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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After having a child, I have a growing urge to relocate from Fruita, CO for a variety of non-MTB related reasons. First priority is not MTB trails, but after living in Fruita I will not live somewhere further than 20 miles from at least one high quality trail system. Also not interested in living near a huge city. Curious to hear opinions on the following places (and also other worthy suggestions). These are ranked by my current preference, but I have never actually been to any of these places.

1) Greater Lake Tahoe area - outskirts of Reno, Carson City, or the far east/northeast outskirts of Sacramento. I need a hospital to work at as an RN, but would rather live 20-30 miles away from work to be closer to trails.

2) Prescott, AZ. I love Cave Creek / the greater Phoenix area for riding in the winter. I also love Sedona / Flagstaff, but obviously those are less affordable than Prescott.

3) Los Alamos, NM.
4) Taos, NM
5) Greater Santa Fe area

Lots of interest in NM, just never been there. Also some minor interest in Southern CA, but nothing really seems affordable there and also close to excellent trails (but what do I know!)
 

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Check out Tucson, AZ.
 

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1) Greater Lake Tahoe area - outskirts of Reno, Carson City, or the far east/northeast outskirts of Sacramento. I need a hospital to work at as an RN, but would rather live 20-30 miles away from work to be closer to trails.
I spent 6 months in tne north-east outskirts of Sacramento (Roseville) in the early 90's and it was not far enough from Sacramento and not close enough to Tahoe. I'd go at least as far east as Auburn if you end up in that area.
 

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As a Santa Fe resident, I could provide a wealth of insight, but you kinda limit your rationale. All in all, NM is an interesting place--uninhabited, poor, dirty on the surface, but a pretty amazing place to live once you dive in under the surface. Very different than the others you listed for various reasons, so would need more info, but excellent and uncrowded riding practically year-round and always something interesting going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I figured that more detail was needed but also wasn't sure how many people would read an extra 200 words with an already long post.

In short, the county is hyper Christian / right wing (and IMO too many are hypocrital, not good people that just use this as a facade). Along with that there is a lot of willful ignorance, which is a bad combination with an already under-educated area. There is almost no diversity, and this place sorely needs it. The county also has the highest suicide rates in the state, along with other poor public health measures that correspond with sheltered kids (high STD rates, teen pregnancy, tobacco and drug/substance abuse).

Also it just gets so damn hot here, and stays hot for a long time. Its honestly not much cooler here than the Phoenix area. Conversely in the winter it stays below freezing for way too long for how hot it gets. The nearby high elevation trails leave a lot to be desired. I would prefer Montrose in that regard, but the cultural things I highlighted are worse there.

I love the idea of Fruita more than the actual lived experience.
 

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I figured that more detail was needed but also wasn't sure how many people would read an extra 200 words with an already long post.

In short, the county is hyper Christian / right wing (and IMO too many are hypocrital, not good people that just use this as a facade). Along with that there is a lot of willful ignorance, which is a bad combination with an already under-educated area. There is almost no diversity, and this place sorely needs it. The county also has the highest suicide rates in the state, along with other poor public health measures that correspond with sheltered kids (high STD rates, teen pregnancy, tobacco and drug/substance abuse).

Also it just gets so damn hot here, and stays hot for a long time. Its honestly not much cooler here than the Phoenix area. Conversely in the winter it stays below freezing for way too long for how hot it gets. The nearby high elevation trails leave a lot to be desired. I would prefer Montrose in that regard, but the cultural things I highlighted are worse there.

I love the idea of Fruita more than the actual lived experience.
Ft. Collins/Loveland have great schools, and are not as ******* as Mesa County. They are not as far left whack as Boulder, either. Great riding nearby, good economy, about as expensive as Fruita at this point. They are only 4-500' higher in elevation than Fruita, but not as hot. Not a ton of snow, but there is wind.

Boulder is a whole different level of loony, in the opposite direction of Grand. Be careful what you wish for.

