Letter: My day to die?
I’m an adventurous person — I’ve put myself in harm’s way and faced down many dangerous slopes, rapids, two-wheeled barely-in-control descents. These are situations I chose and understood the potential consequences.
Yesterday morning, I was driving south on Colorado Highway 129 just before 7 a.m. That twisty section by Slate Creek Ranch is always nerve-wracking during blowing snow or icy conditions or when elk are moving because of that blind corner just north of the airport. I saw the loader heading north as I approached that blind corner. Suddenly, a smaller black truck with a roof rack pulled into my lane to pass the loader. The male driver changed lanes in the blind corner. I slammed on my brakes and veered to the right knowing from having cycled that section innumerable times that there is no shoulder and the terrain falls off sharply into a mess of barbed wire fencing.
Roll my car or face a deadly head on? In an instant, I understood that this was it — I was going to die in a horrible vehicle accident. I honked and screamed curses. Then the moment passed, and I made it to my destination, thoroughly shaken.
Friends, neighbors and visitors — is it really worth taking another human’s life to reduce your travel life by minutes? To that driver, should you be reading this, perhaps you needed the reminder that driving a car can be deadly and a hastily conceived decision can end a life — maybe your own. Perhaps you slowed down through that next straightaway and gathered your wits.
It was a reminder for me as well. I’ve certainly been the perpetrator of poor driving while in a hurry, distracted, tardy for something I believe is more important than driving well.
Highway 129 has become an increasingly dangerous road. We need to collectively take a deep breath and slow down — in more ways than just our car’s speed. For the next few weeks, there will be hikers and cyclists on 129, avoiding the Morgan Creek Fire. You may believe that hiking or cycling for months is a stupid way to spend one’s time, but that doesn’t mean you get to endanger those people.
Relax, you will get to where you are going eventually. Your blood pressure and the people sharing the road with you may live to thank you for that.
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