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Old 04-14-2012, 10:14 PM
 
6 posts, read 9,502 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello, my family and I are leaving California hopefully next year. We are looking for a mountain/country place to live. We want to live close enough to a bigger city to have the amenities needed, but far enough out of it to have some land and be able to enjoy the quiet. We are from Southern California so we are not use to harsh winters. What are the winters like in CO? Is there places that are harsher than others? What are jobs like? My husband is an electrician and I work in the dental field but am a stay at home mom right now. My husband rides dirt bikes, we have 3 labs and 2 year old twins, so we want some space to play and have fun. We are trying to decide between CO, WY and MT. Any honest advice would be appreciated!
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Laguna Hills, Ca
16 posts, read 21,814 times
Reputation: 14
My wife and I are in the same situation, looking for a place in Colorado, but not sure where would suit us best. Older daughter attending UCCS in the Fall and we have a 2 year old so we are looking at good schools and family neighborhoods as well.
We are in So Cal also, Laguna Hills. We are taking a trip to CO next week to check out neighborhoods and try to narrow down our search. Sounds like we are looking for something similar to what you are looking for.
good luck with your search
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:52 AM
 
9,810 posts, read 17,927,459 times
Reputation: 7488
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssirevaag View Post
Hello, my family and I are leaving California hopefully next year. We are looking for a mountain/country place to live. We want to live close enough to a bigger city to have the amenities needed, but far enough out of it to have some land and be able to enjoy the quiet. We are from Southern California so we are not use to harsh winters. What are the winters like in CO? Is there places that are harsher than others? What are jobs like? My husband is an electrician and I work in the dental field but am a stay at home mom right now. My husband rides dirt bikes, we have 3 labs and 2 year old twins, so we want some space to play and have fun. We are trying to decide between CO, WY and MT. Any honest advice would be appreciated!
Winter is the dominate weather pattern in Colorado and statistically is the coldest state in the lower 48. Especially if you want to live in the mountains, you will really be dealing with winter weather, cold and wind for much of the year.

Colorado is either very urban/suburban or very rural. There isn't much spread between the two. Most of the population in Colorado lives on the prairie with a view of the mountains, clustered in cities. In order to have a big chunk of mountain land you'll need big bucks and likely will live far enough from a city it will not be an easy drive.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:25 AM
 
Location: CO
2,488 posts, read 5,511,231 times
Reputation: 3160
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Winter is the dominate weather pattern in Colorado and statistically is the coldest state in the lower 48. Especially if you want to live in the mountains, you will really be dealing with winter weather, cold and wind for much of the year.
. . .
Where are you finding the statistics that show Colorado as statistically the coldest state in the lower 48? I had never heard that before, so I started looking. I've not found anything so far that supports that.

This is typical of what I've found:Coldest States in the US - Current Results

Quote:
Rank Year / Winter /Summer

1 Alaska/ Alaska /Alaska
2 North Dakota/ North Dakota/ Wyoming
3 Maine/ Minnesota/ Idaho
4 Minnesota/ Maine / Maine
5 Wyoming /Wisconsin /Oregon
6 Montana /Vermont / Washington
7 Vermont /South Dakota /Montana
8 Wisconsin / New Hampshire /Vermont
9 New Hampshire/ Montana /Colorado
10 Idaho & Michigan/ Wyoming / New Hampshire
(tie)
In the above list, for example, eliminating Alaska, would make Colorado the state in the lower 48 with the 8th coldest summer, and it does not rank within the top 9 for coldest annual year round or coldest winter temperatures.

This is similar to other rankings I've been finding.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,186 posts, read 3,921,115 times
Reputation: 881
We moved to Monument 8 years ago from San Diego, and have never regretted it. We also had never lived anywhere that required the use of snow shovels. We chose Monument because it's one of the few cities along the Front Range that has areas covered with pine trees. We're also 20 minutes to COS and 45 min to South Denver. We probably have the worst winter weather from Ft Collins to Pueblo. I might be considered crazy by long-timers, but I look forward to snow events. For some reason I enjoy using our snowblower and shoveling the deck. The snow is usually dry powder and is quite easy to move.
Driving is another story. I don't commute, but driving during/after a winter storm, especially in hilly rural areas can be a bit scary. You can lower the winter driving stress with proper equipment> Subaru w/ snow tires, but you still have to deal with other drivers.
Coming from SoCal you'll have to get used to seasonal activities. In San Diego, our kids played whatever sports they wanted year-round. We bought plants and gardened whenever, without much concern for the weather. Not so much here. The outdoor plant section at Home Depot is totally barren from Oct-April for good reason. I've seen snow as late as May 22 since we lived here. One year it snowed on the last day of school. But once you get past Christmas the extreme (<30) cold temps are short lived. We'll still have dips, but will get a few days in the 50's. It snowed a lot last night, but is supposed to get to 40's today. It was in the 70's last week.
When it comes to moving to a different region, it's up to the person/family to experience life and weigh the pro's and con's. Nowhere is perfect and everyone is different. A winter visit would be beneficial for anyone who is apprehensive about the weather. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of ex-Californians, like me, here that are tickled pink.
Picture is our deck this morning. Most of that snow will be gone by tomorrow.
Cheers
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:22 PM
 
