6 Things That Make Colorado Colorful

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Welcome to colorful Colorado

6 Things That Make Colorado Colorful

Depending on when and where you enter the beautiful state of Colorado you may look at that slightly ironic brown and white welcome sign and think to yourself “they must be talking about some other state, maybe Florida or California, even Oregon.” The truth is you have to look past the arid landscape that sometimes will welcome you and explore all this place has to offer.

1. Variety of Landscapes

Like I said before it really depends when and where you cross the border. In the winter you will most likely be greeted by snow, in the summer it may look very dry. Parts of Colorado are dessert, other areas will welcome you with spectacular colorful rock formations or just the iconic snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains. It is this variety of landscapes that still captivates me to this day. You can drive just a few minutes and the landscape will change so quickly.

Raging river Colorado

From a raging river in SW Colorado

Garden of the Gods

To the incredible rock formations at Garden of the Gods outside of Colorado Springs

When I first moved to Colorado in 2011 one thing I always looked forward to when driving into the state was my first glimpse of the snow capped peaks. I would usually drive in on I-70 from Kansas where the road is just straight and flat mile after mile. It gets monotonous, but the anticipation of the upcoming climb into the mountains is what keeps me going. Getting to the high country is the reward.

Top of Mount Lincoln

Top of Mount Lincoln at 14,286 feet

2. Local Coloradans

Growing up on the hectic east coast, where people are always in a hurry and never have time to be friendly, Colorado is a welcome respite. Everyone is always interested in how you are doing today or if you heard about how Breckenridge got “dumped on” in the snow storm the night before. Even just a simple “What’s up bro?” The locals always have time and patience. Even in traffic people are maybe just a little too generous letting every car go in front of them.

Maybe it’s because there are so many transplants from back east that moved here for the slower pace of life or maybe its just something in the air.

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3. Everything has gone green

Ahh yes the iconic snow capped Rockies with the deep, powdery white snow tops and the dark green pine trees cascading down their slopes, the meadows with the green grass that grows lush every spring as snow melts. We all know the beauty that Colorado has in store for nature lovers. But what about the “green” movement that basically started in trendy cities like Boulder?

Colorado cares about their beautiful environment and is dedicated to protecting it for future generations. In a state that you are discouraged from using disposable plastic bags at a grocery store by being charged per bag, it is clear this is a state that cares about the environment.

And of course don’t forget about Colorados ground breaking legalization of Marijuana in 2012. Everything truly has gone green!

Green mountain stream Colorado

4. Colorful Colorado Flag and Logo

This is a state that knows what they’ve got and likes to flaunt it. Tourism has skyrocketed in the previous decade thanks in part to the natural surrounding and the amazing snow they get every year.

Designed by Andrew Carlisle Johnson in 1911 the Colorado flag is probably one of the most distinct in the United States. You will see it everywhere from government buildings, to road signs, and clothing. Colorado even has an adaptation of the logo on locally grown foods with the words “Colorado Proud” and they certainly do have reason to feel proud.

Panorama of Colorado Springs foothills

5. The Sky

Yes, Colorado is known for the amount of snow they receive, but parts of the state are still basically a dessert. The weather can change quickly and even though a mountain town can get dumped on overnight, the following morning the sun will be shining and the brilliant blue sky will not have a cloud in it.

The contrast of these colors of the bright blue sky reflected against the snow is a memory I will always cherish of my days on the slopes of Colorados world-renowned mountains.

Blue sky Colorado 14er

6. History

When most people think of Colorado history they think of the stereotypical cowboys and Indians or maybe gold mining. While this is a very captivating part of the states history, it actually extend back way further than that. Colorado was a very important state for Native American nations such as the Pueblo and the Apache. Artifacts found here have been dated back as far as 8000 B.C.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

When Europeans first began to push westward the mountains of Colorado were of great interest to the Spanish Conquistadores. In 1706 Juan de Ulibarri claimed the territory of Colorado when he came north from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It wasn’t until after the Pikes Peak gold rush in the 1850s when gold was first discovered after a wagon bound for California discovered a rich deposit at the confluence of the South Platte River and Clear Creek that Colorado got its statehood on August 1, 1876 and became the 38th state in the Union.

There you have it. Colorado is such an intriguing state and one of my favorites in the country. I lived here for a while and could definitely see myself moving back to continue exploring everything the state has to offer. It would take a lifetime to see it all.

Rock formations in Cripple Creek Canyon

Cripple Creek Canyon

Brooks

Brooks

I am traveling the world focusing on adventure and photography.

1 Comment

  • Kaely

    Love it!! I can’t wait to hear about Central America though!!!

    September 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

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