The extrinsic and intrinsic lessons from the West family vacation

We have had a very good West family vacation. We live in a warm climate and it has been such a treat to walk in the snow, to experience Colorado’s warm and friendly atmosphere and to learn things that we have not experienced before. Some of the lessons we learned were extrinsic and some were intrinsic.

Extrinsically, we experienced the town, we skied, snowboarded, had a sleigh ride, rode horses, saw the countryside and had the most marvelous cooking lesson.

Intrinsically, we learned a great deal about ourselves and human nature as a whole.

My children have always been willing to do ANYTHING. They cliff dive in Jamaica, climb the waterfalls without safety nets, sky dive and anything that will turn my hair gray — (that last point is between my hair stylist and myself).

Yesterday, however, was a bit of a fright. My eldest daughter, Aubrey, pressed me into agreeing to let her drive a snowmobile. She used the argument that she had already used jet skis and I heard this argument in my ear for the 6 or so miles that we drove out into the wilderness. I realized as she rode behind me that she did not lean into the turns, she was afraid of the heights as we crossed bridges and afraid when we had to gun it to get to the top of the mountains. She told me that I was being “over-bearing” and I was not letting her “grow up.” I explained that the trail was more demanding than it seemed and we even wiped out ourselves!

Against my better judgment, I gave in. We got halfway and I switched with her. She put Lynn on the back and off they went.

Allen and I took a different route to avoid the cliff and Aubrey breezed by us going FAST. Sharp turn FAST, unable to correct, and we watched them plow into a tree…FAST! The snow machine totaled, everyone jumped off of their snowmobiles to help…and all we heard was screaming.

Allen leaped into the air and ran full speed, falling twice because we were actually running across a frozen lake, so there was little to no traction.

The crew from Steamboat, the Roadhouse and even the vacationers were very helpful. The response time was miraculous. Aubrey will need to see an orthopedic doctor when she gets home. I took pictures thinking that I could send them to 911 but soon realized there was no Sprint signal.

Aubrey’s temperature dropped to 90 degrees — she began to suffer from hypothermia along with the leg injury. One young lady kept her alert by speaking with her about the future, school and music. Allen held her over him to keep her warm, and I have never seen him as fearful as that moment.

In the ambulance, the EMT workers were remarkable. Accidents will happen anywhere, but the reaction of this crew was first class. We will be back — if they’ll have us (smile).

Extrinsically we learned to do and appreciate all of the winter sports, the beautiful Colorado mountains and the beauty of exploring the USA.

Intrinsically, we learned a lesson about pushing limits, being prepared for the negative as well as the positive circumstances, and the community of man.

What a Blessing our God has given us this Christmas.


    • I also have 3 daughters, the youngest is also named Aubrey, and, like you, only my hairdresser knows the grey. Thank God that she is okay! Kids will always push that envelope. I am now going through it with grandchildren. Trust me, it doesn’t get easier!!! Hope you had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

  1. Thank God your daughter will be fine!!! Other then that, glad you’ve had a nice vacation in beautiful Colorado! Blessings to you and your family and Happy New Year!!!

  2. I hope your daughter has a full recovery and learns to listen to her parents who are far wiser than she. Prayers of blessing for your daughter, Colonel West. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to your whole family.

  3. Brother Allen, what a harrowing experience. Much like yourself, I adore the opportunity to get out with family and friends to experience and enjoy new and exciting things. My most recent was watching my sister getting sucked through the inter-coastal inlet in Bal Harbour, FL while scuba diving during tide change. Oft, when we are out of our natural element the strangest things can happen. God bless you and your family, sir. My hope is in people like you fighting to recapture the essence of American values and safe guarding our way of life. SLL

  4. When I was young (we’re talking 50s, 60s here) we had many more freedoms to explore than there are now. The speediest thing we could ride was a bike and although things can happen with that too, life was interesting.

    I’m sure your whole family will look back on this day as a “whole family experience” …. and it will only be one week after she is fine …. that she’ll push the button again, so be prepared. (That is what kids do, mom and dad).

  5. Oh no…hope she has a speedy recovery. I’m sure she’ll never live that down and you’ll be able to laugh about it later.

  6. A very blessed Christmas, indeed. Prayers for a speedy healing, and a time when you’re able to remember the traumatic events happily.

  7. Allen, you are so good to let her do that snowmobiling, even though you knew she would probably not handle it well. I think she’s learned a valuable lesson! She also learned how much her family cares for her and the love you have together! Keep up the good work you do!

