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View Poll Results: Which is your favorite: Rocky or Appalachian mountains
Rocky 186 57.59%
Appalachian 137 42.41%
Voters: 323. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-12-2013, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Appalachian New York, Formerly Louisiana
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Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
LOL, that is Kachemak Bay in Homer Alaska, the itty bitty ship at the dock is USS Lake Champlain (CG-57)
Yes it is, that was my mistake.

It was the result of a confused image search at early hours. I'd remove it but it seems to be too late.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieSkoon View Post
Yes it is, that was my mistake.

It was the result of a confused image search at early hours. I'd remove it but it seems to be too late.
no biggie ...wish we could have had more time on Champlain when we saw it a couple falls ago but we did take a lake cruise and agree it is beautiful
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshB View Post
I chose Appalachians, why? Well because the Appalachians offer some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. There is so much plant life and animal life in the Appalachians. Where as the Rockies seem more arid and less lush. Plus the Appalachians have the best hiking trail ever, "The Appalachian Trail." I hope to someday hike it. If I had to choose somewhere in the Appalachians, I think I would choose Mountain City, TN for the Winter/Spring. Then for the Summer/Fall I would choose somewhere in the White Mountains around Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. I chose Tennessee in the Winter/Spring because the flowers are blooming. I chose New Hampshire in the Summer/Fall because summers in New Hampshire are cooler temps and the Fall colors in the mountains.

The Appalachians are said to be some of the oldest Mountains in the world. There is alot of history in the Apps, the Civil war in Virginia etc.
I agree. The Rockies are beautiful and dramatic, but the Appalachian mountains contain more natural diversity and are actually more accessible for people and are filled with interesting human communities. My family and I prefer the Appalachian mtns and especially miss the Blue Ridge Pkwy. If you are into skiing or rock climbing, I think the Western mtns would be preferable.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by west seattle gal View Post
I agree. The Rockies are beautiful and dramatic, but the Appalachian mountains contain more natural diversity and are actually more accessible for people and are filled with interesting human communities. My family and I prefer the Appalachian mtns and especially miss the Blue Ridge Pkwy. If you are into skiing or rock climbing, I think the Western mtns would be preferable.
Since when do the Appalachians have more natural diversity? The Rockies range from Deserts to Alpine/rocky, to forests filled with greenery. I doubt the Appalachians are much more diverse.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mezter View Post
Since when do the Appalachians have more natural diversity? The Rockies range from Deserts to Alpine/rocky, to forests filled with greenery. I doubt the Appalachians are much more diverse.
Biodiversity of the Southern Appalachians : Highlands Biological Station, Foundation, Nature Center, and Botanical Garden

I could definitely be wrong, and probably am, but the Appalachian Mtns are older and highly diverse.

Last edited by west seattle gal; 12-15-2013 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:32 PM
 
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Appalachians are more like hills compared to anything out west. Gotta go with the Rockies
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:04 PM
 
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Go to both and tell me you'd rather go to the Appalachians, I dare you! If skiing or snowboarding is your thing, any western range trumps the apps. If you like wildlife, the Rockies. National parks, the Rockies. Hiking, the Rockies. Views, the Rockies. The Rockies beat the Appalachians practically 4 out of 5 times regardless of the category. IMO, of course.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Who Cares, USA
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It's all down to personal preference. There are many great attributes to both ranges. I personally prefer the Rockies by a slight edge, but there are many wonderful things about the Appalachians as well. I think the Appalachians have a more interesting social and cultural history, but I find the Rockies more scenic.

The Appalachians are a MUCH older mountain range. The oldest on Earth if I'm not mistaken. At one point, many millions of years ago, they were even higher than the Himalayas. What you see today are basically just the skeletal remains of what stood before. The Rockies have topped out and are no longer growing, but they are still much younger and have a more rugged appearance.

