Hey, Denver: Summer Is Ready When You Are
Here comes the sun. Finally!
In May, I wrote about the mundanity of talking about the weather and how we should all just suck it up and deal with the rain and stop complaining. Last week, I finally broke. I took everything I said back and begged for summer to come, praying that the afternoon thunderstorms that seemed to ruin any and all outdoor plans would stop. As a person who hates the cold, thinks being outside in the snow is dumb and only sticks around Denver each year because of the promise of summer, I was over it. Where in the hell was our humidity-free, always-sunny summer? The dragging, drab, overcast days were starting to feel like a punishment Colorado didn't deserve.
But if you were out and about last weekend at all, then you felt summer's stinking-hot grand entrance. With PrideFest, Juneteenth and the Westword Music Showcase all going on simultaneously, the city felt more "Fuck yeah, summer!" than ever. It was also the official start of summer for all of my fellow witches, who were celebrating the Summer Solstice. Overall, the intense heat was so worth it, because it felt like we had been waiting for this season for too long.
On Father's Day, I went with my pretty-much-in-laws to Bandimere Speedway for a little Thunder on the Mountain action. It had been years — maybe decades? — since I had been to the raceway, and I was stoked to get outside and soak up every moment of the newly exposed summer. But fifteen minutes into our visit, I wanted to crawl back inside the world of air-conditioning and shade. It wasn't just hot; it was brutal. Huddled on the bleachers trying to to steal a corner of another family's umbrella shade, we sucked in the fumes of dragsters as they created even more heat and energy while burning rubber on the tar. Don't get me wrong: It was fun to watch souped-up Corvettes and drag racers shoot like rockets down the straight and narrow road. But I the entire time, all I was thinking about was not complaining about the heat. It was hot, and it was what we had been waiting for, right?
I follow Water World on Twitter because I love Water World and I want to know everything Water World is up to at any given moment in time. The way the summer was going, I thought I was never going to enjoy a trip to Water World in 2015, because everyone knows that you can't ride a water slide when it's overcast, or you'll be sorry and shivering within ten minutes. (Props to whomever runs the Water World Twitter, because they were endlessly positive during the dark days of 2015's rain.) But now it's hot again, and Water World is a thing we can do and enjoy! So is swimming in pools, riding our bicycles everywhere, hanging out at the park, seeing movies outdoors, enjoying neighborhood cultural festivals and farmers' markets, going to Lakeside, going to the zoo, going to the skate park, going to a Rockies' game and going to outdoor concerts without fear of getting assaulted by hail.
You don't know what you've got until it's gone — and I feel like Colorado's "300 days of sunshine" brag finally caught up to us. No longer can we take for granted the weather in this city, because let's face it: we still have it pretty good. The continual rain sucked, for sure, but that just means all the more reason to get out of your climate-controlled life and into the outdoors now that we have the benefit of a true warm season again. The mountains are definitely great this time of year, but there is something special about this city in the summer. It's these months that make me appreciate Denver's public art, and the hot days that remind me how many public pools we have that are open to anyone.
But my favorite Denver activity by far is simply walking around and looking at it. Denver is a very handsome city; even with all of the growth and development that has me constantly fearing the loss of something as great as the Queen City on the Plains, I find that pedestrian wandering throughout different neighborhoods helps me to remember why I care so much about this place. Besides, have you seen our sunsets lately? They are as good as Instagram's filters make them seem — even better, actually.
Whether it's intense high temperatures or hours and inches of rainfall, it all seems to make Denver just look that much better. So, please, friends. Get outside and enjoy Colorado, because this state really is as special and unique as we all think it is.
Be my voyeur (or better yet, let me stalk you) on Twitter: @cocodavies