Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Too Tame for Eric

Eric Weihenmayer (left; back to camera) with uncles and nephews
My wife Mary and I had the privilege of walking three miles in the Pennypack Preserve with blind adventurer Eric Weihenmayer on Sunday, July 21.  Eric is the nephew of one of Pennypack's board members; he was in town with his wife, daughter, and adopted son for a family reunion.  We were joined on our walk by several uncles, nephews, and nieces.

Eric, who has been blind since his early teens, has climbed the highest peak on each of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest.  He is planning to kayak through the Grand Canyon when he can find a radio communication system reliable enough to allow him to negotiate the rapids with the guidance of coaches traveling with him.

Eric is a motivational speaker and a mentor to other people with handicaps.  This is the second opportunity we've had to walk with him; he's very knowledgeable about the natural world (but not terribly familiar with the flora and fauna of the Mid-Atlantic since he has relocated to Colorado) and - as you might imagine - extraordinarily self-reliant.

We had a good walk, but the biggest challenges I could offer Eric were a few muddy spots in the otherwise mostly smooth Pennypack Creek Trail.

Submitted by David Robertson
Executive Director
Eric (left), holding his daughter's shoulders, and flanked by his wife and adopted son (in a brown t-shirt)