Commentary

California Transplants Wake Up in Horror to Their First Snowstorm

Stanisic Valdmir/Shutterstock.com
This is not an Onion article. Rather, this morning I had the hilarious experience of witnessing two California transplants go through an absolute freakout over their first Colorado snowstorm.

Like many of you, I woke up this morning, saw the first snow of the season flurrying outside my bedroom windows, and was excited. Sure, October 9 is pretty early in the year to be getting snow, but like anyone who's been through Denver winters, I know this snow dump will melt in no time.

My two newest housemates, however, were having quite a different reaction.

“I'm like a cross between, 'Oh, winter wonderland!' and 'What the fuckety fuck?'” Ross said with grave concern.

Katie was standing at our kitchen window, gazing forlornly at the foreign white landscape like a sad puppy left at home by its owner.

“I'm waiting for the sun to come back,” she said.

Ross and Katie, both 22, came to Colorado three months ago right after finishing college.

So far, their biggest hurdle has been getting bars to accept their vertical California IDs. Snow had been a topic of concern before moving to Denver, but they were not expecting it this early.

I had to laugh, remembering my first snowstorm as a California transplant. Yes, I, too, came from the Golden State, in January 2015. And if anything, I'd been less prepared than Ross and Katie. At least they already had ice scrapers in their cars....

The word 'fishtail' came up as our coffee was brewing.

“Oh, you have nothing to worry about!” I said, looking out at the street. I explained that it wasn't cold enough for snow to accumulate on the roads yet. “You'll get some real practice with that later in the season,” I chided.

“My main concern is that it's going to be a fuck-ton trillion degrees in the office that I'm going to and that I'm going to melt into a pile of sweat,” Ross said.

“You need to work on your layer game,” I observed.

“It is beautiful, so I'm trying to stay positive,” Katie said of the snow. “But it's a wake-up call...this is getting real.”

As much as I chuckled at their overreactions, I'm sure I was the same way when I first got here. At least I could teach them what to do if they fishtail.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker