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Wilderness on Wheels makes the mountains accessible but funding is down due to COVID-19

Campground is 100% handicap accessible
Posted at 8:21 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 00:45:35-05

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

GRANT, Colo. -- Wilderness on Wheels has a trail that's unlike any other in Colorado, it's fully handicap accessible and reaches a height of 9,500 feet.

The campground's Volunteer Manager, Barbara Cramer, fell in love with the place during a trip with her family in the mid-1980s, and it's been an important part of her life ever since.

"Up here, everybody already has a disability, but if they're new to a wheelchair or scooter, we have the opportunity to educate them about it's OK you can still do most things from your wheelchair," said Cramer.

She's been volunteering with her husband, Bill Cramer, for the past 22 years. In the summer, they live in a cabin on the grounds, but they're more than campground hosts.

Click to Give: Help Wilderness on Wheels makeup for the lost donations and grants

The couple claims to be retired, but now they're ready to officially retire and move to Arizona. As they get ready to pack up the cabin, COVID-19 has brought additional challenges to their final season as volunteer managers.

"This year, we're going to be way down in donations. I believe we've gotten one grant approved. Normally we get two or three because we weren't allowed to have our music festival or any of our other fundraisers," said Cramer.

Cramer has never hesitated to help others. Last year, Wilderness on Wheels donated a camping trip to Denver7 viewer Kristen Bering and her son Logan. It's one of Cramer's favorite memories at the camp.

"What we did is we donated a couple of nights up here for her and her family to stay, but oh my gosh, she was elated, and it gives me goosebumps even right now."

Denver7 Gives set up a fund to help Wilderness on Wheels makeup for the lost donations and grants that didn't come through this year.

The Cramers also want to give back to a longtime volunteer who has been an instrumental part of the camp. Beckie Harrison is leaving Wilderness on Wheels at the end of the season, too, but the couple wants to give her an old van that they fixed up. A portion of the fund will be used to help with the final repairs for the van.

"She is a wonderful person. She has done some magnificent things up here. She has the greatest attitude," said Cramer.

Next year a new family will takeover as volunteer managers for the camp, and the Cramers said they will savor all the memories they've made over the years.

"Like I said, we cried, but I think now we're ready, we're ready," said Cramer.