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Old 07-29-2013, 05:06 AM
2 posts, read 1,965 times
Reputation: 14


I have searched but the nature of my question makes it difficult. I am a 27 year old student, born and raised in Las Vegas. I have just moved to Fort Collins because it is the epitome of many things I find ideal and it seems the antithesis of Las Vegas in all ways.

My question though, is where can I learn all the little things I should know that a local would. For example, my lease mentions "dripping" a technique I guess you use to keep a small flow of water so there is no freezing. Also I have a wood burning fireplace, something that was rare and a novelty in Las Vegas. I notice a lot of my neighbors with open windows, something also not done in Las Vegas.

I don't know things like how close I can put different things to the baseboard heaters. Or whether or not I should use real wood or wood composite logs in my fireplace. There are so many neat little things, like seeing firewood at 7-11 whereas Vegas has big freezers with ice.

I am a junior at CSU, having transferred from CSN, majoring in I/O Psychology. My plan is to get my B.S. then a Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from CSU then stay in FoCo after that. Of course I will learn these things as I go along but it is not in my personality to learn as I go along if I can front load information. I welcome any and all tips to living in Colorado, Northern Colorado, Fort Collins, humid places, cold places, etc. Most of the things I will find helpful will probably seem trivial and might not even occur to you as a "thing" so if you are so inclined, dig deep.

Again, I have searched, found some guides to moving to Colorado in general or FoCO in particular but what I found was few and didn't even address the small things I mentioned.

I thought of an example. The water here tastes great but ice cubes are crap in soda. I tried straight tap water ice cubes and ice cubes made from tap water run through a Pür filtered pitcher. Both of them have some weird mineral taste almost immediately that ruins soda when I put them in. Las Vegas water made my stomach upset at times but the ice cubes went fine with everything. What gives?

Last edited by Mike from back east; 07-29-2013 at 11:13 AM.. Reason: Merged 2:1
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:16 PM
Location: Fort Lupton CO
40 posts, read 72,220 times
Reputation: 106
Window Fan- Brings in our wonderful cool air at night. No need to have the AC running, majority of nights are cool enough.

Bicycle- Just cause its a great way to get around, most front range towns are very bike friendly and if I recall FoCo has a robust trail system. Go with the wider tire Mnt Bikes, thorn resistant inner tubes are a must.

Craft Beer- It is in vogue right now, to say "I don't like beer" will get you looks like you smothered a kitten and makes good small talk when meeting new people.

Wood or Composite logs?- Check your lease, some say you can't use composite due to creosote build up. Personally, composite logs to get the fire started and switch to solid wood. Also, get yourself a fire poker, ash shovel/set and get to know how your flue vent works. (Sometimes its "inside" the fire place) It allows the smoke to escape the chimney, but keep it closed when not using the fireplace to keep in warm/AC air in. Its quite the scene when you start a fire and find out your flue is shut. Burning newspaper is good way to test open/closed.

Water- Front range towns have a variety of sources, Western or Eastern Slope snow melt or well water or even a blend. Its a gamble.

Baseboard Heaters- You can push a couch almost up to them, just no touchy ok?
Winter will dry your skin- Make friends with lotion. Especially if you shower hot in the morning and head out into the cold air.

Camping gear is best acquired piecemeal- never buy it all at once. Walmart is hit or miss. You can get equal quality to mainstream stores or just plain crap. Garage sales are a gold mines. JAX in Fort Collins is the place to go.

GO CAMPING- its a great way to bond with family/friends/lovers and why else would you live here a not do it?


Ski?- Forget it, to expensive for most people to go but once a year.

Sunscreen is to be used year round- Trust me on this.

Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car- so many accidents in the winter months due to sunglare, yet I think Vegas might have the same problem too

Keep an ice scrapper in your car too....or just let it warm up.

Hope That helps- Enjoy your stay!
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:41 PM
Location: Old Town
99 posts, read 190,725 times
Reputation: 130
bwa ha ha! "make friends with lotion." Lennny, you rock. I'm going to think of that line every morning when I lotion up before taking the dogs for a walk. (You never notice how much you need lotion until you leave the house. I hate that! I'm half a block away and suddenly every cell on my face is crying out for lotion. Really? You couldn't have asked for lotion before we left the house? ... needless to say, I've learned my lesson. ... mostly.)

The biggest thing that I think non-Coloradoans just don't get is that you never need A/C. You open up every window you can at night and if you don't have a whole house fan, then you put in a window fan and suck in as much cold air as you can get. You should be sleeping with a down comforter in the summer because you get the house so darn cold at night. Then around 8, when the outside temp starts to go up, you shut the whole house up. Shut every window. Close the screen on your screen door. Don't leave the door open. Seal the house up. When people come over to visit for lunch they'll be surprised that you're running the A/C so early in the day. That's when you start to brag that you've never used A/C in your house. It's all night air. I see people with their windows open in the middle of the day on a hot day and I know immediately that they haven't lived here long. (caveat: I have friends outside of Old Town that tell me this doesn't work. But my mom lives way south east and she does it with her 90s house and it works. So I think it's all in the technique or something. You have to be diligent with shutting things up before you feel the heat start to roll in.)

Free music downtown... that's a biggie. I know folks who have lived in Fort Collins since the early 80s and they had no idea that there was free music every week downtown. My jaw dropped when they told me about it like it was some brand new thing. I felt like yelling at them, "Hello?! Are you daft?! That's what makes FC so great!" But I didn't. I just nodded and smiled and then mentioned that I've been enjoying the free music for years now. It's one of the highlights of my summer. (Ironically, this is the first summer I've hardly headed down for any music at all. I am looking forward to Bohemian Nights, though. It just doesn't get better than that. Free music. All weekend. On a gajillion stages. Oh yeah.)

Oh, and don't ever buy wood from the 7-11. All you have to do is drive around till you see a tree company trimming a tree. Then you ask for whatever chunks look good to you, haul them off and chop them up. It's free and you get a bit of exercise out of it.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:47 PM
Location: Fort Collins
11 posts, read 21,104 times
Reputation: 10
We've lived here for 6 months now and I can SO relate to your question about the ice cubes!!! Our water tastes great; our ice cubes, from the exact same water source, taste terrible.

It's a mystery! :-)
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