Tips for Transplants: Rules for March in Denver

Don't worry about your car; those branches aren't coming down.
Don't worry about your car; those branches aren't coming down. lissydjones at Flickr

March is a tricky bitch, especially here in Denver. Sure, other parts of the country will see significant swings in weather in the month of March, and Colorado is known for a seriously random weather element almost any time of the year — but March is notorious for alternating between snow, springtime and snow again. Rain, snow, ice, sun, shorts weather one day, parkas and plows the next. Anything goes in Denver in March.

That's why much of March and what it has to offer happens inside, because the smart bet in March is to hold your cards until May. So how does one survive a Mile High March? Here are ten things to consider as you’re biding your time — and a few ways to kick up your springtime heels.

click to enlarge The good news is that the snow is stopping.  Bad news is that your car is under there. - DANIEL SPIESS AT FLICKR
The good news is that the snow is stopping. Bad news is that your car is under there.
Daniel Spiess at Flickr
10. Realize the Odds
Okay, it’s not guaranteed that we’ll have a big snow in March, but it’s statistically more likely in March than in any other month. And it’s not just the snow totals involved — it’s the snow itself, which is likely to be wet and heavy and able to break limbs, down power lines, even collapse roofs. Don’t worry about trying to prep now — if you haven’t had your dead branches trimmed yet, it’s probably too late. Maybe try prayer. Or shaking the snow off your trees in the middle of a storm. Or finding a four-leaf clover, which may do no good whatsoever, but at least it’s seasonal.

click to enlarge Ah, the great outdoors. - KOLBY SCHNELLI AT FLICKR
Ah, the great outdoors.
Kolby Schnelli at Flickr
9. Make Plans at the 61st RV Sports and Travel Show
Ignore, if you will, the irony inherent in holding a huge outdoor-recreation event indoors — from March 2-5 at the National Western Complex, to be specific. But maybe your idea of camping is driving a motor home out to the woods and then playing Xbox in air-conditioned comfort on a couch with a slightly different view out the window. Then you’re my kind of camper. There are things at the show for those who embrace nature a bit more directly, as well.

click to enlarge You may feel like this bicycle on March 18. - GET DIRECTLY DOWN AT FLICKR
You may feel like this bicycle on March 18.
get directly down at Flickr
8. Start Tuning Up the Bike
But do it in your garage, or if you don’t have a garage, in the house. Sure, you might catch a sunny afternoon when you could do it in your front yard, and even a few days when you could take it for a ride without thick snow tires and head-shaking glares from all the white-knuckled drivers in the lane behind you trying to stop without making you a hood ornament. For March, stick to the tuneup.

click to enlarge Bonus: Billy Joel may actually show up. - JUAN ANTONIO F. SEGAL AT FLICKR
Bonus: Billy Joel may actually show up.
Juan Antonio F. Segal at Flickr
7. Sing Along at Charlie Brown’s
Whether or not it’s too cold to go out during the day, it’s going to be too cold to go out at night — or at least that’s what you can tell yourself when you belly up to the piano bar at the classic and inimitable Charlie Brown’s, where the ivories are still tickled, where the wood paneling still tells the stories of countless cigarettes, where the food is good and the drinks are strong and every song is worth singing out loud.

click to enlarge It's not so bad, as long as we're not moving. - DANIEL SPIESS AT FLICKR
It's not so bad, as long as we're not moving.
Daniel Spiess at Flickr
6. Know that Green Doesn’t Mean Go
It sounds like a riddle: When is a green light not a green light? The answer, here in Denver, is March. That’s when green doesn’t mean go; it means stop, look both ways and make sure there’s no one sliding unexpectedly through the intersection after hitting their brakes too late and inadvertently skidding into the intersection. (Or — as some drivers do — taking the opportunity to run a red when the roads are slick, because that's safer than slamming on your brakes, right?)

Keep reading for more rules for March in Denver.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen