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I’ve very much enjoyed all of the posts here. Though my wife and I have the great parks and sights of UT/WY/MT on our bucket list, the comments regarding seasons and efforts to follow the best weather have provoked thoughts regarding our possibilities from home. It’s 11 hours north to Acadia and about the same south to St. Augustine. We should be able to find the weather we like between those two poles. 

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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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Seems like a great notion in any case to experiment from your current home and learn more about how you really like to roll as you spend more time out camping and exploring etc. There are so many different takes on the possible answers to your opening question depending on who's answering, and you'll learn more about YOUR answers by just getting out there from where you live now.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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Thanks @Jim_Oker, and completely agree. I am glad I worded my post the way I did as it generated some fascinating discussion. But if I had to re-word it I would write: name a town or small city where you would choose to live as a convenient base to explore your favorite places in the west. Something with enough downtown to have a restaurant scene, neighborhoods near enough to be walkable, hiking and biking and a nice climate.

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2 minutes ago, MarylandDave said:

But if I had to re-word it I would write: name a town or small city where you would choose to live as a convenient base to explore your favorite places in the west.

1.  Payson, AZ.  Medium size.  5200 elevation’.  1 hour from Phoenix. Moderate weather.

2.  Sierra Vista, AZ.  Medium size.  5200’ elevation.  1 hour from Tucson.  Moderate weather.

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1 hour ago, MarylandDave said:

name a town or small city where you would choose to live as a convenient base to explore your favorite places in the west. Something with enough downtown to have a restaurant scene, neighborhoods near enough to be walkable, hiking and biking and a nice climate.

When you put it that way, I have to promote Salt Lake City, population 200,000. Before I retired recently, I did a lot of work to recruit people to the University of Utah. My major pitch was about the collaborative scientific community, but my pitch was also was about the lifestyle in SLC as a small city. Low traffic, walkable, bikeable, 45 mins to ski areas in winter or great hiking in summer. Climate with all four seasons, but not too hot or cold in summer or winter, with very low humidity that tempers the climate extremes. It is the largest city in the state, so it has a vibrant restaurant scene as well as major cultural opportunities, including music clubs, multiple theatre groups, symphony, opera, ballet. We live in a walkable neighborhood one mile from edge of the University and one mile from the center of downtown. 

Salt Lake City is well situated as a jumping off point for camping. To the West, it is 8 hours to the Sierra Nevada mountains. To the North, it is 5 hours to Grand Teton or Yellowstone. To the East, it is 8 hours to Rocky Mountain National Park. To the South it is 5 hours to Moab, Canyonlands, Zion or Bryce. 

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14 minutes ago, DavidS said:

, so it has a vibrant restaurant scene

The moles at red iguana might just be reason enough to live nearby... 😅  loved it.

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2 hours ago, DavidS said:

When you put it that way, I have to promote Salt Lake City, population 200,000. Before I retired recently, I did a lot of work to recruit people to the University of Utah. My major pitch was about the collaborative scientific community, but my pitch was also was about the lifestyle in SLC as a small city. Low traffic, walkable, bikeable, 45 mins to ski areas in winter or great hiking in summer. Climate with all four seasons, but not too hot or cold in summer or winter, with very low humidity that tempers the climate extremes. It is the largest city in the state, so it has a vibrant restaurant scene as well as major cultural opportunities, including music clubs, multiple theatre groups, symphony, opera, ballet. We live in a walkable neighborhood one mile from edge of the University and one mile from the center of downtown. 

Salt Lake City is well situated as a jumping off point for camping. To the West, it is 8 hours to the Sierra Nevada mountains. To the North, it is 5 hours to Grand Teton or Yellowstone. To the East, it is 8 hours to Rocky Mountain National Park. To the South it is 5 hours to Moab, Canyonlands, Zion or Bryce. 

Thanks @DavidS! I have spent time in SLC and think the town is awesome, though I never considered it as a place to live because of the enormous influence of the LDS. Not a criticism, just not my thing. My understanding from a friend who lived there (and loved it) is that there is a clear-cut social divide between those in the inside and those on the outside. Maybe I’m more a Park City guy? Nevertheless, you make a great case - every place you mention is on my short list.
 

Big fan of your photography, by the way. Your Sedona pictures had me ready to move there!

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22 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

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

Here on the Oregon South Coast we have, what I call, Pseudo Spring . . . . . a couple of weeks of nice weather, before the rains return.  If not for Pseudo Spring, it would be a very long Winter.

