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View Full Version : Appalachians VS Rockies please vote



avalonmorn
11-08-2012, 13:42
I'm relocating for the final time in my life. Instead of moving to another home in Oklahoma, I figured since I will have everything in boxes, why don't I drive a little farther, and live in a place that I will enjoy, and cross a few things off my bucket list. I am torn between New Mexico and Colorado vs anywhere on the AT south of Damascus. I've never set foot on the AT, but have been to the Smokies, also vacationed in Co/NM.
I need an affordable, over 55 friendly town, and I will be renting. It would be great to be within a few minutes of trails. So, kind folks, help me decide, as I am losing sleep over this. Thanks, Anna

Mags
11-08-2012, 13:57
ARe you looking for a job or fortunate enough to be retired and not needing a job? Prefer snow or a more moderate climate? Small town or large? Want the culture of a university town? Like to be near medical facilities?

I know..I know..lots of questions. :)

But lots of different areas.

snifur
11-08-2012, 14:11
Golly gosh, that has to be one of the most difficult questions asked. Its like asking if i want chocolate syrup on my chocolate chip ice cream. that is a tough one. I wish you the best in your decision. both are great areas. I think you should start by stating more specifically what you want or desire.

RED-DOG
11-08-2012, 14:16
The Appalachians and the Rockies are two totally different regions i live in the Appalachians know ( W.N.C ) but if i had my choice i would live in the Rockies i prefer a town known as Grand Junction Colorado.

Feral Bill
11-08-2012, 14:21
Excepting massive wildfires, the Rockies offer few options for natural disasters.

Dogwood
11-08-2012, 14:56
Born and raised on the east coast in New Jersey and Florida. Noe live in Hawaii for six - seven months of the yr. Great opps for outdoor experiences south of Damascus in the Appalacians never mind VT, NH, and ME BUT in all seriousness The Rockies in Colorado would be where I would head in a heartbeat! So close to so much more too!

Cookerhiker
11-08-2012, 14:59
Re affordability, in general I think the Southern Appalachians may be better, at least that's my sense after hiking the Colorado Trail in 2011. If I had to choose somewhere from Damascus south, I'd consider Asheville, NC first and Damascus second. I'd avoid Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville because of the congestion. How large a community do you wish - small town, small city? Johnson City, TN is a college town and further from the Smokies' congestion.

The other tremendous difference between the Rockies and Southern Apps is climate, particular humidity. I'd much rather spend summers and winters in the Rockies but fall is awfully nice in the Southern mountains.

Dogwood
11-08-2012, 15:05
Hey, golden Aspens with their white bark aren't so bad for fall color either!

avalonmorn
11-08-2012, 15:17
Re affordability, in general I think the Southern Appalachians may be better, at least that's my sense after hiking the Colorado Trail in 2011. If I had to choose somewhere from Damascus south, I'd consider Asheville, NC first and Damascus second. I'd avoid Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville because of the congestion. How large a community do you wish - small town, small city? Johnson City, TN is a college town and further from the Smokies' congestion.

The other tremendous difference between the Rockies and Southern Apps is climate, particular humidity. I'd much rather spend summers and winters in the Rockies but fall is awfully nice in the Southern mountains.

This post addresses my concerns, and why I'm torn. I need affordability, and realize that that housing will be cheaper in Appalachia. When I decide what area, then I have faith in finding a town that's a nice fit. I asked WB members because a lot of you have lived in and hiked both areas. I intend to be an active part of the trail wherever I relocate.

Cookerhiker
11-08-2012, 15:22
I'm sure you have reasons for limiting your area of consideration in the East to Damascus-south but at least look into Roanoke, VA - less than 150 miles north of Damascus up I-81, lots of amenities, near both the AT and other trails. A number of friendly WBers live in the area and you can get involved with the Roanoke AT hiking club.

RED-DOG
11-08-2012, 15:26
Try Erwin Tennesse it's an AWESOME town.

gravityman
11-08-2012, 15:46
I like the climate of the west. More nice days to spend outside than on the east. There are certainly affordable place to live in CO and NM, but you will be compromising on best location. NM can be very inexpensive, but you aren't near anything. I'd look toward Durango...

