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Old 03-09-2013, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis / St Paul
323 posts, read 419,650 times
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Probably Denver or the Denver area.

We've lived most of our lives in the Twin Cities, MN. We've probably got a couple/few decades left on this planet and we're not too keen on spending much more of it shoveling snow. We want a milder winter, and more sun. Winter solstice here is 8.6 hours of daylight, and the amount of sunshine is very low in the winter months. Every year seems more S.A.D. than the last.

On our shortlist is CO, VA, TN, NC, KY.

Regarding CO, we visited Denver in Feb. '12, stayed a week in a foothillish place not far from Golden. We're middle-aged and in pretty decent health, though fairly sedentary and probably each 30 lbs overweight. Health conditions include asthma, allergies, sleep apnea, high cholesterol.one of us had only minor symptoms, the other person was mildly sick the entire time (nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness), enough to impair activities a bit. We drank lots of water and were not overly active.

So the first concern is about adjusting to the altitude. I expect only time spent in situ will answer that.

Second concern is the climate. MN is a bit on the humid side, and has quite varied and lush vegetation (at least during the growing season). Not sure how we'll adjust to the aridity and apparent 'sparseness' of greenery.

Probably don't need to worry about global warming making things much worse in our lifetimes, but not sure if it's on the too-dry side already.

Throw out your thoughts, experiences, anecdotes, suggestions, questions. Any contribution is appreciated in helping us think this through, esp. where we might have blind spots.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:48 PM
 
20,840 posts, read 39,059,222 times
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Weather in Denver metro is usually on the milder side, though today we have blizzard winds and they're shoveling a foot of snow as we speak. It'll be in the sixties two days forward.

Lots of sun here. You'd do okay. I take it that jobs aren't an issue, so I'd also recommend the Shenandoah Valley of VA. Yes, does get humid but is so lovely that you'd be okay there too.

Otherwise, Denver metro area will give you a good experience with all the amenities of a big city. Suggest a location on the light rail system for getting around in senior years and for avoiding traffic now/any time.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:18 PM
 
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 yakimono View Post
Probably Denver or the Denver area.

We've lived most of our lives in the Twin Cities, MN. We've probably got a couple/few decades left on this planet and we're not too keen on spending much more of it shoveling snow. We want a milder winter, and more sun. Winter solstice here is 8.6 hours of daylight, and the amount of sunshine is very low in the winter months. Every year seems more S.A.D. than the last.
Denver most likely gets less snow than the Twin Cities, but it still gets nearly 48 inches give or take, so you'll still be doing some shoveling. However what with all the bright days, you will be considerably less S.A.D. than where you are now.

Quote:
So the first concern is about adjusting to the altitude. I expect only time spent in situ will answer that.
You'll adjust to the altitude a little more each day and one morning you'll wake up and realize that you haven't thought about the altitude in weeks!

Quote:
Second concern is the climate. MN is a bit on the humid side, and has quite varied and lush vegetation (at least during the growing season). Not sure how we'll adjust to the aridity and apparent 'sparseness' of greenery.
Within the city limits of Denver, it will seem pretty green what with all the lawns and trees and flowers that everyone has planted and the sprinklers going all summer (except when watering restrictions are in effect). The air will still be much drier than what you are used to. If you venture outside city limits, the landscape will indeed appear sparse and dry to someone from a more humid climate that gets more rain than Colorado does. Some Colorado newcomers come to see that the Mountain West has its own unique beauty and others never do quite care for it. My own father - who grew up in Kentucky - never tired of commenting how dry it is here and how you can't grow a proper tomato in Colorado, and he lived here a good thirty years.

Given your concerns about shoveling snow and the arid climate with its less than lush vegetation, you may be happier living in one of the southern states you listed. Kentucky is a wonderful state with its bluegrass and race horses and its verdent climate complete with fire flies in the summer. AND you can grow tomatoes there!

Only you know which environment is best for you and each state has its own pluses and minuses.

Good luck finding your new home!
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:59 AM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,487,858 times
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I'm going to suggest taking CO off your short list. I to have altitude problems. I get altitude sickness in Denver if I get dehydrated. I can't stay over 9000 ft for more than two nights or I get altitude sickness, no matter how much water I drink. If your susceptible to it just visiting Denver I don't think it will go away to the extent that you would like. When we go camping I'm always very careful to pick areas that are lower than 9000 ft if I can. I also like to hike in Wyoming and one of my favorite areas is at 7000 ft. I really have to be on top of the hydration there or end up having to come back with an altitude headache. It somewhat limits the Colorado recreation opportunities that I can take advantage of. I've lived here 20 yrs and done alot of hiking as well as one triathlon. So it is not a question of fitness. My dad cannot visit me here under Drs. orders because of the health problems he has when visiting in the past. My mom has problem at altitude also and so does my brother. I think it is genetic.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:55 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,529,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakimono View Post

Regarding CO, we visited Denver in Feb. '12, stayed a week in a foothillish place not far from Golden. We're middle-aged and in pretty decent health, though fairly sedentary and probably each 30 lbs overweight. Health conditions include asthma, allergies, sleep apnea, high cholesterol.one of us had only minor symptoms, the other person was mildly sick the entire time (nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness), enough to impair activities a bit. We drank lots of water and were not overly active.

So the first concern is about adjusting to the altitude. I expect only time spent in situ will answer that.

Second concern is the climate. MN is a bit on the humid side, and has quite varied and lush vegetation (at least during the growing season). Not sure how we'll adjust to the aridity and apparent 'sparseness' of greenery.
That's a big problem. The air in Colorado is much thinner and your respiratory system and heart have to work a lot harder, even when your red blood cells "adjust", it doesn't make it equal to sea level. Colorado has a lot of pollen and dust(my car in summer used to be lime green in color from all the pollen and dust) which aggravates a lot of people's allergies and respiratory system. The foothills above Denver are a great example of a problem area, as when there is a thermal inversion or a bad pollution day, that band of haze above Denver covers the foothills, in what is often a London Fog type pea soup. Sleep apnea is also a problem at elevation, due to the thin air and Colorado houses are often well insulated with little air flow.

A lot of people don't do well with the arid air either, especially when they have been so used to having humidity most of their life.

I think the fact you spent a week there and both of you had issues should be a good warning sign.

Living down on the prairie in Denver might be easier for you, living up in the mountains above 7000 feet I think you will find to be a constant struggle. It will only get more difficult as each year goes on and you age.

One thing you can do if you really want to try it, is pick the town you are interested in and do a short term rental for a couple of months to six months. If at the end of the six months you feel great, continue on, if not chalk it up to experience.

I would look at the southern Appalachians as you can still have mountains without high elevation and the weather is more moderate than MN.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
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^ I've heard that some people simply can't adjust to high altitudes. Something about the ability of the blood to carry enough oxygen under high altitude conditions. And yes, that's genetic.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,269,339 times
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During my time in Durango I never got used to the altitude. I felt bad all the time *and* I had lots of nose bleeds from the dryness.

Not to mention the fact that when the wind blew from the South, it brought all the pollen in from the Chaparral from the desert and it was a horrible experience.

Some people may find Colorado beautiful, but it is not for everyone.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:39 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,722,706 times
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Quote:
On our shortlist is CO, VA, TN, NC, KY.
Go visit Tri cities TN and Boone / Asheville / mtns of NC. (bit cooler, nice seasons, breezes to help during Aug and Sept humidity, no (few) tornadoes.

CO is real nice (I spent 25 yrs there) BUT... it has several challenges NOT in your favor..

If you are concerned about income taxes, then focus on TN. A place I like as senior potential is Kingsport, TN.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:56 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,020,776 times
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Wink Adjusting to this beauty

Quote:
Probably don't need to worry about global warming making things much worse in our lifetimes…

Au contraire. Due the continuing drought, there were some massive wildfires in this state last summer. For instance in a sizable chunk of Colorado Springs burning down. Baring a rather large miracle, this coming summer will see more of the same and worse. You'll be front row center for that. With projections for coming decades only worse. Unfortunate, but there you are.

Would point out that VA, TN, NC and KY all bear more of a resemblance to each other than Colorado. This is a perfectly lovely state, but, well, it is different. But if liking the Rocky Mountain West, you might also consider New Mexico and possibly Arizona. All the more if really wishing to largely skip the snow. Flagstaff, AZ may have too much of it for you, Prescott possibly not. Phoenix or Tucson may prove too hot. Albuquerque, NM, on the other hand, enjoys a climate similar to Denver's, only more temperate with less snow. In all cases you'll have lots of sun. In Wyoming as well. If as far north as Montana, expect much of the overcast experienced in the greater Pacific Northwest, if less severe than Seattle.

Most people adjust to the altitude. In time. Do consider, though, that visiting the mountains will always entail in increase in elevation from Denver; aside from the plains, one is basically only going up from there. With but a modest gain there are many fine outdoor opportunities, but one might as well easily exceed 9,000 and 10,000 feet. Even if accustomed to Denver, one might not be to that.

But, nevertheless, perhaps plan on getting out more. This is rated as one of the most fit states, and due the sun and setting there are many outdoor opportunities. Part of adjusting to the greater elevation and enjoying it is being in generally good health. There is the opportunity to improve that.

Not a place for everyone, so perhaps advisable to try it on a provisional basis. But take the chance to explore: there is a lot of fine country to see.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,838,766 times
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Mike from back east wrote: I'd also recommend the Shenandoah Valley of VA. Yes, does get humid but is so lovely that you'd be okay there too.

I will second this recommendation, especially around Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Pearisburg area.
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