A Kayaking Holiday for All

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What better way to spend your summer holidays surrounded by the tranquility and beauty of nature? That was what Kara Aiello did back in the summer of 2004, where she joined an organization, Wilderness Inquiry, out camping on the Apostle Islands and kayaking in Lake Superior. Kara has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which means brittle bones, and she heard of Wilderness Inquiry’s efforts in catering activities and programs for people with all abilities. Wanting to engage in a fun summer activity, Kara decided to sign up for their kayaking trip.

Wheelchair Accessible Kayak

In the day, the group headed out to the lakes for their kayaking sessions. At night, they bonded over the campfire with s’mores and beers while camping out on the Apostle Islands. The trip had two tour guides, and one of them, Jay, was Kara’s kayaking buddy. The sturdiness of the kayak ensured that it would not easily tip over. The size also accommodated Kara’s wheelchair, as it could nicely fit in the center of the kayak. 


woman in a kayak on a lake

On the kayak, Kara witnessed the beauty of nature both in the skies and under the water. She observed bald eagles in the air and on the trees, saw beautiful homes around the lakes, and noticed skeletal remains of old, ruined ships under the clear waters. “I remember thinking how much I would want to live here if I could as it was so peaceful and quiet as nature cascaded around us,” Kara shares.

Kara also went for dips in the cool water with Jay’s assistance, and explored caves and other old sites around the island.

On the trip, Kara made new friends, and they developed a bond over their love for nature and also over sharing this experience together. “People were in awe of nature, and of one another as well,” she recalls. “They also credited Wilderness Inquiry for being an inclusive organisation as they went out of their way to assist me on every leg of the trip.” 

And with this experience to start her off, Kara is looking for greater adventures in the future, including a safari trip to Tanzania.

Share this post with someone who enjoys water activities, and they may consider going on a kayaking trip themselves, too!

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