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Is Colorado Worth It?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Question??

Postby SurfNTurf » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:52 pm

mts4602 wrote:I have a question for anyone who moved to Colorado alone, without a gf or wife and with no connections at all to anyone in CO.

How and where did you meet new friends?

I am in a very similar situation to the orginal poster and this is my biggest fear, moving out to CO and having no friends, not meeting anyone and deeply regretting my decision. I am a shy person and don't meet new friends easily. Once I do it's great, but initially it's hard for me.

Matt


I moved to Colorado hardly knowing a soul (and previously to Boston and Farmington, NM in the same manner). It's not too hard to make friends in a new city, you just have to be proactive. Find a good couple of roommates, join professional organizations within your field, and use sites like 14ers.com and Meetup.com to continuously meet people with similar interests. Some of my best friends in all three places I've met through work, as well.

And to answer the thread's original question: hell yes Colorado is worth it. I finally found a place I want to stay!
Many Miles to Go (Blog)

“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby Carl » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:01 pm

Congrats on the job offer Nick. I've only been to Rock Springs once but I wouldn't want to live there unless I knew it was only for a year or so, in which case it would be a nice opportunity to explore some great skiing and climbing within a few hour drive. Hope you enjoy BJs.

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Re: Question??

Postby whit12 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:05 pm

SurfNTurf wrote:
mts4602 wrote:I have a question for anyone who moved to Colorado alone, without a gf or wife and with no connections at all to anyone in CO.

How and where did you meet new friends?

I am in a very similar situation to the orginal poster and this is my biggest fear, moving out to CO and having no friends, not meeting anyone and deeply regretting my decision. I am a shy person and don't meet new friends easily. Once I do it's great, but initially it's hard for me.

Matt


I moved to Colorado hardly knowing a soul (and previously to Boston and Farmington, NM in the same manner). It's not too hard to make friends in a new city, you just have to be proactive. Find a good couple of roommates, join professional organizations within your field, and use sites like 14ers.com and Meetup.com to continuously meet people with similar interests. Some of my best friends in all three places I've met through work, as well.

And to answer the thread's original question: hell yes Colorado is worth it. I finally found a place I want to stay!


I have to agree! I'm kind of shy and I moved out here knowing no one and some of my best friends are the room mates I met on craigslist. Get involved with 14ers hikes. It seems like many people who are out here aren't from here, so everyone's looking to meet more people! Colorado was the best move I ever made. Love this state!
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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby lordhelmut » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:16 pm

Hope you enjoy BJs.


Ha!

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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby SkiBum1287 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:05 pm

Wesley wrote:Congrats on the job offer Nick. I've only been to Rock Springs once but I wouldn't want to live there unless I knew it was only for a year or so, in which case it would be a nice opportunity to explore some great skiing and climbing within a few hour drive. Hope you enjoy BJs.


Haha, who doesn't? With all the input from everyone, I think I'll probably go with Brighton.

You going skiing this weekend Carl?
Snow!

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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby Carl » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:26 pm

SkiBum1287 wrote:You going skiing this weekend Carl?


I'm actually planning to ski 7 out of the next 9 days.

Tomorrow: low angle pow day at BP
Sunday: pillow slaying session at undisclosed location
Monday: 14er, maybe La Plata or Humbolt

you're welcome to join whenever

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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby Brian Thomas » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:00 pm

Yes, Colorado is worth it. Sometimes I feel like I should have moved here a decade ago, but having moved here when I did, I think I appreciate it more now than I could have 10 years ago. I think about my life in Ohio with nostalgia, sadness, regrets. I think about my life here now as infinite possibilities...
"I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them" - Bob Dylan

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It seems this thread has been hijacked often enough

Postby gaiaman » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:32 pm

So I don't feel too guilty asking...

Any educators on the board have tips/ recommendations for school districts to work for? My wife and I both teach- she special ed k-12 and me elementary. We looked a bit last year in and around Fort Collins, and this year we are willing to consider as far south as Evergreen/ Conifer. We don't want to live in Denver but it's starting to look like if we want to find jobs we just might have to consider the western suburbs.

We are fully committed to moving this year, provided we find jobs beforehand. Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated!

Signed,
A Desperate Mid-Westerner

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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby JTOlson26 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:36 pm

I feel personally torn between moving back to Colorado and staying in Ohio after i graduate with a teaching license in Chemistry and Physics. To make a long story short, i was born in Ohio, moved to Colorado when i was 5, moved back to Ohio when i was 12, and now jump at any opportunity to visit Colorado which is usually 1-2 times a year.

I had a great high school experience here in South West Ohio and would love to go back and teach at my Alma mater as well as be a track/cross country and wrestling coach. The people around the small town in which i spent my secondary school days and the teachers and coaches that enriched the experience hold a spot in my heart that makes me want to settle down there and teach. My parents and grandparents also play a big role in me wanting to stay in that area. My grandparents are, thankfully, in wonderful health at the ages of 78 and 75 and i would love to spend as much time with them as possible. It is sometimes hard to face inevitability but they won't be around forever and i want to make the most of that time. The same goes for my parents. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if they ended up moving back to Colorado once they are retired, both as schoolteachers.

As far as Colorado goes, kin and fondness for school locations aside, there is no other place i would rather be. During my adolescent years living in Woodland Park, my father instilled in me a love for the mountains and all of their subsidiaries that burns with such fervor that not a day goes by in which i don't ponder and reflect on all the good times i have had, as well as the good times to be had, in the great state of Colorado.

So, do i think i will once again live in Colorado at some point during my life? Absolutely. Do i think i will move their immediately after i graduate from college in another year and a half? Maybe not. However, is Colorado worth it? Unequivocally, yes.

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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby Scott P » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:41 pm

Brighton - Close to DIA, still in CO (which the longer I'm here, the more I like), familiar territory, moderate temperatures (relatively).
Vernal - Something new, somewhat near Wasatch and all their great snow, low cost of living, DNM in my backyard.
Rock Springs - 100 miles south of the Wind Rivers?

Thanks in advance!


Personally, I would pick Vernal if the goal is being close to great outdoor activities, but it does have drawbacks. Here are some of the main ones:

#1. Winters are somewhat cold and when an inversion sets in it can go weeks without reaching freezing.

#2. The majority of the people in Vernal tend to be quite anti-wilderness.

#3. Vernal is an oil and gas town and has the feel of one, though it is cleaner than most mining towns (such as Craig).

Vernal is right where the mountains meet the desert, so in very close proximity it has alpine scenes, river rafting, petroglyphs and pictographs, plenty of slot canyons and huge cliffs. You don't have to go to the Wasatch to get good powder as Vernal sits right at the base of the Uinta Mountains, but that part of the Uintas isn't as rugged as the Northwest section. The Eastern Uintas are more like most of the Sawatch, but in a wilder state (due to lack of mining). The NW Uintas (which are more like the Elk Range) are a long way from Vernal. Dinosaur area is pretty cool and there are some small quirky places such as Fantasy Canyon:

http://www.summitpost.org/fantasy-canyon/394820

Vernal has another great advantage. You can call me to go do stuff and to show you around. :mrgreen: At least until I get out of this place and move.

Rock Springs has the same drawbacks as Vernal and has a similar climate. The access to outdoor activities is less convenient. Most of the close places don't have as good of scenery as the best areas around Vernal and you have to travel farther to get to the good stuff. It does have one advantage over Vernal (or Brighton) though, no state taxes.

The Rock Springs area has some really cool stuff around, you just have to travel farther to see it. There are some interesting things to see around Flaming Gorge. The Red Desert has some interesting badlands and scenery, but it isn't on the same scale as say Dinosaur National Monument. The access to sothern Wind Rivers is as you say, about 100 miles so that is an attraction. I haven't seen any place in Colorado or Utah in an alpine sense that can compare with the area around Cirque of the Towers. One disadvantage about Rock Springs is that access to the backcountry in winter isn't easy since the mountain roads typically aren't plowed. If you want to climb something above timberline in winter, you are talking a multi-day trip. Acess to most other hiking/climbing areas is also somewhat limited in winter. Vernal is similar in that regard, but on the plus side in winter it's 2-3 hours to the San Rafael Swell and less than four to Moab so you can at least escape the winter that way and there are some places you can access in winter around town.

As far as Brighton goes, I've worked several winters in the area and it doesn't have near the access to the Wilderness as Vernal, but it's a big city, so it's a whole different animal altogether. Someone else can talk about Brighton. As said, Rock Springs is like Vernal without as good of access to the backcountry, but with no state taxes.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: It seems this thread has been hijacked often enough

Postby Mountainspirit » Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:02 pm

gaiaman wrote:Any educators on the board have tips/ recommendations for school districts to work for? My wife and I both teach- she special ed k-12 and me elementary. We looked a bit last year in and around Fort Collins, and this year we are willing to consider as far south as Evergreen/ Conifer. We don't want to live in Denver but it's starting to look like if we want to find jobs we just might have to consider the western suburbs.


