Wide open spaces

I’ve been slightly MIA for the past month as I was spending a few weeks on a much needed vacation in the great state of Wyoming.  When one thinks of handicapped accessibility and wheelchair convenience, they don’t often think about Wyoming.  That state is more often associated with cowboys and dusty trails.  This picture seems to sum it all up quite succinctly:

wyo ramp

My take on Wyoming’s theory of accessibility is “Look, we’ve given you a ramp.  You figure the rest out.”  There are ramps, but many have inch or more lips.  Or the handicapped spots at curbs don’t often have ramps to get onto said curb.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love this state.  In fact, I seriously want to move there.  It just isn’t for the faint of heart.  A state full of hearty, hard-working people means that they don’t roll over (pun intended) when adversity hits.  Many places have gravel drive-ways and roads.  This is hard to wheel over.  Hard, but not impossible if you have upper body strength.

The hubs tried to help me so many times.  But I would always snap at him to not help me.  He probably looked super rude to other people.  The kindly cowboys probably judged him for not pushing me.  My motto is: I don’t need no stinkin’ help.  Maybe I should have that made into a t-shirt.  Or a bumper sticker for my wheelchair.  And he can just point to it when people look.

For all of the accessibility drawbacks, Wyoming is so nice.  The people are beyond nice.  If there’s a place I can’t go, I’m sure someone would offer to pick me up and carry me.  In fact, that kind of happened.  At one touristy spot, the ramp was so steep and the doorway so narrow that I needed not only the hubs to help, but a complete stranger.  She’d asked me several times to help and I turned her down.  When she saw us struggling she finally just came over and helped.  I felt so bad, but I guess I need to start realizing that some people genuinely want to be helpful.  It’s hard to not feel like you’re putting them out.  I refuse to ever be a burden.

Maybe I’m going to start a new exercise trend called the Wyoming Wheelchair Workout.  Wcubed.  Everyone gets a wheelchair and pushes for 2 miles up and down hills on a gravel road.  I did that once (and in the name of honesty, it was only 1 mile) and I was sore for 3 days.  It was amazing!  I’m going to do a video and write a book about it.  Get some celebrity endorsements.  This workout is going to make me millions!  No one steal my idea.

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