Colorado’s Madness and Magic

The one irritating thing about my ’87 Samurai is that it doesn’t ding me when I leave the lights on. So, of course, this morning, with the other vehicle in the shop, the Samurai was dead. So my wife had to catch another ride to work. It was sunny, back then, and spring.

Now it is winter. I got the battery charged up earlier today. Then the rain started in pretty hard. I ran a couple of errands. Then the rain turned to snow. Then, surprisingly quickly, the snow started sticking to the road.

But my wife was at work, so I had to lock my hubs (yes, I have to lock my hubs by hand) and call the Samurai into snow duty. It took me over an hour to drive the twelve miles to my wife’s work. I foolishly took the back roads, thinking they would be quicker. But those roads are hilly, and only two lanes. On the hills numerous cars were skidding out. I swore under my breath when some dude ahead of me stopped, going uphill. But the Samurai had no problem getting going again. It’s the first time I’ve driven it in four-wheel low. (In that gear I get up to about 25 miles per hour with the other shifter in fourth.) I estimate I saw about twenty vehicles on the way that had either slid off the road or skidded out in the middle of the road. I had to periodically unroll my window and knock snow off the windshield with my gloved hand.

The timing worked out fine, because my wife was working late, in anticipation of not making it in tomorrow.

I had experienced the Colorado madness; then came the Colorado magic. My wife works above Nissis, and her shop is owned by a co-owner of Nissis. Because of the snow, the usually-sold-out Face show had a few seats available, so we had the opportunity to stay for the show. When I had time to settle down I noticed how tense the drive up had made me feel.

And, as usual, Face was awesome. They sang two songs I hadn’t heard them perform before: U2’s “Pride” and Aerosmith’s “Living On the Edge.” Great show.

For the drive back we took 287, which is four lanes and better plowed. And there was much less traffic. We passed one pretty bad accident involving a truck that had obviously (given the damage) been going too fast for conditions. The trip took just over half of an hour. It took us longer to shovel the drive way once we got home. We estimate we got around eight inches of wet, heavy snow (and that was on top of the earlier rain).

Welcome to Colorado.