Kellisa really started to thrive with her new found medical stability. She started taking dance lessons and it was obvious from the start that Kellisa has the heart of a dancer. Kellisa danced in her first recital and she garnered the loudest cheers from the audience during the encore.
We expanded our outdoor adventures beyond trails as Kellisa started kayaking. Her favorite part was helping to paddle and splashing her hands in the water.
Our big summer trip for the year was to the Four Corners region of the American Southwest. We hiked to the rim of Bandera Volcano, deep inside an Ice Cave, the Four Corners Marker, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Monument Valley, and Canyon de Chelly. This was the first trip where we really started pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with a new jog stroller manufactured for larger disabled kids.
|Arches National Park|
|Arches National Park|
|Canyonlands National Park (Kellisa being pushed down the trail on the right in the upper left center)|
The hike that really pushed out limits was the White House Trail in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. At the trailhead, we were told by multiple people, “you can’t do the trail with that (referring to Kellisa’s jog stroller)”. The well-meaning folks were almost correct. It wasn’t easy and it can’t be denied that the trail was not created for a jog stroller, but we made it all the way to the bottom and back up again. We had to navigate a section where one of the back tires hung over the edge of the trail because it was so narrow.
|Kellisa at Canyon de Chelly National Monument (Top Right Picture- The white spec in the upper left is Kellisa being pushed past the narrow section. Bottom Right- The entire canyon wall that Kellisa was pushed down and then back up.)|
At the end of summer, we broke the jog stroller frame on the steep, rocky trail to Grotto Falls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We called the manufacturer when we got home to discuss our options and we were told that we were the first family to break a frame on this chair in over 20 years of production. The frame wasn't covered by warranty, but they sent a replacement at no charge since it was the first ever break. (We would also break the replacement frame...we didn't call the manufacturer.) Kellisa also enjoyed her first go-cart race just outside the national park in Gatlinburg, TN.
Kellisa got her face painted like a vampire bat at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on National Wildlife Refuge Day. A couple of weeks later, Lisa had Kellisa all ready to be a bat for Halloween:
Like just about every other eight-year-old girl by the end of 2007, Kellisa was obsessed with all things Hannah Montana. Kellisa still loved The Wiggles and we saw them in concert for a third time, but we were glad she was expanding her interests.