Photos and story by Emily Kinney
When you’ve lived in the same place all of your life, you discover the hidden gems among the large, shiny tourist attractions most go to. Many people think of Colorado as just the Rocky Mountains and Denver. There are always many sides to a place, and these are my takes on these places
Denver, the city. Being a teenager means I don’t explore the city often, but when I do I make the effort to see every side of the city. The 16th Street Mall is very popular, as that and the surrounding area is marked as “Downtown”. The residents in Denver are kind, and Downtown is a vastly different atmosphere than suburban kids like me are used to. Marches, protests, rallies, concerts, etc. People band together in Denver for what they love. There are other cities: Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins. But Denver is the closest, and even though it isn’t my second home, it’s the one I’m most familiar with.
The Rocky Mountains. In Colorado, you learn the cardinal directions based off of where the mountains are. From my town, they always sit to the West. They are an ever-present backdrop to life here. A majority of natives don’t ski or snowboard, contrary to popular belief. But I actively do both, and I feel most myself surrounded by the snow-capped hills. I spent my winter and spring breaks learning both skills as a child, and the occasional weekend perfecting them. Some mountains are perfect for hiking up, others to ski down.
The plains. Vast landscapes where there is no gradual slope peeking in the distance tend to be discredited and overlooked. Maybe it’s just because I love a ghost-town aesthetic, but places such as Alamosa that stretch into the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and towns way East and South of my home intrigue me. The plains are a majority of Colorado, and although the drive may be tedious to get there, I personally think they are worth it.
The sunsets. Every state claims they have the best sunsets, but I proudly stand by the notion that Colorado is the true number one in that category. My native pride rests solely in the sky.
Living in one place for 17 years can become boring when it seems like there are few things to discover. But Colorado has a lot to offer, in all four corners. We aren’t “Colorful Colorado” for nothing.