Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Kayaking Blind

“How do blind people kayak the Grand Canyon?” is a question he’s often asked, says Lonnie Bedwell, a blind roofer from Indiana, who learned to kayak on his farm’s pond before becoming the first blind person to kayak the entire 226 miles of the canyon’s river. Bedwell, a veteran who lost his vision in a hunting accident after his military service, next partnered with Team River Runner, a veterans’ paddle sports organization, to lead a group of four other blind veterans on a 12-day group paddle in the canyon. Steve Baskis, one of the veterans, described paddling some of the rapids as like being in a washing machine. “Things really aren’t that impossible. If we can work together, we can figure out a way through anything. That place, it changed me,” he told the Colorado Sun. The trip was documented in a YouTube video using Google‘s Street View technology. Interested in kayaking but not ready for the Grand Canyon? Seek out a training program like the one offered at Cal Polytech. Or check with a local recreation department that’s offering instruction and a guided paddle on calm water, find a sighted friend who’s up for an adventure, and paddle off.