I'm curious why you didn't mention Durango? Not as hot, only a little colder in winter but people ride all year. Lots of progressive people. Paonia is a pretty non-******* town, also Mancos, Ridgway, Salida.

I guess if "diversity" is an issue, you aren't going to get "diversity" anywhere in CO, unless you consider Pueblo to be diverse. It is over 50% Hispanic.
 

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No idea what your budget is but Tahoe and Sacramento are big $$$. Tons of Californians are fleeing the state for that Reno-Carson City-Minden area the last few years and have been running to Prescott longer than that. Both those areas tend to lean conservative as well...which is a plus for me and we've already got land in Prescott to build on ourselves in 2020. However, because of that, prices are going up.

I've only been to NM to ride once but I've driven through many areas of NM on several occasions....wouldn't live there for free.

If you're okay with the whack-job politics of CA, you'll definitely make the most money as an RN in CA. I have (2) friends that work for Kaiser here in San Diego and they are making over $60 an hour with unlimited OT available.

What about Durango? Definitely doesn't lean conservative, has a great hospital that pays pretty well, a huge variety of riding options as well as access to whitewater diversions.
 
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My only visit to Asheville was quite lovely. I did not get to ride unfortunately - but the trails do look stellar from videos I have seen. All that said, I can't do that kind of humidity.

I really like Durango, just don't know that a teacher and RN can afford living there to a comparable level of comfort that we can in Fruita. I did a preliminary Zillow scan of Tahoe area after you said it is $$$, and that looks to be slightly more affordable than Durango (when the higher pay is factored in). Even San Diego area could be more affordable if I could make $60/hr.
 

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Wellll...

The mountain west is not diverse. A hardware store in a rich little Colorado town had a picture of a man in black face displayed. The store had the right to display it, but I had the right to post it on social media. We had a discussion and worked it out. The point I’m trying to make is most people will try to be reasonable and you will find a holes (the store manager is not a a hole) everywhere.

1. Santa Fe
2. Salt Lake City - I know!!!! Big younger demographic. Big university. The Mormons are respectful and don’t shove their beliefs down your throat but of course they are the dominant political force.
3. Bend
4. Boise?
5. Cottonwood- red opposed to Sedona blue. Most people are very nice. Large Hispanic population. Small Indian reservation. We need nurses. I’m not sure about teachers. Cost of living - meh. Very close to Flag which I think is purple/blue.


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I figured that more detail was needed but also wasn't sure how many people would read an extra 200 words with an already long post.

In short, the county is hyper Christian / right wing (and IMO too many are hypocrital, not good people that just use this as a facade). Along with that there is a lot of willful ignorance, which is a bad combination with an already under-educated area. There is almost no diversity, and this place sorely needs it. The county also has the highest suicide rates in the state, along with other poor public health measures that correspond with sheltered kids (high STD rates, teen pregnancy, tobacco and drug/substance abuse).

Also it just gets so damn hot here, and stays hot for a long time. Its honestly not much cooler here than the Phoenix area. Conversely in the winter it stays below freezing for way too long for how hot it gets. The nearby high elevation trails leave a lot to be desired. I would prefer Montrose in that regard, but the cultural things I highlighted are worse there.

I love the idea of Fruita more than the actual lived experience.
If anywhere in Colorado is too conservative for you, you definitely don't want to move anywhere in Arizona, and if you move to New Mexico, you won't want to leave Taos, Santa Fe, ABQ (not its suburbs, just ABQ) or the Las Cruces area. I also have serious doubt that anywhere near Fruita, Colorado is "hyper Christian / right wing" having visited there and attended the Fat Tire Festival where I got to drink beer in the middle of the street. Maybe you really do need to move to California.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I actually prefer Conservative policies (states rights, small government) just see it overshadowed locally by the cramming of an alleged moral high ground down everyone else's throat (extreme pro-life, anti-LGBT, etc etc)

Appreciate all the input, clearly I have some more homework to do. In a perfect world I would be able to do some travel contracts in all of these places, but the reality is I probably won't.
 

