I hope you enjoy my blog, a collection of articles and thoughts regarding my interests. I'm a married father of two that loves to write about gliding, hunting, fishing, camping and any outdoor passion. Oh yah, I'm a quadriplegic. I hope this is informative to some, entertaining to others, and interesting to all. Let me know what you think. If you'd like an article for your publication, I've got words I haven't even used yet!

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Our Covid Experience From A Quadriplegic's View

Our Covid experience and a physician’s view of how it happens. 

As a quadriplegic with weak lung power, the thought of getting Covid is very scary. Even though we’ve been very careful, when the vaccines became available my wife and I got it as soon as possible. After the second vaccine I felt much safer, and wasn’t thinking about the pandemic so much anymore. Then a few weeks ago my wife contracted Covid while visiting her dad in hospice. For the first day we thought it was just a cold so I was exposed to sneezing and coughing, even while being in confined areas such as vehicles. Terry tested positive for Covid, I tested negative. The first few days were stressful, not knowing how far her sickness would progress. Luckily it peaked after a couple of days. We stayed to ourselves, not wanting to spread it to others. Over the next 10 days we quarantined, and weren’t particularly careful between us. We ate together, slept together, and Terry did personal care for me. She experienced a moderate cold for a few days, lost her sense of smell and taste for a few days, and was tired for about a week. After quarantine I still tested negative, she tested positive (we were told she would for up to 90 days). I was very much relieved that her symptoms had gone away, and that I had not contracted Covid. We wondered how the virus never got me, even though we had the same vaccination and I was certainly exposed to the virus. 

friend, Dr Kumar, wrote a piece on a concept called virus load, which made sense of it all. This friend is somebody I have trusted my life to many times as he’s a flight instructor which I have been fortunate enough to experience several sailplane winch-launches, an amazing zoom from 0 to 1000ft in seconds. His regular job is a physician in Lethbridge Alberta Canada, and he has an undergraduate degree involving the study of virology and immunology. I consider him qualified to speak on the subject and trust his opinion. Here is his piece on the subject of virus load: 


"If people who are vaccinated can still get COVID and can still spread it, letting only vaccinated people attend things is supposed to stop the spread how?" 

I feel there's a need to shed a bit of light on this... maybe others have this thought as well.  

It seems most people know by now that the vaccine reduces the severity of the illness you might get. So for that person, getting COVID won't be as severe or lead to needing ICU or ventilator care or death.  Agreed?  Here’s why.   

I am a Canadian physician, MD, specialized in Anesthesiology – an expert in airway and ventilation.  

My background prior to medical school was a science degree that included study of immunology and virology.  I also worked in a lab that created vaccines as the product was used to prime your immune system to fight something you hadn’t seen in the wild yet. 

There is a concept of "viral load", which refers to both how many total virus particles there are circulating inside that person, and also how many virus particles as passed via droplets when that person talks or coughs, etc. You could say that generally the severity of illness is proportional to this "viral load" inside a person.  Someone is sicker when they are suffering from a higher viral load to fight off.  Generally, this also means each droplet they produce while talking, coughing or sneezing will carry more virus particles.  A single cough or sneeze from this person with higher viral load, or even talking at close range will carry a lot more virus particles onto another person than someone with lower viral load!  Compare this to someone who has the vaccine - their immune system is primed and better at inhibiting the virus from multiplying from the start so if they do catch COVID, they will have much less total virus in their body at any given time, less viral load that is, and thus less severity of the illness.  When such a person coughs or sneezes or talks they spread much less virus per droplet.  These droplets have less viral load and they pass on a lower viral load to other people around them if they are unmasked. On the recipient side, think of the vaccine as wearing a water-resistant plastic shirt. If a few droplets of water hit you they will shed off more than a regular cotton shirt. But, if someone comes along with a bucket of water to throw on you....(a high viral load) then you might get a bit wet inside (infected).  

So while YES the vaccinated CAN get the virus, and YES they CAN pass it on, it takes a higher viral load to infect them, and they carry much lower viral load and thus shed much lower viral load as well. They are not the same as unvaccinated at all. This is a dramatically effective layer of protection to reduce spread. I hope this explains why transmission is EXPONENTIALLY less between two vaccinated folk and might shed some light on why it is less worrisome for everyone when venues only allow vaccinated people inside. 

