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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Colorful Colorado - Teil 2

After an eventful weekend on the raceway and eventful days and weeks before that, we decided to slow down a bit and stay stationary with Sonia and her family in Grand Lake for a few days.

While Sebastian was involved in the family business "Gennie Shifters",

I used the time to write and clean... or I cruised through the area with Sonia in the bus. We visited friends, made a flying visit to the guys at work and all went to lunch together. During the visit to the Gennie Shifters workshop I was also able to dust off a new knob for my brake lever. Beautifully colorful and super handy.

By the way, the little man who steals the show from my colorful magic brake ball is Angus and I think he loves my rolling home at least as much as I do. At every opportunity he could be found on the bus and made himself comfortable. Just damn cute! 🥰

On Tuesday (08/30/2022) we reached the Rocky Mountain National Park very early in the morning, which (less than 10 miles away) was, so to speak, on the doorstep. We started with a walk at the Coyote Valley Trailhead; one of the few paths easily accessible for wheelchairs. The meadows were lush green and one would not trust the Colorado River in its current form to be significantly involved in the creation of the Grand Canyon.

We left the valley behind and drove up to the Fairview Curve Viewpoint.

Incidentally, "the Continental Divide" also runs through the park; this separates the catchment areas of those rivers that flow into different oceans. In principle, the Continental Divide Trail is the longest long-distance hiking trail in the world. It runs about 5,000 kilometers along the North American continental divide from Canada to Mexico. Out of reach for me due to lack of accessibility. The Gore Range Overlook, on the other hand, was made to pause.

As is the Forest Canyon Overlook, which overlooks Forest Canyon and its tributaries, Hayden Gorge and Gorge Lakes.

Next we wanted to go to Bear Lake Road, where there should be some lakes and one or the other "accessible trails". But we had to turn back because we didn't have a permit. Much of the park required timed bookings to be made online, which we did not do. A little disappointed we made our way back and decided to visit the Hidden Valley. I jumped onto my Segway with enthusiasm and wanted to go... but my Genny was on strike! Yet again! I was annoyed. 😠 Every other planned "hike" was canceled for today. On the way back to Grand Lake, at least the Rainbow Curve was on the right side of the road.

Likewise the Lava Cliffs.

Wherever the eye went, we saw some of the most spectacular high-altitude scenery in the world.

If the pictures have not already fixed you, here is a small film to supplement.🎥🔊

Stable for me, we'll be back. Next time with working Genny and required permit for Bear Lake Road. On Wednesday, however, Sonia had arranged a surprise for me. We drove to her old place of work: a horse ranch at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. A saddled horse, 2 pretty girls and a trailer with horse manure were already waiting for me there. You can probably imagine what the horse and the girls are all about, but what's the point of the horse manure trailer? It was used to mount the fair horse. I got onto the trailer with the help of a ramp, while my Hotte-Hü was directed as close as possible to the loading sill.

Parked stylishly in front of the horse manure and parallel to the gelding, I swung my leg over the horse's back and pulled myself up by the saddle pommel. I was up there in no time and enjoyed the view with symbolic character.

I was beaming like a honey cake horse on the little ride across the yard past my tiny house on wheels. 🤩

Horsepower is just my thing! 🐎 After this successful morning, I felt deeply relaxed, especially as I realize that I feel more confident with every act of riding. It's still questionable whether I'll ever gallop through forests and meadows. In the afternoon we drove to Sonia's property where her house used to be. The serenity I had gained in the morning was suddenly gone when, with the entire crew on board, I felt the! Had to back up a 1 kilometer driveway. But as the saying goes: You grow with your tasks. 🤷‍♀️

Even though I'm not nearly as confident as Sebastian when reversing, I was still a little proud to have mastered it anyway. But knowing that more than a year ago one of the worst "wildfires" in Colorado history left Sonia's family literally with nothing gave me a lump in my throat. The hectare-sized areas with all the burnt trees sticking out of the ground like matchsticks were already omnipresent on the drive to the property.

On Thursday we made our second attempt at Rocky Mountain Nation Park.

The day before, Sebastian had taken Genny to Gennie (who got it?) and cleaned it well, so that the sensor actually had no more reason to complain.

I had also done my homework and obtained a permit for the necessary sections of the park. The best conditions for a day without complications. When we arrived at Baer Lake Road we had to leave our Skoolie in the parking lot because the lakes could only be reached by shuttle. Ok, not a big deal thanks to the existing ramp on the shuttle.

A walk around the rather crowded and also a bit overrated Bear Lake followed.

Afterwards we wanted to go to Sprague Lake and take the shuttle again. But the bus didn't go there, but only back to the parking lot where our Skoolie is. OK then not; let's get off. I pushed the buttons on my Segway to retract the parking supports, but nothing moved. I got hot and cold. The bus driver had already opened the ramp and was waiting impatiently. When I told him that I was not moving, he wordlessly decided to get me off the bus, whatever the cost. He tugged at me or Segway and my didn't mind that I repeatedly asked loudly not to do that. Seb' meanwhile brought Lennox into the bus and then tried to limit the damage by helping the driver, who had meanwhile become absolutely ruthless, to pull out the Segway with me on top with all his might. I was sure that Genny would finally be over after the action. At some point I was outside and hanging like a sip of water in the curve on my sloping and shaky vehicle. Seb' rushed to the bus to get my wheelchair, helped me transfer and looked for an object to put under the tire so that Genny was standing reasonably straight. After a few tries, Seb' manages to disengage the parking supports and drive back to the Skoolie. The mood was tense. I wonder why the universe doesn't seem to want us to have a relaxing day at the park. But I didn't let the expedition dissuade me. Seb' wasn't that motivated anymore, but I couldn't get out of my skin. In hindsight, always wanting to "bang my head against the wall" might not be my best quality. I just wanted to absorb more impressions of this beautiful area.

We drove to Old Fall River Road and Genny actually didn't give a damn... except for the flat tire that suddenly caught our eye. My small compressor was used and we marched off. The old pass road, which can only be driven on with a car (preferably 4-wheel), should lead to several waterfalls, but turned out to be a flop. Although we only walked part of the very bumpy, steep and winding path (altogether almost 10 miles long) we didn't have the feeling that it would be worth strolling any further with my meanwhile flat tire. Even if the view was really nice in places.

Incidentally, this dirt road was the very first road into the interior of the park, connecting the east side of the park near Estes Park with Grand Lake on the west side.

Now there was another must-see on my list: the Tundra Natural Trail. Once again my outdoor wheelchair had to be merciful. We inflated the tire again, knowing it wouldn't last long. At dusk we climbed the hill above Rock Cut. With this dreamlike evening sky, I left my grudges about all the impasses of the day behind me and found my peace.


As we drove into the sunset, we finally met this remarkable comrade in the valley.🫎

Here is a short video summary of the day:

On Friday, September 2nd, 2022, Sebastian once again tackled the Segway repair mission and looked for the hole in the Segway tire in the water bath. He found what he was looking for and patched it up with the help of a truck tire repair kit that I had bought before I left in case of a flat tire on the bus. Good job, Seb!

At noon we set out for a camping weekend together with Sonia's family and friends.

On Sunday it was time to say goodbye to wonderful people with whom we had an incredible time and also to Colorful Colorado. 🥺

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