Group Shot of the Students

Letters of Support

The Leading the Way participants would be delighted to hear from you. Here’s some letters we’ve already recieved. Send your questions or comments using our contact page.

Hi Trekkers,

I just want to say it sounds like you are doing an excellent job. You are setting goals, achieving goals, and proving that disabilities are not insurmountable obstacles.

As difficult as some parts of the journey may be, you will have this experience and these memories for the rest of your life. When facing some future obstacle, you will look back on this journey and draw strength from the knowledge of your success.

Keep your spirits up and if one of you should accidentally pull the poles from Erik’s tent while he is sleeping … well, accidents do happen. *GRIN*

Dan Rossi

To all the Super Inca Leading the Way team,

You all need to pat yourselves on the back. The courage, energy, and marvelous attitude you all maintained throughout the journey were wonderful. You have all gained so much from every aspect of this journey and I am certain the Peruvian people with whom you came in contact also gained much. What an impressive crew you are. And to those of you from Global Explorers who worked behind the scenes and were there with the students a great big thank you. This program is exactly what Marcia Schmidlin, Palestine IL eighth grade math teacher, promised. Cole was awesome before he left and even more awesome now. To Erik and his friends, thank you for taking the time to be with these young people. You all made a difference also. I am elated just from our conversations since Cole’s return … I can’t imagine the elation you are all feeling and felt as you completed this fantastic journey.


Dear Team,

I have just finished reading each of your Bio’s and it is obvious to me that our leaders of tomorrow are on their way to the top of Macchu Piccu as I write this e/m.

I am very proud of each of you for your courage, your optimisim, your strength and your faith. The common thread that seems to run through each of you is leadership. Each of you has what it takes to be a leader and you are proving it.

I am proud that my son Eric Alexander is on this expedition with you as he is an accomplished leader as well. Together you will accomplish much. I will be following as well as praying for your team daily. Each of you is an example to the world. Thank you for being an example to me.

Richard V. Alexander
Friday, June 9, 2006

Hi Kyle!

Your mom has kept me posted on your trip and also sent me this website so I can check and see what you and your team are doing on a regular basis. Good luck to you and the team as you make your climb. What a wonderful opportunity! I look forward to hearing about your trip and seeing your pictures when you return to school in August.

Mrs. Johnson

Wow! Your first two days sound wonderful. We are envious of all of you having this terrific experience. Keep up the great teamwork and have many exciting adventures. Great picture of you, Alysha, on day two report.

Alysha’s great aunt Jane and great uncle David


It looks as if you are having a good time and learning from this. I hope all the best for you and just know that I am praying daily for you. God speed and good luck.

Your friend,

Congratulations to all participants in “Leading the Way!” A great accomplishment has been attained just by qualifying for this trip. I look forward to viewing your travels from Oklahoma, though my heart is there with my Arielle. Wishing each of you safe travel on an experience of a lifetime!

Debra Alley

Hey Andrew,

The Wheaton’s are thoroughly enjoying keeping updated on your adventure through the Global Explorers website! We’ll check the website daily to keep in touch with your progress and exploration! Best of luck with the tough climbing, you can do it! You are a star in our eyes!

Much love, Bill, Lauren, Jennifer & Nicole

Dear Cole,

This trip is going to be so amazing!! You are definitely a long way from Robinson. We so loved Germany last year and just looking at the pictures from the daily journals and so on it , Peru is beautiful as well. I know you will get so much out of this experience and it will last a life time. Have a great time.

Betty Thompson

Hi, everyone — especially Ryan Charlston and Estey Masten. I am enjoying following your trip on the website. Thanks, Ryan, for sending me the note telling me about it. Ryan, I’m sure being there is worth every moment you spent selling, baking, wrapping, and delivering all those chocolate cakes. Estey, I’m sure the efforts you and your dad made to get you there are being rewarded by the magnitude of this experience.

Thank you too to Erik for visiting our school and sharing your vision with us.

