Dangers of the Road: RAGE

ROAD RAGE. It’s estimated that nearly 80% of all drivers have experienced an extreme level of anger while driving.

For the second time in five days, I’ve been involved in a frightening road rage incident in Denver. Sadly, this morning the offender caused a terrible accident in a busy intersection throwing a vehicle from oncoming traffic into my neighbor’s yard. My daughter, on her way to school, was horrified. Thankfully, a kind lady walking her dogs came over to help calm her from frantic tears. The offender had pulled up behind us, honked, inched forward a couple of times aggressively, then zoomed around us. We had been waiting for a safe break in traffic to turn left. It all happened fast, and I tried to give the offender a warning, but it was too late, and we had to watch the collision with front row seats.

The loud honk, followed by the crunching of cars, one almost flipping over before jumping a curb and landing in the grass, was horrifying, especially for my ten-year-old. The officer said the offender’s driver’s license was invalid and he had an extensive record including 12 open tickets. Sadly, he had his young son in the car with him. Everyone was ok.

The other incident of RR happened last Wednesday, after I had dropped Noelle off at cotillion. I was alone and headed to REI downtown. I heard someone behind me honk, but traffic was heavy so I thought nothing of it. As I merged onto the Interstate, a guy pulled up aggressively next to me and was shouting and gesturing. He was dressed like a young businessman, so I wasn’t immediately alarmed and even wondered if I had a flat tire or something wrong with my vehicle. I rolled my window down and he told me I had hit his car. My mind was racing, I was sure I would have noticed something like that.

I took my exit, because it was right there, and he followed me. He started to get aggressively close, flashing his lights and honking hard. That was then that I knew this wasn’t a normal situation. I panicked, missed my turn, and ended up doing a U-turn in a well-lit intersection by the Downtown Aquarium (before I headed too far into a Denver neighborhood I was unfamiliar with). The guy stopped his car perpendicular to me in the middle of the intersection and jumped out. I rolled my window down and told him to back off (with tears, I’m sure) and that I had the police on the line (which was a lie). I took a photo of his license plate as he tried to point to some damage on his car, there was none. Realizing this, he started calm down and said “Well, you at least cut me off.” followed by, “I’m not crazy.” He threatened to call in a hit-and-run, which I welcomed as I drove away. When I stopped shaking and truly did call the police, there was no report of a hit-and-run. The photo I had taken was blurry and I was a mess, I clearly need to be better prepared. And that makes me sad.

I currently live and work in both Hawaii and Colorado. In Hawaii, there’s a driving concept referred to as Aloha (this term is used for many beautiful things). Driving With Aloha is letting someone in when you may not legally have to, or even pausing on a busy road to help keep side traffic moving. People go out of their way to help everyone, shakas and smiles are frequently exchanged.

In Colorado, driving is a different experience. People are in a hurry and don’t often exchange courtesies on the road. I sometimes see an act of Aloha, but it’s a rarity. I hear a lot of angry honks and see people rushing around without much consideration for others. I’m sure I’ve been quite guilty of all of these things myself, and that’s an awful thought.

Road rage, however, is something bigger. I’m not sure I can explain it, and I don’t think I experience the sentiment as some people do. I know that road rage scares me. I saw today that the consequences are very real.

I don’t like to talk about it much, but I almost lost my mom, brother, and baby sister in a car accident on a two-lane highway when I was in high school. It wasn’t a case of road rage, it was an unfortunate accident. It was life-changing. I was left to care for my two-year-old sister while my mom and brother fought for their lives in the hospital (Jordyn had a fabulous nanny and several adults helped me in many ways). Two years prior to that, I was in a rollover accident with young drivers (too young) that resulted in friends teaming together as we lifted a truck bed off of a fellow teen trapped in the ditch. It was also a life-changing event and a hard lesson learned. While my mom and brother were still recovering in the hospital, I was in a school bus crash. It was much less serious, but lots of glass and a beam from an old woodshed broke through my window (slow motion per bus speed, thankfully). That one is a bit funny now, especially the look on everyone’s faces – I’m from a small town, so everyone knew my situation and was very compassionate. I didn’t freak out or even cry then (shock is a helpful emotion), but I’m pretty sure all of it instilled a permanent feeling of insecurity in a moving vehicle.

