This article is part of the The Great American Reach Around series.

Greg "TheRain" Reilly

Colorado Springs, Colorado

One hundred and thirty-six years ago, General William Palmer founded the city of Colorado Springs under the looming specter of Pike's Peak. He found the shadow of the mountain and the majestic rock formations of the region to be a perfect place for dapper, wealthy socialites and foreign tourists to come together and look down-literally-on their inferiors. This outlook remains unchanged to this day.

When I first came into Colorado Springs, we'd driven up from Dallas and by the time we were in the city, it was already dark. I woke up the next morning and went out on the balcony at my hotel for my early-morning first cigarette. I looked up at the sky, choked on the fresh, clean air, and then had a heart attack as I stared at the mountain that loomed above me.

It was the single most profound moment I've experienced in this city, which is actually kind of a shame. You'd think human beings would be able to be more profound than an enormous block of stone, but that is, unfortunately, not the case.

A big reason for this is the influx of evangelical Christian groups during the 90s, including the mammoth New Life Church (former home of Ted Fag-I mean, Haggard) and Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group whose goal is to let you know how you should raise your kids so you don't actually have to make decisions, think for yourself, or deal with any of those other difficulties like actually parenting.

The other reason is the roughly fourteen bajillion military institutions in the area, including Fort Carson, Schriever and Peterson Air Force bases, the US Air Force Academy, and NORAD. Combined, these institutions rain down a plague of young, arrogant, and absurdly stupid soldiers and cadets upon the land.

This plague is known to cause alcohol reserves to disappear overnight and spread every conceivable sexually-transmitted disease in existence at alarming rates. To date, the city of Colorado Springs has not only done nothing to fight this epidemic, but actually encourages its spread.

There are positives to the city. There are two major colleges (UC-Colorado Springs and Colorado College) and one rather large community college (Pikes Peak Community College) in the city, all of which are populated by trust fund babies and kids too stupid to get into UC-Boulder. Why is this positive? It means that there are hordes of rich, stupid, and spoiled co-eds all over town who have no job, no ambition, and too much time on their hands. A lot of fuckin' goes on in Colorado Springs.

And, of course, there are some nice things to see. There's the beautiful road construction projects, which can be seen from anywhere in town, typically while stuck in traffic. Also worth seeing is Garden of the Gods, a beautiful rock formation that attracts retarded tourists in the day and sixteen-year-old kids looking for somewhere to fuck their girlfriends at night.

Ok, really, the only beautiful thing is the road heading north to Denver. This place sucks.

Thanks, Greg! Colorado sure sounds fun, but now it's time for us to wander abroad to Mother Russia. They'll always be America's most enduring foil on the world stage, but we won't hold that against our Comrades of the East.

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