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Happy Friday, gang. (Oh sorry, forgot that very few of you track actual days of the week.) Just a fun exercise, really. We have long contemplated a move out west and look forward to using our as-yet-unbuilt Ollie to conduct the search. Recognizing that everyone has their own preferences for town size, climate, and camping destinations, what would you consider the best place to live if the goal was centrality/convenience to your favorite outdoor attractions out west? For instance the front range towns of Colorado seem awesome, but travel to so many of the cool destinations starts with a schlep over the mountains. So maybe some place like Grand Junction is better for that reason.

Anyway you talk, I’ll listen. Thanks!

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We have lived in several states mostly due to career upward mobility moves with our former employers. We found the state we enjoy living in most is where we are right now. We love the beautiful temper

Here's a photo from  Harris  Beach  State Park in Brookings during a warm stretch between Xmas and new years a few years ago - so many nice  little islands and  sea stacks! And one from just nort

Interesting thread.  Where we live in the Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio has some advantages for RVer’s.  We have mild winters with no sustained below freezing weather, so no need to winteriz

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2 hours ago, MarylandDave said:

Happy Friday, gang. (Oh sorry, forgot that very few of you track actual days of the week.) Just a fun exercise, really. We have long contemplated a move out west and look forward to using our as-yet-unbuilt Ollie to conduct the search. Recognizing that everyone has their own preferences for town size, climate, and camping destinations, what would you consider the best place to live if the goal was centrality/convenience to your favorite outdoor attractions out west? For instance the front range towns of Colorado seem awesome, but travel to so many of the cool destinations starts with a schlep over the mountains. So maybe some place like Grand Junction is better for that reason.

Anyway you talk, I’ll listen. Thanks!

Nearer the coast would give you more variety.  We live in SW Oregon which is great, but mountains have us hemmed in during Winter.  Oregon does have most everything: beaches, forests, mountains, deserts, snow, rivers, fishing, hunting, skiing, boating.  However, I think Idaho might be a good "jumping off" place; my preference is less populated areas.

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After my wife and I retired we started looking for a place to "settle".  With so many choices we found that we were going around in circles.  So, we decided to re-start the whole process by each making up a list of things that were important to each of us individually and then get back together, compare those lists with the intent of prioritizing the choices we were making.  Since fairly high on each of our lists was a four season climate without hot summers or cold winters we next went to the computer to search climate data and that led us to fairly narrow regions of the country that satisfied that demand.  Then we looked within those regions for areas that possibly had the other items on the list - recreation, church, cultural activities, a college, nearby medical facilities, nearby grocery, nearby hardware/lumber, etc.  This further narrowed down the possible choices such that we got in a car/plane (no Ollie at that time) and took a look at the areas we had identified.  During that process we stumbled on the small town where we currently reside.

Long story short - first take your heart out of the equation and approach the problem systematically.  Most places around this great country of ours have neighborhoods that are fairly similar to each other but it is the weather that you will have to contend with each and every day.  That rural place may seem great but a drive of an hour to get a quart of milk or loaf of bread will get very tiring after awhile.  You may only go to the baseball game once a year or to the movies a couple times a year or to a concert or to a ...., but, living in a place without those facilities removes your choice of going which just may be unacceptable - or may be just what your looking for.  Finally, do not overlook the availability of medical treatment.  Yes, these days you can be medevacked fairly quickly from one place to another.  But first you must be stabilized enough in order to be on a chopper.  As you get older this becomes more and more important.

Bill 

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Wow, I could go around and around with this topic. Similar to others that do this exercise,  a list of wants, needs and like to haves  gets you started and then you go explore. Fortunately (or not) we have seen a good bit of this country, and lived in it - from coat to coast, and  in-between, and at the top of out list was seasonal weather - which almost drives two places. So that is where the Oliver came in, we plan to spend winter months in dry warmer areas - and then explore the rest of the year. 

I put a little wrench in the plan - as I enjoy the home place, and my spouse desires the dry, warmer winter of the desert southwest. So we plan to adopt a hybrid - keep the current home, and just go when we want, keep the options open. Perhaps one day we will find the perfect place. 

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We have lived in several states mostly due to career upward mobility moves with our former employers. We found the state we enjoy living in most is where we are right now. We love the beautiful temperate spring and fall, the long summers and short easy winters of Western North Carolina. We feel very fortunate and blessed to be able to choose where we could eventually build our home and retire.
Here in the foothills of Western NC we might get one snow fall of 5” and with a few days it’s gone. So no shoveling or plowing of driveways, or driving and slipping on ice! Very little snow and ice covered roads and power lines suits us  well.
A short drive to the gorgeous South Mountains a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and 4.5 hrs to Sunset Beach we are completely content and very happy.
We now farm a small Blueberry grove, (a record 43 gallon yield this past season) we also hunt and enjoy wild game and the trout fishing is not bad either. Being “Patriots”  we enjoy tremendous amounts of awesome revolutionary war history here symbolizing the birth of this great country.  🇺🇸 
 

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We also love Western NC. Lovely, friendly small towns. 4 gentle seasons. Asheville is a very fun town, with great food, craft beer and music. 

We don't live here year round. (No sailing), but we spend months here every year, and find it a great jumping off point for other adventures. Much closer to New England, the Midwest, and Canada. 

As for Colorado,  it's beautiful,  but never really my favorite.  My sister lived in Grand junction a few years, and was thrilled when her husband was transferred.  One of my college roommates moved last year from Parker, CO, to a small town in Wyoming. Our daughter is out in Colorado now, on a hiking trip. I'll see what she has to say.

If I  were ever to go west, I'd probably look in Idaho. 

 

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Interesting thread.  Where we live in the Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio has some advantages for RVer’s.  We have mild winters with no sustained below freezing weather, so no need to winterize.  We do usually get a week of night time temperatures in the 20’s but usually well above freezing during those days.  Being right on I-10, it’s an easy two day drive to Arizona, Colorado or the Florida panhandle.  If you are young and ambitious those can also be done in a day.

San Antonio is in the top 10 largest US cities so has all the cultural, medical, sports, airport and shopping that goes along with being large.  We’re not in the city but only a 30-45 minute drive to any of the big city features.

What we don’t like are the hot, humid summers that usually last from June through September.  We usually make a July/August trip to NM, CO or AZ during those hot muggy months.  Mike

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We've lived all over the US/world.  PNW is hard to beat.  On the west side of the mountains there are hardly any ticks, poisonous snakes, hurricanes, tornados, etc... We may all face some sort of doom in an earthquake or volcanic eruption though. Boating is awesome here, fishing (Salmon, Cod, Halibut, Tuna, etc...)/shrimping/crabbing can be interesting despite the governments' attempts to ruin it. WA/AK have no state income/capital gains tax and fairly low property taxes if that matters.  Seattle/Tacoma real estate pricing is insane, and gets more insane by the minute, but there are plenty of places that would be awesome to crash outside the beehive:  San Juan Islands and the Peninsula are good bets if you don't like as much rain.  Pretty much any county except King or Pierce will be fairly reasonable.

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1 hour ago, WhatDa said:

We've lived all over the US/world.  PNW is hard to beat.  On the west side of the mountains there are hardly any ticks, poisonous snakes, hurricanes, tornados, etc... We may all face some sort of doom in an earthquake or volcanic eruption though. Boating is awesome here, fishing (Salmon, Cod, Halibut, Tuna, etc...)/shrimping/crabbing can be interesting despite the governments' attempts to ruin it. WA/AK have no state income/capital gains tax and fairly low property taxes if that matters.  Seattle/Tacoma real estate pricing is insane, and gets more insane by the minute, but there are plenty of places that would be awesome to crash outside the beehive:  San Juan Islands and the Peninsula are good bets if you don't like as much rain.  Pretty much any county except King or Pierce will be fairly reasonable.

Western Oregon does have its share of ticks, rattle snakes, and poison oak. On the other hand, Oregon has a lot of great boondocking sites.

