The History Of Grand Junction, Colorado

The History Of Grand Junction, Colorado

There is nowhere else I'd rather be.
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Nestled on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains and nearing the Colorado/ Utah border is a growing city with small town feels. It's a fairly large—in fact, with 55,566 residents , it's the 15th most populated city in the state of Colorado. And yet, it feels like a small town, with no sky rise buildings in sight and a downtown area that's only a few blocks long.

It is a city famous for being a junction to trade routes in the Midwest, most famously known as the “Old Spanish Trail.” In 1776, two explorers led a large group of people on this wagon route and called themselves the “Dominguez-Escalante party.” These travelers were exploring a path from Santa Fe to California and consequently came through Mesa County in August of that year.

It is a city built within a fertile valley surrounded by farming communities, which engulf the 38.61 miles of Mesa County land. The Colorado River flows straight through the valley, which replenishes the soil yearly and fuels the land for strong harvests. Famous for the richest fruit in all of Colorado, one can find the freshest and sweetest peaches that a late summer has to offer here.

Overlooking the valley floors are miles of Mesa canyons, mountainous peaks and high desert landscape, all within a few miles of each other. If you're looking to find an escape from the city life and an excuse to strap on a pair of hiking boots, then come get lost for a few hours or days in Grand Junction, Colorado!

For hundreds of years, people have come through this city looking for trade, shelter and adventure. However, modern day peoples were not the first to inhabit this beautiful land. Archaeological evidence dating back to 11,000 B.C.E. shows signs of Paleo Indians, Archaic Indians to 8,000 B.C.E. and Fremont Indians from 700-1,200 C.E. One can find evidence of these peoples throughout the surrounding terrain, as cave paintings and cultural items have been found in the caves along many mountains. These native peoples roamed this land freely, developing deep connections with nature and undoubtedly falling in love with the earth.

There is an old legend in this part of the state that has claimed Grand Junction as a cursed land. The legend explains that as the white man began to make their way into what is now Grand Junction, they forced the native tribes (specifically Utes) away to find new homes. As the natives left, they put a curse on Grand Junction. From that day on, all who come to Grand Junction and take the time to know the land, fall in love with this place. From that day on, all who fall in love with this place will be drawn back time and time again; they will be a part of the land as much as the land is a part of them.

From personal experience, I can attest that the legend of Grand Junction is true. I’ve spent time alone in the Monument, I’m learning the language of the land and it speaks loudly to anyone who really listens. Within the short 1 1/2 years I've attended Colorado Mesa University, I’ve grown up and deepened my sense of self and self-worth more quickly than at any other time in my life thus far. I truly love this school and community.

I encourage anyone looking to find a greater meaning in their life, who want to find themselves or who want to set goals and reach them to give CMU and Grand Junction a chance. There is nowhere else in Colorado where can you find a deeper spiritual connection to the earth, and nowhere else will you find a prehistoric landscape untouched by time, infected with the wisdom of those who came before us echoing in the wind. I can feel them here; their voices call to me in my wake and in my rest, the land tugs at my heart and guides my soul. The earth is here to help, to heal, to give and take. I am here to learn all I can and to give back whatever possible in return. This city is my new home, this land is my friend and I am grateful for life.

Cover Image Credit: StreamScapes Nature Photography

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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8 Reasons Maryland Deserves a Visit, Hon

Maryland is a small state, but it has a big personality.

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Maryland has so much to do, from the beaches on the East coast to the mountains on the western border. These are just 8 of many reasons our state is worth a visit!

1. It is the best place to eat Maryland Crabs.

I hope you like Old Bay!

2. Ocean City, MD has so much to do!

You can lay on the beach, go swimming, play a game of mini golf, walk on the boardwalk, play carnival games, ride carnival rides, go to clubs (if you are of age), and have the best french fries of your life ('sup Thrashers) all in one place!

3. You can visit Assateague Island off of the coast of Maryland and Virginia.

There are wild horses on an island off of the coast of Maryland and Virginia, 'nough said!

4. Baltimore's Inner Harbor is full of good eats and fun activities.

You can simply walk around the Inner Harbor, ride the paddle boats, tour a submarine, go to the aquarium, or ride the Spirit of Baltimore all in the same general vicinity.

5. You can visit the National Harbor in Prince George's County.

There is so many things to do here. You can ride the huge ferris wheel with enclosed cars, ride a mechanical bull at the Cadillac Ranch, visit the MGM Grand Casino and the big Gaylord Hotel.

6. Sugar Loaf Mountain is a great place to go hiking.

7. Great Falls is also a great location to visit!

You can visit Great Falls on either the Maryland or Virginia side. It's like a mini Niagara Falls.

8. You can root for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

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