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Old 06-17-2009, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
45 posts, read 101,794 times
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We're looking to relocate from Southern IN (just outside Louisville, KY) due to our 2-year old son's severe allergies. Never been to OR, but it's in our search (which also includes Boise, ID area as well as CO). We have 2 weeks vacation coming up soon & wd like to visit a couple places once we narrow our search.

HERE'S OUR WISH LIST: (in order)
1.) Low allergies (I suffer as well--Louisville, KY is current reigning allergy capital)
2.) Good schools
3.) Weather (want change of seasons with no prolonged extremes...I hate IN's scorching hot summers with high humidity, husband doesn't want weeks of snow on ground)
4.) Landscape/Scenery (would like lush green with pretty mountain views...don't like extreme flat, barren/brown, or desert/canyon look)
5.) Access to water for powerboating (within hour, water warm enough in summer for skiing, decent size body of water)
6.) Family/kid-friendly place, low crime/safe, etc.

We are late 30's and like being close to city with amenities but not necessarily living "in" big city (outskirts is fine as long as meets other needs). We currently live in town with "small town" feel within 15 minutes of Louisville, KY, and like the benefit/comfort/safety factor of living in smaller town.

We are looking seriously at Bend or Hood River areas (though are open to any that meet our criteria). We wouldn't mind being in the outskirts of Portland but are concerned about not having enough sunny & warm days in Oregon in general though even moreso Portland. Would appreciate any & all suggestions so we may start planning our upcoming vacation. THANKS!!
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Unfortunately, lush green means pollen which means allergies.

Hood River and environs would probably be a good compromise. It's close enough to get to Portland easily. Bend is a much smaller city than you're used to, but you might like it too.

If you visit Portland in the summer, you'll probably find it sunnier than you expect. It's the rest of the year you might not like. On the plus side, we don't have the temperature extremes and we don't get much snow at all.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:30 AM
 
1,313 posts, read 6,023,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerbyFever View Post
4.) Landscape/Scenery (would like lush green with pretty mountain views...don't like extreme flat, barren/brown, or desert/canyon look)
Why would you be considering Bend if you don't like "the desert/canyon look"?
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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Bend is beautiful, but I wouldn't call it lush green like the valley, but compared to the Midwest...you might call it lush. I'm originally from Illinois so I can see why you might think it is lush, but it is deserty out there. I have a friend that just moved there and has crazy allergies that she didn't have in the valley. Apparently she is allergic to a type of tree they have out there.

We don't get the pollen out here like they do in the Midwest. I used to get horrible hayfever, but I don't have that out here. I do get itchy eyes every spring though. I'm not sure what he is allergic to. You may find that you ease some of his allergies, but he may have others you aren't aware of.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
45 posts, read 101,794 times
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Thanks to all--the info. you shared has been very helpful. We are in the process of booking our airline tix now and decided it's worth the extra $$ to fly into Portland, OR and visit several sites in Oregon, then drive to Boise where we will fly home. I think we'll get to see the best of all worlds and do so in the heat of the summer (to see how hot it is).

Why would you be considering Bend if you don't like "the desert/canyon look"?

Steve 97415--the pics we've seen of Bend thus far look quite lush and green--I suppose we haven't been getting the full picture?? The city stats. of Bend looked quite promising when compared to Portland area in terms of warmer summer temps. and more sun. Those stats. and the gorgeous scenery in the pics are why we started looking at Bend. Also it borders the desert as well as the alpine forest...is that correct?

As for the general allergies and pollen/trees, our plan is to bring copies of all allergy testing results and visit a local allergist in each town we are seriously considering. Hopefully they can see the big picture and advise accordingly. It's entirely possible that the testing process itself may be skewed regionally...in other words, allergy testing in Louisville may test specifically and exclusively for allergents present in this area whereas our son may not have even been tested for the trees and grasses present in other regions. Still, I feel this is a good place to start and realize that Louisville in general is such a problem area not only b/c of the allergens present but due to it's location in the Ohio Valley where the air is stagnant for prolonged periods of time.

