Twelve athlete participants. Two custom-modified Can-Am Maverick X3 performance UTVs. One epic off-road experience. This past week, one nonprofit wrapped up a particularly exciting off-roading event in Truckee, Calif.
Return to Dirt is a nonprofit program that provides the equipment and instruction for individuals with disabilities to pilot off-road vehicles into backcountry areas, which are otherwise impossible for some to access. In total, Return to Dirt has provided 117 athletes with outdoor and off-road experiences totaling over 4,800 miles of trail fun — 100% free of charge.
Recently, Return to Dirt received two Can-Am Maverick X3 UTVs from Canada-based BRP Can-Am Off-Road. The expansion of its adaptive off-road fleet coincides with the announcement last month that the High Fives foundation would absorb Return to Dirt, expanding the organization’s reach outside Colorado.
And the Return to Dirt camp was the first chance for the new rigs to be put to the test.
Modified Can-Am Maverick X3 UTVs
Return to Dirt adapted the two Can-Am Maverick vehicles to add hand controls, safety equipment, and performance accessories, allowing individuals with mobility injuries to drive off-road.
The modified Maverick X3 Max X RS side-by-sides feature; 30-inch wheels, a Turbo RR engine with 200 horsepower, high-torque dynamic power steering, an interior digital display, front and rear shocks, 20 inches of suspension travel, and more.
Return to Dirt Camp: Off-Road Success
Twelve participants, seven staff, and three volunteers gathered outside of Truckee, Calif., for Return to Dirt’s Off-Road Camp. “Some of the athletes that participated on this trip thought they would never experience the feelings of freedom and thrill in such a way again,” said Tim Burr, founder of Return to Dirt. “Showing them, that with our adapted Can-Ams, they are not limited by their physical ability is so fulfilling.”
The newly modified Can-Ams played a huge role and provided a safe, comfortable, and capable way to get the participants to places that would otherwise be inaccessible to them, organizers shared. A total of about 40 athlete-driven miles were covered over the 2 days at this year’s camp — including a variety of terrain over dirt, through meadows, mud, and water.
“I definitely achieved my goal that day. My face hurts from smiling so much!” said participant Ricci Kilgore reflecting on the experience. “It was so nice to be away from my wheelchair and cruising in the mountains and being so present. I especially enjoyed getting to know all the athletes and volunteers. So truly blessed Return to Dirt joined with High Fives. [They] know how to make memories that pierce the heart with a smile!”
Other participants like Ajay Shenoy echoed the sentiment, expressing their thanks for such a memorable experience.
About Return to Dirt and High Fives Foundation
Founded in 2018 in Colorado, the Return to Dirt nonprofit provides adaptive athletes with equipment and instruction for off-roading adventures. It recently joined forces with High Fives Foundation, the nation’s leading adaptive action sports organization based in Truckee, Calif.
High Fives Foundation, founded in 2009 by Roy Tuscany, provides newly injured and adaptive athletes with opportunities to try adaptive skiing, surfing, mountain biking, fly fishing, and more. To learn more, check out its Empowerment Fund program.