Saturday afternoon, I was discharged from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Clinical Building -West Campus and am very happy to be well and back home. I’m also happy to be back on the road again to review places for wheelchair accessibility. Yesterday, my Aunt, Tony, Ric and I ventured out to Pilgrim Memorial State Park, located on the historic Plymouth Harbor. It’s one of my favorite places to visit.
The park is located right on historic Plymouth Harbor. It is the smallest State Park in Massachusetts, yet the most visited because of it’s historical past and attractions. The summer time is the busiest time of year to visit, yet never to busy for me to go. The Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that brought the first Pilgrims to Massachusetts and the famous Plymouth Rock is located at the park. You can also purchase tickets to tour The Plimoth Plantation which is only 3 miles from here.
The restrooms are located next to The Mayflower II. They are very wheelchair accessible. They are spacious and the handicap stalls have all the required safety bars. The wheelchair accessible sink is of perfect height for my wheelchair. The pipes under the sink are not even exposed for they are encased in a wooden cabinetry which is placed at an angle so a wheelchair can fit under it.
The sidewalks throughout the park are really too narrow for my wheelchair because often I have to stop and go to the side to let people pass by me for there is not enough room. There are many great restaurants and shops located on the pier and across the street that are wheelchair accessible. My favorite restaurant for very fresh seafood is Woods Seafood. My favorite place to stop by for an ice cream is Shinetti’s Ice Cream.
There is a Horse and Buggy tour ride which would be a lot of fun to go on but it’s not wheelchair accessible and would be impossible to have my friends lift me up into it. Yesterday, I was very excited about seeing the man, whom often drives this Horse and Buggy giving tours. This man last summer approached me and gave me a framed hand drawing of Mother Theresa. I still have this drawing hanging in my bedroom and am sure Mother Theresa helped me get well last week.
There is a small beach located at this park but it is not wheelchair accessible for there is no ramp to the beach. Even if you have a beach wheelchair, you will not be able to access the beach. There is also a ledge across the park in which rocks are piled high to the top of the ledge for high tide. I think there really should be a railing along the ledge for safety.
There are some openings at beginning of walk which lead to steps down to the beach. There are gates at some of these openings but not at all of them and when I get near the openings without the gate my friends and family get very nervous because I am visually impaired and they are afraid I may make get too close to the steep steps and fall off. Ric, my friend told me that he even had a nightmare that this happened.
There is a beautiful monument located in the park which a large rock and on it is a plaque that states: ‘In Memory of Those Who Chose the Sea’. There is a smaller plaque that says it was donated by friends of Dougie Thurber. It is very wheelchair accessible and nice to see.
The Pilgrim Memorial State Park gets TWO STARS. They could earn the other Three Stars if they placed a ramp somewhere that leads to the beach area, widened the sidewalks; built a railing at the edge of the ledge of rocks; and a placed a gate at all the openings that lead to steep steps down to the beach. Even though I only give the Pilgrim Memorial State Park Two Stars for wheelchair accessibility, it is still one of my favorite places to visit. I think it will take a lot of time, dedication and hard work to make all places fully wheelchair accessible.