Hosaphone
11-08-2012, 15:59
One thing I've heard is that, though things are smaller out here on the East coast, you don't have to drive as far to get to the good stuff.

Mags
11-08-2012, 16:17
I like the climate of the west. More nice days to spend outside than on the east. There are certainly affordable place to live in CO and NM, but you will be compromising on best location. NM can be very inexpensive, but you aren't near anything. I'd look toward Durango...

Northern New Mexico is awesome. The Pecos Wilderness, Wheeler Peak area and so on. Taos is actually one place where I was looking at (think Bozeman is where we will end up though)

Prime Time
11-08-2012, 16:43
I'm still trying to decide if I want chocolate syrup on my chocolate chip ice cream...
Anyway, if you love the outdoors, the CO Mountain towns have it all over the East. Better weather, more open space, a generally healthier lifestyle and populace. However, at OUR age, you need to consider proximity to health care services, price of getting around (stuff can be much further spread out), and as you seem to now, the cost of living tends to be higher. I have lived in both and chose to retire in the East in Northern NH because of its blend of recreation access, low cost of living, proximity to big cities the few times I want that, and I like winter too. Not for everybody though (thank God)!

HikerMom58
11-08-2012, 16:49
I'm sure you have reasons for limiting your area of consideration in the East to Damascus-south but at least look into Roanoke, VA - less than 150 miles north of Damascus up I-81, lots of amenities, near both the AT and other trails. A number of friendly WBers live in the area and you can get involved with the Roanoke AT hiking club.

I vote for Roanoke VA. .... I love living here. You could be my partner in crime with all the hikers rolling through Daleville VA. It's a very beautiful valley. We have the most photographed place on the AT... McAfee Knob. I can't begin to tell you how much I love this place...

+1 to Cookerhiker for suggesting Roanoke VA.

Creek Dancer
11-08-2012, 16:54
Boone, NC. Hands down.

p.s. wish I had your dilemna :)

daddytwosticks
11-08-2012, 16:57
Another vote for Asheville, NC or suburbs of Asheville. Really nice small mountain city with just about everything you need close by. :)

pnkwolfe
11-08-2012, 17:38
Anywhere in east TN

Cookerhiker
11-08-2012, 18:35
I vote for Roanoke VA. .... I love living here. You could be my partner in crime with all the hikers rolling through Daleville VA. It's a very beautiful valley. We have the most photographed place on the AT... McAfee Knob. I can't begin to tell you how much I love this place...

+1 to Cookerhiker for suggesting Roanoke VA.

I knew when I suggested it that you'd weigh in!;)

Blackbeard30
11-08-2012, 18:59
I've never been to the Rockies, so I can't say anything about moving there. I lived in East Tennessee for five years. I went to school in Johnson City. If it weren't for my job, that's where I'd move. JC is only about 30 minutes from the trail but Erwin is really nice too. Like stated earlier, I'd stay away from Gatlinburg. Too many people. East Tennessee is really nice though.

MuddyWaters
11-08-2012, 19:06
Northern New Mexico

Many Moons
11-08-2012, 19:15
Boone, NC. Hands down.

p.s. wish I had your dilemna :)

SHHHHHH!!! Don't tell e'm about Boone. It will get like Raleigh! Hike On!!! Retire there 2017


Miller

Many Moons
11-08-2012, 19:18
Anywhere in east TN

Lancaster aintbad? I miss shu fly pie and chicken corn soup. Mud sales in March are cool to.

turtle fast
11-08-2012, 19:22
Hot Springs NC hands down. The cost of living is lower, the French Broad River goes by town, the towns main street IS the AT and Ashville is 40 minutes away if you wanted a bigger city. It just won in 2012 the best small mountain town award.

Crazy Larry #1
11-08-2012, 19:52
I'm relocating for the final time in my life. Instead of moving to another home in Oklahoma, I figured since I will have everything in boxes, why don't I drive a little farther, and live in a place that I will enjoy, and cross a few things off my bucket list. I am torn between New Mexico and Colorado vs anywhere on the AT south of Damascus. I've never set foot on the AT, but have been to the Smokies, also vacationed in Co/NM.
I need an affordable, over 55 friendly town, and I will be renting. It would be great to be within a few minutes of trails. So, kind folks, help me decide, as I am losing sleep over this. Thanks, AnnaDamascus is the place for you. And if you decide to come out here let me know and I will help you find a place....the 50 and over crowd rules here...

oldbear
11-08-2012, 21:48
Just move to Flagstaff AZ and call it a day

Dr. Professor
11-08-2012, 23:06
I love it here in Roanoke. That said, you're looking in the right places. There's a whole lot of good for you to chose from. Good luck!

