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Old 08-19-2009, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,156 posts, read 3,745,971 times
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,581 posts, read 2,418,502 times
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I'm wondering if maybe central Virginia might be more your fare. Some friends of mine just moved to Charlottesville and seem to be enjoying it. From the photos they've sent me, there's definitely green and blue and apparently housing prices are pretty good. Don't know about the snow yet, though. I've driven through VA in the winter once and there was quite a bit of white on the ground, but I have no idea how that translates for the rest of the winter.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,471 posts, read 14,445,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvroadtrips View Post
And two... please expand more on the blue and green not being something we'll find in Colorado?

Thank you!
The locations where the vast majority of the population of Colorado lives-- and all of Colorado's cities, are in semi-arid grasslands (which is most years is yellow-brown for the majority of the year), with no natural trees at all other than cottonwoods alongside creeks. All the vegetation is man-made & artificially irrigated. The mountains have greenery in the form of pine forests and aspen trees, but surprisingly large swaths of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, especially at the lower elevations, are fairly barren and "rocky"-- as the name suggests (see my pictures in the link below). Also the pine forests in Colorado are dying off fast, right before our very eyes. I was just up in Grand Lake a few weeks ago, what a depressing site. Not all of Colorado looks like picture perfect John Fielder scenes of Maroon Bells.

Pretty much all of the "lakes" in Colorado are man made reservoirs, and are either too cold or too dirty/contaminated for swimming. There are a lot of creeks and streams, but no major "rivers" as they would be recognized in the eastern US. And obviously, no ocean and just about as far inland in the continent as you could be from an ocean.

Why don't I refer you to one of my posts earlier this year about the subject-- with a bunch of pictures (a picture is worth 1000 words): Considering a life-altering change. Some feedback please....

Honestly when I read your post I was almost going to suggest the desert southwest (land of year round sunny blue skies, no or little snow depending on how low elevation you are)-- a place like Albuquerque, NM perhaps-- or even southern California... until I read that you hate deserts.

Also read this thread going on right now on the Denver forum about how people from the eastern US find it difficult to adjust to the lack of greenery compared to where they came from: East coast transplants: do you miss the trees and green?.

Not trying to discourage you from selecting Colorado-- just want to make you have a clearer picture of what this state is all about-- it's "semi-arid" out here.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
27 posts, read 37,310 times
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Hmm wow... thank you.

I have been reading a lot of threads about Colorado, but somehow missed all the ones that talked about it not being green there. I guess I assumed mountains would mean it would be like what I'm used to back in the northeast.

It's amazing how many misconceptions we can have about places! Thus why it is important to visit first, I guess.

The snow was already an issue... lack of lots of greenery would be even bigger, to me.

Living in Savannah, GA for the past few years, I've missed having mountains in the background - but the greenery, beautiful trees & flowers made up for it.

Will definitely have to think more about this and do some more research!
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:20 AM
 
8,180 posts, read 16,292,654 times
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Great post, Vegas. As a Colorado native and half-century plus resident, I still get sick of the brown that persists at lower elevations (where most Coloradans live) from about late September until May--even longer in dry years, of which we have had a number in the last decade. People see the pretty pictures of the mountains in summer and a) assume the whole state looks like that, and b) that it looks that way most of the year. Both assumptions dead wrong. The misconception is reinforced when the same wannabes show up for a summer vacation during the three months that Colorado actually may be green. I always say to people--if you want to see if you will like Colorado, show up in March. That is when the state is usually at its brownest; the weather alternating between winter cold and snow and something remotely resembling spring; there is wind and mud in a wet year, and wind and dust in a dry one; the snow is mostly gone and the trees yet to leaf out. If you can stand it then, then you might make it as a Coloradan. Otherwise, go somewhere else--because the Colorado you're dreaming about doesn't really exist. That pretty much goes for all of the Rocky Mountain states, as well.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,034 posts, read 5,020,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvroadtrips View Post
Hmm wow... thank you.

I have been reading a lot of threads about Colorado, but somehow missed all the ones that talked about it not being green there. I guess I assumed mountains would mean it would be like what I'm used to back in the northeast.

It's amazing how many misconceptions we can have about places! Thus why it is important to visit first, I guess.

The snow was already an issue... lack of lots of greenery would be even bigger, to me.

Living in Savannah, GA for the past few years, I've missed having mountains in the background - but the greenery, beautiful trees & flowers made up for it.

Will definitely have to think more about this and do some more research!
You may want to still consider the PNW. Where I live in Bend, it's on the dry side of the Cascades. Yes, we are deserty, but not like the Phoenix desert. There is quite a bit of vegetation. You could look at Ashland, Medford, or other cities in southern OR, as they are greener, but don't get nearly as much rain as Portland.

It sounds like even though you don't want to move again and want to buy right away, you might consider renting for the first year to make sure you've made the right move. It would be pretty unfortunate to invest money is real estate right now only to hate where you live. We decided to rent in Bend the first year after our move from Colorado to make sure we were happy with our decision. It also gave us time to really find the house we wanted to buy.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,911 posts, read 5,335,096 times
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Denver would be your best bet. It offers the city life that most other places in Colorado don't. And it gets probably the least snow of the places you mentioned, although they're all fairly equivalent for snow.

As for greenness .. same thing jazzlover and other people said. It's not green here, it's brown. Except for some select locations in the mountains.

