U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 05-29-2012, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6 posts, read 20,633 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

My husband and I have had enough of city living (2 shootings in our neighborhood this month!!!) and are ready to move our 2 kids and 5 pets to the mountains! We found a great house on an acre in Bailey, CO and are excited to move this summer. Hubs still works in Westminster and I'll still be driving our oldest to school in Denver every day, the commute far outweighed by the benefits, in our opinion.

However, I've never lived in the mountains and I have a few questions I'm hoping you might be able to help with.

1) What is the biggest/hardest adjustment to mountain living?
2) What are the main differences between mountain communities and city?
3) How bad are the winters in Park County? Am I looking at tunneling out? do I need to stock up on the wool socks?
4) We're looking at doing some landscaping and construction (adding a garage/workshop, popping the top).
a) What grows best in Bailey? We're hoping for strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, flowers....
b) What is the biggest challenge to construction in the mountains?
5) How hard is it to raise a few chickens up there? Would wildlife be even more of an issue if had a chicken coop?

I have a bunch more but I'll leave it at that for now. I'm extremely excited but I'm the type that prefers to know as much as I can before doing anything.

Thanks in advance!
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-29-2012, 03:03 PM
 
2,784 posts, read 2,568,566 times
Reputation: 3727
Check into the water rights that come with the land. I'm pretty sure you need to have a big plot of land (25+ acres?) before you have outside water rights in Park County.

I can't imagine driving back and forth to Denver from Baily twice a day to drop kids at school. In bad weather you'd have to turn around by the time you got home. IIRC the schools at Conifer & Evergreen are very good.

The growing season up here is pretty short, maybe a green house would work out?

You can check out the active pinecam.com forums for community feel.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-29-2012, 05:22 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,835,868 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Mountain living: some thoughts

In order, some answers (or my best guess).


1) This naturally varies between individuals, but the hardest adjustment may be in the greater isolation. Depending on the exact location, you may not be in the position or feel as readily inclined to visit someone next door (when that may be off through the woods somewhere at a distance). This can extend to social activities, without as many options in the immediate area. Aside from any commute to the city, you will probably end up doing more driving.

The number and options in services will also be appreciably less than in an urban area. People that just assume most anything is but a short drive distant may find such an adjustment difficult.

There may be very few pioneers or anyone truly roughing it any longer, but choosing to live in the woods means forsaking certain city amenities to embrace the natural aspects of one's new home—so preferable if one prefers more solitude and the wonders of nature over all the social interaction a city is better able to provide.


2) Intimacy. Urban areas foster anonymity, and even in suburbia it is possible to little know or have interaction with neighbors. If with a close neighbor out in the middle of nowhere, and the least bit of chemistry, then one may well spend more time with them. If in a small town, then to a greater extent than possibly expected prepare for most everyone to know your business.

An advantage in this is at the bank and local restaurant and so forth one may well be on a first name basis with everyone. Small towns tend to have a greater sense of community. Those overrun with tourist not as much so. But those more remote are generally quieter and safer, where one can feel at ease simply in taking a walk anywhere, even leaving the house unlocked.


3) My understanding that winters in South Park can be wicked at times. The vicinity of Bailey is more protected, and surely different in many respects. Locals can best inform on the particulars of snow depth, etc.

Depending on location, one may do some snow shoveling on a regular basis. In general, there is more snow in the mountains than in Denver. Consider access carefully. A long dirt drive that one thinks nothing of in the summer may pose quite a bit more of a challenge in winter, and all the more if discovered that no one but you is responsible for plowing it.


4a) That most adept growing in the mountains is what you find naturally there. Translate that to mean pine trees and less diversity in vegetation than accustomed to along the front range.

Gardens can be grown in the mountains, but not as easily. The soil may well need to be amended. Consider the amount of sunlight provided, if really in the forest. The growing season is shorter, so it may help to start seedlings inside or in a greenhouse. The deer will probably love your garden.


4b) The biggest challenge in mountain construction may lie in the greater distance from all services. Most everything will be transported in, and there is just more in arranging for something up into the mountains and then a dirt road, versus across Denver. This extends to contractors, and who is able or willing to travel such distances.

The Rocky Mountains do not in general receive nearly as much snow as the Sierra Nevada of California, but such things as one's roof may need to be stronger. Siting can be more important (so receiving more available sun, or not as great a need to dig oneself out). Utilities may be distinctly different: where in town the only concern paying the monthly bill, in the mountains septic systems and wells are common and all yours to deal with.


