Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sailing on Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho

10/19/2016
Thought you all might like to see what a nice day out sailing is like... very therapeutic. On October 1st Mitch, Myself (Miles), and my wife Corine sailed his newly purchased Catalina 27 on Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho. Wind was 10 to 15 knots, and with top boat speeds between 4 to 6+ knots, which is darn good for an old heavy boat like this... must have been the sailors ;)  Wonderful day of sailing!


Boundary County, Smith Lake project

9/13/2016
Great news for the Inland Northwest nature enthusiasts! Wheelchair access to both a fishing and boating dock have just been restored at the beautiful Smith Lake launch site! Smith Lake resides in Boundary County, just north of the city of Bonners Ferry Idaho. There are so many things to love at this launch and campground, and with the restoration projects just completed, it’s even nicer than before! And it’s free! I know, right???

So, when was it done, by who, and what exactly was done? Read on and I’ll fill you in…

The work was done on July 31, 2016 by Access To Outdoors (ATO), The Forest Service, and a Hayden Idaho volunteer work party led by Michael Bingham. Several things were improved that day…

1. The path leading from the parking lot to the fishing dock had plants (including sticker bushes) growing over a portion of the path, all of which were removed with a protective barrier and rocks placed down to help prevent weeds from growing back up again in it’s place. The gravel on the trail was also worn thin. Both of these issues were completely resolved leaving the path both accessible and beautiful! Also a conduit was put under the path to prevent erosion from washing part of the path away.


2. At the boat launch dock, a sturdy and beautiful, accessible ramp was created, making boat access completely accessible.

3. Holes in the parking lot and road leading to the docks and launch were also filled with gravel.

There are still a couple inaccessible points to consider when planning a trip...  The restrooms are not yet accessible. That’s the big one…

Though not as crucial as access to restrooms, there are a few other areas that could be improved as well… Direct water access for those who use wheeled mobility would be nice (since many individuals express a desire to enter the water from their wheelchair to cool off or go for a swim.); wheelchair access to one of the campsites would be nice; and access to a campsite restroom near an accessible campsite would also be nice. ATO hopes to be a part of adding these features in the future. For now, at least anyone can get on a dock and fish via wheelchair, or enter a boat via the boat dock. See access rating and scale below.

SPECIAL THANKS: ATO wants to thank Patricia Hart, Leandra Sherrer, and others at the Forest Service for being so willing to improve access at this and other sites throughout North Idaho. And a very special thanks goes out to Kevin Bingham and his work party of volunteers who came to help make this possible. Thank you all so much for helping ATO to make this dream a reality! Good people like you make our area a very special and wonderful place to alive!

If you would like to donate your time, energy, or other resources to improving wheelchair access in the Inland Northwest, please contact ATO to be placed on a list of persons to be contacted when future work parties are needed. And a hearty thank you for doing so! God bless!

Miles and Corine Moore with ATO

ACCESSIBILITY RATING:

1. PARKING... Gravel; No designated accessible parking spaces; however, parking area is hard packed gravel and level.

2.  RESTROOM… Not accessible at either launch site or campground; Closest accessible restroom is at the gas station at the HWY95/HWY 2 Junction about 7 miles away.

3. PATHS/TRAILS.... The gravel trail from the parking lot to the launch and dock area was improved to allow persons in wheelchairs to us it. A conduit was added to keep rain water from eroding the trail.

4. SENSORY... The are no brail and tactile ground features at this facility for those who are visually or otherwise impaired.

5. DOCK(s)/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… Launch and fishing docks are accessible; Boat launch pad is at about 4% grade, is 10' wide, transitions from a one piece cement pad to individual strips of cement 2'x10' as the launch progresses into the water; At low water times of the year (late summer) be aware of spaces between these strips, which may cause a wheeled mobility device to get stuck.

6. DIRECT WATER ACCESS… None.

7. TRANSFER SYSTEMS… None.
  8.. CAMPING... Two camping sites are on fairly level hard packed dirt ground (can become soft and muddy during wet times of the year) – no concrete pads and paths; Picnic tables and fire pits are located at each camping site. No RV hookups.

9. O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: N/A.; Terrain: Parking lot and launch area, and camping areas ground is level to no more than about 5% grade. The ground is either gravel, small rocks, or hard packed dirt. Can get a little muddy around the camping area; H2O/Water: Bring drinking water… No running/drinking water available. Lake water is safe to swim in unless otherwise posted/noted at US Forest Service website. Late summer the water becomes stagnant with algae build up. Shoreline is filled with aquatic plants, lily pads, etc. No open beach areas; Environmental Conditions: Beware of Low Head Dam at south end of lake during spring run-off. Also because this site is a wilderness/primitive area with gravel and hard packed dirt this site can potentially get muddy in areas resulting in wheeled mobility device potentially getting stuck. Resources: Food, restrooms, and gas at HWY 95/HWY 2 junction.