Pavan – let’s care about each other out there. "


So now I understand why I never caught covid-19. My wife probably encountered a high viral load while visiting hospice that overpowered her vaccine protection, but didn’t get sick enough to transmit to me a high enough viral load to overpower mine. I feel if either one of us were unvaccinated, the outcome would have probably been much more severe. I’m not here to debate or fight about vaccines, masks, rights or whatever, I’m just relaying our experience and the info from a trusted friend.  

I’m now once again very careful. There are viral loads out there that can get past the vaccines, especially when encountering the unvaccinated.  

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Flotsam Me


“Ok, a little deeper, let’s see if I float”, I say.

“You should be getting there,” says Joe.

“I think it’ll work on my back,” I say. The cold water creeps up to my ears.

“How’s the water?” laughs Joe, no hint of sympathy in his voice.

“Friggin cold thank you very much” I say.


We had rented a vacation house that had a pool and hot tub in the back yard. Way back in my first life I loved being in or on the water. I used to enjoy canoeing, water skiing, fishing, scuba diving, boating and swimming etc. My friend David and I used to camp at a local lake and swim to a nearby island for exercise, about 500yds away. Since becoming a quadriplegic in 1986 I had always wondered if I would float or sink, and could I swim? The thought of resuming one of my favorite sports was enticing. A quadriplegic friend had let me know that she swims regularly, so it seemed like a great thing to try.

Terry puts our aluminum wheelchair ramp from the edge of the pool to the shallow end. She walks up and down it to test it, safety first! It looks like it should work great to get me in. Thoughts of swimming great distances, for long periods of time flood my mind. Imagine leisurely paddling around, effortlessly gliding around in the nice warm water, enjoying the hot sun. Heck I would even be safe knowing that I could always swim from a sinking boat, this is one of those life-skills that we all should have. It is going to be so much fun!


“This should work! We’ll use your manual chair and guide you in,” says Terry.

“One push and we’ll stand back, no need for a ramp, we’ll get you in there quick,” teases Joe.

“Ok, I want a life-jacket!” I say, remembering a failed kayak attempt. (a funny story in hindsight, a scary adventure at the time).

Earlier we had started the pool’s propane water-heater, totally unaware of just how much propane it takes to heat an outdoor pool. About $100 worth later, the pool is at 60 degrees F or so, yay.

“Good enough, let’s try!” I say, imagining $20 bills going up in smoke.

They put a lifejacket on me, snickering at the possibilities for the near future, do they know something? Terry and Joe slowly wheel me down into the water. My feet touch the water, I feel a bit of a tingling sensation up the back of my neck, hmmm. Tingling feelings are usually reserved for pain-indication, but not nice warm water, right? I go down farther, this’ll be awesome!

“How’s the water?” says Joe.

“Seems ok, let’s do it”, I reply.

“Too cold?” asks Terry.

“No,” bearing in mind I have no feeling below the chest.

The water now reaches my chest.

“Holy bleep!” I say, “This is cold!!” The water sucks my breath away. My body reacts, and any unessentials are retracted to warmer climes.  

There’s no turning back now! Ok pride and ego, gonna need you’re A-game to get me through this! Us quads are notoriously cold almost all the time, even without Arctic waters! I start floating and get rolled onto my back. The lifejacket does its job, face-up is much preferable to face-down when in water it seems. It feels kind of creepy at first, lying on my back with my head half under. The cold is numbing, and I see the smirks being exchanged, but I’m not complaining and releasing the dreaded “I-told-you-so’s”. After a few minutes the situation seemed stable, which is more than can be said for a few of the participants. Sometimes I think they just like to see me screw up.

Next to try swimming. I get my bearings. I sure don’t want to zoom across and hit the other side of the pool. I try to move my arms out to the side, slowly and cautiously. In the weightlessness of water it is hard to straighten my arms. I try to throw them out to the side over and over. It doesn’t appear to be having the desired effect. I try harder, now I’m whipping up a pretty good froth on the pool, and looking around I see that there’s been no progress. Something must be impeding my progress. I check to see if my helpers are holding me back, nope. More thrashing ensues, and I do manage to do a pretty fair wounded-fish imitation. I’m grateful that there are no great white sharks in the pool. I’m pretty sure that I’m moving now, and look over the side to see.  Out of the corner of my eye I see a dead bug floating by, pushed by a breeze, what a show-off. Well not to be out-swam by a dead bug, I pick up the pace. Evidently it must’ve been a water-bug as I was far out-classed, and it kept zooming on. I thrashed and flailed. Apparently producing equal amounts of forward and rearward thrust is counter-productive. I wouldn’t be surprised if rescuers from Greenpeace show up.

