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Old 01-08-2015   #1
Placerville, California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5
Best Places to live year round for a raft guide

Hi Mountain Buzz. Not sure if this is the best section for this question so please move it if it isn't. I've been lurking around the forums for years, but just created a profile. Figured this would be a great place to pose my question.

I've been a traveling raft guide for a few years now on the American (lived most of my life in Coloma/Placerville), Rogue, and now working on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Then traveling around most of the year.

I'm looking into finding my home base, besides the back of my car.

So what are some good places around the USA that I can:

-Continue to guide a fun river(day trips are fine)
-Has pretty low cost of living (so I can eventually buy a home)
-Has a good boater/outdoorsy community
-Has a good community as a whole (Active, healthy, younger, etc)
-doesn't have SUPER extreme weather. I'm not a huge winter guy and have been chasing the endless summer around the world for awhile. I'm not super opposed to snow, but nothing extreme!

I don't want to be radically specific, but please let me know. I'm planning on heading out east for Gauley season this year. So will be checking out a lot of east coast places.

Right now the list is:

Fort Collins (expensive)

Thanks a lot for any insights!

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Old 01-08-2015   #2
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 135
Salida,Co is the best of the best, but keep it quiet.

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Old 01-08-2015   #3
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
I'll throw Morgantown, WV in the mix.

Big enough to find good work (you cannot guide forever....just nearly)
Fun town with WVU...plenty of easy college girls
Under an hour to the lower and upper yough, cheat narrows and canyon, tygrat, n. branch of the potomac, casselman, savage, stoney, sandy....and a million creeks.
Probably the most liberal city in west by god...not saying it's liberal, just more than the rest.
Rapidly growing city, low local and state taxes.

Really a nice area.
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Old 01-08-2015   #4
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,406
Boise and Fort Collins are giant cities. Fayetteville, WV and Salida, CO might be good choices. If you live in Salida you may find yourself driving to WV every year, which can be nice, but the 6+ month WV guiding season from the comfort of home might be worth considering.
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Old 01-08-2015   #5
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 332
place to live

No mention of the PNW??
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Old 01-08-2015   #6
Placerville, California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5
Thanks for all the suggestions! The WV, NC, Tenn areas are giving me a lot of consideration. Especially the lower cost of living. Seems as though a guide in those areas can have a decent livelihood. I'm especially interested in coming home after a day on the water!

Keep the ideas coming guys. This year will consist of a lot of driving and checking places out before and after my Salmon season. So I just plan on visiting a bunch of places and settling in somewhere in the fall.
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Old 01-08-2015   #7
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
No one mentioned the Ocoee in TN.

Nice long boating season, Ocoee is release driven, close to a couple nice sized cities for possible off the river employment and tons of close in creek runs most of the year they run at decent levels.
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Old 01-09-2015   #8
Placerville, California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5
Does anyone have any suggestions for places in NC?

Also, what is the year round life like in Fayetteville? Looks like a really cool town and my Gauley friends said they like it a lot.

I'm def. a small town guy, but was thinking a slightly bigger town would be nicer for the transition.

Also, at least a small population of younger single women is very important! Small towns can be difficult for meeting potential lady friends!

Keep the ideas coming guys. I'm considering anywhere...
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Old 01-11-2015   #9
Placerville, California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5
Anybody have any other ideas?

Any info on Southern Oregon. I lived in Merlin/Grants Pass for a Summer working on the Rogue. I def. liked it. Was thinking of checking out the town of Jacksonville. Ashland was cool, but probably a little too yuppie for me.
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Old 01-11-2015   #10
DesertRatonIce's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 217

Woke up this morning at 10:13.

A hole so big, it sucked the leaves off the tree.
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