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Old 04-25-2006, 02:30 PM
1 posts, read 3,564 times
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My wife & I (mid 40's - no children) are considering me accepting a job & relocating from England to Silverthorne CO. Whilst we love America & have had many holidays in the States, it has been mainly East or West coast + Arizona/Nevada & Chicago. We have not yet travelled to Colorado & before we make a lengthy exploritory trip, I was hopeful that some of you good people might be able to offer us any tips/advice. My wife is a keen gardener & fearful that she may be housebound for 6 months of the year because of snow. I would very much welcome any advice. Kind Regards. Charlie
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:44 PM
Location: New Zealand
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If you like nature and the outdoors, chances are you'll like Colorado. We live in Silverthorne -- moved here last month from Denver.

There's hiking, biking, fishing, skiing all around. Beautiful views all around. Eagles Nest Wilderness & the spectacular Gore Range lie to the west and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness & the Continental Divide lie to the east. The Blue River runs through the valley.

House prices are very expensive. Of the four major towns, real estate is most expensive in Breckenridge, followed by Frisco, and then Dillon and Silverthorne. But they're all very close to each other (about 2-15 minutes of each other). Some of the outer/smaller towns will be cheaper (e.g. Blue River, Heeney), but they'll be that much farther from general amenities (e.g. shopping, restaurants).

Single-family homes will be most expensive, followed by condos/townhomes.

Silverthorne is the main residential town in Summit County -- a lot of full-time residents. But not much of a town center -- more of a strip mall. But it also sits just away from the flow of tourist traffic, so you miss most of the congestion and hustle/bustle.

Ideally I'd say the best place to live would be a bit further from the highway, around the Eagles Nest subdivision or so -- it's far enough away to be quiet and residential, but close enough to everything.

Summers are great -- daily high temperatures range from 70-75F (it's been unusually warm recently though) -- cools down nicely to the 40's at night. Winters average about 30F during the day. Very dry climate so heat or cold are both bearable.

It usually starts snowing around October. Most of the major snowstorms end around April. Although there has been snowfall in every month of the year. As a gardener, your wife should be aware that due to the high altitude (8,500 feet) and dry climate, not much grows here (definitely not the lush gardens you get in the UK).

If you'd like more of a proper town feel with a quaint Main Street, Breckenridge, or even Frisco may be more to your liking -- but you'll have to pay through the nose for the amenity + you'll have to put up with tourist traffic jamming up the roads, shops, and restaurants all year round.

PM me if you'd like more info.
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Old 07-04-2007, 06:21 PM
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With the short growing season of the area due to altitude and lower temps, it's good to consider a greenhouse for your vegetable or flower garden. Native high altitude wildflowers will grow well in the soils in the area.

If you get a single family home, you should have enough room for an inexpensive "tunnel" type greenhouse that will hold up in the climate. The plastic covering should last for years, and is readily replaceable. We bought a 14' x 20' and it's a little smaller than we'd like to have, so are bringing in a second, slightly larger, unit to put in next to it (we do a lot of "canning" of our tomatoes, onions, etc ... make up sauces for our own use).

You can extend your growing season by several months this way, and raise a lot of fresh produce for your own consumption.

Due to Colorado's very dry alpine climate, the days between the major snowstorms are very tolerable. There's a lot of snow loss due to the bright sunshine melting the snow off, even on days that are below freezing temps. The snow season is not as daunting as places where the snow builds up in a wet climate and remains for the entire winter, although it will build up in the shaded places. Depending upon the climate cycle ... wet or drought cycle ... some years the snowfall will not be very much; other years, it can build up to where you'll be clearing out the pathway to your front door. Lately, it's been pretty moderate, although the most recent season suggests we're on the turn from a dry to a wetter cycle. You certainly won't be housebound for months, although there will be days where a storm front can bring cold temps and a lot of blowing snow; most everybody deals with it as a routine event and it rarely shuts the place down, even if I-70 (the major East-West highway through the area) gets shut down due to storm conditions.

Somehow, Fuzz forgot to mention that Silverthorne sits adjacent to one of premier mountain lakes of Colorado ... Dillon. There's boating (sail and power) there, fishing, and a couple of marina's (Dillon and Frisco) to keep your boat in the water or to launch from.

It's a beautiful area of Colorado, with excellent access to the Denver/front range area for all the other amenities you might want ... about an hour down the hill in good weather. And yet it's remote enough to enjoy the Colorado mountain living experience.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-04-2007 at 06:37 PM..
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