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Old 04-17-2015, 01:33 PM
 
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Hello all, thank you in advance for answering my questions. My wife and I live in Kansas *holds for boos* and are considering moving to the Northwest. My wife is a nurse in the Pediatric ICU here and there are a ton of children's hospitals up there plus we love the nature aspect. Right now I work in government in a project management/marketing role but my background is a hodgepodge of social services, government, research, and development. We are looking specifically at Seattle and Portland/Vancouver. We both love to snowboard and hike and we have two German shepherds. I have a couple questions that I would be very appreciative if I could get some feedback on.

1. I know that both of the areas have close access to snowboarding, but which one is closer to the major snowboarding spots? And which has the longest season that's more consistent (I know that depends on climate change and snow pack)?

2. We also love to hike and I know that Portland has a lot of great parks inside the city, but we love to go to the mountains (which now is a 10 hour drive) for both dayhiking and backpacking. Which city has the best access to traditional mountain dayhiking and backpacking?

3. Being from Wichita, our water shortages are always in the news which makes me curious about Portland/Vancouver and Seattle. I know that California which relies on snowpack is in deep doodoo as well. What's the future water situation for Portland, Vancouver (I know they have different supplies) and Seattle? Are any of them at risk for water shortages?

4. My wife and I do not have any kids so far, but we have two German Shepherds that we love to death. I'm curious if one city edges out the other for dog friendliness, especially big dogs. I know a lot of cities are fine with purse pooches, but sometimes they have a problem with my hundred pounders. Any thoughts would be great.

Thank you all again!
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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No water problems in any of the three (that I know of at least) and technically you can hike, camp, bike, or snowboard around all three if you want to and I absolutely do mean within close proximity to all three cities.

The best for all of the above is Vancouver but it is also the one that will cost you exponentially more. In addition to that, moving to a Canadian city isn't "as" easy as moving to another American one. However, if you can manage then go with Vancouver. Pay it if you can, it is worth it. If not, Seattle and Portland are not bad either, pretty great cities all around and very fun regardless of who you are, what your background is, or what your interests are.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:56 PM
 
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Thanks for the response! Do people from Seattle and Portland share the same basic snowboarding areas or are there different resorts in close proximity to each and which one has the best?
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemonikos82 View Post
Thanks for the response! Do people from Seattle and Portland share the same basic snowboarding areas or are there different resorts in close proximity to each and which one has the best?
For snowboarding it would go like this. In the Portland area, the mountain range that forms around Mount Hood. In the Seattle area, the mountain range that forms around Mount Rainier. These are the same areas where you can do the best hiking in their respective areas, these places are not far from the city center either. Short drive, maybe an hour tops, easily do-able over all the weekends (if your schedule allows). It is also not just limited to hiking and snowboarding either, these are excellent areas for camping and especially zip-lining and most agencies are fair priced for zip-lining, in addition to the dozens of other outdoor activities you can do in these places.

Different areas. You can live in one and share the snowboarding locations of the other, if you want (but you don't have to, each one has its own), all three of these cities are incredibly close to each other. Maximum time you need is like 3 hours to go from Seattle to Portland and even less time to go Seattle to Vancouver. It is a breeze, easy, and a nice drive in between (especially if you go out of your way to the coast, beautiful).

Really, regardless of which of the three cities you pick, you've really just picked all three. They are that close to where you can expound on the location and benefit from it immensely.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:27 PM
 
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Vancouver BC would be awesome if immigrating is a possibility. Especially if Trudeau Jr wins the election this year. It's much closer to the mountains, in Portland and Seattle you're talking an hour and a half to snow activities. Whistler and the other BC resorts seem a lot nicer than Timberline, though I've only skiied in Mount Ashland, Bachelor and in Montana so I can't say that from personal experience.

I'd actually say Vancouver has the cheapest rent of the three these days too, though Portland still MIGHT be a bit cheaper it won't be that way for long if it is. If home ownership is paramount to you though I wouldn't suggest Vancouver though.

Vancouver is easiest the most fun, vibrant, and closest to the mountains and beach. They are literally right there, while Portland and Seattle you have to travel and you're not really *amongst* them.

So my answer would be Vancouver unless home ownership trumps everything else for you, in which I'd suggest Seattle, which still isn't exactly cheap, in that regard.
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:14 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I suspect that by Portland/Vancouver the OP is talking about Vancouver WA, not BC, Canada. The best option i Vancouver (WA) because it's right across the bridge from Portland where you can shop without sales tax, and being in WA, there is no state income tax. It's also the least expensive for rent or home buying, by far. The Mt. Hood skiing/snowboarding is much more consistent than those closer to Seattle, though this year all of the snowpack has been dismal. WA has about 40% of the state in a minor drought condition, because of the low snowfall. There has been no talk of forced reduction, and because the western part of the state depends more on rain than snow, we are doing fine because rainfall has actually been above normal. I would, however, expect major electric rate increases since our relatively cheap power is from Hydro, and affected by the lack of snow.
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I suspect that by Portland/Vancouver the OP is talking about Vancouver WA, not BC, Canada. The best option i Vancouver (WA) because it's right across the bridge from Portland where you can shop without sales tax, and being in WA, there is no state income tax. It's also the least expensive for rent or home buying, by far. The Mt. Hood skiing/snowboarding is much more consistent than those closer to Seattle, though this year all of the snowpack has been dismal. WA has about 40% of the state in a minor drought condition, because of the low snowfall. There has been no talk of forced reduction, and because the western part of the state depends more on rain than snow, we are doing fine because rainfall has actually been above normal. I would, however, expect major electric rate increases since our relatively cheap power is from Hydro, and affected by the lack of snow.
Has it already increased? My power bill has been INSANELY high lately. Like it cost $250 a month just to heat my room!
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:57 PM
 
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I know people who've done skiing in the summer on Mt. Rainer and/or Mt. Hood. It's not something I've done but of course, I am not that a hardcore ski bum. I am very much in favor of WA Ski resorts plus its more of a centralized location where you can enjoy both Canada's and Oregon's. El Niño winters are the hardest (too sunny and dry, low to no snowfall) for skiers.

Vancouver, WA is nowhere near as exciting as the Canadian counterpart, unfortunately. A sleepy, bland suburb for most part. It definitely is affordable (relatively). Commuting into Portland will suck as traffic is pretty bad. Being a WA resident and working in OR, you will pay income taxes, albeit at a bit lower rate than OR residents. Definitely check out Camas, a cute little town next to Vancouver.

Both areas are extremely dog friendly. Seattle has Marymoor Park ("Disneyland for dogs") which is always a fun experience for my dog. Seattle is noted for having more dogs than children. It should be noted that as a renter, it is harder to find a place especially if you have a big dog.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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If you like skiing and hiking but want to be in a city why not look into Salt Lake. Metro over a million, your within 30 minutes of skiing and hiking anywhere in the metro, can't beat it!
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:39 PM
 
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Hey all, thanks so much for the input.

berger123, I looked at Salt Lake but I heard that the hiking was not as good as the Northwest and it's ranked pretty high on US Cities that are in serious trouble for water supply (most places in the west that rely on snow pack are in deep trouble).
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