5) There are different types of wildlife in the mountains, and generally far more in places with fewer humans. Also more of the type in coyotes and so forth that would love a readily provided chicken dinner. A chicken coop and other deterrents would probably be advisable.



It is a long commute into Denver from Bailey, often with a fair degree of traffic (and all others with the same idea). To the extent possible it would be advisable to move fully into the mountains, and make trips to the city infrequent. If finding oneself continually on the road and often in Denver, then perhaps the best equation is one reversed: and the mountains instead a place occasionally visited. There can be crime in the mountains, and also fairly safe suburban communities in Denver metro.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-29-2012, 10:42 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
Reputation: 7537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooz2 View Post
My husband and I have had enough of city living (2 shootings in our neighborhood this month!!!) and are ready to move our 2 kids and 5 pets to the mountains! We found a great house on an acre in Bailey, CO and are excited to move this summer. Hubs still works in Westminster and I'll still be driving our oldest to school in Denver every day, the commute far outweighed by the benefits, in our opinion.

However, I've never lived in the mountains and I have a few questions I'm hoping you might be able to help with.

1) What is the biggest/hardest adjustment to mountain living?
2) What are the main differences between mountain communities and city?
3) How bad are the winters in Park County? Am I looking at tunneling out? do I need to stock up on the wool socks?
4) We're looking at doing some landscaping and construction (adding a garage/workshop, popping the top).
a) What grows best in Bailey? We're hoping for strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, flowers....
b) What is the biggest challenge to construction in the mountains?
5) How hard is it to raise a few chickens up there? Would wildlife be even more of an issue if had a chicken coop?

I have a bunch more but I'll leave it at that for now. I'm extremely excited but I'm the type that prefers to know as much as I can before doing anything.

Thanks in advance!
285 can be a slog during commutes and when the weather is ugly in winter, it is not a pleasant road. I think that is going to be your first big shock of all, spending so much time in the car and burning so much gas. Bailey to me is a bridge too far for those that live in Denver. Good luck on that.

You will find winter is going to be much more pronounced. Bailey is at 8000 ft. so that affects everything from thinner air to short growing seasons. In addition, the high elevation sun and weather put a beating on houses.

I imagine you'd have no trouble attracting cougars and coyotes to your chicken snax shak.

Also a lot of things you might take for granted in Denver like popping over to Home Depot or having an endless plethora of places to eat out at or things to do are not going to be readily accessible anymore.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Betwixt and Between
463 posts, read 942,657 times
Reputation: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooz2 View Post
My husband and I have had enough of city living (2 shootings in our neighborhood this month!!!) and are ready to move our 2 kids and 5 pets to the mountains! We found a great house on an acre in Bailey, CO and are excited to move this summer. Hubs still works in Westminster and I'll still be driving our oldest to school in Denver every day, the commute far outweighed by the benefits, in our opinion.

However, I've never lived in the mountains and I have a few questions I'm hoping you might be able to help with.

1) What is the biggest/hardest adjustment to mountain living?
2) What are the main differences between mountain communities and city?
3) How bad are the winters in Park County? Am I looking at tunneling out? do I need to stock up on the wool socks?
4) We're looking at doing some landscaping and construction (adding a garage/workshop, popping the top).
a) What grows best in Bailey? We're hoping for strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, flowers....
b) What is the biggest challenge to construction in the mountains?
5) How hard is it to raise a few chickens up there? Would wildlife be even more of an issue if had a chicken coop?

I have a bunch more but I'll leave it at that for now. I'm extremely excited but I'm the type that prefers to know as much as I can before doing anything.

Thanks in advance!
1) Poverty
2) Poverty
3) It depends on the winter. This past winter was very mild. Often, it is very sunny and if there's no wind you can wear jeans and a sweatshirt. OTOH, I've had winters where there were 12 foot drifts in my driveway and I had to use my skidsteer to dig out. I'm an avid cyclist and I can usually ride my bike at least once a week, even in a bad winter. If I had to use one word to describe it, that word would be "extreme". Extremely mild, extremely harsh, extremely windy, extremely calm, etc,etc. Doesn't seem to be much of a middle ground.
4a) I quit after watching my first $1000 of landscaping dry up and blow away. My strawberries only lasted a month. Try native plants (indian paint brush, columbines, lupines, etc) I've been given some aspens so I'm going to try that this year. A drip system is a must. Forget about hose watering several times a day. They will dry out in minutes. Tomatoes are possible in a greenhouse only. I used to enjoy gardening as sort of a relaxing hobby. Here it is constant work that will require your full attention.
4b) Wind and temperature swing. It can go from dead calm to 50mph in a heart beat so make sure you brace off unsupported structures. Last w/e the wind picked up my pick-up topper (200lbs) and deposited it through the windshield of my Powerstroke. Balls.
Be wary of temperature swing. It can be 60 F during the day and 20 F the same night and your concrete will freeze unless blanketed. Plan your pours around theweatherchannel.com and become familiar with your microclimate.
5) Chickens are hilarious. This is my first year with them and who would have guessed that they had so much personality? I thought they were just dumb birds. Anyway, I got mine from Murdocks. One mysteriously died when it was 8 months old but the rest are healthy and good layers. I currently have a fox visiting but my dogs are keeping her at bay. Probably just a matter of time though, they are very clever and patient. Lots of coyotes here too so I would definately provide some sort of shelter and/or fencing. Other predators are untrained neighbors' dogs roaming off-leash and hawks/owls.