About 15 minutes of movement-free floating later, I’m seizing up from the cold. It’s time to call it quits.

“I’m done, getting cold” I say.

“Ok, let’s get you out,”

They drag me by the lifejacket over to the wheelchair, now this is moving! I’m pulled up the ramp, into the welcoming sun. My body starts to warm and un-seize. I’m disappointed by the results, but now know where I stand when it comes to swimming, so to speak (equally bad at both).

Life is all about learning. I learned that I can float with a lifejacket. I learned that I don’t swim like I used to. I learned that 60f water is way too cold for me!

I can now rest assured that if a I’m on a cruise ship that sinks 6 inches from shore, with the right wind I will be safe.



Sunday, 11 October 2020

Lake Havasu Ultralight Fun!


Havasu Ultralight Fun!


Joe hits the throttle; the engine roars and the sound of rushing air envelops us. We quickly accelerate down the short-paved runway. Joe pushes forward on the controls, tilting the kite-shaped wing above us skyward. Soon our wheels lift off the ground and we smoothly climb as he pulls the lever to raise the landing gear.

 “Where do you want to go?” he asks.

“I’d like to go north up into the canyon, we went there with a pontoon boat and it was so beautiful. I’d like to see it from the air!” I say.

“Sounds good, as long as the wind is low it will be fine in the mountains!” Joe replies.

We head north from the airport, gaining altitude and soon there are mountains creeping by on both sides! You can see the Colorado River off to our left snaking through a rock canyon. The water is crystal clear to the bottom, amazing! Below us is rugged rock with very little soil or vegetation.

We are flying amongst the peaks in an open-cockpit weight-shift ultralight! I’m sitting in the rear seat, securely strapped in, while Joe flies from the front seat. We wear helmets equipped with microphones so that we are in constant communication.

"Can I try flying?" I ask.

“Sure can, grab the controls!” he says.

I reach out into the wind and grab (as good as a quad can) the bars.

“Ok, I have it, it’s hard to reach far enough forward, you guys tied me in well!” I say.

“You’re flying!” says Joe, letting go of the controls.

I gently shift our weight left, and we bank left. I shift our weight right and we turn right. This unit is very easy to fly, I think it would be a great aircraft for people with limited arm movement or strength. To climb you simply add power, to descend you reduce power. For me, controlling it comfortably would require sitting closer to the controls or having extensions to reach them easier. I soon get tired of stretching for the bar.

“I’m having to reach a bit far; my arms are tiring out. You have control.” I say.

“I have it,” says Joe taking over.

I resume my sight-seeing. It is amazing to see the world from above, the mountains and valleys looked beautiful from a boat but now to see them from the sky is surreal. There is nothing between us and the ground but a few thousand feet of air. At first it is a little unnerving to not be inside a cockpit, but soon the beauty of seeing the world from above takes over and it is no longer scary.

“Let’s go down over the river”, says Joe.

“Sounds good, it is so awesome to see it from up here!” I reply.

We come down low over the river in the valley, I can see the beach where we parked the boat to have lunch, and where others hiked in search of a geocache. It’s like zooming in with Google Earth!

“Now let’s go low over the lake!” Says Joe, I know he wants to show me some touch-and-go manoeuvres.

“Okay, sounds great to me!” I say.

Joe lowers the power, and you can feel us going down. We are on the California side of the Lake, lined up on the smooth-as-glass water. As we get down close, Joe adds a little power to reduce our descent. The floats gently kiss the lake, this is the first time I have ever experienced a touch-and-go on water! Joe adds power and we speed up again, and gently lift back into the air! What a blast! Next, he turns the camera rearward and gets some footage of the spray as we skim the water again.

We stay low over the lake, maybe 20 feet high or so, and hug the shoreline. We bank to the right and go into an inlet, then bank left and turn around, heading back to the lake I notice some power poles on the hilltops.

