Vote 2021

What is Voting in Colorado Like?

By now you’ve heard about Major League Baseball’s move from Atlanta to Denver. This move is a result of new voting legislation signed into law in Georgia. There are many people arguing that how citizens vote in Colorado is similar or more prohibitive than voting in Georgia. I’ve voted my entire life in Colorado with the exception of my first vote during college in NY state. I’m going to share what everyone is getting wrong about voting in Colorado, why it’s GLORIOUS and why Georgia’s voting law is problematic.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

How to Register to Vote

In order to vote, would be participants have to establish some sort of eligibility to vote in an election.

Voting in Colorado

  • Colorado-There are 16 forms of identification that Colorado voters can present upon registration.
    • Same day registration-You’re eligible to register the day of an election. For example: For the November 8, 2022 election you can walk into the voting station and register on November 8, 2022.
    • Ballot Access-All ballots are MAILED to ALL registered voters. This happens about 3 weeks prior to the Election. We actually know when they are sent in the mail and we can track their arrival. If you are an Unaffiliated voter you receive two ballots but can only cast ONE.
    • Ballots have unique identifying numbers assigned to them so they aren’t randomly sent out.
      • Ballot boxes 1 per every 12,000-15,000 voters depending on the location in the state. Ballot boxes are available until voting ends on Election night. This empowers people to vote by “Mail”=no lines.
      • Ballot verification-By signature. If there is a problem with your ballot you can check online and see.
      • Early Voting-15 days prior to an election. That would be October 24, 2022 for the upcoming Mid-Term election.
      • Where to Vote-Coloradans can return their ballot at any ballot box in the State.
      • Electioneering-This is when you wear political clothing, etc. This is NOT permitted within 100 feet of the precinct.
      • Food Distribution-This is not permitted. However, there are no voting lines. So, there is no need to distribute food and water.
      • Ballot books-These are books that explain the different laws/etc. that we’re voting on. These issues are explained in a non-partisan way presenting the potential positive and negative outcomes if an initiative/law/amendment is passed.
      • Incarcerated Coloradans-Felony convictions=ineligible to vote
        • Must be on parole to be eligible to vote

Some final details to be aware of.

  • All decisions around voting is made in a bipartisan way
  • Ballot Box collection is bipartisan (boxes are open 24 hours a day with video surveillance)
  • It’s better to call Colorado’s system “Vote by Ballot Box” Because 96% of Colorado voters drop their ballots off at a ballot box.
  • There are NO LINES when voting. This doesn’t exist. In fact, there was one line during the 2020 election with a wait of 45 minutes and it made the news. We know where it’s located and I plan on reaching out to Jena Griswold, Secretary of State, to see if they’ve added an additional ballot box in that area.

Related Posts

  • The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Denver, Colorado for the 2021 All Star Game

Voting in Georgia

  • Georgia-There are 6 forms of identification that Georgia voters can present upon registration.
    • October 10, 2022 is the latest date a Georgian can register to be eligible to vote in the November 2022 mid-term elections.
  • Ballot Access-Absentee ballots-I had to do a lot of research on this because this is not really something that happens in Colorado.
      • May be requested 180 days prior to an Election up until the Friday before the election. Absentee ballots are for individuals who may be traveling or can’t go to the polls for some reason per the Georgia.gov website. *In other reporting on this it looks like the timeframe may have changed to 25 days before a Federal Election*
      • Ballot boxes 1 per every 100,000 voters, Boxes are only available during the Early Voting stage of an election. It has been reported that the drop box number will go from the current 94 to 23 in 2022 (per USA Today) This forces people to vote in person=voting lines.
      • Where you vote-You have to vote at an assigned precinct.
      • Electioneering-Within 25 feet of a voter standing in line or 150 feet of a building. Given that there are significant lines this is an issue.
      • Ballot Books-None seem to be issued.
      • Incarcerated Georgians-If you have a misdemeanor charge you’re eligible to vote. Also, after completion of a felony sentence.

Some final details to be aware of:

  • An id number is required as proof of ID vs. verify by signature.
  • Two days only of Sunday early voting.
  • One additional day of Saturday early voting.

My Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the voting access comparison between Georgia and Colorado is no comparison. Given that 96% of Colorado voters use the Ballot Box to cast their votes and the incredible amount of access and voting flexibility-Colorado has a better system of voting.

  • Voting lines do not exist in Colorado. There was ONE during the 2021
  • Presidential election that ran about 45 minutes. We knew exactly where it was.
  • We do not have to pass out food to voters because…they vote by Ballot box.
  • In-person voting in Colorado is done by so few people that when you opt to do it, it’s incredibly fast even on Election Day. Maybe 10 minutes during a normal election cycle.

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All Star Game in Denver

Ultimate Guide to Visiting Denver, Colorado for the 2021 All Star Game

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that I guessed that Baseball’s All Star Game would be moved to Denver. If you planned on going to Atlanta, your plans are most likely in disarray. While many Coloradans are excited to host this event, Denver has changed after COVID and any of the travel content published for 2021 is likely seriously out of date. This guide will share the following:

  • What to Expect
  • Where to Stay
  • Transportation
  • Pot
  • Where to Eat

Denver 2021

I’m going to be candid with you, COVID has really hit Denver hard. Just like many cities across the US and the World we’ve lost businesses, our confidence has been shaken by what has been out of our control and things have changed in both good and bad ways.

What has been incredible to watch though has been all of the changes. We have a number of large new developments that have just been completed-perfect timing for those of you who are coming for the 2021 All Star Game. Below are a couple of them.

  • MacGregor Square-This is a mixed use space across from Coors Field and it has the Rally Hotel which I highly recommend staying at for the event. Restaurants, Starbucks, a book store and several restaurants make this place home. The Rally Hotel also has a roof top swimming pool with a mountain view.
  • Market Station-A new mixed use space that includes retail, restaurants and other amenities for the people who live in the apartments above the ground level.
  • Meow Wolf Denver-If you’re not familiar with Meow Wolf-it’s incredible! The original location is in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the second location just opened in Las Vegas. The third location to open will be in Denver and I’ve included a video below. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be open in time for All Star Weekend.

Denver now has a ton of new business that have begun to open as we make our way out of COVID. Those won’t be in any of your travel information. I’ll share some businesses, etc. below.

Tip:

Don’t just remain and recreate in downtown Denver. I would consider that an incomplete experience of how we live and will share ideas of places to go and where to visit below.

That said, I think that you can have an incredible time in Denver and thought I would share some in-time tips and tricks below.

Related Posts:

COVID Protocols

At the time that this post was published almost 30% of the state’s population has been vaccinated. By the time of the All Star Game that number will be significantly higher. That said, here’s what to expect in relation to the COVID protocols and local attitudes about masking.

  • It’s still likely that you will have to wear a mask at the game or to enter venues. Just plan for that.
  • Like any community, we care about what’s happening in OUR community. If you tell us that you don’t mask in your town…we won’t care. You’re visiting our state. Just like you wouldn’t appreciate us making similar comments in your home town. I’ve heard these comments which is why I’m bringing this up.
  • People are pretty live and let live. So, if you opt to not wear a mask outside of those venues I don’t think you’ll encounter comments overt comments about this….especially by mid-July. People might side eye you, but they probably won’t say anything. This is also a reflection of the number of us who are vaccinated.

Prepare for the Altitude

Denver is known as the Mile High City because it’s literally 1 mile above sea level. You’ll often see the following number: 5280 that’s referencing 1 mile. When you’re above sea level there are some things that you need to be aware of.

  • Altitude Sickness can occur in Denver-If you’re not sure what that is please read up on it. Speak with your doctor if you have any health issues that may be impacted by a change in altitude.
  • It’s really dry here. Dry. You’ll need to bring the following products with you:
    • Lip balm
    • Sun block
    • Sunglasses
    • Lotion
    • Water bottle
      • It’s very common to see residents walking around with water. You can become dehydrated really fast and get altitude sickness. Always hydrate while you’re here.
    • Good walking shoes-If you have Colorado based friends they will be excited to engage in a lot of fun activities. Almost all of them will include some kind of physical activity component (not making this up)

What are Coloradans Like?

