Design & Style

User-Friendly Cabin

How to welcome all ages & agilities

By Fran Sigurdsson
Published: January 21, 2010
Is it a pontoon boat? Or is it a gazebo? Gene Luoma invented this "Gazeboat," as he calls it, to make life easier for himself, his daughter and his son, all three of whom have muscular dystrophy.
Photo by Kathie Luoma
Is your getaway hard to get to? Often, the very features we seek – proximity to lakes or peaks, great views, privacy – pose barriers to access. Sure, climbing hills or sidestepping boulders is all part of the wilderness experience. If you’re young and fit, that is. But for those of us facing physical challenges, disabilities, the limitations that may come with old age or just plain old creaky knees, the cabin landscape can seem more like an obstacle course.

But roughing it doesn’t have to be rough on a body. With a little ingenuity, a cabin can welcome all ages and agilities. Modifications like incline trams, ramps, easy walkways – even the Gazeboat – can help level the playing field.
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