Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A New Fitness Level and A New Life?

and getting to Hawaii – to kayak my last state!!!

2009_09_09_gary_port_angeles 007

One of my earlier paddles in Washington State.

I am becoming concerned/alarmed that I may not have enough money for expenses for the Hawaii trip. I have accommodations and air line ticket. But there are the other expenses of the shuttle/or transportation to and from the airports, kayak rental, meals, sun screen, misc. God I wish I was rich.  If you can help me complete this Kayak America Adventure, use the Donate Button to the right on this page.  Thank you.

Feeling blue a couple days ago, I was cheered up by a piece of German Chocolate Cake. Trust me, I will pay for it tomorrow and the next day at the gym. My weight is down to where it was 31 years ago.  Someone said “Just a serotonin low. You will feel better. Chocolate will help that.”  Alright, I’ll go with that reason/excuse?


1984, California, sitting on my cousin’s Delorian.

OK, I ATE the cake, twice. But today, I did Aqua Therapy in the morning, and then 10 miles on stationary bike in gym and 30 min on treadmill. I'm going 3 times faster on the treadmill than I did two weeks ago. I am working hard on my core strength and have little pain now. I think an adjustment in my meds is required which will begin tomorrow. Right now all I am doing is working out and eating and sleeping. Eating all I want, but it's healthier stuff and only about 1/3 of what I used to eat. But it's all I want. I won't say this is easy, but my favorite part of the day now is working out at the gym... something I never thought I would ever feel or ever say. Maybe there will be life after 70?


Never Again… almost 300 pounds in 2002.

I have a wonderful team of doctors here and have been catching up on all the tests and examines you are suppose to have.  Getting the all clear on everything.  I think I have a doctor for every body part, though I no longer need a pulmonologist as I no longer have COPD issues (thank you clean air).  Got one for joints, one for spine, one for female parts, one for all the other general stuff.  All are impressed and excited to be on my fitness team.  Caught two of them talking/bragging to each other about me the other day… that was funny.


Family Birthday Cake, 2004 (my sons birthdays are 4/16 and 5/8 and mine 5/16 – so many times we had ONE cake).

The above photo was taken when I was pretty close to not being able to walk anymore, the following year, both knees were replaced.  Hopefully in a month, I will have much better photos to post here.

In spite of my worry and concern about finances for Hawaii, and my set back last month with severe back pain, I am reaching my new fitness levels and I feel excited and hopeful about completing my 50-state Kayaking America Adventure and my new challenge of hiking the Arizona Trail in 2015.  I can and will do this.

Again, if you can help me reach my goal to kayak my 50th State, Hawaii, I would be very grateful.  Thank you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Charlene's Birthday Party–May 16, 2014 (b. 1944)

My flight is booked, I AM going to Hawaii. I won't eat for the next two weeks, until my next payday 2/19, but I AM going to Hawaii and will be staying at Kahana Beach Resort, 4221 Lower Honoapiilani Highway, Maui part of the time.

My 70th Birthday is May 16, 2014. Please join me for this epic event. The only reason this event is epic is that I was shopping for a wheelchair in 2006 because I could not walk and weighed 300 pound. Since then I got new knees thanks to David Swankie and a boat… than a new life and have kayaked 49 states, only leaving Hawaii to kayak, our 50th state, my 50th state to kayak and on my 70th Birthday.  No I don’t feel 70.  I feel better than when I was 40 and that truly amazes even me.


The maiden voyage of my new Kayak was on Lake Tahoe in the company of Ellie Beals who paddled with me that day in 2009.

There is time if you care to join us... to make your own arrangements.
Hope you can join me to celebrate this great day and great achievement.

My Schedule:

5/13 - 8am depart San Jose, CA, arrive in Kahului, HI at 10:20am
5/13-15 staying with Matt and Cherrish
5/16- at Kahana Beach Resort, 4221 Lower Honoapiilani Highway, Maui
5/16 - KAYAK HAWAII - my last of 50 States to Kayak
5/17 - at Kahana Beach Resort, 4221 Lower Honoapiilani Highway, Maui
5/18 - at Kahana Beach Resort, 4221 Lower Honoapiilani Highway, Maui
5/19 - check out from Kahana Beach Resort, 4221 Lower Honoapiilani Highway, Maui
5/19 - staying with Matt and Cherrish
5/20 - depart HI at 12:30pm and arrive back to San Jose, CA at 8:30pm

Paddling with me will be son Richard Bailey, Matt and Cherrish Beals, and hopefully others.

CREAM of the Crop… L-R: Richard Bailey, Elle Beals, Matt Beals, Chris Bailey, and Andy Beals.  (Their initials spell CREAM).  Beals children are children of my best friend of 40plus years, Betsy Beals Stafford.

It's gonna be a grand party. A once in a life-time happening.  I sure wish all five could be with me, but 2/5 of the gang will be swell.

Can’t go, but want to help????

Anyone who helps will receive a post card from Hawaii after the paddle and I hope it will be a photo of me in the kayak, if I can arrange that there.  If you donate, order art work or buy from my store and want a post card, be sure to send me your mailing address to charlene.swankie@gmail.com


Wishing everyone I love could be there with me
for my 70th birthday party.

By helping a friend, Possum Hunter, out after he lost all he had Christmas night in an apartment fire, and having a front tooth break off and needing to have it extracted and an implant in last week, I am very very low on funds.  I could sure use some help making this dream come true and in accomplishing the goal I set out on in 2009, of kayaking all 50 states. See Index of States KayakedClick on the donate button in the upper right corner of this site, if you can help a little bit, even if only a dollar or two.  Or click on the Art Work tab above if you would like to commission me to do some Art Work for you. All art work will be completed before I go to Hawaii.

You could also help by buying through my Amazon Store http://astore.amazon.com/kayakin-20
- a portion of your Amazon purchase will go to supporting my kayaking
adventure or for my next adventure, hiking the Arizona Trail in 2015 (820 miles from Mexico to Utah).

Thank you for your support and Aloha
Charlene Beaty Bailey Swankie

"It's not the destination that is important, it is the journey. It doesn't
get any better than that, until tomorrow." Swankie

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.