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New Jersey man fulfills cool quest

Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Where better to experience a noteworthy Blizzard than Soldotna, Alaska?

That's what New Jersey resident Alan Schmidt was thinking Tuesday, as he completed a personal quest to eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard in every state in the union.

Why would someone even contemplate such a feat? Alan said it's all just part of making life a little more fun.

"It's been a lot of fun. It just makes life a little more interesting," he said.

Alan has completed a number of other interesting milestones in his lifetime, including visiting every major league baseball stadium, all 50 states, playing golf in all 50 states and visiting each county in the country. He's a member of the "Extra Mile Club," a group that pursues similar quests, all in the name of fun.

He said he got the Blizzard idea while enjoying one of the candy and ice cream concoctions with his wife, Kathy, and a couple high school friends.

"(Kathy) said, 'You ought to try this in every state,'" Alan said.

"I should have known better," laughed Kathy.

Alan's Tuesday Blizzard was made more special by the fact that the Schmidts, who have three children, were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary the same day.

Although his wife has shared 30 of the Blizzards, she said the marriage isn't based on Alan's quirky pursuits.

"This is his quest. I'm just along for the ride," she said.

Tuesday may have been one of the wildest rides yet. After driving down from Anchorage in the morning, the Schmidts stopped at the state's only Dairy Queen, the Soldotna store owned by Pete and Val Ischi.

After lunch, Alan was invited behind the counter to learn Blizzard-making basics from the Ischi's 13-year-old daughter, Whitney.

Alan said actually making a Blizzard was, amazingly enough, a first.

"All I had to worry about before was eating it and not getting it on my shirt," he joked before heading toward the ice-cream maker.

Once there, Whitney showed Alan the proper technique for mixing the frozen delicacy. Then, he was allowed to make a Blizzard for himself and his wife.

For a retired pharmaceutical salesman, Alan did well for his first time.

"He did pretty good," Whitney said.

"It was neat," she said. "I never really got to teach somebody to do it before."

Kathy seemed to agree that Alan knows his Blizzards.

"It's good. Nobody ever offered to let him make one before," she said.

Meanwhile, as Kathy enjoyed her own ice cream treat, Alan put the finishing touches on his own, Heath-flavored Blizzard. He then took a first, slow bite for the cameras.

"Mmm, that's good. Almost as good as if I'd made it myself. Wait, I did," he deadpanned.

Alan continued munching on his treat long after the flashbulbs stopped. He planned on enjoying the whole thing.

"I've never had one of these I didn't like. When I was on a diet, I would just get a small one and eat three or four bites," he said.

However, no diet would keep Alan Schmidt from completing his tasty task.

"You don't come all the way to Soldotna, Alaska, and not finish the whole thing," he said.

Alan then paused, briefly, before shoveling another scoop of late-summer Alaska Blizzard toward its ultimate destination.

HEAD:New Jersey man fulfills cool quest

BYLINE1:By MATT TUNSETH

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

Where better to experience a noteworthy Blizzard than Soldotna, Alaska?

That's what New Jersey resident Alan Schmidt was thinking Tuesday, as he completed a personal quest to eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard in every state in the union.

Why would someone even contemplate such a feat? Alan said it's all just part of making life a little more fun.

"It's been a lot of fun. It just makes life a little more interesting," he said.

Alan has completed a number of other interesting milestones in his lifetime, including visiting every major league baseball stadium, all 50 states, playing golf in all 50 states and visiting each county in the country. He's a member of the "Extra Mile Club," a group that pursues similar quests, all in the name of fun.

He said he got the Blizzard idea while enjoying one of the candy and ice cream concoctions with his wife, Kathy, and a couple high school friends.

"(Kathy) said, 'You ought to try this in every state,'" Alan said.

"I should have known better," laughed Kathy.

Alan's Tuesday Blizzard was made more special by the fact that the Schmidts, who have three children, were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary the same day.

Although his wife has shared 30 of the Blizzards, she said the marriage isn't based on Alan's quirky pursuits.

"This is his quest. I'm just along for the ride," she said.

Tuesday may have been one of the wildest rides yet. After driving down from Anchorage in the morning, the Schmidts stopped at the state's only Dairy Queen, the Soldotna store owned by Pete and Val Ischi.

After lunch, Alan was invited behind the counter to learn Blizzard-making basics from the Ischi's 13-year-old daughter, Whitney.

Alan said actually making a Blizzard was, amazingly enough, a first.

"All I had to worry about before was eating it and not getting it on my shirt," he joked before heading toward the ice-cream maker.

Once there, Whitney showed Alan the proper technique for mixing the frozen delicacy. Then, he was allowed to make a Blizzard for himself and his wife.

For a retired pharmaceutical salesman, Alan did well for his first time.

"He did pretty good," Whitney said.

"It was neat," she said. "I never really got to teach somebody to do it before."

Kathy seemed to agree that Alan knows his Blizzards.

"It's good. Nobody ever offered to let him make one before," she said.

Meanwhile, as Kathy enjoyed her own ice cream treat, Alan put the finishing touches on his own, Heath-flavored Blizzard. He then took a first, slow bite for the cameras.

"Mmm, that's good. Almost as good as if I'd made it myself. Wait, I did," he deadpanned.

Alan continued munching on his treat long after the flashbulbs stopped. He planned on enjoying the whole thing.

"I've never had one of these I didn't like. When I was on a diet, I would just get a small one and eat three or four bites," he said.

However, no diet would keep Alan Schmidt from completing his tasty task.

"You don't come all the way to Soldotna, Alaska, and not finish the whole thing," he said.

Alan then paused, briefly, before shoveling another scoop of late-summer Alaska Blizzard toward its ultimate destination.



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