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Old 03-08-2012, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,881 posts, read 15,681,687 times
Reputation: 11460

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Okay, so my wife had a rough day this week and decided we should pick up and move west. This has always been part of our long-term plan so I'm not opposed to it, but it's a little sudden so it's taking me some time to warm up to the idea. She found a ranch position in the Walden area that seems like a good fit for us so I'd just like some opinions on what living in that area is like.

Just to give a little background, we're small town people (the population of our current town is 40) so not having a 24-hour Super Wal Mart down the block is no big deal to us. Although our primary residences have been Illinois and Iowa all our lives we have spent a considerable amount of time working in and around RMNP so we're used to high-elevation conditions. We're 44 and 42 with a 7-year-old daughter, practicing non-denominational Christians, my wife is apolitical but opinionated, I'm politically engaged but don't subscribe to either ideology and am tolerant of those who are wrong. I mean, those who disagree with me. I also play a little guitar and would hope to land in a place where local pickers get together to play a little folk/country/bluegrass/gospel music once in awhile.

Anyway, any opinions on the area would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Earth
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I doubt Walden is going to provide stable employment...and you've got a big commute to get over to Laramie, Steamboat, or back down to Fort Collins where there might actually be jobs with decent wages & benefits.

It's ranching country up there, not much else other than great hunting & fishing. The oil & gas industry is starting to place well pads in the area, so that's something to consider too.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,881 posts, read 15,681,687 times
Reputation: 11460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuffler View Post
I doubt Walden is going to provide stable employment...and you've got a big commute to get over to Laramie, Steamboat, or back down to Fort Collins where there might actually be jobs with decent wages & benefits.

It's ranching country up there, not much else other than great hunting & fishing. The oil & gas industry is starting to place well pads in the area, so that's something to consider too.
Sorry, I guess I didn't mention that the position she's looking at would be for both of us and includes housing. Whether or not it will pay enough to justify the move is something we don't know yet and will be another deciding factor.

Right now I'm just looking for opinions on what it's like to live in that area assuming that making a living won't be an issue.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:51 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,848,135 times
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Wink Not Walden Pond

Think isolated. I haven't spent much time in Walden, but enough to appreciate how far it is from all other towns of any size. I'm not sure how the drive is to Laramie, WY, but for all intents and purposes anything beyond limited daily provisions will probably mean a drive over Cameron Pass to Fort Collins, CO.

Assuming you get much into town, to begin with, if out on the ranch. Although with children, a good chance at least someone will get the chance of a possibly long commute.

It can be an idyllic, if hard, life, if so attuned. Some I've met wouldn't have it any other way, or know what to do with themselves in town. Although often so attuned, as having grown up in such circumstances. Others, thinking the life of a cowboy would be grand, will find a lot more work in it than ever imagined. Not to mention quite possibly missing all the attractions of even a small place like Walden, taken for granted before.

If really keen on being out on the range, and defining one's life in such a manner, with visits to any type of town an infrequent affair, then it may work. One could be the envy of all their friends back home—until they actually tried it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Earth
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My oldest childhood friend's grandfather was an Army Air Corps guy in WW2 who went on to run a 10,000 acre sheep ranch up there back in the day, his mom went to school in Walden and college at UW in Laramie.

Tough place to live & grow up as a kid, from what I understand. We still go up to hang out and ride dirt bikes - he sold most of the land but the family retained the old house & 90 acres East of town.

Nice place to visit, just not sure I could live there year 'round...it can be pretty harsh. If you're willing to roll the dice and try it, go for it - at least you got an initial job & housing lined up...
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:23 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,139,426 times
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North Park is isolated, with a pretty brutal climate and an economy that has been in decline for a couple of decades. North Park is one of the coldest places in Colorado in winter and is prone to severe blizzarding during winter storms. Summer is lovely, but very short, lasting a from about mid-June to early September.

North Park's economy was historically based on ranching, logging, and coal mining. Logging has dwindled to nearly nothing, the coal mines near Hebron closed long ago, and the railroad branch from Laramie that served both was removed some years back, so there is little chance that those industries will ever return in size. That leaves ranching and a smattering of tourism. There are relatively few tourist facilities in North Park, so most visitors are day visitors or campers. They don't bring a lot to the local economy. Even if you have a job there, I would be cautious. If the job does not work out for you or your spouse, there will be little chance to get another there. North Park is a beautiful place to visit, but a terrible place to try to make a living. And, as noted, you will be making a long and expensive drive to either Laramie or Fort Collins for just about anything. That might be acceptable if you're OK with only making a shopping trip every 1-2 months, but most people today can't live that way. Otherwise, you'll be spending a fortune on fuel.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:59 AM
 
16,189 posts, read 20,215,827 times
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Good opinions here by Idunn, Jazzlover, and Shuffler.

There are a number of towns in Colorado that have tough winters and limited services but yea, Walden would be at the top of the list. With Walden, you're at least two hours from Laramie or Ft. Collins. Travel conditions going to Laramie can be real nasty at times because of wind. But living in a community like this can have its rewards. I have a lot of respect for people who live in communities like Walden.
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,485,864 times
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Are you medical professionals by any chance? Last I heard Walden was trying pretty hard to get a full-time physician to move to the town. They even built a new medical centre to attract candidates.
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,174 posts, read 9,481,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
Good opinions here by Idunn, Jazzlover, and Shuffler.

There are a number of towns in Colorado that have tough winters and limited services but yea, Walden would be at the top of the list. With Walden, you're at least two hours from Laramie or Ft. Collins. Travel conditions going to Laramie can be real nasty at times because of wind. But living in a community like this can have its rewards. I have a lot of respect for people who live in communities like Walden.
In good weather, Walden to Laramie is 60-75 mins depending on how much you flat foot it. The drive from Walden to Fort Collins can feel never-ending year-round because of traffic and the overall nature of the Poudre Canyon.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,104 posts, read 20,382,957 times
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I have heard of Walden but did not know much about it so I looked it up in wiki. I was surprised to find it is the only incorporated town in the county and it's so small. I would think that for someone to live there they would have to like living in isolation. I could never do it as I like citties but I respect the people who like that kind of lifestyle.
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