Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeplechase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along, too. ~~Lawrence Bixby

Monday, July 4, 2011

I Love to Go A'Wandering

Today we’re celebrating Liza Day (2 years ago today, Liza came to live with us) – so we went for a hike! OK, a walk. OK, Laurie and Liza and our friend Emma walked, and I scootered. Still. It was a milestone since I haven’t done anything like this for a very long time. Getting out in nature is something I miss a lot, and it was nearly impossible B.S. (before scooter). Now we have to scout around for trails that are fully accessible (paved is best, gravel is OK, dirt won’t do at all if there’s any mud or mushy parts), but they are out there!

The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is part of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, “a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission it is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.” It’s a beautiful trail, relatively flat, cutting through farm land, wild flowers and forest for 21 miles (we did about 4), about 8 feet wide and paved with asphalt. It’s a great trail for family bicycling, walking and scootering.

I did have to make a few phone calls and had an email exchange last week with the parks ADA liaison because the rules specifically stated that electric scooters weren’t allowed on the trail - but motorized wheelchairs were - which made no sense to me. I got it sorted out - got permission to use it there and the manager said he'd get everyone on board with the policy. I’m quickly learning to advocate for disability issues and for myself.

Liza is doing a pretty good job of walking with the scooter. I thought we might need some special training, but she does well at avoiding the wheels and often trots right along beside me. Other times, she makes like a sled dog and “pulls” me down the trail.

If you have suggestions about accessible trails in the tri-county area, would you let us know please? We'd love to do more meandering this summer and fall!



Laura said...

That looks like great fun! I'm glad you found a place where you can get out and enjoy nature, and I hope there are more places just waiting to be discovered.

Linda Koons said...

Yup, I can see that little mighty mutt hauling you along pretty fast there! And two years with you already---lucky critter! (Liza's lucky too!)

Unknown said...

Springwater Corridor. You can park at Johnson Creek Boulevard near SE Harney. Also, Leif Erikson Road for a couple of miles -- just follow NW Thurman Street all the way to the end. I'll think about more. (These are bike rides, in my world, but scooters and bikes can be friends!)

Terri said...

Thanks -- how steep is Leif Erikson? The scooter bogs down a bit on hills.

Unknown said...

I'll have to revisit Leif Erikson to answer that question. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, you can also explore Waterfront Park or the East Bank Esplanade. For Waterfront Park, you could park on the street on Naito Parkway near the Steele Bridge. The sidewalk on the river side of the street joins up with Waterfront Park. You can then choose whether to go over the pedestrian deck on the Steele Bridge or stay on the Waterfront Park side.