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Thread: Best Cities To Work And Live For Hiking

  1. #31
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weatherman View Post
    Born and bred in southern New England, moved from the Worcester area in 2010, now a Coloradan x 7 years. Who knows if and when we'll move back but I do miss it some! Have to say that my biggest adjustment was coping with the traffic when we arrived. Unless you have chronic lung disease, hiking < 8000 feet elevation should be a non-factor after the first few weeks. The sun is nice; seasonal affective disorder is nonexistent. They don't plow the roads here much when it snows, banking on the sun melting it. This works mostly, except when it doesn't....

    My $.02: Three critical factors. Tolerance for lots of people; cultural things; and job availability/diversity. The Front Range has many people, many cultural opportunities, and many job possibilities, including one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and a high minimum wage. Cost of living is high- not as high as Boston or NYC but comparable to the nicer parts of Central MA and CT.

    Co Springs is up and coming, and the cost of living is going up too. Politics are pretty conservative, so infrastructure isn't the greatest, but it is close to lots of hiking.

    Telecommuter? Don't care much about opera and national-class theater? Can't stand traffic? Then avoid the Fort Collins to Colorado Springs corridor. Bozeman might be the better choice, or SLC, or Salida CO, or Durango, or Glenwood Springs, or even Grand Junction. We have neighbors who moved to Bend, OR a few years ago to escape the busy-ness here, but they just moved back here because it was TOO quiet for them there.

    Like a wide variety of great restaurants? Have a flexible work schedule, so you can commute and hike/camp off-hours? Don't mind traffic jams? Like to see Broadway-bound shows before they get there? Denver might be a good choice, just know that you and many thousands of others will be driving west to compete for camping spots every weekend of the summer. I-70 is not unlike I-93.
    Some good points. Colorado certainly seems to have a lot of +'s for a lot of things. Those additional details will be helpful as we look further into areas. I'm hoping our friends in Denver can provide us with some local intel if we get an opportunity to go out there in June, i.e. up and coming areas, taxes and what not.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  2. #32
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Some good points. Colorado certainly seems to have a lot of +'s for a lot of things. Those additional details will be helpful as we look further into areas. I'm hoping our friends in Denver can provide us with some local intel if we get an opportunity to go out there in June, i.e. up and coming areas, taxes and what not.
    Colo is also reaping a windfall on taxes related to the pot economy. That probably bodes well for infrastructure spending and stability of state and local govt.

    cb
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  3. #33
    Senior Member weatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Colo is also reaping a windfall on taxes related to the pot economy. That probably bodes well for infrastructure spending and stability of state and local govt.

    cb
    Except for a very weird amendment to the state constitution passed in 1992 called the "Taxpayer's Bill of Rights" that stipulates, among other things, that the state cannot keep a windfall. It must return tax revenue over a certain amount each year to taxpayers. So in lean years, they must cut services, and in good years, they can't save for lean years. Go figure.
    --would rather be hiking than typing.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    We'll miss you Day Trip. As other mentioned it depends on what changes you want to deal with and what you like about being here. Hate cold and snow, then hiking outside of Phoenix and Scottsdale is an option. We were in Sedona last August and 105 in a dry heat is still hot, but the sunrise and sunset hiking was great.

    While I was not converted from mountains to the Grand Canyon, I can see how people go out there and then spend all their recreation time there.

    CA has some great selling points but depending on where you are, it can be very hot, the ocean can be cold, and fires and earthquakes can be issues along with traffic. When looking at the various places to retires, some people focus on taxes, other on climate, some on culture. Do you want easy availability to the arts? College towns are usually good and diverse places and place that are walkable are nice too. (This group probably has a higher measure of what's walkable)

    You need to be thorough in your soul searching of what you want and be flexible enough that you can change your mind if the idea of moving isn't as nice as actually moving.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  5. #35
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    We'll miss you Day Trip. As other mentioned it depends on what changes you want to deal with and what you like about being here. Hate cold and snow, then hiking outside of Phoenix and Scottsdale is an option. We were in Sedona last August and 105 in a dry heat is still hot, but the sunrise and sunset hiking was great.

    While I was not converted from mountains to the Grand Canyon, I can see how people go out there and then spend all their recreation time there.

