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20 Things Denverites Always Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners

Insider Guides
by Tim Wenger Jun 3, 2016

1. We DO have a food culture, and it starts at Beau Jo’s.

The mountain pie with a jar of honey and extra side of marinara is a Colorado tradition, especially after a day on the slopes.

2. Rocky mountain oysters don’t come from the sea.

In landlocked states, there are a lot more bulls than shellfish. So many, in fact, that castration is often in order. Now, what to do with all those balls lying around. . .

3. ‘One more drink and then we’ll call it?’ Better think twice.

For flatlanders, that drink is going to hit much harder at 5,280 feet. Not that you shouldn’t slam that final shot of whiskey, just be sure to grab hold of something secure before you stand up.

4. You don’t worry about the headache that last shot will cause.

Just get out for a morning hike or bike ride. The thin, crisp air of the mountains will do wonders for a hangover. Maybe play a round of golf — in this air, both the length of your drive and the size of your ego will stretch an extra 10%.

5. The giant, evil-looking stallion outside Denver International Airport actually is evil.

Luis Jimenez, the sculptor of what has become the most notorious piece of public art in the city, died after the horse fell on his leg and severed an artery. Now, Blucifer sits just outside the airport as a warning to opposing teams flying in to play against the Broncos.

6. You’re pronouncing Colorado wrong.

One of the easiest ways to distinguish a transplant from a local is how they pronounce the state they live in. Less rod, more rad.

7. Don’t plan to stay in on snow days.

People literally hold ceremonies to the snow gods. Wax your skis, grab your snowshoes, get your gear ready the night before. Then, wake up extra early because the traffic will be super slow when everyone is either driving to work or the mountains at the same time. Snow brings people out, not the other way around.

8. You’re not cool until you’ve climbed a Fourteener (or at least know what that means)

A Fourteener is a mountain that is over 14,000 feet in elevation, of which Colorado has 58.

9. No one knows how to explain the accent here, so we just assume that we don’t have one.

Denver lingo may be a bit shy on fully pronouncing the letter ‘T’ but if you point that out to a Denverite, they will look at you like you’re babbling on about some flatlander nonsense.

10. Craft beer isn’t a ‘thing’ here. It’s the only way.

Want to look like a gaper? Order a Bud Light. Want to make a friend and have a good conversation? Ask what someone’s favorite local brew is. In a bar, ask about the rotating tap.

11. THIS is Ski Country USA.

Not sure about that whole ‘Ski City USA’ thing that Salt Lake City has been trying to sell. Taking Steamboat Springs’ motto and changing ‘town’ to ‘city’ doesn’t win my vote. Also, we’ve been hearing some slack from the Pacific Northwest. Sorry, but we’ll take our fluffy white champagne over your soggy chunk any day of the week.

12. We’re not necessarily excited that you moved here.

Locals are getting pretty fed up with the booming population.

13. And that is the main complaint you’ll hear about legal weed.

The downside of legalizing marijuana is that you then have to erect apartment buildings faster than John Elway can lead a game-winning drive in the last seconds of the fourth quarter.

14. Same attitude goes for attending sports games.

Badmouth the Broncos and you’re liable to get socked, but Rockies’ games often feel like we are in the other team’s stadium. Root for your team at Coors Field, but remember that this isn’t their stadium. Be respectful. We’re looking at you, Cubs fans.

15. It’s all about the mountains here.

The culture surrounding winter sports and outdoor activities prevails in Denver. It is totally acceptable to wear Chacos to a nice restaurant and if you want to buy a Denverite a present they actually want, an REI gift card is a great way to go.

16. Who you hang out with in winter depends on which ski pass you buy.

Having the Epic Pass is like being in the cool crowd at high school. You will have no shortage of people to ski with, but you’ll have to deal with the lingering feeling that someone is right behind you, watching you.

17. Heading to the mountains this weekend? Better leave early.

I-70 is notoriously a parking lot heading west on Saturday mornings and east on Sunday evenings. Leave early morning Saturday and early afternoon Sunday if you are in any kind of hurry.

18. Want to learn some insider tricks? Watch South Park.

The show is literally full of Denver references that only Denverites pick up on. It makes the already-hilarious show about 10 times more laughable.

19. If it rains for 10 minutes in the afternoon, the day still counts toward our annual ‘300 Days of Sunshine.’

Same goes for a harmless morning snowstorm.

20. Bring your jacket. And your shorts. And your beanie. And your bicycle.

Our four seasons are known for overlapping, and we like it that way. Want to ski in June? Head to A-Basin. Want to bike in December? Chances are, you’ll be in luck.

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