I can sum up 14 years of back-breaking labor in one sentence: NEVER invest in poverty. You are doing it right. Keep the job in the city and have your little homestead within a reasonable commute. My mistake was that I actually thought that I could make a living in rural CO. Hope this helps and good luck.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,197,447 times
Reputation: 3316
I agree with most of the other posters so far. Bailey is a far commute and will grow very old, very fast! I can't even imagine commuting to Westminster from Bailey on a daily basis. The commute is around 100 miles each day and it's not highway driving for a good chunk of it. Hwy. 285 is windy and slow at times. Plus, if you are living off a main paved road, you may have to factor that in as well. I lived in Fairplay for almost 4 years and I can tell you driving 285 on a daily basis would not be a choice I would make, especially between Bailey and the Denver area. There's too much traffic and the weather can get nasty. We lived 10 miles off highway 285 (and about 25 miles outside of Fairplay) and our commute was about 45 minutes into town. 20 minutes of that commute was for the 10 miles of dirt road. That was in the summer. During the winter, that commute could easily become 1.5 hours!

I also would never want to drive kids back and forth from Denver for school. That seems absurd. I actually had a friend who lived in Bailey and her husband commuted to Lakewood for about a year, and they ended up moving back to the city.

Mountain living is a very different lifestyle. It may be for you, and may not be. Poverty is definitely a reality. Your kids may really struggle, especially if all their friends still live in the Denver area and they are not in the local schools to make new ones. There are very few neighborhoods where kids will meet because that's just not part of the package.

As far as gardening goes, it's going to be really tough. Between the deer and the weather, you'll be lucky to grow anything. I never even thought of gardening up in Fairplay. Where I currently live, a high desert climate similar to the mountains of Colorado, I do garden but I need hoop houses and/or greenhouses to get anything to grow. You'll do better with cooler weather crops and ones that only need a short growing season. Tomatoes will be nearly impossible.

I think chickens could be pretty tough too. You would definitely need to keep them enclosed if you don't want them attacked by predators. I don't know if they would attract predators, but possibly could.

Personally, if I were in your situation, I would be looking at places closer to Westminster. It sounds like you want a small homestead, so perhaps you should look into areas of Colorado that support that better. There are great communities to the north of the city that might fit what you are wanting. You may not be able to get an acre, but that acre won't be worth it when you are stuck in a car for most of your day.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6 posts, read 20,633 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you for the input, everyone!

Delta07, we are from the DC area so an absurd 1-2 hour commute is nothing new for us. The school our oldest is in is worth the drive and we have friends/relatives she can stay with in the winter when we know a storm is coming. My husband is a chef in a large hotel so his drive wouldn't be during regular commuter hours and he can stay at the hotel when the weather is bad.

We have 2 very large and loud dogs, I'm hoping they'll help to keep the wildlife at bay and away from the "snax shack" (that made me lol). We are hoping to get a garage in this summer, so thank you for the tips, Lugnut.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Bailey, CO
1 posts, read 2,975 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooz2 View Post
Thank you for the input, everyone!

Delta07, we are from the DC area so an absurd 1-2 hour commute is nothing new for us. The school our oldest is in is worth the drive and we have friends/relatives she can stay with in the winter when we know a storm is coming. My husband is a chef in a large hotel so his drive wouldn't be during regular commuter hours and he can stay at the hotel when the weather is bad.

We have 2 very large and loud dogs, I'm hoping they'll help to keep the wildlife at bay and away from the "snax shack" (that made me lol). We are hoping to get a garage in this summer, so thank you for the tips, Lugnut.
So I'm assuming you made the move? How are you liking it?
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top