Another thing I prefer about the Appalachians are the fall colors, which can be downright psychedelic in the New England stretch of the range. You don't see anything like that in the Rockies, though the contrast of the bright Yellow Aspens and the deep green conifers in the fall is very pretty as well. The Rockies have more variations from North to South. The Canadian Rockies look quite different than the New Mexico Rockies.

That said, my absolute favorite mountain range in America is the Cascades.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
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I have to go with the Appalachians on this one. Fall foliage, vast, diverse forest, beautiful small-towns that time has somehow forgotten. Possibly the oldest mountain range in the world, with some of the oldest existing rivers to match. The entire range is so vast, and compelling it's almost scary.

*I believe the Susquehanna river through central PA might actually be the oldest river in the world, even predating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans!
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:09 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookwormwendy View Post
I will start up front by saying I have never been to the Rockies. It seems I very well may get the chance if we follow my husband's job to Denver as his company would like. I look forward to exploring the Rockies. I love mountains, all shapes and sizes. So, I can't really compare them...yet.

I will, however, tell you what I will miss about the Appalachians. They are so green and lush, carpeted with a vast, varying forest of trees. Beneath their sheltering canopy are so many types of plant life it is dizzying. The colors- shades of greens, blues, purples, reds, whites...the flowering bushes and plants here are abundant. I love the mountain streams and rivers, the waterfalls. This is a place that closes in around you, shelters you. I will miss the way the mist clings to the peeks, softening their already gentle slopes. But mostly I love the ancient feel of the place. There are places that are as untouched as if man has never tread there, timeless in their natural state of beauty. And yet here you never truly feel completely alone, there is always a sense of those who came before you surrounding you, still looking out for what was once theirs. It is a haunted place, though I've never seen any ghost nor felt their presence, it's just a feeling of history, deep, long history that permeates the place as certainly as the smell of the wildflowers in the spring or of the decaying leaves of fall.

Find a quiet piece of a waterside trail, close your eyes, listen to the sound of the birds sing, the squirrels chatter, listen to the water gurgle, the leaves applaud in the wind overhead, maybe if you're lucky it's even gently raining and tapping in a steady tattoo against the shelter of the canopy above to drip slow and steady to the ground below. Forget for a moment that the outside world exists, it could be any decade, any century, for a moment you are experiencing the world just as those first settlers did. Civilization is far away with its bustle and you have connected with nature and history.

This is a region with a unique culture, history, and story. It gave the world a new type of musical instrument, (mountain dulcimer) a new type of music even. It birthed what would come to be country music on the front porch of cabins clinging stubbornly to mountainsides and was brought down to Bristol, Tennessee by the Carter family and others likes them. It for a long time held an unsolved mystery about the origins of some of the inhabitants of it's earliest settlers. Just who were the mulungeons and where exactly did they come from?-mystery now solved - It's people are resourceful, stubborn, and above all, independent and proud. When times got lean they made their money creatively under the light of the moon and souped up cars to outrun revenuers and in the process gave the world a new sport- NASCAR- not my thing exactly but it seems to have its followers

No, I suppose they aren't as big and intimidating as I imagine the Rockies are going to be when I finally stand at their feet, I look forward to being in awe of their height and massive faces. I look forward to learning about the tough, determined people who first challenged themselves to make a living in a new land. I look forward to seeing how they do differ but I suspect I will love them equally if differently.

So that is what I love and will miss about the Appalachians, so feel free to tell me: What will I love about the Rockies?
Wow- well put! Good job capturing the magic of the mountains and what it means to you. I can relate, though I was on the eastern side of the mountains. I lived in western NC before moving to Colorado, and my heart will always be to some small degree in the Blue Ridge. I spent a good chunk of my time near the Blue Ridge Parkway and a lot of days in and around Pisgah NP. I totally agree about the way the eastern mountains hold mystery and the trees embrace you with their lushness. The seasons have their magic- especially fall. The anticipation brought on by the changing air and leaves is palpable, and there is a sense of isolation- but oddly, not loneliness, as there is a feeling of history that is all around you- the moonshine, the bluegrass, the attitude.

