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  1. #1
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    If you could live anywhere in the western U.S....

    Hey all,

    I know this is a very broad prompt, but I'm looking for some opinions and very appreciative of any input.

    My fiancé and I are originally from Salt Lake City, now in North Carolina, planning to move back west. We climb mountain bike (mostly XC, all mountain, but interested in more DH), climb (moderate trad, sport, alpine, ice), road bike, ski, trail run, and dabble in surfing, kayaking, rafting. We prioritize easy access to outdoor fun and have two big dogs that like to come play. Ideal situation would be a progressive, active, outdoor community with easy access to trail running, hiking, biking, with climbing and skiing nearby. Kayak/surf is a plus but not required.

    We are both doctors finishing up training, so will be working in emergency departments around wherever we live. Prefer a small or mid-size town/city (Seattle and Portland are bigger than we'd like.) Need to have a decently busy hospital nearby for work. We don't have kids, so not factoring schools in.

    Towns/cities we have been considering include Leavenworth/Wenatchee, WA; Bend, OR and suburbs; Glenwood Springs/Carbondale, CO; Durango, CO; other towns in western CO?; Bozeman, MT; Missoula, MT; Boise, ID; Tahoe/Truckee, CA; Ashland, OR; Flagstaff, AZ.
    Not interested in the front range of Colorado. Bellingham, WA looks great, but may be a bit rainy for us and very hard to find jobs there.

    SLC is phenomenal for outdoor access, but it would be nice to live somewhere a bit more progressive, which is why we are looking into Oregon, Washington, Colorado.

    Appreciate all the help! Happy riding!

  2. #2
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    Western Colorado is pretty conservative although the politics of the state are dominated by the front range. There are a few leftist enclaves outside the front range, but if you're looking for a region that's generally progressive you might be better off looking somewhere else.

  3. #3
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    The Oregon Coast is absolutely gorgeous. If you have never been, it is worth a look. Coos Bay and Newport are the bigger cities. Newport is more touristy and Coos Bay is more industrial.

  4. #4
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    Arizona sucks.
    Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy - M. Hall

  5. #5
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    1. Bellingham, WA (have closer access to whistler for downhill, plus what looks like tons of good trails in Canada just over the border).
    2. Corvallis or Eugene, OR (live in corvallis and ride to the trails from your front door).
    3. Sedona, AZ (bike year round, nice balance between super hot of phoenix and cold winters of flagstaff)
    4. Spokane/Coeur d'Alene

    Leavenworth looks like an amazing place to live with good mtb trails and hiking out your front door.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin70 View Post
    ...3. Sedona, AZ (bike year round, nice balance between super hot of phoenix and cold winters of flagstaff)...
    The few times I have been there, I have found that there is a very cool vibe kicking around -- artsy, kinda hocus pocus, with all the palm/card reading and other similar shoppes, and absence of fast food restaurants and chains. Not my first choice for biking, but not too bad nonetheless. Then again, the times I have been there it was 90 degrees at 6 am. Smoking hot. Maybe if it was a tad cooler the biking would have been a little more enjoyable.

  7. #7
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    I live in WA and this area is one big outdoor theme park. I am sure you did your research on the area but there is always something to do outdoors.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    I live in WA and this area is one big outdoor theme park. I am sure you did your research on the area but there is always something to do outdoors.
    My goal is to ultimately retire on Vancouver Island - same PNW vibe.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Arizona sucks.
    Same with Colorado. Plus Colorado is full right now. They are only allowing one out one in.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Same with Colorado. Plus Colorado is full right now. They are only allowing one out one in.
    Sorry Folks, Colorado is closed, Moose out front should told ya.

    My ex-wife kept telling me all the things I could do in Wisconsin, to which I always replied, ' we can do that here'. I hope she is enjoying Wisconsin.
    I am a lucky man to live where I do in Colorado.

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  11. #11
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    I'm an East Coast guy but went out West a few years ago with the family to visit Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, Great Sand Dunes, etc and went through Durango and was very impressed. Didn't ride any of the trails or visit any LBS but the setting was very inviting. If I ever move that's where I'm headed.
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  12. #12
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    Tucson is awesome, but skiing is minimal and surfing in your dreams...
    It's all Here. Now.

  13. #13
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    First, I'd focus on towns near good skiing. Those will likely also have good mountain biking and possibly kayaking. Then from that list, check out their population to see if it's a fit for you emotionally.
    Will Canada take U.S. doctors? If so, that opens up all sorts of possibilities.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Arizona sucks.
    You suck. Just kiddling. I love hate living in AZ. Its hot but deal with it.
    no huge snowfalls like back east, no earthquakes, no tornadoes(very rare), no major floods, no hurricanes. we have many different environments to choose from in a short drive. Tucson sucks though.

    my family is from Washington. we go up several times a year. But we stay with friends out on the islands. My wife and I talked about moving up there but cannot stand the politics.
    "You know, if we had any moral character, we wouldn't be standing here covered with mud drinkin', when we should be washing."

  15. #15
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    Ouray?

  16. #16
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    The hospital requirement makes this tough. I've got a bunch of medical professionals in my family and I'm from CO, and finding larger hospitals or ones with employment opportunities can be very difficult. People are not in these towns by accident so turnover is often extremely low. Even something like Durango may be difficult to get in the door as far as hospital employment goes and if you are in a position to open your own practice, it's not like there's a shortage of doctors, especially in the ortho fields. Anyway, just something to consider.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartyiak View Post
    Ouray?
    A one horse town. In other words way small.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    The few times I have been there, I have found that there is a very cool vibe kicking around -- artsy, kinda hocus pocus, with all the palm/card reading and other similar shoppes, and absence of fast food restaurants and chains. Not my first choice for biking, but not too bad nonetheless. Then again, the times I have been there it was 90 degrees at 6 am. Smoking hot. Maybe if it was a tad cooler the biking would have been a little more enjoyable.
    Yeah, my wife and I were kicking around Sedona after visiting this spring. Wasn't going to work at all. Wife's a veterinarian, and while there were 1 or 2 positions open there, they didn't pay enough to make ends meet. They were definitely on the low end of the pay scale for the profession. Zero opportunities for me, though I could have worked in a shop for peanuts...that kind of thing wouldn't go very far to help us afford living expenses.

    I found the vibe there to be strange. Sure, the artsy hocus pocus thing was part of it...but I also experienced the vibe from the wealthy big city folks (LA? Phoenix? Not sure where) who seemed angry all the time.

    We ended up moving to Asheville, NC (a week ago). We've been visiting this area for years, so we were already comfortable here. The right job opportunity came up, so we jumped on it.

    I lived in a small college town in E. TX for a few years, and while generally speaking, it was anything but a progressive town, it definitely had its charm. In some ways, it was far more interesting than other places I've lived.

  19. #19
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    Jackson hole needs doctors.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Jackson hole needs doctors.
    The Aspen of Wyoming.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Arizona sucks.
    Flagstaff actually meets all the requirements, Snow, Mountains, Hospital, etc.
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Jackson hole needs doctors.
    They do? That would be hard to beat. I haven't biked there, but the kayaking is absolutely phenomenal up there!

    BTW, on the Snake River at Lunch Counter when the flow is above about 11,000 cfs, you can surf it on a surf board.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VtfdJUpHB4

    The only trouble with the area, from a mountain biking perspective, is that with the Grey's, the Gros Ventre (both class 4 and above) and the Snake (class 3 with great surfing) Rivers, your mountain biking will be delayed until the rivers go down!
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:28 AM.

  23. #23
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    The biking here sucks. Tell your friends.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  24. #24
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    3 years ago my 3 year old split his head on the nightstand in Jackson Hole. The hospital there was very nice.
    I was just in Durango this summer and the trail access was phenomenal from town. Bike shop was great too.
    I'm not sure that Coeur'd'alene is progressive.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    The biking here sucks. Tell your friends.
    As does the skiing. Complete shit.

  26. #26
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    Reno or Carson City tick all those boxes (even surfing if you're crazy enough to do it in the winter on Lake Tahoe in a blizzard). There are several large hospitals in the area, and you get access to Tahoe without having to pay the California tax premium. Multiple ski resorts within an hour's drive, year round mountain biking, lots of kayaking opportunities. I don't climb, but I've seen people with climbing gear while out and about hiking/biking/snowshoeing so I'm sure there are places to go.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by IHeartMountains View Post
    We climb mountain bike (mostly XC, all mountain, but interested in more DH), climb (moderate trad, sport, alpine, ice), road bike, ski, trail run, and dabble in surfing, kayaking, rafting. We prioritize easy access to outdoor fun and have two big dogs that like to come play. Ideal situation would be a progressive, active, outdoor community with easy access to trail running, hiking, biking, with climbing and skiing nearby. Kayak/surf is a plus but not required.
    That does describe Bend fairly well. I'm not sure about the progressive part or the DH biking part. Bend doesn't really have suburbs, but the surrounding communities are pretty conservative.

    Have you looked into Montrose, CO?

  28. #28
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    Be sure to determine your priority between mountain biking and skiing. I lived at 9300' in a ski town for 7 years and really enjoyed skiing 100+ days per year, but the mountain biking season was way too short. Since my priority was mountain biking, I moved back to a location in which I could ride nearly year-round and could still drive to skiing if I really wanted to ski.

  29. #29
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    Jackson Hole. Without question. Taxes are low, cost of living is high. Winter lasts 8 months but it has the number 1 rated ski resort in America. The mountain biking is amazing with both XC and lift served. The Snake river has some of the best kayaking anywhere. Lots of available culture and places to get a beer and some great food. They also have a good sized and busy airport. Oh, and Yellowstone is right up the road.

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  30. #30
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    Flagstaff/Prescott, AZ.

    When it's time for me to retire, retirement will be on a Friday and I'll be in AZ on Monday. Send my sh*t later.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    We ended up moving to Asheville, NC (a week ago). We've been visiting this area for years, so we were already comfortable here. The right job opportunity came up, so we jumped on it.
    That is awesome! Asheville is great town and it is in a spectacular part of the county.

    OP- You don't want to be anywhere near the west coast... its all going to slide into the ocean soon.

  32. #32
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    Thanks for the responses everyone!

    A few thoughts:

    Sedona: In the limited time I spent there, I think I would like better big mountain/ski access, and agree with the somewhat pretentious big city transplant vibe.

    Spokane seems like good weekend trip access potential and good work potential. Not sure about the city itself. Never been.

    Ouray/Montrose: I LOVE Ouray and surrounding areas (Telluride, Silverton). So much skiing and ice climbing access. Actually haven't biked around there, but it seems like Crested Butte and other areas are not far. Ouray is very small and doesn't have a hospital, but Montrose has a decent sized hospital and is not far and we could split the difference and live in Ridgway which is halfway between the two (around 30min to each) or live in Montrose. I haven't spent any time there apart from driving through. Seems like a sleepy cowboy town. Not sure if it's our vibe, but probably going to become more popular as the Front Range overflows. And access is phenomenal to southern Utah desert, Fruita, and big mountains of the San Juan's...

    I wish we could live and work in Canada, but it is very difficult for doctors. BC and Alberta are absolutely amazing with so much potential and warm, welcoming people.

    Durango seems like a prime combination of biking, skiing, good size, and cool vibe. We'll definitely be investigating.

    Harold, we live in Charlotte and make our way up to Asheville on occasion. It's a great spot with some fantastic surrounding riding and climbing, but we are excited to head back west.

    Jackson is one place that would be primo for recreation of all kinds (world class skiing, kayaking, and alpine climbing; good biking) and life outside of the hospital, but the hospital is pretty small and sleepy, so probably not the best place for us to start our careers. I think we'll still check it out.

    Flagstaff is going to worth investigating. Everyone who has been there seems to love it.

    Bend: someone described Bend as having loads of easy access to B+ quality biking/skiing/climbing, but no grade A quality. I think this fits. I like the young outdoors-oriented vibe. People are stoked there. It's beautiful, the weather is good, and the geography is awesome. It's also seeing massive increase in population. It's definitely been discovered and cost of living is skyrocketing, but that also means great food, beer, music, etc. I would like to think of Wenatchee, WA as Bend before it blew up.

    Reno could work. Access is good, cost of living is good. Job would be good. Just not our top choice because the town is a bit lackluster IMO.

    Great thoughts everyone, would love to hear more!

  33. #33
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    Montrose is ranked as the 4th most conservative town in Colorado.

    Western Colorado Home to Most Conservative Colorado Towns

    https://www.roadsnacks.net/most-libe...s-in-colorado/

    Gunnison cracks the liberal top ten and has a hospital, but you'd need to be able to handle cold weather. Not sure how accurate that list is though. I'd have guessed Gunnison lower than #9 and Durango higher than #30.

  34. #34
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    If you're worried about the skyrocketing cost of living in Bend, you can scratch Jackson off your list now.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by IHeartMountains View Post

    Flagstaff is going to worth investigating. Everyone who has been there seems to love it.

    Bend: someone described Bend as having loads of easy access to B+ quality biking/skiing/climbing, but no grade A quality. I think this fits. I like the young outdoors-oriented vibe. People are stoked there. It's beautiful, the weather is good, and the geography is awesome. It's also seeing massive increase in population. It's definitely been discovered and cost of living is skyrocketing, but that also means great food, beer, music, etc. I would like to think of Wenatchee, WA as Bend before it blew up.
    My wife and I lived in Tucson before we moved to Bend, and Flagstaff was our #2 pick. One thing we noticed about Flagstaff was that it always seemed to be very windy every time we visited. Great location and riding though. At the time (2001) the Flagstaff medical community had a reputation for being a closed good ol' boys club. Not sure if that's changed since then.

    We've really enjoyed living in Bend but we have our sights on the western slope for retirement after our kids move out in a few years. I grew up in Colorado and really miss it. I'm heading to Ridgway in a couple of weeks to check it out in person.

  36. #36
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    My new doctor just came from Ireland, so I know its possible. Doctors might even be able to afford Whistler
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by IHeartMountains View Post
    Thanks for the responses everyone!
    Reno could work. Access is good, cost of living is good. Job would be good. Just not our top choice because the town is a bit lackluster IMO.
    LOL! My thoughts exactly. That's why I live in Carson City... same cost of living, small town vibe and you can bike to the breweries



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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    One thing we noticed about Flagstaff was that it always seemed to be very windy every time we visited. Great location and riding though.
    Flag gets very windy. I have a friend that lived there and built an outdoor structure rated for 100mph winds. It is common to have 40mph winds all day long in the spring/fall. Plus in flag you are either poor college kid, poor local with service job, or a rich guy with a 2nd home. Not much in between as there are few middle class jobs paying solid wages. Many people call Flag "poverty with a view" Even you get a solid paying job the locals will be pretty much split. I find flag nice place to visit and nice place for a 2nd home, but I am not digging it for full time residency. I live in Phoenix and simply perfer it, but it clearly does not meet your vision. And that is ok as it take a special kind of crazy to live in Phx and ride bikes year around.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    LOL! My thoughts exactly. That's why I live in Carson City... same cost of living, small town vibe and you can bike to the breweries
    I just drove back to SoCal from Idaho last weekend and took the 395 all the way down from Carson City. I forgot how much I liked the Carson Valley area, Gardnerville / Minden in particular. Maybe too small for some folks.
    ¯\(°_o)/¯

  40. #40
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    "SLC is phenomenal for outdoor access, but it would be nice to live somewhere a bit more progressive, which is why we are looking into Oregon, Washington, Colorado."

    Why would you want to live in a progressive area? Do you really think Finche Platte would make that great of a neighbor? He's always bashing Trump and putting down us conservatives.

  41. #41
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    Not sure how important the skiing is to you but Mt Bachelor is nothing special...at all. Besides being "discovered", Bend is overcrowded and their stupid traffic circle concept DOES NOT WORK at all. I've been there on (3) different trips and it's the same every time. I don't drink deer so the breweries don't mean anything to me. I love the "pub" food at the breweries but their restaurants are over the top progressive for my tastes. I don't need organic eggs and spinach if that's going to equate to a $16 omelette. That pretty much sums up the food scene there IMO. The riding options are diverse but pretty much every other place in Oregon has BETTER trails (Oakridge. Hood River, North Umpqua).