They’re pretty friendly. In fact, my East Coast friends are often a bit alarmed by how friendly we are. That said, we tend to be live and let live. So something that you may find unusual, Coloradans might shrug off.

The fitness thing is real. We love working out even if we don’t call it working out. You may find yourself biking to a brewery, going on a hike first…then going to a brewery, or walking/biking and exploring with your Colorado friend and then going to hang out on a patio somewhere.

If you ask us about voting, be prepared, we DO understand the differences between the Georgia law and Colorado’s and we will defend it to the bitter end.

How to Get Around

If you’re opting to stay in downtown Denver and not go to the mountains then you won’t need a car. If you’re looking to go the mountains and are staying for at least a week and don’t want to use a car, you can use Bustang to go to the mountains.

But, in all honesty, it may be easier to rent a car so that you can get around quickly.

Denver has a light rail and bus system. You can reach the main hub for both about 5 blocks from Coors Field. If you fly in and then take the light rail from the airport to the final stop which is Union Station. Then, you could walk to any of the hotels that I mention on my recommended hotel list. The exception being The Source Hotel. You would get off at the second to last stop and walk 4 blocks to the hotel.

Uber and Lyft are all over town, it’s very easy to get either one. Lyft is the company with a bigger presence because they have a large regional office here.

Scooters

We need to talk about the scooters. I love and hate them. I hate them because tourists come to Denver and get excited about using them. Then, they ride them around like assholes and park them in ways that block access to sidewalks for people in wheelchairs, parents with strollers, or for people who may have some difficulty walking.

Don’t be the asshole.

Please be aware of your surroundings, don’t ride drunk, don’t come to Denver and get hit by a car because you decided to try out our scooters for the first time.

Union Station is 5 blocks from Coors Field.

Where to Stay

If you stay at any of the following hotels, you will be within walking distance to the stadium.

  • The Rally
  • Hotel Born
  • The Maven
  • Hostel Fish
  • The Crawford
  • Hotel Indigo
  • The Oxford
  • The Ramble

Special Shout Out

The Source Hotel which is one light rail stop from downtown. It takes 3 minutes to get to downtown from that stop. I love this hotel for many reasons. I’ve hosted a small 3 day conference there and love the staff. They have an in-house brewery, a food hall and there is a park across the street.

There are a ton of other hotels throughout the downtown Denver city center. But, the ones that I mentioned are the one’s that I like with the closest proximity to Coors Field.

Other downtown hotels may require you take the free 16th Street Mall shuttle or a quick 5-10 minute walk to get Coors Field.

Cannabis Culture

Yes, we legalized pot years ago. It’s not that big of a deal here. Please don’t make it a big deal. Avoid doing the following:

  • Assume that all Coloradans smoke or like that we’ve legalized it.
  • Walk around awkwardly with your bag of weed-we know what you’re doing, we don’t care.
  • Smoke publicly-this is illegal and frowned upon.
  • Ask us about this law. We’ll find you annoying even if we don’t say it.
  • Do NOT take what you’ve purchased home-That’s a sure way to get arrested at the airport. Buy LESS than you think you should while you’re here. I’ve heard tons of stories about people who throw their pot out of their car windows before arriving at the airport. That’s silly. Just purchase less.

Recommended Retailer

Simply Pure in the LOHI district. The first black-owned cannabis dispensary in Colorado.

Shopping

While downtown Denver has the Denver Pavilions a small shopping center I believe that there are other parts of the city that have much better shopping districts than downtown’s.

  • Cherry Creek Mall and Cherry Creek North-Both offer fantastic shopping experiences including great places to eat and drink. I’m not into malls that much anymore so I prefer Cherry Creek North where you can walk around outside and pop into the different boutiques, etc. Traditional shopping experience.
  • Pearl Street Mall (Boulder) If you have time, then I highly recommend going to Boulder for a few hours to wander up and down Pearl Street Mall. You can take the bus there (it’s super clean and frequent). Many people commute between Denver and Boulder daily for work. Pearl Street is an open air walking district with stunning views of the foothills. If you’re staying downtown, you can take the bus from Union Station to the 14th Street Bus Station in Boulder (the last stop). The bus is around $10 round trip.
  • Olde Town Arvada-I really like Olde Town Arvada, it’s a small shopping district that you can take the light rail to from Union Station. Vegans, they have a couple of vegan restaurants as well.
  • Tennyson Shopping District-This is a small district with really cute boutiques, good coffee and great restaurants.

