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Old 01-25-2013   #11
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
I, too, am a GJ Native. I'd live there again if the opportunity was right (I'm a no good, gaper front ranger these days). I share Outlaw's outlook (I'm also a flaming liberal no good gaper front ranger.. forgot about that) on the economy and general stereotype of the valley. GJ has always been tied to the fossil fuel economy and when the prices fall the mood and temperament of a large population slice becomes very pronounced. Still, it's an awesome place with the good far outweighing the bad. If you're a mtn biker it's as good as it gets in the state, in my opinion.

On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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Old 01-25-2013   #12
Paul7's Avatar
Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 781
Thanks all, I love this forum. It sounds good enough to look into further. The whole political thing I'm not worried about I keep my opinions to myself. It sounds like it could be an adventure for the family. It's a long way from home but we're finding that kinda appealing.

I would hate to move anywhere where we felt limited with the outdoors.

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Old 01-25-2013   #13
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 434
Let me add a couple more things:

Gunnison Gorge is really pretty, and it makes for a great day kayaking trip. The flows are good enough year round for a low water kayaking trip or rafting overnighter. The flows are dam controlled and minimal most of the year, but rarely too low. It's a 1.5 mile hike down (easy trail) to the river. You don't need a permit, but you do need a strong back if rafting. The canyon is very pretty and isolated (14 miles long). Epic shuttle (2 hours one way) requiring a mountain bike for the last 2 miles or a Subaru or higher clearance vehicle. No permit

Cross Mountain Gorge is better whitewater and has easy access and shuttle. Probably 2.5 hours to the put-in 5 mile trip. Great year round whitewater unless frozen... class varies with flow V at >3000 cfs, down to class III at 500 cfs or less. Classic run that people don't give enough credit too. Hope this helps. No permit.
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Old 01-25-2013   #14
Paonia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 38
Probably not on Outside's top ten best kept secrets, but Fruita and Palisade are better choices. We have a significant group of resort town exiles that grew tired of twenty dollar cheeseburgers and pretending a walkin closet was actually a bedroom. The climate is actually quite mild with four seasons. A great central location for a wide range of outdoor pursuits. We certainly struggle in the culinary department, but another outdoor family always has a spot on a future westwater or cat trip. Marc
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Old 01-25-2013   #15
ski_kayak365's Avatar
Mountains on the river!!!, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 702
Junction proper has less of the oil/gas people and meth issues. The outside towns: palisade, orchard mesa, Mack, delta, fruita see more of those groups. But costs will be less for housing in those places too.

If your kids are anywhere near college age, or when they do Mesa is excellent. They have an outdoor program that is one of the best in the country. International trips every major break, weekly pool session, 2-9 day rafting trips, skiing, kayaking, climbing, afternoon outings. Students are the leaders, non paid or on work study. I learned to kayak there, and in turn became the kayak instructor for years, still going back occasionally to help. Great group.

Ideal days: ski powder in the morning, paddle in the afternoon, go climbing in the evening. Could to multi sports all over. Downtown is great, biking....road or trail, some of the best.
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Old 01-25-2013   #16
Droboat's Avatar
Wild Wild West, Colorado
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 214
Yellowcake Town

Cautionary tale at this link. A couple of highlights pasted below.

Radioactive mill tailings still an issue |

Grand Junction once had the dubious distinction of being known as the “most radioactive town in America.” During the 1950s and 1960s, local contractors and homeowners would load trucks of the sandy-like tailings left over from the former Climax uranium mill site near the Colorado River and use it for back fill and for mixing cement. At the time it wasn't widely known, locally anyway, that the waste product was highly radioactive.

The tailings were used in foundations of homes, sidewalks, patios, streets, schools and commercial buildings.

State and federal remediation programs removed or mitigated many of the radioactive tailings from 1972 to 1998. It was a voluntary program and some owners refused to allow the government to clean up their property. Out of 8,000 known tailings properties in Mesa County approximately 5,000 were cleaned up, said Paul Oliver last year before he retired from the state health department.

Homes that were cleaned up under the first program, the Grand Junction Remediation Action Program, were not remediated to the same standards of the clean-up that came later, the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program.


Unfortunately, they say, out of about 575 real estate agents, only a few order mill tailings reports on their listings.

The information is free and available to anyone. For a 25 cent copying fee, Elsberry will provide a hard copy of the report.


“There's definitely a duty to disclose,” Toll said.

And in a city like Grand Junction where the health department is making a concerted effort to educate real estate agents, ignorance of the issue is no excuse for not telling clients that the presence of mill tailings are a possibility, Toll said.

In fact, “we'd be more likely to take an action,” Toll said. “We'd open up an investigation against a real estate agent and bring him or her before the Colorado Real Estate Commission. Penalties could range from public censure to suspension of license to revocation of license.”
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Old 01-26-2013   #17
Merica!, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28
They have Taco Bell! The best part is you can leave whenever u want! If your big in to rednecks and flat water it is a rad town!!!
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Old 01-26-2013   #18
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
GJ is you suppose all that radioactivity has anything to do with this....

YOUTUBE Mike the Headless Chicken by GodofMars

Mike was probably the GJ area 's most notable citizen.
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Old 01-26-2013   #19
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
The thing I remember about living in Junction is that it never really cools off at night in the summer. The heat from Utah backs up against Grand Mesa and the book cliffs. You will notice about every house in town has a swamp cooler on top. Make sure when you rent......that the swamp cooler works and is in good condition......especially if you rent something in the winter before the heat sets in. Good luck. I did like living there as there is a ton of outdoor stuff to do. Colorado National Monument is right there too.....fond memories of hiking and swimming in hidden pools.

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