On the 6th Season of Colorado

Well I think the blog page is at least marginally operational.  Irregardless, now cometh the first and greatest edition of the Diatribe!

So the Fam and I ventured out a few days ago for a little family visit to the neighboring city.  We are used to trying to travel in the mountains…in Colorado…in the summer.  We thought we’d done it right:

  • Don’t travel on Fridays – check
  • Don’t travel on Sundays – check
  • Don’t travel early morning – check
  • Don’t travel afternoons – check
  • For the love of all that is holy NEVER EVER EVER travel near a holiday – check

As I sat there, parked in the middle of the road with no end in sight of traffic before and behind me, I had time to ponder where exactly I had gone wrong.  What oversight had caused an easy hour long trip to turn into the final voyage of the S.S. Minnow.  I mean, I used the check list for crying out loud.

Then, it hit me!  I had failed to take into account the 6th Season of Colorado.  Fall is beautiful in the high country.  Winter is magical.  Mud season is horrid (more on this dirty little secret of mountain living later).  Late spring is an emerald wonderland.  Summer is what makes it all worthwhile.  What, you may ask, is this 6th season that I neglected to account for in my pre-trip game plan?  It is…CONSTRUCTION SEASON.

We can avoid the cold of winter and “heat” of summer by staying inside without much problem.  But, when you live an hour from the nearest town, travel is a necessity.  You can’t avoid it when they work on the only crater filled highway that leads you out of here.  You simply gird yourself against the anguish you are about to endure, plan to leave waaaaay early, and take entertainment for the children (lest you have an uprising in the backseat of your Family Truckster).

I understand that my little slice of St. Augustine is located in the 3rd coldest place in the lower 48 and our warm season is very short.  When they repair our war torn highways they have to do a lot at once, or wait for our next short summer.  So this is not a rant against the hardworking men and women of the highway crews.  This is a simple reminder to all locals and tourists: Rarely is everyone not doing their best.  Be patient!

That semi driver is doing their best to get 80,000 pounds of steel and cargo rolling again after getting stopped on an uphill grade.  That RV is not driven by anyone in the Andretti family.  It’s driven by a haggard soul that is dealing with odors and fights of their family while trying to maneuver something about 276 times bigger than the minivan they are used to.  It is beautiful in Western Colorado and it’s hard for me to fault a flatlander for gawking.

Finally, give the flaggers a break.  They don’t keep you stopped as their sadistic source of amusement.  They let you go when it’s safe, and the last oncoming car has passed.  I spoke with one flagger west of town and he had a cup of coffee, a banana, and a breakfast burrito thrown at him already that morning.  That man had to dodge a flying breakfast burrito folks!  We’re better than that America.  Calm down, stick to the checklist, and please refrain from chucking filled tortillas at our fellow man.