All of these shopping experiences may have live music or other activities depending on the day.

Where to Eat

If you are looking to eat Southern Food, I would strongly ask that you don’t while you’re here. While there are a few places with good Southern Food, it’s my view that it makes no sense to come to Colorado for Southern Food. Our palates are different. Here are some Colorado local restaurants that you may want to try out.

  • Kachina Cantina-Mexican food
  • Mimosas (B)-Brunch
  • Super Mega Bien (POC)-Mexican food
  • Snooze-Brunch
  • Bacon Social House-Brunch and Dinner
  • Welton Street Cafe (B) Brunch and Dinner
  • Curtis Park Creamery (POC) Mexican food-to go only.
  • Stowaway-Globally inspired food (think New Zealand and Asia)
  • Denver Biscuit CO-All day Brunch
  • Sam’s No 3-Downtown Denver location. Burritos and other diner food. Delicious.
  • Sassafrass-Brunch-Southern Food.
  • Perdida-Located in Washington Park. Coastal Mexican food.
  • Northside Eatery-Upleveled American
  • Senor Bear
  • Somebody People (V) Not downtown, it’s vegan, it’s incredible. Meat lovers will enjoy it.
  • Hoja-A small restaurant in the Plate Park neighborhood. If you want chilaquiles, posole or a giant burrito-this is a great place to visit.
  • African Grill and Bar (B) (Lakewood)
  • Avanti Food and Beverage-Food hall in the LOHI neighborhood
    • Meta Asian Kitchen (POC)
  • Edgewater Marketplace
    • Konjo Ethiopian (B)
    • Meta Kitchen (POC)
  • Milk Market
  • Happy Camper Pizza
  • Viewhouse-Great view
  • Low Country Kitchen
  • Lola Coastal Mexican
  • Buckhorn Exchange

Coffee Shops

Coloradans love good quality coffee. You will find a ridiculous amount of small batch, fresh roasted beans in most local shops. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Blue Sparrow Coffee-Both locations are wonderful but the original location is better for tourists. There’s a rooftop. Backyard on Blake location.
  • The Wild-This coffee shop is located directly across from Union Station. It’s in a cute little nook and has a lovely patio in front. Love this space.
  • Third Culture Bakery-I can’t rave enough about their matcha lattes. There are two locations and the RINO/Five Points location is within walking distance of Coors Field.
  • Heaven Creamery-This coffee shop/ice cream story is dreamy!!! It’s worth the visit. Located in Cherry Creek North
  • Downpours Coffee-This fantastic local coffee shop has three locations. What is wonderful about this coffee shop is the attention to small details and the staff. Everything is made in house. Recommended location: West Washington Park
  • Whittier Cafe (B) All African sourced beans. Wonderful patio and weekly Ethiopian food on Sundays. Alcoholic drinks served.
  • Coffee at the Point (B)-This coffee shop is located in the heart of historic Five Points. Besides having great staff and good coffee it’s a great place to work if you have some projects that you need to work on before exploring. Cocktails served.
  • Stowaway Kitchen-Besides having fantastic coffee, this New Zealand owned business has incredible food. It’s also a beautiful space and within walking distance of Coors Field. Alcoholic drinks served.
  • Huckleberry Roasters-The Dairy Block location is 2 blocks from Coors Field. Their coffee and food offerings are fantastic. Highly recommend.
  • Steam Coffee-If the weather is nice and you would like to sit on a beautiful local patio, Steam Coffee is the place you must go. It’s BUSY, but the crew and the coffee is amazing. It’s a quick drive from downtown. Platte Park
  • Hudson Hill Coffee-This surprisingly beautiful space is located in the Capital Hill area of Denver. Great coffee, knowledgable staff and cocktails! They also have a patio in the back.
  • Larimer Square Starbucks-It may surprise you that I’ve added a Starbucks to this list. I worked at this location a billion years ago and it’s located on Larimer Square which is a wonderful place to sit outside and enjoy a great cup of coffee.
  • Black Eye Coffee-Located in the LOHI (Lower Highlands) neighborhood, Black Eye Coffee knows its coffee.

