Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of benefits that come with living out on the flatlands. I always realized this whenever I took a trip into the mountains or cities, but now that I am actually living in a city (and in the mountains no less), both the benefits and disappointments of living here have become even more obvious to me. For the sake of space and readability, I have only selected my top three of both categories to discuss.
Out of the three things that I miss most, I would definitely have to say the one thing that stands out above the rest is fire. Yes, it may sound trivial or even caveman-like, but when you have become used to fires outside, a complete ban on “all open-flame fires in the City of Golden” really takes the wind out of your sails. Back home, it was a given that, if you were going to have a party at night, fire was to be the first invited. There is nothing like sitting around a fire with a bratwurst and/or cold beer and enjoying good company. It provides an atmosphere of relaxation in which you can really sink into when it is cool outside.
Next on my list is the absence of over-bearing light pollution. I miss being able to see the stars with good clarity and Denver is a bad source for sure. That constant orange glow at night gets me missing the dark blue.
Last, but not least of the things that I miss, is open hay fields. Now, you are probably thinking I have completely lost my mind at this point, but please, let me explain. The reason why a flat, open, and completely uninhabited hay field is awesome takes a simple recipe to understand. In this recipe of fun, first take this platform of “nothingness” and add to it one or more parts ATV. Next, take several good ropes and mix them well with either a tractor tire tube or car hood of choice and the ATV(s). After all that is said and done, simply garnish with several good drives and top with a number of giddy riders. The end product is a delectable spinning and speeding mass of humanity fighting to stay on the tube or car hood while g-forces do their thing.
At this point in the blog, you may be wondering why then, did I leave such a glorious playground for Colorado? Even as fun as all this sounds, not everything is hunky-dory. Besides the fact that where I come from does not have a School of Mines, the three major benefits to living here are profoundly greater than the downer aspects.
First of all, the climate is unmatchable. Instead of a dreary and wet winter, there is a lot more fluctuation of snow levels. Also included in this is the amount of white stuff that falls. Where two feet over a season is seen as a good year back home, it’s viewed as a bad week here. So, waiting for that good time in the snow is not nearly as much a problem.
Secondly, is the simple fact that everything is so close. Skiing is not a 10 hour drive. It is usually within an hour and a half, at most. Do not get me wrong, using horsepower to generate speed over snow is fun, but not using gasoline and instead using gravity is much more fun.
Thirdly, the geological landscape provides an overall greater variety of outdoor opportunities. The rock is solid, which means good climbing. The mountains are tall and steep, which means hiking and skiing are much more enjoyable. And, best of all, the sounds and smells of clear water and pines means a kick in your sensory system. Would you not agree?