Tuesday, July 5, 2011

March to Mandaree–Home

From Mel:

Sunday was the final day of the March to Mandaree.  We walked together for the last miles down to Nathan Goodiron’s grave site for a service and breakfast.  Words were spoken from the heart and taps played.  It was a beautiful service on a beautiful morning.  It was also a bittersweet ending to this 415 mile journey.  The roads were long but the sacrifice was worth the remembrance of these fallen heroes.  Chris Kleinwachter.  Travis Van Zoest.  Curtis Mehrer.  Nathan Goodiron.  Remember those who have given everything. 













Thank you.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

March to Mandaree day 15

Today we marched to the home of Nathan Goodiron.  Today was our homecoming.  Along with family and friends we walked the 4 miles to Paul & Harriet’s and were welcomed with amazing food and stories.  Sunday at 8:30 am will mark the official end of this journey as we together march the very last  miles to Nathan’s grave where a service will be held.  Everyone is invited to attend, even if you are unable to walk along.




Thursday, June 30, 2011

Almost there

From Mel:
Not many more steps now until we arrive in Mandaree. Until we have access to internet once again I can share just a few things.

Over the weekend we were hosted by several families and would like to thank the Simmers, Mehrers, and Baumann families for all of their hospitality. The National Guard in Bismarck also hosted a picnic for us which was wonderful. We appreciate everything our hosts have done for us.

Day 12 we arrived in Hazen and were met by Patriot Guard from Bismarck. We were hosted 2 nights by the Johnson family (thank you!)

Day 13 we were escorted out by a Hazen fire truck and friends. That evening we were welcomed into Beulah with a picnic by the extended Goodiron family. We were also treated to rooms at the hotel (kids+pool=happy!) by the generosity of the O'Berry family. The Beulah Beacon had a great front page story about the march.

Day 14 puts us in Kildeer and ready to march into Mandaree tomorrow. We will be joined in the last 4 miles by any man, woman, and child that wants to participate. We have been in such good hands and we can't wait to be there!
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

March to Mandaree day 9 & 10

Day 9 March to the Capitol

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Day 10 Graveside Service for Mehrer and Van Zoest

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More photos of these and all the days are available by clicking HERE.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

March to Mandaree days 5 thru 8

From Mel;

Days 5 and 6 were cold and rainy.  That kept us from taking too many pictures, but the guys went out each morning and endured.  Tuesday (6/21) Nathan Kemp joined Steve and Arnold for the march despite the rain.  We decided to stay at Jamestown RV park rather than move the whole camp ahead.  We chose to do the same Wednesday.  This was the first time our kids have spent any time in Jamestown other than passing through, so we made sure they got to see the world’s largest buffalo.


By Thursday, the clouds parted and we saw some sun!  DSC_0217DSC_0196 DSC_0220

The photos I’ve pulled from the cameras this week are amazing.  I am keeping a gallery HERE that I will update as time (and internet service) allows. 


We’ve kept on schedule, getting started each day around 4:30 or 5 am and usually finishing by lunch time.  Thursday night we camped in Hazelton and we reached Bismarck by Friday afternoon.  The Goodiron Family met us to escort us in, and members of the Mehrer family marched in the last 5 miles. 

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Due to flooding we are NOT camping in General Sibley park, but at the Bismarck KOA, where we will spend the next 3 nights.  We plan to march from the armory to the capitol at 9 am Saturday morning.  There is also scheduled to be a graveside service for Mehrer and Van Zoest in the Veteran’s Cemetery at 12:30 pm Sunday. 

We are so grateful for the welcome into Bismarck and look forward to meeting up with everyone before we move on Monday morning.  Thank you to all the families who have offered meals while we are here, we appreciate it so much!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Week one almost done

From Mel:
We are coming up on the end of week one on this march. Until we are back in the land of internet, my phone will have to do. The guys are starting out around 4:30-5:00 am each morning to escape marching in the heat of the day, although the last few ended up rainy. We are usually done marching in the early afternoon but we have decided it is in everyone's best health interests to stick to the itinerary as it is (http://marchtomandaree.blogspot.com/2011/05/march-to-mandaree-itinerary.html) and not try to add in extra miles.
This afternoon we arrive in Bismarck! I will post a better update later tonight.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 3 and 4

As I mentioned before, the Patriot Guard came to Enderlin early on the morning of the 19th to escort us out of town.  Among four marchers, the burden was a lighter one and they finished in good time.  We spent the remainder of the day saddling up for our stay in Little Yellowstone park. 

March to Mandaree Day 3

Our daughter, Piper, got to have a little birthday celebration at our campsite! Piper turns 5

Steve and Arnold were up at 4am and ready to tackle day 4 with enthusiasm.  They split the miles between them and at the end of today we are still on schedule.  When we have enough walkers, we are considering trying to get ahead of schedule if the day allows.

Little Yellowstone

One change we will be making to June 21 in that we will stay a second night in Jamestown RV Park and NOT in Gackle, ND as we originally planned.  If you are interested in marching with us please contact us so we can coordinate with you!  Our full itinerary is HERE.

If you can’t participate in person, your support in this march is always appreciated.  Just click the “Donate” button on the sidebar to help us with our expenses!!