My Letter to Mr. Jones

Every now and then I read something that just can’t go without comment. Today it was an article on Penn Live by David Jones. Apparently Mr. Jones is vehemently against private development in Pennsylvania’s state parks, but he tries to make his case by saying that if the parks were developed then “people who don’t belong there”  (aka disabled people) would flock to these parks. He also uses some very derogatory language to describe the habits and abilities of wheelchair- and scooter-users.   Continue reading

National Park Etiquette

Grand Canyon National Park

After spending several weeks in our national parks doing some final research for my next book, I’ve encountered what can only be called some “less than stewardly behavior “ by my fellow national park visitors. Although this isn’t the be-all-and-end-all list on national park etiquette, it’s a good starting point. And since today is National Public Lands Day, I thought it’d be a good time to share it with the world. Continue reading

Five Fun Accessible National Park Finds

Accessible trail to the base of Lower Yosemite Falls

OK, I admit it, I’m a national park junkie. I love visiting them and writing about them; in fact, I’m currently working on my third national park title. One of the great things about our national parks is that even though many of them are rugged, they still offer accessible options for wheelchair-users and slow walkers. And so with the 99th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS) coming up on August 25, I thought I’d share some of my favorite accessible sites in America’s national parks Continue reading

New Accessible National Park Title Released

Barrier-Free Travel; Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks For Wheelers and Slow Walkers

I’m thrilled to announce that the second book in my Barrier-Free Travel series is now available. Barrier-free Travel; Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks for Wheelers and Slow Walkers is a must-have resource if Washington state is on your bucket list. Continue reading

Road Trip Ups and Downs

After almost six weeks on the road it’s good to be home. We traveled 10,387  miles through 23 states and discovered tons of cool accessible lodgings, sites and activities, that I look forward to sharing with my readers. It was a very successful road trip. That said, as with any adventure, it was dotted with highs and lows. With that in mind, here are a few of my ups and downs from our Summer 2014 cross country road trip. Continue reading

A Fun Way to Support National Parks

Get your National Parks pop-up book today!

If you’re looking for a unique way to support our national parks, then consider buying a copy of America’s National Parks — A Pop-Up Book. Billed as a pop-up book for adults, this nostalgic work features a journey through 18 of our most popular national parks, including six done as pop-ups in the style of 1930s WPA posters. Even better, it’s a fund raiser for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) — in fact they hope to raise $100,000 with the project. Continue reading

Colorado Detour

Escalante Overlook at Dinosaur National Monument

It goes without saying that you need to do a lot of planning for a road trip, especially if access s a concern. That said, sometimes things don’t go as planned and you just have deal with it. Usually it requires thinking on your feet, but on the plus side, sometimes detours can reveal some cool sights that you wouldn’t have found on your original route. Such was the case yesterday, when we had to deviate from our route from Utah to Colorado.

Originally we had planned to go through Wyoming and see a property on the border, and then drop back into Colorado and spend the night at an accessible yurt. Unfortunately our site visit in Wyoming was cancelled, so I just figured it was best to head straight through Utah on Highway 40, since our yurt was located close to it.

The good news was that the new route cut don on our driving time considerably, so I started looking at the map to see what we could do along the way. And all of a sudden it popped out at me – Dinosaur National Monument.

To be fair, this monument spans two states. The Utah side boasts dinosaur bones in situ, while the Colorado side has some gorgeous canyon views. Since we only had a few extra hour we opted for the Colorado side – and we weren’t disappointed.

We started out visit at the Dinosaur National Monument Visitors Center, just east of Dinosaur, Colorado. There was plenty of accessible parking there, with barrier free access to the Visitors Center. Inside we watched a 12 minute move, which really gave us the lay of the land. Then after having a nice picnic lunch at the wonderfully shady accessible picnic tables, we headed on our way to do the scenic drive to the top of the canyon.

Our first stop was the Escalante Overlook, where we got a view of Grand Staircase – Escalente National Monument. We’ve visited the park before and even driven down the Burr Trail, but you really get the best view of this natural wonder from afar. The overlook was deserted, and even if you didn’t want to get our of your car, you could still get a great windshield view.

The view from Canyon Overlook at Dinosaur National Monument

The drive up to the Canyon Overlook was equally scenic, and the view from the top was stellar. We went all the way to the top overlook at first, but then found a lower overlook on the way back, which was equally impressive. The lower overlook is also a great place to picnic, as there is one accessible picnic table with a great view of the canyon. And if was kind of fun to see the same canyon that we saw in Canyonlands National Park – only from a different perspective.

All in all it was a fun detour. And since there was no admission charge it was easy on the wallet too. So next time you are tooling through Western Colorado on Highway 40, be sure to stop at Dinosaur National Monument. You won’t be disappointed!!