Misty Garcia grins during a break in the 14th annual Horizons snowmobile ride on Saturday. About 20 clients and counselors with Horizons Specialized Services were treated to a day of trail riding and sledding.

Photo by Nicole Inglis

Misty Garcia grins during a break in the 14th annual Horizons snowmobile ride on Saturday. About 20 clients and counselors with Horizons Specialized Services were treated to a day of trail riding and sledding.

Horizons clients spend morning riding powder on Rabbit Ears

Routt Powder Riders takes group on annual snowmobile ride

Advertisement

photo

In the reflection of Matt Troeger's goggles, a group of Horizons Specialized Services clients and counselors rest during a snowmobile ride Saturday morning on Rabbit Ears Pass. Routt Powder Riders sponsors the event every year with help from Steamboat Snowmobile Tours.

photo

Steamboat Snowmobile Tours guide Ivan Binnings, right, points out Walton Peak to a group from Horizons Specialized Services during their annual ride Saturday.

photo

Horizons Specialized Services clients and counselors pose for a group shot at an overlook on Rabbit Ears Pass during their annual snowmobile ride Saturday.

— Kelly Chambers flapped his arms up and down like a bird flying through the warm spring air, his imagination taking him off the back of the snowmobile he was riding and into the skies over Rabbit Ears Pass.

On another snowmobile behind him, Jaimee Sexton had opened her coat to feel the breeze. And behind her, Matt Troeger kept looking back over his shoulder with a grin, just to make sure those behind him were having as much fun as he was.

On a bluebird day Saturday on the east side of Rabbit Ears Pass, Chambers, Sexton, Troeger and about 15 other clients and their counselors from Horizons Specialized Services were taken on a 20-mile snowmobile ride courtesy of Routt Powder Riders, with sleds and guides provided by Steamboat Snowmobile Tours.

It was the 14th year the snowmobiling club has organized the ride, which offers the developmentally disabled Horizons clients a chance to get outside, spend a day with friends and feel the wind in their faces as they cruised over the freshly groomed trails.

“It was awesome,” Sexton said when she returned to the base cabin. “It feels really good. It feels like the adrenaline.”

Sarah Levine, a counselor with Horizons, said the program provides many benefits for the clients.

“It’s great,” Levine said. “It gives them a sense of independence. They’re on these machines … and it just gives them this chance to go fast.”

She said some of the clients don’t drive cars, so on Saturday, even those who rode on the back of the snowmobiles got the chance to feel like they were flying.

“These guys go way faster than me,” Levine said. “And that’s cool, it’s something they’re good at.”

Joyce Hartless, Routt Powder Riders secretary, said she’s ridden with clients in past years who beg for more.

“It’s a great opportunity to provide community outreach,” Hartless said. “And to provide things for people that might not otherwise get to do it. It’s fun for everyone.”

Steamboat Snowmobile Tours guide Ivan Binnings said he’s guided the group trip for several years and it’s a day he always looks forward to.

“It’s a fun event,” Binnings said. “These guys are so easy to please. It’s something different; it’s a connection with the community because we don’t always get the chance to have an impact in the community like that.”

Horizons client Tim Mc­­Clenathan felt the impact of the day, which has become one of his only chances to enjoy the sport since he got rid of his own snowmobile years ago.

He said Saturday’s weather, company and riding made it one of the greatest years of the event.

And there was no doubt about his favorite part of the day.

“Catching big air on my snowmobile and being with friends, for sure,” he said.

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.