33 Things Every Coloradan Should Know How To Do

March 2014


recipeThe meat moguls at the Fort started making jerky in the 1960s, when a buffalo version served as a stirrer in the Salty Dog and Saddle Leather cocktail. Below, proprietress Holly Arnold Kinney’s modern-day recipe for the perfect Colorado snack.

PREPARE: Select an inexpensive cut of beef or buffalo, such as a 4- to 5-pound brisket, and trim the fat. Slice into strips (1⁄8- to w¼-inch thick, 4 to 5 inches long), cutting against the grain of the meat. (This makes it easier to chew when dried.) Quick tip: Partially freezing the meat makes it easier to slice.

MARINATE: Place strips into a glass dish and cover with a simple marinade: 1 part apple vinegar, 1 part water (or dry red wine or a darker beer), and salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Or experiment using your favorite teriyaki or barbecue sauces (dilute each cup of sauce with a cup of water); a dry rub (1 cup water to ¼ cup dry rub); or red or green chile. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak for at least 2 hours in the fridge.   

DRY: Line the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil. Remove the wire racks and rub with a paper towel dabbed with cooking oil. Over a sink, arrange the marinated strips directly on the racks, perpendicular to the grate. Set your oven to the lowest temperature possible; 140° is ideal to dehydrate the meat without cooking it. Prop your oven door open to vent, and allow the meat to dehydrate for 4 to 5 hours. 

EAT: Allow to cool, store in an airtight container in the fridge, and enjoy within four weeks.



natureWhen you’re out enjoying Colorado’s grandeur, chances are you’ll attempt to capture the beauty in a photo. More than likely, however, you’ll be disappointed in your camerawork when you get home. So: How can you do Colorado justice in a single frame? To find out, we asked expert nature photographer John Fielder (whose latest book, Denver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream, was published last August) to give us three tips for getting better shots.

Wake Up  

“Nature photographers make their livings on clear days one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. Shadows are broad and add depth to the scene, and the color of light is warm yellow, which saturates all colors in the landscape. Nature photographers always get up before sunrise!” 

Notice Lines  

“Think asymmetrically when you design a photograph. Dominant features in the landscape create dividing lines on both the horizontal and vertical axes. The most obvious dividing line is the horizon, but where you place a tree, rock, or person can create an ‘implied’ dividing line. Avoid having dividing lines in the middle of the photograph, and use the rule of thirds—imagine lines, two vertical and two horizontal, that divide your picture into thirds; place subjects where the lines intersect—as a simple way to create asymmetrical balance.”

Learn Photoshop  

“Digital photography is better than film for several reasons. The most obvious has to do with contrast. The contrast range of digital sensors allows one to capture twice as much detail simultaneously in highlights and shadows than film. The scene on your LCD, and when you download it onto your computer, may appear no more ‘contrasty’ than film. However, there is a massive amount of information in the digital file that you have to ‘go and get.’ Learning post-processing programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture can give you the tools to make the scene appear more the way it looked to your eyes—in this case, to ‘open up’ shadows and darken highlights in order to reveal hidden details and colors. This makes your photograph more real and often more appealing.”



chiliIn the fall, you can stop at the stands along Federal Boulevard for roasted chiles—or you can do it yourself. After purchasing fresh chiles at the farmers’ market, wash and dry them. You can roast individual chiles over a flame, or you can broil a couple dozen at a time on a sheet pan lined with foil. Either way, allow the chiles to blacken; this will only take a few minutes. Turn them to get an even char. While the chiles are still hot, place them in a paper bag to steam and loosen the skins. Once cool enough to touch, remove the blackened skin. Slice each chile lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Use immediately or freeze. 



The West is no different than any other part of the country when it comes to having a regional dialect. Colorado has some very specific language quirks that, if you want to speak like a Coloradan, you should adopt.

Buena Vista
Bway-nuh Vee-stuh is technically correct, as the phrase is Spanish in origin, but locals tend to say Byoo-na Vis-tuh.

Cache la Poudre River
This northern Colorado river gets its name from a time when French trappers hid their gunpowder near the water’s edge. In French, it’s Kaash lah Poo-dreh, but in Coloradan, it’s Kash luh Poo-der.

If you really want to sound like a native, the “a” in Colorado should receive emphasis and be pronounced the same way you’d say the ’80s word “rad”—as in, “That’s so rad.” Hence, Call-uh-rad-o.

Estes Park
Locals say Ess-tiss instead of Ess-tees for the town, mountain, and lake.

Coloradans say Lie-mun because the word comes from the last name of a railroad camp foreman—not the Spanish word for “lemon,” which is pronounced Lee-moan.

Unlike the town of the same name in Kentucky, which is often pronounced Loo-a-vull by locals, Louisville, Colorado, is pronounced Lew-iss-vill.

This Ute word is often pronounced Ooo-ray or You-ray, but residents of the tiny town generally pronounce it Yer-ay.

This Spanish word meaning “exit” should be pronounced Sah-lee-dah, but Coloradans say Suh-lie-duh.


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