25 more days…

For the past two weeks, the best part of my day has been checking the mailbox when I get home from work. I love seeing all the return envelopes with checks inside made out to the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center. Every now and then, someone includes a little note of encouragement, which I especially love.

We’ve received checks from family, friends, neighbors, members of our church, and even complete strangers. So far, Jordan and I are about halfway to our $5,000 goal, and that doesn’t even include any online donations (still waiting to hear back on that total).

I have just two words… thank you!!

When I agreed to take part in this year’s Wilderness Trek for JWRC, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. My family helped me stuff, stamp, and seal the envelopes, then I dropped them off at the Post Office and hoped for the best.

What a response! It’s so heartening to see how many people still care so very deeply about Jacob and his family. While we wait for answers, this is the one thing we can all do that will actually make a difference.

The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center focuses on prevention by teaching kids to be smart when it comes to their personal safety. They discuss the importance of checking first with parents or caregivers before going somewhere with another person, accepting gifts, or allowing someone to photograph them. While this may seem obvious to us as parents, it’s not obvious to kids, especially when the person is known to the child.

Equally important, JWRC teaches kids to hang out in groups, trust their instincts, and never keep secrets from their parents. The internet poses a particular threat, and parents play a pivotal role in understanding the traps and pitfalls that their children face online. JWRC provides this training, as well.

Clearly, the world is a safer place because of the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, and I’m happy to support the cause.

Now, I just need to get in shape.

IMG_0616I have begun breaking in my new hiking shoes that my family gave me for Mother’s Day, and I joined the FitBit Challenge at work, trying to average at least 10,000 steps a day. My plan was to go on a 15 mile bike ride at least twice a week, but so far that hasn’t happened. I also had high hopes of making it through the Couch to 5K app before we leave, but I think it’s fair to say that isn’t going to happen either. Between graduation parties, weddings, showers, birthday parties, and work-related events, I dare say this may be as good as it gets. I guess I’ll just pack lots of Advil.

Now then, back to the discussion of bears. I have been given a great deal of sage advice since my last blog post. Here’s a bit of what I’ve learned.

  • There are no bears in Colorado.
  • It’s not the bears you need to worry about, it’s the mountain lions.
  • It’s not the bears you need to worry about, it’s the rattlesnakes.
  • A bear can outrun a racehorse.
  • Bear spray is much more effective than a firearm, but make sure you don’t spray it into the wind (spoken from experience).
  • Don’t go to bed smelling like bacon. Bears really like bacon.
  • If you encounter a bear, make a lot of noise, raise your arms, and try to appear bigger than the bear.
  • If you encounter a bear, do not make a lot of noise, retreat quietly, and never, under any circumstances, try to appear bigger than the bear.

My son Jordan has also tried to convince me that sleeping in a hammock tied between two trees is much more comfortable than sleeping in a tent. My question to him was, how does a bear know the difference between food hanging from a tree and a human hanging from a tree? Seems to me the bear is a winner either way.

And so, you can see I am still all sorts of confused when it comes to a potential bear encounter. I think I will just stop asking for advice and assume that the rest of the Trekkers have a far better handle on this subject than me.

I’d like to give a special shout out to Jerry Wetterling on this Father’s Day to thank him for coordinating 23 of these annual Wilderness Treks to help raise money for the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center. I cannot think of a better way to honor his son.

If you’d like to support this year’s Wilderness Trek, please make your donation by July 7th.

To donate online, go to https://foundation.gundersenhealth.org/protectkids. Under “Designation,” please choose “Trek Donation – Jacob Wetterling Resource Center,” and in the box that says “Special notes about this gift,” please add “Joy and Jordan.”

Checks can be made out to JWRC with TREK in the memo line. Mail to 16162 Golfview Rd NE, New London, MN 56273. If you’d like to receive a receipt, just let me know and I will get one to you. All donations to JWRC are 100% tax deductible.

Thank you!!

NEXT: Joetown…


  1. This was a great post you made me laugh 🙂

  2. Patty Wetterling |

    Joy, you are awesome.
    Thank you!

  3. Joy have you ever checked out Survivorman’s website or info about his show on the Science Channel? I’ve never checked them out myself but I’ve seen his show a few times and I’m wondering if he’d have some information about dealing with whatever wildlife you might encounter. (Lions, tigers and bears oh my!) I know the animals don’t want to run into us anymore than we want to run into them. And that bacon advice sounds pretty good 😉

  4. Dean Danielson |

    Joy, sounds like your ready to go !! Best wishes,
    – Dean

  5. Joy, your posts bring out a lot of emotions for me… this time, it was joy! Thanks for the laugh about the bears. I hope you and the whole group have a wonderful experience.
    – Kelli

  6. Just made a donation – best of luck to everyone on this trek

  7. joy.the.curious |

    Thank you Beth P!

  8. Just take a handgun with you. A .45 should do it. Bear spray is more effective than regular spray but it is still a spray. A handgun will go only where you point and only has so much range. I don’t think you want to get close enough to a bear to get in that range.

    Well back to the case. I think Heinrich having some sort of lookout makes more sense. He wore a mask, attacked at night and threatened and killed to keep his attacks a secret and hide evidence. So why would he hide in that kid’s apartment in Paynesville without someone on the outside following the kid and giving him information. I mean seriously the apartment was downtown and probably only had like 4 max apartments in it. Which decreases the odds of someone walking in but doesn’t eliminate them. And the boy had just took his friend home and was coming back to his apartment the distance is great enough that it is not within eyesight. How does Heinrich know that his victims are coming back? At first I thought he may have stalked them but that still wouldn’t explain much and it doesn’t quite fit. He seems to have attacked more randomly than picking out particular targets. Especially when in Jacob’s case he groped Aaron so that kind of points that he even at that point didn’t have a target and really was picking them out and not just making it look like he was.

    So how does he know that Jacob would be coming down that road? And if he was there the whole time why let them pass the first time? How did he know about Jacob if he hadn’t drove down there earlier? But if you introduce the lookout it makes sense. Okay both men are at the tom thumb a witness that was at the Del Win said earlier in the day they believe they saw Heinrich in the store not looking at the shelves but looking over to see the people coming in. He could have been waiting for someone to show up. The two of them stay at the tom thumb inside and/or out and wait for a potential victim. Jacob and the other boys show up they get their movie and what not then leave. In that time Heinrich had picked out at least one of those boys as the victim. He leaves to get ahead and the lookout follows the boys as they leave the store to find out what road they turn on. He relays the information to Heinrich so that he knows he can park in Rassier’s driveway and they will soon be coming his way.

    Same with Jared how did he know that he was going to be walking that way? Even if he had stalked him and knew where he lived how did he know that Jared would be walking he left the ice rink in a vehicle. And could have easily left the café in a vehicle. How does he know he’s going home afterwards? It was a Friday night he could have been going over to a friend’s house. Despite mentioning the Kraemer’s I think it would make more sense if a lookout was giving him information about where Jared was going. Okay Jared was with a bunch of kids his own age all potential victims. Jared split from the group at the café which means someone was watching him there. It would make more sense if Heinrich who approached him from the opposite direction down the road Jared lived had someone tell him via the two way radio that Jared was heading down that road.

    It makes more sense that a second person was involved to guide and inform Heinrich while he waited for his victims. Like the kid at the school he was waiting for his dad and a car circled several times than parked in an alley and a man wearing black with maybe a ski mask walked from behind him. That story indicated that the strange car actually wasn’t involved because the man with the mask who came at him wasn’t in the car. But the car in that story still was strange.

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