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Old 09-15-2009, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Well, certainly neither Cortez nor Montrose have sky-high cost of living. THey're definitely affordable.
Wrong. They only look affordable to the extent that housing is cheaper there than in many of the resort towns nearby. When one compares local incomes with real estate costs in either place, though, the illusion of affordability wears thin quite quickly. Montrose, particularly, has a real problem, since so much of its latter day economy has been tied to real estate speculation and construction. With that economy currently circling the drain, but real estate prices (so far) staying unreasonably high, the affordablity index there just plain sucks--and they have the ****storm of foreclosures cooking up to prove it.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:18 PM
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The answer to the original question here depends on what the OP's definition of 'rural' is...

If your definition of 'rural' is a whole lot farmland with small towns peppered throughout, then YES, look to the eastern plains.

If your definition of 'rural' is a small-town atmosphere located within easy driving distance of a medium-to large metro, then YES, we have some places like that along the front range.

If your definition of 'rural' is a lesser-known mountain town with some harsh weather but plenty of open space and available acreage at reasonable prices, then Yes we have some of that as well, just NOT along the I70 corridor.

If your definition of 'rural' is an idyllic mountain community with endless recreation, good weather, an oh-so-cool unanimously liberal populace and splendid housing opportunities at rock-bottom prices, then NO, we do not have those, but I'm pretty sure Wyoming, Montana and Alaska don't either.

From your original post, it sounds like you're not really set on the latter, so perhaps it's worth coming out and taking a look despite what Jazzlover or anyone else says about Co being another CA with plains where there might otherwise be an ocean.

Last edited by treedonkey; 09-15-2009 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:55 PM
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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Originally Posted by la junta econ devel View Post
The short answer to your post heading is...yes there is plenty of rural Colorado out there! And the expanded answer is that there is a great quality of life there that many are not aware of.

According to Pueblo Chieftain reporter Anthony Mestas, there are some great rural areas to live and a lot of pride in them. You can read what he has to say at The Pueblo Chieftain :: Community pride rampant in small town of La Junta

At the risk of reposting, you might look at what I posted about La Junta a while back on La Junta?

Small rural towns in Colorado can be found in every area of the State, and they all have their own positives and negatives. I can also assure you that for the most part, they all have a great sense of pride in their kids, schools, churches, and lifestyles. The people that live in these towns have not been sentenced to a life in them....they have chosen to live there and even more would live there if there were employment opportunities.

Another Pueblo Chieftain article talks about Las Animas, (The Pueblo Chieftain Online :: For residents in rural Las Animas, small is good
and the quote by Lisa Trigilio of Bent County Development is of special note as to why some people choose to live in small, rural communities.

I think there may be many possibilities for you in rural Colorado.....and good luck to you in your search.
I agree. People overlook south east Colorado all the time....

Here is a article in today's Pueblo Chieftain about Swink:

Swink officials call their town the "crown jewel of bedroom communities." Smaller than most towns in Colorado, it is little more than a speed bump on the way to La Junta. The old saying is: Don't blink, you'll miss Swink.

The link: http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2009/09/15/news/local/doc4aaf1adb71e06973691241.txt
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:40 PM
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One area of the state, from the standpoint of mountain towns, that we haven't talked a lot about is the north park area. And I do a fair amount of traveling all around the state, and it's been several years since I've been to Walden.

I've always liked that part of Colorado. Remote? Yep! Peaceful and scenic? Yep! Affordable real estate? Maybe-maybe not. Not very many jobs for sure, probably a nice place to live 7 months out of the year. You have a ways to go for shopping, medical services, etc. Fort Collins is where you would generally go for that, although Laramie, Wyoming actually is a viable alternative. Maybe a few miles further, but an easier drive. Going over Cameron Pass is no picnic, especially in bad weather. Not a lot of people live in the North Park area of Colorado, services aren't very much. But it could be rewarding in its own way. It's kind of like Craig, and that general area.

Jazzlover, if you're reading, whatcha got on Walden? Been several years since i've been through 127 going up to Laramie.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:12 PM
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North Park and I are old acquaintances. I've been going through there since the early 1970's, though I haven't been up that direction in over a year now. (One of my great memories of North Park was driving through on a bitter January day in the late 1970's. There were about 300 head of elk lying around in the paved and plowed parking lot of the little grocery store just north of Walden--trying to get warm on the bare dark pavement. When I came out from the store, I had to kick a bull elk in the ass so he would move and I could get the door of my pickup open. Now, that was real Colorado back when.) I equate North Park now to what South Park was like before Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs dried it up and diverted all the water. North Park is ranch country, though a lot of the ranches are now owned by rich non-local folks who don't give a damn about making money on a working ranch. Some of those absentee-owned ranches are well-managed, some are not.

Walden itself has seen better days. Back when, it had active coal mines nearby (Coalmont and Hebron) and a sawmill--along with a railroad branch to serve them from Laramie. All of that is gone, and with it much of the year-round economy. Walden is one of those towns where most people don't go to live there on purpose. The winters can be brutal, with frigid cold ambient temperatures as low as places like Alamosa or Gunnison. Walden can also get bad winds and blizzarding in the winter. The combination is something that most people--especially Sun Belt transplants--would wish to have nothing to do with. Even with all of that, real estate is not cheap--especially if one is looking at local incomes. Not too many decent properties there, and too many summer home owners from the Front Range in that area.

