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Old 07-23-2016, 03:12 PM
 
Location: East Central Phoenix
5,679 posts, read 8,723,570 times
Reputation: 6203

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I spent nearly two weeks traveling through Colorado, and its has so much to offer. Much of last week was spent in Woodland park (NW of Colorado Springs): beautiful mountain town that rises above the plains to the east with great weather and lots of recreation. After that, I drove over the infamous Wolf Creek Pass to Pagosa Springs, where I spent much of this week. Pagosa is another high elevation town (for what I'm used to) with tons of recreation, and quite touristy for such a small place. Also spent some time in Durango, which has a very quaint, old fashioned styled downtown area.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect: 70s & 80s for highs, and 50s for lows. The weather was clear to partly cloudy during most of the day, and some rain & thundershowers took place during the evening hours, which lowered the temperatures even further, and made the air even fresher. The only place I was in which got a little warm for my tastes was Colorado Springs ... but that's to be expected since it's basically on the high plains. Quite a contrast to the intense summer heat of Phoenix!

I have been to Colorado previously, but mostly to the places along the I25 corridor. Never before have I explored the back country or the mountainous areas like I did this time. So many places are covered in lush forests. Arizona has some nice high elevation forested areas, but nothing like Colorado! I was glad I went, and I wish I could have spent a lot more time there because I'm sure that I didn't see everything that your great state has to offer. Colorado residents are lucky to have all that beauty practically in their back yards.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:27 PM
 
13,294 posts, read 25,470,882 times
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A friend of mine is in Telluride this week for the first time off the East Coast. She is speechless except for repeated "Amazing!!" The champagne air, the distant peaks, the air, the sky. It is truly a blessing. I'm always so happy when someone sees it.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,905 posts, read 6,499,225 times
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Glad you enjoyed your trip! I'm a native, who does a pretty good job getting out and exploring and there are plenty of areas I haven't been yet. So much to see!
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:41 PM
 
Location: East Central Phoenix
5,679 posts, read 8,723,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
Glad you enjoyed your trip! I'm a native, who does a pretty good job getting out and exploring and there are plenty of areas I haven't been yet. So much to see!
Yep, Colorado is definitely going to be my summer vacation destination. Previously, it was southern CA and the high country of AZ ... however, Colorado is much prettier, and has more to offer as far as outdoor recreation. I probably didn't even scratch the surface of visiting much of what your state offers because although I did quite a bit of driving, I only really got a chance to stop & visit a few towns along the way while staying in two separate towns.

I will say one thing: the only part of my trip that I didn't care for very much was the drive TO Colorado through New Mexico. I don't mean to insult New Mexico, but much of that state just isn't very pretty. It's mostly flat, high desert, or scrubby type of wilderness, and it doesn't have anywhere near the scenic beauty or recreation that Colorado does.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Salida, CO
74 posts, read 83,992 times
Reputation: 176
Sshhhhhh! Just don't tell your friends in the flatlands of AZ. They'll want to flock up here by the thousands! Yikes!

I see by your status it is still wonderfully crispy back in my native stomping grounds. LOL! Watch out for daytime August drivers in Phoenix. After the third or fourth month of 100+, I can swear that most of the water has evaporated from their collective brains. I had too many "Close Ones" to count thrown at me during August.

Truth is...My wife and I vacationed in Colorado in the late 70's. After our vacation, I vowed someday, somehow we would call Colorado home. We are almost there! Every month or two we will gear up to go to Phoenix for a week to check on our place there and to make sure my father is alright. Then we will high-tail it back to our place in Colorado. Each time we go back to AZ, it reaffirms my belief that there is a big difference between existing and living. My wife and I are extremely happy living in Colorado and wouldn't - and this is the most important - change one little thing about Colorado!