Moving to Denver will be a little bit of a shock. It is obviously a big city, but you may also be overwhelmed at first by the size of the sky and the bluntness of the contrast in landforms the west, and the Front Range in general. There are a lot of parallels to mountain living between TN/NC and CO- but it does take a little while to get used to living with the differences. And if you're in Denver, the most noticeable difference to you will be the exposed feel and the amount of sunlight. I was used to rolling forests, and the Front Range urban area is mostly flat terrain, where the deciduous trees were mostly planted by man. But keep in mind that for many people living in the Denver area, the mountains are the backyard, and that's where everyone goes to play. Denver is actually a really cool city, but it's not supposed to be pretty. The backyard is.

So what will you like about the Rockies? Well, first of all, it's harder than you would imagine to generalize them, because there is actually a lot of diversity, though sometimes it takes a careful eye and a decent amount of exploration to notice. For example, there are significant differences between weather and foliage on different sides of the Continental Divide. Many parts of the Rockies (and for your sake I will discuss the CO Rockies, since that would be your primary initial area of exploration) are drier than many people imagine with not as much tree cover as people expect. But microclimates abound, as do changes by elevation, and there is plenty of land covered by beautiful forests, as well. So sometimes just driving another mile or hiking around a bend will yield a total change from the scenery you just experienced. And a lot of area in this state, and throughout the Rockies in general, has a lot of land that is simply not accessible by car or at least 2WD vehicle, and not for much of the year!

The biggest thing I noticed about the Rockies was the scale. Everything is so much more massive here, almost overwhelmingly. You can often see great distances, and landmarks may be hours away. Many Front Range peaks- Longs, Mt. Evans, Pike's Peak- are 8-10,000 feet above the Great Plains and visible for 100+ miles! Driving great differences is also a change from the SE, or at least it was to me. The space separating things in the west is much, much bigger. I used to think that a 3 drive was a big deal, and now my wife and I regularly travel 4-6 hours to check something out, sometimes only for a night! In any case, the landforms are much more varied than I expected, as well. it's not all just the typical Rocky Mountain picture that people imagine- snowcapped jagged peaks with evergreens. There's plenty of those areas, but a lot more to see, especially as you head west and south. To the immediate Front Range-it gets a reputation for being crowded, but you can see some pretty amazing things close by. Indian Peaks Wilderness, RMNP, Mt. Evans are a few close by- you can explore true alpine scenery above treelines, icefields, glaciers, cirques- and another hour further can take you to much more remote places. And the "foothills" before you get to the "mountains" are quite a bit larger than anything you'll find in the east.

Overall, you will find yourselves in places that will take your breath away in the Rockies. You will find yourself amazed at what you're looking at. There is history, though settlement often occurred in concentrated little mountain towns rather than broadly across a region. And it is there, often with remnants of the pioneer spirit. The people that moved to harsh conditions to work in a gold mine or homestead on the frontier or help build the railroad contributed to the development of the area in a similar fashion to the folks that did the same in the east. If you like the resourcefulness, the independence, and the stubbornness of the people in the mountains of the east, you won't be disappointed by people out here. All in all, I would say that living in the Appalachians was like a beginning course in mountains to me. That's not to say that they weren't legit mountains, but the Rockies are bigger, harsher, and more remote than I was used to. And again, they take a little getting used to as a place to live, and not just to visit. But when it's all said and done, I'll bet you would find the stark beauty of the Rockies to be just as enchanting and inspiring, though different.... and judging from your sentiments about your surroundings in TN and your love for mountains, you should have no problem finding amazing places to call your own if you move out here. I know my wife and I feel the same way- -we're both east-coasters and we definitely have a number of places that we find special and magical- Glenwood Canyon, Great Sand Dunes, Grand Mesa to name just a few. Anyway, as a mountain lover, I hope you get the chance to come out and explore!

Last edited by bartonizer; 12-17-2013 at 02:23 AM..
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