November 18, 2015


Sometimes I bike, sometimes I hike, and sometimes I do both on the same trip.

Last summer Linda and I completed a monumental cross country voyage in a wheelchair equipped van that we bought only 5 days before we left. One of the reasons we acquired the van was because I injured my back in the course of preparing for our journey, and I could no longer help Linda into the truck that we owned.

So we packed up the few possessions that we wished to retain and headed out into the great unknown. It was June 1st, 2014. We spent the summer visiting our moms, then concentrated on driving into the rising sun day after day.

I have been discovering many beautiful natural areas close to home.

In August we arrived in Nova Scotia, slightly battered and bruised, but buzzing with excitement about our journey and the possibilities that starting over in a new land bring.

We found a very suitable accessible country home to rent, and moved in with the help of our landlord's whole family. Things were looking up, but as often happens in life, things changed in unanticipated ways.

Water bodies are special places. This is one of two major lakes just a few kms from home. 

It was the end of September and I was helping Linda transfer. Something went in my back, and I dropped Linda on the bed. I was in such pain that I had to call 911 and request an ambulance. Because Linda couldn't stay home without me, they brought 2 ambulances and took us both to the hospital. We were both discharged within two weeks.

This scene is calling for a canoe - an evening paddle would be magic.

Because of my injury I didn't get out to do much biking or hiking, although during our epic winter snowfall event I was able to get out to do some of the best snowshoeing of my life. It was the beginning of my recovery.

This summer and fall I have been able to function normally, and because of that have been able  to explore our area on foot and fat tires. Sometimes both on the same trip. I discovered a lake close to home. After living on the beach on the west coast for 10 years it was nice to find some water to sit beside.

I don't have to worry about traffic on our local Rails to Trails path.

I also discovered a Rails to Trails path that I can access a short bike ride from home. Once on the path I can ride into town if there is business I need to conduct, or I can ride in the other direction, into the wilderness. The trail goes farther than I could ride in a day, and I dream of throwing a small pack on my back containing a tarp, sleeping bag and a bit of food and riding for days.

This Rails to Trails path is multi-use, including horses and quads. I have not seen either on my rides.

Our health and mobility is something that we too often take for granted. Now that I am fully recovered I can really see how handicapped I was by my condition. It could happen again at any time.  

Or maybe it won't, and I will just grow old and slowly become unable to do the more active things that I love. It is life, and it happens.

Either way, I am going to enjoy and appreciate every single moment that I am healthy, and take advantage of my fully functioning form while I am able.


  1. Anonymous11/18/2015

    Life can certainly change in ways that we can't anticipate. I am not one for regrets, but I do sometimes wish I had spent more time on the trails earlier in my life. I have memories of some lovely time in nature, but long to be out there again. My advice to others is go while you can.

    1. I was thinking of you, Linda, and other NBA readers that have mobility challenges while I wrote this post. Thankfully my back problem was temporary, although aging isn't. I like your advice, and try to live by it. If I feel lazy Linda kicks me out - "Just go", she says. And I go.

  2. Life can indeed change very quickly. We don't know what we have until something changes abruptly. I still marvel at being able to walk every time I take my dog for a walk. Being able to walk almost without pain, or even walk atall is so deeply wonderful after loosing that ability for a while. You live in a very beautiful place, love your pictures. Pam in Norway

    1. I have been cherishing my mobility all over again after my injury, and it has been fun getting to know our area better. Happy that you are getting out for walks. It is a beautiful thing.

  3. Hardly seems like it's been a year and a half since we were anxiously checking our inboxes for more news on your epic journey cross country and waiting for health updates. It took a great deal of courage and determination to do what you did. You were very faithful to keep us informed.

    It's great news to hear you are fully recovered from back injury. I too, went through a time where I couldn't walk very much and couldn't function well at all. Experiences like that truly do make us appreciate mobility and ability much more.

    Rails to Trails path looks so peaceful. Thank you for sharing.


    1. Yes, Terri, it moving across Canada was indeed a major adventure. Especially being an injured caregiver at the time. It was tough, but I think Linda and I had big grins on our faces the whole summer long.

      Disraeli said, "There is no education like adversity". Our trip was summer school. We passed.

      The Rails to Trails path is very peaceful. Soooo quiet, smells nice, birds, trees and the occasional discarded sofa.


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