Exploring National Parks
Get up and explore the trail! How do you navigate the wonderful world of outdoor parks and take advantage of all Mother Nature has to offer? This month we shared ways to prepare and adaptations to consider for your visit to a national park near you.
August 15, 2019
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Get Up and Go – Exploring National Parks
Presented by Steve Kelley and Elyse Heinrich
August 15, 2019
Steve K: Welcome, everyone, to the Hadley Discussion Group Get Up and Go! I'm Steve Kelley, co-hosting with Elyse Heinrich. Our goal here is to provide a forum for the community to share ideas and resources for recreational activities at all different levels. Elyse.
Elyse H: Thanks, Steve. And welcome to everyone. Glad you're here.
Steve K: The one thing that I wanted to bring up that was mentioned in our... We've actually heard this in the last two discussion groups. People interested in getting back to walking, just getting out and about. And so I asked a former O & M specialist here in Maine if she had some suggestions for individuals who just wanted to get started. And of course, her very first suggestion was to check in with an O & M specialist to find out what skills they might need, or just ask for some resources. But some of the other things that she suggested kind of seem like no brainers. But one or two of them was new to me, so I'll just read here.
If someone wants to get back to walking with limited support following a vision loss, why not... Here we go. Why not get some O & M? But she went on to suggest going to the mall is a safe place. That one's kind of a no brainer, walking around the mall. Finding a running track or a walking track, and there are often community walking groups to join. I didn't realize it, but a lot of high schools or middle schools in your neighborhood are going to have a track that's usually a quarter mile track that is probably an easy way to get started walking. And you can just count your laps. So I thought that was a pretty good idea.
And then another suggestion she had was a lot of communities now have what are called green belts. And she mentioned that these are very “in” these days. And one of the things that you could do is simply call your town office and find out if you have a green belt that's nearby, and then check to see if there are any walking groups that you could just join in with. So I thought that those were a couple of really suggestions for those who wanted to get back into walking and get out a little bit more often.
Elyse H: Those are some great points, and really can add into our conversation starter this month about national parks and exploring these beautiful national parks that are all around us in all sorts of different cities and areas. So to start our conversation, I talked to a gentleman who had the privilege to work with the National Park Service for the Tall Grass National Prairie Preserve in Kansas. And part of their project that coincided with their 100th year anniversary of the National Parks System they celebrated in 2016, was that the board of directors and the director of the Kansas park was pushing for a project to make the park more accessible. And being accessible not just for those with low vision, or who are blind, those with mobility limitations, those with hearing impairments, for people of all ages and ranges to come to the park.
And so I talked with the gentleman. His name is Craig. And he was contracted by the park to make the park accessible for travelers who are blind, using a GPS technology. Now I should say Craig's background is a teacher of the visually impaired, as well as orientation and mobility teacher. And he worked for many, many years at the Kansas School for the Blind. He's recently retired, but was very excited to do this project because one of his big things when I talked with him about this project he did was, it's really a scary thing to get lost. And going out, maybe just out to the mailbox, or going around the block can be daunting to us if we would be getting lost. So much less going to a national park, where you may not be familiar with the landmarks, or the layout, or the terrain is different of getting lost.
So this was his project. He used a modified Trekker Breeze Plus as his GPS technology tool. And the preserve in Kansas has about 10,000 acres, which he calculated was over 40 miles of trails. And so working day in and day out for about two months, long days. He said, before the sun was up, he was out there. And after the sun went down, he was out there mapping all of the different trails. The park does have signs in braille. They have some tactile maps, and now this audio enhanced, GPS-led to fixed routes, as well as landmarks he made for all of the 41 miles of trails.
And the neat thing he shared with me is that it is technology based. So if anything changes, or if a trail shifts, or is moved around, they can quickly update it online. It's not a fixed thing you would have to change the whole display around for. Some of the paths are gravel, and some were dirt, and he planted landmarks, or points of interest, on different routes in the park. Then he added with text to speech software in the descriptions of what is near that landmark. He added information and even, I thought was really neat, audio clips of animals or wildlife that you might find in that location around the landmarks.
