Five years ago I was visiting the wide open spaces and, yes, even some trees, although not seen here, at the Nebraska National Forest's Bessey Ranger District near Halsey, Neb. I'd welcome such an adventure now, although I can't say I want to see anything considered "dismal." Actually, in this case it's a lovely river.
Five years ago I was visiting the wide open spaces and, yes, even some trees, although not seen here, at the Nebraska National Forest's Bessey Ranger District near Halsey, Neb. I'd welcome such an adventure now, although I can't say I want to see anything considered "dismal." Actually, in this case it's a lovely river.
It seems we’ve been having a little preview of fall here in mid-July. It‘s been both welcomed and shunned.
Some people are worried it’s a harbinger of a very premature arrival of winter. Let’s face it. We really wouldn’t need that, looking at how winter seems to encompass nine months of the year anyway.
Others are enjoying the opportunity to have mid-summer fun without the normal humidity and sweat running interference. I’m thinking there might be a slight decline in swimming pool use with the cooler temps, although tanning on the sidelines has got to be pretty comfortable.
It’s really great weather. It has me just itching to take a trip, a vacation if you will.
Since the 26-feet fall I took in September of 2012 and the subsequent stroke, I haven’t been too far from home. Recovery continues with a few recurring issues. My neurologists and I are trying to find medications that will work for shaky and/or tight muscles on my left side. So far, there’s been no magic bullet.
But folks tell me I’m much improved. Most of the time I can walk with a cane, and there’s the rollator walker for when I need extra help and stability. Also, I can drive a little.
This all just adds to my angst in needing a getaway. Heck, a trip to see my beloved Mississippi River would qualify at this point. That usually serves to make me happy and put a smile on my face.
But as I see and hear about people getting away, I’m trying to figure what I can handle without a lot of anxiety.
Remember, all the over-the-top beeps, bangs, clunks and motors revving with the street and utility construction in my neighborhood has me already stressing in my living room. Under normal conditions this would be a relaxing and, I’d anticipate, healing, rejuvenating and strengthening time at home.
So what might I do?
I still intend to pack minimal tent camping gear and stay overnight somewhere along the trail. But that’s still very local.
A friend was making a long drive to see a band at Red Rocks natural outdoor amphitheater west of Denver. I volunteered for the free ride with my one duty defined as talking to keep the driver awake on the long, all-at-one-shot drive. Are you kidding??!? That’s a perfect gig for talkative Lisa, right?
But I don’t know, after all I’ve been through, if I can readily handle such long hauls. To think, I used to do them all the time, all by myself.
It’s a whole new world in Lisa Land Travels these days.
I talked to another friend about meeting and then having her drive us to the Agate Days celebration of Lake Superior agates in Moose Lake, on the way to Duluth. But, again, I had concerns and decided not to go. I’ve never been there. What kind of conditions would be found where rockhounding was done in quarries? Would crowds jostle me around?
Although I’d have really wanted to be at this event, I would have skipped the Agate Stampede. That’s where two dump trucks empty loads of rock mixed with agates and hundreds of dollars in quarters down a street. Thousands of people line up along the two-block street and wait for the cannon to boom signaling the start of the stampede.
Could you imagine me attempting that? I bet I might have fallen face first into rocks again – unless the organizers somehow cater to those with disabilities. I hope they do. After all, we – OK, maybe I speak for just myself here – still like rocks.
Maybe I should try to visit a national park, monument, lakeshore, battlefield or the like. I have been checking off these sites visited over the years.
Here’s some great news! I’ve discovered my newfound disabilities are actually good for something. (It’s about time some real benefit materialized, I tell you.)
As the National Park Service (NPS) website explains, a person who has a permanent disability – and can prove it as required by the federal government and detailed there – can get an Access Pass.
It’s a free, lifetime pass available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability. The Access Pass provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five federal agencies. They are the NPS, Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Bureau of Reclamation (BR).
Also, the Access Pass may provide the pass owner a discount on “expanded amenity fees such as camping, swimming, boat launching and guided tours.”
I’ve requested and received a letter documenting my permanent disabilities from a neurologist at Mayo. FYI, a handicapped parking sticker is not considered as an accepted documentation. I encourage others with a permanent disability to check into details of getting a pass, shared online at store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html
So – all that said – maybe I should hit a national park.
I’m also considering a motorcoach tour. Everything is planned – and most stops and events are probably very accessible.
It still doesn’t change the fact that I want to hike uneven, natural dirt and rock trails, but I’m working my way toward that. For now I need to get out and travel . . . to have an adventure beyond the microcosm of my neighborhood or an area bike trail or even Rochester.
Stay tuned to see what eventually whets my travel appetite.