We discuss weather in this state (and on this blog) a lot. If you've ever made small talk with a stranger here, then you know that weather is a hot topic, especially now that Mother Nature -- or global warming, depending on what you call it -- has decided to finally bring on the freezing-ass cold temperatures. Based on the number of screen shots of Colorado weather on Instagram displaying the impending icy temperatures for this week (negative six on Thursday night, are you serious?), we are totally freaked out.
To prepare for this inevitable temperature transition we should have been expecting since October, here's a list of things to remember when dealing with the cold. Because this shit is probably going to stick around until at least May, so get used to it.
5. Don't drive like a jerk Driving like a jerk is a statewide issue and, whether transplant or native, we all seem to have it in us to drive like no one else is on the road. You've either seen it or you're part of the problem: It's morning rush hour on I-25 and you're stuck staring directly into the sun as you inch along the icy highway, trying not to hit anyone. Then, out of nowhere, some Subaru Baja or Cadillac Escalade comes barreling up the shoulder, cutting everyone off and, of course, causing an accident. Now everyone's commute just got longer.
Don't be this guy. I am this guy, in a Subaru, riding your ass like I have the best brake system in the world, which I do not. (And I'm sort of sorry to the Jeep Wrangler that cut me off yesterday and forced me to tap its bumper on the highway.) If you want to get all all-terrain, rent an ATV. Don't let your ego put the rest of us in danger. For more tips on how to not drive like a jerk in Colorado when it snows, see the official Westword list.
4. Save your sick days for a real blizzard With the first big snow of the year, it's tempting to call in to work because the roads are too unsafe to drive on. But believe me, there will be better snow days -- and no matter what, the roads will always suck. Wait until there's a citywide shutdown because of the snow, when you can enjoy the blizzard guilt-free. I don't know if it is like this in other states, but usually when there's a city closure due to inclement weather, bars are somehow still open -- so you get to walk by your parked car that has become its own snow embankment and go straight to your friendly local pub and drink the day away without an ounce of culpability, like a grownup!
3. Dress appropriately In Colorado, we definitely do not know how to dress for the weather. (I'm looking at you, guy in shorts year-round.) But as we inch closer toward these below-freezing temperatures, it is important to stay warm. Hand warmers are a thing that exist, and it is totally acceptable to use them on a daily basis. That jacket with the ridiculous faux-fur-lined hood you bought on clearance last year? Break it out. Please, wear your snow boots to a fancy restaurant and hey, even that ridiculous hat with the yarn mohawk. We just want you to stay warm and be able to enjoy the onslaught of icy-cold weather without hypothermia or frost bite.
2. Take advantage of alternative forms of transportation Driving in the snow sucks. Taking the bus in the snow sucks. Riding your bike in the snow sucks. Snowshoeing to work? That totally rules, and it is totally acceptable in Colorado. You've seen it and you've envied it, so why not try it? Wash Park isn't the only non-mountainous place to break out your skis -- when it snows, the rest of the city is fair game. Trek to work or school on skis and you'll not only be saving the planet, but you'll get a good amount of exercise. Not to mention you'll be cruising by everyone stuck in traffic as they shake their fists in envy of your smooth commute.
1. Lend a hand to your neighbor Being snowed in is simultaneously the best and worst thing in the world, depending on how much food/weed you have stockpiled, what's streaming on Netflix and if you have to deal with any blizzard-related tragedies. But maybe the old lady in the house next to you can't get out to shovel her walk, let alone go to the store. Instead of holing up in your house, strap on your snowshoes and see if any of your neighbors might need your assistance.
I've been told we Coloradans are nice to a fault, so why not take advantage of the stereotype? Especially if you're one of those dudes with a snowplow or snowblower. I've always wanted to be one of those dudes.
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