Elsie Lake boulder reset


July 13, 2016
It is official on June 30th the Elsie Lake restroom in Shoshone County was made fully accessible.  As some of you know previously large boulders were placed around the restroom to protect it from vandalism, unfortunately the boulders were placed too close together to allow wheelchairs to pass through to restroom. Now there is one spot on the south side where there is a gap of 42 inches to allow wheelchair access.


Tom McTevia who passed away last year wanted this issue fixed as Tom's loved this lake and the area around it. I know Tom would be pleased with this.

Great appreciating goes to Josh Jurgensen of the local Forest Service for working with us on this project. Josh personally made this happen. As always its a pleasure to work with the Forest Service as they like us want all people to be able to access the outdoors.

Bridge Safety

9/27/2016
Was out on the water this last Sat. doing US Coast Gaurd aux work. Went to the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene Bridge to make sure all the boat navigation lights work. Last year not all the lights were working but this year they are working. Also was a beautiful day on the water.

ADOPT Elies, Smith and Brush Lakes

Feb. 8, 2016
Attention Friends!


Smith Lake Inaccessible Accessible Dock
I am officially putting ADOPT/work groups together to do work on three outdoor facilities... the Brush & Smith Lake facilities and the Tom McTevia Project/Elsie Lake facility. Each ADOPT/work group needs a minimum of 10 people.

The first phase of work on Smith and Brush Lake facilities are to restore the eroded dirt to the accessible docks. I need people to move dirt in a wheelbarrow from a truck to the area at the start of the docks (a distance of about 50 ft on slightly level and sloped packed gravel ground) at both sites. We may have to install some barriers to trap the dirt to keep it from eroding again. I need volunteers to bring shovels, picks, and gravel/dirt and grass rakes. We will need to rent a ground compactor. Everyone will need to drive to the sites, car pooling is recommended. The road to the dock at both sites can be driven on by any motor vehicle. This will be a full day project starting on site at Smith Lake at 8:AM (date TBA). Contact Miles Moore at accesstooutdoors@gmail.com (preferred) or call 208-704-4454 to Adopt and/or volunteer. Visit this link to learn about the needs of these facilities http://bit.ly/20kifwr , and this link to learn about the Smith Lake facility and area http://bit.ly/1mo0MWA and this link about Brush Lake and area http://bit.ly/1LMRGvV


Elsie Lake Inaccessible Accessible Restroom
Tom McTevia Elsie Lake project: The work at Elsie Lake requires moving some large rocks and soil to fix the accessibility to the restrooms and trails. We will be working in about a mile squire area that is fairly level, yet can be rough terrain. This is a wilderness area so those using wheelchairs will need off road tires, and vehicles will need to have some level of off road abilities to get to the site, such as common pick up truck (carpooling is recommended). I need volunteers to bring shovels, picks, and gravel/dirt and grass rakes. We will need to rent a ground compactor and tractor on a trailer. This will be a full 2 day project on Fri/Sat. (dates TBA). We will meet at 6:AM on Friday at the HWY 90 Exit 54/Big Creek Exit, and then drive almost 13 miles on dirt/gravel roads to the site. The plan is to camp overnight at the site and Friday evening have a potluck dinner. Any volunteer is welcome to work for one day or two. Contact Miles Moore at accesstooutdoors@gmail.com (preferred) or call 208-704-4454 to Adopt and/or volunteer. Visit this link to learn about the needs of this facilities http://bit.ly/20kifwr , and this link to learn about this facility and area http://bit.ly/1LMRGvV

I will also be posting these two projects at justserve.org

10th St Accessible Non-Motorized Land

Jan. 28, 2016
There is exciting news about a possible new 10th Street accessible landing being constructed (access dock, non-motorized launch, accessible beach access, load and unload area, water trail, etc), which will be almost next to the proposed Tom McTevia memorial site.

We met with an official who is working on this project that had us evaluate the site. We agreed that such a facility would be highly beneficial to those with and without disabilities mainly because there is no such place on Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Funding approval or denial for this project is to be announced this June and if approved construction would start sometime in 2017.