    CA has some great selling points but depending on where you are, it can be very hot, the ocean can be cold, and fires and earthquakes can be issues along with traffic. When looking at the various places to retires, some people focus on taxes, other on climate, some on culture. Do you want easy availability to the arts? College towns are usually good and diverse places and place that are walkable are nice too. (This group probably has a higher measure of what's walkable)

    You need to be thorough in your soul searching of what you want and be flexible enough that you can change your mind if the idea of moving isn't as nice as actually moving.
    I haven't rented a Uhaul just yet so you'll have to endure my stupid questions for awhile longer. :P

    It has been an on again, off again thing now for several years. The biggest hang up right now that has stopped us from moving forward has been family. My father died in 2011 and my younger brother in 2016 so it is just me and my mom. Siblings on that side of my family have splintered off and bickered since my grandmother died awhile back so leaving my mother alone has been a huge deterrent to moving. My wife's family is more scattered and she is used to minimal visiting, etc so that is less of an issue. My wife and I are also in our late 40's now so the pull of youth and lack of responsibilities is long gone and makes generating real momentum for a location change hard to gather despite a strong desire to do so.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  6. #36
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I haven't rented a Uhaul just yet so you'll have to endure my stupid questions for awhile longer. :P

    It has been an on again, off again thing now for several years. The biggest hang up right now that has stopped us from moving forward has been family. My father died in 2011 and my younger brother in 2016 so it is just me and my mom. Siblings on that side of my family have splintered off and bickered since my grandmother died awhile back so leaving my mother alone has been a huge deterrent to moving. My wife's family is more scattered and she is used to minimal visiting, etc so that is less of an issue. My wife and I are also in our late 40's now so the pull of youth and lack of responsibilities is long gone and makes generating real momentum for a location change hard to gather despite a strong desire to do so.
    The only reason I moved back here from CO, was to care for my mother. She was alone and although my siblings helped, not to the level that I thought was needed. I didn't mind being away from family while out west, but when it comes to a parent in need, I'm all in.

  7. #37
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    The only reason I moved back here from CO, was to care for my mother. She was alone and although my siblings helped, not to the level that I thought was needed. I didn't mind being away from family while out west, but when it comes to a parent in need, I'm all in.
    Yes indeed. As an aside, can you recommend any 14ers in the Denver area (say within a 2 hour drive or so) that would have relatively easy trail head access (rental car, easy to find, etc) and are not particularly demanding from a technical point of view. I'm expecting to be in Denver the last weekend in June and was hoping to squeeze in some sort of hike to check out the area and more importantly see how my body handles the altitude. I have a 14er Guide so I don't need crazy details, just a peak suggestion. Or if you know of something else noteworthy in the area that would meet these criteria. I figured I'd try to do a 14er only because I don't know if I'd ever be there again so the novelty of having a 14er on my hiking resume would be cool I guess but it doesn't have to be one. Any other worthy tourist attractions in the area (from a hikers perspective) would also be appreciated.

    You can send me a message versus posting here if you prefer. Thanks.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  8. #38
    Senior Member weatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Yes indeed. As an aside, can you recommend any 14ers in the Denver area (say within a 2 hour drive or so) that would have relatively easy trail head access (rental car, easy to find, etc) and are not particularly demanding from a technical point of view. I'm expecting to be in Denver the last weekend in June and was hoping to squeeze in some sort of hike to check out the area and more importantly see how my body handles the altitude. I have a 14er Guide so I don't need crazy details, just a peak suggestion. Or if you know of something else noteworthy in the area that would meet these criteria. I figured I'd try to do a 14er only because I don't know if I'd ever be there again so the novelty of having a 14er on my hiking resume would be cool I guess but it doesn't have to be one. Any other worthy tourist attractions in the area (from a hikers perspective) would also be appreciated.

    You can send me a message versus posting here if you prefer. Thanks.
    Don't really need a 14er, and June is a bit early for some (though there is so little snow right now you could walk up most of them!!!), but closest/easiest would be Bierstadt, Grays and/or Torreys, and Quandary (near Breckenridge). Evans and Pikes Peak also, though there is a road to the top for those two so less appealing, and Pikes is long. People talk about Longs, but it is way harder than some others, with some very significant exposure. Lots of non-14er possibilities too. Thing is that in June in most years you have deep snow between about 11000 and 13000 feet.

    Also, do yourself a favor and acclimatize for at least a few days. Feeling like $&!t on a 14er when you've been at sea level till 2 days before (a good bet for most people!!) has little to do with how you'd feel trying one after a few weeks in Denver.
    Last edited by weatherman; 01-09-2018 at 03:40 PM.
    --would rather be hiking than typing.

  9. #39
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weatherman View Post
    Don't really need a 14er, and June is a bit early for some (though there is so little snow right now you could walk up most of them!!!), but closest/easiest would be Bierstadt, Grays and/or Torreys, and Quandary (near Breckenridge). Evans and Pikes Peak also, though there is a road to the top for those two so less appealing, and Pikes is long. People talk about Longs, but it is way harder than some others, with some very significant exposure. Lots of non-14er possibilities too. Thing is that in June in most years you have deep snow between about 11000 and 13000 feet.

