California Excursion | Life On Wheels

Paralysis, and really any disability, can be something that places clamps on your life. However, as many of our participants would attest to, the only real limitation of a physical disability are the ones you place on yourself. Do you wanna drive? Make it happen. Do you want to ski? Figure it out. What about travel? Hit up your 2 best friends, and do the dang thing.

Just ask Carley Baldwin, Ellie Shepard & Kelly Secor what their so-called ‘disability’ did to stop them from jet-setting to the coast and having a blast enjoying each other’s company, the scenery & the weather. Back in July, the 3 girls packed their bags, hopped in the car and set out for Santa Cruz, California. It wasn’t a difficult decision, as the Shepard’s have a neat beach house right on the shoreline and the 3 of them are as thick as thieves.

Obviously, the girls dealt with their fair share of challenges & obstacles along the way. Airport security, something many of us have experienced as an issue and one that merits some advocacy work, was a struggle for them. Bathroom situation another difficulty. However, Carley mentioned that the most glaring obstacle was figuring out how the 3 of them could fit in the car to go on their whirlwind adventures.

What adventures, you may ask? There were a plethora of those over the near-week stay in the Golden State. A big highlight for them was the horseback riding: although, Carley & Ellie had entirely different experiences. Carley, once on the horse, was quite keen on getting off of the horse. Ellie, conversely, was having one heckuva time as she galloped along on her steed. On top of that, the gals loaded up and went off to the Redwoods for some accessible hiking (quick aside on how neat it is that this is now available to our population). Wrapping up their time in Redwood, they hopped on the zipline and let the adrenaline fly. To cap off the week of adventures, the girls went to a downtown wine-tasting, where they may, or may not, have gotten a little weird.

One cool thing that Carley mentioned was how willing everyone was to help the girls out, and not put limitations on what they could do. It’s great to see the broader community realizing that just because we have a disability doesn’t mean we’re fragile and our boundaries are few.

Carley’s last words, when we asked about any stories she’d like to share were, “ What happens in Santa Cruz stays there…” 

Cheers to that, ladies.

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