Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hoh Rain Forest





Olympic National Park

August 2017

The drive was long, very long from Bremerton, Washington to the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park, but it was a beautiful drive.

After checking out the visitor center, we didn't let a "No Wheeled Devices" sign stop us from enjoying a short trail through the forest with several bridges over amazingly clear water with baby salmon swimming.

On our return drive, we made a side trip up Hurricane Ridge. It was a little too late for a hike and the visitor center was closed, but we did have a perfect viewing spot as the moon rose for the evening.

Olympic was Laurel's 23rd and Kellisa's 29th national park visited.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ride Rainier 2017



July 2017

Mount Rainier National Park
Washington

Kellisa loves being outside and on a trail, but she is always the only one on wheels. We've been known to fly and/or drive crazy distances for the right trail. Therefore, it was a no brainer to drive up to Mount Rainier National Park for a hike with other wheelchair users once we found out about the Ride Rainier 2017 event from a FB friend. 

Kellisa always lights up when we are getting ready to start a hike. It usually takes some time at the trailhead to get everything just right and Kellisa sits there with a huge smile and will let out an occasional giggle as she waits to start a new adventure. Her pre-hike excitement lit her up several notches that I didn't even know she had once she saw many other hikers at our trailhead who were also in wheelchairs. She was with her "peeps" and she knew it. Besides the extra excitement, I could see Kellisa also felt a sense of belonging as she was clearly more confident, verbal, and out going during the entire hike.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to share this experience with others on wheels (and their friends and family too) and hope to join our new friends on future hikes!

And for those keeping track, Mount Rainier National Park was Laurel's 22nd and Kellisa's 28th national park visited.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Crater Lake National Park

July 2017


We spent an afternoon exploring Crater Lake National Park. It was Laurel's first and Kellisa's second visit to this beautiful national park. We spent a week at Crater Lake back in 2009. With this visit, Laurel has now visited 21 national parks and Kellisa's total remains at 27. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kellisa Reaches 18

Lisa Marie Kain
May 23, 2017 - Kellisa's 18th birthday! A huge accomplishment and cause for us to be proud as we celebrate her life to this point. I've been agonizing about my post for this day since I was at a loss for a narrative. Lisa came to the rescue and for the first time in this blog's history, Lisa has written a post about this day and our gift of flights to Kellisa for her birthday.

Lisa's words:

On May 16th, we spent an entire day flying around the country to celebrate Kellisa's 18th birthday. 

By now, you may realize that Chris is a bit extreme when it comes to travel. Several months ago, he started talking with Southwest Airlines (his carrier of choice) about the potential to fly as many commercial flights as possible in one day. At that point, he had been working on the plan for a while but realized he needed their help to perfect the route. They were very supportive. A route was selected, and tickets were purchased. I was informed of this plan after the arrangements had been firmed up with Southwest. Chris knows I do not like to travel and gave me limited information about what the day would entail. When I decided to participate, I told him I did not want to know the specifics because I could not handle the truth. If I had any idea, I never would have gone on this trip, but I am so glad I did.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Colusa County Hike

Wetlands Discovery Trail
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

May 2017


Even though it was a little hot out, we drove south for another hike after visiting Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Our second hike of the day was a short trail in Colusa National Wildlife Refuge which happens to be in Colusa County. 

Before hiking, we drove the auto tour to observe just a few birds (disappointing) and a couple of glimpses of Sutter Buttes, the smallest mountain range in the world.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Glenn County Hike

Wetlands Walk Trail
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

May 2017

CA Counties Hiked in 2017: 4/58

Lisa was in Chicago for a long weekend visiting family, so we decided to drive north a little ways to look for wildlife and hike a few trails. Our first stop was the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. After driving the auto tour to observe many birds, we hiked part of the Wetlands Walk Trail. It was very hot for a May afternoon and the views played tricks on our minds as we could see snow capped mountains not that far off to the north and west.