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  • Kate Nelson

Inspiring Wheelchair Accessible Travel and Memories!


We are the Nelson family – Ryan, Kate, Mary and Jackson! Mary has an amazing service dog, Orinda, and we also have a fabulous pet dog, Maggie! We enjoy the outdoors and exploring and do a ton of traveling to National Parks, State Parks, always take the scenic route and ALWAYS find the ACCESSIBLE ROUTE!

Our smart, funny, sassy daughter, Mary, was born with a genetic neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) affecting all the voluntary muscles, including the respiratory system. However, SMA does not affect any cognitive function – just have one conversation with her and you can tell she is a genius - so is her brother and they are very competitive from chess to math to corn hole!

Mary uses a power wheelchair for all her mobility and a ventilator to help give her a bigger breath. She and her brother are super adventurous and love to explore new areas and see everything our great country has to offer! As I’m sure you can guess, or may know from personal experience, sometimes it can be difficult to navigate travel and vacations with a wheelchair – many chairs have been destroyed flying, is the location going to be accessible, will the hotel room be big enough for medical equipment – there are so many “what ifs” and scenarios that go through your mind. We were there too, but……we decided that should not stop us from giving our kids fabulous experiences and finding the best accessible trails, activities, museums and more!

We started really venturing in 2015 and each year became more and more adventurous with longer and farther trips. In 2020, we purchased a wheelchair accessible RV (her name is Wanda, more on her later) and that is when the fun really began! We can’t wait to share what we have learned along the way in the hopes it will inspire you to get out of that comfort zone (yes, I had and still have one of those) and travel to more and more places!


Our intent is to inspire people of all abilities to get out and travel, explore and make memories. We want to share our personal experiences of what has been successful, and not successful, in our travels and help families with medically fragile children to start their own journeys of excitement and memory making!


  • National Park Accessibility including trails, activities, and campsites

  • State Park Accessibility

  • Travel tips when traveling with a medically fragile family member

  • Meal prep and recipes for road trips

  • RV maintenance, remodeling, and DIY tips (this is all Ryan!)

  • Reviews of accessible RV sites


We hope you will follow us on our journey, learn from our mistakes, make a few yummy recipes and be inspired to experience fun, exploration and the beauty of our country! Or, just because our dogs are super cute!) We would love for you to subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media. Thank you for reading this far and please come back for more!

To learn more about SMA:

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1 Comment

Jennifer Pattenaude
Jennifer Pattenaude
Nov 15, 2023

what an awesome blog-so helpful-thank you for doing this !

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