This has been one exhausting weekend!  On Wednesday last week I flew to New Mexico.  My mom was running a special marathon march called the Bataan Memorial Death March.  This is a memorial run for the World War II soldiers who were forced to march 70 miles up the Philippine Island coast.  It was estimated at 18,000 died from starvation and horrendous torture and this marathon was intended to honor their lives.  Their bodies weren't even given the time of day for burial.  This was a brutal war event.

I flew with my oldest daughter who would be interviewing one of the survivors and writing a report for her school.  We flew out a bit early like we usually do to explore the area, hike and sight see and this time was no different.  Our flight to Phoenix just barely missed the snow cyclone that hit Colorado and Wyoming like a sledgehammer.  But our flight from Phoenix to El Paso ended up being delayed for about an hour.  And then it was forced to turn around 10 minutes from landing in El Paso due to a high wind advisory.  We got sent right back to Phoenix and had to rebook new flights to El Paso at 7:30 that night.  We spent 10.5 loooooooong hours in the airport.  We had been up since 1:30 am and we just about dead to the world when we finally got to our hotel room that night at midnight.

We did so many different hikes and activities while we were there.  This is Dripping Springs which was a three mile hike to this gorgeous ruin site of a 1900s resort.  I feel like living out in the west we have an unfair advantage to those who fly into these places from sea level.

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We also went to pick up my mom's packet for the march on Sunday.  We had the chance to meet several of the nonprofits who supported this event.  The trade show was crawling with veterans, active duty and volunteers.

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These are hiking sticks intended to be used with trail medallions that you can get at most hikes.  It's pretty awesome!  I've wanted one of these for about six years and never bought one because it didn't feel right.  I snagged one this day and we shipped them home so we wouldn't have to carry them on our flights. LDP_7881aLDP_7881a

These are hiking sticks intended to be used with trail medallions that you can get at most hikes.  It's pretty awesome!  I've wanted one of these for about six years and never bought one because it didn't feel right.  I snagged one this day and we shipped them home so we wouldn't have to carry them on our flights.

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In January, we lost a friend to PTSD and we wrote out his memorial bib to carry. LDP_7897aLDP_7897a


We ventured out to explore the area and went to White Sands National Monument.  It was gorgeous and incredible and we had the best time playing in the dunes.  We also went to Roswell and explored the tourist traps. 

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Saturday it was rainy and chilly so we opted not to go out on the hikes we planned.  We explored in town and found the most adorable little section of Las Cruces called Mesilla.  We had homemade Indian tacos that were unbelievably delicious.  My oldest daughter needed to interview a survivor of the Bataan Death March from World War II and she got the chance to do this today as well. 

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This is James Bollich.  He's the survivor my daughter interviewed.  He is also an author and wrote about the event in a book called, "Bataan Death March: A Soldier's Story."  I highly recommend reading this book.  He was so patient with her and helped her spell words and answered slowly and thoughtfully.  Truly a special person. LDP_8240aLDP_8240a LDP_8249aLDP_8249a LDP_8252aLDP_8252a LDP_8258aLDP_8258a LDP_8264aLDP_8264a


On Sunday, it was the day of the Bataan Memorial Death March.  We were up at 3:30 am to head to the Army Missile Range Base by White Sands.  My mom was running for soldiers that my brother and I knew and lost. 

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I was quite shocked by the amount of people who were up this early by choice.  It was also freezing cold.


We waited right here for nearly two hours for my mom to cross that finish line and somehow we missed her.  I have no idea how that happened.  We had our eyes peeled for her and were tracking her on my phone and still somehow didn't see her.  It was massively disappointing.  But I was still super proud of her!


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After the march, we went back out to White Sands to go sledding.  This was so much fun and it was a gorgeous day for it.  I came back with a tan while the snow cyclone nailed Wyoming and Colorado.


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My plans are to hike this next year.  I will be bringing my camera during the march and doing the half marathon.  Pray for me, folks.  I can hike with no problem for about eight miles.  A half marathon will need to be trained for.  One that memorializes something like the Bataan Death March deserves our time and effort.