Tomorrow is August 2nd and it is Colorado Day. The day celebrates the inclusion of Colorado into the United States on August 1st 1876. Yea I know Colorado day should be today but we are a bit late on the uptake around here so August 2nd it is. But we are getting closer, Colorado Day used to be an official state Holiday celebrated on the first Monday in August. It appears that Colorado has a set limit of official holidays and Colorado Day was dropped in favor of Martin Luther King Day in 1985. In honor of Colorado Day all museums and Colorado State parks will be free tomorrow and there will be free taffy from Hammond’s Candies, while supplies last so go early and go often.
I am not a native of Colorado. I moved to Durango in the early 80’s and other than short painful periods of living in central Florida and east river South Dakota I have been happy to live in Colorado. I am not the only one it seems, finding a native Coloradan is a rare thing and Colorado natives are proud to be born in one of the greatest states in the Union. The many refugees from other parts of the nation also seem to be very happy to live here. Growing up people seemed to speak of Colorado as some mythical land of shining mountains and other good things. Colorado has lived up to the hype in my opinion.
What is awesome about Colorado?
We have a state fossil, the stegosaurus.
We have a state grass, Blue Gama Grass
Break out the bagpipes because we have an official tartan. http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Colorado/tartan_colorado.html
And an official reptile, the western painted turtle. Thank you Jay Baichi’s 2007 4th grade class. I see you like turtles!
Colorado is missing any large bodies of water. That does have its benefits in the resulting low humidity. On a related note Colorado is one of two states in the Union that does not receive any water from any other state. All rivers flow out of Colorado, none flow into Colorado. There are nearly 20 rivers whose headwaters begin in Colorado, with the Continental Divide directing each river’s course.
How low can you go? Colorado will not win any limbo contests. The lowest point in Colorado is 3,315 feet above sea level.
How high are you?
- Colorado contains 75% of the land area of the U.S. with an altitude over 10,000 feet.
- The highest paved road in North America is the Road to Mt. Evans off of I-70 from Idaho Springs. The Road climbs up to 14,258 Ft. above sea level.
- The 13th step of the state capital building in Denver is exactly 1 mile high above sea level.
- The Dwight Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel between Clear Creek & Summit counties is the highest auto tunnel in the world. Bored at an elevation of 11,000 feet under the Continental Divide it is 8,960 feet long and the average daily traffic exceeds 26,000 vehicles.
- Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States at 10,430 feet elevation. Because there was lots of “silver” named towns at the time, the founding fathers suggested Leadville. I guess “small pebbles” was already taken.
- The tallest sand dune in America is in Great Sand Dunes National Monument outside of Alamosa. This bizarre 46,000-acre landscape of 700-foot sand peaks was the creation of ocean waters and wind more than one million years ago.
- The highest suspension bridge in the world is over the Royal Gorge near Canon City. The Royal Gorge Bridge spans the Arkansas River at a height of 1,053 feet.
As you can see we are pretty high here.
HI MOM we’re number 1! – first, biggest, and most brags for Colorado
- The world’s largest flat-top mountain is in Grand Mesa.
- Denver, lays claim to the invention of the cheeseburger. The trademark for the name Cheeseburger was awarded in 1935 to Louis Ballast. –Kittehs around the internet can now rejoice because without Colorado You no can haz cheeseburger.
- Every year Denver host the world’s largest Rodeo, the National Western Stock show.
- Denver has the largest city park system in the nation with 205 parks in City limits and 20,000 Acres of parks in the nearby mountains.
- The World’s First Rodeo was held on July 4th, 1869 in Deer Trail.
- Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state. Nothing beats the effects of alcohol at high altitude.
- The world’s largest natural hot springs pool located in Glenwood Springs. The two-block long pool is across the street from the historic Hotel Colorado, a favorite stop of former president Teddy Roosevelt.
- Built in 1867 by Seth Lake, the Astor House in Golden was the first stone hotel built west of the Mississippi River.
The Strange, the bizarre, the unexpected in Colorado
- In Fruita, the town folk celebrate ‘Mike the Headless Chicken Day’. Seems that a farmer named L.A. Olsen cut off Mike’s head on September 10, 1945 in anticipation of a chicken dinner – and Mike lived for another 4 years without a head.
- Nederland Colorado hosts Frozen Dead Guy Days in March.
- Colfax Avenue in Denver is the longest continuous street in America.
- Colorado has almost as many dead towns (about 500) as live ones (650). Mining booms and busts left the mountains littered with more than 300 ghost towns that fascinate locals and tourists. The eastern plains and western canyon lands are also haunted by more than 200 ghost towns.
- Old Town Fort Collins was the inspiration for California’s Disneyland Main Street.
- Christopher O’Brian, author of Enter the Valley, says the San Luis Valley, which stretches from Saguache to Taos, New Mexico, has America’s highest concentration of UFO sightings, crop circles and Bigfoot sightings, as well as cattle mutilations and appearances of mysterious aircraft.
Deep in the mountains of southwestern Colorado, Ouray is home to the world’s first
park devoted exclusively to the sport of ice climbing. The park opened in 1995.
Colorado is not always very smart.
Colorado is the only state in history, to turn down the Olympics. In 1976 the Winter Olympics were planned to be held in Denver. 62% of all state Voters chose at almost the last minute not to host the Olympics, because of the cost, pollution and population boom it would have on the State Of Colorado, and the City of Denver.
Colorado is quirky, high, fun, sometimes we make no sense but I would not choose to live anyplace but here.