WELCOME TO

 THE HANSON HOMESTEAD!

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We're Stan and Dana, and glad to have you share part of our lives.  V

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We're both retired and have moved to sunny Florida where we can enjoy our favorite activities year round -- golfing, canoeing, sailing, boating, and scuba diving.  Amazing how they all involve water!   J   Even our golfing involves lots of water and alligators. 

There's nothing more pleasant than gently paddling or sailing from our dock, down the Jupiter waterway, and into the Myakka River.  Or viewing from land or participating by canoe in an exciting paddle through the Everglades during the 300-mile Everglades Challenge.  Or hopefully catching a great big fish in Charlotte Harbor from our Action Craft. 

Three of Stan's largest challenges have been the Mississippi River Challenge, the Yukon Canoe Odyssey, and the Great Mississippi River Race.  Dana participated from home since she was still working at the time.  Summaries of these expeditions are below, but follow the links to more exciting detail!

Our scuba diving has taken us all over the world.  We were first tempted on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 2001.  After some hemming & hawing, with the help of Scuba Daddy and his better half from Scuba World in Swansea, Illinois, we finally became certified in 2004 at Mermet Springs in Illinois.  Since then, we've traveled to some of the best dive locations -- Curacao, Fiji, Bonaire, Palau and Yap, Crystal River (in Florida, to dive with the manatees), Belize, Wakatobi (in Indonesia), Cozumel (where Hurricane Ike caused several no-dive days and postponed our return home), Roatan (in Honduras where, unfortunately, we were sick the whole week), Bahamas on the live-aboard Aqua Cat, Dominica, and the Florida Keys.  No matter how much or how little diving we enjoyed, it is always fascinating to visit other countries and see their culture.  Our pictures (some of which were taken by Rudy Schwartz, Ragina Schwartz, or Julie Embry) say and show a lot!

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Our Buffalo River Trip was held in April 2006 in memory of Verlen Kruger, who passed on in August 2004.  We and 7 others took our Kruger Canoes for an easy-going, week-long, 125-mile paddle on the Buffalo River in northern Arkansas. Although the first few days were pleasant and uneventful, a gully washer came down one evening. At 11:30pm, the river was fine, but by 12:15am, two tents were in the middle of the river, a third was just about surrounded, and two solo canoes were swept downstream by the current. The river eventually crept more than 40 up the gravel bar where we had pitched our tents before starting to recede at 4:00am. We later learned that the water-rise was 9 feet 8 inches. The next morning, the gear and all 9 of us somehow loaded into the five canoes that didn't float away and headed for a take-out. Park Rangers found the 2 missing canoes about 6 miles downstream. Unbelievably, all 4 paddles were still attached to the 2 canoes, both rudders worked fine, and a sandwich in a Tupperware container was still dry (although we decided against eating it). The 2 canoes only needed some cleaning up. Those sturdy Kruger Canoes are something else! The trip was cut short by 2 days after paddling only 80 miles. You'd think that with all of our experience (Dana, then at 53, was the youngest), we'd have never pitched tents so close to the river's edge. But above all, everyone was safe, and lots of story-telling memories were made!

The Mississippi River Challenge for Rett Syndrome & Leukodystrophy was held in May 2003 The event was an ultra-extreme race against time while paddling the ENTIRE Mississippi River -- from northwest Minnesota to Mile Zero in the Gulf of Mexico.  Starting on May 10, two endurance paddlers raced 2,348 miles against fatigue, foul weather, and unforeseen hazards.  They slept and ate in their canoe day and night as they struggled to reach Mile Zero in 20 days or less.  Their goal was achieved on May 28 -- in an astounding 18 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes -- shattering the world record by 5 days 5 hours!  The paddlers were motivated by a love of paddling and the spirit of competition.  But behind that, it was a deeply personal undertaking for both men.  Clark Eid's daughter has Rett Syndrome and Bob Bradford's family has been affected by Adrenoleukodystrophy.  They took on this unique challenge to raise both awareness and research funds to combat these two life threatening diseases.  We invite you to read about all the exciting details! 

The Yukon Canoe Odyssey was held in the summer of 2002.  We invite you to share Stan's trip with Verlen Kruger and his wife Jenny down the Yukon River.  They and others paddled their Kruger Canoes from Carcross in the Yukon Territory, through Alaska, to the Bering Sea.  The summer was Verlen's special way of celebrating his 80th birthday.  Remembering that "all things are possible with God," Verlen always encourages others by reminding them that "Happy are those that dream dreams and have the courage to make them come true!"

The Great Mississippi River Race for Rett Syndrome was held In May 2001.  One canoe and four kayaks raced down the 2,348-mile long Mississippi River to raise awareness for Rett Syndrome, a devastating disease which strikes young girls.  Team Kruger, led by renowned paddlers Verlen Kruger and Bob Bradford, placed first in their specialized Kruger Cruiser canoe at 24 days, 17 hours, 51 minutes. Team Double Helix, featuring the event's unique flagship kayak called the Double Helix, placed second at 26 days, 6 hours, 40 minutes. Team Alaska, showing true perseverance and dedication, replaced a kayak after it was lost in a harrowing rapids in Minnesota and stayed in the race until May 31, just 700 river miles from the finish. Team Amazons of the Mississippi and Team Rebels with a Cause made a gallant effort, but withdrew from the race after the first week.

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Some of our most favorite people include Stan's daughter Leisa, her husband Jim, and their daughters (Hayden and her younger twin sisters, Cameron & Devon -- that would make us ... "grandparents"), and Stan's son Paul and his girlfriend Kelly.  Between our three families, we have the entire United States covered, representing the states of Florida, Missouri, and Washington.

                     

We also have had a few boys and girls of our own -- dachshunds who have brought us many hours of laughter and companionship!     

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If you're ever down in the Port Charlotte, Florida, area and need a spiritual lift-me-up, or it's just time for some worship, the members of Gulf Cove United Methodist Church would be glad to have you visit or join them in any of their numerous ministries!  They are always "Reaching Up and Out for God"!

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If you want to contact Stan or Dana, please email us.  We'd be glad to hear from you.

(Rev. 6 December 2012)

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