That's So Rado Blog

Thinking of Colorado

TIM STUBBS - Friday, March 27, 2015

Thinking of Colorado, one may imagine the family trip they took there all those years ago. Opening your car door after what seemed like a year’s worth of driving across the dust bowl. You may have stepped out and breathed in the cool crisp mountain air on Trail Ridge Road, and threw a snowball at your brother in July. Ask people to describe Colorado, and they are likely to mention “mountains, skiing, Denver, etc.” That Colorado has been put into such a box is unfortunate. But in a box it is. Four right angles, with four sides summing nearly 100,000 miles square. Still the eighth largest state may be more outside the box than many consider. With 60 different ecosystems, the state boasts prairies, alpine tundra, volcanic-subalpine forests, piñon-juniper woodlands, sand-dunes, there are more than ten lifetimes of exploration to be had. People are just as diverse in the jumbo quadrant. According to the US Census Bureau, Colorado has more people who are of more than one race than the national average by .4%. More of the private firms in the state are owned by women than the national average by the same amount. The Colorado Department of Transportation spent five million dollars on several feasibility studies for high-speed rail, putting the state ahead of the game. That is just Rado. The state population is expected to continue its steady rise, and it is no wonder with the expansion of such civil liberties as possession and sale of marijuana.

When you step out of that car at age ten and stare out from Trail Ridge, you felt a raw feeling of freedom and independence as you gazed across Forest Canyon. A work of art billions of years in the making, the vast scale invigorates your soul to run and jump off a granite boulder, but you stop short and gasp as you see a herd of Rocky Mountain big horn sheep bedding down in the meadow below. A primal feeling dwells up in your gut, as if just by finding them you have completed your hunt. You turn around, bring your finger to your lips and whisper “shhhhhh” to your clunky family. You overheard the ranger say these sheep are endangered, and feel even more special for having seen them now. You hear a loud crack, and turn to see two rams butting, and marvel at how a creature could carry 30 pounds on its head solely for this purpose. This reminiscing makes sitting in biology class now seem so boring and UN-Rado. You are already an expert in evolution and can’t wait to return to the Rado. When you’re old enough, you are going to join those sheep, you tell yourself.

Now you live there, and why not. Colorado has the lowest rate of clinical obesity, and if you are unfortunately struck with cancer, you can treat it with cannabis without social or legal scrutiny. You get to sit on the hand-crafted lawn-chair you bought from the craftsman next door as you listen to the worlds most renown bluegrass musicians under the mountains of Telluride. You get to ski 50 days a year without breaking your budget. Best of all, your neighbors are so Rado. Maybe they saw the same bighorn sheep that you saw and it inspired them to be just as strong, skilled, active, social, and industrial to survive in the mountain environment. You remember returning from your first trip to the Rado, and know that the feeling you had then is a thing of the past. Now you are Rado.

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