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Old 01-06-2009, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
10 posts, read 25,636 times
Reputation: 19

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**Note, this contains some tongue-in-cheek humor not safe for those who are too easily offended**

I've fallen in love with camping and hiking and would, someday, like to grow up to be a real backpacker. I'm disgusted by the city, county and state government in Chicago, where I presently live. I'm staying in the upper-Midwest, having moved hundreds of miles to be here, and I love Wisconsin so....

I want to move to Wisconsin.

I fear moving to Wisconsin.

I'm moderately tolerant of other beliefs but sometimes, on route to camping up north, a shiver of fear curls up my spine when I read the billboards and flyers I see. I could imagine myself a single, 30-something, non-Judeo-Christian, semi-socialist who winds up with the words "Get Out Infidel!" burned into her lawn if I lived in some of those towns up north....that or just stir-crazy without a community of my own.

Even though I left Portland and the Oregon I-5 corridor to get away from the SLBS - Self-congratulatory Liberal Back-patters Society - Madison seems the most likely to be accepting of me and the community with the most single 30-somethings. I must, however, widen my job search to additional areas since college town job markets are notoriously hard to break in to. Milwaukee seems logical, if I weren't afraid it was just a slightly smaller version of the same strife and corruption polluted Chicago.

I come to you, oh great city-data forum, for opinions on what other cities in Wisconsin might be reasonable places to live if you are a single, outdoors-loving, not-socially-conservative person who actually wants to have a few people NEARBY who "get" you. Appleton, Oshkosh, Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire...help!
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,945 posts, read 4,440,494 times
Reputation: 1113
Madison, Eau Claire, and La Crosse will be your best bets if you are trying to avoid big cities but still want to be near fellow liberals (all of them are college towns). Western Wisconsin has better hiking and mountain biking than the rest of the state (it's a lot hillier than the Eastern areas), an example would be Devil's Lake State Park.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:10 PM
 
1,117 posts, read 1,850,263 times
Reputation: 968
Quote:
Originally Posted by shedwyn View Post
**Note, this contains some tongue-in-cheek humor not safe for those who are too easily offended**

I've fallen in love with camping and hiking and would, someday, like to grow up to be a real backpacker. I'm disgusted by the city, county and state government in Chicago, where I presently live. I'm staying in the upper-Midwest, having moved hundreds of miles to be here, and I love Wisconsin so....

I want to move to Wisconsin.

I fear moving to Wisconsin.

I'm moderately tolerant of other beliefs but sometimes, on route to camping up north, a shiver of fear curls up my spine when I read the billboards and flyers I see. I could imagine myself a single, 30-something, non-Judeo-Christian, semi-socialist who winds up with the words "Get Out Infidel!" burned into her lawn if I lived in some of those towns up north....that or just stir-crazy without a community of my own.

Even though I left Portland and the Oregon I-5 corridor to get away from the SLBS - Self-congratulatory Liberal Back-patters Society - Madison seems the most likely to be accepting of me and the community with the most single 30-somethings. I must, however, widen my job search to additional areas since college town job markets are notoriously hard to break in to. Milwaukee seems logical, if I weren't afraid it was just a slightly smaller version of the same strife and corruption polluted Chicago.

I come to you, oh great city-data forum, for opinions on what other cities in Wisconsin might be reasonable places to live if you are a single, outdoors-loving, not-socially-conservative person who actually wants to have a few people NEARBY who "get" you. Appleton, Oshkosh, Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire...help!
Hmm...it's hard for me to imagine Wisconsin being a haven for hikers/backpackers. There are no mountains here, and for half the year, it's too cold, snowy and icy to be out in the woods.

Sorry...I'm not trying to be a stick-in-the-mud.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:18 PM
 
2,133 posts, read 5,437,055 times
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I agree that Madison, Eau Claire and LaCrosse are you best bets. The western areas have decent hiking and, if you don't mind the cold, you can snowshoe as well.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Portland OR
2,095 posts, read 3,077,502 times
Reputation: 3309
I don't think you would find Milwaukee as corrupt as Chicago.

Essentially MKE is just a reeeally large small town.
It has small time corruption compared to the professionals here in IL.

