Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Losco Regional Park

Jacksonville, FL
October 2014
Kellisa and I had a rare few hours alone and took the opportunity to hike the new trail system at Losco Regional Park. The park opened in 2004 only 2.5 miles from our previous home. I was anxiously awaiting Phase Two when they added the trails. Unfortunately, they didn't create the trails until we moved 16.5 miles away.
Anyway, we were still excited to try the trails and were greatly rewarded. The trails were mostly root free, wide, flat, and almost sand free. The one small section of sand was easy to navigate. The only real obstacle was a creek crossing between two of the loop trails. Not the easiest to cross (twice), but doable and Kellisa thought it was hilarious. The trails are not at all ADA compliant, but they are completely accessible with the Hippocampe. You won't find peace and quiet since the park is surrounded by expressways on two sides, but we found solitude as we only saw one trail runner during our hour on the trails.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Visited States

Laurel: 26

2014 Additions: Oregon - Arizona - Colorado - Louisiana - Connecticut - Rhode Island

Kellisa: 39

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Muir Woods National Monument

July 2014

Our last hike of the trip was at Muir Woods National Monument. Even though it was well over 100 degrees and early on a Friday afternoon, the road leading to the park had cars parked on both shoulders for miles. I knew I couldn't walk a great distance with both girls on such a narrow road with so many cars coming and going. With doubt that we could visit the park, we pressed on hoping for a disabled spot close to the visitor center. As we approached, I realized that there was an entire parking lot for disabled parking. Of course it was full, but we got lucky, a car was backing out as we arrived. I know all about hidden disabilities, but Kellisa was the only wheelchair we saw. For every one hidden disability, I bet there's 10 people abusing the disabled parking card...if not more.
Anyway, we found the trail to be fully accessible and easy as we hiked through our last redwood forest for the trip. Laurel again insisted on pushing Kellisa for most of the trail. We saw more people on this trail than all of our other hikes on this trip combined. The count wouldn't even be close, but the golden rule of hiking definitely applied to this trail. As soon as we were about a mile from the trailhead, we almost had the trail to ourselves. At 1.5 miles away, we were by ourselves. I dreaded turning back and fighting the crowds. But, an ice cream awaited us at the park café on this hot summer afternoon making the return trek tolerable.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Earthquake Trail

Point Reyes National Seashore
July 2014
We were disappointed to only have a half day at the end of our trip to spend exploring Point Reyes National Seashore. It ended up working out OK because it was blazing hot. Even though we were there in the morning, the temperature reading in our car said it was 105 degrees outside. The kids enjoyed the displays and movie at the visitor center. With limited time and the heat to consider, we hiked the short (.6 mile) fully accessible Earthquake Trail. Nothing too exciting about the required short, paved trail next to the visitor center. We look forward to returning to this oceanside park to spend a couple of days hiking the unpaved trails deep into the wilderness.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Confusion Hill

Leggett, CA
July 2014
We stopped at the roadside attraction, Confusion Hill to ride the mountain train. It was disappointing to learn that the entire attraction was not at all accessible, including the gift store. The girls could hear the train in the distance and were excited to be there. The only way to ride the train was to ascend steep, narrow and twisting steps up a hillside. We were determined to figure out a way to make it work...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rockefeller Loop Trail

Humboldt Redwoods State Park
July 2014
The Rockefeller Loop Trail in Humboldt Redwoods State Park was accessible, short and beautiful beyond words. We had the entire trail to ourselves. Laurel insisted on pushing Kellisa the entire length of the trail which allowed me to play full time photographer while watching my girls enjoy themselves in another magical forest.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prairie Creek Trail

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
July 2014
Yes, another accessible trail through a redwood forest. This time we found the trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park to be a little steep and narrow, leading me to believe we may have made a wrong turn somewhere. It's hard to tell because trails crisscrossed and the trail signs were confusing. None the less, we had a nice hike.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Redwood Access Trail

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
July 2014
Who knew 1981 was the International Year of the Disabled? Not me. The only thing that I'm aware of that came from that year is a .5 mile fully accessible trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This is just a guess, but I would bet this was one of the first accessible trails through a natural area in the United States.
The trail was beautiful and very easy to navigate. I would think most wheelchair users could complete this trail with little or no help. When looking online or on the park map, this trail is usually designated as a nature trail and not by the Redwood Access Trail name.
The trail started next to the visitor center and only had one disabled parking spot. Even on a weekday morning, the entire parking lot was packed and people were finding alternate places to leave their cars. We were fortunate to find a regular spot and made it work, but it would be nice if they would add a few more disabled parking spots.

***Especially considering the amount of "older" people that use disabled spots. ***

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Roosevelt Elk

Northern California Coast
July 2014
In addition to seeing a few Roosevelt Elk on our way to Gold Bluffs Beach Campground, we were fortunate to spot a few herds in Elk Prairie and Elk Meadows. Laurel really enjoyed looking for and spotting the elk. Surprisingly, Kellisa wasn't too excited.