Posts Tagged ‘resident’

When we decided to move from Kansas, we had a tough time deciding where to live. I had had my fill of the flat, nondescript Midwest and Nadyne wanted nothing to do with living on the Pacific coast (they have earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires and volcanos there) or the extreme heat of Arizona. We had lived in Buffalo, NY, and I was over winter and arctic temperatures. We lived for a few years in Las Vegas and the temps there are brutal, too, besides the fact that it’s the ultimate tourist town, not so great for locals.

Somehow we pared our list of possible destinations from twenty to ten, then to five. After looking at employment stats, we ended up choosing Denver, and bought a manufactured home in a northern suburb. I knew about their winters, but Colorado’s natural beauty was an exciting aspect my photographer’s eye couldn’t pass up. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, all that beauty begot crowds.

Here’s an example of a surprising hiking experience. We decided to go hiking in the mountains one summer weekend on a fairly easy trail on Guanella Pass, about two hours from home. Having heard that it’s a popular trail, we got up at 3:30 am (still dark) and left by 4 (in the morning!). We got there at 6:05 am to find the trailhead parking lot and about a half-mile of roadside in both directions completely full of vehicles of all types and sizes. When I thought about it, that meant that most of these people had gotten up and left even before we did. There are almost 3 million residents in the Denver metropolitan area, and another million in Colorado Springs region, and a lot of those people are in Colorado for the same reason we moved here. Add to that the international draw of the Rocky Mountains, several national parks, Pikes Peak, the “Fourteeners” mountain peaks and the abundance of wildlife, to be “one” with nature is nearly impossible — there’s just not much solitude to experience.

One would think that a world-famous ski region would only be crowded in the winter. Au contraire. Colorado and its nearly six million residents, along with millions of visitors, can be as crowded as an elevator in Times Square year-round.

​So went the struggle during our six years living north of Denver. I’m definitely not sorry we moved there — my photographer’s itch was relieved many times over, we met some amazing friends there, and it was where we began our RV camping lifestyle. But, even after learning when the most and least popular visitor days and times were, there were numerous weekends that found us staying home when we really wanted to be in the mountains. Luckily I’m not into winter sports or I would have a whole separate diatribe to share.

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