Canadian Odyssey
By Frederick A. Shotz 2000
Photo by
Frederick A. Shotz
 

Having just returned from three weeks in British Columbia and the Canadian Rocky Mountains, I thought I would add a few comments about travel in Canada.

On my trip, I rented a motor home out of Seattle, Washington. Because of  the lack of a service dog law in Canada, motor home rental companies in Canada saw my service dog as a pet and would not modify their no pet policies. Therefore, I rented one in the U.S. where the ADA requires such a modification of policy.

In my travels, I avoided the big trailer parks, seeking more natural settings. I found that many of the B.C. Provincial Parks had a wheelchair accessible camping site and a wheelchair accessible restroom. I even found wheelchair accessible showers in one Provincial Park. There were fewer accessible facilities in the campgrounds in the Rocky Mountains than there were in Alberta.

Be careful in taking "walks" that are shown in park literature (mostly in the Rockies) as wheelchair accessible. I am a strong guy with a past that includes wheelchair racing; however, two of the wheelchair accessible paths were too much for me in my manual wheelchair. One path to a waterfall was so steep that, after about a mile, I was exhausted. I then had to go back down this very steep and narrow wood path with drop offs into a deep canyon, just inches off the edge of the path.

Throughout B.C., I found wonderful and beautiful places to stay in my motor home, which provided great views out the windows. My wife, who can walk, found herself staying in the motor home with me as the views were as good from inside, and it was not as cold inside the motor home as it was outside.

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