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Old 07-08-2017, 06:41 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,191,290 times
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one area of concern not mentioned so far:

TRAFFIC!

Mrs Sun and I have each made several business trips in the last week ... Cheyenne to Boulder, or Longmont, or Loveland, or Johnstown.

Trips were made at varying times from early AM, through the mid-day, to the late afternoon.

Mrs Sun was in stop'n'go on I-25 heading South to Boulder yesterday at 1 PM, starting from the Harmony Road exit (So Ft Collins) through to exiting for Hwy 52 to head over to the Boulder road. She observed similar slow going on the Northbound i-25 at that time. On her return trip from Boulder, I-25 was again a stop'n'go with numerous instances of the traffic accelerating heavily to then stop within a few hundred yards. Again, Southbound I-25 was observed to be in similar slow motion.

I went to Johnstown on Thursday, leaving Cheyenne at 10 AM ... thinking I'd be well behind the "rush hour" traffic. No such luck, it was slow going from Hwy 34 all the way into Johnstown (which has it's own traffic issues right now with the road construction in the area. I sat for almost 20 minutes 15 blocks West of Parrish Ave before the flaggers got us moving Eastward so I could get to the Northbound Parrish Ave biz I was calling on 3 blocks from that intersection). For the return trip, I chose Hwy 85 ... big mistake, it's under construction now, too, just north of Greeley. I didn't get out of stop'n'go traffic on 85 at 2 PM until I headed east on Hwy 14 to Briggsdale (the back way via Hereford CO to get to our farm).

In my recent travel experience, it takes a lot longer than 40 minutes to get to Estes from Loveland given the traffic density and "looky-lous" on the road today. Similarly, the roads around Loveland/Longmont/Fort Collins area have been slow moving on all of our trips the last several months unless we're driving late in the evening.

From our vantage point, the traffic issue in Colorado's Front Range has taken on a different perspective for "quality of life" issues. Where once we lived at I-25/Hwy 52 (just 4 miles from the interstate) and I could drive to my shop in Littleton in under an hour for normal business day hours ... it's not possible anymore. We're thankful to not be in the snarl anymore on a full time residence basis.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-08-2017 at 07:13 PM..
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:40 AM
 
7,335 posts, read 16,590,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Ideally you could get a 'caretaker' house at a wealthy place on a nice lake! (My ex-boss in CO did that near Estes Park for 20+ yrs of retirement (free housing for mowing and light gardening). Owner came around a couple weekends / yr at most. But, was away for over 5 yrs during one time.

Thus the 'Shared equity / Co-op ownership' theme. Some retirees (like me) spend very little time at home (gone all of 2016, and many trips so far in 2017). Multiple living space is tough to find in restrictive zoning Colorado, But I know of many camps that have live-in caretakers (very light duty). Large acreage / farms often have multiple houses.

Don't know if we'd physically be able to do a "caretaking" type work. Neither of us are real big on outside work, that's why, amount some other reasons, we've haven't bought another house. I can, as I do now, take care of some things inside a home while my wife is at work, but as we get older, even those things can get somewhat overwhelming.

Caretaking can be a descent job, as long as a person/couple can work for the right people.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:37 AM
 
Location: On the road
2,668 posts, read 1,966,743 times
Reputation: 2911
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
one area of concern not mentioned so far:

TRAFFIC!

Mrs Sun and I have each made several business trips in the last week ... Cheyenne to Boulder, or Longmont, or Loveland, or Johnstown.

Trips were made at varying times from early AM, through the mid-day, to the late afternoon.

Mrs Sun was in stop'n'go on I-25 heading South to Boulder yesterday at 1 PM, starting from the Harmony Road exit (So Ft Collins) through to exiting for Hwy 52 to head over to the Boulder road. She observed similar slow going on the Northbound i-25 at that time. On her return trip from Boulder, I-25 was again a stop'n'go with numerous instances of the traffic accelerating heavily to then stop within a few hundred yards. Again, Southbound I-25 was observed to be in similar slow motion.

