000 feet above sea level. With that being said, the water was freezing cold. The water temperature was in the 50s, in the middle of summer. I screamed so loud when I got into wakeboard. I was not ready for how cold the water was. My Dad thought it was pretty funny. I was happy to get out of the water here.
Day #5 July 13th, 2016
Lake #12 Lake Navajo in Colorado
We drove a couple hours last night to get to Lake Navajo in Colorado. We camped in the RV park at the lake. We pulled in after hours but were able to get a powered site so we could plug the camper in. We found out that we underestimated the mountain nighttime temperature. Last night the low was 59 degrees. It was a good thing we had a heater in the camper.
We met some really nice people in the morning when we got up. One little girl took a liking to me and was holding my hand and talking to me. She was excited when I gave her a hero card. The views here were very beautiful.
We got a great education on Zebra Muscles at this Lake from the on-duty park service guard. We passed the visual inspection before we could get on the lake. We got right on the lake after that for my wakeboard run. The water was pretty cold, and it was really windy. Fortunately, we had no issues and were able to get right on and off the lake.
When we got off the lake, we had the on-duty park service guard inspect the PWC and trailer for Zebra Muscles. He also recorded the data and place a lockout tag on the PWC. It had the Lake Navajo name and a specific serial number for the tag.
Lake #13 Antelope Point Lake Powell, Arizona
Lake Powell was our the second lake of the day. The weather got really hot from where we early this morning. Once I got lake Powell I fell in love immediately. I love the beauty of the water and the rugged desert surroundings. One of the funny things we noticed was how long the boat ramps were. They seemed to be a mile long. We loaded the PWC and got right out on the water. The water felt good compared to the very hot air temperature. The water was very clean and you could see the large boulders under the water.
Lake #14 Wahweap Bay, Utah
Fortunately, Wahweap Bay was not too far away, and would not take us too long to get to. We drove to Utah and we drove over the Glen Canyon Dam which was very cool. The views were awesome.
The water was great and again, the views were epic. We were in a hurry to get on the lake my Dad forgot to put the plugs in the PWC. We launched the PWC and when my dad got back to the dock, the PWC had taken on a lot of water. My Dad rushed to get the plugs back in so it would not sink. After he did that, he had to go back and get the truck and load the PWC back up to drain the water. After we did that, we launched the PWC and I was able to get my wakeboard run in.
Day #6 July 14th, 2016
Lake #15 Las Vegas Bay Lake Mead, Nevada
After to left Wahweap Bay in Utah, we drove late last night way out of our way down to Glendale Arizona. We did this so I could stop in and See my Grandma Diane and Grandpa Phil. I had not seen them in a long time and since we were on this side of the country I wanted to see them. We got in really late and had a nice visit before we went to bed.
We got up really early in the morning after only a couple hours of sleep. I am so glad we went out of our way to see them.
After driving across the desert our next stop was Las Vegas Bay Lake Mead, Nevada on Lake Mead. The highway took us right over Hoover Dam which was the coolest ever. We drove down into Lake Mead National Recreations.
We drove down to the Lake Mead Marina to launch the Honda Aquatrax. This was another boat ramp we had a great laugh over. It seemed to be about 1/2 mile long. The water level was so far down that we were close to the end of the paved ramp. We met some more great people at the ramp that helped me out. I loved the look of the desert scenery with the water.
I also got break out with the ZUP board again to have some fun after I did my wakeboard run.
This was a great stop and when we left the lake we had out first Zebra Muscle wash out. Lake Mead is infected with Zebra Muscle and there was a state-run washout station. They rinsed everything that had gotten wet. They even ran hot water through the engine of the Honda. After they were done, they logged our information, locked out the Honda on the trailer with a wire cable and a numbered tag to identify the washout. We got some official receipt to show we had the washout. The State Employees did a great job and they were great to talk to while we were there. They loved my story and the record I was attempting.
After the washout, we drove close to Las Vegas and stopped in Henderson Nevada. I was able to stop at In-N-Out burger and have an awesome lunch. Don’t judge me, but this was one of the highlights of the trip. This was a good fill up because we had to drive all the way Northern California tonight.
Day #7 July 15th, 2016
Lake #16 Discovery Bay, California
We arrived at Discovery Bay late last night and parked in the Orwood Resort and camped in the truck camper in the parking lot last night. We had to do this because the campgrounds were closed before we arrived.
