Published in the Durango Herald on June 13, 2012
Big Red, who has carried hundreds of skiers, campers and other outdoors enthusiasts to 15 years of adventures is ready to slow down and kick back. It’s a well-deserved retirement as he reaches his 130,000-mile mark, but before he rattles and rolls into the sunset, he’s spending one last summer on the road.
The handicapped-accessible van that has served the Durango Adaptive Sports Association so valiantly deserved more than a discreet disappearance, and staff members at ASA wanted to have some fun with the fundraising campaign to purchase his successor. (I almost wrote “his replacement,” but no shiny new van can fill Big Red’s tires.)
So they wrote a charming retirement letter in Big Red’s voice.
Here are a couple of paragraphs: “I’m the accessible van. The van that has been packed full of school kids squealing with delight as I bring them back soaking wet from their latest splash down the Animas River. The van that has transported hundreds of people with physical disabilities to Durango Mountain Resort to learn that the mountain doesn’t care whether you ski sitting or standing. The van that takes groups of veterans far off the beaten path, pulling a heavy trailer full of gear necessary to explore the rivers on a multi-day float trip. I’ve driven more than 130,000 miles, packed full of people excited to discover what the next adventure will bring…”