One of the beauties of living here is the scenery. In Glendale (AZ), when I look out my window, all I see is a sea of concrete tile roofs. Here in Colorado, I can see the Sawatch range every waking moment. After spending some time here, I've discovered another beauty of Colorado sometimes isn't found in the scenery, but in the moment. Examples; Having a herd of deer walking across your acreage. Watching a red fox hunting rabbits while you watch from your front porch. Listening to the wind whipping through the pinon trees. Listening to the thunder and watching it rain during a warm summer afternoon (Haboob free zone TG). Golden sunsets to die for. Clear crystal blue skies (no brown spots). The best? Having a cup of coffee, while viewing the Sawatch range and our immediate area in freshly covered snow. You can't imagine the peace and serenity until you experienced it!

Love it - love it - love it!!!

Take care!

Former Zonie dweller
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:23 PM
 
Location: East Central Phoenix
5,679 posts, read 8,723,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtnXpress View Post
Sshhhhhh! Just don't tell your friends in the flatlands of AZ. They'll want to flock up here by the thousands! Yikes!
Too late ... they already have. I couldn't believe how touristy Pagosa Springs was for such a small town. Almost every license plate was from out of state, and plenty of AZ plates were in the mix. Woodland Park wasn't as touristy, but still had a fair amount of vacationers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtnXpress View Post
I see by your status it is still wonderfully crispy back in my native stomping grounds. LOL! Watch out for daytime August drivers in Phoenix. After the third or fourth month of 100+, I can swear that most of the water has evaporated from their collective brains. I had too many "Close Ones" to count thrown at me during August.
No arguments here. I drove back to Phoenix on Thursday, and it literally felt like I took a trip from heaven to hell. When I left Colorado, it was 75 degrees with partly cloudy skies and mountain fresh air ... and when I arrived in Phoenix later that day, it was 112 degrees, blazing sun, and congested traffic. In all seriousness, I think there is something to be said about the often disputed theory of the heat frying the brains. The ignorance level seems to increase around here during the summer months, and I'm sure it has something to do with the awful heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtnXpress View Post
Truth is...My wife and I vacationed in Colorado in the late 70's. After our vacation, I vowed someday, somehow we would call Colorado home. We are almost there! Every month or two we will gear up to go to Phoenix for a week to check on our place there and to make sure my father is alright. Then we will high-tail it back to our place in Colorado. Each time we go back to AZ, it reaffirms my belief that there is a big difference between existing and living. My wife and I are extremely happy living in Colorado and wouldn't - and this is the most important - change one little thing about Colorado!
Sounds nice, but I'm curious how you tolerate the winters. I'm sure it has to be a pretty sight with the mountains & forests covered in fresh snow, but the shoveling/plowing/blowing seems like it would be a hassle, not to mention the bitter cold temps. However, you can't go wrong with the CO summers in most locations. I'm sure the springs & falls are beautiful as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtnXpress View Post
One of the beauties of living here is the scenery. In Glendale (AZ), when I look out my window, all I see is a sea of concrete tile roofs.
Tell me about it! The funny thing is: you'll see posters in the Phoenix forum bragging about how great the scenery is around Phoenix with the mountains & plentiful hiking trails. Big deal! A massive amount of concrete, asphalt, and endless sprawl with a few brown hills that pass for mountains ... and idiots who venture on the hiking trails in the middle of the day (110 degrees or higher) & end up getting heat stroke.
()

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtnXpress View Post
Here in Colorado, I can see the Sawatch range every waking moment. After spending some time here, I've discovered another beauty of Colorado sometimes isn't found in the scenery, but in the moment. Examples; Having a herd of deer walking across your acreage. Watching a red fox hunting rabbits while you watch from your front porch. Listening to the wind whipping through the pinon trees. Listening to the thunder and watching it rain during a warm summer afternoon (Haboob free zone TG). Golden sunsets to die for. Clear crystal blue skies (no brown spots). The best? Having a cup of coffee, while viewing the Sawatch range and our immediate area in freshly covered snow. You can't imagine the peace and serenity until you experienced it!
Ahhhh! That sounds absolutely phenomenal. I need to get up to Colorado more often. I absolutely love being out in nature ... especially the lush pine forests, the fresh mountain air, the plentiful lakes & rivers, and the high elevation. That's my kind of environment! Even the steep climb up to Wolf Creek Pass (10,800 feet elevation) didn't bother me like I thought it would. The scenery was breathtaking.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,796 posts, read 4,901,271 times
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Shhhh! Don't tell them to move here or they will keep coming.