We met Matt and Jestina Steele first this morning. We had only talked to them on the phone once, late yesterday. All of the other communications with Matt and Jestina had only been communicated through emails. We were not originally going to come here on our first travel plans. Matt had asked my Dad to change our plans to come to Discovery Bay. Matt promised it would be worth the change in plans. My Dad was concerned about timing but he went with his gut feel to make the change. Matt insisted it would be worth every bit of the change. Boy, was he right.
When we met Matt and Jestina we found out what was really happening today. They had arranged for a live TV interview with
After the initial interview, the TV crew came with us to the lake to ride with us and shoot more footage for “Good Day Sacramento”.
We also had some Pro Riders with us to help me out and give me some pointers. I loved getting the riding tips.
Trever Maur – Professional Men’s Wakeboard Rider and Film Maker – Sponsor by Hyperlite
Raequel Hoffman – Professional Women’s Wakeboard Rider – Sponsored by CWB Board Company – Film Making
Meeting them both was an incredible opportunity and they were both so good to me. I am not the best Wakeboard rider and they treated me just like I was part of the Wakeboard Family. I felt so good about being able to hang with them both.
After the TV shooting was over we dropped Trever, Raequel, and the TV cameraman off at one of the boat ramps. After that we had the rest of the day to play on the lake with Matt and Jestina. We had lunch at the lake at a restaurant ride on the water. Matt and Jestine treated us to lunch with compliments from Superior Boat Repair & Sales. It was a great lunch and time to get to know each other even more.
After we had lunch, we had another surprise. We had Taylor Dorey who is a Pro Wakesurfer join us. It was so cool meeting her. She is so good on the surfboard. She gave me some lessons and I had so much fun hanging out with her. She was so very nice to me. Jestina even jumped in on the surfing for so fun.
This was the such an epic day. I made so many new friends and everyone was so good too. It was great that my Mom and Dad spend the entire day on the lake with me too. My Dad even got to wakeboard and surf today too.
I found out later that Jestina worked with Alliance Wake Magazine on an article about my trip. I so surprised when I saw this. Jestina did such an awesome job writing the article and taking some incredible pictures summing up the day.
Alliance Wake – Online Wakeboard Magazine
After we finished the day, Matt and Jestina took our Honda Aquatrax to their home so we did not have to take it to the airport the next day. We headed to San Francisco that afternoon and stayed the night at a hotel near the airport. The next day we were headed to Hawaii.
Day #8 July 16th, 2016
Lake #17 Koko Marina Center Kuapa Pond, Hawaii
We were up very early today and we headed to the airport for a 6:00am flight. Our plan took off on time and our first layover was in Las Angles. Our flight left at 8:28am from LA headed to Honolulu. IT was a pretty good flight with no delays. We landed in Honolulu at about 11:30am local Honolulu time. We had to go to special oversized luggage area to pick up my wakeboard.
Once we landed we had to get our rental car which took some extra time because the rental office was off site of the airport and we had to take a shuttle bus to get there. The shuttle bus driver was very funny and entertaining. Once we go the car wee headed straight to the hotel.
We stayed at a very nice Hilton at Waikiki Beach. The hotel was called Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort. This place was super nice. It had a view of the ocean from our room. We were pressed for time and had to get checked in and get right over to the Koko Marina Center at Kuapa Pond for our reservation to go out on the pond to wakeboard. The valet person got our bags out and let us park right up front so we could get to the room and right back on the road. I told him about the record I was trying to set and he loved it and let us have a VIP parking spot. There were hundreds of people checking in. We were worried we would miss out reservation. My Dad is a Hilton Honors Member so he got right up front and did not have to wait in line.
We got right back to the car and drove to the Koko Marina Center. My reservation was at a Sports Center called Hawaii Water Sports Center. We ended up being early for the reservation but they got us right out on a boat for my ride. They were so excited to be part of the record.
The boat drive was named Alberto and he was originally from Puerto Rico. He was so nice and pretty cool. He gave me the best ride he could. The problem was that the water so rough because there were many other boats in the pond pulling tubes for the tourists. It made it so hard to ride. After I got the official distance, I was done. Too bad the water was not calmer.
I got to meet the owner of the Water Sports Center and he was so excited about what we were doing and that we came to his business to do our ride.
