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Old 09-20-2011, 04:04 PM
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,718 posts, read 9,428,226 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Incompatible desires for anywhere in Colorado. Also, got a million dollars? That's about what it would take to make the lifestyle you describe.
I think we should assume that if the person doesn't mention money at all, it is not a concern for them.
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:44 PM
919 posts, read 984,727 times
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^Ahh, but if they mention that they never had enough money to travel to CO, we logically assume that money is an issue.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:09 PM
Location: Pensacola, Florida
711 posts, read 686,981 times
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GemCraver, I have some thoughts because much of what you describe is what I've been looking for, except for the Mtn. views. If you wanted to just be close enough to visit the jagged mountains, then I may have your answer.

And it's in all of these people's back yards and they don't realize it. Check out my I70 High Plains thread for my quest, but the counties to the east of the I25 Corridor are rural enough to have affordable land that you wouldn't have nearby neighbors but close enough to a major city/town on I25 that has the jobs/amenities (hospitals) you mention. It's just that Mtn. part that's missing. Which is why it exists. I'm seeing that folks in Colorado have "Peak Envy". They all want to be in the mountains and the 'plains' (which are 3000 feet and above, mind you) "might as well be Kansas".

So, much of what you describe exists in Colorado. I'm checking out Elbert, Arapahoe and Adams counties which are to the east of Denver. Looking very hard you can even find folks owner financing larger parcels.

Otherwise, check out Montana. Not sure of any 'liberal' towns there. Probably somewhere near a college/university. Billings?
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:54 PM
5,090 posts, read 13,517,274 times
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Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I think we should assume that if the person doesn't mention money at all, it is not a concern for them.
You need to read the post, closely:

"...I've never had enough money to travel anywhere near the area but I love mountains that look like large jagged rocks.."

The OP needs to travel to places that she wants to live. "...be perfect to have a waterfall, meadow, and mountain scenery in my backyard.." She has seen too many Heidi movies. She has a very naive view of Colorado--well, like many people.

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Old 09-20-2011, 06:47 PM
52 posts, read 109,932 times
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Gemcraver, not to be singing the same tune as everyone else, but this is the stark reality of Colorado. Colorado for the most part is a high semi-arid desert with most places being either very tall mountains, large arid inter mountain basins, wide open prairie, or urban sprawl along the Front Range, although it can be said that although long in length running North to South, it is very condensed along the I-25 corridor running from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins, all in all a very narrow ribbon. Areas that come to mind with "a waterfall, mountains all around me, and no one else around" would be Lake County around Leadville, the highest incorporated city in the US, a very poor town with nothing but ski resorts close by and very few job prospects since it is at least a 2-3 hour drive from Denver. Another prospective area is Jackson County, near Walden up near the Wyoming border. Again, you've got your mountain views, nobody else around, maybe a waterfall or two hidden among the lofty peaks, but again, it can be argued that this is the poorest or one of the poorest counties in the state. And it is a 1-2 hour drive to Fort Collins, the only city of decent size to the east on the other side of the Medicine Bow Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park. The kicker though is real estate prices. For a 3 bed, 2 bath house in Leadville on 2.9 acres, it is $665,000 Single Family Home for sale at 235 Shadow Valley Leadville, CO 719 - MLS# 912480 - from Summit Daily News. A parcel of land in Jackson County on 40 acres will run you $200,000 http://www.cohomefinder.com/p/80480/1077284.html (broken link) , but it is so remote and "out there" that it might not fit your criteria. Again, you cannot have mountains and remote and big city living, it just doesn't exist out here, and that's not even beginning to count job prospects. Education is not a very good field to be in right now out here, as the state of Colorado has cut the education fund every year since 2008 and it is a trend that it likely to continue due in large part to flat property tax rates and TABOR. If you're going to do this, have reality in the picture. Your Utopian picture of Colorado just doesn't exist. While pretty, there is a very large cost to living out here and the "Rocky Mountain High" fantasy of many just doesn't come to fruition without hard work, sweat & tears, and a ton, and I mean a ton of sacrifice involved (money, distance from family, long hours of work, etc.). Wish you luck in your endeavor.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:03 PM
9,830 posts, read 19,535,023 times
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I remember when my parents were deciding where to retire and my dad took my mom out to Walden to show her the area, the prospect of living in a place so remote gave my mom an emotional break down.

There are some areas on the edges of North Park(Walden area) that are pretty cool and have trees and I haven't checked recently on pricing, but there might be some reasonable places for sale. However these would be in the back of beyond, an hour probably from just milk and bread and hours from anything more than that. You are well and truly on your own, probably no cell phone coverage, difficulties with utilities, water and definitely access in winter. Some of the areas on the edges of North Park get hammered with snow. If you need emergency medical help, fire or a bad guy turns up, again you are on your own.

Colorado is a land of catch 22's. There are still remote parts of the state with cheaper land, but you are basically living on the frontier as they did 150 years ago, maybe with a few modern amenities and you are a long way from any services, jobs, shopping, etc.

As I said there is good reason the population clusters together along I-25.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:51 PM
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You could look at living 5-40 miles west of Manitou Springs, or 10-20 miles west of Longmont or Loveland, or maybe near Yampa, Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs or Granby, or around Hotchkiss - Paonia, or oustide Bayfield or Pagosa Springs, or above Dolores, or near Buena Vista, or west of Trinidad. Land cost will vary and jobs will be hard to find right there but commuting is feasible from some of these. You might something acceptable to you among these Colorado places.

If you are willing to consider other western states, you could consider some place in the extreme north of Idaho, or east of Lewiston, or near Cascade, or near Salmon, or in the NE or SE corner of the state.

A couple of Idaho gem hunting guides

Idaho Department of Lands - Minerals - Gemstone and Rock Information
Where to Rock Hunt Gems in Idaho | eHow.com
Idaho Department of Lands - Gemstone Guide

In Montana you could look south of Helena, in the Bitteroot valley south of Missoula, outside Kalispell or some of the other bigger cities or north of Livingston. In Oregon you might look near LaGrande or Baker City or in the hills above Pendleton or near John Day or north of Eagle Point. In Washington you could look east of Sedro Wooley, or near Cle Elum, Leavenworth, Colville, White Salmon, Granite Falls or Dayton. In Wyoming you might look near Lander, Cody, Sheridan or over in the Black Hills. If you'd consider the southwest or California look around those forums or any of the other state previously mentioned. There are lots of options and some starter information. Pick a few places and research them and then ask yourself if they are sufficient for your desires & needs. If not, think about what you really want / need further and then look for places you think might be better. There may not be totally "perfect places" in every detail of your dreams but there are places that could be pretty good if you can make them work financially.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-20-2011 at 09:28 PM..
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:40 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
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Maybe somewhere near Calgary. Or Anchorage, Alaska.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:36 AM
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,028,477 times
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I'd recommend Vermont as an alternative. It has more of an art culture than the Western states.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:29 AM
27 posts, read 60,880 times
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Thanks everyone, I really needed that help and your feedback has given me a great starting point to go to the library and research more thoroughly which options could best meet my priorities. Thanks again, especially NW Crow for the time you took to share such specific insight on such a wide range of possibilities.
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