Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bloomingdale Bog Trail

New York
September 2013
"It takes a lot of effort just to start a hike with Kellisa and I wasn't going to let a little water stop us from having a nice hike. If we turned around without getting wet, it would have been too late to find another trail. We could have gone back to our nice warm hotel room...but why would we do that?"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park

British Columbia

October 2013

A short, but steep trail to the base of a waterfall would be our last hike on our trip to British Columbia. (Read more)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sasquatch Provincial Park

British Columbia

October 2013

In addition to people (always my biggest worry in the forest), bears (black and grizzly) and mountain lions, we had to worry about crossing paths with bigfoot on this early autumn morning. (Read more)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park

British Columbia, Canada

October 2013

After spending a few hours at Hell's Gate Airtram, we drove to Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park to hike the Othello Tunnels Rail to Trail. (Read more)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Big Bend 25K

Big Bend National Park

When: January 19, 2014

Kellisa and Chris are registered for their 2nd Big Bend 25K. (Read more)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hell's Gate Airtram

Boston Bar
British Columbia, Canada

October 2013

"We had to travel where no human should venture for surely we have encountered the gates of hell". -Simon Fraser, 1808 (Read More)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa

Harrison Hot Springs
British Columbia, Canada

October 2013

After presenting "Kellisa's Path" to the Seattle Hydrocephalus Association, we had a few days before we had to head home. Our original plan was to hike in Washington's National Parks, but the government shutdown forced us to change our plans. We didn't let the government ruin (Read More)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bilateral VDRO

Wolfsons Children's Hospital
Jacksonville, FL

Sept. 2003 - Jan. 2005 - Feb. 2006 - Jan. 2011

Kellisa was a little beyond her 4th birthday when she had her 13th surgery. Heading into her first surgery on her hips, Kellisa already had seven brain (including two for an infected shunt), one heart, (Read More)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

113 Days in Pictures

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Rush Presbyterian- St. Lukes
Chicago, IL

May 23, 1999 to September 13, 1999

The following pictures tell the story of our little warrior's first 113 days which were spent in the NICU. Many stories can be written about what Kellisa went through (Read More)

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Narrows

The Narrows

Zion National Park

May 2013

This was Kellisa's second visit to Zion National Park

Our goal for this trip was to hike/raft part of the Narrows trail. The National Park Service makes it clear that flotation devices and rafts are not allowed in the Narrows. I wrote to the chief ranger and explained our situation and provided a link to this blog. The ranger responded that her first thought was to answer no, but after looking at our experience, she decided that if anyone could do the Narrows with a disabled person, it was us. The ranger had one condition, we needed another hiker for safety reasons. This wasn't a problem because we had already recruited Primo Matt to be our partner.

We used the Freedom Push Chair for the mile long paved trail to the start of the Narrows:

Getting the 1 person raft ready:

Kellisa loved the raft:

Safety first:

The entire hike in the water was like hiking on wet, slick bowling balls. Every foot placement took careful thought and consideration. 

Here we go:

The first rapids we encountered:

Calmer waters:

More rapids:

It may not look like much, but the water was really flowing on this beautiful afternoon and the rapids below were a little too strong for my liking. I had to play it safe and carry Kellisa around the rapids:

Of course, Kellisa didn't mind:

Back in the raft:

Matt hiking along side Kellisa:

Kellisa's view from the raft:

Back at the beginning of the Narrows:

Matt taking pictures:

I cooled off in the freezing water as Kellisa enjoyed her last minutes in the raft:

Pictures 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 20 (courtesy of Matt Buckingham)

Casie Forbes from the St. George, Utah newspaper- The Spectrum, met us at the visitor center after our hike for an interview. Casie's story appeared in the Memorial Day edition and a week later, the story was picked up by the AP and ran in papers across the country. 

A huge thank you to Casie (sorry we were two hours late, it was a lot harder than we imagined), Matt, Egypt and Lisa!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Historic Railroad Tunnels Trail

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

May 2013

Kellisa and I flew out to Las Vegas for Memorial Day weekend with Primo Matt. Our first hike was the Historic Railroad Tunnels Trail at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The sun was blazing and the temperature was soaring, but we didn't let that stop us from hiking 8.80 miles. After hiking through the five tunnels, we walked across Hoover Dam.

Hurrikains Collection:

Matt Buckingham Collection: