By Nel Lampe
“Being in Colorado is great,” said Willie Phillips, a member of Fort Carson’s Outdoor Recreation’s Warrior Adventure Quest staff. “It’s an hour and a half to anything you want to do — rock climbing, skiing, kayaking, hiking in Red Rock Open Space, and you can go do them with Outdoor Rec.”
“There are a lot of outdoor things to do here (in Colorado),” said Albert Brensing, a tourist from Wichita, Kan.
Phillips said that Fort Carson is one of the most requested posts because of the outdoor recreation opportunities. “But sometimes those Soldiers don’t know we’re (Outdoor Rec) here. We offer great programs and you can’t beat the prices. The staff is experienced, comes from all over the country, went to school to train for it and their passion is the outdoors,” he said.
White-water rafting season is underway, and Outdoor Rec has trips every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“There are half-day trips, overnight trips and full-day trips,” Phillips said. “The overnight trips are awesome to do as a family.
“On the overnight trips, (participants) get the adrenaline rush, have fun, get to sleep by the river, and we cook dinner, clean up and drive. You just show up, have a good time (with) no worries,” he said.
Other summer programs offered by Outdoor Rec include private kayak instruction, a kayak pool session, a Quick Start Kayak Course and a Kayaking Weekend.
Climbing trips include a two-day trip to Eleven Mile Canyon, a weekend trip to New Mexico and a Shelf Road Climbing Weekend.
Interested in mountain biking? Join instructors 5-8 p.m. July 16 or Aug. 20, to make the transition from riding a bike to mountain biking. Bike rentals are available. Or sign up for the Pikes Peak Downhill, which includes a van ride to the top of Pikes Peak, instruction, a bike rental and the ride down. The trips are scheduled for Aug. 10 or Sept. 7. Call 526-5366 to sign up for an activity.
Climbing wall activities are also available at the Alpine Tower and at the indoor climbing wall in Outdoor Rec or in Iron Horse Sports and Fitness Center.
The Equipment Checkout Center at the Outdoor Recreation Complex has mountain bikes, small sports equipment, campers and camping gear available for rent, call 526-1993.
“And as Trevor McConnell, (program director and internship coordinator, Adventure Programs Education), always tells the interns, ‘You get to be the person in the picture, not the one looking at the picture,’” said Phillips.