After we were done we went out for a really nice dinner and it gave us a chance to relax for a little bit. We are always so rushed and always in a hurry to get to the next destination. Today was different. We had nowhere else to be that day. All we had to do was relax. After dinner, we stop at a local surf shop and I pick up a wetsuit vest. I thought I might need it for when we got to Alaska.
We headed back to the Hotel and we headed right to the beach before the day ended. It was nice to put my feet in the ocean. My Mom and I took some time to do a little shopping at the shops in the Village at the Hotel. The Sun was getting ready to set and my Dad called us to hurry and get to the beach for the sunset. We had told ourselves that we had to at least see a Hawaiian sunset on the beach. We made it in time to get an epic picture of us on the beach.
This was one of the best days of the trip. I just hated that it was so short. We were in Hawaii less than 24 hours. Although it was short, it was memorable.
Day #9 July 17th, 2016
No Lake on this day.
We headed for the Honolulu airport for our 6:30am flight departure. I really hated leaving. I wish we could have stayed for a couple extra days but we had to hit the air so we would stay on schedule. We dropped off the rental car and caught the shuttle to the airport. Our first leg of the trip would take us back to Los Angles then on to San Francisco.
After we landed that evening, we pick up the wakeboard from the oversized luggage then head to get the truck from airport parking. We met Matt and Jestina close to the airport and they brought us our Honda PWC that evening. WThey mad so many cool things happen to me. I only hope I can pre-pay them one day.
After we said out good buys we headed north and my Dad was going to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. Once we started to get close to the bridge my Dad was getting concerned about how narrow the streets were driving the big truck and pulling the Honda PWC. He said it was tight driving. We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge but it was so dark and there was some fog so we only got to see some of the bridge. It was still very cool.
We drove late into the night, and finally stopped at about 3:30am and camped at a rest stop on Interstate 5 just outside of Willows California. We were exhausted from the late driving. We have had really good success at staying at the highway rest stops. We are so glad we decided to drive the truck camper or we would have been very uncomfortable.
Day #10 July 18th, 2016
Lake #18 Fern Ridge Lake, Oregon
When w got up this morning we knew we had a big day ahead of us. We had to make it to Fern Ridge Lake in Oregon and then make it to the Portland Airport for our flight to Alaska. There was no room for any hold-ups. First off we had to travel at least 7 hours to Fern Ridge Lake and we were still in California. With all of the driving ahead of us, we needed hit the road trying to make some good time.
We had traveled a couple hours and we drove over Shasta Lake which was a pretty lake and looked like a place to come back to one day and camp. Once we started into the mountains one of the best sights of the trip. While driving through the mountain passes we came out and was struck with one of the most beautiful sights of the whole trip. It was the giant mountain called Mt Shasta. We were awestruck. It was the middle of July and there was still snow on the mountain. Too cool.
Our next stop was at the California / Oregon border for a Water Craft inspection. Because we had the PWC, we had to be inspected for Zebra Muscles. We had been keeping the inspection documentation and the PWC still had the Lock Out from the clean-out at Lake Mead, the inspection was pretty quick. The inspector commented that we were doing all of the right things with the inspections. Following all of the rules will keep us from having any inspection issues.
After another four hours of driving, we finally made it to Fern Ridge Lake. The lake was very far from the highway and my Dad was starting to get worried about making our flight out of Portland.
While at Fern Ridge Lake, we met the Van Horn which looked to be the only ones at the lake. This was such a great family and they were spending the day at the lake on a family picnic. My Mom even talked the Grandma of that family to go out on the PWC with us. She was about the same age as my Mom and Dad and she was so excited about being able to go out with us. She had a crazy adventurous side that we did not expect. We had so much fun on the water with her during my wakeboard run. This was another time that we made friends with total strangers and they took us in and helped us out like they had known us forever. I continue to be totally amazed by such good people.
After I finished we had to hurry and load the Honda PWC back up and start toward the Portland Airport. We ask our new friends the best way. It was getting late and we knew we would run into rush hour traffic once we got into Portland. Our plan starts boarding at 7:42pm.
Well, we did get stuck in rush hour traffic for a short time but we just made it to the airport in time to catch our flight. It was close. My dad had called ahead of time to make sure we would not have any issues parking the truck and trailer. They had a lot that would accommodate our large size.
