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Old 09-01-2013   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 29
Places to live - for paddling of course but more

I read "best paddling/outdoors town" articles. But what I am looking for is more than "best paddling." I definitely want to leave the Front Range -- the big city life doesn't call to me and the work pace seems too intense. I am thinking of CA but am open; Grand Junction, Utah, or NC sound appealing sometimes too.

What I vision for paddling is:
  • Living close (less than 2 hours or so drive) to rivers for day and overnight trips.
  • I want to volunteer with at-risk, autistic, special needs, and/or inner city youth to bring them IK paddling or rafting (so I would likely need to volunteer for an established organization)
  • Under class 4
What I vision for where I live:
  • Small, quaint towns sound appealing (but not too far from an airport) or small cities
  • international folk dancing opportunity within a hour's drive (definitely a nice to have)
  • Not high cost of living
  • Paddling/Outdoors clubs or meetup groups
  • Sense of community (without folks being noisy)
  • Not too much rain
  • Slower pace of life sounds ideal
  • I like to retreat too (and hot springs)
  • Open-minded - sees no problem in a hearing impaired person (me) leading paddling trips (which i have done btw in the past)
  • Jobs -- I should've listed first! I am interested in employment with higher ed, government, a school district, someplace with decent time off or water/outdoors related. I could live 1 hour from where I work.
I am sure I can find a place that meets most/all of that criteria, but surfing the 'net doesn't seem very helpful. If you know any place you think might be a good match or you live someplace you love can you share? And then perhaps I'll drive or fly there over the holiday to check it out.

Much thanks!


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Old 09-01-2013   #2
Jackson County, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 45
Southern Oregon may meet your needs

Check it out.

Southern Oregon Travel | Southern Oregon Visitors Association

Jackson County Oregon - HOME

Plenty of outdoor activities all year round.

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Old 09-02-2013   #3
Whetstone's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 362
You describe Boise, Id. to a tee.
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Old 09-02-2013   #4
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
I was going to say Boise as well. Utah might have some quaint towns, but not much diversity or open-mindedness outside of the Salt Lake valley, and not much class III-IV water very close by. I don't know much about living in Boise, as I'm always passing through on the way to visit friends in McCall, or run the rivers (Main Salmon, Payette). It seems to be the right size, with Boise State University, and easy access to outdoor activities. I do have some friends who have lived there quite awhile, and are raising two kids there. They seem to like it.
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Old 09-02-2013   #5
Otterwolf's Avatar
Derby, Connecticut
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 27
Nobody ever seems to mention CT but I've been living in the lower Naugatuck Valley for a long long time, and only problem we have is way way too many options on what kind of water one wants to kayak in, as we have everything from rapids to tidal rivers to open water, all kinds of lakes ponds streams etc... but, yeah... the drawback: it is expensive to live out here - expensive but worth it.
"Catch Me If You Can...."
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Old 09-02-2013   #6
Otterwolf's Avatar
Derby, Connecticut
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 27
oops... just realized you had a list of places in mind, and I'm way off target !!
"Catch Me If You Can...."
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Old 09-02-2013   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 29
LOL! I am from CT

LOL! I had to smile... I am from CT; lived in the western part of the state (Winsted and New Hartford) and paddled the Farmington River branches quite a bit and later the Deerfield branches (Fife and Dryway). I don't think returning is something I want to do. But if I found the right position/opportunity for me, I could change my mind. I do miss smaller towns as you can see from my original post and New England has many I love. I really do like the west though for outdoors, especially the runs in Utah; just not Denver.
All the best! Annie/Mickie/Anne-Marie --- so many names, same person
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Old 09-03-2013   #8
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
There is a reason CT never gets mentioned in these lists... It's the same reason folks from CT move to all these other places...
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Old 09-03-2013   #9
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
West Virginia has plenty of "at-risk" youth, small towns, and super low cost of living. The libertarian mindset allows for the "I dont care what you do on you property, as long as you stay the hell of mine" mindset.

I understand the west is a special kind of pretty, but shit there isnt much water. In WV you can paddle anyday, short drives, and if your not paddling on a release you'll probably wont see anybody else on the river or creek.
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Old 09-03-2013   #10
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
What I really like about the West is the multi-day trips. Of course there are great day trips in the East.

Anyway I think OP should consider Bend, OR or Missoula, MT.

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