Craig explained that he uses the directions like a clock face. Noon is in front of you. 6:00 PM is behind you. 9:00 to the left and 3:00 to the right. So he tried to make it very general. If anybody picked up a Trekker Breeze Plus from the welcome center, you can follow it. The maps are loaded right there. You can pick one and just follow it right from the door. He also has some fixed routes in the park, and one that goes through an at your own risk bison range.
Steve K: [laughs] At your own risk bison range?
Elyse H: At your own risk, that's what the printed sign was.
Steve K: I have visions of people running from bison as they're crossing this park.
Elyse H: Exactly, in the prairies and tall grasses. He had said, "If it's going to be accessible of what somebody with sight could see at this sign, someone with no sight could also have the option, at your own risk."
Steve K: Just out of curiosity, for anybody who's not familiar with one of the Trekker Breezes, could you just give a brief overview how something like that might work? Are you familiar with them at all?
Elyse H: A little bit. Yeah. It's more of a handheld device, numeric keypad on the front, and different storage capabilities. What they did is they landmarked all these routes and saved them to an SD card, which is then in this device. And it's pre-programmable, so you can pick your route when you're at the Kansas park.
Steve K: With the Trekker Breeze, you don't have to be a technology guru to use something like that. It's something that you can pick up pretty quickly and just start using to follow a route. And you're just going to listen to the route. And when you get to a landmark, it's going to describe the landmarks. Is that pretty much how it works?
Elyse H: That's my understanding. Yep. And the nice thing is that the Kansas park did purchase four Trekker Breeze Plus, so they can loan them out for the day when you do get there. You don't have to bring your own equipment, or have to download something separate, or have an app, or worry about is my phone charged enough, or the battery life. They'll have it right there. And that being said, whether this is a positive or negative, Kansas, and this park is a first, and currently only park that has a GPS-mapped trail system. So something for other parks to think about in their accessibility.
Steve K: You just want to make sure you bring your sneakers if you're going to go to the “at your own risk bison part.”
Elyse H: Yes. And then I did want to share, before we open up the phones here for comments on that, Steve, from the National Park Service, they do have an official app that gives you over 70 official national park services all in one spot. So the site was developed by an individual site that features audio tours, location and wayfinding information, some historic imagery, and trails that are unique to each state's, or each park's trails and that. Some of them also, on the app, include some maps and other information to explore the historic parks, monuments, homes, or battlefields. And a few of them that do have some GPS technology to orientate yourself are added in there.
For example, the Grand Canyon does have some GPS technology. But be aware that it follows the roads that are in the park, not necessarily a trail. So it can help you get to some points of interest but be sure you're not walking in the middle of the street.
Steve K: Should we open it up for comments? I'm kind of hoping some of the listeners might have some experience of their own with national parks that they can share.
Elyse H: For sure. Oh, for sure. I've been talking a whole bunch. Let's hear from other people's experience, or questions and comments and that. I see Jordan has her hand up. Go ahead.
Jordan: Hi Elyse.
Elyse H: Hi. Thanks for calling in.
Steve K: Hi Jordan.
Jordan: Thanks. This was back in June, but our blind and visually impaired group, we actually went to a state park, and it was actually accessible for all of us to use. We didn't actually do any camping there, but they did have sites for RVs and people to set up tents and everything like that. But we were just there to swim and eat. But the first two RV or tent spaces were reserved for accessibility for people that have a disability, or they're using handicap accessible. But that was all that I wanted to say.
Steve K: Jordan, can I ask a question while you're on the line?
Steve K: When you say it's accessible, accessible means a wide variety of things. And I guess with topics related to vision, I'm thinking: How accessible? What did you mean by accessibility? Were you just talking about wheelchair accessibility when you got there, braille on the men's and women's rooms? Or did you find that their brochures were accessible as well?
Jordan: Yeah. They had tactile markings on the signs for people that have low vision, or not just the signs for camping, but signs for to use the bathroom and stuff like that.