To learn more about the actual site visit the Lake Coeur d'Alene section of boatingtheinlandnw.com... here is a direct link http://bit.ly/1RdoAYY. You will need to slide down the page to #3. Also on the google map at this site you can see where this site is located via #3 on the map, on the east side of Tubbs Hill.

For additional info visit http://bit.ly/1PVLnVb

Hayden Kite Festival

April 22, 2016
Annual Hayden Kite Festival: April 23, 12:00-2:30 p.m. @ Broadmoore Park in Hayden. Registration runs from 12:00-1:30 p.m. with kite flying from 12:00-2:00 pm. Awards will be announced @ 2:15 p.m. and include Best Flyer, Crash & Burn and much more. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the day with your family! Brought to you by the City of Hayden, FunToSail.com, STCU and Hayden Chamber of Commerce. Free admission - all ages welcome. For information, call Community Services at (208) 209-1080.

Boundary County Water Access

On Friday 3/15/2015, Michelle Porter and I (Miles Moore) visited all the main access points of the bodies of water in Boundary County area that are nearest Bonners Ferry. This was for the purpose of identifying degree of accessibility of various water sites and their potential to be made accessible.

Areas we visited… We visited the Kootenai River, Moyie River/Reservoir, and the following lakes: Smith, Bonner, Brush, Dawson, MacArthur, Perkins, and Smith. Dawson and MacArthur Lakes are the most accessible of these to persons with disAbilities, and are both fairly close to Bonners Ferry. 

On the Kootenai River the launch next to the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is most ideal for development of an accessible marine site, in part because of it’s fairly level terrain; currently it is almost totally inaccessible to persons using wheelchairs.

Moyie Reservoir off of HWY 2 is another ideal area for development due to it’s location and other features. Currently it is not accessible to persons using wheelchairs.

All other facilities we visited are either totally in-accessible or only partially accessible to persons with disAbilities utilizing wheelchairs. However I must say Perkins Lake has a nice accessible long fishing dock, but their launch is all mud.

Strong and fast moving currents can be an issue on the Kootenai River and Moyie River/Reservoir so these sites are more use-able after late spring or early summer (depending on spring run off). Still, once this time is past there are quite a few months in which they can be safely enjoyed.

If you live in Boundary County we would love to hear from you related to your ideas and input in helping develop more accessible water based facilities. Thank you in advance for your input!
Boat Launch next to Kootenai Wildlife Refuge on the Kootenai River...
Has great potential as an accessible river access site but is currently
 in-accessible to wheelchairs.
Brush Lake gravel path to accessibled docks
Brush Lake in-accessible restrooms... These are the most
narrow restroom doors I have ever seen
Common issues with accessible docks that need some extra hard pack dirt
installed to make accessible docks accessible
Moyie Falls

Scott Bailey Memorial Service

4/22/2016

Scott Bailey Memorial Service will be May 7th at 2 o'clock at Glass Park in Spokane Washington (just a few blocks from North Town Mall). If you can bring some food for a potluck style lunch that would be great. Please if possible wear the colors blue and white.

Directions: Off of N Division Street in Spokane turn left or right onto E Wellesley Ave. heading East, go 4 blocks turn south onto N. Standard Street. In two blocks you will see the park. If you are coming off HWY 95 take exit 281 and go north into Spokane (exit will put you right onto N Division Street, heading North), turn right onto E. Wellesley Ave, then right onto N. Standard Street. You can also Google the park for directions by inputting Glass Park, Spokane WA.

If you need additional info and clarification please contact Melissa Bailey via text or voice at 206-429-0647.

Hobie 16 Trapseat


4/14/2016

Hello fellow sailors and accessible sailing supporters,

Access To Outdoors is still looking for a nice used Hobie 16 that someone might want to donate to our accessible sailing program. The goal is to get at least one Hobie 16 that we can install adaptive wing-seats on, called Trapseats (see pic).


Please if you know of any charitable persons that own or would like to purchase a Hobie 16 for our program we would greatly appreciate it.


We have 2 major accessible events this summer (June 11 and July 30) that we need a Hobie 16 for.


Anyone can contact Miles Moore at accesstooutdoors@gmail.com or call 208-704-4454 to donate or give us leads to a suitable Hobie 16. Your donation is tax deductible.


Fair winds,



The passing of Scott Bailey

By Miles Moore, 3/14/2016
As some of you know the amazing Scott Bailey passed away yesterday (3/13/2016). I was heartbroken to hear the news yet a bit relieved that the pain he was enduring medically is now over.