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My only visit to Asheville was quite lovely. I did not get to ride unfortunately - but the trails do look stellar from videos I have seen. All that said, I can't do that kind of humidity.

I really like Durango, just don't know that a teacher and RN can afford living there to a comparable level of comfort that we can in Fruita. I did a preliminary Zillow scan of Tahoe area after you said it is $$$, and that looks to be slightly more affordable than Durango (when the higher pay is factored in). Even San Diego area could be more affordable if I could make $60/hr.
Durango proper would be tough to buy a house for a RN and teacher, however, you could consider Bayfield, Durango West I and II areas as well as Mancos area as satellite communities to Durango. If you're willing to forego city water and use a cistern up in the hills 20+ minutes out of town, real estate prices drop quickly as well. (You'd need 4WD vehicles with plow attachments for the winters though since plowing is less frequent). You could also look at trailer parks out in the Animas Valley, though the monthly slot fees make that a less desirable option.
 

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If anywhere in Colorado is too conservative for you, you definitely don't want to move anywhere in Arizona, and if you move to New Mexico, you won't want to leave Taos, Santa Fe, ABQ (not its suburbs, just ABQ) or the Las Cruces area. I also have serious doubt that anywhere near Fruita, Colorado is "hyper Christian / right wing" having visited there and attended the Fat Tire Festival where I got to drink beer in the middle of the street. Maybe you really do need to move to California.
The only real "liberal" portions of CO are north and west of 70 and 25, plus Pueblo, and some of the ski resort areas. The vast majority of the rural areas are pretty damn conservative, to the tune of ~R+20, resulting in an anti-federal lands/anti-National Parks jackass like Doug Lanborn being my congressional representative.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado's_5th_congressional_district

Mesa County went 61-35 for the Republican candidate for governor in 2018. 62-31 for the Republican House candidate. I'd say that's pretty conservative.
 

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The only real "liberal" portions of CO are north and west of 70 and 25, plus Pueblo, and some of the ski resort areas.
It depends on how you slice it. There are some liberal small towns on the Western Slope, but I think it is safe to say that almost every county is conservative. The problem is Colorado's default county commission form of government where there are only three county commissioners calling the shots. Oil and gas pump money into the commissioner campaigns of the most conservative, O&G friendly Republicans they can dig up. So you end up with relatively progressive towns like Paonia and Mancos being overridden by batshit crazy right wing loons at the county level. La Plata and Chaffee are the only non-resort counties on the Western Slope that could even be considered middle of the road, and only because the populations of Durango and Salida are large enough to hold some sway. Delta County (Paonia) and Montezuma County (Mancos) are old school drill baby drill and run over spandex kinds of governments. Makes it tough to find a place to retire that is middle of the road and reasonable.

BTW, I don't agree that all areas north of I-70 and west of I-25 are liberal. Boulder and Golden are liberal, Longmont is solidly middle of the road along with Ft. Collins. Arvada and Loveland are quite conservative. The Jeffco county commission just narrowly tipped "D" after decades of being solidly "R", but we'll have to see if it goes "R" again when one of the Dems comes up for re-election. With over 575,000 people in Jeffco, the county commissioners hold incredible power to f-up things. Think about how many elected officials there are at all levels in the state of Wyoming, which has the same population as Jefferson County. See that ugly strip mine north of Golden, along with the giant gravel/asphalt operation, and the dump, and the ugly industrial parks along 93 and 72? County commissioners with no foresight and no vision allowed those. Throw in the Arvada city council, and you end up with the mess that is brewing out there.
 

