Colorado is the "It Place" to be if you are the outdoorsy type — you know, the perfectly manicured lumberjack beard that hangs 6 inches off the chin, the $120 flannel, a Subaru Outback with a ski rack and a kayak case.

It's a safe bet that some people move here simply for the outdoor activities afforded by "The Centennial State," so named because the average blood alcohol concentration is 0.100. (It's the only state with more breweries than convenience stores.)

"Native Coloradans" are a proud bunch but recognizable only by the bumper sticker that identifies them as such. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess who is from here and who is from more exotic locales like Rancho Cucamonga or Roosevelt, N.J.

No matter where you hail from, however, you are likely to have a good time outside, and you've come to the right place.

The skiing and snowboarding here are supposed to be world class, so I'm told. My religious beliefs prevent me from ever taking to the slopes. If god wanted me to go skiing, he would have bought my lift ticket.

"Ski" is an old Norwegian word for "fool." Legend has it that a group of pranksters convinced the other men in the village to compete in a sliding-down-a-mountainside-on-a plank-of-wood contest. The winner would be named "Most Manly Man in the Village." While the men went off to the mountains, the pranksters slept with their wives and pawned their electronics. True story. I swear to god.


Some of the foolish Norwegians got wise and invented snowboarding, so they could still take to the mountains but not have anyone fool around with their wives and steal their stereos while they were gone. Obviously, it didn't work.

I understand that I likely ruined skiing and snowboarding for the less secure among you, but there is also hiking, which is an old German word for "walking uphill in order to eat granola and look at air pollution."

If hiking is too low key, you can always cover yourself head to toe in spandex and participate in a triathlon — swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then run a marathon — an activity that "Masochist Weekly" magazine recently called "a tad too much for us," adding "For god's sake, take it down a notch, people."

Of course, you can always just buy a cafe au lait, pick up a used paperback and sit in a park. Good luck in whatever you decide. As for me? I'm staying indoors. It's too dangerous to venture outside. That's when they get you.

John Bear: