By Scott Stowell, Special to the Star Tribune
ELY, MINN. – When he was 7, Scott Bush fell out the passenger door of a moving car and its rear tire ran over his hand. Surgeons attempted to reattach the hand, but to no avail. It was amputated 11 days later. He has lived without it for 35 years.
Bush, of Norwalk, Iowa, didn’t let the injury stop him. He played four sports in high school and, what’s more, was the founder of Templeton Rye Whiskey. However, he said he hasn’t canoed much because having one hand made paddling awkward.
He’s had a desire to visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. He recently booked a guided trip with the Ely Outfitting Co. to take his sons Adrian, 12, and Xavier, 10. As part of the package, the company bought a specially designed paddle to considerably enhance Bush’s paddling skills.
“If it turns out that this thing works well, I think it’ll be something I want to do a lot more,” he said before the trip.
Providing outdoor experiences to disabled people has been the lifework of Cindy Dillenschneider of Washburn, Wis. She was an outdoor education professor at Northland College from 1989 to 2016 in nearby Ashland. Experience showed her that paddle sports are some of the most accessible mediums for people with lower limb impairments. However, people with upper limb impairments don’t have that same advantage. She was determined to find a solution.
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