car accident

Even after 23 years, seeing the photo of our family’s car after the accident makes my stomach turn. The smell of fresh blood mixed with my brother’s bottle of cologne, shattered inside his duffle bag in what was once the trunk, is memorable enough that I often try to forget. One of my good friends quit wearing that scent for me back then, I’m still grateful. The car metal trapped most of my family; I walked away, out the unfolded convertible top, with a couple of bruises on my shins. It didn’t ever feel like a great blessing that I was fully aware and unharmed, but it helped me realize some things that teens often forget. My brother told me, after surgery and when he was conscious again, that he was glad it was him and not me. It was a feeling I wish no human ever has to endure.

It may be hard to imagine when you are feeling pissed off at the person annoying you on the road, but in an instant, your next decision could change lives forever.

Embarrassing confession: I get irrationally scared as a passenger in a vehicle sometimes, my best friends know that, most of them understand.

I suppose I think things happen for a reason, and I certainly believe in purpose and a higher good. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make my bad memories go away. I definitely don’t feel comfortable talking about it. But, as a subject that continues to cross my path, I felt I should share my stories, talk about my concern, and do what I can to help make our roads in Colorado a safer place for everyone.

This morning was hard for my daughter and me, but it was far worse for the victim of road rage. Please help raise awareness of the dangers of road rage & spread a little extra Aloha on your drive home today.

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Fall Frolics with Gregory

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All it took was one, long afternoon in the backcountry, and I knew he was the one.

What’s better than a city escape to a colorful hike at the peak of fall season in Colorado? Testing your NEW backpacking pack and day dreaming of upcoming mountain hut adventures, of course!

WHAT DID WE TRY?
His: Osprey Aether AG 70 Pack
Hers: Osprey Ariel 65 AG Pack

His: Gregory Baltoro 75 Pack
Hers: Gregory Deva 70 Pack

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WHAT DID WE BUY?
Gregory

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Both the Osprey and Gregory packs were ideal for what we were looking for. The true test: packing a little weight and giving it a trial run. The Gregory packs took the win by a small margin, and one feature we both agreed was a must-have: Gregory’s comfortable hipbelt.

Read more about these other hiking backpack options at REI.com

WHY REI?

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, and they mean it 😉
  • Expert advice on-site.
  • The 10% member benefits are pretty cool too.

SPECIAL THANKS
ARCTERYX for styln’ sun shade!
Louisville Endurance Race Series for keeping us cool in race tech t-s.

TEAMWORK, The Big Picture

 

With CENSEO’s recent growth, our team has been focusing on the importance of working together effectively. After researching our options, we decided to make a trip over the Pali to Honolulu for a Wine & Design company outing. An evening of pupus and paint was exactly what we needed for company bonding and social time outside of the workplace.

Wine & Design’s corporate painting party package is a bit different than the traditional paint night, which was a big part of the entertainment!

*Spoiler Alert…

Only one member of our team knew that our canvases would be placed together to make giant painting of the Mokes (because someone had to select our design). All other team members had only a piece of the puzzle to paint from. Some puzzle pieces were simple, while others were more complex with pieces of the islands or plumerias in the scene. It was mysterious and felt a little intimidating for those who were expecting a normal night of painting instruction.

After painting our single canvases for only a few minutes, we were asked to stop and move to someone else’s easel. It felt strange, painting on someone else’s work, but after a few rotations we started to realize that the overall result was quite beneficial. The look and feel of each canvas was coming together. In the end, we lined up all six canvases on the table and corrected our mistakes. A couple of paintings (the more intricate ones) still needed finishing details, so we were able to choose our top talent to help out with the tricky parts.

Our team agreed that this was probably the most enjoyable and educational team building activity we had participated in AND we now have a beautiful mural in our office space. I think we’re all pretty proud of our accomplishment!

