The Disabled Explorers non-profit advocacy group is gearing up for their first-ever Desert Solitude Series journey, set to run January 22-24. The inaugural multi-day trip will take place on the historic El Camino del Diablo (The Devil’s Highway) in Arizona and demonstrate that overland travel for the disabled is not an impossible feat.
| El Camino del Diablo
“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.”
The Arizona excursion will start in Ajo and end in Yuma, which is about 150 miles of desert terrain. The Disabled Explorers group will travel through the Cabieza Prieta Wildlife Refuge and past the Barry Goldwater Bombing Range while visiting historic mine ruins, an adobe cabin at Tule Well, and the water reserves in the granite outcrop of Tinajas Atlas.
To accommodate the disabled travelers, a custom-built RV-style van dubbed the W.A.V.E. will be put into commission. The W.A.V.E., an acronym for Wheelchair Accessible Van for Expeditions, was built by Sportsmobile West and is based on a Ford E-Series full-size van. The W.A.V.E. was designed to be driven and operated by a wheelchair user, and features a wheelchair lift with hand controls for easy entry and exit. The van has also been outfitted with the necessary off-road parts and accessories, including heavy-duty bumpers, extended-range fuel tanks, locking diffs, beefy suspension, and a front winch.
| Lance Blair with the W.A.V.E., courtesy of Disabled Explorers.
While the inaugural Desert Solitude Series trip will be held in Arizona, future outings are planned for other Western U.S. destinations including Death Valley and the Mojave Desert. All journeys will include special guests who are recently disabled, but still want to enjoy the great outdoors.
To learn more about the Disabled Explorers and the W.A.V.E., visit the link below.