I lived in Colorado for three years during grad school (except the summer I spent doing research in Alaska)
The weather in Colorado is about as close to perfection as any place I’ve ever been. It’s temperate, ranging from wicked cold in the winter to damn hot in the summer – just like Des Moines (and Chicago) – but with two major differences: abundant sunshine (320+ sunny days per year) and no humidity.
For the first time in my life, I realized WHY we sweat. I would sweat on a hot day in the summer in Colorado and it would immediately evaporate, cooling me. (Rather than forming a moist, sticky seal between me and my clothes…) And in the winter it would snow (sometimes a lot) but because of the pounding sunshine, it would all melt within a couple days. I did NOT miss the crusty, exhaust-blackened snow turds that form unsightly piles along Midwestern streets in the winter.
What I did miss, though, was thunderstorms. The part of Colorado I lived in was flat but with a clear view of the Front Range of the Rockies. Those same, brutally beautiful mountains that brought all the money into the state also kept the rain away. Few rain clouds survived their easterly trajectory through the mountains, leaving the plains on the other side high and dry.
After three years there, I YEARNED for a thunderstorm. I ached for the wild, uncontrolled fury of Nature screaming and thrashing about in a wild, uninhibited temper tantrum. I could feel the weather’s sexual frustration, its hunger to break out in a stunning, perfect conflagration of pounding rain, sizzling lightning, and roaring thunder all coming together into a raging, explosive orgasm.
I’ve been back in the Midwest long enough now to witness my fair share of storms – we even had a few tornados touch down near Des Moines the last time I was home – but nothing to compare with the STORM that we had last night. My god, that was a thing of beauty.
I know that it did a fair amount of damage and I’m glad that no one was seriously hurt, but MAN! What a gorgeous thing it was.
Someone hand me a cigarette…