Hey guys, I want to let you in on a little secret. It snows in Colorado. “What are you talking about, Liz? I’ve heard Colorado weather is nothing but sunshine and rainbows.” Well, you’re not entirely wrong. Somewhere around the early 1990s, Coloradans decided they were sick of being known as a flyover state, so we started an informal marketing campaign to leak all our best secrets to the rest of the world. One of those secrets was that Colorado was not the drab, snowy state the world believed we were. In reality, we get tons of sunshine. That’s right, the rumors are true! But there’s a catch. WE ALSO GET SNOW.
Seriously, I feel like this shouldn’t need to be said, but here we are. It snows in Colorado. Colorado occasionally has frozen liquid fall from the sky, which accumulates on roads and sidewalks. It doesn’t happen often anymore, but I’d like to start a new campaign with the goal of warning everyone that it’s a possibility. Because every time the heavens open up and drop semi-frozen matter, everyone loses their minds. Collectively, the citizens of this state slip-slide to their cars in a fugue state. They get behind the wheel and drive too slow — until they inexplicably decide to drive too fast. They can’t stop, they can’t steer, they bounce off of medians and buses and each other in a Mr. Toad’s Frozen Escapade of Disaster.
This was not going to be my column today. I wrote a nice little story about an upcoming adventure that I’m taking to a warm location. But here I am, two hours into my 10-minute commute and there are no signs that I will be arriving at my destination any time soon. In fact, you might want to just forward my mail here. You can find me at 45th and Washington, just north of the McDonalds where people are walking after abandoning their vehicles in the middle of the road. I’m between the two jackknifed RTD buses and a semi pointed in the wrong direction.
As a typical high school kid in Colorado, I cut my teeth driving an ill-equipped car in subpar conditions, and I am forever grateful for it. I know that I can drive any vehicle in any weather and get where I am going safely. But unfortunately, I am not alone on the roads. I have to share them with you people. So I’d like to also share with you my dad’s Rules of the Road. Every kid I knew was forced to repeat these rules before we hit the road. There were originally 10 rules, but the first four are really key:
• People are stupid.
• Speed kills.
• If you think you’re going to fast, you are.
• If you think the road is icy, it is.
Read them. Learn them. And for God’s sake, next time it snows, use them. I’m begging you.
Read more Marsh: coloradodaily.com/columnists