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Old 02-28-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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I have never been to Colorado, but heard it is a great place to live. My wife is from the east coast(NC) and I'm from Alaska..I love my warm summers, but I also like to be close to snow and mountains to go snowmachining. She wants hot summers, and I want easy access to good mountains to go ride in the winter. Where in Colorado best fits this criteria? Also, are there good lakes to swim in around colorado? she loves the beach, but a lake is the next best thing. lol

Last edited by kjrustin933; 02-28-2012 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:43 PM
 
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Few lakes here. Reservoir and river swimming in COLO is almost nonexistent as the snow runoff keeps them too cold.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 619,917 times
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Hi,kjrustin933,

I'll be the first to tell you that for this forum to be helpful, we need to know a bit more about your needs, interests, etc.

Are you retired -- with plenty of free time for snowmobiling and swimming? Do either or both of you need to find jobs? Any young people involved with educational needs? Do you want/need to be near health care, nightlife, restaurants, airports, and lots of other people -- or are you dreaming about that cozy cabin out in the middle of nowhere?

What is it about Colorado that attracts you most? I am originally from the East Coast, and I headed west after college (about a hundred and fifty years ago!) because one of my best friends was here. It's a big, big state, with a variety of environments. Some may suit you; others won't even come close to making the first cut.

Help us help you by sharing just a bit more. You'll get plenty of opinions and suggestions, to be sure.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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kjrustin933 wrote:
are there good lakes to swim in around colorado?
Unlike the great state of Alaska, Colorado is a land locked state. There ar no lakes, bays, or oceans AROUND Colorado, but there are a few small lakes scattered here and there about the state. There are several hundred lakes on the Grand Mesa (http://www.grandmesabyway.org/ - broken link), but they are quite small and many of them are man made lakes. Beautiful lakes nonetheless, though coming from Alaska, you may not be that impressed. Sorry to say, but Colorado is not noted for its lakes. It's more of a mountain state, and very dry to boot.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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Ok, so a little about myself..

I'm very far from retired (28 years old) haha. Me and my wife are young, and looking for a change. We thought about Colorado because it has easy access to mountains..and warm summers. We have plenty of free time for outdoor activities, mainly on weekends, thats why I asked if there is any good snowmachining around colorado? and what areas? We are both graduated from college. I currently work in the Health care administration field, which I'm not necessarily looking to stay in healthcare, but some other kind of administrative field. My wife is a Dental Hygienest, so I'm not quite sure what the market is out there for that. We do not have kids, but plan on having kids within the next few years. We are looking for a place to raise a family, where crime is relatively low. I realize that no matter where you go, crime exist everywhere, but I would like to live somewhere where its relatively less than your bigger cities. We want to live somewhere near a big city, like a suburb of a big city with a lot close by. My wife is in love with warm weather and the beach, but she is fine with winter,(just not as long of a winter as we have back in alaska). Where is somehwere relatively close that Colorodians(sp) travel for warm vacations? such as nice beaches or nice lakes?
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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Default Some information

I've swum in Chatfield reservoir gravel pit when training for a triathlon. It is cold but can be done in July and you end up with bits of greenery in your swim suit. Not nice. It's pretty ugly too. I've swum in Cherry Cheek reservoir for a triathlon and when training for a triathlon. Not a place for a pleasure swim. Hopefully your wife is a diehard triathlete.

Here is a thread on open water swimming in Colorado.

Open water swimming info

Quote about Gravel Pond at Chatfield "You get geared up in a staging area, dodging ants, horse crap, and weeds."
Quote about Cherry Creek Reservoir "Cherry Creek Reservoir: how desperate are you? Your state park pass gets you in after you pay a one time water use fee. Probably the grossest, sketchiest water of all; no designated swim lane; and you'll fight boat chop on most days. E-coli alerts galore!"

In fact when we swam there they had a major sewage spill the same day but later in the day (we hoped). A couple of weeks later the official triathlon was held there and they said it had been cleared and the water tested. Still very disgusting. I heard Boulder reservoir wasn't too bad but honestly after training in open water around here and knowing I know how to site I decided to stick to the rec. center pools. Only problem with them is they are over chlorinated because they allow children with swim diapers in so they are loaded with bacteria and hence loaded with the chemicals to fight the bacteria. If your serious about training it is best to pick the older rec centers that don't have the facilities for the kids. It keeps the water cleaner and thus less chlorinated.

If you want sand you can go to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Every year some very shallow water rises up when the river comes through. It isn't deep enough to swim.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)

You will probably die if you try to swim in the mountain lakes. Too cold. You may die if you try to swim in the rivers. Too rough. Need life jacket and wet suit. People only swim there when they fall out of a white water rafting boat or jump in the calmer sections for a brief dip. Sometimes they die then too from the shock of the cold water or the rapids.

The airport is the only way to get someplace with nice beaches and open water swimming. May I suggest Florida or southern California. Mexico is another option but with the crime there and travel warnings I wouldn't suggest it.

The summer is hot and last a couple of months. We usually can have our RV dewinterized for about 4 months (June, July, August and Sept).

You both come from prettier places so you may want to visit. Colorado isn't nearly as pretty as either Alaska or North Carolina.

Last edited by mic111; 02-29-2012 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
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If you want to live near a big city, then you will probably want to consider areas around Denver/Boulder/Colorado Springs -- which means basically along the I-25 north/south corridor, also known as the Front Range.

Job opportunities may be greater, and you can then head off to the mountains for weekends, getaways, etc., in all seasons. There are lots of threads on this forum where people offer up loads of detailed information on those urban, suburan, foothills, and quasi-rural areas.

Remember that Colorado is a semi-arid state, often gripped by drought and water issues (many political/historical). Certain areas might have bouts of extreme heat during late summer months, but we don't have the humidity that plagues other states. (Instead, we have the broiling sunshine, which takes a bit of getting used to.) I'm in the southeast portion of the state (rural/remote, where the plains meet the mesas), and drought conditions are a fact of life, especially tough on cattle ranchers in the area.

If you want to be warm during the winter months, it's not that difficult to fly out of Denver Intl. Airport and head to places like Mexico, Arizona, Las Vegas, or San Diego. However, also know that dry, sunny days that reach into the low 40s will bring out the shorts-and-tank-tops crowds in certain locales.

But if you're talking about warm-to-hot weather during spring/summer months and into early autumm, you'll have your share of that nearly everywhere except the very high mountain altitudes. Even then, you can enjoy lovely (albeit short) summers and blissfully chilly nights.

Are you guys planning to come out and visit? If your perspective stems from N Carolina and Alaska, it's nearly impossible to really understand how different Colorado is -- and how many distinct bioregions are out here in the Rocky Mtn West. Come see for yourself! You'll learn a lot about the state, experience some jaw-dropping scenery, and have a great time, too!
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:18 PM
 
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Yes, we are planning on taking a trip out there, but don't really know where to even start...I wish I had family out there or even had friends out there to kinda show us around.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:00 PM
 
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As a long-time East Coaster and frequent visitor to Colorado, I'd gently say that the OP is absolutely looking at the wrong state, never mind the wrong part of the country (unless they genuinely want to go to the airport to get on a plane to beaches of any kind- I didn't think that comment was sarcastic, it was realistic).
If OP's wife wants hot summers and is from North Carolina, I suspect the dry heat (if/when it's hot) in Colorado is *not* what she expects. I think maybe OP is looking a little through rosey glasses at a place where he can get snow/mountains and is trying to convince himself that Colorado will satisfy his wife. I sincerely doubt it will.
Regarding his wife's work, I think it would be relatively easy to find. I met a pack trip outfitter in central Utah who drove about 25 miles from a tiny town to a slightly bigger one to work for a dentist, and also had all the time off she needed to run pack trips. She said she never had a problem getting work/hours in her field, and it is flexible with days and all.
Any administrative jobs require a relatively well-rounded economy (that is, not so much an isolated small town) and it's hard for East Coasters to realize just how far apart things can be in Colorado or non-East Coast places, and how not-densely populated areas are.
But I think the wife's wish for some semblance of a coastal beachy life are misplaced, and she likely will be very unhappy if she strings along to Colorado because of those rosy glasses. You might as well get on a plane from NC or somewhere to get to snow rather than the other way around. I'm a person who loathes humid summers, has mostly always lived an hour from the ocean and don't care, and loves lakes. Hey, how about Minnesota? Lots of snow, lots of lakes, and I do hear the summers are genuinely hot and humid.
Humble opinion, and all that.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,899,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjrustin933 View Post
I have never been to Colorado, but heard it is a great place to live. My wife is from the east coast(NC) and I'm from Alaska..I love my warm summers, but I also like to be close to snow and mountains to go snowmachining. She wants hot summers, and I want easy access to good mountains to go ride in the winter. Where in Colorado best fits this criteria? Also, are there good lakes to swim in around colorado? she loves the beach, but a lake is the next best thing. lol
The best places in colorado for snowmobiling are
  • the southern San Juans on the New Mexico/Colorado border
  • The Grand Mesa in western colorado (near Utah)


Mountain lakes aren't particularly suitable for swimming because they are frigid year-round, so you'd be limited to lakes that are not in the mountains - so this means either western Colorado or Plains area along the I-25 corridor.
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