Chelsea and her boyfriend James both love going on road trips. James has a spinal cord injury and is a wheelchair user. The couple has an adventurous spirit and tries to go on at least two adventures a year on the road. “Some people in chairs don’t feel comfortable flying so a road trip is a great alternative,” says Chelsea.
In 2017, Chelsea and James set out on an accessible road trip from Canada to the United States.
Yellowstone National Park
Chelsea states she did not know what to expect when visiting Yellowstone National Park, but the park proved to be one of her favorite experiences. Access to the park is free of charge to a U.S. citizen who is in a wheelchair. James paid $30 to enter the park because he is from Canada.
“I was shocked there wasn’t anything (James) couldn’t do at Yellowstone.”
The couple drove up the mountainous park and pulled over to get out of their car to see the geysers. Chelsea says the park is 100% wheelchair accessible with pathways alongside the geysers.
“Every geyser/geysers had wooden bridges and trails through the terrain. I have previously talked about the disappointment of not being able to experience these moments with James, but in this case, I was so shocked there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do at Yellowstone. We spent the whole day stalking buffalo, watching geysers blow and finished the day with Old Faithful, erupting right on schedule,” she says.
Salt Lake City
The next stop on the couple’s adventure was Salt Lake City, Utah. Chelsea and James traveled about an hour out of the city to Bonneville Salt Flats. Chelsea describes the flats as a wild and strange kind of beauty. She liked how they could just drive the van straight onto the flats.
The couple got out of the van and took some pictures. Chelsea admits they were not expecting the salt to stick to James wheelchair. So, she ended up having to use baby wipes to desalt his wheelchair!
The last stop on the road trip was a two-part stay in Las Vegas. Chelsea says that Las Vegas is the most accessible place on earth in her and James’ opinion. For the first two days in Vegas, the couple rented an accessible condo from a fellow Canadian. “Barry’s place has a full ceiling lift, roll in shower, commodes and a fully accessible van you can rent to tour around,” she says.
For the last few days in Vegas, Chelsea and James met up with two other couples, all three guys in wheelchairs. They rented an accessible penthouse in Polo Towers. Chelsea says, “It was an extremely accessible stay, even with 3 drunk guys in chairs! The rooftop pool and hot tub both had easy to use lifts and the staff was very helpful.”
“Vegas is a great destination for anyone in a wheelchair that hasn’t done much traveling or just needs to get away.”
Chelsea gives a tip for wheel love spouses to wear good shoes because she says it is very hard to keep up with someone on wheels!
Have you ever went on a road trip? Share your story with us at AbleThrive.com!