Pa. woman wants to see all 59 national parks before going blind

Sunday, 12 November 2017, 10:30:02 AM. LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Laura Griffith hiked the rocky trails along the coast of the Channel Islands. She rode a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, paddled a kayak down the Rio Grande and led a group on horseback in the Northern Cascades. She's seen the crystal blue waters of Crater Lake and the cactus blooms of Death Valley.
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Laura Griffith hiked the rocky trails along the coast of the Channel Islands. She rode a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, paddled a kayak down the Rio Grande and led a group on horseback in the Northern Cascades. She's seen the crystal blue waters of Crater Lake and the cactus blooms of Death Valley. And there's a lot more sights she wants to take in at the country's national parks. "I want to see the parks before I go blind," Griffith says. During the past two years, the Manor Township woman and her husband, Gordon, have explored nearly 40 national parks. They have about 20 parks left in their quest to see nature's majesty from coast to coast. Laura Griffith has retinitis pigmentosa, a degeneration of the eye's rods and cones. The genetic disorder causes night blindness, light sensitivity and a shrinking visual field. Griffith, who grew up in Boston, was diagnosed when she was 18. She first noticed something was off when she'd lose sight of friends entering a dark theater. In her late 20s, she noticed more pieces of her vision disappearing. First it was her upper vision field that went, and then more around the edges. Now 64, her remaining vision is foggy, like a faded photograph. Her depth perception is off as well, making uneven terrain a challenge. Colors also are starting to fade, moving her to stop buying navy or off-white clothing. "I can't tell them from the black and white," she says. Why wait to travel? Their national parks...Read more
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