December 2007


Colorful Colorado

Returning to my home state as a kid, the sign at the border was a white on brown wooden sign that said, “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.”

Last night I had just such a welcome—unfortunately my plane window was too grimy and dirty to make it worthwhile. From my vantage point in seat 3D, I had a spectacular view of the redish-pink skies with an awesome blue undertone. I watched the progress of the plane, as it came south out of Nebraska and shadowed Interstate 76 toward Denver International Airport. The sunlight coming from behind the mountains was too beautiful to adequately describe—I kept silent watching out the window, realizing that Colorado’s front range can have some incredibly spectacular moments and that this was one of them.

I find myself in Ft. Collins today.

When I was at the University of Wyoming, the drive between Ft. Collins and Denver had a few highlights—but only a few. It was a narrow, crowded highway cutting between amber waves of grain. Today, it was a crowded highway cutting between one mall after another. I cannot imagine that there is any need for so many Macy’s, movie theatres, or other chain stores. There aren’t any houses in sight of the highway.

3 comments to Colorful Colorado

  • koko

    you come to the US for xmas while my mum goes back home to germany for xmas (same day even). how funny 🙂

  • The signs on the outskirts of Winnipeg proclaim: “Welcome to Winnipeg- One Great City!”. But, unlike Ft. Collins, there is no development outside the city limits… just farms & open prairie. Manitoba’s government (to their credit) has been pretty aggressive about restricting sprawl. They’re helped, of course, by Winnipeg’s stagnant population figures, but Buffalo proves that there are worse outcomes: the entire region (burbs included) is actually losing population, but more and more acres of land continue to be turned over to the standard mix of strip malls, box stores, & restaurant chains.

  • @koko: Maybe we passed in the air 🙂 Happy Holidays to you!

    @Jerry: The Front Range of Colorado has had a massive population explosion–people moving from California. If Canada wants to keep its quality of life, it needs to keep discouraging immigrants :-p — or at least not adopt land planning laws like those in the USA.