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.

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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.

A Candy Cabin Adventure at Beaver Creek

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Sweet Memories

A Candy Cabin destination atop a soaring, snow-covered peak; the voyage of a tiny, first-time snowboarder off to conquer a swift-moving quad chair lift; reminiscing notable firsts and unfortunate falls as our boots dangled with the tops of trees; the gratification and reward of a true-to-life ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ pillage; and the winding trek back down the mountain. It was a bittersweet farewell to another season, melting slowly into the commencement of beloved springtime adventures.

The Tale of the Candy Cabin

As the story went… there once was a cabin, brimming with confections. There were barrels of taffy, jars of gummies, tubes of chocolates, and shelves of delicious treats. However, this particular cabin was precariously placed far from reach. It required a Candy Cabin adventure to an elevation most children wouldn’t dare (without a responsible adult, a ski lesson or two, and proper winter gear that is).

The tale was alluring, and the venture intriguing. I was mostly sure that if I didn’t pack our bags right away, I might wake to find my little Hansel and Gretel trailing breadcrumbs through the forest.

Beaver Creek is our favorite family staycation!” It’s the pitch I was given. Luckily for my adorable little negotiators, they were right – we all love Beaver Creek – and, a visit from the Auntie was in the works. Beaver Creek would be the perfect destination for our last hurrah of the season.

The Candy Cabin was everything they had dreamed, and the joy of braving the terrain to arrive safely at our destination was all part of the enchantment. The twinkle in their eyes and the giddy giggles as they hugged barrels of sweets told the stories of their hearts. I knew this was a day they wouldn’t soon forget!

The sugar rush contributed to a delirium of bravery as we sped our way safely back to the bottom of the mountain to have a relaxing patio lunch and après ski Colorado brew – the perfect toast to another amazing escape at Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek Candy Cabin

  • Top of Strawberry Park, Avon, Colorado 81620
  • Operational Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Price Range $
  • Phone (970) 754-5539

UCD 2014 SYMPOSIUM

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If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what the latest trends are in academic research, this is an event for you. Educate yourself on the latest thinking in higher education, explore interesting projects and creative works, and most importantly, take the opportunity to network within our local community.

Examples of  undergraduate and graduate student work will be showcased at the annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium:

Friday April 25, 2014​
RC2, Trivisible Room
Anschutz Medical Campus

The Symposium is designed to feature the creative and entrepreneurial activities as well as research projects of undergraduates and graduate students at the University of Colorado Denver. All UCD students participating in faculty-mentored research and creative activities may submit an application for consideration.

      • All UC Denver students involved in faculty-mentored research and creative activities are encouraged to apply
      • Present your work to an audience of peers, faculty, family, and visitors
      • Last year, approximately 120 student researchers participated in the event

Students – this is your chance to demonstrate to your family and friends what you’ve been up to each time you’ve had to say no to something far more entertaining than research. Submit your application now to be considered for this great opportunity, and avoid having to post something like this all over your social media, wink.

Clark, EinsteinProject

Dashingly Dirty

It’s dashing and it’s dirty…it’s the Dirty Dash and it’s coming to a location near you. Well, maybe not. That depends on where you’re at BUT it’s coming to a location near me! Can you say #TeamFineS’Wine!

S'Wine

Intimidating, I know. Fear not…this race is great for all skill levels AND you can whoop it up for the cam an we’ll never know how many pits and obstacles you decided to tiptoe around. As for team Fine S’Wine, well, let’s just say there *was* blood, oh ya.

411 Recap from last yr? Here: 411 Recap from last yr.
Photo Journal? Here:
Photo Journal.

What’s the chapstick first aid about you ask? Well, let’s just say — that Fine S’Wine wasn’t a Boy Scout 😉

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Get the scoop on this year’s muddy mess…and start training now! Beer, mud, more beer, friends. Yep. That’s it. You’re in! Oh, camera. Check.

 

Four Feet to a Pig’s Nose at Anderson Farms

No, it’s not an official idiom…but it might find it’s way at Anderson Farms.
Definition: knowing you’ve grown tall enough to leap the stacks of the hay maze?

