Colorado. Known for the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the famous ‘Mile High City’, and of course, recreational marijuana. A culture composed of Bronco’s games and supporting the Rockies baseball team. Although we aren’t all home-state fans, we can all agree on the amount of respect shown throughout our gorgeous state. The place where skiing, camping and hiking is a frequent vacation pinpoint. To outsiders, this is all that Colorado has to offer. However, I am from a part of Colorado that only few can attest from; I am from the "Other Colorado."

I am from the flattest grounds of Colorado, where the faintest silhouette of the mountains can be seen. I live where livestock outnumbers the population of the people, where the air is not constricted by pollution or smog, but is dense, smooth, and clean. At night, a slight glow from cities more than two hours away can be seen. Where the stars seem so bright, crisp, and clear, as if you were in a movie.

I am from communities that come together as a family; where you can drive an hour and still have a handful of friends to rely on. Where sports not only bring the area together but can separate them in a heartbeat. They say it takes a tribe to raise a child; in this part of Colorado, this statement is a lifestyle. When bad comes to worse, our communities bind together to get the family the help they need. I am from the area that car pools hours just to get to a Walmart or mall. Where a trip to Denver is almost like a thrill when growing up.

I am from a collection of towns with a population 1,000 or less. Where you get the news faster at the local gas station gossip than you do from the area news release. Where your class was more like your family than your classmates. Where knowing the exact color, make, and model of all your friend’s cars is normal. I am from the area of Colorado that still recites the Pledge in school, and before large events, where ‘under God’ is not a question, but a must.

I am from tumble weeds, dirt roads, and country music. Where fun is categorized as summer cattle branding, cruising up and down Main Street, or late night Walmart trips. I am from hard work and dedication; brought up by the strings of my mother’s apron. Where ‘yes ma’am' and 'yes sir’ is still common.

I am from the part of Colorado that is desolate and open. Where a small amount of excitement is felt when we see our town or county on the weather map. I am from a place where tornadoes and winds are strong enough to take roofs and homes. Where our eyes are trained to see deer and antelope in the tallest of brush.

I am from ‘the other Colorado’. The Colorado not portrayed on postcards or shown through magazines. The parts of Colorado that, surprisingly, are still unknown to many Colorado-natives. The area of Colorado that has to associate to larger cities just to get an idea of where we actually are; where we use hours and miles as descriptions, instead of the legitimate name of our city.

Colorado. A mixing bowl of traits. Where the weather is nearly uncertain that we could have snow on Monday, and a tornado on Tuesday. A saying all Coloradans can relate to is “if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour and it will change.” In general, Colorado is a beautiful state filled with unique and incredible people. Diverse and welcoming, Colorado will always be my state, but I will always identify as 'the other Colorado’.