Patios

It may surprise you that Denver (and Colorado) has a strong patio culture. This was the case even before COVID. Here are some great patios to enjoy a drink, brunch, or a view of the mountains.

  • Steam Coffee-Great patio for coffee
  • Backyard on Blake-Fantastic roof top patio with view of the mountains. It has internet.
  • TapFourteen
  • The Viewhouse
  • Linger
  • Halcyon Hotel-Elevated Rooftop Bar
  • The Source Hotel-If you have lunch upstairs at The Woods you can sit on the patio. Mountain view.
  • 54Thirty Bar located in the Le Meridian Hotel
  • Avanti Food and Beverage-Incredible view of downtown Denver.
  • Edgewater Public Market-The rooftop has an amazing view of downtown Denver….and a bar.

Day Trips from Denver

  • Boulder
  • Golden
  • Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Fort Collins
  • Breckenridge

Day Trips to Cool Places

  • Red Rocks
  • Indian Paint Mines
  • Chautauqua Park
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Epic Sky Trek

Local Experiences

  • Denver Beer Spa
  • Standup Paddle Board-Chatfield Reservoir
  • Yoga on the Rocks
  • Earth Illuminated
  • Union Station Farmer’s Market
  • Meow Wolf Denver
  • Izba Spa
  • Horror Room
  • Downtown Gallery and Ax Room (Ax Throwing)
  • Speakeasies
    • B & GC Cherry Creek
    • Millers and Rossi
    • Retrograde
    • Death and CO
    • Williams and Graham
    • The Cruise Room

Going Hiking? What You Need to Know

If you decide to go hiking during your visit there are some things you need to know. Especially if you’ve NEVER hiked at ALTITUDE.

  • Hiking at altitude for the uninitiated can be an experience.
    • Give yourself a few days to acclaimate to the altitude before going
  • Do some quick research on what to expect
  • Wear the correct shoes or at least solid tennis shoes.
  • Check the weather
  • Let people know where you’re going.
  • Don’t push it.

Where to Get Good Beer and Cider

  • Novel Strand Brewery (B)
  • Raices (POC)
  • Lady Justice (Woman Owned)
  • Woods Boss
  • Cervesceria Colorado (POC)
  • Ratio Beerwerks
  • Joyride Brewing Company

Coworking Spaces for Digital Workers

I’m a huge fan of Deskpass which functions similarly to Classpass. Basically, you pay a monthly subscription that gives you access to various spaces in participating cities. Denver is a participating city and I thought it would be helpful to share which ones I would recommend. Classpass is available across the United States. Check to see if your city is on the list.

Unhoused Denverites

Sadly, like many cities across the US, Denver now has a population of unhoused citizens. Real talk, you may see tents from time to time when driving around Denver. The closer to downtown Denver, the more likely it is you may see this.

One reason is that there are two homeless shelters on Park Avenue. I’m going to be a little cynical and say that it is highly likely that these folks will be moved prior to the game if for some reason they are close to the stadium. That typically is what happens prior to other major events.

Adrian Miller

Adrian Miller

Adrian and I spoke sometime in 2020. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I felt like reaching out to him while the sky was falling around us. I’m sure that I was still in deep denial about how long COVID would be around. I’d watched his work with a lot of interest. As a foodie, I paid attention to his work and finally after seeing Adrian on the show Somewhere South, I knew it was time for a conversation. In listening to the episode I wish I would have asked questions like: How do you think the pandemic is impacting the experience of food? And what will our food story be coming out of this time? Luckily, Adrian ended up on a new show that captured my imagination and touched on those questions. You can see him as a historical expert on “High on the Hog” a 4 part series on Netflix about the African-American contribution to American food. It’s a must watch.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

Show Resource

Are you planning your next Colorado road trip? Or, are you looking to support Colorado local businesses and want to stay within budget? Qube Money is a digital envelope app that is FDIC insured and pairs with a debit card. For the past 4 months I’ve tested out Qube Money and have become a huge fan of it. If you’re trying to keep your money organized, Qube Money is a great resource to use.

