Skylar Block - Sunny in Salida
Written by Bianka Martinez
"I grew up in a small, spread out town outside Seattle. There wasn’t much to do unless you did meth or played football”. Skylar recounts the parallels between her small town and Salida. Despite her home town being larger, it didn't and still doesn't have any support services or community resources the way Salida does. Churches being the exception, but they could only get you so far.
“I knew I’d never live in a big city. I can’t really say why, just that it was always one of those things I knew.” After growing up a bit and figuring out that she hated the rain, and to no one's surprise it really is as rainy as everyone thinks, she knew her next destination was somewhere sunny, like Colorado. Luckily she was able to land herself a healthcare job in Denver.
“I spent almost a year there, there was so little community building.I was an anonymous face in an ocean of anonymous faces, we were all drowning.” This spurred her decision to relocate to Salida, she saw an opportunity for work. After being here for just over a year, she continues to be amazed by this quaint slice of rural Colorado.
She quickly noticed the amount of services, support, and programs available to a community this size. The Alliance provides refuge and resources to survivors of domestic violence, the free and mobile Chaffee Community Clinic, to PfCA building and supporting the LGBTQIA+ folks, “Salida has incredible access for a town this size. There’s always something to do.”
Skylar glances at her feet, giving them a quick stretch before smiling and pushing her glasses back up. “There's a place to meet someone, a band to watch, a trail to hike, a road to skate. Always something.” Skylar says she's always appreciative of the deep sense of community in Salida. “People here are appreciative of what they have and of others. My Facebook feed is full of community members helping each other find housing, a lost pet, misplaced item.”
“I can walk or bike almost anywhere I need to go. Plus I’m likely to see 20 other people doing the same thing.” She says making her best friend move out here with her wasn’t a hard sell after hearing all her feedback.
“Nearly everyday at work someone tells us, ‘Thanks for being here’ Which means so much to us in this tumultuous and uncertain time. While Salida has work to do, I get to live in a small, sunny mountain town with my best friend meeting rad folks (shout out to the derby crew) drinking margs at Mo’s. I love it, all of it.”