We took off from Portland with overcast skies. When the plan got about the clouds we had another wonderful surprise. The peek of Mt Hood and Mt Rainier were above the clouds and made for an awesome view.our layover was in Seattle Washington. The sun was setting and made us feel really good after a stressful day of driving and being rushed at the end.
We made it to our connecting flight in Seattle, then off to Anchorage Alaska. We arrived early at the airport and the rental car counter was open just long enough for us to get our car. My Dad had made sure we would be able to get the car now, and not come back in the morning to get it. We rented a nice Dodge Durango because we needed the space for my wakeboard. My Dad had planned to stay at a Hotel close to the airport and we checked in at 1:27am. The cool thing is the sky looked like the sun had just barely set. I had never seen anything like that before. W were so tired we fell right to sleep because we had to get up early.
Day #11 July 19th, 2016
Lake #18 Lucile Lake Anchorage, Alaska
We started the day very early because we had to drive about an hour outside of Anchorage to get to Alaska Extreme Rescue where we had arranged a rental of a PWC. We started the day in such a great way. Our ride to Alaska Extreme Rescue had some awesome views of the mountains. It was a little overcast but the high temperature was going to be 80′ today. We had no idea the day we were just short of catastrophic.
We made it to the rental company and we were greeted by the owner and his staff. They were very nice to us and I made a quick friend with their guard dog. This was one big dog that I would not want to cross.
My dad had arranged for the owner to take the PWC to the Lake and bring us back. The lake was less than a quarter of a mile away. We unloaded the PWC and the owner gave us some direction where to ride on the lake. Lucile Lake was a very small lake and we quickly noticed that there was tall grass grown up all over the lake. We got out on the water and I got into my wakeboard and got in the water. The water was a little cold but not bad. My Dad pulled rope tight and we took off about 100 feet into the ride we started to suck a massive amount of grass into the PWC induction and we lost power and the PWC stopped quickly. This is where it got really scary for me. I went down in a field of tall grass and I was engulfed in the grass. I started to have a panic attack and I started thinking about what animals could be in the water with me. My Dad was just able to get the PWC back to me and calmed me down and got me right out of the water.
My Dad had to get in the water and under the PWC to try and clear the grass from the induction. He tried several times but could not clear it all to be able to drive back. We had to swim the PWC back to the dock. We were about 500 feet away from the dock at that time. I was still worried about getting back in the water that my Dad kept swimming the PWC back. I finally jumped back in and helped him swim it back.
Once we got back to the dock the rental owner tried to clear the grass but was not able to. He took the PWC back to the shop to try and clear it. We waited at the dock for him to come back. He came back and put the PWC back in the water but it still would not work. The owner went back and got a second PWC and this one was working good.
We got back in the water and I was able to finish my wakeboard run. We made it back to the PWC rental office, signed the paperwork and we could not get out of there quick enough. They were so nice to us but the time on the lake was so stressful.
From there we had a nice drive back toward Anchorage. We stopped at the bay area and took some cool picture before heading back to the airport.
We got to the airport and turned in the rental car, they went to check in for our flight. We ate lunch there and ran into a really cool stuffed moose. We made out flight on time and headed back to Seattle then back to Portland.
Day #12 July 20th, 2016
Hyperlite Corporate Visit
I had no plans for the day to wakeboard. Today was planned for a visit to the Hyperlite home office in Snoqualmie, Washington.
Hyperlite had been so awesome to me. They supplied all of my wakeboard equipment for this trip. I could not have been more blessed to have Hyperlite on my side.
They believed in me from the beginning when others did not. When we got to the home office, we got a great tour of the facilities. They had an awesome room that had
A lot of the equipment they sold. I was able to meet most everyone in the office. They also gave me a new wakeboard handle for my rope and stocked me up with some stickers.
It was really nice tying in my trip with Hyperlite. I could not have a better sponsor. The Venice board they gave me is awesome. It rides great, and I love the graphics.
I only wish Matt McDowell would have been at the home office. Matt was the one that got me set up with the equipment. He was the one that saw what I was doing had merit.
I am glad I will see him a couple days when I get to Iowa. I get to wakeboard with him on his home lake.
After our visit, we headed back to the Portland area so we could meet up with the Isabella’s Wake the World Washington on the Columbia River. On the road trip back to Portland we stopped off at the Mount Saint Helens Visitors Center. When we arrived the museum was just closing but we were able to walk down the hiking trail to and area where we had a great view of the Mountain.
