For about 20 miles, 85-year-old Ruby Stein wrestled her 2007 Nissan Sentra up an unpaved, steep mountain road south of Gypsum. She was lost and searching for Interstate 70 after taking a wrong turn while trying to beat a winter storm home.
Alone, with no one in sight and only a backcountry skier’s tracks around her, the steel-haired woman then found herself stuck at a dead end. Stein tried to rev her tiny maroon vehicle back and forth, as she had learned from years of ranching on the Eastern Plains, but her car was swallowed by mud, snow and ice as her cat, Nikki, looked on with a curious stare.
“I blowed my horn and blowed my horn and flashed my lights until the battery ran down,” said Stein, who lives in the northeast Colorado town of Akron. “Then my car went dead. I had a cellphone with me, but it wouldn’t …