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Old 07-05-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Beverly, OH
53 posts, read 78,978 times
Reputation: 33

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I'm going to be leaving the Army within the next year and it's time to start planning for my post-Army career. I'm originally from South East Ohio. Thanks to the Army, I've spent time in OK, TX, LA and SC - and I realize that I want to avoid the hot, sticky and humid south at all costs! lol

So, I'm looking at Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, maybe the Dakotas... I'm not against moving back to Ohio or Pennsylvania as I have family there and am a Pittsburgh fan (mom's from a Pittsburgh suburb).

Mostly I'm looking for the following...

1. Job Availability (going to use ACAP to search for jobs once I settle on an area)
2. Low(er) cost of living (only place I've lived prior to the Army was Columbus, OH - something like that)
3. Cool - Cold climate (I love snow - and I miss not seeing it in the winter)
4. Mountains!!! (something around the 2-4k ft in the Rockies or something would be spectacular)
5. Moderate driving distance to a metro area (within 2hrs drive or so)

I grew up in a small town of less than 1000 people, so I'm not really afraid of the rural aspect - I like space, but I like to be close enough to something big so I can enjoy the benefits that a metro area has to offer. That said, I know it's a bit of a tall order because I hate, HATE country music - and the places I've picked like lots of that. lol

I'm single, 28 and male. I'm mostly looking for assistance so I can research a place to live and then use the Army's ACAP service to search jobs in that area - possibly Gov't to continue the Federal service or some sort of non-corporate private sector stuff (I've done fast food and retail, never again if I can help it... lol)

I appreciate your help - please ask if you need me to specify further!

Thank you!
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
2,395 posts, read 4,161,724 times
Reputation: 7492
Not sure what you mean by this?

"(something around the 2-4k ft in the Rockies or something would be spectacular)"

Are you talking about sq-ft of a house, base elevation, or peak prominence?
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Beverly, OH
53 posts, read 78,978 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snikt View Post
Not sure what you mean by this?

"(something around the 2-4k ft in the Rockies or something would be spectacular)"

Are you talking about sq-ft of a house, base elevation, or peak prominence?
lol Apologies - elevation. We were right around 4-5k in Afghanistan and I liked it - sun was brutal, but the air was cool and in the shade was nice. Plenty of breezes as well.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
2,395 posts, read 4,161,724 times
Reputation: 7492
Well it's going to be impossible to be in the mountains in the Rockies at 2-4,000 FT. Denver which is a high plains is already at 5,200-5,600FT or so with no mountains

Most "mountain towns" are at 7-8,000 FT or so
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Beverly, OH
53 posts, read 78,978 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snikt View Post
Well it's going to be impossible to be in the mountains in the Rockies at 2-4,000 FT. Denver which is a high plains is already at 5,200-5,600FT or so with no mountains

Most "mountain towns" are at 7-8,000 FT or so
No kidding? What about in the foothills or so?
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:53 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,099,702 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by CybrSlydr View Post
Mostly I'm looking for the following...

1. Job Availability (going to use ACAP to search for jobs once I settle on an area)
2. Low(er) cost of living (only place I've lived prior to the Army was Columbus, OH - something like that)
3. Cool - Cold climate (I love snow - and I miss not seeing it in the winter)
4. Mountains!!! (something around the 2-4k ft in the Rockies or something would be spectacular)
5. Moderate driving distance to a metro area (within 2hrs drive or so)
1. Crappy, except in the large metro areas.

2. Not cheap. Resort areas out of the question. Metro areas are likely high compared to what you are used to. Where real estate is cheap is in the non-mountain rural areas, jobs are low-paying or non-existent.

3. The lower elevation areas in Colorado are cool/cold in the winter, but snowcover is usually only temporary there. Most of the winter is bare brown ground. If you want winter-long snowcover, look someplace like upstate New York or the Upper Midwest. The only places in the Rocky Mountain West that typically have snowcover for much of the winter and heavy snowfall are in the mountain areas, where living costs are generally high and jobs few or low-paying. Remember, outside of the mountains, all of Colorado is either arid or semi-arid. Even the wettest mountain areas of Colorado generally get less annual precipitation than the Midwest or East.

4. The plains of Colorado are almost all above 4,000 ft. The foothills start at about 6,000 ft.

5. Doable, if you can get past 1-4.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
2,395 posts, read 4,161,724 times
Reputation: 7492
Quote:
Originally Posted by CybrSlydr View Post
No kidding? What about in the foothills or so?
Most foothills towns (Evergreen, Idaho Springs, Bailey, etc..) are around 7-8,000FT

The "real" mountains start around 9-10,000FT but there aren't too many towns at that elevation. Fairplay, Leadville, etc..
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Beverly, OH
53 posts, read 78,978 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
1. Crappy, except in the large metro areas.

2. Not cheap. Resort areas out of the question. Metro areas are likely high compared to what you are used to. Where real estate is cheap is in the non-mountain rural areas, jobs are low-paying or non-existent.

