ANNAPOLIS, Maryland The Carry the Load juggernaut is on its way to North Texas, bigger than ever.

Even rain could not deter supporters in New York City this year. Hundreds braved getting soaked to mark the trip through the Big Apple.

Just outside Annapolis, Maryland this weekend, Eric Ellis was taking the steps all alone for a short period. It was early, and it was his shift in the relay.

The others were inside the Carry the Load support bus snatching a few morsels of breakfast before taking their turn in pounding the pavement.

Sunday at Chesapeake Bay, they had to paddle to get across; there's no footbridge. But before that, they had to learn how to paddle.

The participants learned what they might encounter and how to cope with it.

Two boats shoved off with passengers stroking feverishly at the water passing below them. It took less than an hour to reach the opposite shore, and many called it a tough hour.

On the other side, more walkers arrived to spell some of the paddlers and show their support.

There are other causes that do not ask nearly as much of their supporters, but Carry the Load participants like Christen Carpenter say it's hard to think of any cause more worthy.

Relay official Dill Driscoll said they hear stories at every stop from people who want to get involved... and it is hard to go to bed at night thinking about those stories without shedding a tear.

On Monday, the relay arrives in Washington D.C. for a walk down the Mall and then on to Arlington National Cemetery, all with two goals: To lift up our fallen warriors, first responders and their families... and to complete their mission in Dallas by Memorial Day.


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