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Old 11-13-2012, 12:57 PM
 
9 posts, read 11,982 times
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Hi there!

I'm a 24 year old student preparing to finish my degree and then put two years into the peace corps. After I come back stateside, I am looking to change my life up a little. I want to nomad around for a few years before settling and I want to move someplace cold and snowy. I've been toying with Alaska and Colorado for my first stops, maybe Washington or Oregon. I lived in Seattle already for a while and Oregon for a short time, right now I'm in Arizona. I hate Arizona more than anything, it's not a good place for a woman in her mid 20s without kids...

Tell me about your experiences in Colorado. What is the lifestyle like? What cities would you recommend for a then 26 year old female?
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:09 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,777,680 times
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Hate to burst your bubble, but Colorado away from the mountains is not that snowy and cold of a place. Most Coloradans live in the Front Range metropolitan blobs. The climate in those places appears "snowy" because they get around 50"-60" of snow per winter. But the Chinooks winds melt most snowcover quickly and the ground is brown most of the winter in a normal year. There are relatively few days in winter where the temperature does not get above freezing. The mountains are another story, but the high living costs there pretty much preclude a lot of working folks from living there for more than a relatively short time. Even in the mountains, the snowcover varies a lot from place to place. Also, the snowiest months in most of Colorado are not in the depths of winter, they are in late winter and spring--March being the snowiest month in most places.

If you want really snowy and relatively cold winters with a lot of snowcover, about the best place is in upstate New York. Nearly that whole area gets more snow and cold in the winter than does most any of Colorado below about 8,000 ft. elevation. Northern Michigan, a lot of Minnesota, and Wisconsin also fill the bill. The northern Plains states like the Dakotas get brutally cold, but really don't get that much snow--what they do get just stays all winter. Same with a lot of interior Alaska--brutal cold that keeps what snow they get on the ground all winter.

The snowiest locales in the lower 48 are the High Sierras in California and some of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington. Those places get copious amounts of snow, but the temperatures are not especially cold in winter. Much of those areas also have the disadvantage being very dry in summer (especially the Sierras).

In Colorado, if you are an attractive 26-year old female, expect to be chased around like a rabbit in a coyote den. Colorado has a considerable higher percentage of males than females. For some women, that is just what they want, but many soon tire of being constantly hounded for dates, etc.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:09 PM
 
20,836 posts, read 39,046,511 times
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Jazz, thanks for the detailed posting....

If the OP wants to nomad around a bit, she should use our search tool and call up the "ski bum" threads; a nomad's life for sure, with lots of hard work and lots of fun for snow lovers. Living a winter in Leadville at 11,000 feet and hundreds of inches of snow should be a memorable experience for any stout-hearted young soul.

My experience is 7 years on the Front Range / I-25 corridor, in Colorado Springs. Snow doesn't last long here and most days (and most are sunny) a light jacket will do. There are tens of thousands of young troops at Fort Carson, plus many thousands of USAF types, that form quite a dating pool for female arrivals.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,111 posts, read 4,881,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
In Colorado, if you are an attractive 26-year old female, expect to be chased around like a rabbit in a coyote den. Colorado has a considerable higher percentage of males than females. For some women, that is just what they want, but many soon tire of being constantly hounded for dates, etc.
This is simply not true, unless by considerably higher you mean 0.4%. The female population in Colorado accounts for 49.8% of the population, and it is spread across all age ranges in similar ratios to the male population. Go to this site and click on Colorado to see a population pyramid of our population. There are no major anomalies in the population.

This MIGHT happen in a few counties where there are an overabundance of males, but these disparities have explanations. Large disparities sometimes occur in counties on the plains where there are many male-dominated professions like farming, ranching, other agribusiness, or in counties where the large prisons are located (there are 18,000 more males in prison than females in prison).

Just because men complain they can't find a date, doesn't mean there is a shortage of women. Despite what people "know."
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
21 posts, read 32,524 times
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I've lived in CO my entire life and have some input.

First, it's not really cold and snowy here. You might have better luck with Alaska in that department. We have erratic weather, and sometimes our winters feel like spring, but then when spring comes around we get dumped on. We usually get first snow in October, but then the sun shines the next day and melts it all. It snows in the mountains, but there aren't really a lot of livable communities in the mountains, so most of us live in a metropolitan area out on the plains.

If you're going to nomad around, you might as well give CO a try. However, in college I met a lot of people from out-of-state who don't really like it here. Since I've only lived in CO, I can really only take their word for it when they describe the differences between CO and their home states. People from big cities (i.e. NYC and Chicago) think that CO is kind of vanilla and lacking in good cultural amenities, like theatre, good restaurants, etc. People I've met from the South think that we're reserved and chilly and that it's hard to easily strike up friendships here. They tend to get very depressed and feel isolated; however, if you're a female, that might not be as much of a problem. Then people from the west coast (CA, WA, OR, etc.) think that CO is very boring for reasons that are ineffable. A common complaint I hear is that there's nothing to do around here, though I'm not exactly sure what they do in other states that they can't do here.