I love it when the Broncos have a game on network TV and it's snowing heavily.

"Sure, it snows all the time. Colorado is a freakin' icebox."
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
2,659 posts, read 2,307,776 times
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Colorado is a beautiful state, grew up in northern Denver. I'll have to make some trips back there again, haven't been to Mesa Verde National Park, haven't been to Telluride, never rode the Silverton/Durango railroad, etc. Since I moved to northern AZ 3 weeks ago, I've been missing a lot of green scenery.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Salida, CO
74 posts, read 83,992 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley Native View Post

....

Sounds nice, but I'm curious how you tolerate the winters. I'm sure it has to be a pretty sight with the mountains & forests covered in fresh snow, but the shoveling/plowing/blowing seems like it would be a hassle, not to mention the bitter cold temps. However, you can't go wrong with the CO summers in most locations. I'm sure the springs & falls are beautiful as well.

...
Well, as an old desert rat, I have found a way to tolerate the winters.

First study the area(s) that seem appealing to you. Little did I know when my wife stepped into my studio one day, eleven years ago, and said, "Pack your bags because we are going to Colorado for a little *ahem* vacation/property search" did I realize she was on the verge of retiring and needing to go somewhere to take life a little easier. She remembered my vow and so Colorado was it! During our travel we reviewed years of conversations talking about weather, surfing the internet (TY City-Data.com) and what her father said at one time. He always liked the Arkansas Valley in Colorado and would stop to visit friends when he and my mother in law would travel back and forth to ND. He said, "If he wasn't so involved in staying in Sun City (AZ), he would move to the Arkansas Valley because it is a pretty little place." He hated cold and he knew, or he thought he knew, that he could tolerate the cold that the Arkansas Valley offered. Power search Arkansas Valley, CO and you will find the locals call it the "Banana Belt of Colorado." However, when we returned to Colorado, eleven years ago, my mind was still set in stone to find property in Colorado Springs. That idea was thrown out the window when we drove I-25 and had a familiar feeling that it was all reminisced to driving in a growing "Mini-Phoenix".

SO! Step two...

We bought 2 1/2 acres in the Arkansas Valley just down the road and around the corner from Salida (CO). We took advantage of the economy four years ago and I started my last career project by designing a home for us. The environment, within our home, is cozy during the winter and air condition free during the summer. It has been tried and thoroughly enjoyed with outside temperatures ranging from -16 to 93 degrees while it maintains a comfort zone inside (68 during the winter and 64 to 74 during the summer).

Step three...

When we feel the need to venture outside during the winter, we'll do the same as we do in Phoenix, only in reverse. Here, in Colorado, we will do our shopping during the day making sure little to no wind is blowing. Evening hours, will find us in front of the fireplace watching tv and a quick potty time for our spoiled schnauzers (even if they still refuse to use the indoor dog run...*sigh*). Scraping some fresh snow off the driveway aprons is done in the like manner. Full sun, no wind and no shadows. The last time I did that task I started with a sweat shirt and ended with a t-shirt because I was overheated. This winter I have a new 4wd toy to help with that effort.

Optional...

Speaking of 4wd for winter...It helps, but not necessary! The plows are out and about during and after any snow fall. Bless their hearts! They're quick and sure make the roads safe!

In closing...

So for for this guy...Give me the four seasons! Not hot, hotter and you have got to be kiddin'!!!

BTW - You want to know what, at one time, gave me "Cold Feet"? Moving to a small town and finding out that if you hiccup on one side of town they will know about it on the other side of town in five minutes. I was big city, but I got over that!

Have a good one!
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:51 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,732,014 times
Reputation: 23426
I rode my bike to work all but three days, my last yr in Colorado. I lived in the banana belt. Some days we took a 30 mile scenic trip on our way to work. Very nice wide shoulders = great biking.
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