We started Left Lane Adventures in 2020 for our son Lane who has autism and who is nonverbal. We have always been an outdoorsy family spending countless hours in the wilderness. With being nonverbal, it was always hard knowing Lanes likes and dislikes. We would never know his interests or favorite things. In 2020, during the pandemic, we took our kids for their first trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lane LIT up. We took a short hike down to Bumpass Hell where we could see the mud pots and smell the icky sulfur. We got back up to the top just in time to see a beautiful sunset on the ridge line in Northern California. He immediately became obsessed with anything Lassen. We started taking weekly trips up to the park, sometimes two or three times a week. Unfortunately in 2021, the Dixie Fire burned rapid in the surrounding area closing down the park for visitors safety. We actually happened to be swimming in Lake Helen the day that the Dixie fire blew up. We watched the smoke column grow and get bigger. During the time that the park was closed, it was very hard not being able to take Lane to his favorite place, with him not understanding what was going on. Us, not knowing if this new love of his would be scorched in the fire. Every morning, he would put on his hiking boots, jeans, one of his Lassen shirts (he had to wear Lassen apparel every day) and request for Lassen. It was so hard not being able to get in the car and drive him there. Once the park was safe enough to reopen, we were up there that same day. It was relieving to find out that all his favorite areas were untouched by the fire. We had been concerned that his little heart would’ve been devastated by seeing the destruction of the fire. Especially after our town being leveled after the Camp Fire in 2018. We are so thankful for the hard work of the fire fighters in both fires. We are always so happy to see new life springing up both in Paradise and in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lassen has been a huge benchmark for us in our autism journey.
We recently have broadened our horizons to see if there was other areas that he would enjoy. Lane has developed a love for the stunning Burney Falls especially with having his “Papa and Nene” who relocated after the Camp Fire living right down the road. As well as the glorious Mount Shasta, where we have spent timeless hours stargazing at the base of the mountain. Like many other children, Lane LOVES going to Disneyland. He just melts when we get to go cruise Main Street. His favorite rides have been Buzz Light Year Astro Blasters, Star Tours, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Grizzly River Run, Rise Of The Resistance and Pirates Of The Caribbean to just name a few. It is priceless getting to watch him and his sister munch on caramel apples from Pooh’s Corner, staring in awe at the firework show.
Left Lane Adventures has been a great way for us to promote autism awareness and share our adventures.
I (mom) have been fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom since the birth of children and be able to homeschool them. In 2014, I created Mad Cutter Designs as a hobby from home. My husband (Joey) was a carpenter bridge builder who would travel around in Northern California. Unfortunately, in 2022 he went out of work from on a back injury that he had been dealing with for some years. In 2023, he had quit the bridge building industry that he had been in for 20 years. Thankfully, at this point, Mad Cutter LLC has blossomed into a nice stream of income. This has helped us be able to supplement our income as we had lost Joey’s income. This has been a huge adjustment for us financially, but has been a great blessing in disguise. As Lane gets older and bigger, he has been needing more, so having his dad home has been great for our little family all around. We knew with Joey quitting we would have to make some sacrifices. One being getting rid of our car so we could save money but more importantly, we could save money to find a vehicle that would better suit Lane’s needs. He is still in diapers and this has presented a challenge to us for when we go anywhere, from the woods to the grocery store. There is no private or comfortable place for him. After sometime, we figured a van with space to stand, a place he could lay down comfortably would be the best thing for us. Where we would be out of the weather, Lane would have his privacy and be comfortable. This would also allow him a space for when he gets over stimulated while out in public. We recently had open account for our kids. Where all of Ry’s Creations goes or any sales we would make from Left Lane Adventure hoodies/ shirts. Having these funds set aside has been great for when we have needed it, as having a special needs child requires a lot extra.
At the end of 2023, Joey came up with the idea of selling gummy bears to help spread more autism awareness and raise for funds for his adventure van. We came up with “Bob-O Bears.” At a young age, his big sister Rylee, would call him "Bob-O" and it stuck.
If you know us, we are not ones to ask for help or handouts. We have worked hard for everything that we have. Unfortunately due to Joey’s injury and Lane requiring more from the both of us, we have been limited. We have been super grateful over these last couple years for all those support that we have received with our business that supports our family directly. Knowing that sometimes turnaround times can be long, as there’s days where our kids just need US. Our kids are our universe. We are so thankful to have this opportunity to be able to make our own schedules so we can work around theirs. Having a secular job would just not be practical for our family. There are times where Lane doesn’t even sleep, or has late night/ early mornings with him. He needs our attention 24/7. These last handful of months have been very straining as we are finding ourselves navigating new, unknown territory in our little autism world. The autism world that most autism families don’t talk about. That I hope to be able to share more about in the near future, and hope I can be a guide for other parents who may be going through the same thing. For other autism families to know that they’re not alone. To try to help others understand autism families who go through this. Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness in our society.
I hope one day I can turn Left Lane Adventures into a non-profit. Where we can raise funds in support other families in their own adventures.
Purchase here: https://madcutterllc.com/collections/left-lane-adventures