  8. Glad your daughters will be alright, Congressman.

    I see a different lesson here: you’d never let your girls ride a motorcycle without proper training, why gamble with a sled. Machine is a machine.

    She might have target fixated, understeeed, let go of gas mid-turn. Supervised training for even 1-2 hours could have been all that’s needed to avoid this.

  9. Oh my goodness. I’m so glad that Aubrey will be okay and that she was able to get medical attention quickly. I’ve lived in the Rockies and know how easily the opposite outcome can occur. Thank you for sharing a lovely post on living and learning. You’ve given us something to think about and to celebrate! All the best to you in the coming year.

  10. if they did not give her a 15 minutes of supervision an training they should have,just saying.when your doing 107 in 2 the corner better be real good like me Thank God she ok we salute you

  11. You are blessed sir. Gotta let them grow up can be hard as i have a full head of white! I am glad all turned out well. It happened in 2013, so lets get the hell out of this year already!

  12. Glad everyone will be alright! Sure sounds like it was pretty hectic for a while! Good EMT’s are hard to find! My Best to you all and hope you have a Blessed, Safe New Year!

    • I have never met an EMT that wasn’t well-trained, kind, and caring and handled every situation with the expertise called for!! (I’m not ‘related’ to any EMT…in case you wondered!)
      What I do know is they are worth far more money than most of them are paid!
      As a medical professional, I know they are lifesavers!! They do what has to be done and lessen the pain and additional injury until they get victims to the ER.
      Please don’t short change any of them…….

  13. Allen with out pushing the limits we will never know where the edge is. Isnt that exactly what Obama is doing ? The thing is in Washington there is no limits, not to spending, not to power, not to control. So where do we start ? and how do we set limits that are ridged and yet flexible? When you have a bunch of lawyers making the laws and another bunch figuring out how to get around them you get what we have today.

  14. So scary. I’m glad she’s okay and hopefully she’s learned a little bit about caution. It can be a difficult lesson, especially when we’re so young. God bless all of you.

  15. I have kicked myself over and over again through the years for giving in to my kids’ demands (not ALL of them, lol, I’m not crazy) to “let me do it! You’re too overprotective! Nothing’s gonna happen!” Then BOOM, the “crash.” Thankfully, God’s hand was on them, and lessons were learned by all!

  16. Glad to hear you daughter, though dinged, will be fine. Besides the ortho guy, have her see a chiropractor. An accident like that can throw out the back. Hard way to learn a lesson, and an expensive one for you, but all will be well.

  17. Wow Mr. Allen so glad to hear Aubrey is going to be okay. God was watching over her. Good outcomes come to good people most of the time. God Bless you all.

  18. Sorry to hear of the accident. I am glad that you said that the help you got was first class. I personally would be upset if the people of Steamboat Springs were not that. I have always been proud of Steamboat and the friendly confines and people that live in The Boat. I know that a lesson was learned the hard way on your excursion but am so glad she will be alright.

  19. Praying for lesson well learned without lasting consequences to Aubrey’s health. Nature has some very harsh realities, and parents usually know more than kids think they do. Sore muscles, tears of thankfulness, and peace be with you.

  20. It is so interesting that so many of the responses here are addressed to Allen West and not the actual author of the article, his lovely wife Angela. That aside, my very best wishes to the entire West family for a rapid recovery regarding all of the aspects of this accident. All will be better for it I am sure. Thank you Angela for sharing this with us for allowing all of the Team West supporters an insight into the fundamentals of life that bind all of us, and the pure class that distinguishes your family.

  21. Thank God she wasn’t hurt worse. May the recovery lb swift and leave no tales.
    One of the harder things we do as parents is let our children fail. The absolute hardest thing we do is let them do anything that might hurt them.
    I still pray to God every day to watch over mine even though they’re “big boy and girls”, “all grown up”, and “adults on their own”. They are that and about 1000 other phrases that try to seperate them from me, but God saw fit to bless me with them and they are and will ALWAYS be MY children.

  22. Glad she will be okay. Such a fine line between being a “responsible” parent and allowing the pushing of limits. Might have been no accident, you just never know for sure. Glad you had a good Christmas in Steamboat, one of our favorites when our kids were young. Billy Kidd was at Colorado when my husband and I were, so it’s been awhile.

