looking for nirvana - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-12-2007   #1
 
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santa fe, New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2007
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looking for nirvana

Hey guys - new to the site, but hoping for a little advice. I'm an orthopaedic surgeon from Asheville, NC and am planning to move out west for family reasons. Looking at a few different areas - Colorado, Idaho, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana (pretty specific, huh?). I love to boat, rock climb, and mountain bike. Skiing is a plus. I haven't spent much if any time out west, and am looking for a place with plenty of those options, plus good folks/nice town/city to spend my working days in. Can you help with this broad, crazy question?
Thanks,
Phil

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Old 08-12-2007   #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Boise, ID - NF Payette, good mtn biking from town, nice weather
Seattle or Bellingham, WA - next to BC.
Durango, CO - best kayaking region in colorado, best season
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Old 08-12-2007   #3
 
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santa fe, New Mexico
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I've heard a lot of good things about Durango. Are there are lot of options close by? How long is the season?
Thanks
Phil
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Old 08-14-2007   #4
 
Red lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1987
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Have you given southern Montana a thought? Lots of excellent creeks with no one but you and a few buudies running them. Not the crowds you'll experience in Co. Mountain biking out the door, and the largest wilderness area in the country 2 miles away. Excellent med area here too. I have a good buddy with top surgeons at his practice, that seem to be looking for associates. Just my 2 cents. Email if this sparks interest....Mike
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Old 08-14-2007   #5
 
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The good things about Durango:
Tons of paddling options. Some of the better freestyle kayaking in the state in downtown (best at higher flows). Creeking options exist for 6 months a year...Pandora's Box. It's a bit scary, but if you like class V it's there. Other creeks/rivers include; Upper Animas, Lime Crk, Casdace Crk, Vallecito Crk, and Piedra River, plus paddling around Pagosa Springs (an hour away). Colorado suffers from a short season, but Durango's is relatively long.

I've heard the Mtn Biking is epic, but I don't know. There is climbing there, but I don't know about it. Ski resorts are Durango Mtn Resort, Silverton Mtn (I think its sick, some have had bad experiences), and Wolf Creek (good snow, but flat). Drive times are 45 mins to 1.5 hrs.

Bad things:
Cost of living. Lack of employment (you might be a step ahead). It's growing fast.


Hey Mike. Has anyone retrieved Dave's Nomad from East Rosebud? Agreed that Red Lodge is sweet, as is Cody WY.
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Old 08-15-2007   #6
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Seattle, Washington
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Bellingham, yo!


year-round world class kayaking. British Columbia & the N.Cascades = back yard. great local climbing or world class climbing & mountaineering in squamish (google it). epic mt. & road cycling. salmon fishing. sailing & whale watching in the san juans. consistently good surf on the Olympic Peninsula or on Van Island. mt. baker ski resort is an hour away & is amazing. smallish college town on the water with a mild climate & the best summers in the world, & with TONS of great restaurants, bars, cafes, etc (2 "downtowns") .. easy access to 2 huge metro areas with big airports & lots of culture.

good luck.
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Old 08-15-2007   #7
 
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santa fe, New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13
oregon?

Thanks for all the awesome replies, guys. The help is much appreciated. How about portland area?
Also I've seen some job offers in southern oregon, like grants pass/medford. Any insights there?
I've heard good things about Bellingham also - is it totally dark for the winter 6 mos in the pacific northwest, or is that pretty exaggerated?

Thanks y'all-
Phil
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Old 08-15-2007   #8
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Seattle, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonedoc View Post
How about portland area?
Also I've seen some job offers in southern oregon, like grants pass/medford. Any insights there?
is it totally dark for the winter 6 mos in the pacific northwest, or is that pretty exaggerated?
portland is my favorite city, period. bummer is that it runs out of water in the summer, so you have to drive north to bc which is an add'l 3 hrs than seattle. cool thing (apart from access to The Gorge) is you are that much closer to cali in the early summer. plus, the surfing is close if you don't feel like driving to kayak.

the people who like S.OR really like it. it's drier & way more small-townish ..

it's not "totally dark" during the winter. i like the winters here. it never gets truly cold. any precip in town means you can paddle in the foothills or go snowboarding in the mts. the climate ain't everyone's cup of tea though, so come out for a visit first.
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Old 08-15-2007   #9
 
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santa fe, New Mexico
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oregon

Thanks Todd -
I thought green truss and little white salmon run pretty much all year?
Also can you mtn bike in the winter in portland, or is it too wet?
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Old 08-16-2007   #10
 
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Bham, Washington
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my advice move to the NW. you can't go wrong I grew up there its awesome and I kick myself everyday from september-april cause I'm not there. I predict I'll be back there in 1-2yrs.

southern oregon is a little small townsish (read WT) but Ashland is a stand out and GP/medford is only 20-30min north. there is good climbing, biking, skiing, and kayaking around the area. the rogue would be your normal after work river and there are a lot of options for the weekend.

portland/hood river is the shiat. the paddling is pretty much year round but things do get low in the august - sept timeframe. the GT/LW do have an extended season due to the glacier fed aquifer/watershed but most locals are snooty about their water levels and so take the opportunity to go cougar hunting, bang rays, and generally be douschbags. coming and becoming accustomed to CO water level the season is pretty much year round.

bellingham is even better than the portland area. do it just do it.

the weather is a little rough for some but most get used to and learn to actually like it. eventually you'll learn to do stuff like never leave the house without a rain jacket, put fenders on every bike you own, and learn the intricacies of gourmet coffee bean roasting.
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