Scott acquired a spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident back in 1990 when he fell asleep at the wheel. He later had his legs removed due to abscesses in his bones.

In 2004 I met Scott at a ski fest event on Clear Lake in Spokane County. He was out there skiing with the best of them and my wife still remembers watching Scott get out of the boat at the dock and walk via his hands. He was so active and full of life, but as time progressed, medical challenge would tax his ability to stay active.

Scott worked with me for a time at my sailboat store and we sailed regularly together. We also regularly biked together for a time. I have so many fond memories of our time together, which I will cherish forever. The one statement that I loved of Scott's is “I am still trying to find my disability.” He never really felt he was limited by his disability but I know the medical complications were an annoyance to him in limiting his time to recreate.

Now Scott does not have to endure the pain anymore, he is free, and at peace. We love you Scott!

In Scott's memory you can DONATE to help to improving access to the outdoors within the Inland NW. On how to donate see below!
1. Send Check made out to Coeur d'Alene Sailing Association. Mail to Miles Moore, PO Box 1143, Hayden, ID. 83835.

2. To use a credit card call Miles Moore at 208-704-4454.

If you have any issues getting a hold of me (Miles Moore) send an email via accesstooutdoors@gmail.com or test him at 208-704-4454

Family and friends will be having memorial service to be announced shortly.

For your enjoyment here are two videos that Scott is in...

1. Scott and I (Miles Moore) sailing and kayaking on the Spokane River...


2. Scott featured on the Paralyzed Vets of America sports video (he is at the 19:40 mark on the video)...


Please share thoughts/comments about Scott here...

Elsie Lake Accessibility

(Sorry if the grammar is not perfect... after years of deafness and LD challenges are am still learning a lot)
As some of you who visit this site regularly know a great man, Tom McTevia and his female passenger passed away in a tragic ATV accident this last spring 2015. I have known Tom for some time but it was during the winter of 2015 that we became friends. On a trip aboard his ATV at the end of this last winter Tom wanted to show me the inaccessible accessible restroom at Elsie Lake, unfortunately we discovered there was still too much snow at that time to get to the lake.

Rocks blocking access to the restroom
On June 13th I drove up to view this restroom and the camping area around Elsie Lake as Tom had wanted. The restroom itself is actually accessible due to the fact it meets the ADA guidelines but unfortunately due to the Forest Service effort to protect it from vandalism they placed rocks around it, which makes it in-accessible to those who use wheelchairs. In the supplied pictures one of which shows the rocks in front of the restroom no rock is any further apart then 2’, which is well under the required 36” for a wheelchair to fit
through. So of course the logical fix is to move one of the rocks over to create the space needed for a wheelchair to get through. If vandalism is a concern then one can place a rock sixty inches back to create a curved path. This allows a wheelchair to get through but makes it difficult for anything larger to get through.

Another issue we hope that can be resolve is access to the southeast beach area. Again rocks have been placed in front of the path to this beach. The good news is there is another beach that is not blocked off that also works as a primitive launch into the lake. Still it would be good if persons using wheelchairs could get to both beaches.

There are 6 campsites around the lake that are considered accessible when the area is not wet and muddy. The road going to this lake has been greatly improved via road upgrades and a new bridge that allows regular passenger cars to drive up to this lake. However I would not drive a car up to this lake until the dry season when snow has been gone for a while, and the slide area which the road goes through is clearw. And a note of caution to those driving a car up to the lake… it is likely the under side of your car will hit the ground when going over some of the bumps on this road.

We will be contacting the Forest Service about these two issue and since this organization has always been accommodating of persons with disAbilities we are sure these issues will be resolved shortly… we will post a follow up once these issues have been fixed.

Elsie Lake is an amazing place to camp, fish, and boat on, and it is our hope that our efforts will make this site accessible as Tom had wanted.


For more information about Elsie Lake and for road conditions visit (http://bit.ly/1LMRGvV).

R.l.P. Tom Mctevia

 
As some of you know Tom Mctevia passed away along with his friend due to an ATV accident this last Monday. I was shocked and so saddened by this news. He is a great friend. I was lucky enough last month to spend a whole day with him on his ATV in the great outdoors... I will cherish this memory now more than ever knowing in this life it is the last time we will share time together. We had big plans this summer and I plan to carry them out regardless as I know he will be there with me in spirit. Tom is one of those guys that has a heart of gold and a person that cared about everyone... even those that he may not have agreed with. Tom you will be missed but not forgotten! (direct video link... http://bit.ly/1QaxZzV )