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9 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

Western Oregon does have its share of ticks, rattle snakes, and poison oak. On the other hand, Oregon has a lot of great boondocking sites.

Nature is a complete menagerie of moving things - plant's that reach out  - that's the appeal.....

As for overall cost of living - TN is hard to beat. Seems real estate has gone crazy most everywhere we "once" considered in our retirement planning.  I have come to realize - the grass isn't  always greener on the other side of the  state line -err - fence - so to speak.  And like SH - low population density is an attraction for us.  This summers wanderings throughout CO was in stark contrast to the people numbers of the same trips 10 years back!  Amazed at the traffic, congestion, and sheer building activity in CO. Course I remember when DEN  was just a thought. 

My attraction to the west is the boondocking  - really great if you like that kind of thing.  

Our time in the PNW - well it was fun - not a place I want to live - my spouse rust's - she says.  - AK - I love the openness, the attitudes, the last frontier?  - not the winters.... My son - however - says he will never leave - .  To each his own - 

Oliver EII - and a good TV - the world is your oyster.  

 

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I’ve lived all over the US and the western US is top of my list when I retire. I love the area around Bend Oregon plus coast is not that far.   I’d probably head south for part of winter but that is what the Ollie is for!  Texas is home so I have thought about having a small place in the Hill Country for winter between Austin and San Antonio.    

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3 hours ago, BackofBeyond said:

 

Our time in the PNW - well it was fun - not a place I want to live - my spouse rust's - she says. 

 

When we moved here, I told the Mrs. to make sure she washes out the moss behind the ears at least twice a week.

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8 hours ago, WhatDa said:

When we moved here, I told the Mrs. to make sure she washes out the moss behind the ears at least twice a week.

I'd always heard about the "moss people " in the pnw. I was really totally surprised by the moss in the Washington rainforest when we finally camped there. (My last state of the 50 to visit.) A very special beauty.

And really tight campsites in some of our choices. 

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Remember how I talked about (way back at the top of this thread) getting climate data as one of the things to consider when choosing a place to live.  Well, my search of that data produced exactly two areas of the country that had the kind of climate we wanted - the PNW and a small area generally located in Western North Carolina (there is a little bit of it in extreme north west South Carolina and north east Georgia).  In both of these areas one of the main detractions is the amount of rain.  Not surprisingly, both have mountains that interact with coastal fronts and general weather patterns.

Bill

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13 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I'd always heard about the "moss people " in the pnw. I was really totally surprised by the moss in the Washington rainforest when we finally camped there. (My last state of the 50 to visit.) A very special beauty.

And really tight campsites in some of our choices. 

I would like to point out once again that the “Wet Sides” of WA and OR are actually a fairly small percentage of the Pacific Northwest region, which stretches clear to the Northern Rockies..... It is only because most people live there that the silly “moss everywhere” public image persists. The Cascades effectively block that Pacific Ocean moisture; just twenty miles east of their crest you enter arid and semi-arid climates, with clear skies, hot summers and chilly winters. And WAY fewer people.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Northwest

Certain locations like the Okanagan Region are “banana belts”, low elevation river valleys aligned due east of rain- blocking mountains, where irrigation is most definitely required for the orchards and vineyards (not a moss to be found). These spots are popular with retirees looking for mild weather, spectacular beauty and much more affordable housing than in Seattle or Portland.

Just saying. Come visit and see for yourself.

John Davies

Spokane WA, AKA The Dry Side. No moss or slugs here:

158D5CC5-23E9-44E0-A9BE-6731ABE490CF.thumb.jpeg.c9d4dc8e04a90c8851c1e440f6d85fae.jpeg

 

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JD, 

I expected a reply pointing out the eastern  portions of the PNW - as it is a dryer and wonderful part of the moss coast.......   We have spent time  in and around the area, and really enjoyed both the beaches  and the inland areas all the way into Idaho . My wife spent part of her youth in Tacoma - and swears the it rained every day - but we no that's not true, - its every other day. HA. 

