Local veterans talks with Coast Guardsman Del Hayes as he unloads materials from the golf cart.
The cart pulled into town a little late, but the enthusiasm of the small group of veterans and others that were there to greet them was not short at all.
"We came in a little late late," said Coast Guardsman Ray Rayburn who was driving the golf cart for the group Carting for a Cause. "But we are here."
The entourage of three vehicles (besides the golf cart there was a Smart Car and a Rider Rental Truck) is trekking across the country in an effort to raise awareness and money for the Wounded Warriors Program. Price was their final Utah stop, after having visited Delta and Roy officially as well as staying in Lehi on Sunday night.
The golf cart, a solar powered large cart with a cab around it was an unusual sight when it was unloaded from the Rider Rental in Workmen's parking lot in Helper.
"While we want to drive every mile we can in the cart, there are some places where it is just not safe to drive it," said Travis Sanders, and Coast Guardsman who was driving the smart car when the group pulled into Price. "We looked at that canyon and decided there were places where we would endanger ourselves and the public so we loaded up in Spanish Fork and drove over to Helper."
Certainly Carbon residents can relate to that danger, having traveled Highway 6 many times.
"We expect to do that a few more times as we cross into Colorado," said Sanders. "Once we pass Denver I think we will see the cart putting in many more miles on the road."
The team of four (five until a few nights ago because she had to return to duty) stayed overnight in Price on Monday and departed the area on Tuesday morning.
All are active duty Coast Guard. All are also taking their own time to make this project work.
The crowd at the Peace Garden that greeted them was small but sincere. A couple of the veterans were disappointed in the turn out because they were hoping for more people to come and eat the hamburgers and hotdogs while the contributing money to the cause.
But the men involved also said that so far they felt the project had been a success. "We tried to cross the Sierras with the cart by traveling Highway 50, but the climb difficult and dangerous," said Rayburn who along with the group started out in Petaluma, Calif. "We had to load it up until we got to Carson City."
There the group took the "loneliest highway in America" across the Nevada and into Delta. The team is trying to travel on as many back roads as they can, because the cart does only 25 miles per hour which can be a problem for high speed traffic on major highways.
"There just are so many places where the major fast highways have replaced the back roads," said Sanders.
The others in the group of Coast Guardsmen were Steve Pacheco and Del Hayes. They were in the rental truck when the group arrived in Price.
"We take turns driving the cart," said Rayburn. "It just happens that it was my turn right now."
Overall the event will cover over 4,000 miles. Once completed it will be the first time that a golf cart will have been driven across the country on batteries that are only charged by solar power. When finished the trek will have passed through 11 states. The final destination is Yorktown, Va. The plan is to cover about 200 miles per day.
The cart and idea was the brain child of Chief Petty Officer Ray Rehberg who is an electrician at the Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown. According to an interview with News Channel 3 in Hampton Roads, Va. this past winter he had the idea after doing research on lithium powered golf carts. After brainstorming with other off-duty and retired coast guard personnel, Rehberg realized he could combine two of his passions. It was then that the non-profit GO CARTS was born.
While not many people showed up at the Peace Garden on Monday, local residents can go to cartingforacause.org and donate to the Wounded Warrior cause.