Listen to the Episode

Show Notes

  • Colorado native Adrian Miller “The Soul Food Scholar” Dropping Knowledge Like Hot Biscuits!
  • His side-hustle is writing books about food.
  • How on earth did Adrian become a self-taught food scholar especially coming from Colorado that didn’t have an innovative food culture.
  • His parents were a part of the great migration of African-Americans moving out of the South to other parts of the US. That influenced his food experience.
  • John Egerton’s comment about never having seen a preeminent book on the history of Black food
  • I ask about how he’s experienced the changing food scene in Colorado.
  • Difficulty growing and cultivating food may have been a barrier to establishing a Colorado food scene.
  • Denver Food Security Council here in Denver and we’re becoming a lot more conscious about the conversation around advocating for folks and keeping them feed.
  • I ask the quintessential Colorado question for people who grew up here.
  • Adrian shares what it’s like to go out in the world as a Black Coloradan
  • 1860’s a group of Black men fought for the right to vote in Colorado
  • Gentrification in Denver is an issue for Colorado cultural identity
  • Black people are everywhere LOL!
  • Robert Smith, the Billionaire is from Denver.
  • Pueblo Chili vs. Hatch Chili-Why doesn’t the Pueblo Chili get as much love. Pueblo does host the Pueblo Chili and Frijoles Festival and it’s happening September 24-26, 2021
  • I ask Adrian the following question in two different ways.
    • What would you tell someone who is looking to move here?
    • What would you tell a POC who is looking to move here?
  • We talk about the City of Aurora-it has an incredible food scene. You can get almost any type of food that you can think of.
  • What Adrian’s top 3 bbq places in Denver right now (do you agree)
    • Owl Bear
    • Boney’s
    • Roaming Buffalo

Follow Adrian

Crested Butte

A Conversation with Josh F. from Travel Crested Butte

More often than not, when people think of Colorado mountain towns they immediately think of Vail or Aspen. Towns like Crested Butte, Leadville, and Ouray rarely make the list. Not because they aren’t amazing, but because these towns are often overlooked because they aren’t on rich girl TikTok. It’s probably a good thing. Crested Butte is my favorite mountain and in this episode I speak with Josh Fetterman, founder, Travel Crested Butte.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

Listen to the Episode

Show Notes

  • My favorite mountain is Crested Butte, a diamond in the rough.
  • Josh Fetterman introduces himself founder of Travel Crested Butte
  • He shares how he ended up in Crested Butte and how he started his company.
  • His first visit started a lifelong love of the town.
  • 2013 was the turning point in his journey to living in CB full-time
  • I wonder how he noticed the “gap” in online content on Crested Butte. Basically, how did he start his business and recognize the opportunity to build his business.
  • What makes Crested Butte unique?
    • Locally run businesses
    • No national retailers
    • Nature and nice people
  • Travel Crested Butte leads with the visitor in mind
  • I share briefly how I experienced CB while hanging out at Camp 4 Coffee.
  • What exactly does Travel Crested Butte do?
    • They do not book trips or anything like that.
  • The influence of Instagram on travel and increased tourism
  • How is Crested Butte different than other CO mountain towns? Why choose CB vs. the other?
    • Recommendation: spend at least 1 week there due to location
  • Wildflower capital of Colorado

Related Posts

Travel Crested Butte (cont.)

  • How has COVID impacted visiting Crested Butte? What should we be aware of?
  • Crested Butte was one of the first places in the US to have a spike in cases. Likely due to international and intrastate travel to the town.
  • Josh shares how the town worked to protect the town’s citizens.
  • Vaccination rollout and mask ordinances. July 1st (ish) should be when most restrictions to capacity will be lifted
  • What should POC anticipate about visiting this town?
  • I share my experience with Josh
  • He shares some tips for those of you who would like to visit during the summer season.
  • Josh recommends visiting during early June and late August/September outside of high season.
  • Sustainability focus and watch your poo