  23. Mr. West, sorry for the trauma on your vacation but glad you guys pulled some light out of the darkness, had a great time, and your daughter is ok. I always say “I never trust a kid (usually a boy) until they have broken a bone”, meaning our actions always bring consequences and we learn. I have broken quite a few. Some are more stubborn than others. LOL Or as we say where we come from, “it takes a long time for sunshine to go through concrete” (skull). Always enjoy your posts but would most enjoy your presidency. Please consider it. By the way, I am a white guy, raised with many prejudices but for the sake of Jesus, does that make a racist?? LOL Be well, peace in Him and Happy and Blessed New Year to all your house.

  24. Prayers for you all. Sometimes we have to let them grow up but it really hurts. We were a little over protective with our daughter when she was growing up and we heard the same complaints. Oh well all we could say is “It’s just love!”.

  25. God bless you and your family…. I know somewhat what it is like… I have some rather adventurous daughters as well and they can help turn hair gray… But Mr. West, they are your daughters, so you sorta gotta expect them to push the edge – you love them even more if that is even possible. Keep up your good work for our falling country….

  26. Allen West, I love ya. I think this country needs you; however, your “stylist” has to go. The high and tight just doesn’t look right on our future president. The military days are over – I was a marine for 8 years, I’m currently 33 and you would never know I was a marine unless you’re someone who knows all the little indicators. You on the other hand have that sharp military cut, which is cool, I get it, I had it and it took a while to let go. But you have to let go. Bahaha. Plus you’re looking a little too bulky these days. Too many motorcycles and badassery. God love you, I know I do. But we all know those attributes aren’t going to help us get you accepted as a mainstream contender.

    I respect everything you say and do. I truly believe this country needs you. I just had to poke a little fun at those couple qualities I’ve been picking up on for a while:)

  27. So sorry Sir to hear about that frightful experience. Seems like most us of have some sort of crazy something happen ON VACATIONS especially. I have 2 grown sons so I AM EXPERIENCED on frightening events with kids. Ground Her ! LOL. I wish her a speedy recovery, no lasting problems & YOU SIR, go have a few stiff doubles.

    • It happens to even the experienced . My neighbor is a big equipment earth mover guy. He recently shot a elk and tried to pull it out with a large ATV it fell back on him as he tried to go up a incline. He tore ligaments in his knees and will need a operation. Now this is a very skilled person so your daughter hopefully won’t have that sort of injury.

  28. A miracle on the mountain – God is good. Sending up prayers for you all, especially your daughter. I pray that her injuries are short lived and leave no long term complications. A lesson here to Aubrey…listen to your daddy!

  29. Btw- my greatest respect and admiration for you, your service to this country as a marine, and your service to this country in helping to reclaim sanity, justice, and moral compass.

  30. I’m so glad she’s safe and hopefully you will all recover from this accident, physically and psychologically. I read with interest (because I run a 911 center) about your thinking you should send a photo to 911. Texting and sending photos or videos to a 911 call center is not available in many places yet. Most areas are in a testing phase only for texting to 911, sending photos and videos and having them able to be viewed are pretty far away but the technology is coming. It’s a pretty involved system. It’s going to cost a lot of money for upgrades for 911 centers and cell phone carriers to be capable to send and receive these texts and photos. Again, I’m glad you are all safe and I’m sorry this happened to you and your family. God Bless and keep you all.

  31. Dear Sir and Maam,
    God be with you and yours. We learn from our mistakes more than our victories.
    Your family lights the way and I can’t ever thank you enough.

  32. Allen, I am one of your numerous admirers. Thank God the girls are going to be all right. You are a true patriot and thanks for your military service. Let’s make 2014 our year. Best wishes to the West family. God is good.

  33. Heckuva way to find out about our top notch Crack Search & Rescue outfits out here in Coloraodo. We coulda just told ya they are good. Hope Aubrey heals quickly! Blessings, from Colorado

  34. I’ll pray for healing ! Snowmobiles are fun but do take some skill to drive ! Flew off mine while hitting bump on a turn ( which are hard to see when snow blind ). Flew 20 one direction & sled the other . Luckily no injuries !!

  35. Glad your daughter is safe. But she has found out a valuable lesson in life. Sometimes when you push the limits, you get hurt. I enjoy reading your blogs. I hope you do not seek the presidency. Because if you do. I have to come out of retirement to campaign for YOU.
    We need a man of integrity in the White House. A man of true history. Not a man you can not trust. It is time to sent the Manchurian candidate back to Kenya. I live in a small village on the bay, south of Puerto Vallarta. You and your family are welcome anytime.

  36. God bless you, I pray for a speedy recovery and hope all will be okay. You are a blessed young lady to have the parents you have! Don’t feel bad about the crash, we all have to live and learn.

