It’s well publicized that we’re the least-obese state in the country. We didn’t get that way by sleeping in and sitting around. There’s a reason the trailhead has twice as many cars as the mall on that sixty degree day in January. We’re a state of doers and have no tolerance for those who won’t participate. Had too many drinks last night? Too bad. Get on the mountain bike, we’ve got 20 miles planned. Rather take the lift? No, I think we’ll skin up to the summit. Sure, I guess we could fish from the road, but if we backpack in eight miles there are 12-inch brookies that have never seen a fly.
Say anything remotely disparaging about John Elway.
The Bronco legend is so revered here that he could run for governor on a platform of puppy euthanasia and still win in a landslide. So it’s best to keep your comments about his high career interception rate to yourself and go search YouTube for clips of “The Drive.” Oh, and even though he’s only been here for a few years, it’s best not to talk smack about PFM either (that’s Peyton F’ing Manning).
Tell a bunch of weed jokes.
Sure our own Governor Hickenlooper was guilty after legalization passed in 2012 when he cautioned us to not “break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly,” but enough already. Just because we were first, doesn’t mean we spend every night watching The Big Lebowski awash in a sea of Taco Bell wrappers. Get over it. It’s legal and it’s not a big deal. And it probably will be legal in your state before you’re halfway through that bag of Cool Ranch.
Drive slow up the pass.
We have mountains. There are steep winding roads that go over them. We’re used to it and can safely drive them without slowing to a crawl or burning out our brakes on the way down. What we can’t get used to is that white Chevy Suburban with Texas plates chugging up Monarch Pass in the passing lane. Or the RV from Nebraska the size of a Motley Crüe tour bus that’s towing a Jeep and six dirt bikes over Hoosier. Don’t you want to go to Wyoming next summer? Do the courteous thing, people…there’s a scenic pull off ahead. Use it.
Assume we all live in ski towns.
Did you know it’s 175 miles from the Kansas state line to foothills in Golden? And that most of it looks, well…exactly like Kansas? Over 80% of us live along the Front Range, before the mountains even start. So no, I don’t ski on my lunch break. And we barely got a dusting of that two-foot dump you heard about on the nightly news. We might dream of Tuesday powder days and chair lifts at the back door, but really that just seems like a lot of shoveling.
Ask for a Coors Light.
With one of the nation’s highest concentration of craft breweries lining the Front Range, Coloradans are passionate about their beer. And after a long day on the slope or the trail, the last thing we’d ever do is give a shit about how blue the mountains are on that tall silver can of beer-flavored water. Save your beer snob comments and give me a double IPA or a barrel-aged sour, please.
Be careless during fire season.
We may be far away from east coast hurricanes or west coast earthquakes, but we know firsthand the damage done by wildfires. And nothing gets our blood boiling so much as those that are caused by humans. I mean, the Hayman Fire was caused by some dumbass burning old love letters…and she was a forest service employee! So heed those Red Flag warnings and think twice before you build that rager at your campsite, toss your cigarette out the window or put on your own 4th of July fireworks spectacular in that dry grassland.
Complain about how far away DIA is from Denver.
I get it. It’s really out there. Like way out in the middle of a vast expanse of ranchland dotted with chain hotels, but is it really the thing we have to spend the whole ride to the airport talking about? And yes, we have to drive by that creepy “Devil Horse” sculpture with the glowing red eyes that guards the entrance – probably the only sculpture ever to fall on and kill its creator. Not a fan? Then maybe next time you should just take the light rail right from downtown. Does your city do that?
Yes, I’m a hypocrite. A lot of people here came from somewhere else, myself included. But, it’s like as soon as we got here, we’ve forgotten about our former life and assumed we’ve always been here. And the last thing I need is a new crop of Midwesterners or Texans showing up and clogging the trailhead parking lots, packing the lift lines and making a drive on I-25 more painful than it already is. And don’t get me started on Californians. I’m sure you can afford that beautiful mountain home for the same price as your LA bungalow, but don’t you miss the beach?
Photo: Ryan Polei