According to Google Maps, we traveled 590 miles, and drove for 10 hours 45 minutes during our week in Colorado.
Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Road Side Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Colorado over the past week.
Famous Person: Rachel Joy Scott
Famous Food: Pueblo Slopper (Unable to find a vegetarian option)
Roadside Attraction: Four Corners National Monument (Canceled due to cold weather)
State Capitol/Museum: Denver
National Park: Sand Dunes National Park (Canceled due to cold weather)
Historic Location: Pike's Peak
Can't miss attraction: Columbine Memorial
Made in the USA tour: Denver Mint
Please view our previous blog posts for the past week for further explanations of our experiences in Colorado.
A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:
$ 2.15 gal. in Monument, CO was the lowest price paid.
$ 2.59 gal. in Trinidad, CO was highest price paid.
Prices were on track or slightly below national average
We did great in this category
Dining out $113.00
Chinese $20.00 (Average veggie lo mein)
Whole Foods $45.00 (Overpriced average buffet)
Costco $6.00 (3 slices of average pizza)
Red Robin $24.00 (2 yummy veggie burgers)
Starbucks $9.00 (4 teas in exchange for free WIFI)
Denny's $9.00 (Nasty fried mozzarella sticks)
We did better than usual, but are still eating out way too much.
Redbox $14.00 (Movies x7 )
Pikes Peak $20.00 (Admission x2)
We did great in this category again!
Walmart $0.00 (slept in parking lot x 6 nights)
We continue to do great in this category
Of course, we did great in this category
Colorado Expenses Grand Total: $ 595.00
(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )
Is Colorado Our New Home State?
Here are the rules:
Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.
“Food processing, agriculture, scientific research, high tech, transportation equipment, machinery, chemical products, mining, tourism, and finance all contribute to a well-diversified economy in Colorado”
“With an average median household income of $63,909, Colorado ranks 11th the nation. Very Sexy!!!”
Economy score: 9
Cost of Living:
“With a flat 4.63% income tax, and an average sales tax of 7.44%, Colorado is not too bad when it comes to paying Uncle Sam!
“Colorado has the 8th lowest property tax, the 13th lowest gas prices, and ranks 2nd as the least expensive state for energy! I think I am in love!”
Cost of living score: 8
Quality of life:
“Denver has the 6th lowest incidents of natural disasters in the US! The act of God Coloradoans are most at risk for is hail! I can live with that!”
“With a violent crime rate of 3.21, the state scores lower than the national average of 3.8. Coloradoan's value their beautiful environment, and the state was impeccably clean! Best of all, Colorado is a 4 season state!”
Quality of life score: 10
“Colorado is one of the top ten states in solar energy development. Not only is Colorado tiny house friendly, this is the state where the tiny house movement started!”
“The states Northern central cities of Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins had ample omnivore options for these two vegetarians! Residents in Boulder, were 34% more likely to order vegetarian than the national average”
Culture Score: 9
“Colorado is an outdoorsman’s paradise with 43 peaks over 14,000 feet. After I saw my first sunset over the Rocky Mountains, I instantly fell in love with the state!”
“Colorado is a thriving state with ample access to any and all good and services. The roads were well maintained, easy to drive, and with minimal traffic”
Environment Score: 10
The verdict is in:
The final score for Colorado was 9.2, and it MAY be our new home state! Celebrate good times come on!!! It’s a celebration!!! There’s a party going on right here! A celebration to last throughout the year! So bring your good times and your laughter too! We're gonna celebrate and party with you!!! Come on now, Celebration! Let’s all celebrate and have a good time! WOO HOO!!! WOO HOO!!!
After exploring 24 states, and spending 6 months on the road, we finally have our 3rd state which has scored higher than 8! Colorado advances to the next round of consideration, and joins Michigan, and Oregon as our potential new home state! Obviously, neither Lori nor I opted to use our Wild Card Option on this state.
Below are the current standings:
South Dakota 7.1
North Dakota 6.9
West Virginia 6.0