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Old 08-09-2012, 04:09 PM
Location: Forest Grove, OR
68 posts, read 191,695 times
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Hi Wyoming Folks!

I have had a fantasy of living in Wyoming for about 5 years now. The general Jackson area has been my dream. We traveled there a couple of years ago to go to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. I'm definitely in love.

We currently live in southern California and I've lived here all my life. I'm totally tired of the fast paced, keeping up with the Joneses mentality.

Anyway, we just found out that some of our best friends bought some land in the Star Valley Ranch area and are going to build a house there. They started joking about us coming with them and my husband told them I've been wanting to head there for a while.

We're a family of 5. My oldest is in college and my 2nd will be going to college soon. Then, I have an almost 7 year old. We homeschool so the school issue is not a problem.

What things should I be considering? Can I survive there? I know it is a small town. Is Idaho Falls the closest "shopping?" I know there's a Target there which is kind of important to me.

I'd appreciate any input you can give.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:29 PM
11,451 posts, read 48,439,045 times
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I'd let your friends finish building their place and come out to visit during the summer and winter months before having any further thoughts about this possible move. Let them do the groundwork, coming from the same perspective as you are.
See what their reactions are after a year or two.

Of course, there are lots of threads about living here in Wyoming. Use the search feature and read on. There are many concerns about the differences between SoCal and what you'l find here.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:45 PM
Location: Cabin Creek
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Idaho Falls is the closest major shopping , Target, Sam's Club, 2 wal-marts,big Mall, Cal - Ranch
, The south end of the valley might be a bit closer to Logan but SV Ranch around hour and half to Idaho Falls
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:50 PM
Location: Cody, WY
10,192 posts, read 12,878,810 times
Reputation: 21139
If you're a good conservative or libertarian you'll love it. Wyoming is a tough place for tougher people.

No state income tax, corporate tax, franchise tax, inheritance tax. Maximum 5% sales tax. Low property taxes.

Lowest personal tax burden of any state.

Right to Work state.

No helmet law for motorcyclists.

No permit required for Wyoming residents to carry a concealed weapon. No gun registration, private sales unrestricted.

Wyoming is the only state to have no "hate crime" law.

Obama carried a lower percentage of the Wyoming vote than that of any other state.

Fifth lowest crime rate of all states.

What's the difference between Wyoming and Heaven?

You have to be dead to go to Heaven.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:46 AM
Location: on a dirt road in Waitsfield,Vermont
2,186 posts, read 6,351,120 times
Reputation: 1145
If easy access to suburban type of shopping choices is important to you I don't think you will very happy in Star Valley or Jackson Hole. In the summer it's a beautiful drive to either Utah or Idaho, in the winter another type of experience all together.

JH has alot of cultural offerings like art galleries, restaurants, Star Valley, not so much. Star Valley is more real Wyoming, JH is called WyoDisney. I never had trouble finding a parking space in Afton, during the summer season nearly impossible in Jackson.
In Jackson they mark your tires so you don't violate the 1 hour parking limit near the Jackson Town Square.

Last edited by MRVphotog; 08-10-2012 at 06:56 AM..
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:40 PM
Location: Forest Grove, OR
68 posts, read 191,695 times
Reputation: 28
Thank you for the great input!

I wasn't finding what I wanted in the search so I really appreciate your help!

Honestly, I'm tired of the SoCal life! So fast paced. So much competition. So much materialism. Plus, California is not in the best shape. Looking at real estate in the area, it looks like I could double the size of my house and increase my lot size by at least 5 for the same price I could sell my house for here. That is appealing.

I should have mentioned, also, that we own our own software development company so my husband can basically work anywhere with internet access. We are fortunate as that opens our options quite a bit.

Thanks for your help!!
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:30 PM
11,451 posts, read 48,439,045 times
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Honestly, I'm tired of the SoCal life! So fast paced. So much competition. So much materialism. /QUOTE]

I appreciate your perspective of wanting to leave the SoCal pressure cooker behind ... but the problem that presents for so many people is that you are leaving that intensity for the total opposite of it.

It's not like you get to pick and choose a lower level of simmering than the high pressure ... you're almost moving to a vacuum by comparison.

So many things that you now take for granted for access and availability will not be here at all. So many other factors, such as climate ... which you take for granted, it's got it's great days and some lesser days where you live now, but they are all readily manageable. In comparison, you will have numerous days here in Wyoming where the weather dictates what/where/and how you can ... and, perhaps, cannot ... do things. Six month long winters with varying degrees of seriously inclement weather conditions here can and will become a dominating feature of your life at times. Are you and your spouse and children ready to take on that type of committment?

Similarly, Wyoming presents a whole different paradigm for shopping, entertainment, recreation, medical access, restaurants ...

Ah, just the restaurants alone is worth pages of comparisons. Where you now live, you have ready access to a multitude of ethnic cuisines ranging in quality from so-so to convenient to pretty good to WOW!. Here in Wyoming, think in terms of the average to mediocre 'merican grill you know somewhere in your area ... and that's pretty much the top of the scale for dining out here. There's a few exceptions to that across the whole state, but for the most part, restaurant food here is SYSCO or comparable prepared commissary items. Ethnic food is, generally speaking, on the quality level of your dorm food at school ... be it chinese, italian, or mexican ... most of it is pretty sad. Yes, there are a few (very few!) exceptions ...