Steve K: Did you do any research prior to going, like checking out their websites, or getting any of their brochures? I think I understand that some of the parks have some of their brochures available in braille if you ask for them in advance.
Elyse H: This is Elyse. Yeah. I can speak to the accessibility and some braille ready files for some parks, for their access guide. And so I found that under the National Park Service, nps.gov. You can search by state. And so if you have a particular state in mind, it will take you to a comprehensive list of all parks in that state. And then with the different links, you can go directly to a park specific page. And a tab comes up under “Plan your visit.” There's another tab of accessibility in there. Each park, whatever specific is to them, if there's maps, wheelchair accessible trails, shuttle buses, paths, different facilities available, audio or visual alternative format materials. Some did have transcripts of videos that they show. You could download the transcript. And some of them offered... My surprise at Pearl Harbor, offered a braille ready file for their access guide, so you could download the BRF file onto your device, and then read what somebody might see in the print brochure.
Steve K: It was interesting, Elyse, when I was doing some of the research for this, it looks as though the national parks came up with a written strategic plan in 2015 that extended from 2015 to 2020, where accessibility was a big push. And so I think that you had mentioned that a lot of the national park websites now have a tab. And I think it just says accessibility on it, where they're talking about the various accessible features that they have, including maps and brochures and that sort of thing. I thought that was cool. It almost ... Well, it seems like they're taking it seriously. I mean, some people give the accessibility talk a lot of talk, and the reality is that you don't get a lot of walk out of it. But it does seem like they're really trying to step up to the plate with some of this.
Elyse H: And I saw that a lot too in my searching.
Renee: And then the app for the national parks, is that just NPS? Or what's the name of that?
Steve K: Elyse, how did you find it?
Renee: [crosstalk], Elyse.
Elyse H: Right. Right. Let me get back over to my... You're talking about the app for the National Public Service.
Renee: Yeah, for the National Park Service.
Elyse H: Park Service, excuse me, National Park Service. Right. [crosstalk].
Steve K: NPR, right?
Elyse H: I sure am. Let me get over. I searched on my Android device for this national park apps, and it came up as National Park Service Tours.
Renee: Oh, all right. Cool.
Elyse H: You may find, I found there was a handful of different apps that are specific to each park, like the Badlands, or the Grand Canyon, or Pearl Harbor. So you can get an app that's specific to that one location. I found this one was more general, and it funnels, of the 70 official park services they do have, it funnels all into one.
Renee: Okay. And then I don't know if people are aware, but you can get a Golden Access pass. You apply for it, or you get it at a park if you're disabled, I think most disabilities. And what it does is, it gives you free admission to any national park. And I believe one person for sure gets in free with you as well. And then if you camp at a national park, you get camping for half price, and that's good for your lifetime. And then if you're not able to get to a park, you can actually contact them, and they mail it to you. I think it costs $10. So yeah, we've used that a few times. The thing with the national park camping is they're primitive. They don't have water, or electric, or anything. But they're very clean and out there in nature, and really nicely set up. And they have nice output, toilets. Privies. Not plumbing, but yes, they have clean toilets. And they're usually on a lake or by water, and trails.
Then they have fishing and different things. And so, yeah. And there is a lot of parks. Someday, I hope to get out and visit some of them. And I know there's a lot of them out there, like you said, 70. That's awesome. Thank you for doing this series.
Steve K: Renee, did you have to show proof of a disability to get that free pass? I remember looking at that, and it looked as though you've got to ... It doesn't necessarily have to be from a doctor, but you could get it from say, a vocational rehab, or a counselor, or something like that. Did you need to get one?
Renee: Yeah. You did have to do something. It's been so long ago. It was 10 years ago. I can't remember what I actually ... I think it was just from my eye doctor, or even I suppose if you show them that if you get SSDI or something, you can just show them. Not your amount or whatever, but just saying that you're getting it, I guess. That would suffice too. I don't know.
