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Old 01-09-2013, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,423,223 times
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As others have stated, Grand Junction will probably not suit your desires. My husband & I lived there for almost 7 years, and we never really loved it. Yes, you can garden, and that was great, but other than that, it didn't have what we were looking for. It's much larger than what you are looking for too, in terms of population. In addition, GJ can be downright hot for long periods of time in the summer!

I agree with others that you should look at Montrose. You might also consider Durango. The suggestions of Cedaredge or Collbran on the Grand Mesa are nice, if you're the type of outdoors person that enjoys more motorized recreation. I'm gathering though, that if you are considering Ouray, you are more into climbing, backpacking, and other recreation opportunities that are more wilderness/solitude like in nature. I'm also assuming that you want big mountains, which of course, the San Juans certainly fit the bill and both Montrose and Durango are essentially gateways into those mountains (in fact, I think that might be Montrose's slogan). So, while the Grand Mesa is beautiful in it's own right, I wouldn't consider it as a primary jumping off point to those types of activities. We found ourselves driving 2+ hours south of GJ most often, or a few hours west, to big canyon country, for backpacking, biking and climbing.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,838,766 times
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delta07 wrote: In addition, GJ can be downright hot for long periods of time in the summer!

Yes indeed it gets very hot in the summer for weeks and weeks on end, AND it usually gets extremely cold for long periods of time in the winter. We are currently on the 22nd consecutive day with temperatures below freezing, already having experienced 14 or 15 nites with below zero temperatures.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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80skeys wrote: If you don't want to do Cedaredge, consider Crawford or Paonia which are also very nice

I second this suggestion! The Crawford, Paionia, Hotchkiss area is some of the most scenic countryside in the state of Colorado and it is quite liveable as well.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:16 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
Cedaredge? No no no no. That town has way too many problems, political infighting, some of the worst kids this side of Paonia and a local motorcycle gang.

OP needs to visit, and spend time here.
I'm sorry to hear that about Cedaredge. It always seemed like a nice little town the times I've driven through there. In fact, I almost moved there some years back. Guess it's a good thing I didn't if what you say about it is true.

I think Durango would be worth checking out for sure. It's more in the mountains and situated close to some of the most drop dead beautiful places in the Southwest- the San Juans, the Weminuche wilderness area, fantastic mountain peaks and it's close to canyonlands country just a skip away over the border in Utah. If the OP gets homesick for Ouray, it's just over the mountains on highway 550 - one of the most scenic drives in Colorado.

The only reason I didn't mention it before is that it's a lot bigger town than the OP said he wants to live in and the difficulty of finding reasonably priced housing there. But if the OP can afford it and he's willing to live in a larger community, Durango would be number one on my list.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Woods Bay, Montana
19 posts, read 46,377 times
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It's so funny to me that I have been pegged for an old "man"!

Colorado Rambler: "The only reason I didn't mention it before is that it's a lot bigger town than the OP said he wants to live in and the difficulty of finding reasonably priced housing there. But if the OP can afford it and he's willing to live in a larger community, Durango would be number one on my list."

And what is "OP"?

Well, I am female actually, and not so old either. Thanks for the laugh. Also, many thanks for all the suggestions on cities and towns that would match my criteria. Below is a list of preferences. I know there is a place like this somewhere... I was traveling in S. America and left a friend in Uruguay in search of a white sand beach all to myself. I was told it was a bit unrealistic, but I found one in Costa Rica soon after. I had to carry my bike across and through a few spots but I found a white sand beach, (without asking anyone!),- and had it all to myself. So here's my top five in hoping for my ultimate mountain town-

1. Good soil for a vegetable garden and orchard.
2. Water- well or spring.
3. Mountains nearby- preferably surrounding me and within walking distance.
4. Sunshine.
5. Small town feel and pop of less than 1000.

I've lived in Durango for less than a year and it was too big for me. I am keeping track of all the areas being suggested, (Crawford, Paionia, Hotchkiss), and will be doing some research on them. I would like to move in the next few months, or at least this year, so I have some time yet.

Thank you all!

"...as to when I revisit civilization, it will not be soon. I have not tired of the wilderness... It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty... This had been a full, rich year. I have left no strange or delightful thing undone I wanted to do".

-Everett Ruess (March 28, 1914 – November 1934?) For you CO Ramblin Man. (So sad there is a question mark after the last date...).
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:18 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,020,776 times
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Wink Could be possible

In consideration of criteria one through five, your original notion of Ouray might be a fine choice—only not within it.

