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Old 11-11-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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I hear a lot of people talking about the 8 mos of rain in Eugene. But what is the summer like? June through say mid Oct?

I have a flexible job so I'm thinking about living summers in Eugene. Just renting a sublet there. I like the progressive college town atmosphere and access to the outdoors. I also like outdoor live music and festivals in summer. I'd be hoping to do a lot of hiking to the east. How far do you have to drive east for nice hiking?

Being 1hr from the Coast and 1 hr from the mountains is very appealing. Also considering Bend, Boulder, Missoula, Durango, Bozeman, Taos, Whitefish MT, and possibly a college town in Maine or Vermont.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
I hear a lot of people talking about the 8 mos of rain in Eugene. But what is the summer like? June through say mid Oct?

I have a flexible job so I'm thinking about living summers in Eugene. Just renting a sublet there. I like the progressive college town atmosphere and access to the outdoors. I also like outdoor live music and festivals in summer. I'd be hoping to do a lot of hiking to the east. How far do you have to drive east for nice hiking?

Being 1hr from the Coast and 1 hr from the mountains is very appealing. Also considering Bend, Boulder, Missoula, Durango, Bozeman, Taos, Whitefish MT, and possibly a college town in Maine or Vermont.
Hey! I'm really surprised you haven't heard anyone go on and on about the wonderful PNW Summers. The summers are we why all stick it out throughout the long winters. And, actually, the winters aren't always so bad. This year we've had an amazing Fall, and some winters we do have weeks where the sun comes out and it's amazing... but you asked about Summers...

Eugene is a cool town for Summer festivals... there's the Oregon Bach Festival, the country fair, fairieworlds, and many musicians come through and play at the secret house winery... plus every Saturday the outdoor saturday market feels like a festival with cool people and good food and live entertainment...

As far as hiking, you don't really have to drive anywhere. We have the ridgeline trail here as well and a few buttes you can hike (Spencer's is prolly the coolest)... also mt pisgah and wetlands with lots of wildlife... if you want to hike out of town your options are endless... wow... lake waldo is one of our favorite places to hike. Beautiful. Check out the Oregon State Parks website for lots of info there... also lots of hot springs and wild rivers and amazing falls and caves... on the coast we have the dunes which are always fun...

The other cities you mentioned would probably be a lot hotter and dryer than Eugene. The weather is perfect here, and if things do get too hot it's a quick trip to the coast or mountains to cool off. And it's definitely a college town, but during the summer it's a bit quieter.

Maybe stay a summer in each place and see which one you like best.

Good luck with your summer home hunt!
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:11 AM
 
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Thanks for the very helpful reply! Is 126 heading east a pretty drive? I could see myself going up there in summers to hike the Sisters area (although I have never been, just looking at a map).

Eugene is on the top of my list. You make a good point about it not being too hot in Eugene, whereas Colorado and Montana and the Bend area can get up there in the peak of summers.

I would probably look for a sublet or Craigslist to live in during my stay in the summer.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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The coast is awesome... there's a place called schooner landing in Newport that is an affordable and really nice place to stay if you're ever interested. We don't even make reservations, usually, we just walk right in and they set us up. Your Home Away from Home - Schooner Landing Timeshare Resorts

126 is OK going west, parts of it are very pretty but they have logged some parts and so of course those parts are a bit depressing. You'll pass lots of farms and go through a cool tunnel and drive through some interesting little places. 126 is much prettier going east (towards the mountains) IMO.

There's an awesome show called Oregon Field Guide. If you can find it, or check the opb.org website and watch the videos, it might give you some good ideas. They go all over the state and do stories on the native wildlife and plants, explore hidden areas, falls, caves, etc. They discuss important issues and what's being done to solve current problems. Everytime I watch that show I want to take a road trip!
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:41 AM
 
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Default Summers in Eugene

This is exactly what I do. Spend summers in Eugene. THE BEST!! Sunshine nearly every day, cool & comfortable nights. Tons of things to do .. Saturday market, Bach Fest, Oregon Festival of American Music, free concerts and movies, walks at Alton Baker Park, hiking at Spencer's Butte. Never bored.

Then, when the rainy season comes, I go back to the sunny South.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:44 AM
 
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Has anyone lived in both Boulder CO & Eugene? If so, how would you compare and contrast spending June-October in Eugene vs. Boulder?

