2023 Return to Dirt in Glenwood Springs, CO

Step into the heart of adventure with this High Five Adaptive Camp! From July 24th to 27th, 2023, in Glenwood Springs, CO, we celebrated our 100th camp. Eight inspiring athletes, six hand-controlled vehicles, and 75 miles of open road embody the essence of empowerment. Join us in commemorating this milestone as we continue to uplift lives and break barriers together.

Reaching a remarkable milestone of 100 High Five Adaptive Camps is an accomplishment worth celebrating. The recent CO DIRT Camp held in picturesque Glenwood Springs, Colorado, was a shining example of the impactful work that the Return to Dirt and High Fives Foundation have been doing. From July 24th to 27th, 2023, eight inspiring athletes came together for an extraordinary experience that combined adrenaline-pumping adventures, camaraderie, and a deep connection to nature.

Throttle Therapy and Beyond

For Chris Waker, the CO DIRT Camp was synonymous with “throttle therapy.” Gratitude overflowed as he reflected on a week that was packed with unforgettable memories. From the thrill of driving off-road cars to reaching breathtaking mountain summits and mastering fly fishing to catch monster trout, the week was nothing short of spectacular. Chris summed it up perfectly: “I’ve accomplished more this week than many do in a lifetime.” The sense of community he found with fellow athletes added to the richness of the experience.

“Throttle Therapy for the win!  Immense gratitude to the entire return to dirt and high-fives crew for an unforgettable week packed with lifelong memories. From driving off road cars to beautiful mountain summits, landing some monster trout while mastering flyfishing, to capping it off by flying in an airplane. I’ve done more this week than most will do in a lifetime. Much love to this amazing community.” – Chris Waker

Access to Adventure and Renewed Passion

Allyson Mallory, another participant, shared how the DIRT Camp provided not only access to adventure but also rejuvenated her mental and physical well-being. The weight of living with a disability was lightened, and her passion for the outdoors was reignited. Allyson’s gratitude extended to the DIRT and High Fives crews for creating a vibrant community and offering these transformative opportunities.

Driving Dreams

Ben Hulin’s gratitude resonated deeply as he expressed his appreciation for the Return to Dirt experience. The chance to drive side by sides through backcountry trails was a dream come true. Beyond the exhilarating off-road adventure, Ben highlighted the true value of the weekend: the sense of community. As someone who has faced challenges for nearly 17 years, he found solace in being surrounded by others who understood, eliminating the need for explanations or justifications.

Fueling the Soul

Kirk Williams succinctly captured the essence of the DIRT Camp experience with his phrase “throttle therapy.” The soul-soothing power of off-road adventures and the company of great friends created an atmosphere of pure joy and liberation.

Community and Connection

For Erica Smith, the camp marked a series of firsts: her first time riding in a side by side, let alone driving one. Overcoming rough terrain and taking in stunning vistas was an exhilarating experience. However, the cherry on top was the deep sense of community she felt. Connecting with fellow athletes and sharing in their triumphs and challenges enriched her journey.

Celebrating the Community

Soren Lindholm emphasized the significance of community in these camps. For members of the spinal cord injury community, the DIRT Camp provided not only a chance to explore the wilderness but also an opportunity to connect with others who share similar experiences. The High Fives/Return to Dirt community radiated positivity, and the volunteers’ dedication was deeply appreciated by all athletes involved.

The CO DIRT Camp was a testament to the transformative power of adventure, community, and shared experiences. As the High Fives Foundation celebrated its 100th adaptive camp, it’s clear that the impact goes far beyond the numbers. The stories of Chris, Allyson, Ben, Kirk, Erica, Soren, and the entire community involved reflect the resilience, camaraderie, and determination that define these camps. Here’s to the next hundred camps and the countless lives they will continue to touch and transform. View the full photo album by @generikal HERE.