Steve K: The other thing that kind of surprised me, I wasn't sure that I understood this, but it seems to me that if you go, let's say you go with a carload of people, that pass will get in three additional adults plus yourself at no cost. Did you find that that was the case?
Renee: I think so, yeah. I was thinking that it was ... I couldn't remember the total. But yeah, a car, four people, including you. Yes.
Steve K: And parking-
Renee: So sometimes, yeah, you have to pay to get into the parks. And is parking free too? I don't know.
Steve K: I thought it was. Yeah. I was really impressed. This was all new to me. And then I saw that a lot of the amenities were 50% off, not for things that you were shopping for or anything like that, but like you said, camping. And I thought, "Wow. That is a really good perk."
Renee: It is, definitely.
Elyse H: Yeah. I'm here over on the National Park Service site real quick trying to find the specifics for you, Steve, but I will be sure to find it after the call, and we'll add it into our notes. So anybody who may be interested in it, I believe it's called the Golden Sass for visitors with disabilities to enjoy reduced, if not free, admission. And sounds like reduced camping, reduced prices for that. Very neat. I'm so glad you could join and share that with us. What's your favorite park of yours?
Renee: Well, we've gone to, it's called Two Lakes Campground in Northern Wisconsin. Yeah. Got a couple nice lakes and just very peaceful. Like I said, I haven't gone to any big parks in a long, long time. So hopefully, once we retire a little bit more, we can have time to go do that.
Elyse H: I like that.
Renee: It's great to be outdoors and enjoy this beautiful country of ours.
Elyse H: Exactly. Some of it is in our backyard here, so it's a great, great resource. I see there's a couple more hands up and a few comments in our chat group. Jordan wanted to share.
Renee: Thank you.
Elyse H: You're welcome. Thanks. There's a website called ohranger.com, O-H ranger.com. And it gives you information on state parks. And then someone else wrote in that you can ask the lady on the wall that starts with an A.
Steve K: The A lady.
Elyse H: The A lady to play Get Up and Go, or other Hadley groups by name. I love it. I'm going to try mine later.
Steve K: I've got to confess that I did try that, and it does work. And it's really slick, it's a nice little thing. I think they're on iTunes, so if you need to, you can ask the A lady, "Play Get Up and Go on iTunes," or something like that, and it'll work.
Elyse H: Oh, that's too exciting.
Steve K: It doesn't take much to get us really excited here on the Get Up and Go Show.
Elyse H: Oh, gosh. So Christy, I see your hand raised. I'll unmute you. Would you like to share?
Christy: I just wanted to share that I have looked up the access pass recently because I was interested in it. And all you have to do is provide a letter or documentation from your doctor, or voc rehab, or any of the foundations that you're involved in, stating that you are considered legally blind, or visually impaired, or disabled of any sort. And then you have to have proof of your social security if you get it.
Elyse H: Okay, great. Thank you for sharing that good information about the ... You said it was the access pass?
Christy: Yeah, the Golden Access pass.
Elyse H: The Golden Access pass, great.
Steve K: Well, that seems easy enough. Doesn't it?
Elyse H: Sure.
Steve K: Really, for the benefits that you get, that's nothing. Right?
Steve K: Yeah.
Elyse H: And you just do it one time, and you're set to go. You don't have to renew it every year, or every five years?
Christy: That was something I was trying to find out. I do not know the answer to that one. That was actually a question I had.
Steve K: Have you had an opportunity to use it yet?
Christy: I actually haven't got it yet because I was in the process of moving when I looked it up.
Steve K: I got it. What's on your list of places that you want to go, if you don't mind me asking?
Christy: I really want to go out to the Grand Canyon, for sure. That's one of the places I really want to be able to go see. And I'm just barely starting to look around about traveling and stuff because my kids just became adults, so I don't have to stay home anymore.
Steve K: So you've solved the problem of where to get the extra time now to do a little more traveling. Right?
Elyse H: Oh, that's wonderful. The Grand Canyon is totally on my bucket list. I have not been there. I want to go rafting down the river. I have these great plans. Great, thanks for sharing. There is another hand up. The number starts with 530. What's your name, please?
