The air is different in the mountains. It’s crisper. It’s fresher. I love that I live so close to a place with so much beauty! From a young age, I always felt so much peace when I was in nature. Getting out was hard though. I was born with a muscle disorder called Arthrogryposis. It is a rare condition that has caused me to be in a wheelchair my whole life. It causes lack of strength in my legs and some in my shoulders. For a long time, I felt like I was missing out because I couldn’t get into the wilderness like I wanted to. As I have gotten older, I realized that I can get much farther than I thought. The outdoors may not be the most wheelchair friendly, but it’s not impossible. It’s all about perspective.
Visiting Ogden Canyon
One of my favorite places to go is Ogden Canyon in Northern Utah. It’s a quick 30-minute drive from my house. You can camp right along the river. It’s surrounded by trees. It’s heaven! Recently, I went up for a quick overnight trip. There is no cell service and it’s a perfect escape. I got some new gear and I wanted to try it out. Setting up everything takes a lot of time for me. It’s an interesting process when I am in a power wheelchair but it is super rewarding!
Setting Up Camp Using My Power Wheelchair
My tent is pretty big. So, I try to use the law of gravity in my favor and utilize safe seat elevation on my 4Front® 2 Power Wheelchair. The tent only has three poles so it is quite easy to assemble. Plus, it has a separate area that I refer to as the living room, which allows me to park my dirty, dusty wheelchair and then transfer to my cot.
I love that once I have my tent, hammock and camp kitchen set up, I can roll back and feel proud that I have figured out how to do it. Once I set up, I can relax. Swaying in my hammock is truly the most relaxing thing. I either read my book or drink my tea and look up through the trees at the sky. Pure joy!
About Kerri Knudson: Kerri lives in Utah with her daughter. She uses a 4Front® 2 Power Wheelchair and loves exploring the outdoors. Click here to learn more about Kerri.
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