A Coloradan in North Dakota

My experience being in North Dakota so far

My first snow in Colorado.

I am a native Coloradan as I lived there pretty much my entire life. However, when it came to choosing a college, I decided to take a leap (leaping a couple of states) and move to North Dakota for a totally new experience. Since I’ve been here for over a year now, I want to discuss the differences between the two states and some of the things I have learned about North Dakota so far.


Obviously, there is a drastic difference in the temperature when it comes to North Dakota and Colorado. The coldest I recall it ever getting where I lived was zero degrees and that was seen as a major storm that closed schools and people were advised to not go outside. Now being up here, I have walked through 20 below weather with a wind chill making it feel like 60 below and I haven’t got frostbite. Though I knew the temperature change was going to come, I didn’t expect to be blown away (almost quite literally) by the amount of wind North Dakota receives. I was also truly astounded when I saw the size snow piles get as in the winter months North Dakota has mini-mountains. The main concern I had during my first winter was not about whether I would slip, but was about the amount of flooding we were bound to get as that was all everybody talked about in the spring. Now that I have made it through my first North Dakotan winter, I am sure I can make it through this one in a breeze.


Now I’m not saying Coloradans are rude or anything, but since I have moved up here I’ve realized how closed off Coloradans can be. Typically, you don’t talk to strangers in the grocery aisle or even make eye contact with anyone, but here you get the friendly acknowledgment that you are a fellow human and the cars even stop for you to cross the street (most of the time). The only time I was greeted by so much friendliness in Colorado was in the mountains as people are typically happier there than in the cities and I don’t blame them. Who wouldn’t be happy when you are surrounded by beautiful scenery? I have come to appreciate the small chit-chat to pass the time and even the amount of times someone says sorry even if they didn’t do anything wrong.


On the topic of drivers and traffic, I will give the win to North Dakota as there are not as many accidents here as in Colorado. Part of that is because once a snowflake drops and sticks to the ground in Colorado, people go into a frenzy and the roads can become very dangerous. There are obviously bad drivers no matter what part of the country you are in, but so far North Dakota seems to be better off than parts of Colorado. Even when there is rush hour traffic or the weather makes driving conditions slow, nothing, and I mean nothing, is worse than one-lane traffic on I-25 from Denver to Colorado Springs. If you want to see road rage then you will see it all in Colorado. I will never forget the time someone literally got out of their car to yell at another person behind them due to the fact that they were tailgating.


I don’t know what it is about casseroles or hot dishes (whatever you call them), but they seem to be very popular up here. Something about a bunch of foods mixed together in one casserole dish disgusts me so I tend to avoid any casseroles at all costs. The first casserole I can think of is the tater tot casserole. I tried it for the first time last year and I thoroughly regretted it. Another dish that is popular here is beef stroganoff which I am also not a fan of. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried plenty of midwest favorites since being here, but these are the two dishes that I just can’t stand. There are plenty of foods in Colorado that I miss such as Pueblo green chilies.

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