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Old 03-11-2013, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis / St Paul
323 posts, read 419,491 times
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I don't suppose there's any way to test for the altitude issue? We can't really afford to take off a month or more for a visit to trial it further.

BTW, only one of us had a problem, but it persisted the whole week, despite increased water intake.

I'm more drawn to forests than mountains. Could probably adjust to not having lush vegetation, but NM might be going too far. ;-) Have driven around parts of the Rockies on several vacations, and they're a bit scary to me.

We do feel that CO would be a better fit politically and socially...
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:33 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,525,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakimono View Post
I don't suppose there's any way to test for the altitude issue? We can't really afford to take off a month or more for a visit to trial it further.

BTW, only one of us had a problem, but it persisted the whole week, despite increased water intake.

I'm more drawn to forests than mountains. Could probably adjust to not having lush vegetation, but NM might be going too far. ;-) Have driven around parts of the Rockies on several vacations, and they're a bit scary to me.

We do feel that CO would be a better fit politically and socially...
Where exactly are you talking about living in Colorado anyways?

If you have asthma, sleep apnea, an indication of heart issues and you are sedentary and overweight, running around at higher elevation is going to be a problem. As you have already seen, one of your party had serious issues that kept them from doing normal activities. Just above Golden is not that high, so it should be a good indication likely the same problems will not resolve themselves. In addition as you age each year it will get harder and harder.

Flogging yourself with water just addresses the fact that in dry climates, every breath you take removes a lot of water from your system and more water just keeps you hydrated. It doesn't address your chronic issues.

In addition if you find the Rockies a bit scary, that should be a good sign as well that you might not like living in the Rockies.

Even if you pick living on the prairie, Denver and Colorado Springs are still high enough many people have issues and with temperature inversions, wind that blows in dust and pollen and other issues, that can give people problems that have respiratory issues.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:51 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,019,284 times
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Wink In elevation

Per altitude, only your body can inform you.

Unfortunately you are considering a place with the highest average elevation in the United States, and basically world aside from the Himalaya. Look at a relief map of the US and you'll see Colorado as an island of sorts in overall elevation. If with high peaks themselves, not Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, nothing matches it. The highest peak in the continental US is in California (and just a few miles distant in Death Valley, the lowest spot), the highest in the US in Alaska (Denali), but all their inhabited mountain areas are at a distinctly lower elevation than Colorado.

With altitude a consideration, perhaps try Colorado on a month by month basis; worst case scenario, you only lose a month's rent in having to move. BTW, immediately moving to a lower altitude is the best way to remedy altitude sickness, and mandatory when it is severe.

If Denver proves too high, an alternative could be Salt Lake City, Utah, with the slightly lower elevation of 4,327 feet. If on the west side of the mountains, in setting it is similar to Denver. Some needlessly fear the Mormon influence, but it is a civilized place. However it does surpass Denver at times in winter in air pollution, with bad inversions. Somewhat removed from SLC metro and a pleasant town is Logan, UT, with an elevation of 4,534 feet.

In the greater West there are many options with elevations lower than Denver. New Mexico has surprised many with its culture and amenities, as well striking landscape, but Albuquerque has roughly the same elevation as Denver; and areas in or near mountains (Sandias excepted, as local to ABQ) generally reside at higher elevations. However Boise, Idaho resides at only 2,730 feet, with some lovely mountains to its east. One may not prefer the Pacific Northwest due the near constant cloud cover in winter, although it can be far more lush than Colorado. If truly splendid, the Cascade Mountains running from Canada south into Oregon have a distinctly lower average elevation than the Colorado Rockies. The west side may be too wet for you, but to the east an entirely different enchilada. That goes as well for Bend, Oregon, with a climate somewhat like Denver's, at an elevation of 3,623 feet. Bend has a fair amount of sun, particularly compared to anything on the west side of the divide. Farther south, many communities in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California reside at a moderately low elevation. Those near the shore of Lake Tahoe at roughly 6,000 feet (South Lake Tahoe, 6,260 feet); nearby Reno, Nevada is lower at 4,400 feet. Many prefer some of the quaint towns in the foothills, for example Mariposa, California, with an elevation of 1,949 feet. One could live near Sacramento, CA (elevation, 30 feet), and yet be in the foothills within minutes and to Tahoe in less than two hours.

Obviously one should consider local weather patterns, with either the Sierra Nevada or Cascades being distinctly different from the Rockies. Also of course size of one's considered home and amenities offered, general culture, etc. But if Denver proves too high, there are many options in the West that could work elevation-wise.

Or the pity in moving to Colorado and not ever seeing much of it due elevation or concerns for mountain driving. Mountains will be mountains as far as roads are concerned, but lots of areas where truly superb mountain scenery will be at much lower elevations.

Last edited by Idunn; 03-11-2013 at 07:20 PM..
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:49 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,389 posts, read 39,704,721 times
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elevation caused my aging mother to leave CO after 50 yrs there. She hated to leave the beautiful homes she had built / landscaped, but it became unbearable to spend the night (shortness of breath). She got over the fact of moving to NM. (tho not all that much lower, but 'breathable'). BROWN NM is not as sad as Beetle Kill brown forests in CO (when you grew up with green forests)

You are not gonna find out in a few weeks, when you age... things change (usually not for the better).

What social political persuasion do you desire? There are MANY places with forests and mtns at polar extremes on the political and social scale. Colorado is going through some political pain, I don't see an enjoyable or effective resolution happening in MY lifetime, so sad to happen to a formerly great state...but the politicos have THEIR PLAN... R.I.P. any thought the USA is a democracy.

Electoral / population Statistics / posturing and 'targeted' votes will rule the USA until the next revolution. (unlikely to happen in Passive USA). Lead the sheep
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:49 AM
 
13,292 posts, read 25,459,767 times
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Water will not increase one's acclimitization. It's not a miracle answer to altitude's effects. Only time spent aids in acclimatizing.
If one already has a resp. problem, altitude will make it worse. A friend of mine with severe COPD lives in Colorado, has for about 60 years. SHe lived at 7,000 feet, retired to Montrose, which is lower, and finds that she has more trouble in Montrose than when visiting her sister at sea level.
For "simple" acclimatizing, you should ideally go up a couple of thousand feet a day, and go down maybe a thousand feet from that to sleep, then go up a couple of thousand feet, etc.
Of course, it's hard to take a long drive that way. The first time I drove across the state, I kept feeling like a punch in the stomach, and I'd look up, and it would be a 10,000-foot pass. I don't feel the altitude in Denver, but going up from there, I do, and there's nothing to do but be inactive and wait to get used to it. If a splitting headache hits, go DOWN. Fast.
It's a very erratic thing. People in perfect condition can have reactions to altitude, in fact, someone in great shape can bike/run/hike up too fast and get sick. I talked to one doc who knew a patient who lived in Leadville all his life (10,000 feet) who went to Tennessee for a month to visit family, came back to Leadville and had an altitude reaction.
Altitude must be respected, and it helps to understand how it works.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:01 AM
 
1,163 posts, read 1,198,316 times
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I was fine in Colorado Springs but I started really feeling the altitude just driving up to Westcliffe. I had to abandon the trip and head back down.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 368,399 times
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I moved here at 49, after living my whole life in Michigan. I had a hazy headache and a little dizziness for the first 90 days or so but gradually got used to it. I don't miss the 'green and lush'... I am so happy for the sunshine it totally makes up for it. Snow is minimal here compared to the midwest, maybe it feels that way because it doesn't stay on the ground from December to April...but that is my take on it anyway. Good luck with your adventure!
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