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Disabled Explorers to Traverse Great Deserts of the Southwest in 2010

  • Published: 2009-12-15 : Disabled Explorers.
  • Synopsis: Desert solitude adventure to demonstrate independent overland travel for disabled veteran.

Main Document

Desert Solitude Adventure to Demonstrate Independent Overland Travel for a Disabled Veteran.

Lance Blair with the Disabled Explorers WAVE, the Wheelchair Accessible Van for Expeditions
About This Image: Lance Blair with the Disabled Explorers WAVE, the Wheelchair Accessible Van for Expeditions
Disabled Explorers will take a recently disabled veteran over the historic El Camino del Diablo (The Devil's Highway) along the Arizona/Mexico border from January 22 through January 24, 2010. The multi-day trek is the inaugural trip in the organization's Desert Solitude Series which will demonstrate independent overland travel for disabled people.

The El Camino del Diablo trip will include a recently disabled veteran as an honored guest and full expedition participant. All of the Desert Solitude adventures will include special guests who are recently disabled and re-learning how to enjoy outdoor recreation. Final team member selection will depend on availability and scheduling and will be announced shortly before each trip.

Disabled Explorers is a non-profit organization that exists to enhance the lives of disabled people through independent four-wheel-drive back-country travel.

"Common wisdom tells us that travel for disabled people is limited to places they can find fully accessible hotels, restaurants, and bathroom stalls. This is a myth," says Lance Blair, founder and director of Disabled Explorers. "Adventure travel, even in remote, unforgiving areas, is available to everyone. We will demonstrate how this is possible with our Desert Solitude Series of back-country journeys."

The initial trip in the Desert Solitude Series will traverse the El Camino del Diablo from Ajo, Arizona through the Cabieza Prieta Wildlife Refuge, past the Barry Goldwater Bombing Range, and end in Yuma, Arizona. Highlights of the trip will include historic mine ruins, an adobe cabin at Tule Well, and a stop at a vital water source in the granite outcrop of Tinajas Altas.

Disabled Explorers has built a vehicle specifically to tackle these conditions. The Wheelchair Accessible Van for Expeditions (WAVE) is an off-road capable, four-wheel-drive recreational vehicle equipped with a wheelchair lift and hand controls. It is designed to be driven by a wheelchair user, taken into remote areas, and lived in while traveling. Disabled guests on the Desert Solitude Series of trips will drive the WAVE on remote roads and trails and experience independent adventure travel.

Future trips in the Desert Solitude Series will explore Death Valley, the Mojave, and other great western locales to be announced. Disabled Explorers is still selecting participants for these and other expeditions. Costs for the Desert Solitude adventures, the WAVE vehicle, and for Disabled Explorers are met with individual donations, corporate sponsorship, and volunteer contributions of time and skill.

For more information on the Desert Solitude Series and on Disabled Explorers, see www.disabledexplorers.org or e-mail info@ disabledexplorers.org

About Disabled Explorers:

Disabled Explorers is an Arizona-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is volunteer-run by the disabled and donation-supported. The founder, Lance Blair, is an Intensive Care RN, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Overland Certified, a Tread Lightly Trainer, Wilderness First Responder, amateur radio operator, part of the winning team of the 2007 Expedition Trophy, and last year led a Disabled Explorers team over 24 days and 5000 miles on the Continental Divide Expedition.

Remote adventure travel is possible with the right equipment. The WAVE project vehicle is possible through the generous support of sponsors who want to participate in its success.

Partial list of WAVE equipment sponsors:

Disabled Explorers
Sportsmobile West
Kyocera solar panel
Blue Sky battery controller
Deka auxiliary battery
Equipt Expedition Outfitters
National Luna off-road capable refrigerator
ARB USA
Air locking front differential
Custom spec Dakar partial military wrap springs
Total Vision
Custom self-spotting camera system
Aluminess
Custom aluminum roof rack
Rigid Industries
LED off-highway and scene lighting
Spot Satellite Messenger
Extreme Outback
Magnum Air compressor and tank
Nitto Tires
Trail Grappler Tires
Advance Adapters
Atlas II transfer case
Ramsey Winch
Patriot 9500UT with semi-automatic clutch
Sure Grip Hand Controls
Transfer Flow Fuel tank

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