Tips for Passing Time During I-70 Traffic in Colorado

I70 traffic

Most Denverites know the struggle of I-70 traffic in the winter. Going to the mountains on the weekend, you’re almost guaranteed to spend a few hours on the road. It’s easy to get frustrated about the situation, but we think there’s a more productive perspective to take. The sooner we accept this unavoidable traffic as our reality, the happier our mountain excursions will become. But how does one find peace in such agonizing traffic? We’ll tell you how. Here are our best tips for passing time during I-70 traffic in Colorado.

Force your friends to tell you their deepest secrets

sitting in I-70 traffic in Colorado
Two friends, presumably sharing their deepest secrets

This may be the only time you and your friends (well, hopefully, they’re your friends) are trapped in a small space with no escape! Capitalize on this special moment and encourage everyone to spill their guts. I like to start by going around and having everyone reveal their most embarrassing story. It’s light, funny and a great leeway into even better conversations. Road trips are notorious for bonding, so instead of being angry about the traffic, take advantage of time spent in the car with people you love!  

Read a f*cking book!

Reading in car during I-70 traffic in Colorado
Britta Winans, getting her reading in before she hits the slopes.

What better way to pass the time and stretch your brain than to read a nice novel? Oftentimes, life gets busy, and reading for pleasure becomes harder to come by. There’s usually pretty spotty service on I-70, so reading is a healthy alternative to scrolling mindlessly on your phone. This is a rare period of downtime to sit back, relax and get lost in a good story! 

Also, for those of you who are in school, it is the perfect time to grind out a bit of homework. “I’ve gotten some of my best work done in I-70 traffic,” says Ella Williamson, a senior at the University of Denver. 

Interact with other cars

The beauty of I-70 traffic is that we’re all in it together- one collective unit of Denverites, heading through one Eisenhower tunnel. Roll those windows down and get social with the cars next to you! Give them a wave or perhaps throw a funny face at them. You can usually tell if they’re going to be a prospective friend or not based on their reaction. This approach can also be turned into a game best known as Sweet or Sour. At the very least, you can get some laughs, and raise the spirits of those around you. 

When traffic is completely gridlocked, you can always get out of the car and take a stroll down the road. It’s the easiest way to get your legs moving, breathe some fresh air, and perhaps, take a piss!

Stretch in creative ways 

Car Stretch
Two Denverites, getting their muscle recovery dialed. Photo by Spencer Davies.

For safety purposes, this tip is for those of you who aren’t driving. When the traffic is stand-still, it’s common for muscles to start to feel stiff and the body restless. We recommend working with the small space you’re in and moving your body in creative ways! My personal favorite is an upside-down butterfly stretch, as pictured above. Any sort of fidgeting is highly recommended. You’ve got to get your energy out somehow! 

If you have a massage gun, like this one from Roll Recovery in Boulder, that’s a great item to bring on your journey. It’s an effective way to loosen the muscles up before you hit the slopes. 

Play fun road trip games 

Interactive games are amongst the most entertaining ways to pass the time in I-70 traffic. Many of these games get us giggling and interacting with the scenery surrounding us. Not to mention, it gets the driver involved. It’s important to keep the driver awake and entertained so they don’t doze off on these long drives. I-Spy, Contact, Word Chain, and WaveLength are some of our favorites. Check out this massive list of road trip games for more inspiration.

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