By SARAH ROSE
Glasgow Daily Times
My white Pontiac Grand AM spun out of control 12,000 feet above sea level. I was driving under the speed limit. I hit a patch of black ice and lost control of my car. My vehicle ended up in the wrong lane for a couple of seconds. There wasn't anyone coming in the other direction. If there had been, who knows what could have happened.
And if I had gone a few feet to the left, I would have ended up going off a cliff.
But, thankfully, I didn't. However, I didn't get away from this unscathed. My car hit the side of a mountain and my airbag deployed. I ended up with minor burns on my jaw from it. My car wasn't so lucky. It was totaled. To make matters worse, I had bought it just a few months prior to the wreck. It was my first car.
I didn't have cell phone service on top of that mountain pass, but a man who was snowplowing the road had service and called the police, who arrived promptly. The officer drove me to the nearest town and dropped me off at a McDonald's, where I had to wait for an Enterprise Rent-A-Car employee to come pick me up from a different town. The small town I was dropped off in didn't have a place to rent cars. During the wait, I had a few people ask me if I had just gotten out of jail. Maybe that's because they saw me get out of a police car. I brought suitcases inside because I couldn't keep them in my destroyed car plus I had burns on my face.
In the beginning, I didn't want to tell my family what had happened because of what occurred in the recent past -- something similar happened to my mom and sister. One chilly afternoon, my sister called me and said she was in a car wreck with our mom. She said the road they were driving on contained a large amount of ice and snow. She lost control of her car, and it ended up slowly rolling down the side of a mountain. A large tree stopped the car. They had to walk back up to the road and get help. Thankfully, my family wasn't injured. My sister is now afraid of driving in the snow or ice. She says she sometimes gets flashbacks of those terrifying moments during snowstorms.
Let’s go back even further in time. Back in 1997, when I was 11-years-old, we had an extreme blizzard. We couldn’t even open our door because the drifts were so high. We were only off of school for about a week. I felt like I had cabin fever then. I hated being stuck inside. Snow days in Colorado don’t happen often. If Colorado had snow days every time there was significant snowfall, kids wouldn’t be in school nearly enough.
I’m originally from southeastern Colorado, where there are not mountains. I wouldn’t have been able to handle living in central Colorado, where there are peaks galore. My dad lived in Leadville (in central Colorado) for a year. He remembers snow in June. Ugh. Snow in June? No thank you.
So, what’s the point of all this snow and ice talk? The point is that I’m happy to live in a state where it's warmer during the winter. More warmth equals less snow and ice. But, I have to say, Colorado summers are nice. There's hardly any humidity. But my humidity talk may have a column of it's own someday.
Sarah Rose is a staff writer for the Glasgow Daily Times. She can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.