Hey there Colorado members! I'm looking for some advice and opinions
I'm 18, heading off to college here in my home state of Michigan (I'm attending Kettering University in Flint Michigan, studying mechanical engineering) but have long since wanted to live in the beautiful state of Colorado. This past spring break, I had the chance to drive through Colorado, and loved every minute of it (especially the middle third!) I'd like to find out more about the state, and your opinion of it? I've gathered that most people living in Colorado don't like spreading the word about the state, so people don't flock and ruin a good thing, and I get that. I'm from northern michigan (the sticks) and am just fed up of the overcast weather. The snow and cold don't bother me at all (I love white outs and shoveling.) It's this stupid lack of sun that is killing me. I spend about every awake moment outdoors, I dirtbike, wheel the jeep, work on projects, can do my own house work, I'm obsessed with rustic camping and surviving. We burn wood, and hand split it all. I'm a rugged person haha a typical, hardened northern Michigan boy! We also help each other out around here, and are friendly! (There's my background!)
Mostly I'm just thinking ahead, and thinking Colorado is the place I'd like to point my compass towards when I get out of school (in 5 years.) I drove up through Denver, up through the pass and around and down into new mexico. I don't like the barren wasteland of new mexico, or arizona. I like grass, and pines (and rain!)
Thanks in advance, and hope I'm not stepping on anyones toes! You have a BEAUTIFUL state, and one an outdoorsy person like me drools over the dream of living in. Ask any questions you want
I moved from Rockford IL to Fort Collins in 2007. IMO, much of the difference between the two areas ties to water. There is less water in CO than IL. This means...
- Less humidity than IL (not having a "sticky" feeling or sweat dripping as readily).
- CO still has mosquitoes (more than I'd expect)
- Less water for 'green' - while the springtime has green fields, they are typically brown mid-summer / fall
- Less water for trees. In the plains, trees are only found 1) where people are or 2) near water sources (valley creeks)
- Fewer horizon to horizon cloudy days. One such cloudy day - no big deal. Two in a row - huh. Three in a row - What's WRONG??!!??!!
- [this is the money shot] We don't have the three weeks of solid grey (see cloudy days above).
- The midwest, as I recall, often has 20F temp swings - night low to day high. An 100F day (with 60-80% humidity) will start out at 75-80F in the early AM - uncomfortable from the get-go. A/C runs 24x7.
- "At the western end of "The Plains"" we often have a 30F temp swing, and sometimes a 40F temp swing. That same 100F day starts out at 60F and is comfortable until about 2 or 3p in the afternoon. From 3-6p it's A/C time. In the evening, cool enough to open the windows again.
While I do appreciate the "more sun" in the Winter, I also appreciate the Winter temps. The night temps can be lower than the midwest - but the daytime highs are higher than the midwest. Last winter I put a coat on twice (typically driving from garage to client sites during the daytime) where I'd always wear one in IL. With the daytime temps often getting above 32F with good sun - a 4-6" snowfall will have ya not considering shoveling. In the midwest it'll pack to ice if not shoveled. Here, it'll be melted away in 3 days (not on the north face of a building though).
I miss the "green" of the midwest but overall will take the "less water" of CO to have Dec/Jan/Feb sun.
EDIT: As for people, I find the "midwest" folks were mostly mainstream, meat-and-potatos, get-the-job-done folks. In CO, that segment is present, while the fringes of the social spectrum are more commonplace.
Thanks for the reply! I'd trade the water for sun! I live 2 miles from one of the top 10 lakes in the US. I boat, jetski, swim, ect, but as much as I love the water, I'm usually found on a dirtbike, hiking, jeeping or doing other solid-land activities.
That temp swing sounds awesome, because here, things get JUST warm enough to turn snow to ice, and come the next morning, leave you sprawled across your black-ice laden driveway, gasping for breath because you ate it on the way to the car. Not fun. But that's only IF the sun comes out.
I get super depressed in the winter, and this past "spring" (there was no spring here!) got to go out to Denver, I was blown away! Sun all over, 50-60* and nice! (at the same time here at home was overcast, rain, snow and 30*...... for 3 weeks!)
As I understand it there are a lot of mini climate "zones" in Colorado, and depending on elevation and location, a few hours drive could put you in a whole different area from a surrounding and weather standpoint. I like it! It could be in the 60's, and a few hours drive into the mountains and I could be snowmobiling in the pow!
I've lived in Colorado the vast majority of my life, and will likely never leave. I almost never hear of people who move out here and don't like it. Personally, my favorite part is the weather. We get on average over 300 days of sunshine, warm but not ridiculous summers, pretty regular snow dusting and the occasional blizzard in the winter, and spring/fall that are just fantastic. Where else do you get to brush 4 inches of snow off the car in the morning, and drive home on dry streets in the afternoon. Or watch it snow on the fourth of July? And yes, it did actually snow for a couple minutes on the fourth of July 7 or 8 years ago.
As others have alluded to, the political environment of the state has definitely been changing quite rapidly the last couple years. And I'll leave it at that......
I'm in the same boat as you. I'm planning to move next summer / fall probably to CO. You know what comes from California? Girls. That's how I look at it. I don't care about the liberals. To me there not even real people.
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