World's Lightest 4WD Coyote 4WD in the Pacific Northwest
Outrider Presents: A Crooked Canyon Production: Three Riders. Three Locations. Their stories of adversity, perseverance, and discovery. Embark. Coyote 4WD. We wanted space. Both of us grew up on five acres, and since we had a 1-year-old, we wanted to have, instead of living on this tiny piece in Seattle, we wanted to have some space for him to explore, and we loved the mountains, so North Bend was perfect. I met Tim up at Tiger Mountain, and I called my mom that night and said, “Mom, I just met the guy I’m going to marry”. I was hiking up and she was hiking down, with another guy, and she said, “this is my friend, Gary”. The outdoors passion started in my twenties, hasn’t stopped. I had about ten years’s worth of really bizarre, totally unrelated things that happened to me. I had a complete loss of my legs, later on I lost complete vision, so I had these really significant attacks but they were all unrelated, so I kept going to different doctors, and when all that was said and done and they did an MRI, that was in 1996, and then he said “you have MS”. I read that term; it was pretty scary, but y’know, getting the verdict was pretty devastating. I was really determined to not let it stop me. I remember my goal was to just keep being able to run up to the top of our road, and then it was just walking, then walking with poles. But I remember when I had to give up skiing. I’m going to keep skiing. But I got off the lift, and so of course I crossed my skis and just about picked off this little kid that was skiing, scared the heck out of him and his parents, took the skis off and said, “Well, that’s it”. And, um, then you just sort of slowly – then it was just more of a slow progression. But all the while, we’re trying to find places that she could be successful at. Tim never gave up. My goal was always to, y’know, include Lucinda to the extent possible. When we did adaptive biking, we tried the all-electric, and it was like, “Ok, that’s something we want to get”, and then we discovered Outrider USA, and it was like, “wow!” I needed something that would go off-road, be stable, I mean we live on this beautiful acreage. When we did get the Coyote initially we got out to some places that Lucinda hadn’t visited for well over 20 years. Yeah. And so, it was just awesome to get her back. I’d forgotten just how beautiful a place we live in. I mean this whole valley is just, stunning. We moved here for a reason. It was the best week that I had had. It’s absolutely been life-changing to be able to get out and I feel that I have that sense of freedom. I went down and visited friends that live down the road, and it’s just wonderful. For me, I’m excited about exploring, getting out and bringing Lucinda around to see places that are familiar but also new places for us. I mean the joy that you get from being on it, I kind of call it like a super-mini ATV, customized for people with disabilities. It’s absolutely life-changing. Oh boy! Yee haw! Holy ####! *maniacal laughter* I moved to British Columbia in 1972 from Ontario. I’ve been here ever since. I built a little driftwood hut and, oh yeah, it was neat! In those days, there was hardly anybody around. I liked to go camping, and it was good to take the kids camping. Good memories, but just memories. Everything becomes different after you’ve had a stroke. I was in Shanghai, and I had spent ten days in Shanghai. When we came home I started to feel real yucky on the airplane, so when I got to Vancouver I just stayed in my apartment, nothing was making any sense. So she had me taken to the hospital, and they put me in one of those scanner things, and I was on the gurney, and we were going through the front door, and that’s when I had the big stroke. My life had totally changed. I try not to focus on my disabilities, and try to just live a normal life. From a Cadillac that had 560 horsepower to a scooter that goes about five miles per hour, it took some adjusting. I see all kinds of silly things with little tires or three tires, and just nothing, nothing! I really look forward to the Coyote to give me that opportunity to go out and enjoy life a little bit. This is the most dramatic thing since I had my stroke. This is the answer; the Coyote is the answer. It really is. I’ve lived here for over 12 years, and I’ve never had the opportunity to get out and see it as well as I did today. I haven’t been able to use my own power and really get out of the condo, but have some fun doing it! And people look at you when you’re on my little scooter, and they’re not very nice. So when they see me on this, they go “ooh, what’s that?” It’s changing my life. And that’s going to start a conversation, and I thrive in that kind of environment. It’s going to make a big difference to my whole life. My heart – oh no. This is the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in over a decade. And my little at 5 miles an hour; this is way, way better. Yeah! Way, way better. I was 22, there with my friend, and somebody plowed into me from behind. I turned around and it was him, like “what are you doing?” Craig told me he was 27. I thought 29 sounded too old! It would have been! I’m 35 years in a chair. I’ve gone hunting and canoeing and water skiing and snow skiiing and jet skiing and boating, and life’s still there. You’re going to meet a wonderful person that’s going to be like “yeah, I’m game!” It’s going to be different, and you’re going to have to use your brain to figure it out, but you can. Everybody’s got a story, life’s hard. Laugh at it and get into it. I was 18 years old. Just out of high school, and I started at the University of Kansas, was there for three weeks. Completely perfect, went to class that day, was headed back to the dorms, and pain kind of erupted. I had a stroke of the spinal cord, cause unknown. A guy saw me, gave me a ride to the hospital. I was spitting up blood and life flighted in. Never found a reason, and never walked again. Luckily I had some great, great friends. I didn’t know how to do the stuff that you just normally know how to do. Even before he was in a wheelchair and had the accident, was ready to tackle life, and his friends were the same. They were ready with him. So after he got in the chair none of that really changed. So it was ‘87 when I had my stroke, and a couple years after that I got into wheelchair racing with this club, Kansas City Wheelchair Road and Track. Like Regina was saying, that she runs up in the woods behind our house here, and it’s miles of national forest right there, and I’ve been looking at it for five years and not able to access it. I was complaining, and Regina was like “what do you need? What would do it” and I was like “I think I need a machine that’ll do it” and the reason I picked the Coyote was, I think it’s going to be the easiest to use on a daily basis. Easiest to transport, easiest to take with me. I see myself jumping in it daily, really. The riding experience for me was really comfortable, and in control. Going through things that I wouldn’t have thought of doing, but it was like “this thing’s gonna go there”. I wish something like this would have been around for the last 30 years. So many things that I’ve been across in 30 years have been like “well, y’know that’s just not possible”. This is going to make a lot more things possible!