HikerMom58
11-08-2012, 23:12
I knew when I suggested it that you'd weigh in!;)

You know me well... glad I didn't let you d
o
w
n......:sun LOL!!!

Astro
11-08-2012, 23:16
I would go for the Southern Appalachians (GA-VA). More economical and you are closer to all the East Coast has to offer. You can always take an occassional trip out West to enjoy what it has, but I believe GA-VA has more to offer at a lower price.

shelb
11-09-2012, 00:00
Appalachians!!!

map man
11-09-2012, 00:56
I like hiking in the Appalachians but like hiking in the Rockies even more. I've done some daydreaming about living in Colorado in the summer once I retire and even have gone so far as to look up housing prices in various Colorado cities and towns. This website has lots of information about places big and small, including median housing prices (which usually have a direct relationship with rents):

http://www.city-data.com/

Prices for towns in or near the mountains can vary a bunch in Colorado. Places like Aspen or Vail cost a fortune but you can live someplace like Del Norte (just as one example) and live very cheaply and have the San Juan Mountains right at your doorstep.

Sly
11-09-2012, 01:26
I'd consider Asheville, NC (small city) or Pagosa Springs, CO (small town)

Mags
11-09-2012, 10:11
I'd consider Asheville, NC (small city) or Pagosa Springs, CO (small town)

Pagosa may be small but the the area is growing rapidly. Durango, Bayfield and Pagosa are growing ever closer.

Bayfield is another interesting choice, too. Less expensive than Durango (but only 15 mi away) with the USFS lands right out your backdoor and trails that hit the San Juans.

A lot of these towns also depend upon wether you need a job or not, too. :)

colorado_rob
11-09-2012, 10:41
Pagosa may be small but the the area is growing rapidly. Durango, Bayfield and Pagosa are growing ever closer.

Bayfield is another interesting choice, too. Less expensive than Durango (but only 15 mi away) with the USFS lands right out your backdoor and trails that hit the San Juans.
:) Yep, concur, SW Colorado is a great choice. I grew up back east, playng in those mountains for a long time, then moved to colorado, and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. You have to live here to understand. do you like to golf in January and Ski in July? do you like sunshine, 300 days of the year? Getting a two-foot dump of snow and having it be melted away in 3-4 days?

Check out this list of "you know you live in Colorado if...."

http://www.toilette-paper.com/jokes/miscellaneous/coloradowhen1.html

Zippy Morocco
11-09-2012, 11:21
Missoula Montana is the best town in the country. Shhh don't tell too many people we are almost full. :D

Mags
11-09-2012, 11:26
Missoula Montana is the best town in the country. Shhh don't tell too many people we are almost full. :D

Mrs Mags and I are making a 'working vacation' up there this summer and checking out the area. Missoula and Bozeman are our top two choices for places to move within 5 yrs. I am drawn to Bozeman as it is on the eastern side of the divide and drier. Within five years, hope to be in the position where I am working remotely and consulting. The Front Range is getting a bit crowded for our tastes. :) (As much as I love the outdoor opportunities)

HikerMom58
11-09-2012, 11:40
Here's something else I found....

http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/outdoors-travel/the-best-mountain-towns/

I think we are having lots of fun with this!! ;)

Slo-go'en
11-09-2012, 12:29
If you don't mind winter Berlin, NH is a cheap place to rent and live. Just don't expect to find a job around here.

South West Virginia would be my second choice, but I'd rather suffer through a long cold winter than a long hot summer :)

Zippy Morocco
11-09-2012, 13:38
[

Mrs Mags and I are making a 'working vacation' up there this summer and checking out the area. Missoula and Bozeman are our top two choices for places to move within 5 yrs. I am drawn to Bozeman as it is on the eastern side of the divide and drier. Within five years, hope to be in the position where I am working remotely and consulting. The Front Range is getting a bit crowded for our tastes. :) (As much as I love the outdoor opportunities)

Both seem like great choices. Bozeman is an amazing place to play. Missoula is more livable for my taste. You will find two very different political and philosophical views between the two towns. Missoula is kind of a liberal Island in a conservative place. However everyone seems to get along regardless. We tend are a very big on individual freedom in Montana . That and guns:-)

I am sure you would love either place

jimmyjam
11-09-2012, 13:49
I vote for the Rockies or just about any western state. If I could talk Mrs. Jimmyjam into it I would move to Utah. Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado are all beautiful too. I really like it out there but maybe that's because I grew up on the east coast. Sort of a the grass is always greener on the other side thing.

Sly
11-09-2012, 13:53
Pagosa may be small but the the area is growing rapidly. Durango, Bayfield and Pagosa are growing ever closer.



You know how you tell you're in a small town? The closest Walmart is 60 miles away (Durango).

G-FOURce
11-09-2012, 14:04
if cost of living isnt a concern and you're certain that you're never going to want to be away from mountains, then i'd vote Frisco, CO. check it out on a map and its proximity to Breckenridge, Copper, Vail and Beaver Creek. if i could live anywhere i wanted that is where i'd live.

if you want something more affordable, safe, family friendly, and in the Appalachian foothills but still want to have reasonable access to a some diversity and other options, then consider Greenville, SC. G'Vegas is 2 hours from Atlanta, 2 hours from Charlotte, 3.5 hours from Charleston (Atlantic coast), about 40 mins from Asheville, and a little under 2 hours from GSMNP. its a beautiful place with a remarkable downtown for a city its size, its still affordable, and in less than a half day's drive you can have pretty much anything you'd want!

avalonmorn
11-09-2012, 14:36
:oMy head is spinning around with all your comments, and I'm looking into the websites of the towns suggested. I am retired, don't care if I live near a large medical facilility, and would enjoy a smaller town. Looked into Roanoke Va, suggested by a few of you, liked what I saw. I was given 5 months to live 5 years ago, and sent home to bed. Guess what? I laid there for two months, got bored, got out of bed, and discover
ed WB and Hammock Forums. I started walking each day, a little farther each time. The doctors are puzzled, that I am still among the living, lol, cancer free, although I'm down to 1 kidney(it enjoys an occasional beer, and southern sweet tea). This is why my post and all your comments and good wishes are really important to me, and I look forward to meeting you all on the trail someday. Keep the suggestions coming, and many thanks.
BTW, as one poster said, Missoula Montana seems awesome, and one of my favorite authors lives there, James Lee Burke.
And, Mags, I've been reading your blog for a long time.

Mags
11-09-2012, 14:50
You know how you tell you're in a small town? The closest Walmart is 60 miles away (Durango).

That may change the way Pagosa is growing. :)



And, Mags, I've been reading your blog for a long time.

Thx for the kind words!

Creek Dancer
11-09-2012, 15:11
:oMy head is spinning around with all your comments, and I'm looking into the websites of the towns suggested. I am retired, don't care if I live near a large medical facilility, and would enjoy a smaller town. Looked into Roanoke Va, suggested by a few of you, liked what I saw. I was given 5 months to live 5 years ago, and sent home to bed. Guess what? I laid there for two months, got bored, got out of bed, and discover
ed WB and Hammock Forums. I started walking each day, a little farther each time. The doctors are puzzled, that I am still among the living, lol, cancer free, although I'm down to 1 kidney(it enjoys an occasional beer, and southern sweet tea). This is why my post and all your comments and good wishes are really important to me, and I look forward to meeting you all on the trail someday. Keep the suggestions coming, and many thanks.
BTW, as one poster said, Missoula Montana seems awesome, and one of my favorite authors lives there, James Lee Burke.
And, Mags, I've been reading your blog for a long time.

Hey avalonmorn, if you decide to check out some towns in North Carolina and you want some company, let me know. We can do a road trip! I think that would be awesome. :)

HikerMom58
11-09-2012, 16:05
Hey avalonmorn, if you decide to check out some towns in North Carolina and you want some company, let me know. We can do a road trip! I think that would be awesome. :)

I think that would be a great idea Creek Dancer... would you gals consider road tripping it to Roanoke? If you do then I would love to meet you both. You could stay with me if you want too.

