I knew little about Grand Junction when I was first contacted about an employment opportunity here. Like most, I had driven through a couple times on my way to the west coast but hadn't spent any time here. Here are 5 things I've learned in my first year.

The Sunshine and low humidity are great! With over 300 days of sunshine and an average humidity level in the teens, the summers are nicer here than in the midwest. You really notice it is in the evening. On a summer day back home you can't enjoy outdoor activities because even when the suns low on the horizon, the humidity level is still so high you're still sweating your ass off.    

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I didn't know I liked wine so much. I've always been more of a beer guy. Back home, that's what we drank if we weren't enjoying a cocktail. I haven't hung around many folks where wine was a big deal. It's a big deal here. I've consumed more wine and of different varieties here than anywhere I've lived before.     

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Country Jam is bigger than I had imagined. Of course, I knew it was a big show. No festival runs for 26 consecutive years and not be a big deal. What I mean was when I first walked the grounds shortly after my arrival I had a hard time imaging 30,000 plus people all coming to this patch of dry and dusty ground outside of the little town of Mack. Everything and I mean everything, to pull off a festival of this size has to be brought in from someplace else. It's an incredible undertaking and amazing to see for the first time.

Ray Michaels

This legal weed thing takes some getting used to. What I mean is, when you've lived your whole life where marijuana, in any form, was considered contraband. It's hard to get used to it being more like drinking a beer. Sure, you can't just fire up anywhere. You want to exercise some common courtesy but outside of that, you're good to go just about anytime and just about anywhere. That's weird for us outsiders.   

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Bikes are a big deal around here. They're everywhere and a bike can get you just about anyplace you need to go. Junction's not all that big and with the mild climate why not ride your bike? Again, it's just weird for me. At my last job, I had a 20 mile plus commute to work and back. With the weather and that distance, driving was the only option for me. Here, I should be riding a bike to work every day.

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These are just a few things I've been enlightened on since my arrival a year ago. So far, my first year's been pretty good. I've been really busy at work, met a few locals, and it's beginning to feel more like home. I look forward to learning more cool stuff about this place in my second year here. Here's to you Grand Junction! You're a pretty cool place to live and a wonderful learning opportunity