When people ask me if I miss the snow in Colorado they are always incredibly surprised when I say no. I feel I need to set the record straight on this topic. I lived in Colorado for 9 winters – four of which had record snow falls in the Front Range. My first year we had a snow storm that actually shut down the University of Colorado for a week in April. My first year out of school, we had a snow storm that shut the city of Denver down for a week because the city was unable to keep up and plow the side streets. People were cross country skiing down Logan Street.
I love fluffy, game changing, everybody-hunker-down-because-you’re-not-going-anywhere blizzards. In fact, some may say they were my favorite holidays. So do I miss the snow? Sure. Who doesn’t love a snow day? And there is nothing more pristine and beautiful than Boulder covered in an untouched layer of white, shimmering, fluffy snow.
But alas, these alleged snow days are often fables told from the elders around a camp fire. In the Front Range – you maybe get two a year. The in-between times look more like this: ice stuck to your windshield because everyone’s garage is packed with their bikes and other gear, people driving up the hill on 20th toward Coors Field in two-wheel drive sideways, a mad dash up I-70 leading to the inevitable congestion of white Altimas parked in the center lane looking like a car graveyard. Not to sound like a complete pessimist, but, you live in Colorado or gods sake! Get some snow tires!
My negative feelings toward Colorado winters comes directly from automotive transportation. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. And it is so unnecessary. In California, I discovered this wonderful thing while driving up to Tahoe – snow tire check points. It is actually illegal to drive over the pass without them. And if you don’t have snow tires, you must buy chains right then and there. While I’ll admit, this system doesn’t account for plain bad drivers, but it certainly helps to weed them out. Such a simple solution that could actually make this cold heart be warm and fuzzy again, sitting by the fire, drinking a Hot Toddie.