    Im my opinion, based on your original post....Durango....no question.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Flag gets very windy. I have a friend that lived there and built an outdoor structure rated for 100mph winds. It is common to have 40mph winds all day long in the spring/fall. Plus in flag you are either poor college kid, poor local with service job, or a rich guy with a 2nd home. Not much in between as there are few middle class jobs paying solid wages. Many people call Flag "poverty with a view" Even you get a solid paying job the locals will be pretty much split. I find flag nice place to visit and nice place for a 2nd home, but I am not digging it for full time residency. I live in Phoenix and simply perfer it, but it clearly does not meet your vision. And that is ok as it take a special kind of crazy to live in Phx and ride bikes year around.
    Seriously? "Very windy"? That's just bizarre.

    I rode and went to Flag all the time and never once did I think about wind or even encounter anything close to what you are claiming. The only times I've ever experienced significant wind in AZ were during thunderstorms, which applies for any part of AZ, especially the TS-fueled dust-storms down in Phoenix and massive pressure differentials/fronts as part of normal weather.

    Prefering 120° in the summer? I suppose that's great for some people. Flag is in a great location because due to the high altitude, sunlight and moderate temps, snowfall sublimates in a matter of hours usually. It's not the constant ice and snow during winter that many of us in northern latitudes deal with. It does it's thing and clears out fast on the roads. Then in the summer most of your riding is in the 70s and simply very nice. Phoenix does have a lot of parks with trails, which is nice, but the air quality is absolute crap and the only time it's cooler than 80 degrees is about 3 months, so it's a tradeoff for sure. Flag is a great place to live if you can swing it, with Sedona close by in the winter to get out of the snow/ice on the trails, although I assume with fat-biking picking up there are some winter options now.

    The real issue with Flag is that while there is good riding there, and good riding in Sedona, it's still a bit isolated and not all that much compared to larger areas/areas with more trail systems in reach. Phoenix is an hour and a half-2hrs away (on a good day) and there really isn't much else besides Williams and the South Rim without significant travel. Trails in Flag are great, but they are in a fairly localized area and I could definitely see getting a bit played out on them. There are other areas I've lived and visited that seemed to have much more available within a decent radius. I daresay Prescott is a bit better compromise due to having hundreds of miles (more than Flag for sure) of trails around the city and being within easy reach of Flag, Sedona and Phoenix, not as cold as Flag in the winter and not as hot as Phoenix in the summer. But places I've visited in Washington and Colorado have eclipsed the riding in Flag for me, as good as it is. If you have to live in a big city, it's simply something you have to do. Some big cities do have a lot of good trail access throughout, like Seattle, Bay Area, Phoenix, and a few others. Take your pick of climate, culture and urban development. Flagstaff is definitely the "outdoors" location in Arizona, for those that love the outdoors, nature, and all that those things encompass. Still, if you want to take these things to an even higher level, there are better places IMO.
    Last edited by Jayem; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:44 AM.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Not sure how important the skiing is to you but Mt Bachelor is nothing special...at all.
    If skiing is high on the list of priorities, you can't beat CO.

    I don't know anything about Glenwood Springs, but its proximity to a lot of great skiing would be nice -- Vail, BC, Aspen/Snowmass, Breck, Keystone all within a 2 hr drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    If skiing is high on the list of priorities, you can't beat CO.

    I don't know anything about Glenwood Springs, but its proximity to a lot of great skiing would be nice -- Vail, BC, Aspen/Snowmass, Breck, Keystone all within a 2 hr drive.
    I know enough about Glenwood Springs to know I'd be bored as hell there. Tiny town with the main attraction being the natural hot springs. Yes, close to Aspen / Snowmass but still an hour to Vail and an hour and a half to Copper / Keystone/ A-Basin / Breck. Not enough to keep my interest. If you can handle that small of a town. It's also a high altitude town, so the summers are short and the winters are very cold. Another big draw to the area is big game Elk and Deer hunting. Part of the income of the town comes from the hunting season.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Been around the western US and each place offers something different. SoCal has the best weather so you can ride just any time or day of the year. Other places may get hit by thunderstorms that leave trails unrideable for weeks. Riding in inclement weather can be rather dangerous but also still holds some appeal. Boise was like that but still had a great time living there. AZ summers can be brutal so you have a few hour window to ride in the morning or evening but again you just make do with what limitations there are.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

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    "I wish we could live and work in Canada, but it is very difficult for doctors. BC and Alberta are absolutely amazing with so much potential and warm, welcoming people."

    Have you investigated this closely? My wife has worked in the pediatric ICU at BC Children's Hospital for over 25 years and I can barely remember any Canadian born Intensivists. People who are new here struggle find GPs. It feels like we have a real shortage of doctors.

    Squamish checks off everything in your list: World-class skiing, climbing, biking, kayaking (and even windsurfing/kiting) all within an hour. And if you work in Emerg at Squamish General, all of your patients will have been injured doing those things ...

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    Durango has great riding all over the area, and it is only 2.5 hours from Moab, 3.5 hours to Fruita/GJ, 5.5 hours from Sedona, 7 hours from Tuscon ...
    You just can't beat the combination of great local riding and easy access to other great riding locations
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Seriously? "Very windy"? That's just bizarre.
    Like most of the US West in the mountains, Spring time is VERY windy in Flagstaff. It's just something you live with for a few months each spring.

    OP: Check out Eagle CO as well. It's 20 minutes west of Vail, 45-ish minutes from Glenwood, 2 hours from Grand Junction, 3 from Moab, etc..

    Montrose is a funny little town in its own way much like Sedona, but more in a Colorado Redneck (with a 401k) kind of way. No Vortex there unfortunately. The Roaring Fork valley too is getting priced out for many, but Carbondale/Basalt is super cool. Grand Junction might have the most opportunity for you in terms of hospital employment, and Palisade is a great spot with a cool vibe. Or Fruita for that matter. You can get a lot of house for your money still, in recreation paradise.

    Agree, if you like skiing and (Utah is out) then Colorado is hard to beat. I have a good friend who lives in Little Cottonwood Canyon and can be from his driveway to Snowbird parking lot in 15 minutes. That would be super tough in CO with that level of skiing. He's insulated a bit from Utah culture it seems, but does have to drive into SLC for work where he works 4-10 hour days. Friday-Saturday-Sunday off. Worth it to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    If skiing is high on the list of priorities, you can't beat CO.

    I don't know anything about Glenwood Springs, but its proximity to a lot of great skiing would be nice -- Vail, BC, Aspen/Snowmass, Breck, Keystone all within a 2 hr drive.
    Two hours!? I get upset when the traffic makes the normal 10 minute drive a 12 minute drive! 100 days a year and you'd spend 8.3 days on the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Two hours!? I get upset when the traffic makes the normal 10 minute drive a 12 minute drive! 100 days a year and you'd spend 8.3 days on the road.
    Most of those are only an hour away -- Breck and Keystone are a little further out from Glenwood Springs.

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    Thanks everyone!
    TooSteep, yes unfortunately US-trained emergency medicine doctors are technically able to practice in Canada, but you must complete a total of 5 years of residency/fellowship training after medical school and then take the Canadian licensing/board exams. Most US emergency medicine residency programs are 3 years, some are 4, meaning you have to do an extra two years of some type of fellowship training just to have a total of 5 years. It's unfortunate because Squamish is my dream town.
    Here's an editorial on the medicine topic: https://cmajblogs.com/we-want-to-come-home/

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    Yes, but Canada!
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    Most of those are only an hour away -- Breck and Keystone are a little further out from Glenwood Springs.
    Which I outlined in post #44.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Like most of the US West in the mountains, Spring time is VERY windy in Flagstaff. It's just something you live with for a few months each spring. .
    The claim that it's windy all during the spring/fall with constant 40mph winds and that you need structures to withstand 100mph winds was way way overboard, it's nothing like that, unless maybe you are living at 12,600' on top of Humphrey's Peak or something. Having ridden in Flag and other mountain locations for years, if a storm barrels through, then winds pick up, if not, not so much. There's no constant 40mph wind. I would often ride up to the top of Sunset and zonk out on a rock in the sun, because it was so peaceful and nice up there, so you can imagine my disbelief that the wind is always howling. Heck, having ridden all over CO and other states too, the comment is still just so bizarre.
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    A wildcard choice might be Spokane. Its on the dry side of the Cascades so not so rainy. There's some decent riding close to town. But you're also fairly close to the Kettle Crest area and the goodness of Idaho isn't too far away either. Canada is pretty close as well. I've never lived in Spokane but been there a few times. There seems to be a mix of old timer retirees, younger outdoorsey types, meth heads and rednecks. If I recall there's a fairly active trail advocacy push in the area as well. Plus WA has no income tax.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    A wildcard choice might be Spokane. Its on the dry side of the Cascades so not so rainy. There's some decent riding close to town. But you're also fairly close to the Kettle Crest area and the goodness of Idaho isn't too far away either. Canada is pretty close as well. I've never lived in Spokane but been there a few times. There seems to be a mix of old timer retirees, younger outdoorsey types, meth heads and rednecks. If I recall there's a fairly active trail advocacy push in the area as well. Plus WA has no income tax.
    LOL
    I agree and I've been there a few times as well. Summer and mild winters but close to all the fun for all seasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHeartMountains View Post
    ...I wish we could live and work in Canada, but it is very difficult for doctors. BC and Alberta are absolutely amazing with so much potential and warm, welcoming people...
    I haven't read the whole thread but not sure why you say "it is very difficult for doctors" to live in BC or Alberta. I can't speak for BC, but my sister and brother-in-law both practise in Alberta. She is a paediatric hematologist and he is a neurologist. They live like rock rock stars and work half the hours I do. In Calgary, there are a LOT of South African GPs, so I can't imagine that any out of country mobility issues that may exist, are all that onerous. Calgary and Edmonton truly have world class medical facilities and docs. I can give you whatever additional info you require, if you are interested in Alberta. If so, feel free to PM me.

    PS - Alberta is obviously not a good selection if water sports are near the top of the list interest-wise. That said, my sister and brother-in-law blast off somewhere warm for 2 weeks every 3 months, to get their water fix. This is in addition to all the other holidays they take.

    Biking wise, I have world class biking within 30 minutes of my driveway. I am surrounded by incredible biking of all levels and sub-genres, in Kananaskis Country, West Bragg Creek, Canmore, Banff and elsewhere, all within an hour's drive.

    Heading to Minnewanka shortly with my daughter (it opened up yesterday after being closed most of the summer since it is part of a wildlife corridor).

    Fernie, Golden, Revelstoke, Fernie and other places are within 3 hours.

    Skiing wise, there is Sunshine and Lake Louise locally, but Fernie is the best, if you like pow. Continual Whistler-like dumps throughout the season. I have rarely been there when there hasn't been at least one overnight hammering.

    Some of the best hiking around too. Photographers are artists from all over the world gravitate to Canmore because of the jagged nature of the Rockies in this specific location (much more jagged than the BC side). Some of the most beautiful terrain in the world, in my opinion, is literally 45 minutes away from my driveway.

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    I live in Palisade, CO. It's a great location with one fault. Summer heat is bad. It's got a nice local ski area and is close enough to the big mtns. We hope to soon have "The Plunge" to drop 6000' in 34 miles from Grand Mesa. Lot's of good local fruita and veggies. It's close to Moab and you can always hit St. George in mid winter if you need a riding fix. Grand Junction has three hospitals (four if you count the little one inf Fruita). Glenwood would not be on my list but if you could afford yup the valley from e there it would be OK. Ridgeway has got RATS and If I could afford it would retire there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    LOL
    I agree and I've been there a few times as well. Summer and mild winters but close to all the fun for all seasons.
    For sure! Many years ago I applied for a job and got an interview in Spokane. It struck me as a nice place for many of the reasons outlined above. Its a good intermediate size between a city and small town.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I haven't read the whole thread but not sure why you say "it is very difficult for doctors" to live in BC or Alberta. I can't speak for BC, but my sister and brother-in-law both practise in Alberta. She is a paediatric hematologist and he is a neurologist. They live like rock rock stars and work half the hours I do. In Calgary, there are a LOT of South African GPs, so I can't imagine that any out of country mobility issues that may exist, are all that onerous. Calgary and Edmonton truly have world class medical facilities and docs. I can give you whatever additional info you require, if you are interested in Alberta. If so, feel free to PM me.

    PS - Alberta is obviously not a good selection if water sports are near the top of the list interest-wise. That said, my sister and brother-in-law blast off somewhere warm for 2 weeks every 3 months, to get their water fix. This is in addition to all the other holidays they take.
    I think the OP mentioned something about needing to get the required training or certification that is beyond what he would get in the US.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    For sure! Many years ago I applied for a job and got an interview in Spokane. It struck me as a nice place for many of the reasons outlined above. Its a good intermediate size between a city and small town.
    It's always been towards the top of my list for optional places to live. Love the countryside with all the lakes.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    I think the OP mentioned something about needing to get the required training or certification that is beyond what he would get in the US.
    That's shocking. I question how onerous it is. In fact, I question whether there are ANY real barriers to entry. I can certainly find out with a phone call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    That's shocking. I question how onerous it is. In fact, I question whether there are ANY real barriers to entry. I can certainly find out with a phone call.
    Read the link he posted from the two Canadian emergency docs 'trying to get back home'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    Read the link he posted from the two Canadian emergency docs 'trying to get back home'.
    Interesting read. If I were the OP I would investigate this himself, to the extent he has not already done so.

    The big issue in Canada (as I understand it) is that there is a huge discontent with people attending Canadian medical schools, which unlike the US are HEAVILY subsidized publicly, and then taking off following graduation to the US to practise. The sentiment is that if we are going to fund the training, we should be the beneficiaries of it. Having someone trained elsewhere and coming to Canada, when known staff shortages exist here, seems like a dream come true, at least in terms of this policy objective.

    Obviously the issue arises with colliding policy objectives. Undoubtedly, the Alberta College of Physicians & Surgeons is vigilant to ensure that any practising physicians within Alberta are properly qualified. While there is no doubt that schooling and training south of the border would almost always tick that box, I suspect that the objective criteria which have been established to ensure cross-border competency, screws things up for those south of the border. It may be different (i.e.; easier) for the UK and South African trained docs. Their programs may be more in line with the Alberta/Canadian schooling and training requirements.

    All that said, if the OP is interested, he should call the College directly, as opposed to relying on some online accounts. I am quite sure the appropriate individuals at the College will be happy to discuss these issues with him. That goes for Alberta or BC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHeartMountains View Post
    Thanks everyone!
    TooSteep, yes unfortunately US-trained emergency medicine doctors are technically able to practice in Canada, but you must complete a total of 5 years of residency/fellowship training after medical school and then take the Canadian licensing/board exams. Most US emergency medicine residency programs are 3 years, some are 4, meaning you have to do an extra two years of some type of fellowship training just to have a total of 5 years. It's unfortunate because Squamish is my dream town.
    Here's an editorial on the medicine topic: https://cmajblogs.com/we-want-to-come-home/
    Wow, that's pretty onerous. My wife's a veterinarian and we've considered Canada as a possible place to live. I'm a dual citizen and my career path doesn't require any professional licenses the way medicine does. For veterinarians, there's a single continental board exam. It's the same in the US, Canada, and Mexico. In the US and Canada, at least, each state/province has its own local license requirements (which might include both fees and an additional exam, but might not). So really, for us, moving to Canada wouldn't be much different from moving to a different state, aside from the fact that we really have no family anywhere nearby, and that's pretty much what it came down to for us.

    We ended up moving far enough away that our parents (or more accurately, my wife's parents) are extremely unlikely to just "drop by" with little or no notice, usually when we have other obligations. Yet we are still close enough that visits are still not all that problematic. In fact, it seems like some friend or family member or another comes this way at least once a month, anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Wow, that's pretty onerous. My wife's a veterinarian and we've considered Canada as a possible place to live. I'm a dual citizen and my career path doesn't require any professional licenses the way medicine does. For veterinarians, there's a single continental board exam. It's the same in the US, Canada, and Mexico. In the US and Canada, at least, each state/province has its own local license requirements (which might include both fees and an additional exam, but might not). So really, for us, moving to Canada wouldn't be much different from moving to a different state, aside from the fact that we really have no family anywhere nearby, and that's pretty much what it came down to for us.

    We ended up moving far enough away that our parents (or more accurately, my wife's parents) are extremely unlikely to just "drop by" with little or no notice, usually when we have other obligations. Yet we are still close enough that visits are still not all that problematic. In fact, it seems like some friend or family member or another comes this way at least once a month, anyway.
    I am not yet convinced the Western Canadian route would be overly onerous for the OP. I really think he should call the College(s) directly if he is potentially interested in pursuing this. It may be that he is hooped, but the time required to properly investigate this would be minimal. The College staff in Alberta is 100% accessible. I suspect the BC College is too.

    All that said, I believe that a lawyer called south of the border would have to write and pass at least some exams administered by the Alberta Law Society. So maybe it is tougher than I thought for our medical friends south of the border to migrate north to practice here.

    Anyway, best of luck OP. Obviously an exciting point of your life. Try to relish the opportunity and potential, and not let it turn into some kind of soul sucking exercise. Lots of GREAT options exist!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I am not yet convinced the Western Canadian route would be overly onerous for the OP. I really think he should call the College(s) directly if he is potentially interested in pursuing this. It may be that he is hooped, but the time required to properly investigate this would be minimal. The College staff in Alberta is 100% accessible. I suspect the BC College is too.
    It is pretty onerous if OP has to get another year or two of residency and pay thousands of dollars of fees on top of it.

    I have a situation that could be considered fairly similar. There's a professional certification that I'm SO VERY close to being able to get, yet no cookie. In order to get it, I'd have to take another year or two's worth of very specific undergraduate level courses that you can't get just anywhere. Pretty much ONLY at state land grant universities that have forestry programs. Generally can't take them online, either.

    It's technically possible for me to go through the process and get those credits so I can get the professional certification (which WOULD give me a wider pool of jobs to choose from), but the process is pretty onerous because the nearest university that offers such courses is several hours' drive away from where I now live. In practicality, it just isn't going to happen. It's honestly easier to just search for jobs that don't require that professional certification. The field that would benefit from that professional certification is not a stable field right now, anyway, so there's extra incentive not to jump through those hoops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    It is pretty onerous if OP has to get another year or two of residency and pay thousands of dollars of fees on top of it.

    I have a situation that could be considered fairly similar. There's a professional certification that I'm SO VERY close to being able to get, yet no cookie. In order to get it, I'd have to take another year or two's worth of very specific undergraduate level courses that you can't get just anywhere. Pretty much ONLY at state land grant universities that have forestry programs. Generally can't take them online, either.

    It's technically possible for me to go through the process and get those credits so I can get the professional certification (which WOULD give me a wider pool of jobs to choose from), but the process is pretty onerous because the nearest university that offers such courses is several hours' drive away from where I now live. In practicality, it just isn't going to happen. It's honestly easier to just search for jobs that don't require that professional certification. The field that would benefit from that professional certification is not a stable field right now, anyway, so there's extra incentive not to jump through those hoops.
    I agree that it would be onerous, ASSUMING that the online account is correct. All I am suggesting is for the OP to take a half hour, get in touch with whatever College he wishes between Alberta and BC, and chat with someone in the know. Get the goods straight from the mouth of the Regulator. The online account may in fact be correct. But I would want to verify that first. Like I said, the Alberta College is super accessible and housed by very nice, helpful people. Not much downside in a phone call or two.

    NVM. I'm sure he already has been in touch if he is at all serious about Canada.

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    Thanks for more replies and info!
    Mookie, Spokane does seem to fit the bill for a lot of what we are looking for. I haven't been there, but will be investigating it further. It does have excellent weekend trip potential and decent access nearby. Cost of living also quite nice.

    Disclaimer: below has nothing to do with biking...

    mtnbkrmike,
    I tried calling the Royal College today, but alas they are closed on weekends. I am pretty certain that the aforementioned stipulations are accurate, but I agree it is worth calling to verify, as it would be worth pursuing any loopholes. A friend of mine is a U.S. ED doc and engaged to a Canadian from BC and they have investigated it pretty thoroughly and have found the above to be true. It seems to be a silly stipulation as many areas could use more well-trained docs and diversity of training and experience is a positive thing in my opinion. Hopefully the rules will change at some point during my career to allow me to migrate north. I visited Calgary/Canmore/Banff/Mt. Assiniboine a year ago (actually got engaged up there at Moraine Lake), got to check out the Canmore Folk Festival, and had an overall lovely time. I would strongly consider Canmore or surrounding areas if it were more feasible.

    Here is another forum discussing the topic:
    https://forums.studentdoctor.net/thr...anada.1116884/

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Which I outlined in post #44.
    Want a cookie?

    I guess MSU missed post #44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    The claim that it's windy all during the spring/fall with constant 40mph winds and that you need structures to withstand 100mph winds was way way overboard, it's nothing like that, unless maybe you are living at 12,600' on top of Humphrey's Peak or something.

    Heck, having ridden all over CO and other states too, the comment is still just so bizarre.
    Have you ever lived in the CO, UT, or AZ Rockies? High wind is for real, I guess you just have to live here a while and not just visit to experience it. It sucks. It sucks for a few months sometimes, but on the flip side it could totally be really good too. It's kind of like fire season. Some years is really bad. Some years is really wet with absolutely no wind.

    You can put "bora wind" into the google machine.

    "A strong, very cold high pressure system moving from the north and setting up west of the Rockies can generate a damaging wind down the leeward slopes of the mountains, known as a bora. These episodes feature widespread high winds from the west or northwest into the adjacent plains at speeds which can exceed 100 mph."

    It's so bad here that neighborhood HOA's ban the use of certain shingle types and fence construction due to not only damage to your own property, but others as shingles and fences become airborne or deadly. We have to have an architectural review if we want to put a shed on our property that has to be 100mph+ MFG wind rated. It's a reality.

    The wind can be so bad at times I want to move from Denver. Miserable, you can't even recreate outside and have fun. I have a cousin in Flagstaff and I've visited enough to know they get the same winds as we do. My uncle is a pilot on American Airlines and said Denver and SLC are the airports in the country pilots loath the most due to the high turbulence and unstable air pressure.

    Why is the wind so strong? - KRDO

    Bora Windstorm Whips Areas Near Denver With Gusts Over 100 mph « CBS Denver

    On the flip side, the opportunity is here in Denver to have a great lifestyle and make a lot of money compared to a mountain town. It's why it is one of the fastest growing cities. I'd have to take my job with me to live in a mountain town which has it's own issues. Hence the "poverty with a view" comments when you see all these types of posts. I think for the OP's they have medical degrees and can pretty much set up anywhere, but living in a mountain town isn't always the best. Mud season could suck, you are driving far to ride dry trails. I have two friends who moved back to Denver area from Durango. One needed an INTL airport for work (Durango too remote and $$$, was always driving to ABQ) and the other couldn't find a woman. All dudes he said. LOL. There is also something to be said for having a Trader Joe's and Costco down the road too, and having 10+ amazing ski resorts just a few hours drive west.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    Want a cookie?

    I guess MSU missed post #44.
    Sure, but be forewarned I'm not cheap and I'm a picky SOB when it comes to my cookies. They have to be dark chocolate chip with walnuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I haven't read the whole thread but not sure why you say "it is very difficult for doctors" to live in BC or Alberta. I can't speak for BC, but my sister and brother-in-law both practise in Alberta. She is a paediatric hematologist and he is a neurologist. They live like rock rock stars and work half the hours I do. In Calgary, there are a LOT of South African GPs, so I can't imagine that any out of country mobility issues that may exist, are all that onerous. Calgary and Edmonton truly have world class medical facilities and docs. I can give you whatever additional info you require, if you are interested in Alberta. If so, feel free to PM me.

    PS - Alberta is obviously not a good selection if water sports are near the top of the list interest-wise. That said, my sister and brother-in-law blast off somewhere warm for 2 weeks every 3 months, to get their water fix. This is in addition to all the other holidays they take.

    Biking wise, I have world class biking within 30 minutes of my driveway. I am surrounded by incredible biking of all levels and sub-genres, in Kananaskis Country, West Bragg Creek, Canmore, Banff and elsewhere, all within an hour's drive.

    Heading to Minnewanka shortly with my daughter (it opened up yesterday after being closed most of the summer since it is part of a wildlife corridor).

    Fernie, Golden, Revelstoke, Fernie and other places are within 3 hours.

    Skiing wise, there is Sunshine and Lake Louise locally, but Fernie is the best, if you like pow. Continual Whistler-like dumps throughout the season. I have rarely been there when there hasn't been at least one overnight hammering.

    Some of the best hiking around too. Photographers are artists from all over the world gravitate to Canmore because of the jagged nature of the Rockies in this specific location (much more jagged than the BC side). Some of the most beautiful terrain in the world, in my opinion, is literally 45 minutes away from my driveway.
    I'm not a doctor, but I like to "play doctor". Can I move to AB?

    Seriously, I'm insanely jealous of you Mike. I've ridden in the Kanasakis and it's beyond amazing. I'll certainly share your opinion that it's the most beautiful terrain in the world.

    Do you need geologists there?
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Yes, but Canada!
    Oh, hell yeah!
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I'm not a doctor, but I like to "play doctor". Can I move to AB?

    Seriously, I'm insanely jealous of you Mike. I've ridden in the Kanasakis and it's beyond amazing. I'll certainly share your opinion that it's the most beautiful terrain in the world.

    Do you need geologists there?
    Yes!!! As I know you know, oil and gas pricing has more or less been in the toilet since about 2013 or so but even so, HUGE demand for geologists. Calgary is the Houston of Canada! The head offices of all the significant oil and gas companies (some Canadian, others US owned, and yet others Chinese and Korean owned) are in Calgary. I remember about 7 or 8 years ago there was a massive shortage of geologists and geo-physicists here, which resulted in a bit of a panic in the oil and gas industry. There was a complete inelastic demand. I have a few friends who are geologists. They all live extremely nice lifestyles (with extra emphasis on the word "extremely"). No mobility issues either like with docs. Come on up!

    Wish I could post some pics from today's Lake Minnewanka ride with my daughter. Epic! I'm on my phone though so no possibility of pics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHeartMountains View Post
    Thanks for more replies and info!
    Mookie, Spokane does seem to fit the bill for a lot of what we are looking for. I haven't been there, but will be investigating it further. It does have excellent weekend trip potential and decent access nearby. Cost of living also quite nice.

    Disclaimer: below has nothing to do with biking...

    mtnbkrmike,
    I tried calling the Royal College today, but alas they are closed on weekends. I am pretty certain that the aforementioned stipulations are accurate, but I agree it is worth calling to verify, as it would be worth pursuing any loopholes. A friend of mine is a U.S. ED doc and engaged to a Canadian from BC and they have investigated it pretty thoroughly and have found the above to be true. It seems to be a silly stipulation as many areas could use more well-trained docs and diversity of training and experience is a positive thing in my opinion. Hopefully the rules will change at some point during my career to allow me to migrate north. I visited Calgary/Canmore/Banff/Mt. Assiniboine a year ago (actually got engaged up there at Moraine Lake), got to check out the Canmore Folk Festival, and had an overall lovely time. I would strongly consider Canmore or surrounding areas if it were more feasible.

    Here is another forum discussing the topic:
    https://forums.studentdoctor.net/thr...anada.1116884/
    Wow! Engaged at Moraine Lake. Crazy! What a stellar and unforgettable venue for your engagement. Congrats!

    I am so glad I was fortunate enough to have done Assiniboine the last year it was open for biking, likely 2 decades ago or so. It has never been reopened. We rolled in (literally) after a 7 hour climb on our bikes, dripping of sweat (and a bit of blood) only to be met by a European gang dressed in sun dresses and very expensive attire, who had helied in for a week. We had tea and crumpets at the tea house and then blew out of there. That trail had the best stretch of high altitude meadow singletrack of any ride I have ever done. What a shame the erosion got too over the top.

    Anyway, best of luck with the Alberta College of Physicains & Surgeons. Keep us posted!

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    Austin meets your requirements but is not west. Please don't move here though.


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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Have you ever lived in the CO, UT, or AZ Rockies? High wind is for real, I guess you just have to live here a while and not just visit to experience it. It sucks. It sucks for a few months sometimes, but on the flip side it could totally be really good too. It's kind of like fire season. Some years is really bad. Some years is really wet with absolutely no wind.

    You can put "bora wind" into the google machine.

    "A strong, very cold high pressure system moving from the north and setting up west of the Rockies can generate a damaging wind down the leeward slopes of the mountains, known as a bora. These episodes feature widespread high winds from the west or northwest into the adjacent plains at speeds which can exceed 100 mph."

    It's so bad here that neighborhood HOA's ban the use of certain shingle types and fence construction due to not only damage to your own property, but others as shingles and fences become airborne or deadly. We have to have an architectural review if we want to put a shed on our property that has to be 100mph+ MFG wind rated. It's a reality.

    The wind can be so bad at times I want to move from Denver. Miserable, you can't even recreate outside and have fun. I have a cousin in Flagstaff and I've visited enough to know they get the same winds as we do. My uncle is a pilot on American Airlines and said Denver and SLC are the airports in the country pilots loath the most due to the high turbulence and unstable air pressure.

    Why is the wind so strong? - KRDO

    Bora Windstorm Whips Areas Near Denver With Gusts Over 100 mph « CBS Denver

    On the flip side, the opportunity is here in Denver to have a great lifestyle and make a lot of money compared to a mountain town. It's why it is one of the fastest growing cities. I'd have to take my job with me to live in a mountain town which has it's own issues. Hence the "poverty with a view" comments when you see all these types of posts. I think for the OP's they have medical degrees and can pretty much set up anywhere, but living in a mountain town isn't always the best. Mud season could suck, you are driving far to ride dry trails. I have two friends who moved back to Denver area from Durango. One needed an INTL airport for work (Durango too remote and $$$, was always driving to ABQ) and the other couldn't find a woman. All dudes he said. LOL. There is also something to be said for having a Trader Joe's and Costco down the road too, and having 10+ amazing ski resorts just a few hours drive west.
    Yes, I know a thing or two about weather patterns and winds aloft. As you increase in elevation, you often get an increase in wind, but unless the topography is very smooth, ground friction creates a gradient where the wind speed is very low at the ground, if at all. Denver is out in the plains, not really in the mountains at all. As such, it's subject to different weather patterns than Flagstaff.

    Just looking at airports around Denver right now (not just international) I see 6kts, 6kts, 7kts, etc. These are relatively low numbers. Interestingly, it is more common at night to have a greater gradient that exists closer to the surface, due to the removal of the sun, which creates heating and turbulence which mixes the air and causes a more gradual gradient.

    Looking further into CO, Leadville is at 3kts, Berthoud pass is at 4kts.

    In case you are wondering, these are not "high winds". It is Fall BTW. Winds will kick up with frontal passages, as the result of pressure gradients and locally due to microburst type events.

    I'm not sure what mechanism you are referring to where you are claiming that the winds are always way high in Flagstaff, but I can tell you from my countless days spent there that the ground clutter breaks it up and unless there is a specific event happening, it's not windy, most of the time on rides there was no noticeable wind. Most of Flagstaff (really, all of it) is below treeline and only goes up to about 9K or so, whereas the mountains goes up another 3.6K. If you are say hiking up to the top of Agassiz or Humphrey's, it's likely at the top on any given day you would have some measurable wind, but not on every day. As soon as you descend a bit, you wouldn't be able to measure anything due to too much ground interference and friction.

    There are upslope and downslope mountain winds, but Flagstaff mountains are too small to have this to any big effect that would cause what is being claimed, generally, upslope and downslope winds are mild, except for a few isolated ones, like Santa Ana.

    Mountain wave mechanisms are well known. They also don't apply to something small and localized like Flagstaff. I've seen evidence of upper level turbulence above the San Fran peaks, but it doesn't affect ground elevations.

    And yes, I've been living in "the mountains" pretty much my entire life. It was the Sierras, then it was Arizona, now it's in Alaska. We get winds that scream down the Turnagain arm up to 70mph and more. Glaciers help to make downslope winds more extreme here and when combined with pressure gradients and fronts, they can get pretty extreme, but again, that's far from every day.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    ...It's also a high altitude town, so the summers are short and the winters are very cold...
    The elevation in Glenwood is only 500-600' higher than Fort Collins / Loveland. My wife grew up near Glenwood and the winters she experienced there were not nearly as cold as those we experienced when we lived at 9300' near Keystone.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Two hours!? I get upset when the traffic makes the normal 10 minute drive a 12 minute drive! 100 days a year and you'd spend 8.3 days on the road.
    This is reason I have pretty much given up skiing. I got spoiled living within a couple of miles of the lifts and skiing 100+ days every year for 7 years. Now a 2 or more hour drive just isn't worth it, especially when I am able to ride my bike year-round.

    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    ...On the flip side, the opportunity is here in Denver to have a great lifestyle and make a lot of money compared to a mountain town. It's why it is one of the fastest growing cities. I'd have to take my job with me to live in a mountain town which has it's own issues. Hence the "poverty with a view" comments when you see all these types of posts. I think for the OP's they have medical degrees and can pretty much set up anywhere, but living in a mountain town isn't always the best. Mud season could suck, you are driving far to ride dry trails. I have two friends who moved back to Denver area from Durango. One needed an INTL airport for work (Durango too remote and $$$, was always driving to ABQ) and the other couldn't find a woman. All dudes he said. LOL. There is also something to be said for having a Trader Joe's and Costco down the road too, and having 10+ amazing ski resorts just a few hours drive west.
    This is a good description of some of the reasons we returned to the front range after several seasons in one of those amazing ski resort areas west of Denver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Yes!!! As I know you know, oil and gas pricing has more or less been in the toilet since about 2013 or so but even so, HUGE demand for geologists. Calgary is the Houston of Canada! The head offices of all the significant oil and gas companies (some Canadian, others US owned, and yet others Chinese and Korean owned) are in Calgary. I remember about 7 or 8 years ago there was a massive shortage of geologists and geo-physicists here, which resulted in a bit of a panic in the oil and gas industry. There was a complete inelastic demand. I have a few friends who are geologists. They all live extremely nice lifestyles (with extra emphasis on the word "extremely"). No mobility issues either like with docs. Come on up!

    Wish I could post some pics from today's Lake Minnewanka ride with my daughter. Epic! I'm on my phone though so no possibility of pics.
    Could you please post pictures when you get home? I haven't yet been to Lake Minnewanka, but would love to ride there from what I've seen of it.

    I'd very much like to move there, but the wife and kid probably wouldn't. Also, all of my geologic experience is in the environmental field rather than petroleum.

    I'm guessing that there is also demand for environmental geologists due to all of the impacts of petroleum extraction, but the pay would be significantly less than the petroleum field.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Austin meets your requirements but is not west. Please don't move here though.


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    Pretty sure his username precludes Austin. Fun town, though!
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    To the OP; Bellingham offers everything that you're looking for except maybe jobs. Who knows though, maybe there are positions in your field there.

    The rain isn't as bad as you might think and it really helps make the trails tacky. When it's raining in Bellingham, there's usually a big dump of snow at Mt. Baker for skiing. It is colder there than Seattle which makes the summer weather more tolerable and more snow in the winter.

    The nearby North Cascades are beyond spectacular. There's a great community vibe, breweries galore, lots of bike and coffee shops, both sea and whitewater kayaking, diving, backpacking, etc.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    The elevation in Glenwood is only 500-600' higher than Fort Collins / Loveland. My wife grew up near Glenwood and the winters she experienced there were not nearly as cold as those we experienced when we lived at 9300' near Keystone.
    Hmm my bad. I never realized the elevation was only 500-600' above us. It being so close to Aspen I always thought it was higher. My experiences in Glenwood Springs were mainly during fall early winter. Some summer trips but the times I spent there in the fall early winters made it seem higher altitude than what it is. Good to hear the winters are somewhat mild, that's a plus. Either way the town itself does nothing for me. The surrounding mountains offer great recreation but it's still quite a drive to the big resorts other than Aspen / Snow-Mass.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I'm guessing that there is also demand for environmental geologists due to all of the impacts of petroleum extraction, but the pay would be significantly less than the petroleum field.
    Getting oil out of the ground always pays better the first time.

    Ten years ago I was talking to a grad school friend who works at Exxon/Mobil and he told me if I wanted a job he could get me one the following week. But it would have been in Houston... ugh. Calgary would have sounded much better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Could you please post pictures when you get home? I haven't yet been to Lake Minnewanka, but would love to ride there from what I've seen of it...
    Here are a couple of quick pics I snapped from the beach when we stopped.

    If you could live anywhere in the western U.S....-fullsizeoutput_23.jpg

    If you could live anywhere in the western U.S....-fullsizeoutput_24.jpg

    Unfortunately they don't showcase the trail itself, which is an undulating out-and-back singletrack carved in the side of the mountain, which largely follows the outline of the shore of Lake Minnewanka. Imagine what you see on the other side of the lake in the photos, as the terrain for the singletrack on the side of the lake I was on when I snapped the photos. Gerhard Lepp, in his classic book entitled "Mountain Biking in the Canadian Rockies", coined Minnewanka "the best legal singletrack in the Banff National Park". Since the original writing of the book, MANY more legal single tracks have opened in the Park, but in my view, Minnewanka remains a classic (although far from what I would describe as "spectacular", relative to the other stuff around).

    Needless to say, if you ever find yourself in the Calgary area, be sure to let me know. I'd be delighted to give you the ins and outs of all the local treasures, or accompany you on any rides, if you wish.

    That goes for anyone on this forum. Happy to fill you in, or show you around.

    As an aside, the entire environmental industry in Alberta is booming, largely due to the public media exposure of recent times of the oilsands, but also with respect to conventional extraction operations in the oil patch. While they were exceedingly slow to get out of the blocks (behind GreenPeace and the rest of the ENGOs), all of the oil and gas companies realized long ago that it is in their best interest to be environmentally responsible, which they are. If you wished to do so, I suspect you would have no trouble generating a handsome income here in no time flat.

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    You need to post up some ride reports over in Passion. That looks like a wonderful area to ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    You need to post up some ride reports over in Passion. That looks like a wonderful area to ride.
    Yes. I apologize OP for the brutal thread jack. Hell, this doesn't even have anything to do with the thread title. Sincerest apologies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Yes. I apologize OP for the brutal thread jack. Hell, this doesn't even have anything to do with the thread title. Sincerest apologies.
    I think the OP will be very interested in your earlier post. Its right on topic!
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    I didn't see it discussed but since it was on your list (and my apologies to any personal friends/neighbors who may read this)(and acknowledging that I wrote a different opinion here or on RBR just a couple years ago);

    After living here for 20 years, I'd be moving out of Bozeman tomorrow if my wife's livelihood wasn't so closely tied to local real estate and all the great friends I'd be missing. Why?

    - It HAS become too crowded, busy, and fast-paced relative to what attracted me in the first place. No one waves to each other anymore when driving past. The sense of closeness and community has eroded and was replaced with anonymity as the population boomed. We're well on track to be Portland in another 20 years.

    - Housing is expensive and workforce housing is almost non-existent. Read any of the "how will Bozeman grow" articles in our local paper.

    - The biking here is getting a bit better but one does tire of the 5-10 mile approach climbs that just about every ride requires.

    - I've also known a few nurses, IT, technicians, and insurance billing (e.g. my mom) staff who have stories of unfair labor/work practices at the Deaconess Hospital. Some of these are also documented in the paper.

    - Climate change is also f-cking with our ski season, as are my failing knees.

    And many locals may think I'm kidding, but I'm not, when I suggest you look into Anaconda, MT. Still a tiny, sleepy, has-been town but undergoing a revival. Close to Discovery Basin (ok skiing and good bike park), tons of access to mountains, CHEAP houses, friendly locals (excepting meth-heads), and only 15 minutes from Butte (bigger hospital) and under 2 hours from Bozeman (for all your shopping needs).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T View Post
    I didn't see it discussed but since it was on your list (and my apologies to any personal friends/neighbors who may read this)(and acknowledging that I wrote a different opinion here or on RBR just a couple years ago);

    After living here for 20 years, I'd be moving out of Bozeman tomorrow if my wife's livelihood wasn't so closely tied to local real estate and all the great friends I'd be missing. Why?

    - It HAS become too crowded, busy, and fast-paced relative to what attracted me in the first place. No one waves to each other anymore when driving past. The sense of closeness and community has eroded and was replaced with anonymity as the population boomed. We're well on track to be Portland in another 20 years.

    - Housing is expensive and workforce housing is almost non-existent. Read any of the "how will Bozeman grow" articles in our local paper.

    - The biking here is getting a bit better but one does tire of the 5-10 mile approach climbs that just about every ride requires.

    - I've also known a few nurses, IT, technicians, and insurance billing (e.g. my mom) staff who have stories of unfair labor/work practices at the Deaconess Hospital. Some of these are also documented in the paper.

    - Climate change is also f-cking with our ski season, as are my failing knees.

    And many locals may think I'm kidding, but I'm not, when I suggest you look into Anaconda, MT. Still a tiny, sleepy, has-been town but undergoing a revival. Close to Discovery Basin (ok skiing and good bike park), tons of access to mountains, CHEAP houses, friendly locals (excepting meth-heads), and only 15 minutes from Butte (bigger hospital) and under 2 hours from Bozeman (for all your shopping needs).
    I'd be Leary of Anaconda due to the lead/arsenic contamination throughout town from the smelter.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I'd be Leary of Anaconda due to the lead/arsenic contamination throughout town from the smelter.
    That's being/been cleaned up. I believe the residential areas were cleaned up about 10 years ago although they did discover a remaining hot spot in one of the playgrounds. Silver Bow Creek even has fish in it again.

    Given the age of the houses, you'll need to worry about lead based paint during any remodel though. And that's probably the case of any house (anywhere) of the age you'll find in Anaconda.

    I would limit my time at the MX track and the actual smelter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T View Post
    That's being/been cleaned up. I believe the residential areas were cleaned up about 10 years ago although they did discover a remaining hot spot in one of the playgrounds. Silver Bow Creek even has fish in it again.

    Given the age of the houses, you'll need to worry about lead based paint during any remodel though. And that's probably the case of any house (anywhere) of the age you'll find in Anaconda.

    I would limit my time at the MX track and the actual smelter.
    Is something like that ever really cleaned up? I guess 20 years down the road we'll find out.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Is something like that ever really cleaned up? I guess 20 years down the road we'll find out.
    My environmental geochemist friend who lives there feels comfortable with it. A number of coworkers at the environmental consulting firm I work at consider retiring there too.

    Not every type of contamination is mobile in the environment and is going to leach into water sources. Sometimes "cleaning up" is as simple as replacing the top 6" of soil in residential yards that kids would otherwise be crawling in. But, yeah, buyer beware.

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    Where on the Oregon coast is good? Gold Beach? I've been to Bandon but there's limited mountain biking there.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    Where on the Oregon coast is good? Gold Beach? I've been to Bandon but there's limited mountain biking there.
    AFAIK nowhere on the coast has much to ride. There are a few short hikes but they're too steep to want to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T View Post
    And many locals may think I'm kidding, but I'm not, when I suggest you look into Anaconda, MT. Still a tiny, sleepy, has-been town but undergoing a revival. Close to Discovery Basin (ok skiing and good bike park), tons of access to mountains, CHEAP houses, friendly locals (excepting meth-heads), and only 15 minutes from Butte (bigger hospital) and under 2 hours from Bozeman (for all your shopping needs).
    Another growing spot in Montana is the Flathead valley, Kalispell area. My wife grew up in Lakeside and her folks now live on the east side of the lake it Bigfork. It's beautiful from mid June until about now typically, this year the exception with all the fires. Winter is rough though, not for the faint of heart. But I can't see it being any worse than Calgary which is also mentioned in this thread. My wife never wants to move back though. She won't even let me have a wood burning stove in our basement as she still has nightmares of gathering wood for the winter in the summertime.

    We live in Fort Collins, Colorado which I guess can be scratched off your list since it's "technically Front Range" but we are so far north we are closer to Cheyenne Wyoming (35 minutes North) than Denver (1 hour south). In fact my neighbor is a doctor and drives to Cheyenne M, W, F for work up in Cheyenne. Fort Collins has a lot going for it - always on the "best places to live" list, super progressive, lots of bike paths, safe, and a lot of stuff to do with the Colorado State University being here. It's a very young feeling town. Lots of medical centers here too. Some of the best mtb riding (IMHO) is here, and there is Wyoming just north for even more close options with really good riding. I can be backing out of my driveway to getting out of my truck in Curt Gowdy State Park WYO in 1:07. 90 minutes North or West of Fort Collins we can be pretty remove really fast. So much to do here and we are outside of the Denver "rat race" as I call it. Down side is skiing - it is far - but we get the Snowy Range/ Steamboat pass which works out well. The drive to both is low key and chill. I-70 west is a joke, we are done sitting in traffic to go ski.

    Moving West was the best move I ever made. You will love it. I moved to CO from GA in 1999. Zero regrets. My parents are in Holly Springs NC now and I am not sure how I made it in the humidity for as long as I did when I go visit them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow View Post
    ...But I can't see it being any worse than Calgary which is also mentioned in this thread...
    Not sure what you are basing this comment on. We have Chinooks in Calgary. Winters here are mild and generally snow free (since all the snow is dumped west in the mountains). I remember a Christmas where I took my dog for a walk while I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, after opening up presents. No shit. We usually get 4 or 5 cold snaps a winter. Otherwise, mild. I know. I commute year round. I am all over the weather.

  98. #98
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    Spokane / Coeur d'Alene is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever been (Mt. Shasta being the other) but can be super cold in the winter, with lots of tourists in the summer.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow View Post
    Another growing spot in Montana is the Flathead valley, Kalispell area. My wife grew up in Lakeside and her folks now live on the east side of the lake it Bigfork. It's beautiful from mid June until about now typically, this year the exception with all the fires. Winter is rough though, not for the faint of heart. But I can't see it being any worse than Calgary which is also mentioned in this thread. My wife never wants to move back though. She won't even let me have a wood burning stove in our basement as she still has nightmares of gathering wood for the winter in the summertime.

    We live in Fort Collins, Colorado which I guess can be scratched off your list since it's "technically Front Range" but we are so far north we are closer to Cheyenne Wyoming (35 minutes North) than Denver (1 hour south). In fact my neighbor is a doctor and drives to Cheyenne M, W, F for work up in Cheyenne. Fort Collins has a lot going for it - always on the "best places to live" list, super progressive, lots of bike paths, safe, and a lot of stuff to do with the Colorado State University being here. It's a very young feeling town. Lots of medical centers here too. Some of the best mtb riding (IMHO) is here, and there is Wyoming just north for even more close options with really good riding. I can be backing out of my driveway to getting out of my truck in Curt Gowdy State Park WYO in 1:07. 90 minutes North or West of Fort Collins we can be pretty remove really fast. So much to do here and we are outside of the Denver "rat race" as I call it. Down side is skiing - it is far - but we get the Snowy Range/ Steamboat pass which works out well. The drive to both is low key and chill. I-70 west is a joke, we are done sitting in traffic to go ski.

    Moving West was the best move I ever made. You will love it. I moved to CO from GA in 1999. Zero regrets. My parents are in Holly Springs NC now and I am not sure how I made it in the humidity for as long as I did when I go visit them.

    Because our area isn't growing fast enough you had to drop this tidbit in here.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tea666tea View Post
    Spokane / Coeur d'Alene is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever been (Mt. Shasta being the other) but can be super cold in the winter, with lots of tourists in the summer.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    I agree with Spokane / Coeur d'Alene being a great place. Beautiful forested area with lakes and streams everywhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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