Fun facts you can impress your friends with so they can look at you cross-eyed and go back to their drinks!

I was going to write about seeing the 40th International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque this past weekend. I figured between the combination of spending the weekend with my in-laws, having to get up at 3:30 in the morning to get to the park and watch the Mass Ascension, and the pressure to get 500 hot-air balloons up in the air at once to make headlines, some kind of low-grade disaster would ensue, and I’d have blog filling for all five of my followers. Alas, the day was lovely and the balloons ascended without fuss. No one had to land on the highway or on the mountains or on my boyfriend’s parents’ house, and even the arrival and departure from the park went without a fuss.

But lovely days do not make for good stories. So I thought maybe I’d have something to write about with our drive home yesterday. Something almost always goes fantastically wrong with the weather when we drive to and from Wyoming, and since Raton Pass marks the border between Colorado and New Mexico, I figured there would at least be some kind of nasty thunderstorm or even a low-grade blizzard to write about. But no–the road stayed dry the whole way home, and we even made it back with enough time to get the cat and get me to my tutoring job in time. Amazing, but still not writer-worthy.

So I decided to fill this post with useless facts about the state of Colorado and its neighbors that won’t even get you much on Jeopardy!, especially now that that damned computer will take all your winnings. These probably won’t even come up at your local bar’s trivia night. They almost certainly will send your date screaming home. And with that tantalizing lead-up, here they are:

-Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah are the only states in the Union that have no naturally defined borders, just arbitrary lines drawn on a map of the country. I actually think this one is bullshit, since Raton Pass (as previously discussed) runs through the state line between Colorado and New Mexico. It may not be much of a natural border at only an interstate highway’s width across, but damned if it isn’t one! I’ll keep y’all updated on my attempts to get Guinness World Records or whoever the hell is in charge of this shit to agree with me.

-The Denver Post defines Colorado as the crown jewel in the Rocky Mountain Empire. This empire extends to many states that share a border with Colorado, including Kansas and Nebraska, which are famous for having no Rocky Mountains nor anything resembling any mountains, rocky or not.

-According to the Denver Post’s classification system, Oklahoma isn’t really a state. At least that’s my best guess for its exclusion from the Rocky Mountain Empire.

-According to the Whole Foods bag that Ethan’s mom packed a ton of stuff into and sent up with us, the Rocky Mountain Region comprises the states of Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. The last three still don’t have anything resembling a Rocky Mountain in them, although this one bar in Hays, Kansas, does have a lovely painting of the Rockies. Montana, however, somehow got excluded from this region, despite having more of a claim to it than Oklahoma based on having an impressive segment of the Rockies in it.

That’s probably enough to impress your friends and make your enemies weep (or is that the other way around?) for now. Stay tuned later this week, where I talk about the intersection of the great outdoors with that other oh-so-fun Jewish high holiday, Yom Kippur!

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