Avalonmorn...WOW!! You are one strong woman... so glad for your continued health. :) I like this thread a lot- even if you don't choose Roanoke. ;)

Creek Dancer
11-09-2012, 16:10
You bet, HikerMom!

HikerMom58
11-09-2012, 16:13
You bet, HikerMom!

Great Creek Dancer :)... now we just need to get Avalonmorn on board:D

G-FOURce
11-09-2012, 17:05
if you want someting really rustic and quiet, try Polebridge, MT.

Hairbear
11-09-2012, 18:21
:oMy head is spinning around with all your comments, and I'm looking into the websites of the towns suggested. I am retired, don't care if I live near a large medical facilility, and would enjoy a smaller town. Looked into Roanoke Va, suggested by a few of you, liked what I saw. I was given 5 months to live 5 years ago, and sent home to bed. Guess what? I laid there for two months, got bored, got out of bed, and discover
ed WB and Hammock Forums. I started walking each day, a little farther each time. The doctors are puzzled, that I am still among the living, lol, cancer free, although I'm down to 1 kidney(it enjoys an occasional beer, and southern sweet tea). This is why my post and all your comments and good wishes are really important to me, and I look forward to meeting you all on the trail someday. Keep the suggestions coming, and many thanks.
BTW, as one poster said, Missoula Montana seems awesome, and one of my favorite authors lives there, James Lee Burke.
And, Mags, I've been reading your blog for a long time. thats great to hear thanks for sharing.you would be a good hiker mom fan if you move there.hiker mom id bet you have at least 2 stray pets lol.i think you would adopt us all if you could.

1stgenfarmboy
11-09-2012, 18:25
I prefer the kindness of the south/southern hospitality, but i also know that i would very much injoy the challenges of the Rockies and all they have to offer.

very very hard decesion, i think as long as your in the mountains you would be happy, or at least thats the way i would be.

good luck/God speed.

HikerMom58
11-09-2012, 21:22
hiker mom id bet you have at least 2 stray pets lol.i think you would adopt us all if you could. says Hairbear... LOL hairbear.. no stray cats for me but yeah, I'm def. a people person and have been known to "bring home" some stray hikers... you know me well. When my daughter and I came home with a stray hiker, my hubby just shakes his head saying, "Yup" that's my wife...

I wish I could meet all of you on WB.... it would be so fun!! :)

If avalonmorn and Creek Dancer come to Roanoke to check things out... I will look forward to meeting them! :) I like it that avalonmorn is sharing with us on (WB)... so cool!! :)

MuddyWaters
11-10-2012, 09:55
All depends on what you want.

In small towns, you will be an outsider forever, even if you live there 20 yrs. Locals resent others moving in and buying things up so that they cant afford them. Whether in the east or the west.

People in some parts of CO absolutely cant stand texans for that reason.

avalonmorn
11-10-2012, 14:36
Great Creek Dancer :)... now we just need to get Avalonmorn on board:D
I'm no fortune teller, but I see a road trip in our future......

HikerMom58
11-10-2012, 18:15
I'm no fortune teller, but I see a road trip in our future......

YAY!!! I'm so excited!!!:sun Just let me know when...I'll be looking forward to it!!!

Creek Dancer
11-10-2012, 18:48
I'm no fortune teller, but I see a road trip in our future......

Very cool! Let's go!

CarlZ993
11-11-2012, 00:01
My $0.02 = Rockies. I'd probably pick Durango, CO. Close to Red Rock Country (4-corners area) as well. Out east, I'd probably pick Ashville, NC. My brother in law has a place there. Nice area.

Rozzy
11-13-2012, 14:09
+1

My in-laws are retiring to Asheville - selling their house in New Jersey and buying a house for cash in Asheville. You got the Smokies right there.

BradMT
11-13-2012, 21:25
Regarding Montana... it's NOT for everyone.

Most that move here are gone inside of five years. Winter's are several month's longer than the southern Rockies... most that aren't accustomed to winter really can't handle it.

As a "for instance," we got 15" of snow this weekend with temps down to 0*F.