Tuesday, February 17, 2015

5 Myths about the Contemporary West

1. It's been tamed. 



Although at first glance my grandchildren are in danger, they aren't. The coyote is a statue. 

However, on my last visit to Colorado I saw a bushy fox run down a residential street, and jump over a 6' tall fence.  

In 1998 a hiker was attacked and killed by a cougar in Colorado. We've seen evidence of cougar kills while hiking there, and we were spooked! In 2013 a hiker's dog was stalked by one of the big cats but ran when confronted by the (bold, crazy) hiker. 

2. Denver rises like Oz out of the prairie.  Actually, it's disappointing when you see the Mile High City. It's not even on a hill. However, the front range of the Rocky Mountains does rise magnificently behind it. 

3. Winter there is terrible. This photo is from early February and it was 72 degrees. What's terrible is that their winter can happen in any 10 months of the year. We experienced snow in September and June, and every month in between. And if you want, you can drive up to the continental divide and get snowed on in July and August too.

4. It was America's last frontier. Nah, Americans are always on the move. In the last ten years, and in 2014, North Carolina was second for all inbound moves within the United States. (And we who live here get it. Why anybody would choose the wind-blown, nearly treeless states of the Great American Desert is beyond us.) 

5. It's big sky country and wide open spaces. 

Well, outside of the urban areas, that's true. But if you live in the megalopolis that stretches from Greeley to Colorado Springs, you won't experience it. Denver metro area's population currently ranks about 21st in the country. It is the 6th fastest growing city in the US. They have air pollution problems, not enough water, and rank among the top 25 cities in terms of traffic problems. But, hey, if your part of the 20% marijuana smoking/ingesting citizens, you won't mind.








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