If anyone has any suggestions for driving routes, we're open for that since we're first timers and will be travelling with a 2 year old and my parents (late 70's). The itinerary includes Portland/Hood River, Bend, and Boise...also contemplating whether any addtl. OR cities along the I-5 would be worth visiting (Corvallis, Eugene, Grants Pass, Medford) though the itinerary is already pretty crammed.
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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You do need to know that there are often wildfires in central Oregon so you may have air quality problems due to the smoke. Since you are going to meet with the allergist ask them about the local air quality. Central Oregon is beautiful it is just deserty from an Oregon standpoint.

As for other cities, honestly it depends on employment. I am sure you are aware that Oregon is at 12.4% unemployment and Bend is like at 17% or something. Where you can locate depends on whether or not you have to find a job here or not.

The cascade and coastal ranges merge just south of Eugene and I think it tends to trap the smoke from grass burning down there. I would see if you can get any information on air quality in Eugene. It's a great city though.

Corvallis might work for you. I don't think there are any grass farms too close which would reduce the allergen issue.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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My advice on driving would be to visit places on I-5 first - Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene - then head over the Cascades to Bend via Sisters (OR126 -> US20). Not sure if you'll have time to drive down to Roseburg, Grants Pass and Medford and then back up to Bend via Crater Lake (OR62 -> OR138 -> US97), but if you do, great.

From Bend, head north to Hood River (US97 -> US26 -> OR35), and pick up I-84 which will take you all the way to Boise, passing some interesting towns along the way - The Dalles, Hermiston, Pendleton, La Grande, Baker City, Ontario, Nampa ID - any of which are good places to stop for lunch or more.

Have a great trip!
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Oregon
1,458 posts, read 5,514,428 times
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I was just visiting and working with my friend in Bloomington, Indiana, last July, and personally, I think our overcast or partially cloudy days, plus nice summers, beat the humid east heat hands down. We are in Beaverton next to Portland.

What exactly are the allergy issues ?? What plant genus or species ??

Because the Willamette Valley a bit south of Portland to like Eugene, is prime agriculture land. Turfgrass seed farms, hops, bulbs, landscape plant material nurseries. Several kinds of pollen.

Say that Pinus genus or pine was bad for you - you don't want eastern Oregon near the pine forests.

Hood river is chocked full of apple, and I think pear, orchards. A different pollen.
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
45 posts, read 101,794 times
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Rob A--great route suggestion--thanks! I'll print this off & take it with us along with a good map.

mdvaden--although Seattle is the only place in the PNW I've been to, I'd have to agree with you that overcast/p.cloudy would definitely be preferred over our humid & hot weather. Our home in extreme southern IN is even considerably more hot & humid than Bloomington. Out with my son yesterday morning & had to come in before 10 b/c it was unbearable--yuck!!

Do you have a lot of sunny days in Beaverton, particularly in the summer months? Does it get warm enough to swim? Are there bodies of water large enough for boating & water skiing (and does the water get warm enough)? We love the stats. on the Portland area except for the gray weather, but that's probably most people.

Not sure how helpful this will be, but here's a run down of my son's allergies--all of the following he tested to be in the "moderate" range...Molds: Aspergillus, Epicoccum, Pullulari, Geotrichum, Phoma, Chaetomium, Curvularia, Grain Smut. Trees: Mulberry, Sycamore, Hickory/Pecan, Oak, Ash. Weeds: Giant Ragweed, Short Ragweed, Marsh Elder, English Plaintain, Dock/Sorrel, Pigweed, Cockelbur, Lambs Quarter, Mugwart, Russian Thistle. Also Dust Mites. Mine differ but I'm off the charts for ragweed, which is a major issue in the Ohio Valley. From looking at maps @ our allergist's office, the only states exempt from ragweed are WA, OR, a good chunk of ID, and slivers of CA & NV.

Thanks again to all & we're getting excited to see Oregon and begin our big adventure!
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,702 posts, read 35,581,142 times
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If you like small town and come down the I-5 corridor, I would consider popping into Silverton. It's only 9,000 people but it is a nice small community and it's close to Salem for everything you might need.

We have lot of oaks out here so not sure how that will work with his allergies and our climate is kind of perfect for molds to grow because we don't get too cold here. I think meeting with a local allergist is a good idea. They can really give you the scoop on all of those.
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