Thanks so much to Marilyn St. Doré for making the time to help us understand how she and her husband Dave successfully get out on the trail. They take Easy Walks, but often agree to venture on more challenging trails too. After reading this story, you may realize that you too can make a difference in the life of someone you know. Here’s Marilyn and Dave’s story. MTH
We began hiking 2 ½ years ago during the pandemic as a way to stay healthy and not sit in front of the tv now that we were retired. We never dreamt at that time that we’d love hiking so much, so much so, that we try to hike nearly every dry day that we are able all year long. This is no small feat as my husband is visually impaired, legally blind to be more specific. He can barely see beyond his feet and then only shadows and maybe color in his peripheral vision. During this time, he’s come to rely on me to be his guide on hikes. What follows are some of the things I do to help him enjoy his time on the trail as well as keep him as safe as I can.
The “missing link” section of the Upper Charles Trail in Milford was for many years just that—missing. Not true anymore, but it still has the feel of being hidden in plain sight. Access to this section of the trail is from behind some grocery stores, down a sidewalk to an almost hidden sidewalk type of entrance, or, as my friend and I agreed, to meet at the IHOP in Milford on Rt 109, where the sign says, “Trail parking”. Parking at a restaurant, getting on your bike, or pulling on your walking shoes and heading out works just fine at this unexpected trail access point.
My collaboration with ABMI Cable 8 to bring viewers out on the trail with me has presented challenges. The biggest has been that winter is coming, and cameras do not do well in the cold. So we’ve been working to squeeze in our last few episodes before we have to take a break for cold weather. This episode we ventured to Choate Park, in Medway, MA. You can watch the show here.
I have been working to include as many handicapped accessible, and handicapped friendly outdoor locations as I can manage for my new “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are” cable TV series with ABMI Cable 8. It is a little challenging to coordinate schedules with both my cameraman, Tyler, and friends who can make the time to join me for a one-two hour jaunt on a local trail. So far the weather has stayed mild, and we have gotten in some fun trips to nearby trails, checking out interesting sights along the way, and pondering the history of the area we visit. Here’s our walk at Louisa Lake.
Before the weather gets too cold for the camera to work well, we grabbed another sunny, temperate day to take ABMI Cable TV viewers up Knuckup Hill in Wrentham for an episode of “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are”.
My friends, Richard and Dyan Rook joined me, and cameraman Tyler McMinnaman did the taping, bravely heading up the hill in front of us, walking backwards to better show us walking up the fire road. The final 28 minute episode is here.
We had a perfect outdoor fall day to try forest bathing at Elmbank in Wellesley, MA. The bright blue sky offered a perfect backdrop for the glowing fall foliage. The breeze provided a varying shower of leaves as the wind increased then died back down.
Since the beginning of the pandemic this spring, I have seen little of my sweet grands, even though they live in town. We are staying more remote than they have been able to, which has made visits difficult. But outdoor walks alongside Silver Lake work, with all of us wearing masks and walking apart from each other.