Tom Trovinger had no idea what he was getting himself into when he signed up for a Splore whitewater rafting trip. Due to a degenerative neuromuscular disorder called Friedreich’s Ataxia, Trovinger uses a wheelchair for mobility and rarely goes camping.
After five exhilarating days on the Colorado River rafting, swimming, laughing and sharing life, though, Trovinger knows: He will never be the same.
“It was truly life changing and ranks by far as my biggest accomplishment,” he said. “The things I saw, the beautiful relationships and the memories I made will stay with me forever.”
Splore is a nonprofit outdoor adventure company that specializes in recreation for people with special needs and disabilities. Started in 1977, Splore provides whitewater rafting trips to individuals, families and groups with a wide spectrum of disabilities: physical, developmental, financial and social. No matter the ability level, Splore aims to create adventure experiences that form lifelong memories.
Locals only rafting trip
This summer, Splore is launching a Locals Only rafting adventure down the Colorado River. On July 15, the Moab community is invited to participate in a special day of rafting, water fights, a picnic lunch and festivities. It is a great opportunity for families, groups of friends or individuals to enjoy a day of fun out on the river, organizers say.
The trip will kick off at Hittle Bottom at 10 a.m. and will take out at Rocky Rapid.
No rafting experience is necessary and Splore provides all equipment and instruction.
“We are excited about this trip just for Moab folks,” said Becky Van Horsen, Splore’s river manager. “We have the most welcome and accepting community and we’re glad to give back.”
Cost is $55 per person, which includes shuttle, equipment and a hearty lunch on the river. If finances are an obstacle, contact Splore about scholarship options.
Sleep under the stars
Splore is also gearing up for its annual Friends & Family whitewater rafting adventure on Saturday and Sunday, July 7-8. Experience an overnight trip on the Fisher Towers stretch of the Colorado; enjoy delicious meals, play games on the beach and sleep under the stars.
The trip will kick off at Hittle Bottom at 10 a.m. and will conclude at Takeout Beach the following day. No rafting experience is necessary and Splore provides all equipment and instruction.
Cost is $200 per person, which includes meals, camping equipment and a vehicle shuttle.
“I’m not allowed to have favorites,” said Lindsay Malone, a Splore guide. “But some of my favorite memories are from our Open Adventure trips. It’s so neat to see people from all walks of life come together and have a wonderful adventure together.”
This Open Adventure trip is open to any individual, family or group of friends who are looking for an exciting time in beautiful red rock country.
The magic of Splore
Splore is dedicated to enriching the lives of its clients through outdoor recreation. Many outdoor activities are can be difficult for those with disabilities, and Splore strives to create affordable recreation.
Another facet of Splore is the volunteers. Almost every trip has at least one trained volunteer, who dedicates his or her time to helping people have an amazing experience in the outdoors.
Jeff Smith, a current Splore participant said, “The (volunteers) are the ones who make the trips worthwhile and enjoyable.”
To learn more or sign up for a trip, visit www.splore.org, call 801-484-4128 or email email@example.com.