Jerri Davenport
Principia Upper School
English and Reading

Dear Anna,

Your Mother gave me your website so I could follow what you and Brad are experiencing. I am so PROUD of you two!!!!!!!! I read your bio and was so impressed with your ideas on Leadership. You NAILED it!!!!!! Exactly the way it should be done. Ymm, polictical office in the future? We certainly need bright, young leaders like you and Brad. I feel our future is in very capable hands knowing the two of you are out there leading the way!!

Have a wonderful time, soak it all in. I’m sure your eyes are just bursting trying to grab all that is around you. You will do just fine. I have a feeling it may be tough for your Dad to not be on that trip this time:-)

Take care and be careful,
Love to all,
Mrs. L.

Hey big guy, Reid told us about your excellent adventure. Please know that we are with you in love and support each step of the way. Breathe deeply that love that is the breath of life and share it with all of those special people you are climbing with. We are proud of your willingness to share and learn!

love you, Jill and Paul

I just wanted you all to know that I’m praying you have a wonderful experience in the Andes. I know one of your team members, Kyle Bradley, and have always been impressed by his commitment to not let his visual challenges interfere with life. You have all taken on a phenomenal mission and, though I don’t know each of you personally, I’m cheering for all of you from ground level in St. Charles, Missouri! Enjoy each day! Watch out for each other and come home safe and sound!


Good luck with your trip. I know you will enjoy all the new and great experiences. I will be interested in hearing about your travels and the people you meet along the way. Have a great trip! Love to Alysha

Alysha’s Grandmother Kay

Our thoughts and prayers (and an abundance of envy!) are with you on your incredible journey in all its forms. You have been made ready by the best, but even the best can’t prepare you for the depth of experience ahead. I commend your courage and your willingness to explore and to help shrink the divide that neelessly separates people. Happy Trekking!

Doug Larkin
CET Co-founder and Executive Director

I commend you for the journey you are about to undertake and I will keep you all in my thoughts. I wanted to share something with you that I hold dear…

The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Graves, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success.

I wish you all a safe, successful journey and God Bless!!

Agnes Jones
Retail Account Executive
Cingular Wireless

Here is a Empowering Quote that I like to live by, hope it helps you on your way.

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
Lewis L. Dunnington

And I hope your journey is full of learning and greatness.
Thomas Alexander
Cingular Wireless

…Or at least you will conquer a big rock. Hey guys, just wanted to say good luck and may God be with you on your trip. Your leader Erik is a very inspirational dude and I know that with him as your leader and role model, there is nothing that you can’t do! And in the words of Larry the Cable Guy “Git-R-Done”!

Travis Puryear

Congratulation to all of you on your upcoming journey. As a Cingular Summit winner, I had the honor to meet Eric Weihenmayer. He is an awesome man. I trust that you will have a great time. Be safe, and remember that no matter the challege, you are being guided by a man who help you get through any situation.

Wishing you the best,
Jon Bargas

This is a great opportunity for anyone and to know that you guys are going to hike with Erik on the inca trail makes me jealous and excited at the same time. I hope you learn alot about the area and how to work as a team. These lessons are invaluable. Remember them forever.

Your friend from Cingular Wireless in Louisiana,
Jeff Sanders

I would like to wish the entire team a wonderful experience and a super time. I am a good friend of Kyle Coon. I have served as his skiing guide the last two years at Snowmass in Colorado. Like all of you he is a very special individual. It has been a real privilege and treat to be in his company and to say that I have had the opportunity to share in a small way in one of his many successes. Rest assured I will be eagerly looking forward to hearing the details of your exciting trip. Please make a point of giving Kyle a few high fives for me during your adventure.

Best wishes and good luck!
Dave Gadbaw

Day-by-day field reports

  • Day 10: Machu Picchu / Cuzco
  • Day 9: Q’ente / Machu Picchu
  • Day 8: Keska/Q’ente
  • Day 7: Ankascocha/Keska
  • Day 6: Chilipahua/Ankascocha
  • Day 5: Chilipahua
  • Day 4: Pacchar/Chilipahua
  • Day 3: Maras Moray/Ollanta/Pacchar
  • Day 2: The Pisac Market
  • Day 1: Cuzco
  • Prep: Estes Park, Colorado

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