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Old 05-18-2017, 03:09 PM
 
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Honestly, in the OP's place, I'd consider somewhere out in Eastern Oregon like Sumptner, John Day, Union, maybe Baker City. You still have all the outdoor stuff like in a place like Haines, but you get a lot more for your money. A couple of winters ago, I stayed at a place out there that was furnished down to the really nice silverware for $850 a month. Two big bedrooms, all utilities, really nice place. Didn't notice much of a strong drug or crime presence in those parts of the area.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,183 posts, read 1,790,408 times
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Are you open to other parts of Alaska? With a pension you could live outside a small town in the interior, buy 5 acres or so, build a cabin and live pretty cheaply picking up side work as you need it. There's lots of retired vets in my area.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:28 PM
 
Location: SE Alaska
1,988 posts, read 906,590 times
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There must be a compelling reason why OP is considering SE.
I'd imagine it's for the environment:
Ocean, evergreen forests, towering mountains and glaciers- perhaps even the climate.

In which case, interior AK or Oregon probably wouldn't cut it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Cleric View Post
There must be a compelling reason why OP is considering SE.
I'd imagine it's for the environment:
Ocean, evergreen forests, towering mountains and glaciers- perhaps even the climate.

In which case, interior AK or Oregon probably wouldn't cut it.
I disagree. If he's considering POW or other parts of southern SE, he can find similar environmental conditions and climate in Western Oregon and WA. The northern Lynn canal area isn't that different from certain parts of Eastern Oregon except proximity to the ocean. And his pension would go much further. You wouldn't be able to get much more than a rusted out moldy trailer on POW for $750 -- in one of the local trailer courts that resemble Third World slums. That is, if one were available.

But who knows, he might have his very own specific criteria that we don't know about. In his place, if I wanted to be on the ocean, I'd forget rentals and buy a live-aboard boat; there are some good deals on those in the fall. I saw a floathouse out in Thorne Bay for a pretty reasonable price as well.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:09 PM
 
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I am by no means married to SE Alaska but it was at the top of my list, I would like to stay within the Pacific NW, possibly even Northern CA.

My only real criteria are small population (preferably less than 5K). Semi-isolated (the further from a metropolis the better). Near the ocean (or at least reasonably close). Affordable ($2,300/mo. only goes so far).

I live a very frugal existence and do not require much, as I previously noted I am very capable of picking up odd jobs to supplement my pension. I would pretty much be open to any suggestions between Eureka, CA. and Skagway, AK.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:50 PM
 
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Maybe the oak harbor, Washington area? Good luck
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:52 PM
 
Location: SE Alaska
1,988 posts, read 906,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMC1967 View Post
I am by no means married to SE Alaska but it was at the top of my list, I would like to stay within the Pacific NW, possibly even Northern CA.

My only real criteria are small population (preferably less than 5K). Semi-isolated (the further from a metropolis the better). Near the ocean (or at least reasonably close). Affordable ($2,300/mo. only goes so far).

I live a very frugal existence and do not require much, as I previously noted I am very capable of picking up odd jobs to supplement my pension. I would pretty much be open to any suggestions between Eureka, CA. and Skagway, AK.
Have you visited any of those coastal communities within that span of geography?

I've spent some short stints of time along the Washington and Oregon coast in communities such as Cannon Beach and Forks, and they are as you've described-semi isolated.

SE is really isolated, having a very low population density within a mostly undeveloped, wild land. I don't think you can get any further away from a metropolis in the US.

And, the topography is quite different in SE than found along the open ocean coasts of the Pacific Northwest. We have the coastal mountain range separating us from Canada, with it's ice fields and glaciers, and a maze of islands and inner water passageways spreading out for hundreds of miles. These areas have an entirely different sense of place for me. So, SE does not equal PNW.

As previously mentioned, since your primary consideration besides proximity to ocean seems to be cost, perhaps PNW deserves more attention.

Oh, don't forget Hyder, Alaska. It's way south, at the end of the long Portland canal. Climate is quite cool, wet and snowy, and it's extremely isolated.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:27 PM
 
18,893 posts, read 24,236,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Cleric View Post
Have you visited any of those coastal communities within that span of geography?

I've spent some short stints of time along the Washington and Oregon coast in communities such as Cannon Beach and Forks, and they are as you've described-semi isolated.

