I moved to Colorado in January and this place is the tits. As far as a place goes, meaning my family and close friends aside, I have never felt more at home before. So that’s cool. As a lot of the world has seemingly been going to hell in a hand basket. But being removed from all of it (especially after being as obsessively in-tune with politics as I was) has allowed me to not be impacted as much by the amounts of negativity that seems to be bouncing around in the world. My job is incredibly rewarding and I live in the middle of Rocky Mountain National Park (technically in Roosevelt National Forest) with the Continental Divide visible from my porch. Very rad. So with further adieu, here is a piece-by-piece review of Colorado.
Weather: Everyone from Colorado likes to remind you Colorado annually experiences the most blue-sky days of anywhere in America. Well they’re right, and especially when you live on a mountain, it’s nice when the wind isn’t trying to kill you and overall the air doesn’t hurt your face. Which brings me to my next point. When it is shitty out and the wind is trying to kill you and the air does hurt your face, it’s a pretty next level cold. It doesn’t matter how many jackets you have, you’re gonna be cold. Even if you have those cool Everest onesies, you’ll be warm but you’ll be aware of how cold you otherwise could be. You’ll almost be so confused by the fact that you’re not cold that your brain might trick you into thinking you’re cold. I sleep in a cocktail of blankets…But when it’s nice out it’s really something else.
Music: I love it. It seems like the Grateful Dead had sex with a mandolin and created Colorado Jam-grass music. It’s so cool. Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder Mountain String Band and Stringcheese Incident and these long-named bands are a fun soundtrack to a state full of people that want to climb mountains during the day and dance at night. These bands are also incredibly white. I had a student during my last session at work who called me over and asked, “Hey Quinn, you hang out with a lot of black kids when growing up?” and I laughed and asked why he was asking and he replied, “Because we were complaining that somebody had put on country music and asked you to change it. And then you put on Bluegrass because you actually think those are different things.”
Recreation: Colorado is easily on the Mount Rushmore of most fun states, and if it had an ocean, would probably wear the undisputed best state crown. But the Rockies and the rivers that carve these mountains up are overflowing with fun things to do and there are people taking advantage of every aspect of this area and constantly getting after it. And whatever adjectives or adoration people would use to describe the spirit of the outdoor sports community, whatever it is, it’s alive and well out here.
People: They’re mostly good eggs. Definitely more than enough crazies out here but a lot of really cool people as well. I got a speeding ticket 2 weeks after moving here and Officer Moody had be laughing and joking with him as he handed me a ticket, and I shit you not I said, “have a great day” when it was all over. I actually wished a cop that just gave me a ticket a happy rest of his day. It must be
the weed something in the water.
There are a few very different types of people from Colorado. There is the Boulder hipster in cool cowboy hat and the denim jackets with planned parenthood buttons. There is the old-school Colorado Marlboro Man types that still see Colorado as the frontier and want to live on their ranches with their horses and preferably a gun or three. Then there are the dirtbags. The climbers and ski bums and trail runners and their sticker-covered Subaru’s that often double as houses. These ones are very fun.
Animals: I have seen elk, moose, deer, bobcats, foxes, pika, big-horn sheep, rabbits, hawks, eagles, and a mountain lion. So while Moose are technically the ones you’re supposed to be really afraid of, I’m here to tell you that mountain lions are one of those oops-I-shit-my-pants-but-I-still-have-to-focus-on-staying-alive-so-I’ll-deal-with-that-later kind of situations. Especially when you’re alone coming down a mountain and you see a mountain lion staring you down from a cave 25 feet away. In the snow. I’d be super fine to never see one again as it was absolutely massive and I just don’t need that in my life.
Pot!: Yo this is just such a good call. People are gonna get high, it’s just going to happen. So is it better to have to buy weed from drug-dealers or to entrepreneurs (quick nod to the people that realize those are technically the same thing)? Well, in the words of Nick Thune, good people buy drugs from the government, and I appreciate not getting paranoid when I see cops and if it’s gonna help fund schools and roads then I’ll toke to that. Never mind the fact that it’s backhandedly bolstered inflation in cities which in turn is creating a mild housing crisis and increasing the homeless population, we got legal weed! 3 cheers for Governor Hickenlooper. You made the right call.
Overall: I could keep going into sub-categories to explain why this place is so awesome but the reality is that if you’re lucky enough to live here and work somewhere that lets you be outside and live the live you want to be living, there’s very few places more fun to do that than Colorado, and especially Boulder County and Larimer County. If I didn’t have such awesome people back home in New England, I don’t know if I’d ever leave this place.