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  • Writer's pictureKyrby Brown

Churchill Fellowship Day Twenty Four: Four Seasons in a Day

Our time in Colorado is nearly at an end, it's the only state so far that I am keen to return to as soon as possible. The landscape here is truly epic and it has such a good range of activities in each area. Travel here would be pretty impossible without a vehicle mind, and ‘Doris’ the Dodge (hired from Mobilityworks Aurora) has been a great help in allowing us to see the sights here.

We woke up this morning to beautiful sunshine and decided to use our ‘rest’ day to visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The zoo sits at just over 6000ft above sea level but is fully accessible in a powerchair. Manual wheelchair users may find it challenging as the paths are pretty much all up and down hills with some parts being particularly steep. Whilst I’m getting used to it now, I’m still generally perplexed by the lack of private Disabled toilet facilities. Many of the ‘accessible stalls’ are just larger cubicles inside standard toilet blocks, but often these can be pretty tight in my chair. The ‘family restrooms’ are more akin to the UK’s Disabled toilets, but these are few and far between. I’m lucky as I’m able to walk but I can’t help but feel you’d struggle over here an a non-ambulant powerchair user and I’m not sure what you’d do if you required a hoist and changing table. For this reason I remain ever thankful to our ‘Changing Places’ scheme at home.

Image Description: A row of kiosks at the entrance to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a relatively small zoo with quite a lot of animals packed into a small area. Some of the enclosures did appear small considering the size and nature of the animals being housed. However, all the animals looked extremely well cared for and close up animal interactions were clearly an important aspect of the experience which was nice. It was a quiet day and the weather slowly turned as a storm visibly crept over the summit of the mountain, thunder, lightning, hail and all! The weather here is so incredibly changeable, it’s like nature here is at its strongest and shows its true might.

After our zoo visit we stumbled upon Old Town Colorado whilst seeking a simple sandwich. This area was really cool with some quirky shops and eateries. We enjoyed lunch at a French Bakery/Cafe and grabbed some toffee apples to take back to the lodge.

All in all it was a great way to finish what was a pretty successful, informative and enjoyable part of my fellowship experience. I will forever remember to power of exploration and the beauty of this wild place, and I will forever be grateful for my ability to access places I never thought I would. I leave Colorado a satisfied adventurer with a newfound respect for the wilderness.

Image Description: Me in my wheelchair raised up with The Garden of The Gods signature red rocks in the background. The sky is a dramatic grey colour and I have a huge smile on my face!

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