SE is really isolated, having a very low population density within a mostly undeveloped, wild land. I don't think you can get any further away from a metropolis in the US.

And, the topography is quite different in SE than found along the open ocean coasts of the Pacific Northwest. We have the coastal mountain range separating us from Canada, with it's ice fields and glaciers, and a maze of islands and inner water passageways spreading out for hundreds of miles. These areas have an entirely different sense of place for me. So, SE does not equal PNW.

As previously mentioned, since your primary consideration besides proximity to ocean seems to be cost, perhaps PNW deserves more attention.

Oh, don't forget Hyder, Alaska. It's way south, at the end of the long Portland canal. Climate is quite cool, wet and snowy, and it's extremely isolated.
I don't think anyone claimed that SE "equals PNW;" but I've spend my entire life in both places, and they're significantly more alike than they are different. In fact, I was driving on a road a little ways inland off Oregon's south coast today when I couldn't help noticing the similarities between it and Ketchikan's North Tongass. The area where I'm at right now reminds me a lot of POW's Harris River area and even gets similar rainfall amounts, and the kayaking on a nearby river is almost like being on POW's Thorne River (this is way more similar to the southern tip of the panhandle than Haines, for instance). Also, it sounds like the OP has some general preferences that the PNW coastal communities fit pretty well; perhaps even better than SE.

I'd seriously look at places like Reedsport and Gold Beach. COL seems reasonable in those places, and I've seen rentals advertised at about half of what you'd pay in Alaska. I'm not talking about comparable places either -- you can get a decent apartment on the South Coast for maybe $600; the same apartment would cost well over $1K in SE.

Last edited by Metlakatla; 05-18-2017 at 10:54 PM..
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:45 AM
 
Location: SE Alaska
1,988 posts, read 906,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
I don't think anyone claimed that SE "equals PNW;" .
OP did, three posts ago in his second sentence. He said he'd like to stay within PNW, with SE Alaska being at the top of his list.

Agreed that southern SE is more like PNW than northern SE, as it's a bit warmer, vegetation is quite similar, and it gets very little snow. An exception to the lack of snow would be Hyder, because of its more inland ocean canal location.

And, I think OP should seriously consider the good suggestions you've given him.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
1,745 posts, read 1,343,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMC1967 View Post
I am by no means married to SE Alaska but it was at the top of my list, I would like to stay within the Pacific NW, possibly even Northern CA.

My only real criteria are small population (preferably less than 5K). Semi-isolated (the further from a metropolis the better). Near the ocean (or at least reasonably close). Affordable ($2,300/mo. only goes so far).

I live a very frugal existence and do not require much, as I previously noted I am very capable of picking up odd jobs to supplement my pension. I would pretty much be open to any suggestions between Eureka, CA. and Skagway, AK.
I grew up in the Sierras and then lived in Humboldt County for about ten years... one of my sisters has lived there for about 30-years now. I would like to say that California gets a bad rap, but some of it is warranted. It is an incredibly beautiful and geologically diverse state. Humboldt is one of the few places I have lived (West Virginia and Kansas are the other two) that I would not mind living again if my family situation was different.

Eureka and Arcata have both changed a lot since I lived there, but there are still really neat areas to live around there. Arcata might not be affordable for normal people anymore... I've heard that a bunch of rich folks from the city have bought up all the real estate and they rent to the students during the school year. It used to be a really neat, cheap place to live, and I enjoyed that there were people from completely different political backgrounds there. Since the timber and fishing industries collapsed, there is probably less political diversity. Arcata is probably quite the liberal mecca, but many outlying areas in Humboldt, Mendocino and del Norte counties are very conservative... I don't know that it matters to you, but, for whatever it's worth.

If beautiful surroundings and lots of outdoorsy stuff to do are things you're looking for, it would be extremely difficult to beat Humboldt County. It is an extraordinarily beautiful place and there are endless things to do outdoors, and you're not limited by winter weather unless 300 days of rain per year scares you. There are dozens of small towns and communities in Northern California that I think would probably fit your requirements. Definitely worth looking into. Actually, I think there are over 150 days of sun per year, but that has to be days that the sun appears if even for a few moments, not days that it's sunny all day, if you follow me. It's pretty freaking rainy.
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