“A self-guiding nature trail for the blind — both seeing and non-seeing — teaches us to comprehend the natural world through the purest form of communication — touch, smell, hearing — without first filtering it through sight.
The Aspen Braille Trail was built high up in the Independence Pass wilderness, at 10,400 feet, by a small band of Aspenites and White River Forest Service personnel. Robert B. Lewis, scientist, idealist and prime instigator of the trail, hopes that it will serve as an experimental trail that other communities can emulate — maybe some day there’ll be “a network of such trails across the country in woodlands, along streams, in the mountains and even the deserts!”
We are informed at the outset that no poisonous plants, insects or reptiles inhabit this tract of land, which is to say that there are only good vibrations. Touch, taste and smell! Our sight has blinded us to many of the marvels of the natural world, since it has anesthetized our other senses. Oddly, the wonders of the natural world are even more wondrous when experienced without sight.
The 23 trail markers were written by Dr. Alfred Etter, naturalist and conservationist, and our picture captions are excerpted from them.”
Quote: Ben Thompson