I lived in the D.C./NoVa area for several years, so let me make a comment on that. It's definitely a lot greener. There's not particularly much snow in the city, but there may be more snow out in central VA.
I sort of get the impression that living around the mountains of North Carolina / Kentucky might be good. It's very pretty and milder weather than the Northeast.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:43 PM
 
9,718 posts, read 12,540,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvroadtrips View Post
Hmm wow... thank you.

I have been reading a lot of threads about Colorado, but somehow missed all the ones that talked about it not being green there. I guess I assumed mountains would mean it would be like what I'm used to back in the northeast.

It's amazing how many misconceptions we can have about places! Thus why it is important to visit first, I guess.

The snow was already an issue... lack of lots of greenery would be even bigger, to me.

Living in Savannah, GA for the past few years, I've missed having mountains in the background - but the greenery, beautiful trees & flowers made up for it.

Will definitely have to think more about this and do some more research!
No it is most assuredly unlike the northeast. Personally in a lot of ways I tend to prefer New England, northern PA or NY state over the mountains in Colorado. And I've lived in both. More water, more green and in a lot of places like Vermont and NH more scenic to my eyes than many places in Colorado.

Yes depending on the winter snows there is around 1-2 months of the year where some of Colorado is green, but by mid August the grass is brown again.

Now if you go high up in the mountains in the summer you'll find some places above 8000 ft with green Aspens and all that but keep in mind that most of that is government land and also buried under snow for nine months of the year and few people live above 8000ft.

As in most of these threads, it amazes me people that are ready to make a big move without having never visited first. Yes I would visit Colorado and get a good feel for what it is like. Colorado is a "different" state for sure. You might like the high altitude semi arid climate.

Talk about misconceptions, several years ago working in Vail, one of the new girls we hired from Argentina turned up with a suitcase full of bikinis and shorts. That's what she thought the weather would be like. In a ski resort. In the mountains. In winter.

The lowest elevation in Colorado is around 3800ft near the Kansas border. It's a high altitude state and snow is present everywhere in the state at some point in the winter. There are some silly people that will describe Denver and Front Range like it's the tropics. Don't be fooled. I have frozen my peanuts off too many times to count in Denver during the winter. Denver has had snowstorms in May and Sept. Yes there are warm days in winter on the front range(i remember one balmy day in Jan that was 70 degrees) but it can be bitterly cold and especially windy.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:14 PM
 
4,931 posts, read 8,852,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Great post, Vegas. As a Colorado native and half-century plus resident, I still get sick of the brown that persists at lower elevations (where most Coloradans live) from about late September until May--even longer in dry years, of which we have had a number in the last decade...
Jazzlover,

I really like the brown. It is hard to say why, considering I grew up near the lush green of the Great Lakes. There is something about the sparse landscape that thrills me. It was not always so; it took some years to accept.

I actually enjoy the Plains more than the mountains. Maybe it has to do with some of the ideas we banter about: the destruction of the wilderness by the selfish rich and those phony town, which I know we both hate. When I go farther out on the plains, beyond the suburban flow, I find towns that have not been despoiled and changed because they are not as attracted to those immigrants who want more green and trees. For me, the harsher landscape of the Plains and the harsh conditions speak of the real West in my mind.

So, I would say that it is good that many parts of the State and the West are not inviting and attractive to many. For it is these areas that will maintain more of the characteristics of the lost West.

I know I do not know Colorado as well as you and never will, but believe me I try to understand the soul and heart of the West. Be patient with me and others like me who do try and want to be part of the Great American West. Now, I am not going to give up our argument about Native vs. Non-native; but I am now going on 31 years in this state and I think I have learned much and appreciate more. Eh, that is coming from a New Yawker, yo, do ya have a problem with dat.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 08-20-2009 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:08 PM
 
2,438 posts, read 5,124,451 times
Reputation: 1378
Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvroadtrips View Post
1) The less snow the better (in comparison to others areas of Colorado). My ideal place would have no snow, but I'm willing to sacrifice that if we absolutely love everything else about the area. However, I would still like to avoid as much snow as possible!

2) We will be looking for a house that is 3+BR, 2+BA, 1/3 or more acres, with ideally a huge detached garage/shop (3+car). I have seen a lot of pics of cookie cutter homes with a 3 car garage, that is not what we are looking for. We would like to spend under $250k. Is that something we could find in Colorado?

3) We would like to be near a city that has a lot of restaurants/bars/lounges (or at least a few good ones) that cater to the late twenties, early thirties professional crowd. We are 26 and 28 (no kids yet, except for the pets!). We are not partyers, but like to go out and meet new people and have a few drinks. We are always looking for yummy foods & desserts, so lots of restaurants and coffeehouses. A vibrant walk-able downtown would be great!

4) A dog friendly area, especially with a leash free dog park and hiking trails that allow dogs.

5) We don't mind living on the outskirts of the city (and will probably have to in order to get the property we want at the price we want), but would like to be within 30 minutes of the big city downtown. Also, we'd need all the daily stores (UPS store, bank, post office, good grocery store) to be within 10-15 minutes.

Are there any areas in Colorado you would recommend we focus on?
To match those criteria, consider:
1) - San Diego
2) - Nebraska (can't get that in CO for 200k - even on the eastern plains)
3) - Denver (or any other decent city in the US)
4) - COS (was rated best city for dog owners recently)
5) - any of the suburbs around Denver or Spring (but, like I said, don;t expect to get what you want for anywhere close to that price, unless, by 'the ourskirts of the city' you mean 300 miles East.
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