 Or maybe when you can tote the largest pumpkin in the patch?
(definition yet to be fully established)

It’s corn mazes, hay rides, live music, s’mores pit, pumpkin patches, pedal cars, barrel train rides, panning for gemstones and steaming hot cocoa with chocolate chip cookies inside a large barn brimming with confections and souvenirs (and lots, lots more!). It’s the stuff fall dreams are made of…and a family tradition we look forward to each year. It’s Anderson Farms Fall Festival!

While we did encounter a bit of rain this year, we didn’t get washed out…and when the showers did subside, we were ready to play hard – mud puddles included!

And this is it…the photo op: farm animal growth chart! Silas is as tall as a pig’s nose. We’re hoping for at least a lamb’s knees next year. Ryan is just past a cow’s utter, Charlotte and Noelle couple of hands above a pig’s belly. We captured adorable photos of each of the cousins measuring one another – and after a few years at this, we should have an adorable photo collection of our children growing up together…and maybe even enough to ruffle a rooster’s tail feathers!

Also new this year: a giant pumpkin on a silo.
It’s an interesting sight to behold.

Colorado has several fall festivities around the state – I recommend exploring them all – but Anderson Farms is a must-see!
Plan to spend the day, food available for purchase, entertainment galore, wheel barrels help haul giant pumpkins and the people are amazingly hospitable and gracious in their traditional western welcome to all!

Is Botox Right for You?

Do you suffer from chronic headaches and migraines? Well, there may be something you can do about it…and Centura Network is hosting a FREE community event including physician presenters, food, prizes and more. Finally, we might have a useful purpose for that strange Botox stuff – I mean besides freezing faces into expressionless positions, ha!

Hormonal * Sinus * Migraine

Explore treatment options for ALL types of headaches.

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012

TIME: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Sturm Hall on the University of Denver Campus

COST: FREE

To register, visit centuraneuro.org or call 800-327-6877 (option 1)
from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. • Join us for brunch and door prizes!

The Centura Health Stroke Network offers prevention tips, life-saving screenings and numerous educational materials and resources no matter where you live in Colorado. Learn more at http://www.centura.org/stroke.

 

Perfect Fall Break Contest (FREE Yogurt!)

Yogurtland guests are invited to photograph and name their favorite, most imaginative yogurt creation and submit it to the My Masterpiece website and Facebook page. At the end of the submission time frame, each entrant will receive a link to their Masterpiece submission and can invite their friends to vote for the top creations.

Voting for the top masterpiece creations takes place from Oct. 29 – Nov. 2. The top 100 entries will be judged by a panel of Yogurtland judges based on taste, name and recipe of the Masterpiece, creativity of the recipe and the ability to easily recreate the Masterpiece in Yogurtland stores. The first place winner will receive a $500 Yogurtland gift card for a year of free yogurt, second place will receive a $250 gift card for six months of free yogurt, and third place will receive a $125 gift card for three months of free yogurt. The top three winners will also receive gift cards to reward their friends for voting for their entry. Each Yogurtland store is encouraged to choose a local winner who will receive a $100 Yogurtland gift card. All entrants will receive a coupon to receive their first 3-ounces yogurt free.

DeTaILs HeRE!!!

 

 

ColorCoatedGnar’s Favs @ColorMeRad

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If pummeling your friends with powdered color bombs and getting hosed down by perfect strangers armed with liquid color spray are your idea of a good time, then this is the 5K for you! What I love most about these silly themed, untimed races – um, besides the silly theme and the fact that it’s untimed – is that they’re ideal for beginner runners…aka: my five-year-old, whom raced via piggyback for most of this one #mommyworkout

Top Favs and/or Least Favs:

Blue boogies – two days worth, yum
Uber blue bath water – and the ring it left behind
The blue glow on our skin – three showers later!
Can you say #PhotoOp? (yes, in shades of blue)
Blue stain – how is it that the entire rainbow of colors we encountered = blue?