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Thread summary:

Considering move out west towards mountains, Montana, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, seeking pros and cons of living in Colorado area

 
 
Old 02-28-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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Hey, I hope this is not a redundant question. I have being doing a lot of research about a possible move to the West. Currently I am in a position to move to the mountains which has been a desire for many years. I am looking at Colorado, Montana (from Helena to Kalispell), Portland & Seattle are possibilities, and maybe Idaho. But Seattle is pricey and receives little snow.

Why did you choose Colorado? What were you looking for?

I want mountains, national or state forests/parks nearby, trees, beautiful landscapes, snow, 4 seasons, thunderstorms, lakes/rivers, etc. I'm staying away from extreme weather like in eastern Montana and Wyoming. And the desert-areas do not attract me. It would be nice where the weather allowed for a summer garden but that's not a biggie. But I don't want to be so isolated that there is no internet and it's a 75 mile drive to go to a grocery store. I've seen pics of Boise and the browness turns me off. I love green. I'm from Alabama where trees are everywhere.

I have read that Colorado has more sunny days than Montana? Is this true? In Colorado I'm looking into the Denver area, Col Spgrs area, and Ft. Collins area. I really want to know why you choose CO over other alternatives? Is the scenery in Colorado as spectacular as Montana?
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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Hey there... I have lived in Breckenridge Colorado and I loved it.. that being Said OREGON kicks ass! Have you thoguht about Bend OR? Paradise... truly...
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:37 AM
 
Location: South Bay
208 posts, read 891,308 times
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i lived in colorado near denver for two years and there is lots and lots of sun

the weather is great actually. it does get cold, it does snow and rain, but the frequent sun is really nice
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Colorado
431 posts, read 2,500,244 times
Reputation: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2flyabove View Post
Hey, I hope this is not a redundant question. I have being doing a lot of research about a possible move to the West. Currently I am in a position to move to the mountains which has been a desire for many years. I am looking at Colorado, Montana (from Helena to Kalispell), Portland & Seattle are possibilities, and maybe Idaho. But Seattle is pricey and receives little snow.

Why did you choose Colorado? What were you looking for?

I want mountains, national or state forests/parks nearby, trees, beautiful landscapes, snow, 4 seasons, thunderstorms, lakes/rivers, etc. I'm staying away from extreme weather like in eastern Montana and Wyoming. And the desert-areas do not attract me. It would be nice where the weather allowed for a summer garden but that's not a biggie. But I don't want to be so isolated that there is no internet and it's a 75 mile drive to go to a grocery store. I've seen pics of Boise and the browness turns me off. I love green. I'm from Alabama where trees are everywhere.

I have read that Colorado has more sunny days than Montana? Is this true? In Colorado I'm looking into the Denver area, Col Spgrs area, and Ft. Collins area. I really want to know why you choose CO over other alternatives? Is the scenery in Colorado as spectacular as Montana?
Colorado is a semi-arrid state. So we are not green green as in a humid state. I did not choose, my parents did but would not leave. I live in the central south. Canon City on the Arkansas River. Backed up against the Wet Mountain Range of the Rockies on the eastern slope. We are green because of irrigation set up by pioneers of agriculture over a 100 yrs ago. The western slope is wetter and maybe greener but the closer cities are on this side. Pueblo- 40 miles, Colorado Springs-45 Denver over a 100. The Rockie Mountains were named that for a reason. They are rough "new" mountains. Meaning that they are still growing and are not rounded or a more smooth as in old mountains nor have the heavy vegetation as jungle type you have to cut your way thro or that grows up behind you (as in the history of Davey Crocket cutting his way thro the wildernes.) The National Forest is 5 miles from my back door. We have 342 days of sun--178 days avg. growing season--4" per mo. avg. snowfall in winter mos. There are man made lakes/reservoirs used for recreation in Co. but built mainly for storage of water. High lakes which are formed in craters are my favorite to horseback ride to or creeks and beaver ponds for fishing, beautiful scenery. If a winter sports fan, plenty of that too. What ever you do to earn a living will make a difference I am sure. No matter which side of the continental divide you go to when you get away from the mountains it will plains and prairie type land. --Internet is no problem in most places. If a cellphone works so will the Internet or go satellite. It is available one way or another. Speaking about cell phones they don't work in some areas in the mountains unless maybe satellite. Analog in some areas but the mts block signals unless a tower in the area. This part of the west is not going to be the vegetation you are used to in Alabama, coast areas probably. They are humid we are not. Altitude is a great deal different also. I sit at a little under 6000 ft. We have several 14teeners as they call them. 14000 ft mts. in Co. for mt. climbing if that is your thing.