Travel Crested Butte

Blackpackers Founder Patricia Cameron

Blackpackers with Patricia Cameron

It may surprise you but there is a large segment of Coloradans who don’t enjoy the outdoors on a regular basis. In fact, there is a large number of people (including myself) who learned how to ski as adults because they couldn’t afford to learn to ski as kids. For families of color, in particular, not only is access to the outdoors a frustrating mix of safety concerns and transportation challenges. There’s also the often forgotten conversation related to the cost of equipment needed to enjoy a majority of activities outdoors. If you want to camp, thruhike, climb you need good equipment in order to enjoy these activities. The following conversation discusses this issue and my hope is that it broadens your awareness of the ongoing issues related to accessibility and the outdoors.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

Listen to the Show

Show Notes

  • Patricia Cameron the founder and Executive Director of Blackpackers introduces herself
  • What is Blackpackers and the mission?
  • The impact of finances on access to outdoor spaces. How Blackpackers is working through barriers to entry
  • Patricia shares a hilarious 1st time backpacking story and every time I think about it I laugh. What wasn’t funny is the fact that she had to work overtime in order to afford the equipment.
  • I wonder why backpacking called to Patricia as an activity to enjoy.
  • I ask about what was scary about backpacking for the first time.
  • What about backpacking continued to attract her after the hilarious first trip?
  • She shares the amazing “buy in” to her non-profit. If you build it they will come.
  • How can we support Blackpackers?
    • Money!
    • Spread the word
  • If I’m looking to use Blackpackers, how does it work?
    • Sign up for the email list or join the Facebook group
  • I wonder if it’s possible to access the gear outside of the regular events?
  • Patricia was preparing to do the Colorado Trail at the time that we recorded this interview. I ask why she’s decided to do it? She shares her love of the state in her comments.
  • Suburus and Chacos (Sweet Jesus)
  • Why is it important for people of color to experience the outdoors?
    • Generational trauma and the connection to the Outdoors. Why it’s so important to have this conversation.
  • POC and the fear of being in outdoor spaces. This is an important conversation.
    • This is why Blackpackers events are done in community.
  • What is the worst and best thing about living in Colorado?
  • I distract us and share that I’m heading to Salida, Colorado for a staycation.
  • Social media and the normalization of POC faces in outdoors spaces. But, bias during outdoor interactions is still a huge issue. Btw, Patricia hates Instagram.
    • She mentions the Christian Cooper and Amy Cooper case in her comments and the Ahmad Arbery murder while jogging.
  • We talk about her Colorado Trail trip and Patricia talks about a previous outdoor experience and making connections while on the trail.
  • Fellowship vs. gatekeeping of outdoor experiences
  • What’s the worst and best thing about living in Colorado as a person of color.

In Case You’re Wondering

Patricia did complete the entire Colorado Trail during the summer of 2020 while COVID raged on around us. It has taken me almost a year to publish this and a number of other episodes that I recorded last year. At the time that we had this conversation we didn’t know how crazy things would get moving forward. I decided that now was a great time to finally release this episode because it’s almost summer. There are a number of incredible communities connecting Black/Brown and other marginalized communities with outdoor spaces often with allied support.

Nature has been the space where I clear my mind, connect with my most creative ideas and meet new people. A couple of weeks after that conversation I went on a backpacking trip with a local hiking group. It was incredible. I was the slowest person in the group. But, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. At first, I felt badly about being so slow. Then I realized that we all move at our own pace. Because I was the slowest in the group myself and two other hikers got to see two bull mooses (meese?) 500 feet from the end of the trail. I loved reading about Patricia’s experiences on the trail and watching the television coverage of her amazing experience.

For the parents out there I highly recommend reaching out to day camps and other programs to see if they have scholarships available for you to apply for. I would not have had the experiences that I did outdoors if my mom didn’t apply for those scholarships for me. Fewer people than you think are applying for available scholarships. Just make applying for scholarship funds a part of your regular routine. Sooner or later your kids will likely be awarded one.

Related Episodes

  • The Digital Green Book

Follow Patricia and Blackpackers

Mentioned in the Episode

Outdoor Resources

Finally, if you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors and are looking for community here are a few groups to check out. They may have chapters in your neck of the woods.

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