Friday, January 31, 2014

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Hike #2

January 2014


We had selected the Jeff Friend Trail because it was rated as "wheelchair accessible". We enjoyed the trail, but found it to be borderline accessible. With a little help, I think most people in a wheelchair could enjoy the pleasant loop trail with a couple short boardwalk sections. (More pictures and videos)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mobile Bay Ferry


January 2014

It was 29F, windy and the water was choppy, but we decided to take the Mobile Bay Ferry to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, our hiking destination in Alabama. Both kids were very excited and couldn't wait to get out of the car to experience the cold wind in their face and the spray of salt water coming over the side of the ferry. (More pictures)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Audubon Bird Sanctuary

Hike #1

January 2014

As we were driving to the Mobile Bay Ferry, we passed a sign for the Audubon Bird Sanctuary. We had a little time before the next ferry crossing and decided to turn in and see if there were any trails to hike. We had enough time to hike a short loop trail/boardwalk through the pine forest to a nice little lake. (More pictures)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Audubon State Historic Site

January 2014

Our plan was to hike in Louisiana the same day as our Mississippi hike. Our struggles with a broken frame had us leaving Mississippi later than expected and we would not make it (Read more)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Clark Creek Nature Area

January 2014

Steep trails and a broken frame on Kellisa's Freedom Push Chair add to the adventure of our 2nd state hike in 2014. (More)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

Cedar Pond

January 2014

 After our hike in Kentucky, we headed to the Tennessee half of the Land Between the Lakes with a nice side trip to the Bison and Elk Prairie. The girls were very excited to see the bison so close to the car and Laurel was very proud of herself for sighting an elk who was well hidden in the forest.

We didn't have a lot of time left on this cold and windy day for our hike in Tennessee, so we stopped just over the border at the Cedar Pond picnic area. There was a little trail around the pond that we extended a little off-trail to get our mile hike completed. Laurel was very fascinated by the ice on the pond. She could see fish swimming under the ice and wanted to know how they could survive. Laurel also enjoyed throwing sticks across the ice and even banging a hole with one. Kellisa enjoyed the trail, especially the off-trail sections.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Wiggles Sailing Around the World 2006

St. Pete Times Forum
Tampa, FL

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Because The Wiggles skipped Jacksonville in 2006, we drove down to Tampa so Kellisa could see the tour.

To see a few pictures from the concert (Click here).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

January 1, 2014

I first had the idea to hike in all 50 states in 12 months last year. My plan only included Kellisa because I didn't think Laurel was ready for such an ambitious plan. I knew everything had to go just right because we had zero room for complications (sickness, flight delays, weather, lost/broken equipment, unforeseen school/family/job obligations, etc.). 

We got off to a great start, hiking in 11 states, but then the unexpected happened. Laurel told an aunt and uncle that, "sometimes my dad forgets me". I already felt guilty for leaving her behind, but in my mind I was making up for it by taking just Laurel on father-daughter trips. Since I didn't want Laurel to feel "forgotten", we abandoned our 2013 all 50 states plan.

We decided to start over in 2014, this time including Laurel. Besides the adventure, I want to document how the girls are treated on our travels. I often complain of the horrible treatment, but haven't spent much time on the people who do care and help. I'll be interested in our final numbers and observations for the good and evil that we encounter as we travel across the United States.

Our first trip was on the first day of 2014. We drove to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge for a hike on the newly opened Chesser Island Boardwalk. The original boardwalk was destroyed by a wildfire and the new boardwalk had been open for less than 2 months. This would also be our first trip with Kellisa's new "travel" wheelchair. Her previous chair was destroyed by an airline, but it was replaced in full by the airline. (More pictures and videos) 

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