WHEELING - A New Richmond, Ohio, family who is water-skiing 981 miles on the Ohio River to raise money for the Disabled American Veterans briefly stopped at the Pike Island Locks & Dam in Ohio County Sunday afternoon.
Mark and Linda Miller and their two sons, Mark Anthony and Brandon, were greeted by Pike Island Lockmaster Jim Kirchner while making their way through the locks and dam during their marathon ski for disabled veterans.
The Millers left Pittsburgh on Sunday morning and expect to water-ski 981 miles to Cairo, Ill. over a six-day period.
The idea came about a year ago when the family was out enjoying a day of skiing. "We felt like doing something much greater than what we were doing that day and decided to ski the Ohio River as a fundraiser," Mark Miller said.
Mark Miller, who is not a veteran himself, said the organization is of his favorites to donate to.
The Miller family established three goals during their marathon ski trip:
Mark Miller said he is taking turns skiing with his two sons and they will typically average about 160-170 miles per day, although, they would only travel about 120 miles the first day because on the number of locks and dams to get through.
He said their average speed is about 30-35 mph and if the water is extremely smooth, they can open it up to about 40-45 mph.
Miller said the first day of skiing was going really well and the only problem they ran into was early on in the Pittsburgh area, where they had a little bit of breezy weather and "choppy" water conditions on the river.
"So far it has been great ... in fact, barge traffic was minimal," Miller added. He said he is just glad that they are able to raise money for such a good cause.
For more information on the event visit dav.org/MarathonSki/Default.aspx.