My friend David and I are navigating a dirt trail alongside the Adams River in British Columbia on the lookout for salmon. “Just around the corner there are a bunch on a different path. I think we can get your wheelchair there,” says David. “Should be no problem.”
“No problem” is a possible over-statement.
David and I have been known to be a tad overly-optimistic when it comes to what is considered wheelchair-accessible — the snickers and comments from the peanut gallery are duly noted and filed away for future reference.
“Sounds like a challenge to me,” I say, assessing the narrow path. It looks passable, and we’ve forced this poor chair through worse.
David leads the way and I follow. Our wives are along as backup to make sure Murphy — of Murphy’s Law — doesn’t blindside us. I’m a quadriplegic strapped to a 400-pound wheelchair … what could possibly go wrong? Barely-audible chattering and giggling can be heard. I head down the path, choosing which wheels are to follow the ruts, as of course, it’s too narrow for all four. David climbs a steep hill, surveys around and comes down to help.
“OK, we’ll help you up the hill, then you STOP at the top.”
Noting the emphasis on stop, I head up. “So, what’s on the other side?” I ask, half-knowing.
“An undercut-bank and drop-off into deep water.”