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Old 06-24-2007, 09:29 PM
Location: Montrose
63 posts, read 305,747 times
Reputation: 19


GJ is a real nice town and growing!

The Mesa StateCollege is expanding as needed and the school has a super reputation ...it is a fine school.

Its Expansion branch in now in Montrose..

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Old 06-25-2007, 03:06 PM
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
Reputation: 9065
I've lived on both, so I will comment:

First, climate. I posted this in another thread: Colorado Climate Center - Climate of Colorado . This is a good description of the climate in Colorado, region by region.

As to West Slope vs. East Slope. I actually think that there are more correctly three distinct areas:

Front Range
Resort Areas
Rural Colorado

The Front Range is the urban/suburban corridor along the Front Range. It's the business center, where most of the people live, and where most of the money is. It is the part of the state that has tried to be most like the rest of the country--not surprising, because most of its residents are from somewhere else originally. It is also the area most detached from the state's natural environment.

The resort areas. These are the areas in the mountains (mostly) that cater either to winter tourists (skiing), summer tourists (everything from mountain biking to river rafting), or both. They are the playgrounds for the very rich, or the people who want to be, or who like rubbing shoulders with those who are. There are still some "middle class" resorts, but they are slowly being replaced with those that cater to the monied gentry. Wealth, most notably in the form of the "trophy house," is flaunted. Working out of sight as much as possible in the resorts is an underclass of minimum-wage workers, many of them aliens (legal or illegal). Mixed in is a cadre of construction workers, many of whom live elsewhere. The whole thing has a transient, transitory flakiness to it that makes for a pretty much abnormal sociological environment.

The rural areas. These can be found on both the Eastern Plains and the Western Slope of Colorado--though, on the Western Slope many of the areas are being rapidly invaded by the resort/second home/retirement area suburbanziation that is occurring all over the Rocky Mountain West. The benchmark industries of rural Colorado--ranching, farming, logging, and mining--are generally under increasing assault from economic competition and other development pressures. Economic competition is hurting the logging and mining industries in western Colorado, and is hurting agriculture on the Eastern Plains, while development pressures are wreaking increasing havoc on ag in western Colorado.

Of course, the big rift (for the better part of a century) between Eastern and Western Slope is that most of the excess water is on the Western Slope, and most of the (excess) population is on the Front Range. This has gone on for years. A prominent attorney I knew on the Western Slope had a poster of a cartoon on his office wall that was drawn sometime in the 1940's. It showed a cowboy (from the rear) urinating. The caption was, "Divert this, Denver!" That attitude (of Western Slope residents towards inter-basin water diversions) has not really changed.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:10 AM
12,842 posts, read 24,473,188 times
Reputation: 18835
But oh, that pesky jobs thingy.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:10 AM
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
Reputation: 7537
I think the Front Range has lost it's uniqueness because there are so many people there from so many other places and few people have roots or ties to the area, it's just another plain jane group of cities. I've noticed since I was a kid in the 1980's, Denver has changed a lot and it's just another big city now.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 04-20-2013 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:51 AM
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,951,390 times
Reputation: 9432

Yeah, a mall in Colorado Springs is no different than a mall anywhere else in the US, and urban sprawl is everywhere.

I'm older than dirt, and I grew up in the Springs when Camp Carson had just barely become Fort Carson, and the Air Force Academy was still a gleam in the Pentagon's eye. God hadn't discovered the region yet, and California hadn't either. There were still vestiges of the time when the town was an art colony. There was a great mural by local artist, Archie Musick, painted in the Manitou Springs post office.

The Broadmoor and the Antlers Hotels hadn't been renovated yet, and the Broadmoor still had its own ski slope and ice skating rink. The Broadmoor also hosted the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Can you imagine?

Eighth street hadn't been paved yet and the town ended at Circle Avenue. Everything east of Circle was open land with meadow larks singing and red hawks circling overhead. My Mom liked to tell the story of the time we were in the Chinook Bookstore (gone now, alas), and a man in rancher's clothes, complete with boots and cowboy hat came in. I tugged at my Mom's arm and pointed at the man, exclaiming "Look, Mother, look! A COWBOY!" THAT sure wouldn't happen in the Barnes and Noble today.

Guess that's part of the reason I fled to the Western Slope. There's still meadow larks, night hawks, and dirt roads where you're likely to encounter ranchers driving their trucks into town, and they tip their Stetson's and wave as they pass. There's still wide open spaces where the mountains seem to go on forever, and you can camp some place for a week and never see another soul.

The Front Range? You can have it. I like it out here just fine.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:08 AM
3,764 posts, read 7,199,178 times
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Originally Posted by Colorado Will View Post
Colorado Springs sucks so bad it's not even funny. When I moved to Colorado I moved to Steamboat first and then Grand Junction. Then I made a big mistake and moved to Canon City, and even bigger mistake and moved to the Springs. Front range people suck bad. It's more like living in L.A. or New York then Colorado. The mountains are horribly dry on the Front Range, the western slopes mountains are lush and green because they get so much more percepitation. The Front Range is in a rain shadow, and is in a perverbial drought. 3/4's of Colorado's water flow's west of the divide. Almost everyone on the front range is from somewhere else other then Colorado. Colorado people are great, front range people are not.. Every reason that people move to Colorado for is much better on the western slope. Hunting, fishing, getting away from metro areas, hiking, boating, camping, skiing, a good life style, friendly people etc..
Ha Ha and you too moved to Colorado from somewhere else.

When I moved to Colorado (yep... from somewhere else!) I lived in Steamboat, La Veta, Aguilar, Trujillo Creek, Trinidad, Alamosa, Ft. Collins, Manitou and Durango. I found that it was hard to generalize about any of those places, especially an entire city, like ColoSpgs, or an entire slope.