Leann: My name is Leann.
Elyse H: Leann, welcome.
Leann: Hi, thank you. One thing was, I have a senior pass that I got before I became blind. And I think it has very similar perks. I got it for free, and then there was a deadline, but now I think people pay something for it. But it gives similar perks, carloads of people getting in. I forget all the...
Elyse H: Oh, neat. Is that for 55 and better community, for a senior pass?
Leann: I'm not even sure what age. I can't read it anymore. I can't read the card.
Elyse H: Oh, okay.
Leann: For the pass, so that's FYI for people who aren't blind that might want to add theirs to a group going camping or visiting a state park, a national park.
Steve K: It's just another way to get a little bit of a discount, which is pretty cool.
Leann: Right, yeah, for anything here. And then I had a question. They talked to us about A lady, I'm not very techy. What’s A lady?
Steve K: It's the Amazon Echo.
Leann: Oh. Amazon, oh.
Steve K: We don't call her by name because then everybody's Amazon Echo is going to go off as soon as we use her name.
Leann: What did she do? She made us listen to this on something.
Steve K: Yeah. You could listen to it on the Amazon Echo or the Google Home, the smart speakers. So in this case, you would say to the Echo, you would use the name of the assistant for the Amazon Echo, and you would say, "Play Get Up and Go on TuneIn." And TuneIn is just the app, or the station that aggregates a lot of podcasts. You may not even have to use the word TuneIn. You might just work if you just said, "Play Get Up and Go."
Leann: So you do that instead of dialing the phone number and putting in all the numbers to get here?
Steve K: Oh, good question. I see what you're saying. It would be for the archives. Once they're archived, then they're provided as like podcasts. It wouldn't work for the live version. That was a great question. Sorry, clarify that. That's good.
Leann: I'm just so un-techy.
Steve K: No. That was a terrific question, though. Yeah.
Leann: I have to figure out my iPhone, so thank you very much.
Elyse H: Thanks for calling in. Do you have a favorite park that you visited before with the senior pass?
Leann: I haven't used it yet. But is Lake Tahoe a state or a national park? I don't know what it is. Anyway, Lake Tahoe, and then in Wyoming, Devil's Tower and then the Black Hills up there.
Elyse H: Oh, sure. Sure. I believe Lake Tahoe's a park too, but sounds great. Do you live out in that area?
Leann: Yes, I do.
Elyse H: Great. Thanks for joining. If you do have other people want to jump in, go ahead and raise your hand.
Steve K: Thanks, Leann.
Leann: Thank you very much.
Elyse H: It sounds like we're all trying to plan our trips to these parks. I did find an article that had given us nine tips to make the most out of visiting your national park.
Steve K: I saw that one. I really love that. There was some great stuff in there. I think everybody should read that one.
Elyse H: Sure. Maybe I'll highlight a few here, but I'll post the link on our page too. One of their first ones was know when to go. So this National Geographic adventurer, photographer, and filmmaker. A gentleman, his name is Jimmy Chin, had been exploring and taking pictures of national parks for year. And so he wrote about some things. But he said, "In the shoulder seasons, right when the kids go back to school, or right before they get out, sort of off the main season timeframe, and the parks tend to be a little bit quieter, but still beautiful." He said September, which is coming up here, is one of the best months to plan a visit, depending on the weather conditions, I suppose, and your schedules. But see if you can plan a trip for early spring or fall. Some of those can be a little bit challenging. But August, September seem to be a little bit better, a little bit quieter.
Also, he said, "Going early in the morning or late at night, you can catch the sunrise, or sunsets, or even see a full moon, depending on the time of year. And he said, "When it's late at night with just the moon above you, everything is quieter, and you can feel almost as if you are alone." Another tip that was in the article is go with a mission in mind.
Steve K: This one was my favorite, I think.
