I’m pretty sure that if I asked any of my old Connecticut friends what they did last weekend, “shot guns” and “shredded powder” would not have come up in their answer… but this is just another day in the life when you’ve moved out West (or I guess, when you’re from Connecticut but living in Colorado and anything remotely “Western” is still fascinating to you).
Originally, my website was called “viaxe oeste,” which is Galician for “travel west.” Although I was born in Connecticut, I’ve traveled further west since I was given the option. First to college in Ohio, next to live in Colorado, finally onto California (Just kidding. Rumor has it that if you settle in Colorado you’ll never make it to California). Today Denver is home and, like the rest of us non-locals (who make up the majority nowadays), I’m doing the best I can to both laugh at the amusing “Wild West” stereotypes while also embracing the ‘new me’. Colorado is ranked among the last states who’s residents have a desire to move elsewhere, and for good reason if you look at how much fun everyone seems to have every weekend.
On Saturday, we shoot.
My friend and I were standing at the Tac One shooting range when a larger lady in a leopard-print dress with dyed red hair turns to us (inadvertently swinging a revolver toward our faces, which would have been terrifying even without the leopard-print dress): “So why are you girls here, anyway?”
Me: “Oh, we know the guy who started this company.”
Leopard Lady: “Hmmph. I’m jus’ doin’ it for the self-protection at my house if ya know whadimean? At least till we get a real President in our country, ya know?”
Me: “Um yeah totally… Obama? Hate that guy. He’s the worst. Guns? Yea. They’re the best. Let’s shoot anyone who comes in our houses.” (Ok so maybe it was more like “Oh… yea… that’s great?”)
The point is, I shot a handgun. I shot it right on target every time, and I shot it right at my friend while we wore bulletproof vests. At the end of the six hours, I walked out with a certificate demonstrating that I earned my Concealed Weapons Permit. I will most likely never purchase a gun, and may never even cash in that certificate for the “real deal” permit, but it was exciting enough to add one more accomplishment to my weird Western lifestyle!
On Sunday, we shred.
The only time I’ve ever sat on a mountain in February and wished I was better at surfing was last weekend when it snowed about a foot at Vail and I was reminded of my East Coast handicap– that I never properly learned to snowboard in powder. I don’t really have much else to add to this point except the fact that I still love it no less than anyone else, and I’m willing to accept that the Iced Coast ski conditions did not adequately prepare me for the big-boy mountains. That being said, I live here now so I guess its time to step up my game. I do live where most vacation, after all. The best part about my freelancing job these days? I’ve managed to ski more powder than all of last season, and in just a month and a half I beat my total days on the mountain from all of last year.
I guess the point is that I like it here. And it may seem like bragging, but this level of excitement and adventure is truly attainable by anyone, anywhere. Colorado is home for me and presents a new adventure every weekend, but we choose our own adventures. I might still not have my Colorado Driver’s License (ssh, don’t tell the police), but this winter I have rightfully earned my CCW and my Epic Pass.