We have some new people moving into the neighborhood.  It’s always interesting to meet people, find out where they moved from and welcome them.

One of our new neighbors came straight from the east coast with no knowledge of Nederland and little knowledge of mountain living in Colorado.  I think it takes a lot of courage to go from east coast suburban living and move to rural living in the west.

I reflected on our own journey that led us to Nederland.  What kind of advice would I have given to me that would be helpful looking in hindsight?  To help with this, I also talked to a couple of friends that moved from out of state, asking them for their own insights.

So here goes.

Advice for a newcomer:

  • Take the fire threat seriously, immediately – if you own, contact Wildfire Partners.  Prepare your “fire boxes”, and get to know your neighbors.  If you are planning any out of town trips during fire season, make arrangements with someone.  Tell them where your key is, and ask them to rescue your pets in the event of an evacuation.
  • Resist the temptation to take The Summer Road after it snows, even it’s only an inch or two.  After you slide into the ditch, you will instantly regret it.
  • Be careful in the Canyon when there is ice – good tires and a well-maintained vehicle are a must! Slow down — most accidents occur from following too closely at high speeds.
  • Take seriously threats to pets from the predators – get set up with a vet right away.  Don’t let your pets run loose at night.  Be aware of moose in the neighborhood.  Moose and dogs don’t mix well.
  • Embrace the winter. Buy some snowshoes.  Dress for it, get out in it. Love it!
  • Prepare for the wind.  In October, move everything off your deck or tether it down.  Don’t make the mistake I did, and find your barbecue grill upside down in the driveway.  Know that when you wake up in the middle of the night, and think the 70 mile per hour winds will blow the roof off, the the houses here are built to withstand those winds.
  • Explore locally, don’t get into the habit of driving down to Boulder for every little thing.  Support local businesses when you can.
  • Good service people are hard to find – ask locals for recommendations, learn to do some things yourself.
  • Introduce yourself to Brian at the dump, Nick at the sort yard, and Casey at Happy Trails.
  • Expect home delivery of furniture or appliances to take longer, much longer than you think.
  • Make sure to provide specific, written directions to friends who are visiting.  Give them your phone number so they can call after their GPS Smart Phone has gotten them lost.
  • See a movie at the Backdoor Theatre at the Community Center.
  • Having a bad day?  Grab a dollar from your wallet and head for the Carousel of Happiness!

Finally, don’t let the locals scare you.  We were all newbies at one time, and we learned the ropes, and learned to love mountain living.  You can too.