If you’re like us (and a lot of other people), you didn’t plan any summer travel because of COVID. Now that summer’s here and the pandemic is in retreat, travel looks pretty inviting. Too late to get an outing or two onto the calendar? Hardly. We brainstormed a few ideas for affordable, accessible, amputee-specific trips where you can meet other people with limb difference, try some new activities, get some fresh air and a change of scenery, and relax for a few days (or more). Let’s jump right in:
Rustic Adventure on the Upper Peninsula
Courage Incorporated founder Nate Denofre spent last summer paddling a canoe down the Mississippi, the first bilateral amputee ever to complete the journey from source to sea. He’s back in his beloved Michigan woods this summer, leading inclusive wilderness trips for amputees and other people with disabilities. Courage Incorporated provides all the gear—tents, sleeping bags, boats, fishing gear, even a spit to roast your marshmallow on. As if that weren’t enough, get this: It doesn’t cost you a dime. This nonprofit organization pays for everything. All you have to bring is an open mind and a few good stories for the campfire. There’s space available on all three trips that remain on this summer’s schedule: June 25-27 at Silver Lake Basin, July 23-25 on the Yellowdog River, and August 20-22 at Squaw Lake.
Trail Riding in the High Rockies
You’re a little late to join Ampt Biking’s first excursion of the summer, which takes place this Sunday in Oregon’s Rogue River valley. But there’s still plenty of time to sign up for the Pedals and Prosthetics get-together in Estes Park, Colorado, on August 7. This mountain biking jamboree is an all-abilities affair, welcoming everyone from beginners to pros. On the trail you’ll be matched with riders who share your ability level; off it, you’ll relax with fellow amputees from all over the country. There are some special guest speakers on tap as well.
If you’re an experienced rider, you might also want to take a look at the five-day excursion to Moab, Utah, from September 22 through 26. Details of that event are coming soon.
Surfing the Waves on Both Coasts
If it’s a beach vacation you’re after, time your visit to coincide with one of AmpSurf’s adaptive surf clinics. They’ve been going strong for almost 20 years, providing instruction and encouragement to limb-different surfers from all over the country. As the audience for this sport has swelled, so has AmpSurf’s reach. They now offer clinics in seven states, scattered along both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Starting with this weekend’s clinics in Pismo Beach, California, and Rye, New Hampshire, there are two dozen surf clinics spread out over the rest of the summer. With that many options to choose from, there’s bound to be one that fits your schedule and your geographic preferences.
Setting and Spiking on the Beach
Here’s another way to enjoy the beach: Learn to play beach paravolleyball at the Bay Area Volleyball Academy near the Maryland shore. This adaptive, standing version of beach volleyball is played with three-member teams and specifically designed for people with limb difference. Clinic sessions are free and open to individuals of age 13 or higher. You don’t need to have prior experience, and you can play with or without prosthetics.
This fast-growing game already has a big following in Europe, and USA Volleyball recently committed to developing the sport in our country. Get a jump on the trend.
There are plenty more travel ideas in the current issue of Amplitude.