I went to Johnstown on Thursday, leaving Cheyenne at 10 AM ... thinking I'd be well behind the "rush hour" traffic. No such luck, it was slow going from Hwy 34 all the way into Johnstown (which has it's own traffic issues right now with the road construction in the area. I sat for almost 20 minutes 15 blocks West of Parrish Ave before the flaggers got us moving Eastward so I could get to the Northbound Parrish Ave biz I was calling on 3 blocks from that intersection). For the return trip, I chose Hwy 85 ... big mistake, it's under construction now, too, just north of Greeley. I didn't get out of stop'n'go traffic on 85 at 2 PM until I headed east on Hwy 14 to Briggsdale (the back way via Hereford CO to get to our farm).

In my recent travel experience, it takes a lot longer than 40 minutes to get to Estes from Loveland given the traffic density and "looky-lous" on the road today. Similarly, the roads around Loveland/Longmont/Fort Collins area have been slow moving on all of our trips the last several months unless we're driving late in the evening.

From our vantage point, the traffic issue in Colorado's Front Range has taken on a different perspective for "quality of life" issues. Where once we lived at I-25/Hwy 52 (just 4 miles from the interstate) and I could drive to my shop in Littleton in under an hour for normal business day hours ... it's not possible anymore. We're thankful to not be in the snarl anymore on a full time residence basis.
Oh yes. Traffic is a BEAR! these days. You have to learn your way around on the roads that avoid I-25, particularly between Ft Collins and Mead. (and the planned construction to widen I-25 from Mead to the State line will make it even more interesting for the next few years.) Even US-287 between Longmont and Broomfield has become congested. I avoid those roads.

And, getting to Estes Park in the Summer will be a tedious drive on 34, especially on weekends. Always.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:14 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,393 posts, read 39,713,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
...
And, getting to Estes Park in the Summer will be a tedious drive on 34, especially on weekends. Always.
34 has always been a summer BEAR.. (even more so when it was all 2 lane and dotted with Cherry Pie Shops!) As a kid we knew it was a good day, when we had less than 100 cars pass before there was a break in traffic to get out on road.

Getting to Estes Park on 34 is currently not possible in the winter! (flood saga #2), rebuilding a HIGHER road as (2) 500 Yr floods in 30 yrs proved a challenge for the Thompson Canyon.

As retirees... traffic can largely be avoided, BUT it is there...and it can be BAD. I avoid N-S routes in Ft Collins except after midnight (blinking reds / yellow are activated at night).

There are many short cuts / alternate routes if you are a local. Just stay clear of 34 and I-25 and 287.

Cost of housing is the current challenge, but there are affordable places. Will need to "network" to find them. We have 3 friends in Loveland that have 'guest cottages' and are now housing FT people who couldn't find affordable places to live. House sitting can be a great gig while finding your spot., as many locals head to warm climes for winter. I will expect there are some homes around Boyd Lake with guest homes / extra living space.

Cheyenne definitely "wins" for less traffic and the 'western' theme. But for accessible EZ fishing / lots of lakes within a few minutes, Loveland wins. Loveland also avails many local venues (Colleges in Ft Collins, Greeley, Boulder), so you will just need to consider ALL your requirements. / check off the wish list. I tend to consider Spearfish / Sturgis as a potential option, but they have crowds and negative points of their own (summers can be really a ZOO on roads nearby). Winter is LONGER and colder than Loveland.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 07-09-2017 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:50 AM
 
7,335 posts, read 16,590,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
34 has always been a summer BEAR.. (even more so when it was all 2 lane and dotted with Cherry Pie Shops!) As a kid we knew it was a good day, when we had less than 100 cars pass before there was a break in traffic to get out on road.

Getting to Estes Park on 34 is currently not possible in the winter! (flood saga #2), rebuilding a HIGHER road as (2) 500 Yr floods in 30 yrs proved a challenge for the Thompson Canyon.

As retirees... traffic can largely be avoided, BUT it is there...and it can be BAD. I avoid N-S routes in Ft Collins except after midnight (blinking reds / yellow are activated at night).

There are many short cuts / alternate routes if you are a local. Just stay clear of 34 and I-25 and 287.

Cost of housing is the current challenge, but there are affordable places. Will need to "network" to find them. We have 3 friends in Loveland that have 'guest cottages' and are now housing FT people who couldn't find affordable places to live. House sitting can be a great gig while finding your spot., as many locals head to warm climes for winter. I will expect there are some homes around Boyd Lake with guest homes / extra living space.