8,318 posts, read 23,748,743 times
Reputation: 8953
If the OP expects to find decent employment and income in the mountain areas, that is becoming more and more an impossible dream. It sounds from their post like they would like to be in a rural area, but close to a metro area. That often nets one the worst of both worlds: a long expensive arduous commute (especially in winter) to the city to work, a town dependent on the city for most things, and a place (if in the mountains) overrun with tourists and metro residents desperate to get out of the city on summer weekends.

wanneroo may exaggerate a bit on Colorado winter weather--there are places with much more rigorous winters, but winter in Colorado is severe compared to southern California, especially if one is in the mountains. Growing seasons in the mountains are almost always less than 130 days between killing frosts (and often much less than that--Silverton, for example, has a 14 day growing season); temperatures can drop into the 30's or lower even in summer; there are locales (Gunnison and Alamosa, for example) that can drop below 30 below zero in winter; snow can fall in the mountains anytime during the year, and may remain on the ground for months in the winter. Winters are much less rigorous at the lower elevations, but growing seasons are usually still less than 160 days, even in the mildest spots; severe blizzards can occur along the Front Range and on the Eastern Plains at least once every winter; and the Front Range and Eastern Plains are solidly in "Hail Alley," where severe thunderstorms with large hail occur with some regularity during the summer months. Winter at the lower elevations is generally pretty dry, with a brown snow-less landscape common for the much of the winter. Unirrigated areas of the lower elevations may be green for a time during the summer in normal or wet years, but may not green up at all in a drought year (which, so far, this one is shaping up to be in much of Colorado).

Finally, with the construction bust, electricians are generally a dime a dozen in most of Colorado right now (and probably for a long time to come). A lot of the construction trades people in Colorado are either unemployed, underemployed, have gone to other work (quite a few in the gas fields), are working for extended periods out of state, or have left the state altogether.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:37 PM
 
9,810 posts, read 17,927,459 times
Reputation: 7488
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzco View Post
Where are you finding the statistics that show Colorado as statistically the coldest state in the lower 48? I had never heard that before, so I started looking. I've not found anything so far that supports that.

This is typical of what I've found:Coldest States in the US - Current Results

In the above list, for example, eliminating Alaska, would make Colorado the state in the lower 48 with the 8th coldest summer, and it does not rank within the top 9 for coldest annual year round or coldest winter temperatures.

This is similar to other rankings I've been finding.
As I recall it was an average temp taken year round at points around the state, not who had the coldest summer or winter.

Personally I'm not that into stats and at the moment I can't really be bothered to look it up again as I am not feeling too well.

In any case, I think people coming from SoCal have to be ready for a major adjustment and not to fool themselves that it isn't that cold or winter isn't that bad. Especially if one opts for a "mountain" environment that has trees, then winter weather conditions is something that might be around for a good part of the year.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Cherokee County NC
16 posts, read 13,020 times
Reputation: 33
We are seriously planning our move to Colorado, probably west of Canon City, and I've read enough to take seriously anyone posting about the dreath of economic activity outside of the major metro region along the front range. I'm not planning on needing a job in Colorado, so hopefully where ever we put down our stakes, we'll be bringing a tad more money to a rural community.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: On the corner of Grey Street
6,030 posts, read 7,176,998 times
Reputation: 11270
I live in Denver, so I don't know about winter in other parts of the state. Yes, it gets cold here, but in my experience it is not nearly as cold as people always seem to assume it is. However, I currently live 20 miles north of the city and drive in for work everyday. It isn't fun driving in the snow. The commute is long anyway, add in some snow, and it's a total nightmare. Keep that in mind if you're wanting to stay in a rural area but drive into the city for work.
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