Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sierra Discovery Trail

 Tahoe National Forest

November 2017

We've been wanting to hike the Sierra Discovery Trail for awhile because it's only one hour from our home and it is listed as fully accessible. The trail has a little bit of everything, a boardwalk, bridge, large pine trees, rolling terrain, interpretive signs, and views of several waterfalls. Because every source I could find describes the trail as accessible, I decided to bring Kellisa's everyday therapeutic wheelchair instead of one of her mobility chairs made for trails. One guide book suggested that help may be necessary to get a wheelchair around the entire loop trail.

We found the trail to be as described, but since it was late November, the trail was littered with large pine cones and broken branches. With Kellisa's small front tires, the wheelchair would come to an immediate stop every time they came into contact with these little obstacles. If we were going at a good pace, the back wheels would lift from the sudden stop as the chair lurched forward. While this process jammed my wrists to the point of pain, Kellisa thought the repeated jarring was hilarious and wanted more. 

It was a low risk, but I hiked at a slow and careful pace because I didn't want to flip the chair with Kellisa landing on her face. This happened once years ago at recess at school (scary pictures). 

I was surprised the trail was so hilly and still considered accessible. There were a few steep sections followed by twisting down hills. I have no idea how accessible this would be for others in wheelchairs propelling themselves or even motorized wheelchairs, but I found it quite challenging pushing Kellisa. It would have been a lot easy in one of her off-road trail chair.

Guidebooks list the trail length between .7 and .8 miles, but it seemed longer (maybe because I was pushing Kellisa?). We enjoyed exploring the forest with large trees, rocks, and several viewpoints to observe the waterfalls, including the 12-foot drop of Bear River Falls. It's quite rewarding to stop at every interpretive sign while Laure reads the information to the family so we can all learn about our surroundings. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Swimming in the Wintertime

Grover Hot Springs State Park

October 2017

Laurel was asking to go swimming and camping in one trip. With the cooler autumn weather, I was worried it was too late in the season to do both without a hotel stay. After a quick search on the Internet, I found Grover Hot Springs State Park

The park had a large pool that was the temperature of a hot tub while also having a swimming pool kept at "cool" 88 degrees and the park was only 2 hours from our house in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

We left after work and arrived shortly before nightfall. The campground was closed for winter, but the park allows camping in the picnic area. It was hard to find a level spot, so we picked the least inclined spot we could.

While I setup our camp, Laurel made some new friends and shared her slime with them. When we were both done, I was ready to cook dinner and retreat inside our tent for the night. Laurel had other plans, she was ready to go swimming. I was hesitant because it was now dark and also starting to get cold. We had about an hour to spend in the hot springs before they closed at 9pm and it was a glorious hour spent soaking under the nighttime sky filled with stars. When it was time to leave, we dried off, changed our clothes, and drove back to the campsite. We used the few minutes in the car to warm up the rest of the way.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ramblr App Test Walks

Miners Ravine 
Roseville, CA

September 2017

Test Walk 1: We've been using Garmin products for years to track our walks and hikes. I read a few reviews about Ramblr and decided to download it to my phone. It's a lot more user friendly and I like the way it marks the location of where pictures are taken. Kellisa and I went for a short walk on our home path, the Miners Ravine Trail in Roseville, CA to try Ramblr. My first impressions are positive, I just need to learn all the features and benefits and how to easily share the map of the route walked/hiked. We look forward to trying Ramblr on a wilderness trail. 

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