Advice from Denver Life

How a city girl can discover the great outdoors. (And other advice.)

Illustration by Ingo Fast

I just moved to the foothills of Colorado from New York City, where I’d lived all my life. Everyone here seems so outdoorsy and adventurous, something that I’m not used to. I think my co-workers are a little tired of hearing me say, “I’m a city girl,” when everyone is sharing Monday morning tales of weekends on the trails and slopes. What’s the best way for me to get into the many outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer, without feeling like a total klutz?—Jordan, Golden

First of all, Jordan, have no shame in being a city girl. Just a few miles east of you is a big city full of culture, nightlife, and traffic. Please go to Denver whenever you are feeling nostalgic for the bright lights. If you’re intrigued with the gorgeous peaks to the west, it’s our suggestion that you shun testosterone for now and look to women for a more welcoming, less competitive indoctrination to whatever activity intrigues you most. On, for instance, there’s the Women’s Mountain Collaborative, which has more than 1,000 members and offers skills workshops to newbies; another meetup, Easy Riders, organizes easy bike outings for women in the Bear Valley and Platte River trail areas. According to Colorado Tourism, most ski resorts offer women’s-only instruction, with Women’s Wednesdays and events, like Wolf Creek Ladies Ski and Snowboard Clinics and, at Grand Junction’s Powderhorn Resort, Ski Like a Girl. For climbing events, check out, and for hiking opportunities join @womenwhohike on Facebook. And for a little of everything, watch for the late-summer 2020 dates of the YMCA of the Rockies’ Women’s Adventure Camp, a four-day, three-night immersion at Camp Chief Ouray that will give you plenty to share on Monday morning.

I love that Denver has so many offerings in the arts. My husband, however, often gets grumpy and bored at—and even before— shows and concerts, even though he says he wants to go. How do I keep him from ruining these experiences for me?—Amy, Aurora

- Advertisement -

Hmm, let’s get this straight: He’s not saying, “Honey, I’ll go if you really want me to,” or, “If you can’t get anyone else to see that with you, I’ll go along.” He’s saying, “I’ve been dying to see Mean Girls on Broadway, but, guess what, it’s coming to the Buell this month, let’s go!” And then when show day arrives and you come downstairs all pretty and primped, he’s on the couch in his jammies watching college basketball? Um, no, you say, that’s not exactly how it goes. So think about exactly how it goes, because it’s pretty clear from here that your hubby considers it a small favor to you to agree to go, an almost-too-big favor to actually go, and an impossible, unmanageable favor to go and act like he’s having a good time. The best way to keep him from ruining your experiences is to find a theater-loving friend with whom you can plan these fun outings. The second best way: Fly solo. Tis better to enjoy a show or concert alone than to endure an evening with a grump, and he’ll probably be much less of one when you come home with a big smile on your face.

Got a question? Send it to: