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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys - I posted once before and got great responses on places to live - I'm an ortho doc looking to move back out west, currently living in Asheville. Looking for cool place to be with good paddling,climbing,skiing, mtn biking - I interviewed at a couple of places, and have it narrowed down based on job avail and other factors to Missoula, Durango, Boise, and Grants Pass, OR. What do y'all think?
Thanks for any input!;)
 

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no tengo
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we have only room for one or two more people in Durango so you should act quick. yes we have all that you ask for and you didn't ask for shopping or culture so Durango will fit.
 

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I'll put in my plug for Boise. It's a bigger town than the others you mentioned, about on par with Asheville if Asheville was the only large town within a six hour drive. Coming from the east coast, I am very satisfied with the skiing, especially this year. You've got Bogus Basin just outside of town, with easy access to three or four other resorts. There is decent backcountry within an hour of town too. Plus, you're in weekend range of the Tetons and Salt Lake. Great mountain biking is available straight out of the North End. There is decent climbing within the Boise city limits with some great climbing (City of Rocks) within weekend range. Boise also has a fairly robust economy, given its isolated location.

As for the paddling, I can't hype the Payettes enough. Good water all summer on class II through V. The play can be epic, and there are a number of play parks in the works, including one outside of downtown Boise. Then there is the North Fork. Come July and August it is the best thing going for hundreds of miles, maybe in the entire west? Come visit this May, the shit will be on. The paddling community here is great, one of the best I have experienced, lots of friendly people of all ability levels who all mingle at the same parking lot (the TO for the NF and SF is also the PI for the Main).

Plus, you'll be able to shoot wolves here in the Fall!
 

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whatever you do, when you move out, don't get too stoked on skiing in the fall. Take every chance you can get to bike/climb/paddle, because one day you'll come to the harsh realization that skiing is the only thing you'll be doing for a couple months. Maybe that's just me, cause I like biking and paddling a lot more, but yeah. I came out to boulder from asheville, and I definitely regretted not getting as much of that in as I could before the snow came.
 

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Bonedoc,
All good places to live. I was born and raised in Grants Pass, so I can give you a LOT of information about that area. The Rogue flows through town, the Wild and Scenic section is 25 miles away, you have the Smith Drainage an hour and fifteen minutes away. Its very easy to find year round kayaking/rafting in the area. I really liked S. Oregon for the ease of being able to get in the mountains. If you would like more specific information, pm me and I'll be happy to provide it. I really like Boise as well, but it feels like its becoming a big city with the traffic. But, I can't say enough about the Payette drainage, its a fun place to hang out. Ive spent time in both Missoula and Durango, but I'll let others comment on those places.
Roger
 

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Traffic? Boise? I admit that Boise is growing like a weed and needs more public transportation, but come on this is Idaho. After moving from DC, I can definately say that Boise does not have a traffic problem. There is traffic on I-84 for maybe an hour to get out to the mall, Nampa, and Caldwell before/after work.

Doc, if you decide to live in Boise proper, traffic will be the least of your concerns. I'm not sure if you're looking for positions with a private practice or at the hospitals, but as long as you don't live in the 'burbs commuting to work is not a problem. I highly recommend the North End and Warm Springs areas for house hunting. You can also find some good deals up on the Bench, but you have to choose your location wisely.
 

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Well I'm not comparing traffic to DC, SF, LA, or those type of cities. But I've been in and out of boise for 20 years as I spend my summers in Idaho. I agree that in the suburbs you wont have to worry about traffic, but I'm thinking about 82 around the boise/nampa/caldwell area. I am, however, comparing the traffic in Boise to Missoula, GP, and Durango. Yea its Idaho, but I see that area as VERY different in population/traffic etc, compared to the rest of idaho. Just *my* opinion, I'm a country boy who cant even stand traffic, high population density etc...
*shutting up now* and I"ll let you deal with Boise.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys -
I did like Boise, reminded me a bit of Tucson (my hometown) with more stuff to do. Kinda weird scenery, though, on the hills outside of town, not much for trees or vegetation. How are the winters for the most part in Boise - I heard a bunch about inversions and clouds while I was there from some folks.
Willie-I sent you a PM
 

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If you haven't been to Durango in a while, the town has changed quite a bit since the 90's. The climbing/hiking/skiing/boating are world class, but it's getting more and more like boulder, for all the reasons I don't live in boulder: expensive, cooler than thou attitude, traffic (no joke), overzealous law enforcement... Durango is no longer the worst dressed town in America.

I happened to visit Missoula a few years ago. The boating scene was tight, it's a great town in striking distance of great boating/skiing/etc. I'd give it a look. Man, on the flight into town, there were some inspiring mountain ranges!
 

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I'll put in my plug for Boise. It's a bigger town than the others you mentioned, about on par with Asheville if Asheville was the only large town within a six hour drive. Coming from the east coast, I am very satisfied with the skiing, especially this year. You've got Bogus Basin just outside of town, with easy access to three or four other resorts. There is decent backcountry within an hour of town too. Plus, you're in weekend range of the Tetons and Salt Lake. Great mountain biking is available straight out of the North End. There is decent climbing within the Boise city limits with some great climbing (City of Rocks) within weekend range. Boise also has a fairly robust economy, given its isolated location.

As for the paddling, I can't hype the Payettes enough. Good water all summer on class II through V. The play can be epic, and there are a number of play parks in the works, including one outside of downtown Boise. Then there is the North Fork. Come July and August it is the best thing going for hundreds of miles, maybe in the entire west? Come visit this May, the shit will be on. The paddling community here is great, one of the best I have experienced, lots of friendly people of all ability levels who all mingle at the same parking lot (the TO for the NF and SF is also the PI for the Main).

Plus, you'll be able to shoot wolves here in the Fall!
Shootin wolves?
I'm there man!!!
 

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I've only been in Boise for two winters, and they have been very different weather-wise. If it is cloudy then it is precipitating somewhere, and that is a good thing. This year we've had one sustained inversion (more than two days) and it wasn't a bad one. Last year we had an inversion for just about the entire month of January and it sucked, terrible air quality (code orange). Air quality can also get bad during fire season, but certainly no worse than Missoula. I'm no meteorologist, but Boise owes its water and weather patterns to the jet stream. If it is trending south, like this year we're wet and relatively inversion free. If it is trending north, like last year, then we're dry and under high pressure, which brings on the inversion. The quality of skiing at Bogus varies greatly year to year for the same reasons, but it is a great hill when there is snow, and you can't beat the night skiing 'til 10 PM.

As for the trees, you won't find too many trees on south facing slopes in the desert. Not coincidentally, a lot of the trees on the foothills burned in the past decade. Head over to the other side of the mountain and you'll find plenty of trees. Boise sits on the boundary between the mountains and the desert, but has a desert climate: relatively dry, mild in the winter, hot hot hot in the summer. You'll thank you're lucky stars that you recreate in the water come summer time.
 

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I will second this. As a native, it's clear that Durango is trending toward "trendy" Mountain living. On the other hand, there's still a faction bent on preserving the small town feel and the access to outdoor recreation of all kinds (Village at Wolf Creek recently defeated).

As Dana said, we have room for one or two more, but only if you're of this latter frame of mind.

(Not trying for the holier-than-thou attitude, just hoping to slow the inevitable influx and urban sprawl.)

If you haven't been to Durango in a while, the town has changed quite a bit since the 90's. The climbing/hiking/skiing/boating are world class, but it's getting more and more like boulder, for all the reasons I don't live in boulder: expensive, cooler than thou attitude, traffic (no joke), overzealous law enforcement... Durango is no longer the worst dressed town in America.

I happened to visit Missoula a few years ago. The boating scene was tight, it's a great town in striking distance of great boating/skiing/etc. I'd give it a look. Man, on the flight into town, there were some inspiring mountain ranges!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I will second this. As a native, it's clear that Durango is trending toward "trendy" Mountain living. On the other hand, there's still a faction bent on preserving the small town feel and the access to outdoor recreation of all kinds (Village at Wolf Creek recently defeated).

As Dana said, we have room for one or two more, but only if you're of this latter frame of mind.

(Not trying for the holier-than-thou attitude, just hoping to slow the inevitable influx and urban sprawl.)
I'm definitely NOT looking to live in a Boulder-clone (no offense to any Boulderites) - I'm pretty annoyed by scenes of any kind, but I guess you have to tolerate them anywhere there's stuff to do. Incidentally, the scene in here in NC around most of the "expert" runs is pretty irritating, too - so its not just the old west that's a-changin'.
How bad is Durango in terms of sprayers and scenesters?- I didn't get to do much but ski while I was there, and everyone seemed pretty friendly and down-to-earth...
 

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don't come to Missoula

No seriously, Missoula's scene is pretty cool, small town-ish (relatively) and once you get out of town trailheads and put ins aren't mob scenes compared to other western areas. Snowbowl is an eclectic ski area, but it is off the radar of most and is awesome!

Weather is very mild for Montana, you can actually grow tomatoes here which you can't do in other parts of the state. Great boating, great skiing, great hiking, wait a minute - don't move here!

Pretty cloudy in the winter, inversions stay in western montana for extended periods and we do have some improving air quality issues. East of the divide you have clear blue bird skies all winter, as long as it is not dumping.

Not always snow on the ground in town all winter, means nothing about the mountains.

Not a very clique-ish town, very community and public service oriented. Quite easy to make friends. Downside is often friends move.

Lots of docs, but not enough. My buddy who just blew out his ACL saw only the PA, couldn't get into our favorite doc for a few weeks. Busy winter, lots of snow, lots of injuries I guess.

Oh, and stunning summers. Not too hot, except we did hit 107 last year, all time high.
 

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Missoula would definitely be a good choice. Pretty much anything you could want, right in town. Play spot right in town. Bozeman is also another good choice, for a bigger town feel, a little bit more "yuppyish" than Missoula. Just depends what you are after. I have lived in both, grew up right in between the two, and I always favored Missoula, but that is just the dope smoking hippy that I keep tucked deep down inside.
 

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Avoid any place that has an SUV named after it.
 

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Avoid any place that has an SUV named after it.
Wow, you guys are really buzz-killing Durango!

My impressions, albiet very superficial and made over not more than 3 days, was that
-Missoula was some working class, some wildlife biology dropout types, some college trustafarians, great outdoor stuff; but housing was not as inexpensive as I would have guessed, and as lhowemt said - alot of grey days in winter and spring (actually as many grey days as Portland says the almanac)
-Durango seemed to have much more of a small town feel (No shopping mall, very few big-box stores,etc), but more chic-type restaurants, crystal-vortex types, and 50+ y/o retirees from Texas and Cali, and a relatively smaller working class base.

Am I way off? I really want to like Durango, but am a bit worried its a Sedona/Moab/Bend/Boulder waiting to happen. Are there still alot of normal folks there? Regular working slobs like myself who like to hang it out on the weekend occasionally, or mostly I-am-way-to-rad-to-paddle-and-climb-with-you types?

Sorry for the ramble, just hard to make good judgements of places in a couple of days.
 

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Oh no, they all graduate, they just can't find jobs because there are so many of them! If they don't graduate, it is because they are perma-students, if they dropped out they'd have to get jobs!

Has anyone mentioned the Mormons in Boise? Not to disparage anyone, but some folks rub the wrong way with that group. Southern Idaho is kind of like just a northern Utah, so some say.


-Missoula was .... some wildlife biology dropout types,
 

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Bozeman is so "Boulder" anymore. It was painful to move from Bozo to Missoula, but after a while I am glad I'm in Missoula. Not really a significant "poser" population here. Really down to earth, not just for hippies either.

Bozeman is also another good choice, for a bigger town feel, a little bit more "yuppyish" than Missoula.
 
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