Day 2 Eau Claire, WI to Duluth, MN

Day 2 of the ride for miracles for Children’s Miracle Network was another great day on the road. We started off bright and early at Eau Claire Wisconsin today and headed out to our first hospital stop at Ministry St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Marshfield, Wisconsin. We are able to meet the CMN staff as well as the nurses on the floor, the child life services specialist and even got to meet (and badly sing along to Sweet Home Alabama with) the music therapist.  We toured the unit and got to see their wall art, specialty rooms and their Child Life Services area, which included special wheelchairs to take the kids from their rooms into surgeries or procedures, as well as play rooms and an outdoor play area.  They also had a movie kiosk where the parents or the kids could go check out DVD’s or video games to take back to their room. Their music therapist had a musical instrument cart that she would take around to the kids for them to play music or for her to play song for them to help them with their recovery. We were introduced to a very interesting program they had called PALS, which stands for Pacifier Activated Lullaby System.  Sometimes when a baby is born very young, they don’t have the natural instinct for the sucking motion, so the pacifiers promote newborns to learn that on their own by playing lullaby music while they are sucking on the pacifier.

We also stopped down and viewed some of their pediatric rehab areas.  They had an area called Independent Square, which was a unit meant to help children and adults re-learn basic life skills.  They had obstacles such as curbs, stairs, rough walking surfaces as well as things such as grocery stores, bank tellers, and even a car to help re-learn the skills needed for everyday life in a safe and monitored environment.  Our last stop at the hospital was to their Snoezelen Room, which helps with sensory rehabilitation and learning.  This room was amazing, and had different types of stimulis for all the senses.  The rooms help with kids with autism and other sensory developmental challenges.  You can see photos from our visit at www.miracleriders.com under the Photos page, and you can find more information about Snoezelen rooms at http://www.snoezelen.info/

As for the physical ride today, it went well, we had less detours (both planned and un-planned due to navigator error) but we did get our first drop of rain up in northern Wisconsin.  The group stopped for lunch at a great little family owned café named Ambers Colby Café, in Colby Wisconsin.  We happened by this completely by happenstance.  The staff was so friendly, asking about our trip, and the food was amazing, it was good the Georgia boys had to call up and Scott and rub it in a little bit!  Overall it was a long day and we are all tired but excited for our trip into Canada tomorrow, EH!  We will head out about 8:00am and hit the border just before lunch.  The drive from Duluth to Thunder Bay Ontario is going to be a beautiful ride, so don’t forget to check the live feed in the morning.  We will end our Wednesday in Terrace Bay Ontario at Jack Fish Cottages.  We will probably lose live feed once we get east of Thunder Bay a little ways, and may or may not get it back by the time we hit Jack Fish Cottage.  But you can still follow us on the SPOT map, even if the live feed goes down.

Don't forget to keep checking the website www.miracleriders.com, we have been adding photos everyday under the PHOTOS page, and as of today, we will start adding in videos each day as well now that we have the movie software working properly.

Also don't forget we're looking for scavenger hunt ideas, so talk to your kids and find out what they would like to see the Miracle Riders do, just send us a tweet or post a comment to St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network Facebook page.