Lynn Alsdorf finds inspiration from her time driving The Traveler
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Driving for The Traveler senior transportation service inspires Lynn Alsdorf.
“For a passenger service it’s very rewarding to meet all the people that you do,” Alsdorf said. “The seniors in this valley, most of them have been here quite a while and they have a lot of humor and a lot of thoughts to give out.”
A friendly community atmosphere develops on the vans that take seniors to meals, the store, medical appointments, or wherever.
Alsdorf, originally from Colorado Springs, moved to the area in 1972 and began driving for the traveler about two years ago. Before that she drove Roaring Fork Transportation Authority buses. She’s former Garfield County clerk Mildred Alsdorf’s daughter-in-law. They work together at times, since Mildred now directs the transportation service after retiring last year from her 35 years with the county clerk’s office. For 28 of those years she was the elected county clerk.
Seeing some of the older people who ride the traveler still involved in the community and doing well impresses Lynn. She knows a 102-year-old man who frequents the traveler that didn’t even need a wheelchair until about two years ago.
“It’s very inspiring to see how well he’s doing and how lucid he is,” she said. “Growing up on the farm and working all his life ” it’s really helped him stay alive and keep going.”
One thing Lynn has learned from the experience of driving the seniors where they need to go is that in some regards, age doesn’t seem to matter. The golden rule is followed , everyone treats each other how they want to be treated.
“I’ve learned that we’re all kids at heart still,” she said. “They enjoy the laughter. They enjoy the fun.”
From July 2007 to June this year, the traveler gave about 19,184 rides to Garfield County seniors for a total of about 57,945 miles. The Traveler has two full-time drivers in Glenwood Springs and two in Rifle, plus three part time drivers in Glenwood Springs and one in Rifle. Drivers are supported by a staff of volunteer dispatchers who handle scheduling.
Mildred said The Traveler is looking for more volunteers. She encourages anyone interested to contact The Traveler.
The traveler provides wheelchair accessible, door-to-door service for anyone over 60 or who has a disability. Rides are on a first-come, first-serve basis and riders must have some flexibility in their schedules.
The traveler costs $2 for a trip somewhere within town and $3 for rides between towns and more for further distances. People must call one day in advance to arrange rides. The Glenwood Springs and Carbondale area number is 945-9117 and the number for New Castle to Parachute is 625-1366.
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121
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