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Old 07-28-2005   #1
Krynn's Avatar
Pueblo, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 46
Where the best place to live?

Of course I would love to stay in Denver, but...

I am graduating from Medical School in 9 months and I need to apply to Radiology Residency Programs. There are roughly 190 programs scattered across the country. I am looking for advice on the best place to live.

My primary hobby is kayaking. (ThatÂ’s why I am asking you guys for advice.) I would love to stay close to some class III-IV-V runs.

But I also enjoy snowboarding, mountain biking, running, and fishing. Other important factors are length of commute, and safety. I would like to find a good safe place to start a family.

I grew up in Idaho. I am going to school in Denver. I am familiar with the west, but would not be opposed to moving to the south or northeast.

Any advice or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks

A few of the choices are:

Birmingham, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Little Rock, Arkansas
a dozen California programs
Denver, Colorado
New Haven, Connecticut
Jacksonville, Florida
Savannah, Georgia
Indianapolis, Indiana
Iowa City, Iowa
Kansas City, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
New Orleans, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Portland, Maine
Baltimore, Maryland
Rochester, Minnesota
Jackson, Mississippi
Columbia, Missouri
St Louis, Missouri
Omaha, Nebraska
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Rochester, New York
Valhalla, New York
Durham, North Carolina
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Portland, Oregon
A bunch of Pennsylvania programs
Providence, Rhode Island
Charleston, South Carolina
Knoxville, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Quite a few Texas programs
Salt Lake City, Utah
Charlottesville, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Burlington, Vermont
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Morgantown, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A full list at,1239,,00.html

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-28-2005   #2
Fruita, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 90
Where would be the best place to live for an outdoor minded, kayakin' graduating med student. Hmm. Well, there's this thing I read about rivers, where you're supposed to 'point positively', point in the direction the person SHOULD GO. My life ain't been that way, but I have survived some real shitholes, and at the very delicious risk of pissin' anyone in this forum off, I'll gladly tell ya where NOT to go:

Don't go to New Haven Connecticut. Having spent two years around there, I can tell you in a word: NO. But one word don't even begin to describe the disgust and outrage I feel at having wasted two perfectly good years in that godawful state fulla inbred, entitled, enfeebled, uppercrust trustfundin' blueblood batch o' dissaproving morally upright boring snooty backward dweebs whom resemble nothing so much as yard dogs barking frantically at imagined intrusions into their dubious paradise. Highways suck too. Graft and corruption amazingly high. Oh yeah, kayaking sucks too.

Don't go to Kansas. Grew up there. Nice people. Boring boring boring. Humidity very high. Few national parks. No moving water. Even if they pay you five million dollars a minute don't go to Kansas. Or Connecticut. Or Rhode Island. Ditto Saint Louis, MO and Columbia.
I once fought the Front Range sprawl and the I70 corridor and all the horrors it contains on an icy day, and moved south. I'll tell you now: Phoenix is right fucking out. Don't even think about it. It's where the old people go to nurse their arthritis and STAY INDOORS. It's a gridlocked sweltering anthill of debased humanity. No moving water anywhere. Tucson sucks slightly less but it has less than zero to offer a whitewater enthusiast.

Oh sure, you'll say to yourself: "But the career advancement opportunity is so great. There's a house there for sale, reasonable, and the crime rate in that gated community is so LOW. There's a runner's club, and someone there knows someone who once paddled on a canoe with someone's uncle." But moving is a drag, it gets old, it costs money, and a few years down the road you'll be in some flyblown, mosquito infested, still-water hell, surrounded by people who think YOU'RE weird for not enjoying bass fishing enough, or golfing, for God's sake.
On the other hand, you'll be an actual doctor soon enough. You'll be playing golf inevitably, admit it now, or not. Face it, dog: The next ten years of your life will be a frantic sleepless blur of pissed-off patients, pending neurotic malpractice suits, steeply rising insurance premiums, sleep deprivation, irritated and neglected family members, and no time for aught but a distant memory of free time and the days when the outdoors was something besides where you had to go to get from work to your car, and your car to your well-appointed but curiously unsatisfying nice house. The immediate past, spare as it may have seemed up till now, will become 'the good old days' and henceforth is the millstone of professional improvement and career advancement. You're fucked. Shoulda just been a river guide or a construction worker.
That said, well, uhhh....Albuequerque isn't all that far from Taos and it's whitewater, or the state of Colorado. Salt Lake City isn't too far from some spectacular outdoors and rivers. Madison and Louisiana and Portland are pretty cool places to be, although not necessarily for the outdoors. Shit, with the homicide rate in New Orleans, you should be able to learn plenty about trauma in a hurry.