People were unique wherever I went. People are just people.

I find it rather pitiful that an entire city is dissed on generalities.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:10 AM
808 posts, read 1,175,654 times
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Originally Posted by bongo View Post
People were unique wherever I went. People are just people.

I find it rather pitiful that an entire city is dissed on generalities.
Could not agree with you more. In virtually every case, the person doing the "dissing" (on this forum or out there in real life) is exposing themselves for what they actually are far more than providing any useful or accurate information about the place or people being "dissed." Consider the log in your own eye before loudly proclaiming the speck of dust in your neighbor's eye. Those who don't so consider are very foolish indeed and, as you point out, rather pathetic.

If you must live in Colorado and need employment, you're probably better off in one of the front-range urban areas. If you don't need employment, then whatever works for you. If you happen to be born into one of the landed rural ranching/farming families, then rural Colorado is probably your best bet, unless you want a different life, in which case you go wherever the life you want can be found. Could it be any more obvious? Pretty simple equation, this.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:54 AM
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
I think the Front Range has lost it's uniqueness because there are so many people there from so many other places and few people have roots or ties to the area, it's just another plain jane group of cities. I've noticed since I was a kid in the 1980's, Denver has changed a lot and it's just another big city now.
The change in "attitude" has pretty permeated every place in Colorado, with the exception of some of the smaller towns on the Eastern Plains and a select few rural communities elsewhere in the state. Ed Quillen, a long-time editorial columnist with the Denver Post until his passing in 2011, penned this little oratory back in 1988. In a tongue-in-cheek editorial about how to make money off of tourists, he pretty much summed up how many long-time Coloradans feel about what has happened to the state in the last 40 years.

“But all of us natives know that life's supreme pleasure is to jump in an old pickup with a friend, toss some beer in, and head into the mountains. Crank up a George Thorogood tape blasting some 12-bar blues, and stop just for coffee refills, green chile, and to relieve yourself at the top of every pass.”

“You're right,” I conceded. “But in Vail of all places, you should know that Colorado got overrun by mountain-bike yuppies who don't understand, and they've outlawed the old ways. Authentic or not, we could never make a business out of it.”

“Damn,” he complained. “You know, Colorado can be a great place if you can hit the road and listen to black people's music, eat brown people's food, and get your hands on some white people's money. But I guess I've struck out again.”
For those interested, an archive of his Denver Post editorials is available here ( Ed Quillen » Archives ), on a website maintained by his daughter. I met Ed several times and, while I didn't always agree with him, he had keen insights on Colorado (he was born and raised in Greeley and lived in several places around the state, most of his latter life in Salida) and he had probably forgotten more about Colorado history than anyone else on this forum will ever know.
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:15 PM
808 posts, read 1,175,654 times
Reputation: 2074
I love my 1968 truck and intend to keep that thing going as a living piece of Americana as long as possible, but sadly I'm also too "newfangled" to see how pounding half a dozen beers and taking drunken joyrides like some sort of 1960's style redneck is what it takes to be "Colorado authentic." Do I also have to think tobacco products are "healthy" and believe myself vastly superior to everybody even slightly different from myself? I'll take the new Colorado, thanks. You keep the old drunken-driving outsider-hating Colorado you constantly extol with such fondness.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:08 PM
2,253 posts, read 5,835,868 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Colorado as it once existed

Not everyone may be a George Thorogood fan, or like Jeep rides for that matter, but the mention of them bespeaks an older Colorado that is being lost, and even those in urban areas might on reflection miss.

It is within living memory that one could easily do such things without a second thought. Many in rural areas, and in town as well, kept an old Jeep in the driveway, and used it. One could literally go anywhere they wanted, up any mountain and across any river (and if too large, then perhaps floating down it). This wasn't always advisable or good for the landscape, so in time restrictions began to constrict one's limit, and more and more to trails already existing. Then in time some of these old dirt roads began to be closed to motor vehicles. Until today when one finds themselves more restricted with many others to a few wilderness avenues.

One might debate the wisdom in that, but a large part of what brought it about were population pressures. About one hundred years ago, in 1910, Colorado still had a population of only 799,024 (and according to my estimates about what Colorado itself could sustainably support). Today of course our population is 5,000,000 plus and projected to double before 2050. At one time it didn't much matter if one did some bushwhacking with their Jeep. If not always the wisest course, in total it had relatively little impact on the environment as relatively few were so engaged. And, often those out and about had a far better appreciation for the land then most of urban Colorado today, so even when not exactly told not to, more likely to remain on trails and not needlessly tear things up.

Skip forward a few decades with far more with bigger toys, and less common sense, and perhaps inevitable that they would increasingly be throttled down. As for the beer, if it came to driving drunk, not a swell idea. But far less likely in the woods to encounter anyone this could prove an issue with, save the result rebound to oneself. On the paved road, probably more likely to receive a friendly if stern warning, then a peremptory DUI. And as most lived in small communities, the help in common opinion preventing that beyond norms.

Now, you'll be lucky if not soon receiving notice from your insurer that you're over the limit (according to them and their actuarial tables) and must cut back on alcohol or that high fat and so forth; they automatically informed of this due your frequent shopping card and RF tags secreted in practically anything. So you may not even end up with a 6-pack to toss in the Jeep—or anywhere to go with it. As is more frequently the case, some bureaucrat will have closed an entire national forest to you. Or in time just all forests in general, due the threat of wildfire, and, really, what would you want to be (legally) doing out there in the first place?

Once upon a time not that long ago this was not an issue or thought of. And if we have grown up in some ways, regressed ever so far in others. And all far poorer in never knowing a Colorado where such freedom naturally existed.
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