Grand Junction has its share of problems, but there are still plenty of reasons why I choose to live on the western slope and not on the Front Range.
Every day on Facebook I read about things going on in Grand Junction from drug dealing, to child abuse, noisy neighbors, and city politics.We have an abundant homeless population, a tough job market, and what seems to be an increasing number of empty storefronts in the business community.
Depending on who's holding the paintbrush, a pretty bleak picture of Grand Junction can be painted. But, for these few moments, I'm holding the paintbrush, and the picture I choose to create is going to be full of happy and bright colors.
I have family that lives on the Front Range and living close to them would sure be nice. But, yet I choose to live in western Colorado. Why is that? I am not blind to Grand Junction's problems, but I choose to focus on all the good that can be found here.
Here are five personal reasons why I love living on the western slope - and why I think Grand Junction is the best city in Colorado.
There are plenty of beautiful communities across Colorado, and who is to say which has the most splendid surroundings. But, what we get to look at in the Grand Valley is nothing short of amazing, from the Grand Mesa to the Bookcliffs, the Colorado National Monument, to the picturesque vineyards and orchards that dot the landscape. In my over 15 years in Grand Junction, I haven't yet tired of looking at all of it, or stopped enjoying the beauty of our surroundings.
Every time I visit the front range and have to deal with Denver traffic, or the I-25 corridor I feel a certain amount of panic. Grand Junction and western Colorado traffic on it's worst day is nothing like people have to deal with on a daily basis on the other side of the mountains. No, traffic may not be a humongous deal, but a lower and slower volume of traffic definitely adds to the enjoyment of my daily living.
I will take the North Avenue rush hour over Denver's drive home any day.
Obviously, this affects the traffic flow but it's not just that. You go to the front range and it seems like there is a crowd no matter where you go. In western Colorado, you have the ability to enjoy much of nature's beauty without hordes of people. There are plenty of hiking trails where you can find solitude whether it's on the Grand Mesa, on the monument, or along the riverfront trail.
It's just my opinion, but the weather on the western slope is much more pleasant than on the front range. In the winter time, they get a lot more snow, colder temperatures, and more frequent cold. All of those things combined make it unpleasant to be outside and to have to travel anywhere. On the other hand, western Colorado winters are usually pretty mild and bearable.
Meanwhile, summer time brings thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes to the front range, while here in western Colorado we enjoy hot, dry summers with a few monsoonal showers and only occasional severe thunderstorms.
I think we have the best weather in the entire state.
Not everyone who lives in Grand Junction can be classified as "good people." But, I have lived here long enough to discover there are a lot of good people in Grand Junction - people that care about their community, people that are kind, people that are eager to make a positive impact on their world. I believe the good people far outweigh the bad, and those are the people I choose to have in my life.