We made it back down to Portland and we got a room at a local Motel 6 so we could have a shower and a comfy bed. My Dad was worried about the area so we slept in the truck camper so he could keep an eye on our equipment. He said he slept good but he felt much better knowing our stuff was safe. My Mom and I had a good nights sleep.
Day #13 July 21th, 2016
Lake # 20 Columbia River, Vancouver, Washington
I was so blessed today. I was able to hang out with the Isabella’s Wake the World Washington. This was such a great time. We got to meet the whole volunteer team and they were so good to me.
Before the kids arrived, Vince Castronovo pulled my on the Columbia River for my wakeboard run. I also lost my prescription glasses in the water. Thankfully I brought contacts. Vince was awesome and so nice to us. It was such a pleasure to meet him.
I was able to present them with a new ZUP board and rope from Glen Duff and ZUP. They were so excited about getting this new addition.
After my wakeboard run, I went over to the park where the kids were arriving. I set up my banner and table and handed out my hero cards and tattoos. The kids had so many great questions, and it was nice to be able to welcome them to Wake The World.
Lake # 21 Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Once we were finished in Washington, we hit the road headed to Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho. The views on the way to Idaho were stunning. We followed the Columbia most of the trip through Washington.
We had another aquatic inspection at the Idaho border. We had all of our paperwork up to date for our Zebra Mussel inspection. Everything went smooth and our next stop would be at the resort.
We met Chuck Shirley at the resort who was expecting us. Chuck was the VP of sales at the resort and was a childhood friend of the Greg Hodgin the CEO of the Wake the World we brought awareness to on my trip. It was great to tie the two together. We were greeted by a great group of people. The local Malibu dealership was giving demo ride at the resort that day, and they took the time to pull me for my wakeboard run.
Chuck treated us to dinner at the resort before we hit the road.
This was a great stop and a perfect day.
After we left Coeur d’Alene we drove to see if we could make up some time driving into the night some so we would be in a better starting position tomorrow morning. We drove for about an hour before my dad finally stopped at another highway rest area. We had made it to Dena Mora Rest Area Eastbound, I-90 inside the Idaho/Montana border. We were exhausted at that point and crawled inside the camper and fell right to sleep.
Day #14 July 22th, 2016
Lake # 22 Flathead Lake,
When we woke up in the morning we did not realize that we had stopped in a place that had the most beautiful mountain views. It was a special early morning surprise. We were in the Lolo National Forest which is part of the Northern Rocky Mountains.
I would only get one lake in today due to the mileage we had to cover today. I was on Flathead Lake in Montana. The scenery from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Flathead Lake on Montana was breathtaking. The mountains we beautify to watch while we were driving. Flathead Lake was a very nice lake
When we got to Flathead lake we fell in love right away with the lake. The water was clear and you could see pretty deep into the water. We met a very nice retired couple at the lake the signed out witness form. The only bad thing was that there were so many bugs at the boat ramp.
After we finished at Flathead Lake we hit the road headed toward North Dakota. We traveled late into the night to get to North Dakota. We drove into a storm late that night and we were finally able to pull into the Painted Canyon Visitor Center at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The wind was so bad when we pulled in we could not put the truck camp top up. We slept in the cab of the truck for a few hours before we could get in the camper. By then we were so tired we fell right to sleep.
Day #14 July 23th, 2016
Lake # 23 Lake Sakakawea, Beluah Bay , North Dakota
Today would end up being of the most challenging and exciting day of the trip. We spent the night at the Painted Canyon Visitor Center at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We were woken up and about 3:00 am with some loud noises around the camper. It was loud animal snorting. We looked out the window on to see that a herd of Buffalo has roamed into the visitor center. When we finally work up and got out of the camp after the sun came up there were buffalo everywhere.
We had never seen anything like this in our lives. We felt so blessed that we had this great experience and would never forget it.
Not only did we see buffalo, but we found out that this visitor center had an overlook of the Badlands. The beauty of the landscape was epic. We were speechless as we looked over the land.
We didn’t want to leave where we were but we had to get going to our next Lake. The day had started so well but we had the biggest hurdle when we got to our next planned lake. We were scheduled to go to lake Edward Arthur Patterson lake in North Dakota. When we got to the lake we arrived right before the lake was opened. We pulled up to the guard house we saw a sign that the lake was closed because it had I high level of Blue Green Algae Blooms.
