Saturday, March 23, 2013

Most Dangerous Thing in Colorado Springs

This is, for Real, the Deadliest Thing in Colorado

There are many dangerous things about Colorado Springs and surrounding environs. Just to go through some of the more obvious things:

  • Winter roads can be very, very tricky. Seemingly safe, main roads will be covered with black ice, and you will go twirling around in your car before you know it. People who live here get in accidents all the time, and there are some roads that are absolutely notorious for massive wrecks (think hilly, east-facing roads with overhanging trees). The weather will change in a heartbeat, and if you have never seen all four seasons in one day anywhere else, you have a great chance of that here during the spring or fall.
  • Escaped criminals seem to love this area as a sort of anonymous hideout. There are many prisons within a hundred miles of Colorado Springs, maybe escapees think of it as home. It is rare for there to be an alert about some band of criminals in town - but it happens with some regularity. For some reason, seemingly safe nearby towns such as Monument have lots of weird shootings and other problems, and let's not even start on Columbine, which is to the north. If you go to Walmart, you stand a good chance of seeing average Joes with a holstered pistols - those are the good guys.
  • Fires are a huge problem during the summer. Here's the deal: there are too many people, and there is not enough water unless the winter is "bad." Homes are being built out among the trees because it is so pretty there, and guess what happens when a forest fire approaches? Those homes burn down. A record number of Colorado homes burned down in 2012, and nearly the entire city of Colorado Springs (there was true panic in the air, regardless of what you will hear now about "Oh, the city was never in any danger what-so-ever"). Summer droughts are becoming common, and the forest fires are worse with time.

All of those are issues in Colorado Springs. However, none of them matches the following in terms of pure, raw, unmitigated, terror-inducing mayhem.

Your typical Colorado deer

Yes, that is the Number One thing that is likely you get you into trouble in Colorado Springs. Bambi, you say? A cute little deer?

Deer in Mountain Shadows

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Deer own this town. You can be in the heart of Colorado Springs, and you will casually look over at the side of the road and see them looking at you. I'm not kidding about this - they don't get downtown very much, but drive five or ten minutes from there, and deer will be around somewhere.

Drivers are more respectful of deer than people

You may say, "Oh, I can handle deer." Sure you can - maybe a hundred times in a row. Then, one late night, you'll be driving home down some nice, pleasant suburban street, and a whole herd will jump out in front of you. Slam on the brakes! They won't get out of the way for you, bet your life on that.

A cute little family - many others are nearby

Aww, they're so cute! One will follow the other out into the road, and they will jump right in your way - and stop. Or maybe it will stop just off to the side - and THEN jump right in front of you.

"I think I'll go for a walk in the road"

"Well, so what, I'll kill a deer that was too stupid to get out of the way." Yes, that's unfortunately true. You also, however, will probably do several thousand dollars worth of damage to your vehicle. Deer are big, and they are solidly built. It is like hitting a tree, the biggest difference being that there will be blood everywhere.


"You're so callous and heartless!" No, actually I'm not. I love deer. However, once the deer is dead, it isn't coming back, and its trials and tribulations on this earthly realm will be over. Yours, however, will be just beginning, as you figure out how to get your vehicle to a repair shop so that the insurance company can total it and you can start over, out the time and expense.

We're not talking warm and cuddly here

If you spend enough time in Colorado Springs, you will learn that what I say is true. Some areas, such as the Air Force Academy, are crawling with deer. I had a friend who smacked into one late one evening after work there -and she's a native. Lots of trees, numerous dark hiding spots, unlit roads - deer heaven.

deer Colorado Springs
You look over, not expecting anything - and there one is

So there you have it. Make of it what you will, but be forewarned - if you drive as you do back home, you will have problems here. Drive a bit slower, at least at first, and learn. You'll be better off.