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Click here to enlarge article by Cindi Abbott


Christy Woolum wrote a wonderful article about her stay at the Last Resort Vacation Cabin Read all about it on her blog and see her fantastic photographs.

 

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July 27, 2014

Is The Last Resort “Wheelchair Accessible”?  Rafael and Lisa Salazar with our service dog, Baloo

 

First off, Cathy does not advertise this cabin as wheelchair accessible.  My wife contacted her with accessibility questions and we were willing to take a risk and venture outside ADA approved accommodations.  I am a T4 paraplegic. I have been in a wheelchair for 35 years.

 

My first impression upon arrival is that this is “the coolest treehouse” anyone could imagine.  The train passing regularly on the other side of the river was an additional plus for our tastes.  Add to this, my ability to grill steaks for a romantic dinner with my wife on the river’s edge made for a fantastic stay.  We include our night at The Last Resort as one of the highlights of our trip to Glacier Park and Yellowstone.  We will definitely return here on our future travels.

 grill

As for access:

 

The ramp requires some assistance on both the up and down trips. I managed to go down the ramp on my own, very slowly and with a great bit of balance work. After watching this, my wife announced that in the future, she would spot me on the way down.

ramp

There are two ways to enter this cabin.  One is directly in front of the ramp and is completely accessible with a door width of  29″.  The second door which leads into the kitchen, while wide enough, has a 2 1/4″ high threshold.  Even my wife avoided this door as she tripped several times over this thing.

chairdoor

 

I could move from kitchen to lounging area without assistance once my wife pushed the bed against the wall.  Cathy didn’t mind us rearranging the furniture and the bed conveniently has wheels.

table

 

As the cook in the family, I could easily get under the dining room table for grilling prep work.  The table is 25 1/2 ” in height.

 

The bathroom was a  challenge since the doorframe is very narrow.  Including the door width which takes additional space, you have 22″ in clearance.  My chair measures 24″ from wheel rim to wheel rim. If you are traveling with a child in a wheelchair, this would probably prove possible, but for adults in manual wheelchairs, innovation is required. The toilet is located right by the door opening.  I was able to make the transfer by using a kitchen chair situated right at the bathroom door.  With my wife’s assistance, I maneuvered from the kitchen chair across to the toilet.  From toilet to shower we used a bath bench we brought with us.  How to get the bath bench from toilet to shower? This is where the warning, “do not try this at home” comes into play! We danced the bench across the floor into the shower stall.  It’s best not to ask questions; just know that my wife now dreams about telescoping bath benches. Since the shower has a lip, our bath bench created the difficult inside/outside situation that makes keeping water on the inside “challenging”. There are no grab bars in the bathroom and there is no hand held shower head system. Next time we will go with a small bath chair that includes a backrest so it can fully fit within the shower stall.  We will also explore wheelchair clamps that temporarily narrow the chair for entry through these types of door frames.

 watersedge

Outside , the path to the river is not accessible by chair.  There is a boat ramp on the other side of the main house, but this is extremely steep and my wife was uncomfortable trying this backwards or forwards.

 

I don’t want to encourage or discourage people about this place.  You know your own comfort boundaries and how far you want to push yourself.  Make sure you have an open conversation with your travel companion who will end up assisting you.  Bring equipment to help both of you with these challenges so you may focus on relaxing and enjoying the beauty of this precious location.

 deck

Thank you Cathy.  You had me at the treehouse.  You had me at the train. But the fresh local honey on the dining room table sealed the deal!

 

Best wishes,

 

Rafael and Lisa Salazar