The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (https://www.childrensmuseum.org) is a fun place to visit any day of the year, but it’s an especially attractive option on their four free-admission days — Fiesta Familia (September 23), Christmas Eve, Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day. Additionally, on the first Thursday of the month, admission is a very affordable $5. Continue reading
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but if you play your cards right, you could get free admission to one of your favorite museums on September 22, 2018 — on The Smithsonian’s 14th annual Museum Day. This nationwide event allows participating museums to emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities, and give free admission to their patrons. Continue reading
As you may have heard, there’s a large fire burning along the north shore of Lake Mc Donald that has led to the closure of some areas of Glacier National Park. That said the park is still open for business. The smoke is variable, and to be honest it depends on the wind direction. That said even though facilities are pretty limited on the west side, it’s still possible to stay there and explore the open areas of the park. Continue reading
I’ve been getting a fair share of mail from travelers who booked an accessible room at a US hotel, but then arrived to find that the room had been given to another guest. Basically the all ask me “How can we get hotels to actually save the accessible rooms for people who need them?” Continue reading
As I was cruising down Interstate 15 near Kanarraville, Utah yesterday, I notice that the Kolob Canyons exit was closed. This was a bit troubling to me, as it’s one of my favorite parts of Zion National Park — mostly because the bulk of the crowds flock to Zion Canyon and completely pass up the Kolob Canyons Scenic Byway. Continue reading
It’s no secret that we’re seeing an increase in service animals and emotional support animals here in the US. There are many reasons for this, but the “card mills” which sell service animal certifications, leashes and vests on the internet have definitely helped increase the number of pets that now “claim” service animal status. And for what it’s worth – save your money, as no certifications are required in the US; in fact it’s illegal to ask for them. Continue reading
With so many regulations popping up across the country limiting or outright banning the use of plastic straws, I’m getting a lot of questions from folks about why this is even an issue to some disabled people. And to be honest, some of the questions are well meaning, but many folks just don’t get the point – or points – that banning the use of plastic straws in restaurants puts yet another undue burden on our disabled citizens. Maybe some people just never thought about it before, or maybe they don’t understand the technicalities behind it all. Whatever the reason, here are some of the questions I’ve fielded in the past month, along with the answers I’ve given. Feel free to pass them along. Continue reading
I’ve been traveling on and off with Cherrie for about nine years now; although as of late is has been more “off” than “on”. Cherrie was part of the Traveling Teddies program of SATW (a professional organization that I belong to). The idea was simple –members adopt a grade-school class and then they go and talk to them about their travels, take some photos of their teddy on the road, and maybe send a postcard or two along the way. Well, I didn’t have a class – I had a blog. And since I cover accessible travel I got a bear in a wheelchair. Continue reading
Today marks 28 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. And although some folks lament that we still have access problems, I prefer to look at how far we have come on this day. Although accessible travel certainly wasn’t a priority back in the beginning, it has gained momentum over the years. And that’s not just because we don’t institutionalize folks who are disabled any more — it’s also because some hearty souls paved the way “back in the day.” And because they were my friends, I’d like to give credit where credit is due on this ADA anniversary. Continue reading
UPDATE – August 12, 2018 – The Mariposa Grove and Wawona are expected to reopen on Monday August 13. Yosemite Valley is expected to reopen on Tuesday August 14. Highway 140 (through Arch Rock) and Highway 120 (through Big Oak Flats) will be the only roads that lead to the valley. There will be no access to Yosemite Valley from the South Entrance due to firefighting activity just west of Tunnel View. Conversely, the only way to access Wawona and the Mariposa Grove is from the South Entrance. Services in the park will be limited, and it’s still smoky.
UPDATE 8-7-18 – Yosemite Valley is still closed and there is no date set for it to reopen. Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, Crane Flat, Big Oak Flat and Hetch Hetchy are also closed When these areas of park do reopen it’s expected that visitor services will be extremely limited there. The main objective now is firefighter safety.
The only park entrance that is open is the East Entrance. There is no access to the park from the west
Highway 140 to the Arch Rock entrance is now open (the entrance is closed).
Highway 120 from Groveland to Crane Flat should be open soon (they are doing a safety check and hope for it to open by noon today) but there will be no access to Yosemite Valley; however there will be access to Tioga Road.
The South Entrance will most likely be the last entrance to open.
UPDATE – 8/3/18: The ONLY park entrance open now is the East entrance off of Highway 395, north of Mammoth Lakes. I have had e-mails from many folks who had alternatively planned to stay on the west side near the park and then were going to try to enter the park at Big Oak Flats. THIS IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE. I strongly suggest basing yourself on the east side, (Mammoth Lakes) and enjoy Mono Lake, Bodie & Devils Postpile, and then check out Tenaya Lake (inside the park) on Tioga Pass Road.
UPDATE – 7/24/18: Highway 41, Wawona and Yosemite Valley will be closed as of 8-25-18 at noon. Visitors will be asked to leave the park. This is being done in hopes of setting up a firebreak to stop the spread of the Ferguson Fire.
Since I live near Yosemite and write about the park often, I’ve gotten a lot of inquires lately about the Ferguson Fire, which is burning nearby. And the main question seems to be – “Should I cancel my Yosemite visit”? Continue reading