First, I have to confess that it wasn’t really camping – friends lent us their little (no plumbing, no water) cabin on the Cache la Poudre river. The cabin, along with four others, is on National Forest Service land in the Roosevelt National Forest.
Second, I have to confess that I forgot to take a camera. My beloved brought his film camera, so these are his pictures.
As we drove west on Highway 14, we were amazed at the number of tubers, kayakers and rafters clogging the river. Once we got up to where our friends’ cabin is, traffic (both on the river and on the road) was much lighter. The cabin is just across the river from the highway, in fairly dense pine forest, with steep mountains looming behind it. It was built in 1918 as a one-room cabin originally used by hunters. Since then, a front room and two tiny bedrooms have been built on. The original room is now a kitchen of sorts, with a propane stove and a sink where you can run your water from your 5 gallon jug into a pickle bucket that you later have to empty into the pit toilet.
Behind the cabin are the outhouse, the trees for hanging your hammock, and the fire ring. Elizabeth has already totally covered the wheelchair accessible outhouse situation (with pictures!); this outhouse is not.
The first day we pretended we were on vacation and did nothing except sleep, read and eat. The second day we got a little more adventurous and decided to find some wheelchair accessible trails. We stopped in at the National Forest Service Visitor Center at Arrowhead Lodge, where Tom was enthusiastic about Finding Things Out and also gave us tea. The NFS map of Roosevelt National Forest had a tantalizing hint of some wheelchair accessibility publication, but Tom called headquarters and learned that if such a thing had ever existed, it no longer did. He promised to investigate more, and we promised to check back later.
Then we drove on to the Moose Visitor Center near Gould. This Visitor Center is for the Colorado State Park named State Forest (got that?), and Christy was also enthusiastic about the wheelchair hiking project – first thing she said was “What kind of tires do you have?” and came around from behind her counter to check out my rig. She suggested the Gould Loop Trail, a 6.5 mile loop beginning right behind the Visitor Center and going to Ranger Lakes. We did about two miles – the trail was hardpacked dirt with occasional gravel. It was broad and flat and shady – a very nice little hike. The larger casters on the wheelchair floated over the surface irregularities nicely, but the lack of camber made cross slopes somewhat more challenging. I also found I needed full gloves, as mdmhvonpa pointed out. The knobby tires are so wide, it’s not practical to try and grip the handrim alone.
We used to go to a restaurant in Gould (the only restaurant in Gould) called the Howling Coyote, but it’s closed. The Drifters’ Cookhouse, which replaced it, was closed that day as well, so we drove on to Walden, where Christy recommended the River Rock Cafe, where her daughter works. It was quite nice, better than I expected. The associated hotel, Antler’s Inn, has 14 rooms that are completely inaccessible due to the lack of an elevator. With a population of less than a thousand, Walden is the biggest town for miles around, and the Jackson County seat.
We stopped at Arrowhead Lodge on the way back and got recommendations for Bellaire Lake and Dowdy Lake. More to come in the next entry.
Wow, I guess I haven’t popped over in a while. Nice change in the decor. It sounds like you had a good time camping. Happy that you got out from the activities of the final frontier to get some rest and recreation in the western frontier.
You might want to post the following on your links when you get a chance.
Competitive Bidding Law
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is at it again. Their preparing to allow the Lowest Bidder provide Complex Power Wheelchairs and Seating Systems!
This message was sent to me by my disability resource center. Please pass it along to as many people as possible.
I am asking for your help to stop a Medicare law that will devastate persons in wheelchairs. A competitive bidding law was passed that includes complex rehab equipment. On May 9th two reppresentatives introduced an Act that will make the Complex Rehab Equipment exempt from the law. It is imperative to “carve out” the Vomplex Rehab Equipment from this law because it allows the lowest bidder to provide a complex seating system or power wheelchair or speech generating device. This competitive bidding does not take into account any expertise from the vendor or skill level from the vendor let alone, the rapport that the wheelchair bound person may have developed over the years with their vendor. I can tell you from personal experience that some vendors may have “Medicare required credentials” but do not provide adequate equipment, follow-up, or service to their clients.
This competitive bidding is currently being trialed in 10 metropolitan areas across the U.S.! If this is not stopped, a person who requires a wheelchair cannot choose the best or most qualified or even use the same vendor that they have relied on throughout their life for their equipment.
Please go to http://www.ComplexRehab.org for complete background information and to access the tools to get this legislation passed. Click on the TAKE ACTION button to email your Senators and Representative asking for their support of Bill HR-2231. Follow up your email with a phone call to their local offices to get their commitment of support. Most importantly spread the word and get as many others to follow your lead.
Hey, I like the new look of your blog. (I read yours through a feed all the time and haven’t stopped by the actual site in a long while.) Sounds like it was fun!
BTW – I love your haircut. Very chic. :-)
Thanks, Fazia & Mouse!