Is Colorado Worth It?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby SkiBum1287 » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:23 am

So, I've lived in Illinois all my life. Sucks to suck. But ever since I went to RMNP at age 8, I've been dying to move to Colorado. So then college rolls around and provides a great excuse to get out of the horrible Midwest.

Though I haven't summited any 14ers yet (two attempts, two failures) I took full advantage of living in the Front Range and got a good 40 days of skiing in, even though it was just my first "real" year of skiing (assuming none of you, or me, count Illinois hills as skiing). I've been reading on this site quite a bit for the past 5 months, hoping to gain advice and wisdom. Now that I'm back at home for the summer, all I want to do is climb.

My question is: Is it worth moving to Colorado and abandoning my family, friends, etc. for better scenery? (My answer is obviously yes, but I can't convince other people of that.)

Oh and suggestions for good climbs would be awesome for when I get back in August, because I plan on climbing at least six 14ers this year, maybe even a ski decent (one thing at a time).

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Postby coloradokevin » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:32 am

I know your feeling. I moved to Colorado about 4 years ago, after college(I'm originally from Ohio). It's tough to leave family that far behind, but you sort of have to live your life too.

I don't think my family would want it any other way either... They knew I loved it out here, not in OH. Plus, it makes you appreciate family more if you see them just twice each year!

My suggestion: move out and try it when you finish college... You can always move back, but it is much harder to move to a new area once you are established in your home state of IL!

Oh, and it never hurts to meet your spouse in your home state! My fiance is also from OH, so it makes planning trips back home pretty easy (she also has family to see there, and thus has a motivation to go back there to visit) :wink: In fact, we just drove back there last week for a visit.

Good luck with all of that!
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Postby Aspen Summit » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:09 am

SkiBum, u're not "abandoning [your] family, friends" -- they're still there and beside you'll make new ones in the Rockies. Meet a girl, settle down, and don't forget to leave the light on for other "skibums" who long for a place in Colorado.

You've many peaks to choose your good climb. I like Harvard, but I have not climbed many to say, "This has the best view." I was too busy showing others from the East Coast and midWest those I had high-altitude hiked.

You'll be fine, Nick! One of my best friends has your name; he graduated near the top of his class but loves the state too much to move so he worked at Home Depo till this year when he opened up his bike shop. I've been there but now works in Pennsylvania as a court master (aka, a judge) but I've several awesome people to visit over there and a family house to welcome me back for a short visit. The wisdom here is "Home is where your heart takes you." It should take me back to Colorado someday. And oh what a day that will be!!! :D

Follow Your Path! Cross ALL Boundaries!! AND RIDE THE EARTH, BABY!!!
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Postby jimlup » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:12 am

The key will be employement once you finish school. Depending on your field, you kinda have to go where the jobs are. If Colorado is your long term plan, pick a field that has a high employement prospect in CO.

That would also be true about summers. Try finding a job in Colorado next summer - that'll give you the taste of life away from home but with the mountains.

If it were me - I'd say family, smamily... I'll live in the mountains! Particularly if I were 20 and didn't have "a career" and wife and kids yet! Of course if mom and dad are paying the tuition bills, you might want to be carefully diplomatic about it :?
"Just because you have the gear does not mean that you are a Mountaineer!" My daughter's cynical comment about my hobby...
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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby 2_Salukis » Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:58 am

SkiBum1287 wrote: (My answer is obviously yes, but I can't convince other people of that.)

JMHO, but it's your life, not anyone else's.

Your current friends and family decided to pick Illinois, which is fine - for them. It's not like there's not I-70 or airports in both states.

(BTW, my life was similar, being from WI. Guess what? I left and have lived in 7 states and 2 foreign countries. And ~25 years later, my folks are down in Florida, siblings in MI and FL, and most other friends have spread to the winds too. Sure I'd like to go back and see the old stomping grounds someday, but I'm still too busy enjoying my life.)[/i]
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Well worth it

Postby summitridge » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:07 am

I moved from Ohio in 2001 leaving everyone behind--I knew no one here. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I still visit my family and they visit here and love it. Many of my friends in Ohio thought I was crazy, that is until they visited me and saw the splendor that is Colorado.

Make the move and don't look back if this is what you want!
"What an odd sport we inhabit, where bits of obscure rock in remote locations are recognizable." — Richard Pawlowicz.
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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby Layne Bracy » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:13 am

SkiBum1287 wrote:My question is: Is it worth moving to Colorado and abandoning my family, friends, etc. for better scenery? (My answer is obviously yes, but I can't convince other people of that.)

The broader question is whether you want to live your life in your hometown so that you can be close to your family for the rest of your life.

My cousins all chose to do that. They attended in-state schools in Utah, married other locals, and are raising their families in close proximity. They enjoy weekly Sunday dinners together, etc. and seem very happy.

My parents left the nest, so to speak. As a result, my siblings are scattered from east to west coast as career paths have led us in different directions. We do frequent phone calls and video chat, but get-togethers are limited to a few times per year. We're happy with this as well and don't feel like we've "abandoned" each other.

Bottom line - choose what feels right for you. If you leave Illinois, you'll have to accept that it will change your relationships somewhat. If you stay, you may be sacrificing opportunities elsewhere.

You are an adult and don't need to "convince other people" to accept your own life decisions. If you want to give a brief explanation for your decisions to your family, fine, but getting involved in long arguments about it is not constructive.

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was. We do not possess anything in this world, least of all other people. We only imagine that we do. Our friends, our lovers, our spouses, even our children are not ours; they belong only to themselves. Possessive and controlling friendships and relationships can be as harmful as neglect. - Alison Willcocks, based on ancient Chinese proverb

Wow, that's a lot of pyschobabble before 7am!
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Postby dunking_deutschman » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:26 am

Wow. This is my dilema and me feelings exactly. My soul has been yearning for the mountains ever since my first visit to Colorado when I was 11. Lately my soul has been screaming for the mountains and I am now finally making plans to move to Colorado. Yet there are anchors (my parents and my wife's parents both live here in North Texas and my wife and I just had our first baby). Most of our siblings are here too. We have no real friends and no family in Colorado and that scares my wife. Yet every summer, I spend more and more time in the high country. Sometimes I drive 1200 miles round trip just for a weekend of hiking. Or snowshoeing. I have heard it can be difficult to make a living, but I think I must follow what my soul is obviously telling me to do-- go for it and a way will open for me. the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen - Genesis 8:5
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Postby zeroload » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:55 am

Moved here from Illinois 7 years ago. I spent 7 years educating myself so I could do just that. I go home about every 6 months and over the years I have realized that I have not really been missing anhtyhing. Phone calls and some quick weeend trips give me my fill of old friends and family. I found I belong here.

You know those people with the "Native" stickers on the cars. I tell them that my body may not have been native but my heart is. I think that is what bonds us Coloradans, our love for this place, that gives me my family here.


2_Salukis SIU Alum???? Graduated in 2000
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Postby Skitch14 » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:14 am

I also second these thoughts. My wife and I dont have any kids yet, but both our families are here in DFW. My wife also loves the mountains and is also considering the move, luckily. Right now some personal stuff is keeping us from considering an immediate move. I also find myself doing the 1500 mile roundtrip weekend thing to the mountains.

Moving would also make it hard for me to make it to A&M Football games, but I bet I can manage...
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Postby Aubrey » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:43 am

More than anything else, finding a job will be the critical factor in your equation. What if you can’t find a good job in Colorado, but you can find one in Ohio? Or, would you be willing to take a low-paying job outside of your field just to live in Colorado? Or, what if you find a job in Colorado in your field but the same job in Ohio pays 30 percent more?

A lot of people are willing to take a “pay cut” and live in overpriced housing JUST to live in Colorado. If everyone that wanted to move to Colorado could move to Colorado (i.e., their job was here), the population of this state would triple overnight.

Personally, I think Colorado is worth it (assuming you like to ski, hike, mountain bike, etc.). But if the job situation changes, I may not have a choice but to move. There’s a point where your job situation and/or pay scale unbalances the equation.

There are cities we could move to right now where we'd make 30 percent more money and pay half as much for housing, but I’m willing to suffer through exorbitant real estate and sacrifice pay to be here. There comes a point, though ... everyone has a price.

And as far as family goes, Frontier flies direct to Akron and Dayton. :wink: I say fly from the nest and make your own life.
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Postby spaceman » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:46 am

I grew up in Boston and then went to school in California. After working in Los Angeles for 7 years, my wife (who grew up here) and I decided we were moving to CO. We then found jobs that we have both since left, but they got us here and we are not going anywhere anymore. I've told my family if they want to be closer they will have to move here. You have to do what is right for you and your family and I can't think of a better place to be than in Colorado. We also have an Au Pair from Thailand and she is telling us all the time how lucky she is to be in Colorado. She had a friend who is in New York come visit and she didn't want to go home.

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