Elyse H: Right, right. Just looking online and hearing about that Kansas has 41 miles of trails. How can you even do a little bit of it in one day? But planning trips to these national parks are sprawling. And even one as big as Yellowstone can be really overwhelming when you're deciding where to start. So he says, "Instead of fretting about how many historic landmarks that you need to fit into your trip or driving yourself crazy with the time allotments and schedules, pick one or two things that you want to accomplish on the trip." Depending on how much time you have, do a little bit of homework and pick one objective, and commit to it. So when you show up at the park, you're not feeling like, "I don't know which I should do," and you maybe end up don't doing much at all if you're worried about reading the map, or just trying to find them all too much.
Steve K: For those of us who aren't really planners, I can totally see something like that happening. Oh, yeah. I'm going to the Grand Canyon. And then you get there, and you don't really know specifically what it is that you want to see because there's so much. It would be overwhelming.
Elyse H: Definitely. Speaking of the Grand Canyon, some of the parts are just closed, depending on the trail terrain or time of year. So planning ahead, being able to look at their website, might also give you some guidance and what spots to look for, or what to avoid.
Steve K: If you don't mind me just jumping in for a moment, there was another... You had mentioned an app that would probably be good for this planning. But there was another one. I'm just trying to find it here on my list. It was called The Uni Description App. I know that sounds weird. U-N-I Description. And their website is unidescription.org. And it was kind of a weird app in the sense that I downloaded it on my Android, and really got nowhere with it. But when I put it on my iPad, it kind of came to life. But the idea behind it is it's got a lot of the brochures for the national parks there. And it's in a little bit more accessible format. Some of them actually have an audio description. But a lot of them just have, they're describing the brochures literally.
So they'll include the text. They'll have a description of each one of the pictures and that sort of a thing. So anybody who's planning a trip, I wouldn't recommend it on the Android because, well, I don't know. I just had no luck. I don't know whether it was me, or whether it was the Android app. But if you're using an iPhone or an iPad, go to the App Store, it's easy to find, and it's free. And it did seem to have a lot of information that would be helpful. At least you don't have to send away for the brochure or go to the website and download the brochure and try to read it as a PDF file. This might be a little bit easier.
Elyse H: Very nice. It sounds like it's just at your fingertips.
Steve K: Yeah. It was handy once I got it working, sure.
Elyse H: Great. Oh, another person in the chat group shared. It's her dream to see the Grand Canyon while she still can see it. I love that. Well, we have about 15 minutes left. Other people want to jump in and comment or share, any questions? Or their stories about national parks. Oh, we have a hand raised. Leann, go ahead.
Leann: Hello. I have a question. It's not really about a park, but it's about walking at parks. I just got a cane last year. And they gave me a long cane. It has a disk tip. It seems like it gets stuck on lots of things. And then at a local place, I borrowed another cane that someone else had donated, and it had a ball on the end. It seems like it doesn't catch up on things, and I can move faster. Are there any pros and cons about what kind of canes to use? Is it okay to ask this here? [crosstalk]
Elyse H: Yeah. That's a great question. Myself, personally, I'm not too knowledgeable to speak to it. But other people might be able to jump in. I can definitely find some resources for you too.
Leann: Thank you.
Steve K: Do we have any other walkers in the group that are using canes that could make a suggestion for something like this? I was just going to say, I ran across a couple of people that... And I'm always a little reluctant to bring these people up as examples because they're not like any of the rest of us. They're in their own little league. But there's a guy named Trevor Thomas, who has done the Appalachian Trail and a couple of other trails. He's hiked 20,000 miles, and he lost his vision in I think 2005. And so he's hiked all of that, a lot of it solo, and all of it blind.
And another guy named Randy Pierce, who has also done an incredible amount of hiking here in the Northeast, so he's hiked all of the peaks in New Hampshire. And I think there's 45 of them. But I was wondering. I looked at some of the pictures on the website just to see what kind of canes they were using. And I know that Trevor uses a guide dog, but he's still using a cane. And I'm just wondering. Do they carry an extra cane too, in case one breaks? I was also wondering, what kind of tip are they using? Because I would think that if you didn't have the right tip, it's going to get snagged a lot.
