In a recent visit with an out of state client who is moving to Colorado this summer, I learned that she is a writer and LOVES our state. I thought it would be fun to invite her as a guest blogger to share with us why she and other folks love our little piece of heaven!
Why would anyone want to move to Colorado?
Well the most often heard answer these days cites 300 hundred days of sun a year, the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, recreational marijuana, world class skiing, the thick expansive forests, craft beer, great food, the culture, energy, and wonderful people. Any one of those things is enticing in and of itself. But that’s just on the surface. The Shangri-La that exists within is a place where those with high aspirations, dreamers, thinkers, artists, cowboys, poets and others enjoy the “Colorado lifestyle.” Don’t know what that is? I think Colorado’s rich history will provide some ideas.
Colorado has been a highly desirable place for hundreds of years. As far back as the pre-contact time of the American Indians, the territory now known as Colorado has held a special attraction for mankind. Before the Europeans came to America, the area was home to the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe people, who enjoyed the ideal life that nature provides in this space. They spent the summers hunting, fishing, and holding ceremonies in the sacred spaces of the high Rockies, known to the Ute as Uny Yoo Weech. When winter came, they moved down to the Great Plains, where the season was more mild, to hunt the buffalo. They valued the land as sacred, and believed it to be the source of their power and their stories. For the Indians, Colorado was a place where quality of life was provided by the natural abundance.
As Europeans began to settle in the Colorado Territory, this natural abundance led to prosperity. Settlers came to homestead, explorers and mountaineers came to scale the mountain peaks, artists were inspired to paint the landscapes, and the ailing sought the benefits of the climate and the many hot springs, while merchants developed commerce. A gold discovery in 1858 in the vicinity of present-day Denver sparked the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, which brought about the removal of the Indians from their lands, particularly in the Pike’s Peak area. When the government began selling parcels of that land, rich in natural resources, and as some thought, minerals, settlers came in droves, fighting each other to stake their claim on their own piece of heaven. Denver was established in 1858, and became a thriving arts community and commerce center. With the coming of the railroad in the late 1860’s, Colorado became easily accessible to the rest of the country. Since then, Colorado has developed a reputation as a place of prosperity.
Today, Colorado is experiencing another kind of boom since the legalization of recreational marijuana. Thousands of people are once again rushing to Colorado to stake their claim in this new wave of prosperity. Many skeptics claim that people are coming just to smoke pot. But more than that, like the 1858 gold rush, they are coming for the prosperity of the thriving, solid economy that has resulted. There are more jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. Tourism, which was already thriving, is on the rise and the housing market is hotter than ever. In addition, the public schools are improving because they receive revenue from the 25% state sales tax on the marijuana. This new level of prosperity is why so many thousands want to move to Colorado.
Coloradoans enjoy just about the highest quality of life (no pun intended!) in the nation. People are healthy, very active and obesity is low. The abundance of nature provides for every human need and desire. The weather is conducive to most outdoor activities all year round. Contrary to popular belief, the winters are quite pleasant, and unless you live in the higher elevations, many days throughout the winter months are suitable for bicycling, golf, and other outdoor activities. This climate combined with the altitude brings many competitive endurance athletes to train in Colorado. In fact, Colorado Springs is home to the Olympic Training Center.
Colorado has lured thousands with the other-worldliness of its hypnotic, natural beauty. The sky-seeking Rockies and the national parks are a favorite destination for those who want to experience the wildness of nature, who bike along the mountain roads through narrow canyons, alongside rivers that have cut their path for thousands of years, within massive serpentine corridors of granite walls and jagged peaks that reach to the ceiling of blue sky. Runners run along the many trails where the tall pines are scattered sparsely on dry talus slopes and plateaus and into the hush of dense forests. The straight, black, thick trunks and long, dark green needle covered branches whisper in the breeze that carries a woody fragrance of butterscotch and cinnamon. Wildlife abounds. Herds of large brown elk are abundant, casually unaware of themselves. Undaunted by the moving vehicles, they meander along, oblivious of time, often blocking the road like herds of sheep in the French countryside. In this place, the sky’s the limit, where rock meets heaven, to the flat expanse of the Great Plains. That‘s the heart of the Colorado lifestyle, inspiration from nature that raises one’s consciousness, a place to seek your heart’s desire.