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40 minutes ago, Susan Huff said:

Here on the Oregon South Coast we have, what I call, Pseudo Spring . . . . . a couple of weeks of nice weather, before the rains return.  If not for Pseudo Spring, it would be a very long Winter.

Yes, I've  been learning to hop on that when it's in the forecast and I have the time open. When I took that photo at Cape Ferrelo,  friends  back  up here in the Puget Sound area were telling tales of wet murk.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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I would actually like to be down there (with my camera gear of course!) during some more  challenging weather when the  wave heights are also up there.  I hear Shore Acres and thereabouts  can be quite  impressive during  high  waves. But that will be more fun in the travel trailer than in our converted standard size van. I endured  a brutal  day  or two  on that holiday  trip on which  I  took the Harris Beach photo, but if it were more extended I would have grown weary of dodging my hanging wet outdoor gear in the camper van!

Edited by Jim_Oker

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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Yes, we really enjoyed our time exploring this area (PNW) 2 summers ago - I can see us spending more time there in the soon to be retirement phase...... but one thing I've discovered - warm/hot is very subjective - what we consider to be a warm day is downright scorching to some - . I don't remember a day out of about 14 where I thought it was warm. The PNW was if anything comfortable - but not swim temp warm. 

AS for the NC/North GA/SE TN - about as perfect overall weather one can find. We are just west of this area. If I head south 12 miles - elevation- it is very similar. 

I am really fond of UT - haven't spent any time in the SLC area, but all around - between UT and CO - I could spent a loooooong time.

Edited by BackofBeyond
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2 hours ago, BackofBeyond said:

Yes, we really enjoyed our time exploring this area (PNW) 2 summers ago - I can see us spending more time there in the soon to be retirement phase...... but one thing I've discovered - warm/hot is very subjective - what we consider to be a warm day is downright scorching to some - . I don't remember a day out of about 14 where I thought it was warm. The PNW was if anything comfortable - but not swim temp warm. 

AS for the NC/North GA/SE TN - about as perfect overall weather one can find. We are just west of this area. If I head south 12 miles - elevation- it is very similar. 

I am really fond of UT - haven't spent any time in the SLC area, but all around - between UT and CO - I could spent a loooooong time.

Adding Oregon coast to my must-see list... 
 

@BackofBeyond, so true regarding comfortable temps! My wife is always cold and we’ve learned not to ask her how it feels outside. 
 

 

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11 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

I would actually like to be down there (with my camera gear of course!) during some more  challenging weather when the  wave heights are also up there.  I hear Shore Acres and thereabouts  can be quite  impressive during  high  waves. But that will be more fun in the travel trailer than in our converted standard size van. I endured  a brutal  day  or two  on that holiday  trip on which  I  took the Harris Beach photo, but if it were more extended I would have grown weary of dodging my hanging wet outdoor gear in the camper van!

Search the Internet for King Tides; that is when the big surf puts on a show and crowds of people line the bluff . . . .  here are a few from Shore Acres State Park.  There is a nice campground at Sunset Bay, just a few miles from Shore Acres SP.  From there, you can hop on the Pacific Coast Trail and hike along the bluff to Shore Acres State Park (hiking avoids the SP entrance fee).  While at the park, you can explore the botanical gardens and walk down to Simpson Beach where you'll find concretions and tide pools (if the tide is out).  The trail continues South, ending at Cape Arago.  If you're ambitious, there is another section of trail on the other side of the highway that climbs up a ridge, through the forest, ending at an old bunker used during WWII for spotting off-shore invaders Pacific Coast Trail Map  If you time your visit right, you can catch "Circles in the Sand" at Bandon 

We live about an hour away, so visit here often.  Next time we'll take the Ollie!

Surf at Shore Acres SP

Shore Acres Rainbow.jpg

Shore Acres Surf 1.jpg

Shore Acres Surf 2.jpg

Shore Acres Surf 3.jpg

Shore Acres Surf 4.jpg

Shore Acres Surf 5.jpg

Shore Acres Surf 6.jpg

Old Bunker on the Pacific Coast Pack Trail

Bunker 1.jpg

Bunker 2.jpg

Bunker 3.jpg

Concretions on Simpson Beach

Concretions 1.jpg

Circles in the Sand at Bandon

Circles in the Sand.jpg

Edited by Susan Huff
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Ray and Susan Huff

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6 minutes ago, Susan Huff said:

From there, you can hop on the Pacific Coast Trail and hike along the bluff to Shore Acres State Park

Thanks - yes I've walked that coastal trail from Sunset Bay - it's a gem for sure. 