Cheyenne definitely "wins" for less traffic and the 'western' theme. But for accessible EZ fishing / lots of lakes within a few minutes, Loveland wins. Loveland also avails many local venues (Colleges in Ft Collins, Greeley, Boulder), so you will just need to consider ALL your requirements. / check off the wish list. I tend to consider Spearfish / Sturgis as a potential option, but they have crowds and negative points of their own (summers can be really a ZOO on roads nearby). Winter is LONGER and colder than Loveland.
Funny, but when we mention to folks here about leaving Florida to go back to "Old Man Winter", the very first thing they say is "why?". 99% of the people where we live have never been to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho or the Dakota's, even for a vacation. Some say "they are beautiful states", from media they've seen. Actually, there are some here that don't even know where those states are!

Yes, when folks are retired, or even semi-retired, traffic doesn't bother them nearly as much as a full-time working person. Winter can be the same way.........not nearly as bad when retired.

Like when we lived south of Denver for 5 1/2 years, we don't need any kind of full-time 'western' theme. Just to be able to put on our western clothes to go to a rodeo, maybe dancing or to Frontier Mall in Cheyenne, would be enough. Sure would be more than we do now!

Unfortunately, "afford housing" doesn't always mean in a safe/safer area and that is what we really must have.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,108,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBoating View Post
Unfortunately, "afford[able] housing" doesn't always mean in a safe/safer area and that is what we really must have.
That usually is the "bottom line". Most of the other factors can vary, but everyone needs a home, and must be able to afford it. A safe/comfortable area is also very important, especially when older and knowing what you want and don't want. Maybe that's the real starting place in your search. Based on what we've seen and experienced, I know my wife and I won't be retiring in CO.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:33 AM
 
7,335 posts, read 16,590,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
That usually is the "bottom line". Most of the other factors can vary, but everyone needs a home, and must be able to afford it. A safe/comfortable area is also very important, especially when older and knowing what you want and don't want. Maybe that's the real starting place in your search. Based on what we've seen and experienced, I know my wife and I won't be retiring in CO.
Well, when I asked her yesterday about "affording Loveland rent" she said "I think so". Actually, "I think so" isn't good enough, but to give her the "benefit of the doubt", we do have a couple of years before we can move. The cost of our boat repair last Fall has made us stay here for the extra year. But, also, hopefully, we will be able to put more money in savings and she'll have more 401k money then.

We really like Loveland and the local lakes, but might not be able to afford a safer place to live. If that's the case, will have to look more at Cheyenne or somewhere else. However, nowhere in the South, Northeast or Southwest.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:32 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,393 posts, read 39,713,740 times
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Very tough to NOT have a safe place to rent in Loveland / Berthoud / Windsor / Johnstown / Ft Collins / Wellington / Eaton / Ault . There are very few undesirable neighborhoods, strong police presence, and a good neighborhood watch system. Greeley and and Evans may have minor petty theft issues, but really most of the Mtn West is pretty safe / secure. large cities will have more issues. Last week in Loveland and Ft Collins, our hosts / homes were not locked at night, and screen doors open for cool evening air.

Traffic is 'relative'... I just spent my first week in FL (Been gone for 25 yrs)
Traffic was nearly as bad as CA !!!. People hang out in their cars A LOT and use Drive-up windows to keep on their butts (and cool) and off their feet (and hot).

Personally... I would not be happy to live in FL or anywhere east of Missouri River (I prefer to only sweat while WORKING, not while lounging). I am most put off by 'grubby' facilities, racial overtones, terrible customer service, and lots of smokers... but... I am not into A/C or being dripping wet / doing laundry every day.

Colorado / Southern WY are pretty nice as you seldom need to PLAN your summer activities to avoid HOT days. Winter is another story, but really... you will have a few days / month of inconvenience, maybe a couple weeks / yr of NASTY / "stay in weather" . In the south (W/O A/C)... you may be stuck indoors from 10AM > 7PM for 3+ months! Summer electric bills can be staggering. No CO and SO WY will avail 'Passive solar' options and in winter 'sunny days' you can often drive in your car 'terrarium' in shirt sleeves. I did ride my bicycle to work all but 3 days, my last yr in Loveland. In the moderate but WET PNW, I have ridden my bike to work 3 days in 30+ yrs.
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