Algal blooms are a major environmental problem in all 50 states. These are also known as red tides, blue-green algae are harmful algal blooms that have severe impacts on human health, aquatic ecosystems. Because of this, we could not go into the water. We were through for a loop and were discussing our next steps.
My Dad got onto the internet and was searching what other lakes are in the area that we could go to. We were worried all other lakes in the area would have the same problems.
Fortunately, the park attendant Karli showed up to work the guard house. I was able to tell her about my trip and she was so excited to meet us. We found out that she lives by a lake we could go to. The problem is that it was 1 ½ hours in the opposite direction. This was going to throw off the entire day. We had no other choice and we headed to Beulah Bay Park on Lake Sakakawea which is on the Missouri River. This was a very big lake and because of its size, there were no issues with the Algal blooms.
Lake Sakakawea at Beluah Bay was a beautiful lake. It was very busy when we got there because there was also a fishing tournament that day. We paid the boat ramp fee at the small store by the boat ramp and headed out on the lake. After my wakeboard run I also road the Zup board again for some extra fun.
Because of the problems at the Edward Arthur Patterson lake and the Algal blooms we were in big trouble with the remain lake schedule for the day. We hit the road again and we were trying to locate some lakes to go on. We needed to get in two more lakes today to get back on schedule. We needed to be on schedule because we were meeting up with the Wake The World charity in Missouri in two days.
We were now headed to South Dakota. I drove for a long time while my Dad road in the back seat and we on the internet and looking at maps. We did not have very good cell signal so it made it hard searching the internet. My Dad used the good old fashion road map. Between the maps and the internet, we made our plans to go to the Belle Fourche Reservoir in South Dakota.
Lake # 24 Belle Fourche Reservoir, South Dakota
We got to the lake and it was very windy and the boat ramp was a little busy. We headed out to the lake and we tried not to waste any time because we still needed one more lake after the Belle Fourche Reservoir.
Lake # 25 Keyhole Reservoir State Park, Wyoming
We were now headed to Wyoming and we did not have time on our side. Our GPS said it would take about 1 1/2 hours to get there. The sun was getting lower in the sky and we really needed to get the Keyhole State Park into today so we could drive into the night to make up time.
We got to the Keyhole State Park and we were getting low on gas. My Dad did not think we had time to stop and still make it to the lake before the sunset. We paid to get into the park and headed to the boat ramp.
When we got the boat ramp there was a big party going on and there was a live band playing and people were dancing where we needed to drive to get to the ramp. There were hundreds of people at this party and we were in a big hurry because the sun was about to set.
My Dad pulled the PWC into the water and a crowd started to form around the truck and a bunch of kids can to the PWC to ask what we were doing. My Dad pulled the truck and trailer out of the water and parked it at the closet parking lot. While we were doing that I was able to talk to the kids and answer all of the questions they had to ask me.
When my Dad got back from parking the truck, we headed for the water to hurry and get my wakeboard run in. The sun was starting to set and the sky was full of beautiful colors.
When I finished wakeboarding, my Dad and I were able to watch the sunset and we reflected on how good the start of the day was, how rough the middle of the day was, and how epic this last lake was. The sun setting made us really feel good about how we turned the challenges of the day into a successful day.
When we got back to the boat ramp, my Dad went to get the truck so we could load up. While he was gone, we had a big crowd come over and were asking us a lot of questions about what we were doing. Having the logos all over the truck made people very curious. My Dad got the truck back to the dock and he had problems backing the small trailer in the lake. There was one man that came over and picked up the trailer and helped my Dad straighten it out.
We were able to keep the truck at the ramp because there was no one else pulling in, or out of the lake. It gave us a lot of time to talk to everyone that came over to see us. I was able to give the kids some of my hero cards, and tattoos. When we finally left, everyone gave us a standing ovation. We were blown away by how nice everyone was us, and how everyone loved what I was doing.
It was funny how tough this day was to end incredibly great. We made it back on the road out of the park and my Dad was getting worried about how low we were on gas. We pulled over to the side of the park road to ask some people the best way to go on the interstate to the closest gas stations. When we finally got to the gas station the truck showed that we only have 2 miles left of gas. We got gas and food and headed to Nebraska. It was going to be a long night of driving for my Dad.