Elyse H: That's a great point- have an extra one just in case. Sometimes those rubber bands tend to snap under a lot of pressure, or if you're continually getting it snagged or hooked on some things on the trail. I can definitely look into that for you, Leann, and get back to you. We have another hand up. Or maybe Renee has some ideas.
Renee: Yeah. I have a guide dog now. But when I was using my cane, yes, there are several different tips. I don't know if you have, or you're close to maybe an O & M specialist, or AFB, or NFB or something. They do have the golf ball tips, which are the really big ball, or else they have the marshmallow tips. I think, yes, for walking on uneven terrain, the big golf ball one goes over stuff a lot easier and doesn't jam you in the gut so much. I guess you pretty much just need to try them out and see what works for you.
Elyse H: Great idea.
Steve K: Yeah. Good suggestions on that one. And I think the real critical thing is to see if you can actually just try the different ones out for a little bit and really see which one you're most comfortable with.
Renee: Yes. Especially on the terrain that you want to use it on. Yeah. Some trips... I used to always carry a cane with me because sometimes your guide dog, something might happen, or you need to check an area out a little better that you're not familiar with. So right now, I have a marshmallow tip on my folding cane, and that seems to work pretty good and doesn't get caught in too much stuff like the cracks in the sidewalk and stuff. We like to go hiking a lot. Don't you? And she loves to go hiking, so we just ... My husband's up ahead, and we just kind of follow him. And she stops at the rocks and the ruts and stuff. But I don't have to use a cane when I take her. But I could see how you could maybe use one too for balance and stuff. And they do have those other, the support like canes, or different ones like that, or just even a trekking pole. Depending if you're going with someone else, or going by yourself, that makes a lot of difference to what you're going to need.
Elyse H: Right. And real quickly, I'll add this to our resource link. But if you're looking for maybe a replacement cane, or an upgrade, updated one, the National Federation for the Blind does have a free white cane program. And it's a quick form to fill out. But requesting a cane, you cannot be more than six months since your previous request. You have to verify that you're blind or visually impaired, and that you'll use this cane for your personal use, or for someone who's under the age of 18. But acknowledging those, there's a little check box to accept, that you can request every six months from the NFB for a cane.
Steve K: Now is there a place on there where you can specify that you're going to be using it specifically for hiking, and you want a tip that's going to work well for hiking?
Elyse H: They do have a sizing chart, so measuring from your armpit to the floor, how tall you are. And there's some other information about cane sizing. I believe you can request what sort of tip that you'd like, like the big rolling ball, or the golf ball size, or the marshmallow tip, or some are pencil tip, that's a thin point.
Steve K: I think that's a great opportunity. But I think Renee had a really good point too, Leann. If you've got someplace close by where you can kind of stop in and try it out. That would probably be the very best thing. That way, you'll know before you get half a mile down the trail and realize, oh, this isn't really going to work for me.
Elyse H: Yes, yes. And Kimberly shared from the chat that not everybody should be using an NFB cane, but it's better to consult with an orientation and mobility specialist if you are looking to make a change, or possibly adding more to your repertoire for hiking versus just everyday out and about walking.
Steve K: Yeah. There's nothing like having that kind of an assessment from an O & M specialist. I think that's probably the best way to go. And actually, they might be able to hook you up with something that you can try a little bit before you settle on one. Elyse, do you have any other last minute comments?
Elyse H: In the chat, some people had wrote about beep baseball, some beep volleyball, possibly doing a corn maze, and the USABA, talking about the different programs, the events it offers, and also state adaptive sports groups. So thank you, everyone, for your ideas. We will be-
Female: Are those going to be listed in your thing that you write up?
Elyse H: Yes. I will list those as well. And we'll post them. Thank you for your ideas. Keep them coming. We look forward to talking with everyone next month on our Get Up and Go.
Steve K: Thanks so much, everybody. We're going to wrap up. Our time's finished. It's been great. We really enjoyed you being here today. Thank you.