Nature is restorative and needs to be accessible for as many as possible.

I have enjoyed living most of my elementary and high school years in very rural areas. Almost by default, I have a much better idea how nature ticks because of it.

I was 21 when I started needing a wheelchair to get anywhere, and I was pliant and ambitious enough to try new ways to experience nature. The time I knew I could reconnect to nature in different ways was at daybreak on Wilcox Lake. Everyone else at my campsite was asleep when I pushed a kayak out to watch the fog rise off the still surface.

I regained something — I realized the famous trout streams of my youth could be accessible if I acquired a kayak. And, in fact, my kayak leaves me on a somewhat equal basis to anyone using a similar boat. I say somewhat because I will not be carrying in a boat or even reaching all areas.

I want to get back to that.

I used to rationalize that the car wreck that paralyzed me was some kind of aberration, some test. I thought I could make a deal