Tucked in the back of any Denver local’s mind is a collection of justifications. For the reasons why we live here, why we’re hesitant to move away, and how we knew that this city was badass long before the stoners, hipsters, and aerospace engineers came in and told us so.

But today we’re not talking about those things. They can stay buried in the back of our minds until we’re two or three pints of Yeti down and some unwitting tourist on the next barstool won’t stop prying. The focus here is on why, for the love of god, you SHOULDN’T move to Denver.

1. You have to learn the neighborhood streets to get around town efficiently.

I-25 is a nightmare. Ever since CDOT finished the construction at 6th Ave, I can’t even make the last-second call to bail on 25, stay on 6th to Broadway, and avoid the cluster when heading east into town. Instead, one must learn the less-traveled routes. This takes time and effort and often involves becoming acquainted with the city’s unique neighborhoods and what they have to offer.

2. You may develop a burning passion for waking up very early.

Trailhead parking lots are increasingly crowded, but it’s all good because the trail is always more beautiful when you beat everyone up anyway. Same goes in winter, unless you’re smart and buy a Loveland pass. And those powder lines don’t stick around all day!

3. You’ll become overconfident in your right to brag about where you live.

It happens. Especially when traveling abroad, because the fact that more and more people know where Denver is further confirms my belief that our city isn’t the B-rate Cowtown that east coasters used to label it as back in the day.

4. Unless you’re in a mountain town.

Even though the residents of mountain towns typically moved there from either Boston or a flyover town in the Midwest, for some reason they feel justified to turn up their nose to people from Denver. As ridiculous as it is, you’ll have to get comfortable saying “the front range” or else develop a follow-up like “but we’re actually out in Green Mountain on the western edge, so not technically Denver.” This steals the upper hand right back, as it immediately becomes apparent that the Masshole you’re riding up the lift with doesn’t actually know anything about Colorado.

5. Your sunscreen costs will go through the roof.

The cost of sunscreen just keeps going up, and we’re feeling it here. All those bluebird days beg me outside, where it immediately becomes apparent that another slathering of the ole’ Banana Boat is in order. It’s getting so bad that soon I may have to dip into my craft beer budget in order to foot the bill, dammit.

6. It’s hard to catch a break.

For real. I often find myself planning to head home after a quick morning hike and get some work done on a story, but get diverted by the undying urge to go just a little deeper on the trail. Next thing I know, I’m scrambling back to the parking lot at 2 PM and feel that the only appropriate way to call it a day is to stop by that new brewery that just opened in the old mechanic shop by my house. This, of course, leads to bar chatter and an invite to go see The Yawpers play at Hi-Dive, and before I know it, it’s last call and all I’ve done is have the best day of the month.

7. Friends and family will never stop visiting you.

Better get that futon ready, because it’s amazing how often people you know “just happen to be coming through town!” It’s great to host those you love. Conferences, ski vacations, road trip pass-thrus, you name it. It’s crazy how much is going on here these days!

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