Probably the best job opportunities in WI right now reside in SE WI.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Mequon, WI
8,158 posts, read 20,771,639 times
Reputation: 5143
Quote:
Essentially MKE is just a reeeally large small town.
I can't stand this mantra of " a big city with a small town feel" or it's just my inferior complex that Milwaukeean's should start to shed this image I think it hurts us overall.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
12,771 posts, read 12,561,923 times
Reputation: 12830
You don't have to have mountains to hike or backpack, which people that have always lived by mountains don't seem to get. Wisconsin has walkable weather at least 8 months of the year really.

The state park trails are awesome, the ice age trail crosses Wisconsin and people hike it, or portions of it all the time. Ice Age National Scenic Trail (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
10 posts, read 25,636 times
Reputation: 19
Susan - agreed. When I comment that I love hiking and camping people ask "Then why did you ever leave Oregon?" I don't need mountains to hike. Kettle Moraine (sp?) has great hiking and I really love the hiking in the Nicolet National Forest.

CaliGirl - what about snowshoeing or nordic skiing? Don't you love the silence of a forest covered in snow? I would not camp ALONE off-season like that, but if I could find a reliable camping partner (maybe one who knew some survival skills) I would TOTALLY camp in winter. I knew someone who did the whole snow-cave thing and she said it was really comfortable. And hiking is more work, but the rewards of being the only human for miles? The activity of just being outdoors, working up a sweat, the reward of slogging through the snow to just "be" in the clear, cold, beautiful North Woods? I think that is a little slice of Nirvana right there.

I actually love big cities, but Chicago is wearing me down and the drive to get to good camping and hiking eats into the time I could actually be hiking and camping. Chicago is a fantastic place but not enough outdoor activities close enough. KM is close, but I'll get sick of going to the same place over and over again. Madison is good - shaves 3 hours off the drive to Nicolet and positions me nicely for some other places I want to try. I just wasn't sure about other of the cities.

I had a very pleasant conversation with a locksmith in La Crosse, but just because he was an NPR listener didn't mean that there were more like him around! It did position me to think favorably of La Crosse, however. Locked out of my car on a holiday weekend? The man was an angel!

I got shied off from Milwaukee because I heard it is even more segregated with even more racial strife and even higher crime rates than Chicago. I lived in a bad neighborhood on the SW side of Chicago for 3 years so I'm not scared of the crime, but I was surprised to hear that it was even worse in Milwaukee than Chicago...downsize the city and get higher rates of crime and worse racial tension? I figured, "what is the point?" If the reports I had were mistaken then I'll put it back in the running - the more on my list, the greater my chances of finding a job somewhere.

Do you know what I really appreciated about traveling in Wisconsin - maps of construction at the rest areas. You know what else - the site for state jobs in Wisconsin makes sense...the site for Illinois state jobs is a confusing jumble of blah, blah, blah. I figure they want to reduce the applications so their cousin's son's wife's third cousin can get the job. Wisconsin is really a very nice, under appreciated state. I find it odd that Chicagoans do all their "outdoors" vacationing in Michigan which seems farther away.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:55 PM
 
335 posts, read 1,138,055 times
Reputation: 239
Default I think you

should stay where you are. You have to make where you are home and stop searching for it. You will move to WI and then the charm will wear off and you will be on your way somewhere else.

This is not a criticism, just what americans have become. Searchers without a home and you will not find that home elswhere, it is where you allready are.

You can back pack and hike just as good in chicago, new york or your own back yard.

Change your perspective and you WILL change your world.

Good Luck as a fellow traveler!!!
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:44 AM
 
86 posts, read 292,986 times
Reputation: 54
Not sure I agree with the previous mentions of LaCrosse and Eau Claire.. beacons of tolerance? It's not that they're IN-tolerant... just that "tolerance" isn't what springs to mind with places like that. You have to draw a distinction between the campus areas of a "college" town, and the rest of the town. I think most WI college towns, even Madison to some extent, are fairly representative of the state as a whole once you get outside of the college section.

Stick to madison (west side near campus, perhaps isthmus near capital) or eastside Milwaukee. If neither of those interest you, consider Iowa City, IA - 50% degreed, and a college town where liberal thinking truly seems to permeate the entire city. (can't speak for nextdoor Coralville.. don't know much about it). Also FYI- the area NE of Iowa City, extending through SW WI and on up to Redwing MN, was unglaciated and has really great peaks and valleys. (although you can't really call it "moutainous"..)
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