Boulder is another Western U.S. college town with an outdoorsy, progressive vibe to it. Although I've been to Boulder, and I don't think it's what it used to be in that realm. Missoula Montana is another interesting Western U.S. college town with that same sort of vibe.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Being 1hr from the Coast and 1 hr from the mountains is very appealing. Also considering Bend, Boulder, Missoula, Durango, Bozeman, Taos, Whitefish MT, and possibly a college town in Maine or Vermont.
I am currently thinking about moving to Eugene and just spent a few days there. It was wet, chilly, and a bit rainy with some sunny and warm mixed in. Wasn't too bad. I really think the city is like a "Paris of the West" but there are some bums and beggars...in fact people of college age even ask for handouts on the streets, which was disappointing.

Overall though, the people were friendly and the suburbs just outside of Eugene were really nice.

I did live in Bozeman for 12 years. Unfortunately, the rich white conservatives are starting to get a stranglehold. There is almost no cultural or racial diversity except for that offered by the university. Also, you'll see 7-8 months of brown and snow.

Missoula is much more laid back and liberal in my opinion. Whitefish is a bit conservative and Kalispell seems nice. I've been through Boulder and the Fort Collins area and it seems like a fun place, but I didn't like how Denver and Boulder are so integrated with the Interstate.

My brother lives in Moscow, Idaho and it's another location you can consider. U of I is in town and a couple miles across the border is Washington State. I spent a couple of months here. It's a college town wedged in between many square miles of potato fields. The winters here are cold also but not as bad as Bozeman.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Beachcomber1 View Post
I am currently thinking about moving to Eugene and just spent a few days there. It was wet, chilly, and a bit rainy with some sunny and warm mixed in. Wasn't too bad. I really think the city is like a "Paris of the West" but there are some bums and beggars...in fact people of college age even ask for handouts on the streets, which was disappointing.

Overall though, the people were friendly and the suburbs just outside of Eugene were really nice.

I did live in Bozeman for 12 years. Unfortunately, the rich white conservatives are starting to get a stranglehold. There is almost no cultural or racial diversity except for that offered by the university. Also, you'll see 7-8 months of brown and snow.

Missoula is much more laid back and liberal in my opinion. Whitefish is a bit conservative and Kalispell seems nice. I've been through Boulder and the Fort Collins area and it seems like a fun place, but I didn't like how Denver and Boulder are so integrated with the Interstate.

My brother lives in Moscow, Idaho and it's another location you can consider. U of I is in town and a couple miles across the border is Washington State. I spent a couple of months here. It's a college town wedged in between many square miles of potato fields. The winters here are cold also but not as bad as Bozeman.
Thanks for the input beachcomber1. I do prefer areas with more of a liberal vibe (even though I'm an independant politically). Liberal areas seem to be more lively with more cool summer festivals, healthy restaurants, local businesses, outdoor live music.

Moscow is an interesting one, how pretty is the surrounding area? Lot's of hiking, biking, rivers, lakes? Idaho being a more conservative state makes it less desireable in general to me. Although I think ID has the outdoor recreation I'm looking for. I think Sandpoint would also be cool being right on that huge lake, but Northern ID is too conservative for me. Boise would be an area I would consider down the road for full time relocation, but it's probably too conservative. Why can't Portland be in a sunny weather and mountain setting like SLC or Boise!!!! That's a problems for me, I can't match the weather/setting with the cities I like!

I also may check out Seattle for summer living...July-Sept. Even though it's a big city, there is a gorgeous lot of outdoor recreation close. What do you think of that idea?

Thanks!!!
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Thanks for the input beachcomber1. I do prefer areas with more of a liberal vibe (even though I'm an independant politically). Liberal areas seem to be more lively with more cool summer festivals, healthy restaurants, local businesses, outdoor live music.

Moscow is an interesting one, how pretty is the surrounding area? Lot's of hiking, biking, rivers, lakes? Idaho being a more conservative state makes it less desireable in general to me. Although I think ID has the outdoor recreation I'm looking for. I think Sandpoint would also be cool being right on that huge lake, but Northern ID is too conservative for me. Boise would be an area I would consider down the road for full time relocation, but it's probably too conservative. Why can't Portland be in a sunny weather and mountain setting like SLC or Boise!!!! That's a problems for me, I can't match the weather/setting with the cities I like!

I also may check out Seattle for summer living...July-Sept. Even though it's a big city, there is a gorgeous lot of outdoor recreation close. What do you think of that idea?