There's no theme parks nearby, no ocean beaches, no large bodies of water. How often do you take advantage of your access to these things?

Your primary recreation and entertainment in the Star Valley area will be outdoor activities. Are these things that you like to do? Camping, hiking, equine activity, fishing?

Ah, fishing. I grew up on SoCal and Mexican waters salt water fishing. Halibut, mackeral, bonito, yellowtail, yellowfin, albacore, rock fish ... and I love doing that type of fishing. Miss it a lot, and I travel back to the coast now and then to do more, plus diving for 'bugs and abalone. None of that is here. You'll either enjoy stream and small lake fishing ... or need to head back to the coast. How much does that impact your life? As well, for me, I'm a racing sailor ... grew up on SoCal dinghy and small boat racing (Lightnings, Stars, PCats, and others) ... which is very limited here to a few lakes accessed by a lot of travel from Wyoming. While I've been racing a Laser here (along with a larger keelboat), it's not the same ... if this is something that you do, then you need to assess how important it is to you to have that type of access and sailing activity. Boating here is a whole different game ... and a limited season. I sailed all year long in SoCal ....

Same thing with shopping. By way of comparison, it's almost non-existent here. Some of it is simple and basic, like heading to a pharmacy. In SoCal, anytime, anyplace ... you've got access. In Star Valley, you'll be heading there during normal business hours, which may be M-Fri only. Why? because the population base isn't enough to support longer hours for this, and many other businesses.

Want a take-out pizza? Hmm ... if you are now living in the country, delivery may not be an option. And take-out may be quite some distance away from home, literally ... you'll need to plan the trip, it's not 5 minutes away, it's a trip. The local 'merican diner/cafe may have limited hours, which can affect your ability to get that meal on the spur of the moment ... and it won't be special, it will be very basic. You'll be planning your shopping trips to the market, and you'll be bringing a cooler (or two) with you with ice or freezer packs to help bring frozen home frozen by the time you make it home. Again, a whole different set of priorities in your daily life ... manageable, doable, but they take on a whole different portion of your life than what you now live in. The options that you now have simply don't exist here, even if you moved to "town".

I reiterate: you don't have the option to selectively move away from the things about SoCal that you don't like while still retaining so much that you do like there. So ...

As always, I urge you to come out to Wyoming to visit and see what's here ... and it's why I suggested previously that you check in with your friends moving out here after they've been here awhile to see how the adjustment has been for them.

PS ... I got a laugh out of another thread here in the Wyoming forum about driving around the state in the winter months as I was coming back this afternoon from Riverton via Lander to Rawlins ... re why do they have all those funny fences alongside the highway? not fencing the highway, but perpendicular or at an angle to the roadway, and some distance away. And why do they have those drop-down gates that close the highway and flashing lights telling you to return to town? It's got something to do with the blowing/drifting snow conditions that make the roads difficult to impassable at various times, that's why. Now SE Wyoming is bit more extreme than SW Wyoming ... but this is serious winter country out here in a way that's totally different than SoCal's high country. Again, please visit and see for yourself what presents ... while everybody here can encourage you that there are so many good and wonderful things about Wyoming, only you can determine for yourself if what is here is what you can live with for the long term.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:33 PM
Location: Cabin Creek
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Star Valley ranch was built around golf
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:36 PM
Location: Cabin Creek
3,234 posts, read 5,200,436 times
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take out pizza is only 5 mintuees away at tooties
SVR also getts more snow then alot of the rest of the valley
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:41 PM
11,451 posts, read 48,439,045 times
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Quote from another thread:

"Casper has wind. I can't explain to people who haven't experienced wind years on end what this is really like- but for me, I am about to go nuts. There are numerous other posts about the winters and wind in Wyoming so I won't expand, but please read through this forum extensively and take to heart what people are telling you. Wyoming is wonderful in so many ways, but it also presents unique challenges that are not found in my opinion anywhere else in the USA. This combination can be a delicate balance to finding it "home" but it can be done."

While this comment was specific to a Casper inquiry ... which definitely has a lot more wind than the Star Valley area ...

OP, please note the commenters' observation about moving to Wyoming. It's what I've been trying to tell people on this forum for awhile now, and it's not in accordance with what a number of other regular posters will tell you about moving here. So it's interesting to see this expressed by a more recent arrival to the area ... as we don't see a lot of follow up posts from folk who have arrived here recently after awhile. Don't know if they've come and gone, or just dropped out of the forum ....

eh, Jody ... while I was generalizing about "take-out pizza" ... the gist of my comment was in light of the so many take-out places, so many ethnic varieties readily accessible where the OP lives now, that simply aren't in the Star Valley area at all. I don't know about "tooties" ... it may be great stuff, but when you're used to having so many choices that deliver, moving to the Star Valley is gonna' seem like a desert when it comes to take-out ... let alone variety of restaurant choices. It's been awhile since I've been in Afton (and I gotta' go back soon for sales calls), I recall the dining scene was dominated by franchise mediocrity ... Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Time, Subway, and similar type places. What, maybe 20 restaurants total?
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