 

Art Breaker
The icebreaker, or “artbreaker”, was our initial warm-up. We divided into two teams and drew secret assignments out of a jar. The jar was full of communication blockers and disabilities. Some of us could not talk or use our hands, others had to be bossy or defiant. It was tricky to understand some of the roles, such as the person doing exactly the opposite of what was directed. It led to some major difficulties in painting the assigned scene, and there wasn’t time for any one member to finish the painting on their own. Our teams did a decent job, considering, and laughing at the silly, out-of-character behaviors was most of the fun!

 


Corporate Painting
Not knowing what the finished art was going to look like was a great mystery. It forced everyone to follow the guidelines for their own canvas closely. When our own canvas became someone else’s canvas too, it shed new light on the process. As we continued to work on others’ paintings, we realized the many techniques and skills that were coming together. The final product was impressive, and the time spent on finishing details pulled everything together. I think we were all impressed at how far we had come in just a short amount of time. The instructor explained the teamwork skills we were developing and made observations of our specific team’s ability to work together. Her hilarious sense of humor and wit assured that we were all laughing the entire time.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park: It doesn’t get more Colorado than this!

 

Kids

Voted one of USA Today’s 10 Best Caves, Glenwood Caverns is a must for your family summer fun list. Three cave tours offer varying levels of difficulty to suit the whole family! I have a little dare devil, so this year, we opted for the Wild Cave Tour (10-year age requirement AND we finally made the cut). What is it!? Only the most extreme caving expedition a kiddo is permitted on, an adventure for the true thrill seeker.

Then and now

Then & Now (2011/2017)

Make the Most of Your Day Quick Tips…

  • Arrive early, when the gondola opens, to avoid long lines.
  • Claim a small $.50 locker before they fill.
  • Get in line for the bigger, more popular rides first.
  • Break early for lunch to beat the rush.
  • Don’t let the kids get caught in the speleobox. (Especially right before your 4-D movie begins!)

It’s hard to avoid – the one thing that happens and risks ruining the day for everyone. We generally count on Noelle to keep us on our toes: Water World wardrobe malfunction, lost races to the bathroom, and the time she didn’t get out of the elevator! But, this trip, it was me.

Theme Park Fail

I consider myself daring, for a mom. So, maybe it was first ride shock, or maybe just the fact that the ride swings OUT OVER THE CLIFF’S EDGE! But, I saw my life flash before my eyes…over-and-over again. Faint or scream, I made the obvious choice. A lot. With a scratchy voice and trembling hands, I exited the swing of terror, a theme park walk of shame, through the line of sweet little girls waiting to get on. Wide eyed, they kindly asked if I was going to be alright. I may still have the occasional nightmare, but hey, check that one off my list.

Swing

Park Favs

Tho I struggled with the Giant Canyon Swing, the kids LOVED it! They rode several times, throwing their hands in the air or striking nonchalant poses. I may have felt theme park envy.

The Alpine coaster was another top-pick. Scary enough to cling to the breaks but enjoyable enough for mom to survive. I’m sure the views are fantastic, but I’ll admit, my eyes were steady on the tracks and my heart was still jumpy.

The coming soon fav-to-be: Haunted Mine Drop. Opens THIS SUMMER!

Adventure of a Lifetime :: Our Wild Cave Tour was something spectacular. Stacked up against all the other amazing options, it was still unanimously #1 with my bunch. The 2-hour, underground crawl through spaces as small as 18 inches left us exhausted, in the very best way. It was a perfect grand finale for an unforgettable day.

 

 

TBT Glenwood Springs Adventure

Adventure photo remake coming soon!

Alpine slideDelightfully traumatizing ride down the Alpine slide.

In early spring 2011, I introduced the kids to a historic Colorado destination located in the Roaring Fork Valley near the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River: the city of Glenwood Springs. At that time, the kids were four and eight, which I assumed would make our adventure a lot less thrilling…I was wrong.

2011 GlenwoodGlenwood Springs Vacation, 2011

Our stop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 7,100 feet above the town, included a chilling, snow flurried zip down the Alpine coster; our first 4-D movie (I wasn’t expecting all that); a “cave dark” experience in the caverns; and a recovery soak in the natural hot springs pool.