“I assume you know where all the power lines and obstacles are!” I say.

“Oh yes, been flying this area for years!” Joe replies. “There’s no lines on those poles.”

“Can we fly by Lizard’s Peak?” I say.

“You bet!”

A week earlier the rest of our group had made a several-hour hike to the top of a mountain. I stayed behind and took pictures of them, met people, and was entertained by radio-controlled aircraft doing aerobatics nearby. I wanted to see their trail and the peak.

We soon are approaching Lizard’s Peak. Looking down and right I can see a trail zig-zagging up the front of the mountain, and the picnic table at the top. There were about twenty hikers at the peak waving at us! We wave back, Joe cuts the power and circles back, and as we zoom by closer we wave once again. Then we follow the more gradual trail down the backside, leading us to the lake. Banking right we head towards the airport, flying over the London Bridge, yes you heard it right, the London Bridge! What a fantastic day!

1 Where are you flying? We are flying over and around Lake Havasu Arizona.

2 What kind of aircraft are you in? We are in a weight shift ultralight that is equipped with amphibious floats so that it can land on water or a runway.

3 How did you get into the seat of the ultra light? We have a portable Hoyer lift. It worked out perfect so that it could be pushed right up to where I could be dropped into the seat. The legs of the Hoyer fit under the floats.

4 Who’s airplane? Joe from Hanging Over Havasu owns it. He gives instruction and rides. You can take lessons, and he is very open to training people with disabilities. Joe is very conscientious, I felt totally safe with him. You can find him at https://www.hanginoverhavasu.com .


Friday, 10 August 2018

Buggy Fun!!!

"Should we try high gear?" says I. It's not like us to push things.

"Let's giver!" says Paul. I'm thinking he probably just wants to witness a first-class screw-up.

He reaches over and clicks me into high range. I give him a couple of seconds to mount his four-wheeler (he is getting old). I pull the throttle down, and off we go! So much for "I'll just putt around in low, I don't need to go fast." New motto ... "Go big or go home!"

This thing is a hoot!! It is very stable, takes bumps well, and with the racing seats and belts I can corner without getting thrown around! A friend (Landon Catt) and his buddies adapted this thing, a 250cc dune buggy, for himself (by coincidence a quadriplegic with my nearly-identical injury level). Later he offered me a deal on it, as they were building a bigger-better-faster one!

After a little particularizing to help me steer better (us gimps are always tweaking stuff, "If it ain't  broke ... fix till it is!"), we are out test-burning around the field. Low range went well, climbs hills like crazy, but the top speed ... yawn ... is about 25mph. Now high range ... hoo-hoo (like Tim the Toolman) is 50-60mph, plenty to get me into trouble without taking much effort.

"Holy (censored) you can go now! You even drifted a few times!" Says Paul after a 2.5 mile lap. His vocabulary needs regular censorship, but it is a colorful addition to your day. It was nice to see dirt in his eyes and teeth. He was right, I was zooming around much faster, and taking corners at high speed. Landon and his friends have this thing dialed in, it is much easier to drive than my van that cost many many thousands more!

This buggy has opened up a whole new world! I hadn't seriously considered driving an atv until I met Landon, thanks so much!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Bucket List Loop

"Are you ready?" says Gary from the back seat.

"I'm ready!" I say.

"I'm going to point the nose down and gain some speed, then four g’s and pull her up over the top!" he replies.

The nose points down and I can hear the noise of the wind rushing louder and louder as we gain speed. The view of the landscape nearly fills the windscreen as we approach 90 knots. I’m a bit nervous, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for!

"Four G's!" says Gary.

I take a deep breath to help hold myself still and straight. Then I feel the pull of the g’s.  The nose rises quickly until the blue sky fills the whole windscreen, then I feel the force of gravity reduce as Gary relaxes the stick. The horizon comes into view upside down! We slowly arc over the top and start the 2nd half of the loop, I feel the force of gravity come on stronger and stronger as Gary once again pulls on the joystick.

"How does that feel?" asks Gary as we pull out of the bottom of the loop.

"It feels beautiful!!" I reply with enthusiasm, amazing!

"Okay we’ll go around again then!"

We have lots of speed coming out of the first loop, and Gary easily takes us through a second one!

"Look to the right!" says Gary.

