Find an Activity You Love
Three years ago doctors found a blood clot in my right leg, which was a surprise to me since I had always been in good health. Even though I eventually lost the leg, I kept a good attitude and continued on. I thought my mobility was at an end. After going through a short rehabilitation in the hospital, I was fitted with an above–the–knee prosthesis. I continued to work for a while, but since I was close to retirement anyway, I decided to punch the time clock one last time and retire.
My wife and I love the outdoors and decided to continue our activities even though I had lost my leg. I found, interestingly enough, that not much had changed in our lives. I walk a little slower, and I drive every day. I just use my left leg to drive. We discovered that, although hiking or exploring the outdoors on foot was a bit too challenging for me, we could still enjoy the outdoors together with an ATV (all-terrain vehicle), also known as a side-by-side, and ride hundreds of forested trails, mountain roads, and sand dunes, East Coast to West Coast, at hundreds of ATV parks.
This single activity has proven to be something we both love. We found it is an outdoor adventure for people of all ages, handicapped or not. Side-by-side parks are located all over the country and are found in some of the most beautiful areas you can imagine. Our home state has over a dozen such parks, even more in surrounding states. West Virginia alone has one trail system (Hatfield–McCoy Trails) that covers 900 miles of beautiful mountain trails, picturesque streams, wooded valleys, ride–thru tunnels, and drive-over bridges, not to mention all forms of wildlife.
This is an activity you can ride alone on well–marked trails or make a reservation and ride with a group. On our last trip, we stayed in a modern mountaintop cabin for five days and rode somewhere different each day. Our last day, we joined a group and rode over 100 miles through three states. We have met fellow amputees riding side-by-sides on our outdoor adventures. They are a fun group and always open to helping each other. ATV companies also make four-seat side-by-sides so you can take the kids, grandkids, or friends along with you.
This is definitely an activity that a handicapped person can enjoy, and I would highly recommend it to those couples and families who love the outdoors.