Colorful Colorado Mountains
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Colorful Colorado Mountains

Twelve reasons mountains are amazing!

Colorful Colorado Mountains
Allison Klimesh

Colorado is a wonderful state. We have some downfalls (high prices for everything, but especially living, for example), but what I would argue really makes Colorful Colorado better than any other state is our mountains.

This is a particularly passionate subject for me, given my multiple trips across Nebraska. Corn is good and important in our society, but after you have looked at nothing but corn for between six and eight hours, you start to really appreciate mountains, or even the first little hill you see--which literally occurs immediately after crossing the Nebraska/Colorado border.

Mountains provide so much, and they are really cool. I am by no means saying that more people should move to Colorado--maybe try California or somewhere in Appalachia (it's cute when people consider those mountains)--but what I do recommend is that everyone find some time and some way to visit this stunning land feature for so many reasons.

1. They are pretty!

Seriously, though. Mountains are breathtaking. Whether you are looking on from a decent distance or deep within looking out at the horizon. There is also a lot of interesting animals, ecosystems, trees, rocks and so on to look at if you happen to be in the mountains. Mountains are gorgeous. They are fun to look at and fun to look from.

2. You can climb and/or hike mountains.

Having climbed my first 14er--a mountain with a peak or summit at 14 thousand feet or greater elevation--last summer (and planning to climb two more before the end of this summer), I can personally attest to how insanely awesome it is to hike and climb in the mountains.

Hiking and climbing challenges individual strength and endurance, and is quite arguably one of the most amazing feelings in the world. Furthermore, especially when summitting--reaching the summit of--a mountain, the view is phenomenal. Additionally, on hikes that are less intense, in the mountains, where the hiker doesn't hike to the summit, there is almost always stunning nature in the surrounding area, which ties back to my first point.

3. You can camp in them.

Camping is so much fun! There is something about the smell of campfire, the beautiful night-sky without any city lights and the camaraderie that flourishes from sharing meals and entertaining each other that makes camping worth not having WiFi and sleeping on the lumpy ground. Plus, when you camp in the mountains, which is a very popular thing in Colorado, you get to enjoy all the other perks of mountains, in addition to the natural aforementioned perks.

4. Mountains have really cool ecosystems.

I know this isn't something that everyone is into, but I mentioned pretty nature like trees, flowers, animals, etc. Well, all of that and its stunning beauty has to do with it being individualized to the ecosystems within the mountains, and they are actually really cool. These ecosystems are why, in Colorado, we can justify having outdoor education in the mountains and going on hikes, canoe trips, etc, all for the sake of education.

5. They are actually a really cool way to experience outdoor education.

When I got to school in Iowa and started talking about outdoor education, I was shocked. Most of my friends had little to no outdoor education. I, on the other hand, had been very lucky to have significant outdoor education. In my elementary school, every year in addition to our "field day," we would have a day of "outdoor ed," where we learned to bike, hike, canoe, etc. Furthermore, in 6th grade, most of the year we would spend little bits of time every day preparing ourselves to head up to Camp Cheley, where we would have a week of outdoor ed in which we studied ecosystems, physical well being, creative writing (about nature), music (with camp songs) and so much more. It was always considered one of the best weeks of the year because it was fun, mostly because Camp Cheley is located in the mountains...and mountains are cool.

6. Mountains make for great amphitheaters.

Looking at you, Red Rocks. Everyone in Colorado knows that Red Rocks is a must see for athletes and music lovers alike. It's also a neat place to have graduation. Yes, I graduated there.

7. Mountains have the best water.

Something that I often get made fun of at school for is that while our city's water is nationally ranked as high-quality water, I regularly refer to it as tasting like the Mississippi River. Mountain streams have fresh, clean water that, when cleaned of bacteria, tastes fresher, crisper and cleaner than any water that you can get anywhere else in the U.S. Mountain water, hands down, tastes the best, and my fellow collegiate Coloradans concur.

8. The air is super clean.

Much like the water, air in the mountains is incredibly clean, crisp and fresh. Some people complain of its thinness, but your body quickly assimilates to that. Mountain air has minimal pollution and is thereby refreshing when taking in a full gulp, especially when being active in the mountains.

9. Mountains are awesome for training and general athleticism.

I am not quite to this level of athleticism, but many athletes train in Colorado for high-intensity exemplifications of athletics like marathons, triathlons and various other competitions. Because of the thin, clean air, as well as the hill training, many athletes find that mountain training builds on their strength, endurance and agility, creating improved performance.

10. Skiing and snowboarding.

I am a third-generation Colorado native who has never been skiing or snowboarding. Admittedly, I just really enjoy the summer mountain sports and activities, and I have never had the time or the money to ski or snowboard. That being established, if I didn't include this on the list, I would be doing a serious disservice to the perks of the mountains. Many of my friends and family absolutely adore these activities, and they are so popular that people often visit mountains solely for these activities. They seem cool and definitely deserve some credit, so they did make it onto my list.

11. Food!

Small mountain towns are next (and last) and the list, but i had to give a special shout-out to mountain town food. In particular, I am thinking of delicious (so I've heard) brews from local breweries that are often found in mountain towns, as well as a personal favorite of mine, which are the "mountain pies." Mountain pies are pizzas that have a thicker crust (similar to, but still different, from deep dish) that is delicious when dipped in honey, and the pizzas are wood grill-fired, meaning that they have a fantastic, smoky aspect to them, and they are just delicious and wonderful. Really, though, any and pretty much all food found in mountain towns will be absolutely delicious, delectable, you name it!

12. Mountain towns are the best places ever.

The image above is of Breckenridge, which is one of my personal favorite mountain towns. That being said, mountain towns tend to be incredibly hospitable, filled with fun activities, great people, cute shops and easy access to the outdoorsy parts of the mountains. Mountain towns are wonderful places that restore hope in small communities for skeptics and confirm the love of small communities for people who already love them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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