Posted in HCYR, Love

Walkin’ the Walk

I’ve got to hand it to Bryce Gaudian, he doesn’t let anything get in his way of “walkin’ the walk,” literally.  OK, so it is more than just merely taking a stroll – he is completing what is known as an “Ultra-Hike.”  He does this as a fundraiser.  I post this about him because I truly believe in the work that he is doing, and I love the ministry this is supporting:  the Hill Country Youth Ranch and Big Springs Ranch for Children in Ingram and Leakey, TX.  I am going to include a letter I received from Bryce detailing his Ultra-Hike he just completed.  His attempt was to raise $34,000 for these children, and so far, he is short by over half.

Please read this letter.  Please visit the official Youth Ranch website.  Please donate.

Thank you.

Heatstroke & Hummingbirds, a Home for Bicycles, and Bleachers at the Track: Three Reasons for Ultra-Hike3

My 2016 Fundraiser


Thirteen absolutely wonderful projects have been accomplished at Hill Country Youth Ranch and Big Springs Ranch for Children due to so many generous people donating to my previous Ultra-Hike fundraising efforts on their behalf in 2014 (49 miles in the Grand Canyon) and in 2015 (45 miles in Sequoia National Park and the Mohave Desert). Tremendously positive outdoor recreation enhancements, purchases, and upgrades at both ranches have blessed and enriched the lives of the children living at these epicenters of compassion. Having visited the ranches three times in-person, I can testify they are places of healing and restoration for the children and youth who come from backgrounds you just cannot fathom — inconceivable abuse, abandonment, and severe trauma. Hundreds of you from across the country have come alongside these fundraising efforts, and together we have accomplished things of genuine significance.

I’ve just learned of three more Dream Projects desired and needed at the ranches if additional funds could be raised. I am making this the focus of my Fundraising for 2016.

Big Springs Ranch for Children has a marvelous gymnasium that is utilized year-round. They have their own volleyball and basketball teams, and other schools come for tournaments. Most evenings you will find the family groups playing any number of different games in the gym, learning teamwork, experiencing wholesome fun, and keeping physically fit. However – the gym does not have Air Conditioning, and we are talking Texas! Up here in Minnesota where I live, we can have six months of severe and nasty cold. In their area of Texas, they can have six months of stifling heat. The Ranch’s Activities Coordinator, Brianne, e- mailed me: “Most years from April until even sometimes November you start sweating profusely as soon as you start playing a basketball game … we open every door in the gym to try to get cross ventilation and bring every big fan in that we can find to try and circulate the air but even then, just standing there, you have sweat rolling down your face. The players are much hotter as you can imagine. As a spectator in the stands, you are sweating almost as much as the players sometimes. We often have children we have to have sit in the bleachers to cool down because they get overheated and have even had a couple with borderline heatstroke because they don’t want to stop playing even though it is stifling.” Another extremely unfortunate situation due to the very large doors of the gym now having need of being open for some air movement is that hummingbirds fly in, and then can’t find their way out, they overheat, and drop to the floor. Brianne estimates that the lives of at least 100 hummingbirds could be saved each year if the gym had Air Conditioning. What a win win!! A cool environment in especially the summer months to keep the kids from stifling heat and potential heatstroke, and as a bonus, saving precious little hummingbirds from perishing!! A bid has been received to put in a high quality Air Conditioning system for $23,000.00.

There is a very generous man who donates a brand new bicycle to every child coming to either of the ranches. However, without bicycle racks to place the bikes in when the kids aren’t riding them, the bikes end up getting piled one-on-top-of-the-other, or leaned against trees or buildings and falling over. This less-than-ideal situation has led to bike repairs that just would not have been necessary if quality bike racks were available at each of the homes for the children at the ranches. There is a need for 12 bicycle racks carrying a price tag of $7,000.00.

Lastly, for home Cross Country and Track meets at Big Springs Ranch for Children, there is no place for spectators to sit down. I’ve been there. It’s all rocks! They would absolutely love to have a 50-seat bleachers. The cost for the bleachers and concrete support pads comes in at $4,000.00. This would be such a tremendously welcomed addition to their Track, and the portion of the Cross Country Course which winds right along the outside of the Track.

Together, let’s accomplish these three projects!

The Total Fundraising Goal is $34,000.00.

My Venue for Ultra-Hike3 is the following: During the first week of February, my wife, Cindy, and I are visiting our son, Caleb, who is stationed in the U.S. Coast Guard in Hawaii.

Caleb is meeting us on Kauai. Caleb and I will be hiking 22 Miles on the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast – one of the most stunningly beautiful trails on planet earth, also ranked by Outside Magazine as one of the 20-Most Dangerous Hikes in the World. When we get to the 11-mile point at Kalalau Beach, we will hike an additional 6 miles on side trails. Once back to Ke’e Beach, we will have hiked 28 miles.


I will then hike an additional 6 miles in The Grand Canyon of the Pacific at Waimea Canyon. Total Ultra-Hike3 = 34 Miles

My GOAL is to raise $l,OOO.OO/Mile for a total of $34,000.00.


Let’s Make Another Beautiful Thing Happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please mail support by the middle of February. Caleb and I will be hiking the Kalalau Trail and Waimea Canyon during the first week of February.

Please make check payable to: Hill Country Youth Ranch

Mail to me:

Bryce Gaudian, 21992 810th Avenue, Hayward MN 56043

As always, I promise a complete post-event play-by-play account of the experience.

I would be tremendously honored and grateful to have your support!

Again, it is NOT too late to support this effort.  Any of you who have experienced those unending summers of 100+ degrees in South Texas knows how long overdue that AC system is in the gym!  Please, pray about it, then open your hearts to these children.  Thanks./



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