So, when I asked Noelle what she wanted to do for her upcoming 10th birthday, I should have known Glenwood Caverns was at the top of the list. This time, she wanted to do something that she has been waiting “FOREVER” [said in a most dramatic tone, of course] to do… Glenwood Cavern’s Wild Cave Tour! A two-hour extreme caving tour *with a minimum age limit of 10 years.

On the books for this weekend. I’m forecasting epic.

#GlenwoodCaverns #GlenwoodSprings

Summer Camp Survival Gear

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Save 25% on Label Daddy labels! Exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must-have for summer camp (if you want belongings finding their way back home). Clothing, sports equipment, electronics, and other personal belongings…hey, put one on your kiddo! My kids always get returned.

Label Daddy labels keep belongings from getting lost or mixed up with others. These labels are great for adults too! — Put them on your sunglass/eyeglass case, phone, camera, sports equipment, tablet, e-reader, hats, clothing, and more. Ok, that might be pushing it, but you get the idea.

These labels are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels — they’re washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant. Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels! Pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, and more. These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

Save 25% on your entire Label Daddy order – this is the best discount available anywhere. Use code USFAMILY25 at checkout. http://www.usfamily25.labeldaddy.com

If this feels like a pitch, it is. However, I do LOVE and use these little labels (maybe too many places). I asked my teen if he was too old for them (his keep disappearing) and he still can’t break my heart, lol!

Move Over Easter Bunny

Each spring we watch, with bittersweet endearment, as the piles of velvety powder slowly melt away from the slopes, and patches of green grass appear. What can make this changing of seasons a little sweeter? The Easter Bunny, of course…or, if you’re spending your days at Copper Mountain Resort, The Rainbow Fish Character!

And he’s making quite the splash at Copper Mountain.
Following breakfast: the World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt!!

Rainbow Fish Photo Op!

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Photo with a Rainbow Fish? Now this is Easter.

Easter Breakfast with the Rainbow Fish Character
Copper Mountain, Upper Conference Center – Kokopelli’s Trail
8:00am-10:00am
Family Breakfast
$25 Adults $21 Kids (ages 4-9)

Summit Sunrise Breakfast Buffet: fresh melons, pineapple, and seasonal berries. Assortment of fruit, yogurts, farm fresh scrambled eggs, Applewood smoked bacon & country style sausage links. Skillet style breakfast potatoes, waffle station, fruit preserves, and more!

Photo opp with Rainbow Fish (don’t forget your cameras), coloring station and souvenir gift for each child.

Great way to start your day before hopping along to the World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt with 65,000 eggs in Center Village. (FREE)

 

A limited number of tickets are available. Early ticket purchase is suggested.

Hoofing It at the Horsetooth Half

Racetime Rundown:

  • Date: April 23, 2017
  • Time: 8:30am
  • Start: Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
  • Views: Pure Colorado
  • Course: Challenging. Rewarding. Net Downhill
  • After Party: New Belgium Brewing
  • Prize Purse: $4,000

This year will be the 44th anniversary of the Horsetooth Half Marathon. This scenic 13.1 mile trek is not only one of the most beautiful, it’s also the oldest in the state of Colorado!

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Top 10 Reasons to Run the Horsetooth Half 2017

10. 44th Anniversaries don’t happen every day.
9. Your New Years Resolution needs this.
8. The 500′ Monster Mountain is in the first 2 miles.
7. It’s all downhill from there.
6. #7 is not literal, but you’ve totally got this.
5. Music…on course, of course!
4. Voted Best Half in the Rocky Mtn. Region by Competitor, 2016.
3. $4K Cash Purse
2. BEER by New Belgium, for when you don’t win the $4,000.
1. You can join me :: AND my little brother – a horse of another, coming soon.

Now that I’ve convinced you, you’re going to want to start training – it helps.
Don’t worry, GnarRunners have thought of everything: Full Training Plan

 

Wondering what’s up with the horse theme this season? Me too.

photo: GnarRunners
#HorsetoothHalf #GnarRunners