Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hot & Cold


I am running both hot and cold this week. Saturday I will leave for a sunny adventure here....

SO EXCITED! More on that later....

Last weekend, however I was in opposite climate, bundled up and playing in the slushy white stuff. The WOW group and I drove up to Mad River Ski Resort in Bellefontaine, Ohio for an adapted ski clinic. This is our third year taking part in the clinic, and it was my fifth time skiing. Every time I go I wish I went more often. I love it so much! A few snapshots:






As you can see, five years of experience has not made me more..um....coordinated =).

While this field trip takes alot of planning, driving, money, it is totally worth it. It is such an inspiring, challenging activity for the kids. They get to test their nerves and muscles, and always have such a great time. This is one of those field trips that they talk about all year long.

The Adapted Adventure Sports Coalition (TAASC) is responsible for teaching the adapted skiing. The always do an EXCELLENT job. I can't say enough good things about them. They make it easy for us to come together, they ge to know each of the kids in the group, and really give them the best experience possible. We originally met them when they held a clinic at Perfect North (about 2 hours from Louisville) and liked them so much we followed them to Mad River (about 4 hours). They offer other programs, like canoing, kayaking, and water skiing. I highly recommend if you know someone in the area who has a disability, you check them out.

Find info here

Later on that night, fueled by hot chocolate and power bars, a few of us decided to go snow tubing. I had been before and thought it would be a great activity for the kids. Not such a great experience. Mad River is a great facility, accessibility-wise. Their lodge has great facilities, and we have never had a problem getting around. Their snow tube park is a different story. Their set up makes it basically impossible for a person with a physical disability to go tubing, unless they are able to stand and walk. Basically, the moving sidewalk is not wide enough to accommodate someone witting in the tube on the way up. Also, their parking lot and walking path is all gravel, which is a real nightmare for a wheelchair.

That, however, was not the biggest problem we had. I was there with one other guy with a disability, his parents and sister. We bought our tickets, Graham and climbed out of our cars and into our tubes, and the other people were nice enough to pull us up to the conveyor belt. Not an easy task. Took about 20 minutes up a hill...COVERED IN GRAVEL. UGH! But, we are trying to make the best of the situation, so up we went. When we get in line to board the moving sidewalk, then we were told that we could not get on. That we would have to turn around and go back. What??

After waiting for another 20 minutes for a manager to come and talk to us. We informed him that we were NOT in fact going to climb down the ridiculous gravel hill and we WERE going to take our tubes down the track. I think we overpowered him, because he finally gave in and up we went. For one very hard fought ride.

Check out the view (and one very happy rider, my friend Graham):



Pretty much worth it. The manager actually was very accommodating and even asked what they could do to fix the problems with their park. We gave suggestions, and hopefully, they will listen. We will see next year. If you want more information about Mad River, look here.

I have officially had my fill of snow for the year. I am so ready for spring. It's supposed to snow here in Louisville this weekend. I will be thinking of all of you while in sunny Florida....;)
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