Quite possibly, had we not ended up in middle TN, and developed the current plot of land - the very areas you mention would be high on our list of places to retire. Especially with our youngest loving AK. I especially love BC. When the borders open up for travel - I intend to spend much more time exploring the area. 

I agree - there is gold up in that part of the US. 

No moss here - slugs, perhaps

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If you plan to move to the PNW, or just visit, it is important to understand the concept of microclimates. Puget Sound especially has many. Northeast of Olympic NP is the little town of Sequim (“Skwim”) which is very dry since the prevailing wind drops all the rain on the west slope rain forests. Sequim gets 23 inches, the Hoh Rain Forest gets more than 150. The wonderful San Juan Islands near the Canadian border are also dry and relatively balmy....

The systems coming in from the west have to deal with tall mountains, so they move in odd directions and come together in convergence zones in Puget Sound. You can get lots of rain or even snow in a CZ, and a few miles away you might get nothing. Seattle is known for being wet and dreary but annual rain is only about 38”, average for the USA. Olympia, the capital at the south end of the Sound, gets 53”. You will see lots more moss there than in Seattle.

1349FF45-CB4E-4682-8839-AEA79113EB9A.jpeg.ae03b828f72ae3faf3bc0140a15477b6.jpeg

Once you get east of the Cascades this microclimate effect still exists, but it is not nearly as dramatic. Your weather is defined mostly by your elevation and which side of (and how close to) a mountain range you live. Spokane gets 17”, twenty miles further east, nestled against the mountains, Coeur d’Alene ID gets 27”.... The further east you get, the more likely you are to experience arctic blasts in winter. We just had a record October snowfall, 6”, and it is getting into the low teens at night. Brrrrrr.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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Your October 6" snowfall equals the average amount of snow we get for an entire Winter.  Of course western NC also has these microclimate effects you talk about and if we need snow for some reason (like cross-country skiing ) we can drive 17 miles to get from 2500 feet elevation to a little over 6000 and get all the snow we want for most of the winter.

Bill

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Here in Bozeman, MT, 10 inches of snow fell yesterday.  And the forecasted low for tonight is MINUS SEVEN!  Ouch.  However, that's not the norm.  And the summers are beautiful.

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Check out the climate in the extreme southern Oregon coast.  Brookings to Gold Beach is called the Banana Belt.  I don't know how the area compares for annual rainfall, but temperatures are great.  The only disadvantage I can see is they are pretty well isolated from most of Oregon's recreation areas.  And then there's the wind in Gold Beach.

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The last time I saw "snow", actually  frozen raindrops, in my headlights, was Christmas eve, 1989, in sw Florida. 

We have, of course, seen snow in other parts of the country, since then. All my family in the Midwest has snow, today. Northern Central Iowa to North Central Minnesota.  It's early, but it's here. I know it's melting, but it's a sign of early winter.

I'm totally ok with 80 degrees on my Florida patio. 😁

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3 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

Check out the climate in the extreme southern Oregon coast.  Brookings to Gold Beach is called the Banana Belt.  I don't know how the area compares for annual rainfall, but temperatures are great.  The only disadvantage I can see is they are pretty well isolated from most of Oregon's recreation areas.  And then there's the wind in Gold Beach.

Also look up the "Chetco effect (aka "The Brookings effect"). I've had  some lovely winter days down there.

The wind can for sure be quite strong. Folks flock to Boice Cope park to kiteboard on Lake Floras just  a little north of Gold Beach (south of  Bandon) due to the strong and consistent winds.

If I were happier with the mountain  access (for both  skiing and hiking/backpacking) I'd move down  there in a hearbeat.

The coastline from Brookings up  to Cape Blanco is just amazing. Stunning.

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Here's a photo from  Harris  Beach  State Park in Brookings during a warm stretch between Xmas and new years a few years ago - so many nice  little islands and  sea stacks!

And one from just north of there by Cape Ferello (this is from last week)

Harris Beach Flow (2).jpg

98D179FE-AD4A-47B9-8698-04D5F7008487.jpeg

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