I nearly died twice last Thursday, and just in case there is anyone out there who isn’t aware, black ice is totally unforgiving. Entering Shale Bluffs at about 3 p.m., the sun had just gone behind the mountain and the foot of snow the day before in conjunction with the hot weather had left a lot of moisture on the road.
My timing turned out to be unfortunate for me, as I was a few minutes ahead of the chemical spraying road crew and the downvalley traffic. The combination of Shale Bluffs essentially being a huge bridge, the moisture and the change in temperature turned the road into an ice rink.
I slid straight into the safety barrier – the only thing between me and a 400-foot drop and eternity. Thanks to the great job done by the engineers and road builders, I’m still alive.
I bounced off the barrier into the middle of the road facing the wrong way. When I realized I was unhurt, my instincts told me to run back up the road and try to slow the downvalley traffic before it slammed into me and the remains of my beloved truck.
People started braking, skidding, spinning, and although it was a bad situation, no one was hurt. With hindsight, I am glad I was able to slow the traffic before it hit the black ice or I’m sure a much worse situation would have developed.
I hope I have learned my lesson to never underestimate the lethal nature of shaded areas of highway after a snowfall, befooled by the speed of other motorists or lulled into a false sence of security by products such as magnesium chloride.
IN THESE CONDITIONS WE ALL NEED TO SLOW DOWN.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Summit County officials to change public health order, giving short-term lodging companies more leeway
Summit County officials will be releasing a new public health order next week to clarify how short-term lodging companies should go about confirming the number of households in one reservation.