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It depends on how you slice it. There are some liberal small towns on the Western Slope, but I think it is safe to say that almost every county is conservative. The problem is Colorado's default county commission form of government where there are only three county commissioners calling the shots. Oil and gas pump money into the commissioner campaigns of the most conservative, O&G friendly Republicans they can dig up. So you end up with relatively progressive towns like Paonia and Mancos being overridden by batshit crazy right wing loons at the county level. La Plata and Chaffee are the only non-resort counties on the Western Slope that could even be considered middle of the road, and only because the populations of Durango and Salida are large enough to hold some sway. Delta County (Paonia) and Montezuma County (Mancos) are old school drill baby drill and run over spandex kinds of governments. Makes it tough to find a place to retire that is middle of the road and reasonable.

BTW, I don't agree that all areas north of I-70 and west of I-25 are liberal. Boulder and Golden are liberal, Longmont is solidly middle of the road along with Ft. Collins. Arvada and Loveland are quite conservative. The Jeffco county commission just narrowly tipped "D" after decades of being solidly "R", but we'll have to see if it goes "R" again when one of the Dems comes up for re-election. With over 575,000 people in Jeffco, the county commissioners hold incredible power to f-up things. Think about how many elected officials there are at all levels in the state of Wyoming, which has the same population as Jefferson County. See that ugly strip mine north of Golden, along with the giant gravel/asphalt operation, and the dump, and the ugly industrial parks along 93 and 72? County commissioners with no foresight and no vision allowed those. Throw in the Arvada city council, and you end up with the mess that is brewing out there.
Oh, I didn't mean to imply that ALL areas were, just suggesting that the higher concentrations of left-leaning Colorado citizens tend to be in those areas, which is born out by election results. Similarly, while I acknowledge that there are plenty of towns on the western slope that are quite blue, they are vastly outnumbered by the red areas out there. Just like there are towns in CO-2 that are quite conservative that are washed away by larger, bluer population centers.
 

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The only real "liberal" portions of CO are north and west of 70 and 25, plus Pueblo, and some of the ski resort areas. The vast majority of the rural areas are pretty damn conservative, to the tune of ~R+20, resulting in an anti-federal lands/anti-National Parks jackass like Doug Lanborn being my congressional representative.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado's_5th_congressional_district

Mesa County went 61-35 for the Republican candidate for governor in 2018. 62-31 for the Republican House candidate. I'd say that's pretty conservative.
I don't consider progressives "liberal." If you do, I guess that's your problem. I also don't consider all Republicans conservative nor do I expect rural areas to be heavily blue considering the current path of the democratic party, which is relying heavily on the cities. That said, I don't vote D or R, so that may have something to do with my perspective.

My campsite last weekend (in Colorado) had a guy with an NRA sticker whose campsite smelled like Bob Marley. If that's too conservative for you, Arizona is definitely not a place you want to even visit.
 

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The only real "liberal" portions of CO are north and west of 70 and 25, plus Pueblo, and some of the ski resort areas. The vast majority of the rural areas are pretty damn conservative, to the tune of ~R+20, resulting in an anti-federal lands/anti-National Parks jackass like Doug Lanborn being my congressional representative.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado's_5th_congressional_district

Mesa County went 61-35 for the Republican candidate for governor in 2018. 62-31 for the Republican House candidate. I'd say that's pretty conservative.
So you're in the Springs...I lived there, in Monument, off of County Line Rd, for a year and a half in 2000-01, before I moved to Phoenix. I loved it, with all of the Front Range recreation opportunities. I wasn't that into mountain biking at that point; only really got into it once I moved to Phoenix.

I'm not sure how much it has changed since I lived there, but I'd move back there, for sure. I'd also be interested in Durango, as we go there each summer for a week to ride, but it seems pretty pricey to live there.
 

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Hmm, not much hotter than Phoenix? Fruita average highs May 77, June 88, July 93, August 91, Sept 82. Phoenix: May 94, June 104, July 106, August 105, Sept 100. So you’re right, there are only an average of 15.4 degrees maximum temperature differences in those five months.

Fruita is perhaps the most liberal city in the Grand Valley, honestly, in the 32 years I have lived here it has become quite a bit more so.
 
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