Gary moves the stick right and we roll inverted, then he pulls back to perform a split-s maneuver, ending with us straight and level.

This was one of the things on my bucket list! Way back about 100 years ago when I was a teenager, I had the privilege of flying a Citabria to take aerial photographs. At the time I didn’t know any aerobatics, but I did like to do spins and wing-overs a lot. I searched around for an instructor at the time that could get me going on the basics like loops and rolls, but didn’t find one, and all too soon my days of playing with that airplane were done. I remember learning wing-overs in a mountain flying course, and practiced in a Piper Arrow rolling inverted and pulling out the bottom with very little g-force. It had always kind of bothered me that I never got to experience real aerobatics back then, and to this day hated having to admit that I have never experienced a loop. Now I am a quadriplegic due to an automobile accident, and aerobatics have since seemed out of reach.

I have been flying gliders with the Edmonton Soaring Club for a few years now, and I find that my arm strength is not good enough to do the very intense maneuvers, and my lack of stomach muscles made me concerned about passing out during high-G maneuvers, so I have been content to putt around and look for lift. I worry that it is boring for the pilot in the back seat, since I fly like an old tea granny, but I suppose at times they need some sleep! I got talking to Gary Hill earlier in the year as he is an aerobatic instructor. He had flown with me a few times on my long and boring "see how long you can stay in the air" flights, and was great company. I asked him if he thought it was feasible for me to experience a loop, and I reminded him that I have no control over my legs or trunk muscles. We would have to be careful to make sure we don't do any negative G’s since we want my legs to stay where they are supposed to be.

"Let me know when you want to, I think it would work out fine." he replied.

“Okay,” I say, “Maybe later in the year when my stomach is stronger.” The first flights of the year seem to make me queasy.

Then one day I show up at the club when I know that Gary was instructing, and it was a day where there was very little lift potential.

"So, what are you doing here on a day that there is no lift?" asks Gary with a grin, knowing full well why I was there. I guess I am getting a reputation of showing up on the good soaring days so they don’t expect to see me on poor ones LOL.

"I thought if you had time I could finally do that bucket-list loop!" I said.

"It’s club policy that you put a parachute on for aerobatics, so go find one and let's go!" he said.

The rest is history! We found a parachute that fit me, got me strapped into the glider with the help of the lift and several club members, and away we went!

Back to the flight.

"How was that?" he asks.

"I tried to follow what you are doing but couldn't," I say.

"I've got another one here for you to figure out!" says Gary, grinning I am sure.

He points the nose down and we gain some more speed, the wind is rushing by once again. I feel a sharp tug and the nose pitch up, followed by an immediate fast roll to the right! Then Gary pulled back and we came out the bottom level.

"A half-snap-roll to the right!" I say. This is a fun game!

"Half snap roll followed by a half loop!" exclaims Gary.

He finished off the session with a hammerhead followed by 2 more loops, then a half roll and half loop out to level. Incredible!

"You have control now." says Gary.

I fit my cuff over the stick and take control, we are now getting a little bit low and the odds of finding lift before we get to the airport are fairly slim. I aim back towards home, looking for any sign of a thermal that will take us back up so we can play some more.

There is nothing, we’re now down at circuit height joining downwind. Gary does the pre-landing checks while I fly the circuit. I line up on the runway, Gary runs the speed brakes and we float down to the runway. I gently pull back and round out, the grass touches the wheel and I hear it spinning. We are once again on the ground. The crew pulls us back to the club members waiting at the shack. Gary opens the canopy and I see a lot of smiling faces.

“Well Gary,” I say loud enough for all to hear, “don’t get too discouraged, one of these days you will get a handle on that straight and level flying, just keep practicing!”

“I am having trouble with that straight and level,” laughs Gary, “I need to work on that!

It is so humbling to realize the work and dedication that these people do to keep a gliding club running, and the effort they make to help me fit in and enjoy this great sport. Thanks Edmonton Soaring Club, and all of the great soaring people I’ve met, it’s a blast hanging out with you!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Summer 2016

Upper Lakes Kananaskis 2016

Ok, I know, I haven't been doing much writing lately. You're thinking .... "WTF ya been up to?" Well, believe it or not us gimps get busy some times.

