Sunday, December 10, 2017

Airports Visited



Airports Visited:

Chris- 113   Kellisa- 52   Lisa- 44   Laurel- 37

Lisa visited Idaho for the first time in 2017 bringing her states visited total to 40 something and it was the first calendar year that Chris, Kellisa, and Laurel didn't have any new states to cross off their "visited/hiked" list. As the year is coming to its end without any trips planned, I felt the need to update some kind of list. While thinking about the possibilities, I realized that I added several new airports visited for my "mostly" Monday-Friday job this year (Calgary, Bismarck, Omaha, Wichita, Tulsa), so I started to think about Lisa and the kids. I pulled out my trusty road atlas and started making lists of airports visited.

Laurel visited four new airports in 2017: Boise, Columbus, New Orleans, and Dallas- Love Field. Lisa added three: New Orleans, Dallas-Love Field, and San Diego. Kellisa only added one to her total- Columbus.







Saturday, December 9, 2017

Up


A Mother and Daughter's
Peakbagging Adventure

Patricia Ellis Herr

I spent 10 hours on 4 flights this past week and I was able to finish another great read, Up by Patricia Ellis Herr. 

The book shares the story of a mother who takes her very young mountain climbing daughter on an adventure few adults achieve. The goal was to hike and climb the 48 tallest peaks in New Hampshire, including Mount Washington- home to some of the worst weather and strongest winds in the world.

Patricia has to balance many things as the mother of a 5-year-old adventurer, including safety, risks, equipment, and nay-sayers. The author has to defend their outdoor activities because too many assume that the parent is just dragging her child along for their own selfish reasons.

I can relate because many look at what I do with the girls, especially Kellisa, and assume that I am forcing her to be out on the trails. Anyone who spends time with Kellisa on the trail will know her giggles, laughter, and never ending asking for "more" proves the exact opposite- it's actually Kellisa dragging me along for her ride. 

The mother-daughter team is not afraid to go at their own pace and even turn around with a summit in view when it is no longer safe to ascend. Patricia shares many struggles, both physical and emotional as she describes their unique peakbagging challenges and experiences. Up is an inspiration on the importance of spending time with your children in the great outdoors, even if it's not a monumental undertaking like climbing 48 mountains higher than 4,000ft. in New Hampshire. 

Up can be purchased here.




Friday, December 1, 2017

I'll Push You

                           
A Journey of 500 Miles

Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair

Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck

It's been awhile since we did a book review on Kellisa's Path, but after recently reading, I'll Push You, we couldn't resist sharing this book. At the heart of this book is a love story, not a boy meets girl or father-daughter love story, but the love between two life long best friends.

Patrick and Justin grow up together as inseparable best friends always up for an adventure. They serve as the best man for each other's weddings and even vacation together with their brides.

Like so many families, Justin's life is interrupted by a debilitating disease which eventually leaves him confined to a wheelchair in need of constant care. Instead of accepting his fate and merely existing, Justin is determined to set an example of how to live. He could have picked an "easy" challenge, but that is not his nature. He decides he wants to hike the famous Camino de Santiago trail stretching 500-miles over mostly difficult terrain in Spain.

Unable to hike this trail alone, Patrick immediately volunteers to push Justin and they start planning. The first order of business is to find a wheelchair up for the hike and to start training. Along the way, they have the opportunity to have the hike filmed for a documentary and many other people offer their help in varying capacities.

The Camino de Santiago should be impossible for Justin and Patrick, but with their love, dedication, determination, and the help from other hikers along the way, they are able to complete this challenge proving that the impossible is very possible!

It is nice to see and read about others hitting the trails on wheels and pushing beyond known limits. I'll Push You can be ordered here.



Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sierra Discovery Trail


 Tahoe National Forest
  
November 2017

We've been wanting to hike the Sierra Discovery Trail for awhile because it's only one hour from our home and it is listed as fully accessible. The trail has a little bit of everything, a boardwalk, bridge, large pine trees, rolling terrain, interpretive signs, and views of several waterfalls. Because every source I could find describes the trail as accessible, I decided to bring Kellisa's everyday therapeutic wheelchair instead of one of her mobility chairs made for trails. One guide book suggested that help may be necessary to get a wheelchair around the entire loop trail.

We found the trail to be as described, but since it was late November, the trail was littered with large pine cones and broken branches. With Kellisa's small front tires, the wheelchair would come to an immediate stop every time they came into contact with these little obstacles. If we were going at a good pace, the back wheels would lift from the sudden stop as the chair lurched forward. While this process jammed my wrists to the point of pain, Kellisa thought the repeated jarring was hilarious and wanted more. 

It was a low risk, but I hiked at a slow and careful pace because I didn't want to flip the chair with Kellisa landing on her face. This happened once years ago at recess at school (scary pictures). 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Swimming in the Wintertime



Grover Hot Springs State Park
California

October 2017

Laurel was asking to go swimming and camping in one trip. With the cooler autumn weather, I was worried it was too late in the season to do both without a hotel stay. After a quick search on the Internet, I found Grover Hot Springs State Park

The park had a large pool that was the temperature of a hot tub while also having a swimming pool kept at "cool" 88 degrees and the park was only 2 hours from our house in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

We left after work and arrived shortly before nightfall. The campground was closed for winter, but the park allows camping in the picnic area. It was hard to find a level spot, so we picked the least inclined spot we could.

While I setup our camp, Laurel made some new friends and shared her slime with them. When we were both done, I was ready to cook dinner and retreat inside our tent for the night. Laurel had other plans, she was ready to go swimming. I was hesitant because it was now dark and also starting to get cold. We had about an hour to spend in the hot springs before they closed at 9pm and it was a glorious hour spent soaking under the nighttime sky filled with stars. When it was time to leave, we dried off, changed our clothes, and drove back to the campsite. We used the few minutes in the car to warm up the rest of the way.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ramblr App Test Walks


Miners Ravine 
Roseville, CA


September 2017

Test Walk 1: We've been using Garmin products for years to track our walks and hikes. I read a few reviews about Ramblr and decided to download it to my phone. It's a lot more user friendly and I like the way it marks the location of where pictures are taken. Kellisa and I went for a short walk on our home path, the Miners Ravine Trail in Roseville, CA to try Ramblr. My first impressions are positive, I just need to learn all the features and benefits and how to easily share the map of the route walked/hiked. We look forward to trying Ramblr on a wilderness trail.