Matador Network

10 commandments for living in Colorado

Photo: Stuart.m.d

Thou shalt clean up after ones self in the backcountry.

No Coloradan in this state would have the indecency to leave a bunch of trash and destruction behind in the mountains we all love and care for. Got it?

Thou shalt dedicate a significant amount of time in our 8.4 million acres of public lands.

Colorado is blessed with a serious amount of public lands to play in. In fact, if you live here and aren’t taking advantage of it, you’re not doing it right. People come to Colorado to experience the beauty of our landscapes and get away from all that concrete. Take the time to fall in love with our little square of paradise.

Thou shalt be able to name at least 3 of our 53 fourteeners (or 58, depending on your school of thought).

Bonus points if you’ve actually hiked them, and know why there’s a disparity between the number of fourteeners in the state. I mean, are you really experiencing Colorado if you’re not gasping for air and stumbling through scree fields just to bag a summit?

Thou shalt visit Casa Bonita at least once in one’s life.

You’re missing out on a serious rite of passage if you’ve never been to Casa Bonita. It’s less of a dining experience and more of a tale of survival (especially if you made the mistake of eating anything other than the sopapillas). Do you even know what childhood dreams are made of if you’ve never seen the Casa Bonita cliff divers?

Thou shalt wear sunscreen.

This is no joke people. Colorado is blessed with 300 days of sunshine a year, and we’re at high altitude. Mix in reflection from the snow, and if you’re not wearing sunscreen you run the risk of being as red as Blucifers eyes. A terrifying sight, indeed.

Thou shalt celebrate our four seasons and silently laugh at those places that only get a lousy two.

Whoever said two seasons is enough for them clearly hasn’t experienced summer drag into the cooler days of fall among changing aspens. Nor can they appreciate the agony of mud season. We’re multifaceted here in Colorado, outsiders just don’t get it.

Thou shalt see a concert at Red Rocks.

Another rite of passage for any Coloradan is experiencing live music at the most incredible outdoor venue in the country. You could go see Nickleback there and still brag about it.

Thou shalt be kind to fellow skiers/snowboarders and pick them up when they’re hitchhiking to the mountain.

Colorado is a pretty hitchhiker friendly state, especially in the small mountain towns where people will spend a grand on a new alpine setup instead of saving for a car. If you’re fortunate enough to have both (regardless of the state of disrepair your vehicle is in), help a buddy out and pick up the guy holding his snowboard on the side of the road. You’ll probably score some free weed out of it too.

Thou shalt have no fewer than 3 recreational sports they participate in depending on the season (weed smoking doesn’t count).

Welcome to the land of overachievement, where we not only have 4 seasons to play in but in order to be a true Coloradan, you should have no fewer than 3 recreational sports you pour all your money into. And you don’t get extra credit for weed smoking and craft beer drinking—those are just a given.

Thou shalt take care of thine self (and make sure we keep ranking #1 for least obese state)

Colorado is filled with a bunch of semi-obsessed athletes that take “cross-training” to an entirely new level commandment). Can you blame us? With the constant weed-induced munchies and love for a good craft beer, we have to balance out the indulgence with some serious calorie burning. Bonus points if you do your calorie burning outside instead of at the gym.