I always liked the area just over the state line into Wyoming from Walden, up around Wyocolo, Woods Landing, and Jelm. Also, Northgate Canyon on the North Platte River on both the Colorado and Wyoming side. Saw one the biggest herds of bighorn sheep that I've ever seen on the Wyoming side down along the river--damned tame, too--they didn't even want to get off the road in front of my Jeep.

One other note--the last time I was through North Park over a year ago, the pine beetle was already raising hell with the lodgepole in a lot of the surrounding hills, so that's another tinderbox waiting to go up one of these days.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:35 AM
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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Talking Rocky Ford

There was a article about Rocky Ford in today's Pueblo Chieftain. This is a great little town for people who like small towns. Its close enough to Pueblo that you could even commute into the city for work if you wanted and I know people who do.

ROCKY FORD - A large freight train rumbles through the sweet melon capital of the world.

Early morning shadows shift across acres of farm fields as producers wake the town for another day in this peaceful community.

The link: http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2009/09/16/news/local/doc4ab07fff368d8834384360.txt
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:03 PM
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Wink How far afield?

Your original query of Montrose, CO may come relatively close to answering your question, only look east of there. If driving on US 50 between Salida, CO and Montrose, one will find many aspects of a Colorado vanished elsewhere. There is a lot of wide open space with little development, that existing somewhat antique, but with reason.

Just offhand, a place such as Parlin, CO might suite you, Sargents, CO, a bit further east on the western edge of Monarch Pass, if you want to be right in the mountains. Both are small places (There is a live business in Sargents. I think there may be something in Parlin, if memory serves). Between there and Gunnison, CO lots of lovely country with some farming and ranching. These would basically offer the only employment. This, and the relative isolation, probably why this area remains as it is. Gunnison is certainly cold enough in the winter, the areas I mentioned probably not a great deal less so. But if looking for rural Colorado . . .

One consideration with the San Luis Valley is water. It could well be that with increasing energy costs to pump water, and declining aquifer levels, that much of the existing agriculture in the valley will cease to exist. A good deal of this valley may revert back to sage. Not everywhere. One possible exception would be Crestone, CO, which does, or did, or would have a fair amount of water. Driving into town from CO 17 one will notice the wetlands, although unduly depleted due agriculture. There are water issues there, not to mention it remains a small town in an isolated location perhaps best suited to the metaphysically inclined.

Fort Collins, CO, by the way, offers many charms, but whatever rural aspects of it remain are quickly being developed into suburbs. The cost of living relatively high, wages relatively low. 'National Geographic' just came out with an article saying Ft. Collins has an 'adventurous spirit,' whatever that means. Also, that it resembles, "the set of 'The Truman Show' come to life." (This, from the 'The Coloradoan,' their local newspaper) In general, in some parts of town specifically, one might imagine as much. Reality intrudes however, and the most adventure many citizens may enjoy will be in dealing with more traffic, as the population increases from such press.

You may wish to seriously consider your interest in Logan, UT. If with LDS influence, probably not as much so as southwest Utah. This also tempered by the presence of Utah State University. Besides which, if one can allow a certain flexibility, one aspect of Mormons are generally trim and orderly towns, with Logan no exception. At a glance it appears an agreeable place, with fairly affordable housing, something of an economy, and large enough to offer certain options. Certainly far more than either farming or ranching, as the case with Parlin. My understanding the weather is a bit cooler in Logan than nearby Salt Lake City, UT.

There also happens to be a fair amount of water near Logan, with marshes to the west of town, from the Bear river flowing from the north, with the Logan river from the mountains to the east. Such relative wealth in water not to be discounted in the arid West. I heard that Salt Lake City was trying to get their hands on some of this water and the citizens of Logan persuaded them otherwise. Surely more intrigue in this regard than I'm aware of.

Not that Logan any panacea, but it might offer one a better chance than other locals.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:49 AM
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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Talking Ordway investing in its future

There is plenty of rural Colorado left for people who choose that kind of lifestyle. In today's Pueblo Chieftain there is a article on another great rural town, Ordway. This is the article:

ORDWAY - Over the years this diminutive, agriculture-based community on the high plains of Southeast Colorado has proved it can take a punch and come back swinging.

The link: http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2009/09/17/news/local/doc4ab1c7e06d5f0531292144.txt
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:05 PM
Location: USA
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There are alot of tornadoes in CO.

And you can have snowstorms/blizzards that take out the power too.

It's all relative.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:05 PM
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,172 posts, read 20,928,232 times
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Talking Lamar pulling itself up by its bootstraps

Here is another great rural town in south eastern Colorado!

LAMAR - Itís hard not to feel a little isolated way out in the flatlands of Prowers County.

After all, the nearest town of 100,000-plus people is Pueblo, some 110 miles to the west. At some 8,500 people, the city serves as the regional hub of a far-flung ranching and farming community and is trying hard to serve diverse and even divergent needs.

THe link: http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2009/09/18/news/local/doc4ab32c303bfba297678170.txt
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