3. The lower elevation areas in Colorado are cool/cold in the winter, but snowcover is usually only temporary there. Most of the winter is bare brown ground. If you want winter-long snowcover, look someplace like upstate New York or the Upper Midwest. The only places in the Rocky Mountain West that typically have snowcover for much of the winter and heavy snowfall are in the mountain areas, where living costs are generally high and jobs few or low-paying. Remember, outside of the mountains, all of Colorado is either arid or semi-arid. Even the wettest mountain areas of Colorado generally get less annual precipitation than the Midwest or East.

4. The plains of Colorado are almost all above 4,000 ft. The foothills start at about 6,000 ft.

5. Doable, if you can get past 1-4.
It sounds like Colorado might not be the place for me afterall. Since you live in the area, are there any places in the region that might fit the bill that you can think of?
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:42 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,837,013 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Think Tibet, only lower

The good news is that Colorado has weather similar to that you preferred in Afghanistan. But as others have mentioned, you'll be living at a higher elevation. About as low as you can go in this state is Lamar, CO with an elevation of 3,706 feet, and situated on the flat southeastern plains. The Denver metro area where most of the population and jobs are is roughly 5,000 feet, or why the "Mile High" city. The mountains that many dream of but most do not live only go up from there, with towns within generally at elevations between 6,000 to 10,000 feet. This state has an abundance of 14,000 feet plus mountain peaks.

One can adjust to the elevation, with most residents finding it a relative non-issue. If you wish lower elevations but still mountains, there are many options outside Colorado. If often still high, our northern neighbor Wyoming has lower average elevations, and so on to Montana. In example, you'll find the very high and rugged Alps of Switzerland and neighboring countries do not have a particularly high elevation, if impressive when beginning from the fairly near Mediterranean Sea. The Cascade Mountains of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest are similar in cresting very roughly at 8,000 feet, but that in measure as often viewed from near sea level. Although the climate there is distinctly different from Colorado's, so some consideration in that.

As for the rest of your criteria, it may prove more of a challenge. Colorado does not offer the lowest cost of living, or often best employment possibilities.

The advice often given to prospective new residents is to secure a job in advance of moving. Not always practical, but at least in looking prior one might have some idea of the possibilities.

Most of the population of just over 5,000,000 lives along the Front Range, or that basically between Pueblo to the south and Fort Collins in the north. Grand Junction represents the largest metro area in western Colorado, being significantly smaller. Most everything else are often relatively isolated smaller towns, with usually limited employment options. A "moderate" driving distance to a metro area of two hours would only be that if visiting occasionally, rather than in a daily commute. Some people do drive long distances here so they can reside in outlying foothill mountain areas.

Bottom line, one might have an easier time of it in a state such as Pennsylvania. Or perhaps consider remaining in the Army and trying for a transfer to Fort Carson outside of Colorado Springs. Some prior research and a visit to Colorado might help inform that decision.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Beverly, OH
53 posts, read 78,978 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
The good news is that Colorado has weather similar to that you preferred in Afghanistan. But as others have mentioned, you'll be living at a higher elevation. About as low as you can go in this state is Lamar, CO with an elevation of 3,706 feet, and situated on the flat southeastern plains. The Denver metro area where most of the population and jobs are is roughly 5,000 feet, or why the "Mile High" city. The mountains that many dream of but most do not live only go up from there, with towns within generally at elevations between 6,000 to 10,000 feet. This state has an abundance of 14,000 feet plus mountain peaks.

One can adjust to the elevation, with most residents finding it a relative non-issue. If you wish lower elevations but still mountains, there are many options outside Colorado. If often still high, our northern neighbor Wyoming has lower average elevations, and so on to Montana. In example, you'll find the very high and rugged Alps of Switzerland and neighboring countries do not have a particularly high elevation, if impressive when beginning from the fairly near Mediterranean Sea. The Cascade Mountains of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest are similar in cresting very roughly at 8,000 feet, but that in measure as often viewed from near sea level. Although the climate there is distinctly different from Colorado's, so some consideration in that.

As for the rest of your criteria, it may prove more of a challenge. Colorado does not offer the lowest cost of living, or often best employment possibilities.

The advice often given to prospective new residents is to secure a job in advance of moving. Not always practical, but at least in looking prior one might have some idea of the possibilities.

Most of the population of just over 5,000,000 lives along the Front Range, or that basically between Pueblo to the south and Fort Collins in the north. Grand Junction represents the largest metro area in western Colorado, being significantly smaller. Most everything else are often relatively isolated smaller towns, with usually limited employment options. A "moderate" driving distance to a metro area of two hours would only be that if visiting occasionally, rather than in a daily commute. Some people do drive long distances here so they can reside in outlying foothill mountain areas.

Bottom line, one might have an easier time of it in a state such as Pennsylvania. Or perhaps consider remaining in the Army and trying for a transfer to Fort Carson outside of Colorado Springs. Some prior research and a visit to Colorado might help inform that decision.
When I joined, Carson was one of my top 3 choices - and they sent me to Polk. lol Unfortunately, they're discharging me on disability, so my Army career is over (and I haven't even hit the 2 year mark yet...). I've thought about seeing if there are jobs on-post at Carson through DoD or something as a civilian.

I also have a thread going over in the WY forum to see if it would work - and it sounds like it's a bit too remote for much and the economy isn't so hot. I'm doubting things would be much better in MT or ID.
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