How 'bout one NOT to work for . . .

Jefferson County Public Schools - a district with over 100,000 students and over 12,000 employees. I'm a speech-language pathologist who worked for them for one year and one year only. Regular ed wasn't too bad for the kids, but special ed was a complete joke (unless you enjoy stepping back in time 25 years). It's a district that teaches for a test (CSAP), and offers little foundational skills other than what's on the standardized tests (and that's why they rank high). If you think you're stretched thin in your job now, give Jeffco a chance and just wait. They are not forward thinking nor considerate to their employees.

If you want to broaden your horizons and feel as though you're actually making a difference, work for any one of the surrounding smaller districts if you can.

Ones to consider . . .
Boulder
Adams
Littleton

Do your research and if you can, ask to shadow some one to get a feel as to whether it will be a good fit for you or not.

OH, and YES - Colorado IS worth it!
"I sang out from a mountain top, out to the valley down below
Because my cup doth overflow
With the beauty of the days gone by." - Van Morrison

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Re: Is Colorado Worth It?

Postby SkiBum1287 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:12 pm

Scott P wrote:
Brighton - Close to DIA, still in CO (which the longer I'm here, the more I like), familiar territory, moderate temperatures (relatively).
Vernal - Something new, somewhat near Wasatch and all their great snow, low cost of living, DNM in my backyard.
Rock Springs - 100 miles south of the Wind Rivers?

Thanks in advance!


Personally, I would pick Vernal if the goal is being close to great outdoor activities, but it does have drawbacks. Here are some of the main ones:

#1. Winters are somewhat cold and when an inversion sets in it can go weeks without reaching freezing.

#2. The majority of the people in Vernal tend to be quite anti-wilderness.

#3. Vernal is an oil and gas town and has the feel of one, though it is cleaner than most mining towns (such as Craig).

Vernal is right where the mountains meet the desert, so in very close proximity it has alpine scenes, river rafting, petroglyphs and pictographs, plenty of slot canyons and huge cliffs. You don't have to go to the Wasatch to get good powder as Vernal sits right at the base of the Uinta Mountains, but that part of the Uintas isn't as rugged as the Northwest section. The Eastern Uintas are more like most of the Sawatch, but in a wilder state (due to lack of mining). The NW Uintas (which are more like the Elk Range) are a long way from Vernal. Dinosaur area is pretty cool and there are some small quirky places such as Fantasy Canyon:

http://www.summitpost.org/fantasy-canyon/394820

Vernal has another great advantage. You can call me to go do stuff and to show you around. :mrgreen: At least until I get out of this place and move.

Rock Springs has the same drawbacks as Vernal and has a similar climate. The access to outdoor activities is less convenient. Most of the close places don't have as good of scenery as the best areas around Vernal and you have to travel farther to get to the good stuff. It does have one advantage over Vernal (or Brighton) though, no state taxes.

The Rock Springs area has some really cool stuff around, you just have to travel farther to see it. There are some interesting things to see around Flaming Gorge. The Red Desert has some interesting badlands and scenery, but it isn't on the same scale as say Dinosaur National Monument. The access to sothern Wind Rivers is as you say, about 100 miles so that is an attraction. I haven't seen any place in Colorado or Utah in an alpine sense that can compare with the area around Cirque of the Towers. One disadvantage about Rock Springs is that access to the backcountry in winter isn't easy since the mountain roads typically aren't plowed. If you want to climb something above timberline in winter, you are talking a multi-day trip. Acess to most other hiking/climbing areas is also somewhat limited in winter. Vernal is similar in that regard, but on the plus side in winter it's 2-3 hours to the San Rafael Swell and less than four to Moab so you can at least escape the winter that way and there are some places you can access in winter around town.

As far as Brighton goes, I've worked several winters in the area and it doesn't have near the access to the Wilderness as Vernal, but it's a big city, so it's a whole different animal altogether. Someone else can talk about Brighton. As said, Rock Springs is like Vernal without as good of access to the backcountry, but with no state taxes.


Wow, Scott. Thanks for the very in depth break down! I think I have pretty much ruled out Rock Springs, but this just brought Vernal up a bit closer to Brighton. I'm also still hoping for a Farmington, NM opportunity with another company, so no decision has been made.

Thanks everybody for all the advice and, yes, I've found Colorado to be quite worth it over the last 4 years since the original post!
Snow!

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