Last edited by Nadine; 03-01-2007 at 10:18 AM.. Reason: clarify
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:15 PM
 
Location: The 719
13,633 posts, read 21,489,347 times
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Nadine hit the nail on the head. We have 4 seasons here. It's not green out here like it is from about Topeka Kansas to the east coast, but if we get enough rain in the late spring and into the summer, it gets pretty green.

We moved out of SOCAL because it was getting crazy out there. If you are in the mountains just west of the front range you can enjoy cooler temperatures in the summer. Denver and Pueblo get pretty hot in the summer- in the 90's and even into the 100's but it can be 75 up in the hills. You can enjoy skiing as late as early July if you go to A-Basin. You can go rafting in the spring and summer, hiking, camping, fishing, mountain bike riding, etc.

You'll have to visit to really understand what it's like here. If you want to have good job opportunities you may have to consider the Front Range from Colorado Springs up to Fort Collins. Southern Colorado from Pueblo to the NM border, Durango, or the western slope would be great if you can find work in these areas.

The weather out here has been kind of strange lately. You want it to be green and you will likely find that in the mountains but the winters are kind of rough. If you can last a year in a mountain town, you've got it made. If not, you may need to move to the high plains desert and it might remind you of Boise.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,961 posts, read 98,795,031 times
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This area is more like Boise than Alabama. I've only been to Boise once and don't remember a lot, but I can tell you it gets brown here in Metro Denver about July and stays that way till at least the following April. All greenery outside the mountains is provided by way of irrigation. The main native tree is the Cottonwood. Maples, oaks, etc are all planted. If you really want green, you should probably try Portland or Seattle, not Denver. Even the mountains are not the lush green of the Pacific Northwest or the Northeast.

We came here because my husband vacationed here as a kid and wanted to live near the mountains. Fortunately for us, the economy is good here and he was able to find a job. I am a nurse, can work anywhere, so that helps.

The climate is nice as far as lack of humidity, not too hot most of the time (though it gets up to 100 almost every summer), not too cold in the winter despite what you may have heard. We get snow, but most years (not this one) there are weeks of warm, sunny weather between the snowstorms.
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:20 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,785 posts, read 37,451,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2flyabove View Post
... I am in a position to move to the mountains which has been a desire for many years. I am looking at Colorado, Montana (from Helena to Kalispell), Portland & Seattle are possibilities, and maybe Idaho. But Seattle is pricey and receives little snow.

Why did you choose Colorado? What were you looking for?

I want mountains, national or state forests/parks nearby, trees, beautiful landscapes, snow, 4 seasons, thunderstorms, lakes/rivers, etc. ...
I have read that Colorado has more sunny days than Montana? Is this true? In Colorado I'm looking into the Denver area, Col Spgrs area, and Ft. Collins area. I really want to know why you choose CO over other alternatives? Is the scenery in Colorado as spectacular as Montana?
no thunderstorms in Portland or Seattle (maybe a rumble once a yr) and definately green (as in moss on your sidewalks and roof) 285 days / yr overcast or raining

Colorado has as good as scenery as MT, just have to share the view, but not quite as bad as Yellowstone...

reasons for Colo... sun, friendly folks, stable economy, decent schools, options for entertainment and education, within reasonable driving distance.
beauty is good too. I liked the wide roads (snow shoulders) for riding bikes, AND having community INDOOR swimming at many High schools and community centers. Decent art community, mix of music and entertainment (good bluegrass too !) An more 'civilized', to an extent. There are higher saturation of kooks in MT and WY. Maybe they just 'blend in' in CO but not to get me wrong, as there are majority of superb folks in WY and MT. but... the news last week of the sexual predators moving to WY was not good (they are not identified as 'offenders') One program quoted a SP from Florida who contacted WY authorities and couldn't believe they could live as a 'free' person, he said "I'm calling all my friends!!". He ended up moving there, not sure how many 'friends' came.

