Until I went to college in New York State I was always confused by the fact that everyone thought that Denver was in the middle of the mountains. That it was always snowing and that it was endlessly cold. It really confused me, until I was watching the news one day and finally figured it out. Denver always gets the tight shot on the news. Then, there is an epically beautiful panned shot of the mountains. I finally got it, people are convinced that Denver is in the mountains.
Plan a Trip to Denver
Denver is not in the mountains. On your trip to Denver you’ll find this out. In fact, it’s about an hour’s (fast) drive to the base of the mountains. I thought I should warn you. That said, when you visit there are some very important items that you should bring or you’ll find yourself running around town trying to buy stuff instead of enjoying yourself.
Denver, Boulder and all points West are a minimum of 5,280 feet above sea level. The air is dry, crisp, and arid. You will see people (who live here) walking around with bottles of water EVERYWHERE. With good reason. It’s freaking dry here and you are at risk of dehydrating. Coloradans will kindly advise, remind, IMPLORE you to drink water while you are here because we know what can happen. Just believe me and pack a nice Collapsible Water Bottle * for your trip. You’ll thank me later.
You will see people with backpacks everywhere. In fact, it seems as if everyone is running, walking fast, or biking while carrying who knows what in their backpacks. I used to carry lunch, my exercise gear, and my water bottles in my backpack. As well as a change of shoes. Be prepared for fun hikes in the mountains, long walks around town, and day trips to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll be happy that you brought your backpack when you visit. You’ll also be somewhat bemused by your friends newfound enthusiasm for all of these activities since they moved to Colorado.
Chapstick and Lotion
I’ve already warned you that you should drink lots of water while here. I failed to mention that your skin will be incessantly dry, and that your lips will immediately be leached of all moisture upon exiting Denver International Airport. Your lips will then begin to crack with hours of roaming around which every beautiful city that you decide to visit. Your skin will be so dry that you will feel it becoming taught with the tightness that happens when your skin gets too dry. If you are from a humid environment you won’t know what hit you and it will be incredibly unpleasant. Bring lotion. That’s all I can tell you.
Sunblock and Sunglasses
It is sunny here. The kind of sunny that is referenced to in songs about California-even though we may get more sun. The sun on a hot day can hurt your eyes and make your skin burn. Remember we are at least a mile above sea level. Also, I don’t care what color you are-wear sunblock (especially if you move here) your skin and your future self will thank you.
I can almost guarantee that you’ll be taken on at least one hike if you’re here for at least a week. Ask my friends! Make sure you have the following items:
- Garmin-In case you get lost.
- Beanie*–The weather in the mountains can change pretty quickly.
- Fleece-You may get hot and cold during the same hike.
- Hiking boots-Your feet will thank you.
Check your home to see what you already have, borrow from friends, or feel free to pick up these items so that you have a much more comfortable stay while your here. The non-negotiables are the lotion/chapstick/and sunglasses.
What Do You Wish You’d Brought With You
The Last Time You Visited?