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Old 03-21-2014, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,587 posts, read 4,517,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyMacaroni View Post
But we love the outdoors and love going fishing.
I suspect that you'll be just fine, no matter where you land. There is a real love of the outdoors here, even if one just has a deck with a little grill on it and spends a lot of evenings in the back yard cooking hamburgers and reading a book.

I hadn't realized how much I missed the lingering sunsets.

Not to revisit the winter fight, but if one *doesn't* like winter sports or some of those "romantic" aspects, how does one stand the less attractive ones? The days I'm slipping and sliding around on my drive into work don't seem as bad because I know that once the storm passes, I can go skiing or snowshoeing.

Also, the total time I actively dislike winter probably works out to several hours, less than 4, and those times tend to occur when I'm trying to get to work in freezing rain or in the last ten minutes of shoveling the front walk by hand. A used snow blower is in my future!

There's also the whole idea of "summer" and "winter" hobbies. I hook rugs and crochet in the winter. It's too hot in the summer for working with heavy wool! In the summer, I ride my bike and travel. (:

I plan on visiting Phoenix again before long because I have relatives there, but I'm thankful that I didn't have to leave the Midwest at this point for work. I like it here.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
8,597 posts, read 15,177,198 times
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Just to throw out another idea, Des Moines isn't the only major city that serves Iowa. I spent my jr high and high school years in Harlan, Iowa, in the west central part of the state. Harlan is a very pleasant and quiet town of 5000, just far enough from Omaha that it's not a bedroom community but close enough (50 minutes) that it's an easy and pleasant drive for a little shopping, a movie or just dinner out. It's 10 miles north of I-80 on Hwy 59, so it doesn't attract interstate travelers but has good access to it for heading to the city. (Des Moines is 1 1/2 hours away, btw, not that bad for most of us in the west.) It has a great school system and a nice old downtown "square" (businesses surround the courthouse) as is typical of many of Iowa's county seat towns.

Prairie Rose State Park is just a few miles from town for fishing or camping, or the Iowa Great Lakes are close enough for weekends.

Harlan has had slow but steady growth since I moved there in 1958. Being too far from the city for easy daily commutes, housing prices are exceptionally reasonable. I sold a nice 12-unit all brick apartment complex there a decade ago for under $300K (iirc). $200K would still get you a very nice upscale family home today.

I can heartily recommend the town. My wife, from Oregon, has even mentioned that she wouldn't mind living there. It's a pretty town with well kept properties and friendly residents, not quite Mayberry but close to it. We just can't handle Iowa's humidity, but in all fairness, it's only really uncomfortable for a few weeks during the summer.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:48 PM
 
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I'll check it out! I will gladly take a few weeks of miserable humidity over 5 months of miserable 100+ dry heat.

Other than outdoors we also enjoy concerts and other events that I see are always happening at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Which is the main reason we want to stay somewhat close to there.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Stephenville, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyMacaroni View Post
I'll check it out! I will gladly take a few weeks of miserable humidity over 5 months of miserable 100+ dry heat.

Other than outdoors we also enjoy concerts and other events that I see are always happening at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Which is the main reason we want to stay somewhat close to there.
Having lived in that area, I think that probably most of the same concerts and events that appear in Des Moines would also happen in Omaha.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:24 AM
 
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Yeah that's true. If one isn't in Des Moines it'll surely be in Omaha. Only thing I'm not looking forward to is the 4 hour drive to the closest NBA basketball game. I'm a diehard Suns fan so I'll have to go into enemy territory once in awhile now to catch a game.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:08 AM
 
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We're still trying to decide but it looks like we've at least, kind of, narrowed it down to.

Waukee
Harlan
Huxley
Ankeny
Ballard
Adel
Carlisle
Indianola
Polk City
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,095 posts, read 14,021,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyMacaroni View Post
We're still trying to decide but it looks like we've at least, kind of, narrowed it down to.