    Also, do yourself a favor and acclimatize for at least a few days. Feeling like $&!t on a 14er when you've been at sea level till 2 days before (a good bet for most people!!) has little to do with how you'd feel trying one after a few weeks in Denver.
    Yes. I really need to figure out how to get acclimatized somehow, get a hike in and not have my head split in half. I'll be with the wife and mother-in-law for pretty much the whole trip so I don't know how this is all going to work out. Sierra also recommended pretty much the same peaks you did so I'm going to shoot for Bierstadt if I'm able to squeeze a hike in. Thanks for the suggestions.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  10. #40
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    The area near Lewiston, ME is my personal target. 2 hours to White Mountains, Acadia, Boston, and Baxter, 45 minutes to the Maine coast. Housing costs are stupidly low (we're talking under $100k for a house with 3-4 bedrooms and in great shape) compared with anything closer to Boston.

    When I was considering moving out west, I was looking into Dubois, Lander, or Pinedale, all in Wyoming, which are very small cities/towns. Big enough to find a job and have all amenities covered, likely very low housing costs, and in short driving distance to what I consider the most beautiful mountains in the lower 48, the Wind River Range.

  11. #41
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    I have moved from originally PA to Maine 8 years. Now in Colorado the last 3.5. If you are moving to make a living it's going to be different than moving for a lifestyle and you have to be able to make the distinction. You are going to struggle if you are used to amenities in paradise because it can get expensive and jobs are scarce. I live close to Salida Colorado and live modestly to be able to hike and mt bike. It's not a cheap area and jobs are very scarce. You have to be creative. I love the area and wouldn't even think about living in the Front Range. I live at the foot of the Sangre de Cristos with 13ers rising from my back yard. A lot of the places listed here have the same high cost low job offering issue. If I moved again out west it would be to somewhere like western Montana. You can find cheap housing but jobs are tough but you are surrounded by many A list locations on and off the radar.

  12. #42
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat32 View Post
    I have moved from originally PA to Maine 8 years. Now in Colorado the last 3.5. If you are moving to make a living it's going to be different than moving for a lifestyle and you have to be able to make the distinction. You are going to struggle if you are used to amenities in paradise because it can get expensive and jobs are scarce. I live close to Salida Colorado and live modestly to be able to hike and mt bike. It's not a cheap area and jobs are very scarce. You have to be creative. I love the area and wouldn't even think about living in the Front Range. I live at the foot of the Sangre de Cristos with 13ers rising from my back yard. A lot of the places listed here have the same high cost low job offering issue. If I moved again out west it would be to somewhere like western Montana. You can find cheap housing but jobs are tough but you are surrounded by many A list locations on and off the radar.
    IMO this is an excellent summary. It’s about the lifestyle not the living. If you want to play and not pay be prepared to have multiple irons in the fire. Many folks that live in outdoor recreational areas have multiple jobs and much of the time work seasonally. The cost of living these days makes it a lot harder to be a ski bum or dirtbag climber. It can also take awhile to establish oneself. Turn key situations are rare. Much of the time folks come and go only to land up back in the city. The only silver lining these days is if you are able to telecommute and even then that can be part time which still has to be offset with a brick and morder job. IMO it’s a whole lot easier to do it in your 20’s and scratch your way up than to wait until mid life.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  13. #43
    Senior Member roadtripper's Avatar
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    It's getting expensive, but I personally think St. George Utah is the best base camp in the USA. It's only a few hours to places like the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante (my favorite place on the planet), skiing in northern Utah, Capitol Reef, Kanab, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, etc. There is also fantastic hiking within 30 minutes of the city, including Snow Canyon, Dixie National Forest, and lots of other places too. Tons of awesome bike trails and a great food scene too. 125,000 people in metro area and still growing at 3-5% rate.
    Last edited by roadtripper; 01-20-2018 at 08:28 PM.

  14. #44
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Berlin, NH is waiting to become the next outdoor mecca. Everything PB has said about it. Climbing routes on side streets, access to the best hiking in the northeast. Skiing everywhere, dog sledding, a couple hours to the ocean, three hours ish to Boston, they have rivers that are not being fully utilized, growing tourism industry south of the notches still, and I see duplexes for cheap. I would seriously consider a two family home there and rent to locals. Balsams may provide some of that push you need. NC is not a bad drive most days. Jobs are the issue of course but you won't find a cheaper place to live in the northeast. At some point soon, this changes. Were I to be in your situation, I'd seriously look there.
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  15. #45
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    IMO it’s a whole lot easier to do it in your 20’s and scratch your way up than to wait until mid life.
    That is a painful truth. I've hiked all my life but it was only about 6 years ago that it really hit me that this is what I want to do with my free time. Always kick myself for not setting off that spark earlier in life. But I guess you don't know until you know.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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