Last weekend, my friend and I were out at a bar in town. A drunk tourist guy beside us started going on and on about how casually dressed everyone was. “What’s with all the flannel?!” he drawled, gesturing around.
I flashed back to when I lived in Chicago, and my life before becoming a pastry chef, when I had to wear heels to work everyday. And iron my shirts. I thought about how I had to dress up if I wanted to get good service at certain establishments. And I thought about gray, dreary winter days holed up inside.
His comment offended me a little bit. I felt myself growing defensive.
There are many things that make the high Rockies lifestyle different, but perhaps that’s why I’ve settled here for so long. I like it.
So I have compiled a list. For the haters.
My favorite reasons for loving and living in the Rockies:
1. Flannel, boots, and denim.
We wear all the flannel and denim we want. And when you live in a climate where the weather can change abruptly, it’s all about comfort and practicality.
Boots are a must, year-round. You never know where today’s hike will lead you. In the winter I live in my tall, wool-lined boots because they keep my legs dry when I have to walk through the deep, powdery snow.
If you try to dress up you look silly. No one cares about fashion!
2. Blue skies and sunshine.
Just because we get a lot of snow doesn’t mean the sky is always cloudy. Colorado receives over 300 days of sunshine each year!
Since we live at a higher elevation, we are closer to that soul-warming sunshine, and the heat it generates is incredible. This is the reason why people can sit outside in the sun wearing only a T-shirt in February.
3. Every day could be a photograph.
We live where people pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to vacation. It doesn’t matter the season or weather, there are always moments each day where I look at a landscape and think, now isn’t that something?
4. Our backyard is one gigantic outdoor playground. Let’s play.
Us mountain folk live to be active outside, year-round. Imagine spending an exhilarating winter day outdoors, breathing in fresh air and playing in feet of powdery snow.
And don’t even get me started on the summers. They are the reason why so many locals have become, well, locals.
5. It’s quiet.
You can see all of the stars at night. You can encounter marvelous wild animals most people may only see in zoos. In just a short trek, you can be in wilderness.
The mountains are easy on the eyes and easy on the mind.