Oh. Wait. I just looked again at your question. Residency? You'll probably be moving afterwards again anyway. Not a life sentence then. Hell, relax and have some fun. Try to spare some time and make your first marriage last and don't let that title go to your head too much in the first ten years.

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Old 07-28-2005   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
That was fantastic.
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Old 07-28-2005   #4
Fruita, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 90
Thanx. Yeah, I bitch and moan way better than I boat.
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Old 07-28-2005   #5
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
No Shit! What a hoot!
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-29-2005   #6
FlyingFluke's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 41
Kind of depends on the season. Want to spend the Winter paddling? Got to go where it rains...want good skiing in the mix...pans out to be the Northwest. Or Tahoe/Truckee. California has a couple of boater forums that are worth checking out: and Maybe the folks in cali are a little bit more cooperative and point you the right way. Ignore all the envious people above.
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Old 07-29-2005   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 94
I'll give my $.02 on the south since i've spent some time down there. From May - Sept its hot, humid, and muggy. I'd stay clear of Mississippi, even people from Alabama make fun of Miss. So that would leave you with Tennessee or bama. The good points are:

1. good kayaking on the Ocoee
2. reasonably close to the coast
3. lots of lakes for fishing, skiing, sailing,
4. cost of living is pretty cheap
5. Girls are extremely attractive (if you can stand the southern accent).
6. The pace and attitude is similar to CO. People take their time and are exceptionally friendly.
7. The food is good, but it will kill you. I lived in a dorm for awhile and all the natives insisted on having a fry daddy in their room. Idiots.

Beware of: rednecks, heat/humidity, and psychotic football fans

I've also spent some time in Oregon and think its pretty much like CO. Probably about the same distance for your mountain commute.

Willpaddle4food: one of the best rants I've read on the buzz. danka.
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Old 07-29-2005   #8
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60
hands down its gotta be portland oregon. There are literally hundreds of rivers in the NW, and the ocean as well. They get a lot of rain so something somewhere is always running.'

As a second choice I would probably pick the North Carolina ones. There is also quite a few good rivers and creeks there.

Denver sucks ass.

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Old 07-29-2005   #9
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
surrounded by people who think YOU'RE weird for not enjoying bass fishing enough
great stuff!

If you like colder than death winters, unintelligible local accents and rainy summers, Vermont is a great pick. It's kind of like Scotland with more cows.

Vermont is really beautiful, great accessibility to all sorts of outdoor activities. It's a big change in scenery that would be worth checking out. Awesome hiking and backpacking. Buyer beware though, all comments above do apply.
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Old 07-29-2005   #10
Highlands Ranch, CO Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 482
willpaddleforfood, that was awesome.

For some good east coast year round paddling check out morgantown w.v.
Close to the Cheat, Big Sandy ,and the top, upper and lower yough.

The Tygart isn't too far for some great park and huck waterfalls 3 15-18 footers in a park that you can run them and walk a couple hundred yards back up and do it again. Plus the Gauley is only an 1 hour or so south.

Yea you have some rednecks but they are super nice rednecks.
Plus you have some good old homestyle cookin, oh yea. Country fried steak, biscuits and muffins, grits, just about everything the surgeon general will warn you not to eat.

Snowshoe resort isn't too far away and they actually get some snow.

Good luck

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