Waukee
Harlan
Huxley
Ankeny
Ballard
Adel
Carlisle
Indianola
Polk City
FYI, Ballard isn't a town. It's the school district that serves Huxley/Slater/Cambridge.

Slater is another town you might consider. It's just a couple of miles west of Huxley and is about the same size with more of an older small-town feel. Advantages to Slater are that the elementary school is located there (High School is in Huxley), it has a full-service grocery store (prices are higher than Ames or DSM, but it's nice to have the convenience and they have a great meat counter), and it has a nice swimming pool.

Last edited by duster1979; 03-25-2014 at 08:50 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
2,964 posts, read 2,655,430 times
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Tony
Of those towns you have listed, only 3 (Indianola, Adel & Harlan) really share many characteristics typically asociated with small town Iowa while the rest are rapidly expanding bedroom communities for Des Moines or Ames that range in size from very small to quite large, at least by Iowa standards.
Indianola & Adel are close to Des Moines but not yet overrun by extremely rapid development although I foresee that Adel is directly in the path of the spreading population surge that is moving west from Des Moines & now overrunning Waukee directly to it's east.
Indianola has a nice old style downtown & a college. It has been steadily expanding for several decades & managed a comfortable pace of growth while avoiding drowning in an overwhelming suburban tide. It's surrounding countryside is rolling & attractive & Lake Ahquabi State Park near it is a small jewell.
Harlan is the 3rd member of the set of 3 more typical Iowa small towns in your list. Geographically it stands off by itself from a major metro area but both Omaha & Des Moines are easily accessible from it. Prairie Rose Lake State Park is a cute recreational spot & close to Harlan.
Here are the comparative population performances of Indianola, Adel & Harlan during the last census period.

Indianola 2000 pop. 12,998 2010 pop. 14,782
Adel 2000 pop. 3,435 2010 pop. 3,682
Harlan 2000 pop. 5,282 2010 pop. 5,106
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:01 AM
 
8,168 posts, read 7,835,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atler8 View Post
Tony
Of those towns you have listed, only 3 (Indianola, Adel & Harlan) really share many characteristics typically asociated with small town Iowa while the rest are rapidly expanding bedroom communities for Des Moines or Ames that range in size from very small to quite large, at least by Iowa standards.
Indianola & Adel are close to Des Moines but not yet overrun by extremely rapid development although I foresee that Adel is directly in the path of the spreading population surge that is moving west from Des Moines & now overrunning Waukee directly to it's east.
Indianola has a nice old style downtown & a college. It has been steadily expanding for several decades & managed a comfortable pace of growth while avoiding drowning in an overwhelming suburban tide. It's surrounding countryside is rolling & attractive & Lake Ahquabi State Park near it is a small jewell.
Harlan is the 3rd member of the set of 3 more typical Iowa small towns in your list. Geographically it stands off by itself from a major metro area but both Omaha & Des Moines are easily accessible from it. Prairie Rose Lake State Park is a cute recreational spot & close to Harlan.
Here are the comparative population performances of Indianola, Adel & Harlan during the last census period.

Indianola 2000 pop. 12,998 2010 pop. 14,782
Adel 2000 pop. 3,435 2010 pop. 3,682
Harlan 2000 pop. 5,282 2010 pop. 5,106
Waukee still has a small town feel, IMO. Sure, the eastern part is west West Des Moines, but the town itself still has small town stuff. I enjoyed their July 4th festivities several years in a row, and there are some great restaurants and bars, as well as a great live music bar with great food (Mickey's). Waukee is on the western edge of the metro without being too isolated.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
2,964 posts, read 2,655,430 times
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I know what you are saying Elle about Waukee. For now it's got a kind of split personality at this point. It's interesting to see the dynamics of the town change from east to west as you drive through it.
The thing that caused me to sit up & really take note of the change there, other than the numbers for their population explosion during the last census period, was when their high school grew so large that it became a member of the athletic conference with the large-sized schools in metro Des Moines & central Iowa.
I hope that Waukee manages to retain the character of their original small downtown area & keep it up as a vital business area going forward.
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