Tips for Transplants: Ten Rules for October in Denver

Denver sunsets are totally seasonal.
Denver sunsets are totally seasonal.
Joiseyshowaa at Flickr

September was fun, but it's over, and you know what that means: It’s a footrace right into 2017. So yes, autumn is going to fly by, but that doesn’t mean you can just give your brain the season off. There's lots to do in October: decisions to make, work to do, and too many ways that we can all muck it up. So how does the average Denverite successfully navigate the challenges of October? Here are ten things to keep in mind as October takes hold:

He's thinking about wearing long pants.
He's thinking about wearing long pants.
Bradley Gordon at Flickr

10. Break Out the Coats, But Don’t Stow Your Shorts
October in Denver is a month of extremes. It can still be uncomfortably hot, and the next day will freeze you in your tracks. Days in the 80s and the city’s first snow are completely normal in the tenth month, so your closet has to reflect that. And not only does your wardrobe need to be flexible, but also your plans for the day: Get used to those times when you wear a jacket in the morning, then are annoyed that you have to carry it around by the afternoon.

Hopefully this stuff hasn't been in your car since March.
Hopefully this stuff hasn't been in your car since March.
kcxd at Flickr

9. Prep for Ski Season
Ski season is about to start, which means one of two things. If you’re a skier, you need to get out the gear, make sure everything survived the off-season and buy some new stuff for the slopes. If you're not a skier, in October you make a final drive up into the mountains to bid them farewell until ski season is over, because there’s no way in hell you’re driving again on I-70 until spring.

This porch is just asking for it.
This porch is just asking for it.
Steve Snodgrass at Flickr

8. Limit Your Pumpkins
The maximum number of pumpkins on Denver porches is three. Not four, not five, not eleven. Three. This includes fake pumpkins, any type of large gourd, or whatever Martha Stewart Living crocheted substitute you might be considering. Any pumpkins above the city limit of three are subject to public smashing on the street in front of your house by roving gangs of well-meaning teens who are only concerned with following the spirit of both the law and the season.

Lights on Halloween: a commercial racket run by a big eastern syndicate.
Lights on Halloween: a commercial racket run by a big eastern syndicate.
Wendy Barry at Flickr

7. Lights Are Not for Halloween
Candles in jack-o-lanterns, yes. Strings of twinkly lights, no. It doesn’t matter if they’re orange, and what you’re calling “black” is really more of a pink there, Vincent Price. Great for Breast Cancer Awareness, but not so good for striking terror into the hearts of trick-or-treaters, passersby, or anyone who wants to save Halloween from just becoming a scary pre-Christmas.

Raking: when trees seem like needy assholes.
Raking: when trees seem like needy assholes.
Dean Hochman at Flickr

6. Rake, Motherfucker, Rake
All those pretty spring and summer trees exact a cost, and that bill comes due every October. Two sub-rules about raked leaves: One, bagging them in orange sacks with “Happy Halloween!” stenciled on them does not constitute a decoration; you just made your trash prettier. Two, jumping into piles of leaves is best left to children weighing less than 75 pounds, or else you’re going to be reminiscing about busted tailbones and emergency-room visits.

Keep reading for five more things to do in October.



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