If I had my druthers... For quality of life on the front range I'd choose Estes Park, tho it has changed a lot. (not too good for 'generic' jobs, and downtown is crowded in summer, - don't go downtown ...). Then Loveland, Ft Col, maybe Colo Springs if necessary for jobs and airport. I despise driving almost to Kansas to get to the Denver airport (price of progress). Definately not Denver for me (I don't do stop lights...)

Lots of nice choices on the west side of mountains for great CO Mountain towns.

Loveland, CO / Masonville is in 'banana belt' (shelter of the weather patterns) This yr excepted... and one's like this about every 10 yrs.

Montana has considerable gray skys in the winter, and is much colder than CO. Nice sunsets during forest fires

some other 'pretty mountains' = snowy range, west of Laramie

and northern 'big horns' west of Sheridan, WY (Burgess Jct). Sheridan is a decent spot, VA hospital for FED employment.
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Old 03-03-2007, 02:35 AM
 
7,046 posts, read 15,987,444 times
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Just after I asked my wife to marry me in March 2000, I talked to her about moving from So. Calif. to the Denver area. Even thought neither of us had ever lived in Colorado, I had driven thru and liked what I had seen along the Front Range. She had been to Colorado before also, but just to vacation in Aspen. And, since I'm originally from northeast Indiana and she is from the Detroit, Mich. area, we already knew what living in snow was like.....unlike some people who are born/raised in So. Calif. and have never lived in snow before. In fact, we even bought winter parka's before we moved to Colorado. However, my wife's family (mom and sisters) were to happy about us leaving So. Calif. Her mom/sisters had left Michigan most due to the winters there. My wife's older sister coaxted her into moving to So. Calif. years before I met her. She told her just how great the weather was there, but didn't (forgot or didn't want to) tell her about the cost-of-living, population explosion, traffic and crime rate there. So, anyway, a year and a half after we got married, we loaded up the old Toyota 4 Runner we use to have and headed for the Denver area. Listen, I knew that I had missed the 4 seasons after leaving Indiana, but I sure didn't realize just how much my wife had missed those seasons. She was "tickled pink" to see our first thunderstorm and snow flurries flying. I mean we would go outside on our front porch and watch thunderstorms roll in during the summer and she would quickly pull open the kitchen shades to watch the first snow coming down. We have had lots of fun since arriving here in June 2002. We even bought a nice fishing/ski boat a couple of years ago and our last couple of summer weekends have been filled with "water fun".
And, even though we do love Colorado, we have to sell our house and move to the Charlotte, NC area in order to get an even "milder" winter than what is here. A year and a half ago, I had to have my right hip replaced and just last month I had rotor cuff shouder surgery due to a fall I had in December on ice/snow.
But, to any of you thinking about moving to Colorado......it is an absolutely beautiful State and if you can handle the snow and cold weather we get here.......WELCOME FRIENDS!!!!
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Colorado
431 posts, read 2,500,244 times
Reputation: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBoating View Post
Just after I asked my wife to marry me in March 2000, I talked to her about moving from So. Calif. to the Denver area. Even thought neither of us had ever lived in Colorado, I had driven thru and liked what I had seen along the Front Range. She had been to Colorado before also, but just to vacation in Aspen. And, since I'm originally from northeast Indiana and she is from the Detroit, Mich. area, we already knew what living in snow was like.....unlike some people who are born/raised in So. Calif. and have never lived in snow before. In fact, we even bought winter parka's before we moved to Colorado. However, my wife's family (mom and sisters) were to happy about us leaving So. Calif. Her mom/sisters had left Michigan most due to the winters there. My wife's older sister coaxted her into moving to So. Calif. years before I met her. She told her just how great the weather was there, but didn't (forgot or didn't want to) tell her about the cost-of-living, population explosion, traffic and crime rate there. So, anyway, a year and a half after we got married, we loaded up the old Toyota 4 Runner we use to have and headed for the Denver area. Listen, I knew that I had missed the 4 seasons after leaving Indiana, but I sure didn't realize just how much my wife had missed those seasons. She was "tickled pink" to see our first thunderstorm and snow flurries flying. I mean we would go outside on our front porch and watch thunderstorms roll in during the summer and she would quickly pull open the kitchen shades to watch the first snow coming down. We have had lots of fun since arriving here in June 2002. We even bought a nice fishing/ski boat a couple of years ago and our last couple of summer weekends have been filled with "water fun".
And, even though we do love Colorado, we have to sell our house and move to the Charlotte, NC area in order to get an even "milder" winter than what is here. A year and a half ago, I had to have my right hip replaced and just last month I had rotor cuff shouder surgery due to a fall I had in December on ice/snow.
But, to any of you thinking about moving to Colorado......it is an absolutely beautiful State and if you can handle the snow and cold weather we get here.......WELCOME FRIENDS!!!!
It's a shame you left a place you loved for milder winter. There are places in Co. that have very mild winters but do get snow ever so often. I sure would miss some snow. Dry snow at that. I know humidity get to me very quickly. Cuss the dry sometimes but I think I will stay with it. Hope you like NC. Too hot and humid for me.
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Old 03-04-2007, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 1,949,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2flyabove View Post
Hey, I hope this is not a redundant question. I have being doing a lot of research about a possible move to the West. Currently I am in a position to move to the mountains which has been a desire for many years. I am looking at Colorado, Montana (from Helena to Kalispell), Portland & Seattle are possibilities, and maybe Idaho. But Seattle is pricey and receives little snow.

