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Discussion Starter #1
So all the PNW vs Colorado shit talking on the lost gear thread has got me thinking.... Where is the greatest place on Earth?!?! Of course I know this is very subjective question. But I am wanting to hear your top 3 or just number 1 places to live in the US. I all ready live in a pretty phenomenal place. So the specific criteria I am looking to address in a new potential home would be the following:

1) Relatively Low Cost of Living ( compared to Aspen/Carbondale where im at now)
2) Local Access to class 3 and 4 rafting ( have paddled plenty of class 5, but as im looking to find my dream place to settle down, iconic class 3 is more appealing then hairy class 5.)

3) Relatively Low traffic and tourism cluster fucks
4) all the other obvious stuff ie. scenery, activities, community, music, beer, etc.

Less than talking about region vs region. I want to know about those little gem towns out there with iconic class 3 and 4 rafting and low cost of living.... does it exisit? or am I all ready in heaven!?

Right now I would put Buena Vista in this category ( I am curious about cost of living in Buena, in terms of average rent? ) Any Locals care to comment?

And for the record the only areas where Carbondale CO could find improvement in my eyes is: less people and traffic would amazing, and I would love a section like Shoshone but 8 - 12 miles instead of 3. Okay lets see if I get any takers here! Thanks yall! Happy Boatin!
 

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GoBro
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West Virginia is cheap and has a lot of rafting potential including the difficulty you are talking about.
 

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Entire world? Not sure I can accurately comment on that.

In Colorado, I gotta go with BV/Salida. Both are way cheaper than ski towns and you've got miles and miles of II through IV rapids on Ark - and a paddling seasons that is almost always at least 3 months long for rafts and longer for kayakers. BV has slightly better views, but Salida has more amenities and proximity to Monarch if you do like to ski. Trails, 14ers, good restaurants, etc. Oh, and as you age, they are a reasonable drive to front range and high quality medical care. Oh and did I mention you can get to front range not via I-70? Also, doesn't snow near as much in these towns as in, say, Winter Park or Avon. I could go on and on.
 

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Entire world? Not sure I can accurately comment on that.

In Colorado, I gotta go with BV/Salida. Both are way cheaper than ski towns and you've got miles and miles of II through IV rapids on Ark - and a paddling seasons that is almost always at least 3 months long for rafts and longer for kayakers. BV has slightly better views, but Salida has more amenities and proximity to Monarch if you do like to ski. Trails, 14ers, good restaurants, etc. Oh, and as you age, they are a reasonable drive to front range and high quality medical care. Oh and did I mention you can get to front range not via I-70? Also, doesn't snow near as much in these towns as in, say, Winter Park or Avon. I could go on and on.
Shhhhhh
 

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West Virginia is cheap and has a lot of rafting potential including the difficulty you are talking about.
Don't you have to be married to a relative to live in West Virginia?

I'm just kidding! I have friends in West Virginia - it's a fine place, just not Colorado.
 

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So all the PNW vs Colorado shit talking on the lost gear thread has got me thinking.... Where is the greatest place on Earth?!?! Of course I know this is very subjective question. But I am wanting to hear your top 3 or just number 1 places to live in the US. I all ready live in a pretty phenomenal place. So the specific criteria I am looking to address in a new potential home would be the following:

1) Relatively Low Cost of Living ( compared to Aspen/Carbondale where im at now)
2) Local Access to class 3 and 4 rafting ( have paddled plenty of class 5, but as im looking to find my dream place to settle down, iconic class 3 is more appealing then hairy class 5.)

3) Relatively Low traffic and tourism cluster fucks
4) all the other obvious stuff ie. scenery, activities, community, music, beer, etc.

Less than talking about region vs region. I want to know about those little gem towns out there with iconic class 3 and 4 rafting and low cost of living.... does it exisit? or am I all ready in heaven!?

Right now I would put Buena Vista in this category ( I am curious about cost of living in Buena, in terms of average rent? ) Any Locals care to comment?

And for the record the only areas where Carbondale CO could find improvement in my eyes is: less people and traffic would amazing, and I would love a section like Shoshone but 8 - 12 miles instead of 3. Okay lets see if I get any takers here! Thanks yall! Happy Boatin!

Idaho sucks! It's full of weird, racist assholes and stuff. Stay away.
 

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GoBro
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Don't you have to be married to a relative to live in West Virginia?

I'm just kidding! I have friends in West Virginia - it's a fine place, just not Colorado.
OP asked about cheap and access to III-IV. WV hits the nail on the head, CO doesn't. Add in culture, weather, skiing, legal weed, shit talking internet message boards etc and you start to bring the equation back to CO.

Edit: Actually I just reread the first post and a lot of that shit is in there. Stay in CO. If I went back I would be looking at Durango.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hahaha! yes I have been to and paddled in WV! ( New and Gauley) I love it. but don't think I could move there from Carbondale, CO. It is a valid point though. Cost of living is much less! Thanks for all the input yall! And I am stoked that BV/Salida are only 1.5 hours from my current locale! Just ran Browns during paddlefest and cant wait to get back over there~!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Durango and the animas are on my radar, so hopefully ill be finding out soon just how shitty it is there! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #16
costa rica sounds phenominal. but I guess my post was misleading because realistically I am looking for lower 48. and im looking for the name of towns or cities that I can look up and do my own research. whats your favorite boating towns?!?!
 

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Why do people keep bringing up Salida? He said BV, there is a difference.... The good boating is 5-10 minutes outside BV, its 45 minutes from Salida... ;-)

Cost of living is reasonable in BV, ease in finding work is not. Rent probably averages $850 month for a house. I really, really enjoy visiting other rivers and states, but I am always happy and satisfied to come back here. I climb summits and rock, backcountry ski, mountain bike and hike, and get after it more than most, but I am still finding new adventures within 30 miles of my house and I have lived here 7 years.

Its probably not the best place in the world to vacation, but I think its a pretty good place to live.

Oh, and I can't say enough good things about the community. Small, close knit, like minded....just plain good people.
 

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GoBro
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Why do people keep bringing up Salida?
If I was going to live in the Ark Valley I think Salida would be the spot. More of a town, good commuter bike culture, warmer, closer to the ski hill, closer to the gorge, play park isn't as good but it still has one. It's not like you can't get after work runs in both locations either. From a pure paddling perspective BV wins for sure but looking at overall lifestyle I think I would lean towards Salida. Both are cool spots and if you are thinking about one you should check out both.
 

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idaho?

I would love to hear more from buzzards about the idaho options? I live near colorado springs but would love to move closer to family in portland. Is there any liveable towns that has a hood river vibe to it?
 

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Ohiopyle, PA (If you can stand to live in a commonwealth state)

Friendsville/ Deep Creek, MD

Morgantown, WV

There are creeks everywhere, big rivers (Cheat, Potomac, Yough)....and best of all it actually rains!

All three towns are 30-45 mins from each other. Three ski areas in an hour radius, mtn biking, a local community (you know people who were actually born and raised locally), REAL bluegrass (CO feels phony), smoke can be found for 2 bills a lid (Thanks CO), and houses are cheap (25000-50000, for a starter house.
 
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