  37. What a family! No matter what, no matter how frightening, you pull together. So glad she had the help she needed…and will live through this very painful lesson. Blessings and comfort and healing for Aubrey, joy to you all!

  38. Lived in Steamboat many years. The people there are fantastic. I am so glad that you got the help you needed. I hope you go back and enjoy the summers there. They are the best. Praise God for ya’lls safety and quick healing for your daughter.

  39. Will be praying for a complete recovery for Aubrey. Yes, sometimes only a bad experience teaches us a lesson. Next time she wants to do something on the “risky” side, she may stop and think about it. My oldest who is now 45 still has his moments of lack of impulse control. 🙂

  40. Sir, I know where you failed and what actually happened here. You didn’t have a Vacation safety brief with your family members. I also note that no one was wearing their reflective safety belt, On a positive note it look like there was some serious combat casualty training exercise employed in which you wished it had already index from the get go.

  41. Some lessons are more expensive/painful than others, Aubrey, and that’s one of the reasons God gave youth more flexible limbs and rapid healing. We’ll pray for your full recovery, Experience – good or bad – is a wonderful mentor.

  42. I’m glad to hear that your daughter is OK. May God continue to watch over you and yours. You are a good man with a beautiful family and I am proud to call you my fellow Americans.

  43. I hope you were wearing helmets. Fun riding snowmobiles but they can be dangerous…I didn’t see helmets in the photo but u may have taken them off…best wishes.

  44. Glad things worked out and all in the West family are safe. The Colorado mountains are a place of great beauty, but in winter things can go bad very quickly. But then again, some of the best and most memorable adventures happen when things go a bit wrong and we are challenged to survive. We hope that the West family will visit us again. God bless and Happy New Year. (Oh, and we might be a bit challenged in the Florida wilderness).

  45. This is a great life lesson that we can still experience in the Great USA. If the leftist have their way we wont have the opportunity to make such life lessons. They will make rules that will dictate that we should never take risks, enjoy the dangerous elements of life itself, make mistakes, grow and gain knowledge from our own risks.The “GOVERNMENT” will show you the way………………..

  46. Glad to hear Aubrey wasn’t hurt worse, but we’ll keep her in our prayers as she recuperates from both the physical injuries and the wounds to her pride.

  47. We were glad you had the opportunity to try a snowy Christmas, and all the winter
    sports that go along with that. Most of all, we’re SO glad you each made it home in
    one piece, even though Aubrey did have a bit of excitement with her mishap!
    There will be prayers sent up for all of the West family, along with special prayers
    for Aubrey’s healing. May God bless her with a speedy recovery and no lingering
    ill effects from her snowmobile accident. We believe that God protects our children
    as He undoubtedly protected Aubrey from worse injury, and we will thank Him for
    that also!

  48. First, I’m relieved there was a proper response team in place and your daughter escaped tragedy. There is a need for every child to learn to respect danger and while you read the cards right that she wasn’t quite prepared to be in control on this occasion, it was a lesson learned by both. She needs to conquer her fear still. 🙂

  49. May God bless all of you for the new year. I pray he will use you to help bring our country back from the brink. You are one of the very few I trust, and respect, Sir. I think if you and Rand Paul worked together from the get go, you guys could take the White House and stop this Godlessness and madness.

  50. What fun to read this blog about your winter wonderland vacation. This piece was so normal! Why would you run for president! Actually, if you run, I will campaign for you, also. Love to listen to you. What a gift!

  51. I’ll bet Allen would rather have al-aquaida shooting at him then watch his daughter have a snow mobile accident. Wow! Frightening. Hope you otherwise had a great vacation!

  52. If the cold didn’t take your breath away, I’m sure Aubrey’s mishap did. Glad all is safe and that we are still reading articles on this site.

  53. Praying for complete healing. In northern Mn, my daughter ran a Kitty cat snowmobile up my Right leg. I was so happy it had rubber tipped ski’s on it.

  54. Prayers go out to your daughter. As parents we all try to protect our children from harm, but sometimes the child must branch out and experence life without us. Glad that God was watching over your family. Love your point of view of the dangers America faces now with our current administration and what action needs to be taken. As such ,I support you. You have proven to be a leader and true American. God bless you and your family

  55. Prayers to speed the comfort of all and the recovery of your daughter! Prayers of thanks that it was not worse and that those needed to be of assistance were present and able to fulfill His plan through talent, training and concern.
    God bless you all, victim, family and caregivers. Thank God for the gift of unselfish love!


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