"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?"
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)
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)
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:
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:
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:
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!
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.