AdvenChair & Wanderlust Tours Team Up for AdvenTours — Accessible Guided Outings


(Photo courtesy of AdvenChair)

What do you get when you combine AdvenChair, developer of the world’s most durable all-terrain wheelchair, with Wanderlust Tours, Central Oregon’s leader in naturalist-guided adventures? You get AdvenTours, a variety of accessible outings that allow people with mobility challenges to explore Central Oregon’s most iconic wild places with expert guidance.

Thanks to a grant from Visit Central Oregon’s Future Fund, a program that supports local tourism projects benefiting both visitors and residents, AdvenChair is making two new chairs available to Wanderlust Tours and kicking off a season of both publicly offered and private accessible tours — AdvenTours, if you will.

As Oregon makes strides in providing access to the outdoors across the state, locals and visitors alike will be able to take advantage of this new partnership. For people with mobility challenges looking to take in Central Oregon’s most spectacular natural sights, or even a wobbly grandparent who wants to join a family outing, one of these guided adventures could be just the ticket.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the AdvenChair team to facilitate accessible tours in the Bend area,” said Courtney Braun, Owner of Wanderlust Tours. “For more than 30 years, Wanderlust has led folks into Central Oregon’s great outdoors to let Mother Nature do her magic. And now, those with mobility challenges can join us for adventures in these beautiful areas to come away inspired, educated and with great stories to tell.”

The first AdvenTour will be offered the morning of Saturday, July 13 at Smith Rock State Park. Adventurers will have more than two hours to take in views from the rim of the canyon, as well as explore trails along the Crooked River, where they can get close-up glimpses at climbers challenging the walls.

On Saturday, August 3, the AdvenTour will combine a deep dive into Central Oregon’s unique volcanic geology with a healthy dose of astronomy. Lava Lands Visitor Center offers the perfect venue for both with a twilight trek among a 10-square mile lava field, followed by a summer evening of stargazing far away from city lights.

The third AdvenTour will take place on the morning of Sunday, September 8 at the breathtaking spectacle of Benham Falls. The AdvenChair makes accessible several dramatic viewpoints of this powerful stretch of rapids, as well as some of the Upper Deschutes River’s most serene settings.

Finally, on Sunday, October 20, the AdvenTour will venture to Shevlin Park for a morning jaunt along Tumalo Creek. The tour will take a close look at this ecosystem filled with spectacular flora and fauna and revel in some of Central Oregon’s most dramatic fall colors.

“For those who desire a different date or adventure, the AdvenTour opportunities don’t have to end with our public tour offerings,” said AdvenChairman (CEO) Geoff Babb. “AdvenChair and Wanderlust Tours welcome folks to customize their own accessible tours as weather and schedules allow.”

From taking in the stunning panoramic views at the top of Tumalo Mountain to discovering the stoic juniper trees and colorful rock outcrops in the Badlands Wilderness, or perhaps exploring all of the wonders of Newberry Crater, the AdvenTours team will be happy to accommodate. And if the individual’s mobility challenges don’t impact the ability to paddle, Wanderlust can even set up a guided canoe or kayak tour that may or may not involve an AdvenChair. In short, whatever tour can be dreamed up, chances are AdvenChair and Wanderlust Tour can bring it to life.

About AdvenChair:
AdvenChair is an all-terrain wheelchair designed for people with mobility challenges who want to venture off the beaten path and experience the grandeur of the wilderness. It is the brainchild of Geoff Babb, a fire ecologist and avid outdoorsman from Bend, Oregon, who loved to ski, mountain bike and backpack with his wife and twin boys until a near-fatal brain stem stroke on November 10, 2005 forced him to use a wheelchair.

While the stroke forever changed his ability to move, Babb soon discovered that the biggest obstacle to experiencing a simple outing on local trails with his family again was not so much his body, but the frailties of common wheelchairs. Rather than lobbying for wheelchair-accessible wilderness trails, Babb chose to develop a wheelchair capable of adapting to the trails, and the AdvenChair was born.

On November 10, 2017, exactly 12 years to the day after his stroke, Babb survived a second brain stem stroke, which was a major setback. Yet it made him more determined than ever to share his all-terrain chair with other people dealing with permanent or temporary limited mobility. While developing the first AdvenChair, Babb also launched The Onward Project, LLC, to inspire, encourage and enable outdoor adventures for people of all abilities.

About Wanderlust Tours:
Since 1993, Wanderlust Tours has welcomed guests to vibrantly share the natural and cultural history of Oregon in order to instill appreciation and protection of the environment. We hold great respect for the natural surroundings of our beautiful central Oregon landscape and hope to introduce people to these delicate ecosystems while maintaining a low impact on the environment. Wanderlust Tours is made up of people who are passionate about the intricacies of nature. We thrive on sharing our knowledge  and passion for the natural world with those who join our tours!

We are so excited to be partnering with AdvenChair and to help those with mobility challenges get into the outdoors and explore beautiful areas that initially may not seem accessible. With the AdvenChair off-road wheelchair, we can empower every member of our community in their quest for adventure!


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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