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Gottschalk Thomas
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Across the Rocky Mountains to Denver: Going over the highest point of our world tour10.08.2008

Tags: United States       Comments: 1

Picture of the day

            After a wonderful evening in Carbondale, and a fresh start in the morning, the Solartaxi continued its journey through the Rocky Mountains to Denver, CO. Before we hit the steep parts, we pulled into some mountain town for lunch and found a quaint restaurant called the Turntable, featuring real American food (per the sign on the window). It must have been sheer coincidence because I had voted for the deli café, but had the rest of the team not insisted on real American food, we would not have had the opportunity to meet former astronaut of Mercury 7 Scott Carpenter, who just happened to be having lunch there as well. It was a perfect photo opportunity; a brave pioneer of space standing next to a brave pioneer of solar travelling. These two had a mutual appreciation for each others’ accomplishments and a small crowd of locals gathered around for a sight that seemed too big for such a small town. Two journalists from different newspapers showed up and seized the opportunity to interview Louis and the SolarTaxi. I can only imagine this was the biggest thing to hit the city in a while.


            We gobbled our lunch, paid the waitress and off we went. There were some who doubted the Solartaxi could make it up and over; little did they know that Louis has the determination of a madman. The crew and I watched veraciously as Louis commandeered the mountain with ease. Oddly enough, it was the support vehicle that had problems, as we struggled to climb to the top. The SolarTaxi left us in the dust and by the time we made it to the summit, an elevation of 10,603ft, the highest point of the entire journey, we had pulled over to have a look under the hood of the support vehicle. Smoke billowed out and Frank did his best considering the circumstances. It was obvious – the support vehicle was and is in need of attention if it is to make it the rest of the way around the world to keep up with Louis and his solar vehicle. Needless to say this was a momentous event for the SolarTaxi.

Then we continued our trek on to Denver where Henry the Fiddler was waiting for us to show us to our place of temporary residence. We pulled off the freeway sometime late at night and he was there, waiting for us with his big white van with solar panels on top to power all his electricity in this mini-home of his. The rounds of greetings started and next thing you know he had his violin out and was playing a little ditty that made Frank do a funny Swiss dance (yes, we caught it on film). The team was happy that we finally arrived and as we pulled up to our community housing hosts, we realized what an eventful day it had been.

            The next day Louis took Henry the Fiddler with him in the SolarTaxi and went to the Farmer’s Market before meeting with Fox News (KDVR) for an interview. We will say goodbye to Erik tomorrow as he heads back to Germany, so he and Thomas stayed back to do some work and relax while Frank and I took the support vehicle in to the local Toyota dealership to see if they had the parts we needed. A big no-go since it’s a European model. We will try to get parts ordered and shipped to us along the way. Until then, the SolarTaxi heads on to Boulder tomorrow for a night, then onwards to Chicago, IL.

By Terae De Cou






by: Rodger Stewart

11.08.2008 12:08

Hi, guys. Met you today at the Museum of Nature and Science I was the one on the bike who asked how fast the car goes. Great web site. I will be following your Odyssey. Best of luck!

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