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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BTW  if you like rock features like those concrections, also check out Salt Point SP along the NorCal coast - it has  some fantastic rock features.

Utah-27.jpg

Utah-31.jpg

Utah-33.jpg

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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A couple weeks ago, while at a Harvest Host in Atkins, AR (Paw Paw's Pecans-Great place!) we met a couple from FL who were moving to Wichita, KS to be centrally located for traveling. I'm fairly sure I failed to disguise the "are you crazy!?" look on my face.

(The aeronautical industry took my brother there 40+ years ago. He agrees. 🤓)

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20 minutes ago, MarylandDave said:

A friend mentioned Sedona and Prescott, AZ as two nice towns that are convenient to some great camping areas. Thoughts from the Ollie crew?

 

Prescott is north of Phoenix.  We’ve been through Prescott but didn’t spend enough time there to form an opinion.  Sedona is up closer to Flagstaff and has a higher cost of living and is more touristy than Prescott.  We have friends who live in Sedona and while it is very scenic they say there is a lot of tourist traffic.  I previously mentioned Sierra Vista, AZ - we lived there many years and it is nice.  We go back quite often to visit friends.  There are also some Oliver owners that live there.  We also have friends in Payson, also a nice medium sized town close to some nice camping areas and just an hour from Phoenix but with totally different weather.  We were just there in August and it’s a town we could live in.  Mike

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10 minutes ago, MarylandDave said:

A friend mentioned Sedona and Prescott, AZ as two nice towns that are convenient to some great camping areas. Thoughts from the Ollie crew?

We visited the area last year and there are a lot of interesting sites nearby.  Has anyone been to Jerome?  The Verde Valley is beautiful, but I was disappointed in Sedona.  I'll admit we landed there Memorial Day weekend (not by choice), but it was so crowded with tourists that we didn't even get out to explore the town; every intersection was a round-about!  It wasn't the quaint little art community I anticipated.  We did enjoy exploring the area, boondocking in the desert, and biking some of the red rock trails.  I'm sure property is expensive there due to its proximity to Phoenix.

We didn't make it as far south as Prescott, but we did drive out to Payson  (to the east).  It is a beautiful smaller town with a population of just under 16,000, but close enough to Phoenix for amenities and cultural activities.   A friend of mine lived there when her husband was stationed there with the Forest Service and she loved it.

https://www.topretirements.com/reviews/Arizona/Payson.html  

Ray and Susan Huff

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5 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

Payson, also a nice medium sized town close to some nice camping areas and just an hour from Phoenix but with totally different weather.  We were just there in August and it’s a town we could live in.  Mike

Me, too 😁

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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1 minute ago, Mike and Carol said:

Jerome is an interesting visit, but not a place to live!

It would be hard to find a place to park the Ollie, for sure!

 

Ray and Susan Huff

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2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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I'm laughing, quietly, remembering a long ago trip, moving a used rv from Orlando to Las Vegas on a relocation.

We had me, Paul, one of my good friends that we picked up in Houston, plus our daughter and her best friend. Poor Paul, plus four 🤣 girls.

Sedona (just after memorial day, which was a semi disaster, another story), was an oasis, for us. I  wanted to stay for a week, and make a dead run at the end  to Las Vegas. So did the younger kids. The sliding rock was great fun.  So much cooler than the desert,  and IT WAS GREEN!  (I'm really partial to water, blue skies, and green. Sand and rocks are not in my normal wheelhouse. ) We did stay an extra day, had a family conference, and then we left. Went to Lake Havasu, rented a boat, and went on to Las Vegas.

I'm sure things are different today. That's almost two decades ago. 

Thanks for the memories. 😀

 

 

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2 hours ago, MarylandDave said:

A friend mentioned Sedona and Prescott, AZ as two nice towns that are convenient to some great camping areas. Thoughts from the Ollie crew?

AS we have family in Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Scottsdale we have spent much time in and around the areas you mention.  As has  been mentioned, Sedona can get touristy, cost of living is 134 of nat avg.  Prescott has  its charms, but is also growing and the  cost of living 115 - similar to Flag. We have thought about the general area for a "home" but have decided to just spend a  few months of winter in the  valley - every now and then...... Summers in Flag can be nice - but dry. Summers in the valley - hellishly hot.

Just too many people for me - too much government, too much,  ---  civilization   

RB 

My son has good things to say about Payson - but I thinks its more about getting out of Scottsdale summers  than anything.. I could live in Flag - but the RE has gotten ridiculous. 

Edited by BackofBeyond

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

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