Directly within town you'll surely be surrounded by mountains, and likely with enough water, but without much space for a garden. Not to mention often a lack of number four, or sun. Although it appears it should suffice with number five, with a year 2011 population of 982; in addition some outlying residences who would call town home for services—not to mention a LOT of tourists in summer.

Something shortly north of town could to varying degrees meet all your criteria. Say maybe along County Road 17. The canyon does open up, allowing far more space and sun. Ouray would still be but a short drive distant when wanted. In the right spot you'll still be close to some type of mountain, and obviously with a good view of them.

Do not overlook the water rights. For anything outside, particularly something like an orchard, make sure there is sufficient legal water. The water itself will be there, but legal access can be another matter.

The cost of land, and ease of gardening, would be better met farther north, like Ridgway, Montrose, and farther north. But at the cost of your other criteria. So a little compromising, and most of all in what one can afford. This should work near Ouray, but at a price. Otherwise there are other small towns in southwest Colorado which could do. Few could be as scenic, and in some instances one would want to begin their gardening by considering what uranium may be present.

Since selecting Ouray on perhaps more than a whim, maybe consider why one would now rule out the area.

BTW, "OP" is the abbreviation for original poster.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,699 posts, read 9,421,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
80skeys wrote: If you don't want to do Cedaredge, consider Crawford or Paonia which are also very nice

I second this suggestion! The Crawford, Paionia, Hotchkiss area is some of the most scenic countryside in the state of Colorado and it is quite liveable as well.
Beautiful up in those areas, rural. Right up against the towering western side of the Rockies and on just the other side of the mountains from Aspen and Crested Butte. I used to fish at Crawford Res, the scenery is neat because its basically located on the lower shoulder of the mountain - grasslands that go right up against the base of the mountain which is only a few miles away. It's suprisingly green up there - I don't know if it's from rainfall, snowmelt, or irrigation from all the agriculture/ranching.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,053 posts, read 12,403,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenChilly12 View Post
So here's my top five in hoping for my ultimate mountain town-

1. Good soil for a vegetable garden and orchard.
2. Water- well or spring.
3. Mountains nearby- preferably surrounding me and within walking distance.
4. Sunshine.
5. Small town feel and pop of less than 1000.

That would be Ridgway.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:12 AM
 
16,507 posts, read 20,906,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenChilly12 View Post

And what is "OP"?
OP stands for the original poster, the individual who started the thread.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:35 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
Reputation: 10278
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenChilly12 View Post
It's so funny to me that I have been pegged for an old "man"!
Hah! I guess we figured you're "old" (whatever that is) becaused you posted that you're retired.

Quote:
So here's my top five in hoping for my ultimate mountain town-

1. Good soil for a vegetable garden and orchard.
2. Water- well or spring.
3. Mountains nearby- preferably surrounding me and within walking distance.
4. Sunshine.
5. Small town feel and pop of less than 1000.
I'm having difficulty thinking of a place that will meet both criteria no.1 and no.3. You can't really walk into the mountains from Ridgeway - not unless you're quite the hiker and the mountain views there tend to be more distant than they are close. It's still a nice little town, though.

Bottom line is that it's hard to grow much of a garden in a place that qualifies as a small "mountain town".

Dolores?

Stoner and Dunton will be opening up to more folks, thanks to Colorado legalizing marijuana and Stoner might work. Think it would be hard to find land to buy around Dunton.

Rico would be too high altitude, I think.

Norwood just maybe - but Norwood is pretty isolated and pretty close to the towns of Nucla and Naturita which have been hammered by uranium mining. Anything you'd grow in those two towns would glow in the dark, and they're actually not mountain towns, anyhow.

Guess you're just going to have to start with Montrose and check out all the possibilities yourself. I'm sure you can find a good fit doing it that way.


Quote:
"...as to when I revisit civilization, it will not be soon. I have not tired of the wilderness... It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty... This had been a full, rich year. I have left no strange or delightful thing undone I wanted to do".

-Everett Ruess (March 28, 1914 – November 1934?) For you CO Ramblin Man. (So sad there is a question mark after the last date...).
Very nice catch on the "vagabond for beauty"/Everett Ruess thing. Very few people pick up on that.

Always, I shall be the one who loves the wilderness.
Red rocks and twisted trees and cloudless turquoise skies...


Men are not the only ones who ramble, as you obviously know for yourself. I'm a woman who is happiest sitting by my campfire in peaceful solitude, listening to a distant coyote singing its song.
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