Why did you choose Colorado? What were you looking for?

I want mountains, national or state forests/parks nearby, trees, beautiful landscapes, snow, 4 seasons, thunderstorms, lakes/rivers, etc. I'm staying away from extreme weather like in eastern Montana and Wyoming. And the desert-areas do not attract me. It would be nice where the weather allowed for a summer garden but that's not a biggie. But I don't want to be so isolated that there is no internet and it's a 75 mile drive to go to a grocery store. I've seen pics of Boise and the browness turns me off. I love green. I'm from Alabama where trees are everywhere.

I have read that Colorado has more sunny days than Montana? Is this true? In Colorado I'm looking into the Denver area, Col Spgrs area, and Ft. Collins area. I really want to know why you choose CO over other alternatives? Is the scenery in Colorado as spectacular as Montana?
If browness turns you off, you won't like Ft Collins to Pueblo area (aka front range). It's a semi arid climate but the mountains, particularly on the western slopes, will see more rain. In Fort Collins during the month of June last year, no rain at all. Most of the native grasses and forbes did not come up at all last summer. Due to the geography of the area, Fort Collins is the driest of the front range cities. The last few years have been exceptional though, the summers of 97 and 98 seemed quite green when I moved here.

I came here 10 years ago from Nebraska because I vacationed a lot as a kid in the Salida area, a very pretty area. The Arkansas River valley is gorgeous.I found the Fort Collins area a little disappointing in regards to the outdoors aesthetically. Very dry, scrubby, ponderosa pine forests. Some folks really like it but it's not for me. It greens up the higher you go though. Also, it gets crowded in the mountains along the front range during the summer. Unless you are a backpacker, you'll be hard pressed to find solitude. Deep in the mountains, it can be every bit as breath taking as the ones in Montana. Drive up to Leadville, Rocky Mountain National Park, and many other areas and you'll be blown away. There are some very remote areas up there too, just not close to the front range.

We are actually moving to upstate NY where it is greener and looking forward to it. We will miss the downtown of Fort Collins though, it's truly a gem.

Last edited by Rumblebelly; 03-04-2007 at 03:22 PM..
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