Given your profile, I would recommend Boulder. It's a college town, so it has a lot of young people. Also, if you're joining the Peace Corps, you'll probably find that the people you meet in Boulder share your values, which will make it easier to branch out and make connections. The cost of living is high, but it's doable if you seek out roommates. If college kids can get by in Boulder, I'm sure you can too.

My only warning is that the job market is bad in CO. I've known people with backgrounds ranging from graphic design to electrical engineering who couldn't find work in this state and had to relocate. While college towns are more lively, they also have the downside of being saturated with highly skilled workers competing for the only available low-wage jobs. I would recommend saving money so that you don't have to rely on the local economy for your living expenses. It's also important to have a reliable car; everything is spread out and mostly inaccessible by public transportation.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:23 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,777,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
This is simply not true, unless by considerably higher you mean 0.4%. The female population in Colorado accounts for 49.8% of the population, and it is spread across all age ranges in similar ratios to the male population. Go to this site and click on Colorado to see a population pyramid of our population. There are no major anomalies in the population.

This MIGHT happen in a few counties where there are an overabundance of males, but these disparities have explanations. Large disparities sometimes occur in counties on the plains where there are many male-dominated professions like farming, ranching, other agribusiness, or in counties where the large prisons are located (there are 18,000 more males in prison than females in prison).

Just because men complain they can't find a date, doesn't mean there is a shortage of women. Despite what people "know."
Not to put too fine a point on this, but in most locales in the US, women outnumber men.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:11 AM
 
9 posts, read 11,982 times
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I don't mind being hounded, I'm biased but I think I am pretty attractive. It's not a big deal to me haha. I normally get along with boys pretty well, most of my friends are male. I also should mention I have a guy with me, he's coming too.

I've been looking a the university of Colorado for my masters in classics, they have a pretty awesome program. I also have been considering teaching history as an alternative, how are teaching positions up in Colorado? I have heard good things about the school systems, but I'm still leaning towards looking for work in the private education sector.

This may be an odd question, but is there any motorcycle culture up in Colorado/Boulder? I'm looking at boulder because of the university. My fiancé and I ride sport bikes and are concerned there's no culture for it. Seasonal sport bike culture is fine, just any at all would be great.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:22 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,777,680 times
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History teachers have a really hard time finding jobs. In a way, that is unfortunate because I believe history is an important discipline and that history is an important part of education. Sadly, history majors often tend to be slackers that couldn't succeed in other disciplines, rather than students really interested in history. A history degree has thus become considered a "foo-foo" degree by many. My major discipline in college was not history, but I am a published historical author, so I know my way around that profession to a pretty good extent.

Colorado's secondary education system is generally middling at best, and increasingly beset with some pretty intractable funding problems that I've written about extensively on this forum. As far as pursuing a career in primary, secondary, or higher education, this is about the last state that I would suggest (well, other than California) in which to pursue it. The long-term future is pretty dim--especially for young people entering the teaching workforce. That is going to create a lot of long-term economic and social problems in Colorado, but Colorado's constitutionally mandated funding straight jacket is going to slowly strangle public education in Colorado. As for private educational institutions, there are relatively few, and they can be highly selective about who they hire.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,111 posts, read 4,881,407 times
Reputation: 5429
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Not to put too fine a point on this, but in most locales in the US, women outnumber men.
True, but in the US as a whole, females account for 50.8% of the population, while males account for 49.2%. This is not a huge disparity. Most of the imbalance is at the older age ranges, as women live longer than men do.

If there is no manipulation to encourage or discourage the birth of one gender, then typically the population will have 105 males born for every 100 females. By age 20, the number should be roughly equal, and by age 60, the ratio should be tilted towards more females.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
21 posts, read 32,524 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannibalpinata View Post
I don't mind being hounded, I'm biased but I think I am pretty attractive. It's not a big deal to me haha. I normally get along with boys pretty well, most of my friends are male. I also should mention I have a guy with me, he's coming too.

I've been looking a the university of Colorado for my masters in classics, they have a pretty awesome program. I also have been considering teaching history as an alternative, how are teaching positions up in Colorado? I have heard good things about the school systems, but I'm still leaning towards looking for work in the private education sector.

This may be an odd question, but is there any motorcycle culture up in Colorado/Boulder? I'm looking at boulder because of the university. My fiancé and I ride sport bikes and are concerned there's no culture for it. Seasonal sport bike culture is fine, just any at all would be great.
Truthfully, teaching is tough to get into right now. I have several friends who received their degrees in education and who are having trouble latching on to full-time jobs. There are some very good school districts, like the Cherry Creek School District, but competition is fierce in those districts.
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