Thanks!!!
I think you will end up hating Seattle, I did. My husband and I decided to spend a summer there (July-Oct) in 2005 and while the weather was fantastic and Seattle was a cool city, we spent more time driving than anything. The traffic is absolutely terrible! It literally would take us several hours to drive to the trailheads, even on a weekday. It got to the point that if you wanted to go for a short hike, you couldn't do it because it took longer to drive there. My sister-in-law and her husband lived in Seattle for 11 years and just relocated to Bend with us. They couldn't be happier. Trailheads are now 20 minutes away instead of 2 hours. Seattle is a great place to visit, but not so good to live.

Eugene is nice and the summers are beautiful. I just spent the weekend there actually. Some good friends of ours live there and they seem to enjoy it. However, they would move to Bend in a heartbeat if they could find work. Again, it does take longer to drive to trailheads, although the traffic isn't a huge issue. It's just a bit further from the Cascades than Seattle.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:43 AM
 
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We lived on the eastside of Seattle for a year, and it was a year too long. We couldn't wait to leave. It was a miserable experience. We coped by taking a lot of road trips and trying our best to experience all that the area was touted to offer. We knew we weren't staying, so we wanted to see it all while we were there so that we wouldn't ever have a need to go back. Anyway, It's an awful area, but it promotes itself with a lot of hype. I think probably 20 years ago it must have been an amazing place, but it's changed. Traffic is awful, the worst I've ever seen in any city. The people are rude. The kids are obnoxious and spoiled and out of control. Housing is crazy expensive, worse than California in some areas. The "scenic" natural areas are depressing. Development has ruined everything. Because of all the development, too, and the clear cutting, there are some big issues with flooding (no longer enough mature trees to soak up the excess water, so rivers and lakes and streams and farmland and such continuously flood)... people seemed way stressed-out and manic.

The family doctor I saw while we were there told me to watch out for road rage. She said it was an epidemic there due to the amount of caffeine people were taking in via coffee and "energy drinks", and also the amount of stress they put themselves under keeping up with the rat race and affording those huge mortgages. She wasn't kidding. We had some horrible experiences just trying to drive to the store there. We were so unhappy there, it was awful.

Anyway, soon as we could we left. I don't recommend Seattle to anyone except maybe college students or young single childless people who are wanting to start off careers in the land of bland corporatedom. It would be a good place to start off if your goal is to work for a corporation and fight your way up that ladder and make a lot of money that way. But I don't recommend that city for anyone else. Even visiting is a bit stressful. I can't stand the crowded touristy areas around Seattle... Pike's Place wreaks of human urine and alcohol and other gross stuff. People are always coming up to you asking for money - right as you're getting into your car usually. IMO Seattle smelled worse than the seediest parts of New Orleans after Mardis Gras. You see very strange things there. My kid saw a woman jump off her balcony, a suicide attempt, on his way to a field trip with school. They are putting suicide fences up everywhere.

Also, something I really didn't like about Washington state, was that you had to drive a long time to get anywhere. We spent so much time in the car and not just the 30 minutes being stuck at one intersection trying to drive to the grocery store that's down the road... but for example, getting to the coast. You can't drive a straight shot from the Seattle area to the coast. You have to drive all the way around the Olympic peninsula. You either have to deal with the ferries (which are scary, btw, if you google them you'll find articles talking about how many of the ferries having been in use even though they had cracks and did not pass safety inspections) or you have to drive south and go around that way. It takes forever to get to the coast and once you get there, it's depressing. The Washington coastline is ugly because of development and different laws... people driving on the coast, etc. Oregon's coast is very easy to get to, and is much more beautiful and natural and just wild and magic feeling. Oregon's coastline is protected from development.

Anyway... I think whether somebody would prefer Oregon or Washington would just depend on your situation and your needs. For us, as a family more interested in quality of life and enjoying the outdoors and raising our kids in a calm and beautiful environment, we prefer Oregon. But if we were single people trying to go to college or start careers or something, we might choose Portland or Washington state. Oh - and Oregon is WAY way WAY more affordable. And the weather is nicer!

Side note: Eugene has 3,000 acres (and growing) of parks and more than 50 miles (and growing) of hiking and biking and walking trails. We can pick up a bus that will take us to the slopes for skiing and snowboarding all day, then take the bus home. The coast is right here, too. It's a little piece of paradise.
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