As I'm writing this we are getting our 1st dump of snow (ick) and it is only October 9! I'm not ready for this stuff, and might have to use my degree in power-whining to see if that helps. Anyhow, with Radio Margaritaville in the background I'll think happy thoughts and recap some of the fun.

Burning Off Altitude
The spring was great, and started with several awesome flights at the Edmonton Soaring Club ranging between 2 and 3 hours each, and reaching heights of 12,500 feet! It it so amazing to stay aloft for hours using nature instead of an engine ... better not get onto this subject or I'll ramble for hours ... everybody has something that rattles their chain and gliding sure does it for me!

Then there was camping, what a hoot. Early in the summer we camped southern Alberta with friends Joe and Sue. Waterton Lakes area was amazing,so many fantastic mountain and lake views. Terry and Sue are avid photographers and geocachers, Joe and I are really good followers. Since Joe is a Newfie, he had an unfair advantage when it came to happy hour and I took a distant second place ... training will begin sooner next year. The girls and
Waterton Park
their hobbies led us to fantastic scenery, geocaches, hikes, and a tour down Montana's Beartooth Highway - "America's Most Scenic Road". The scenery lived up to the hype and we had a great 2 weeks, ending in our fav Kananaskis Country!

Then there was Fathers' Day. I have been so good (just ask me) that my wife and kids got me a 360 camera. It takes 360 pictures that you can scroll around ... I'd love to post them here, but of course they don't @#$%-en work on my blog ... cheapo me. But you can see what they're like here:

Monday, 23 May 2016

Soaring Week!

Elk Island Park
It's that time of year! Flying season has begun for me! After a flightless winter it has once again been too long with my butt strapped to a wheelchair, time to don the wings and soar! The Edmonton Soaring Club is starting the season this year with several flying weeks in a row, meaning they are going to fly seven days a week as long as there are people and flyable weather! Terryll packed the necessary monumental pile of flying gear into the van, and we headed up to Chipman last Tuesday to get some flying in.

It was the 30 year anniversary of the car accident that left me a quadriplegic, and what better way to mark it than with a great flight! After that accident it was a long road back to getting a life going, but with the help of my wife, my family, and my friends this adventure has been a blast and keeps getting better!


Guy Blood volunteered to take the back seat behind me in the glider. He would handle the tow to altitude since my lack of arm strength makes that difficult, and rudder and spoiler. My wife, having a black-belt in gimp-transfer procedures, put the sling on me and directed Guy who was driving the the lift-equipped Kubota into position, turns out he's multi-talented and can run that too! With the Kubota, Guy and Terryll lifted me out of my chair and placed me perfectly into the Perkoz' front seat, pilot-installation-procedure complete! The Perkoz is a high-performance glider with a glide ratio of approximately 40 to 1, meaning that for every foot of altitude you lose it will travel 40 feet forward.

Burning off height for landing with spoilers out
Master-Thermal-Finder Bob Hagan flew the Scout and pulled us up to 3000 feet above ground. He dropped us right in the middle of a boomer of a thermal. We connected right away and climbed as high as we could, only limited by clouds that kept us at about 9500 feet. We toured around for two hours, exploring towns and a nearby river, finally returning when a student needed Guy's expertise. To our chagrin our multi-talented back-seat photographer got faulty information from yours-truly during his camera-checkout, and we ended up with no pictures or video. Guess we gotta come back tomorrow :)

The next day my buddy Dave Loshny and I headed back up to Chipman. Guy and I went up and once again Thermal-Master-Bob had us hooked up to lift right away. This time the thermal took us at 1000 ft./m to a height of 10,500 feet! We decided to head East towards Mundare and Vegreville. Being a quadriplegic, an outlanding would be a major inconvenience, and I don't think Guy could pack me far. Thus it is important to keep enough altitude in one's pocket to assure a safe return home. I got a little nervous near Vegreville since lift was eluding me, so we turned homeward and hooked up to Old Faithful, a thermal that always seems to hang out just West of Chipman. This time the camera was working, and we brought a spare for insurance ... take THAT Murphy! We toured Lamont, Mundare, and Elk Island, enjoying the view from a mile high. It was so amazing to take photos and video from that height, and great to be back in the air after a long winter off! Here are some pictures and a video of the landing, what a day once again! Thanks so much to my wife Terryll, Dave, Guy, Bob, and the whole Edmonton Soaring Club for making these adventures a possibility!