By Joanne Neubauer
My friends and I drove to Arizona, U.S.A. from Victoria, British Columbia for a vacation in 2006. I rented a Ford Windstar minivan so that my motorized wheelchair could fit through the back door. I rented a Rolla-Ramp from a local accessibility store for $50 a week. The ramp stretches out to 10 feet so the wheelchair can be driven into the van. The ramp is then rolled up into a 3 foot cylinder shape and stored in the vehicle beside the wheelchair. I use my crutches to walk to the front door and get transferred into the passenger's seat. This is how we travelled for one month to and from Arizona.
We prebooked hotels found on the internet and with a travel agency. After travelling through Washington, Oregon and northern Nevada we arrived at our first major destination-Bryce Canyon, Utah. I stayed with my care attendant in an accessible log cabin! The bathroom wasn't really wheelchair accessible but the price was reasonable and it was a short drive to local attractions.
Bryce Canyon is partly wheelchair accessible with plenty of facilities at the park entrance.
Kodachrome Park has wheelchair pathways twisting and turning around the rock formations.
We booked a hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona so we'd be close to the Grand Canyon. One of my friends prebooked an accessible 2 hour train ride from nearby Williams to the Grand Canyon. The train ride was fun. Cowboys sang songs and we were "robbed" by the Cateract Creek Gang.
The Grand Canyon was magnificent. We spent a couple of hours sightseeing and visiting the tourist centre. Washrooms were big but had no grab bars. The accessible trail is quite long and we rushed to catch the train on time back to Williams.
Downtown Flagstaff has interesting historic buildings and is pretty wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately our trip was cut short due to family matters so we drove back to British Columbia and visited relatives before heading home to Victoria !
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