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Relocation Suggestions


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After several years in the big-city grind, i am finally able to move back to the mountains. My first thought is to move back to Jackson WY., but real estate has gone crazy there. I have had several people mention Washington but I know very little about it.


I would need to move to a city that has Hi-speed internet (for work). The smaller and closer to the mountains, the better.


Any suggestions on a great place in Washington would be greatly appreciated.


In addition to climbing, I am also into ww kayaking (would like to try my paddle at sea kayaking too).


Thanks in advance.

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are you only considering washington, or would you think about Oregon as well? what type of work do you do as the job opportunities are rather scarce in a few mountain spots right now.


FWIW, real estate in the Puget Sound area isn't very reasonable either, but possibly Bellingham and areas up north have more affordable homes.


Bend, OR.... thats where its at dude cool.gif. We only have 1 startbucks, and chossy volcanos, but theres the deschutes for paddling, smiffy for climbing, and bachy to get your freshiez on. and we have cable and dsl to boot!

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There are some good spots in Washington; Leavenworth, Bellingham, Ellensburg and anywhere on the Peninsula would be good. The Pen has great kayaking, both ww and sea.

If you crave the Rockies but don't want the high costs of Jackson check out Pocatello ID. It has a really low cost of living, close proximity to the city of rocks, Sawtooths, Yellowstone and Tetons, great ww (I hear) and some good skiing nearby. I have a friend there and I try to visit as often as possible, if I could find a job there I'd stay.

Other than Leavenworth and the Pen all the places I've listed are also college towns, which may or may not be a bonus to you.

Edited by North_by_Northwest
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tim please shut up about bend. It sucks and no one wants to live there. there is no worldclass climbing nearby and it rains daily. However, Les Schwab started in Prinville, so you'll get guaranteed selection at the local Schwab and the popcorn and free beef will be fresh.

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i do software development and i have convinced my company that i can telecommute (hence the need for hi-speed internet) so fortunately i won't need to look for work.


the jackson i used to live in was relatively cheap (pre-dotcom, pre-hollywood) and i went back last year and realized that it was hopelessly lost forever. the main thing i loved about jackson when i lived there was close proximity to everything, yet it wasn't glitzy or snooty like most of colorado had become.


anyway, thanks for the replies. i will check out bend smirk.gif although for some reason i have this thing in my head that makes me think i would love sea kayaking so i might be leaning more towards the puget sound area.




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couple of places come to mind:


Leadville, CO: I lived here a while, nice place. Rock climbing sucks, but the biking, whitewater, skiing, and hiking make up for it.


Lake Placid, NY: very Banff-like flavor, good climbing too


Leavenworth, WA: some kayaking, good climbing, terrible ambiance, tho, and hot in the summer


Mazama, WA: if you can affoard it! The highway closes in the winter giving you 1) real mountian town feel 2) real climbing with no crowds, ever!


Other runner-ups:

Sand Point, ID. Cheap to live there! Good skiing. Southern Canadian Rockies nearby for ice climbing


Pinedale WY? Its not Jackson, but its where all the real people live anyway.

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as far as "mountain towns in the Puget Sound area" - hmmm Tacoma? It certainly has that frontier feel to it!


North Bend, WA might be worth a look. Its growing really rapidly tho so dont know how long it will be considered a town.


Bellingham is a good suggestion, especially if you DONT have to try and find a job there! Good climbing nearby, right on the sound so you can head down to Larabee State Park and put the kayak in the water, etc.

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I wouldn't throw Driggs out. Real Estate is still far cheaper than on the other side, it is growing and has high speed due to the ski resort there. Many small businesses operate out of there as well. Durango wouldn't be a bad place. A really cool town that is larger and in the south is Asheville, NC. If I leave Oregon it will either be to Driggs or Asheville. Maybe Chattanooga, but we'll see. Bend is a cool town for the Pacific NW. As for WA and BC, I'll let the other experts who live up there give you advise. The Jackson area is still my favorite for ease of access to amazing recreation. I could climb, paddle, hike, and bike all within a few minutes WALK from my front door. Haven't experienced that since living in the mountains of TN.

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The one down thing about mountain towns (if you are single) is the guy to girl ratio. Especially in Winter. I would keep this in mind, if at some point you ever even think you may want to settle down. For example, I wouldn't pick Leavenworth as a place to meet people of the opposite sex. Jackson is unique in that many folks are out there of 20-something age (trendy?) It can make for a long winter without someone to cuddle up with, unless you enjoy women missing a few teeth and mullets grin.gif

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Thanks for all the replies smile.gif


So many places to choose from.. starting to make my head hurt (but in a good way). Another issue that came up is our company might be bought out and all the key employees would be signing long-term contracts. I was told yesterday, that if I intended to move, I better do it soon (before the end of the year) because it will be much harder to do once we are under new ownership.


I got a call from an ex-stepsister (don't ask) and she said that Lake Tahoe, mostly on the Nevada side, is a great place to live. The last time I was through there was several years ago and I don't remember much but I would think the outdoor activities would be abudnant. Plus, there might actually be a girl or 2. (i remember the lonely winters in Jackson the last time I lived there tongue.gif)


I think one of the keys for me is going to be state income tax. Washington, Nevada, and Wyoming have none. Unfortunately, Oregon has one of the highest. Since I will probably be renting, a cheap house in Bend actualy ends up being more expensive than an expensive house in Jackson after you pay personal state income taxes.


Oh well, looks like I will be spending the next few nights on the interenet.


Thanks again for all the replies smile.gif

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I second Bill: BELLINGHAM. It's where I would live if I could move. The problem with Orgegon is your are close to the worst part of the cascades...chossy volcanos and moderate peaks. tongue.gif. Bellingham puts you right next to the north cascades and, imho, the best alpine climbing in the 48. You are also way close to canuck land for cheap gear, runs to whister and squamish and all that. You are also right on the water for all that water activity stuff. Finally, western wash. university is there so you have access to college chicas. Seriously, I think bellingham rules.

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sounds like bellingham is quite a place. smile.gif


i am headed to reno this weekend to check out a house that a friend of a friend of a friend has that is available on the NE side of lake tahoe in nevada.

have only been through tahoe a couple times but i know there is lots of great climbing in the area and just down the road is some place called yosemite.


if the house ends up being a bust, my next scouting trip will definetly be bellngham and surrounding area.


thanks again for all the posts.

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my buddy j2 works a solid case for grand junction as "the climbing center of the universe!!"...good weather and bomber location:


.within an hour you have unaweep, 'the monument', the BLACK

.within two -fisher towers/castle valley, moab, indian creek, yada yada...ouray, rifle, glenwood canyon

.a few hours to zion, vail, southwest colorado, 'eldo', utah ice

.a short day gets you Wyoming, red rocks, Arizona and ShiP


i know there's plenty more, but that's a good spread to get started on...

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