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Leaving it all and relocating? Updated post!!

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  • #61
    The weather is much more temperate in the NW corner of Montana than the rest of it. I grew up in the NW corner here then lived in south central Montana for 20 years, near Bozeman; the weather here is MUCH milder. Missoula isn't too bad but anywhere east of there can be bitterly cold and windy.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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    • #62
      Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
      The weather is much more temperate in the NW corner of Montana than the rest of it. I grew up in the NW corner here then lived in south central Montana for 20 years, near Bozeman; the weather here is MUCH milder. Missoula isn't too bad but anywhere east of there can be bitterly cold and windy.
      Oh so true! We are still plenty cold, but generally grey, snowy and a bit warmer than the east side! Obviously we are in and around Browning quite a bit and wow, that wind is amazing. And hunting down around Big Hole Pass/Wisdom....yep, plenty cold. If someone were moving to my neck of the woods for a winter, I would tell them that sure there is plenty of snow and so forth but really, it is GRAY, day after day, very gray, low light. Ithink thats the hardest for people moving in from somewhere else-the snow is no where near as bad as many other places in the north but we sure don't get a lot of sunny days i the winter!

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      • #63
        Absolutely need to consider the western slope! We are I'm right on the I-70 corridor. We are much more consistently temperate, have more land, more water (think irrigation and real pastures), more hay fields and are 30 minutes to any terrain/outdoor activity you can imagine (alpine, desert, canyon, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, etc). WE are still very agrarian. The vineyards are spectacular. It takes me 3.5 hours to drop down into Denver. A bit longer with a horse trailer. I am equi-distant to competitions in Denver or the Salt Lake City area. Huge horse community and all disciplines are equally represented. Be happy to give you more details. Oh--veterinary and farrier services as well as hay prices are significantly less than you will find on the front range . . .
        "Listen to your mind. It has a whole lot more brain cells than your heart does." - SillyHorse

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        • #64
          I would never in a million years move with children and horses to a climate that Colorado has, (unless I had substantial, as in $100,000 saved). Winter storms are dangerous and winter conditions if you are from a semi civilized area on the east coast are radically different.

          If I were to move and wanted to stay in Washington State (I am in shock over the marijuana legalization and really detest the pothead culture), but this state has great attraction on many levels. The thing we did not have the luxury to do is to stay here for a winter. That would have changed my mind entirely, but I was very changed by the shock of 2007, our move, near homelessness and year and a half without anything but menial, non productive jobs, we both had two and still we were nearly homeless. My husband changed careers going back to school at fifty. He was an honor student, inducted in a civil engineering society that was invitation only, had a published paper before leaving school, brought a $10/hour research job with us, but we suffered. We inherited a good bit of money and that is the only thing that really saved us. My husband had military service, a very good long term employment record and a strong, almost superhuman work ethic, but he was over 50. He sent out 500 resumes. Please keep your self and your family safe.
          "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Calamber View Post
            I would never in a million years move with children and horses to a climate that Colorado has, (unless I had substantial, as in $100,000 saved). Winter storms are dangerous and winter conditions if you are from a semi civilized area on the east coast are radically different.


            Wow, you make us out to be some sort of alien nation. I think Colorado has a fabulous climate. We have, on average, 300 days of sunshine! The sun is much more intense here, so if you are pale like DH and me, wear sunscreen at all times even in the winter. There is no humidity here and so cooling off in the summer consists of finding a shady spot, which can be tricky. Our temps were above normal this year in the summer, but I believe that was the case across most of the US.

            Yes, there is snow in the winter, but on the Front Range it doesn't stick around like snow on the east coast. It's not a wet/icy snow usually... light and powdery and I've seen it snow 2 feet and the next day all the roads were totally clear.

            When DH and I moved out here, people who had never even been here were saying how crazy we were to move to such a cold climate and that they could never live here. Fine. More for us! They had visions of 6 months of continuous snow and tundra. But that isn't ALL of Colorado. The Front Range is drastically different from the Western Slope which is different from the Southwest corner and the eastern part of the state is flatter than a pancake. Seriously, it gives Kansas a run for it's money.

            On many days in a Colorado winter you can ski in the morning and be home on the front range in time for an afternoon horse ride in the outdoor arena. If traffic is in your favor of course. I 70 is the only east-west route through the Rocky Mtns in Colorado and it can get packed, especially on the weekends.

            And winter storms are dangerous? Of course they are! So are hurricanes on the east coast and tornadoes on the plains, and earthquakes in California. Winter Storms are really no more dangerous here than anywhere else. Unlike the east coast, the supermarkets don't sell out of bread and milk at the first prediction of snow.

            And THIS is the kind of fun we have on the flats when it snows.

            Originally posted by Calamber View Post
            (I am in shock over the marijuana legalization and really detest the pothead culture)
            OP, Calamber does have a point here. Colorado has, on a state level, legalized MJ for recreational purposes. If you have a serious problem with this, you might want to rethink your relocation. If not, come on out.

            If you are up in the Boulder area in April, PM me. I'd be happy to meet your family for a local microbrew and even take you out to where I ride. Horses are kept a bit differently here than where I am from in NC... but mostly that has to do with the lack of green pastures out here. And water. That's a big issue at all times too. Especially in the drought we're having. And forecasters aren't seeing an end to it soon if the lack of snowfall in the mountains at this point is any indication.

            At any rate, OP... I was you just a couple of years ago (minus the kiddos.) Feel free to reach out to me with any relocation questions you might have. If you want to check out my Colorado pics on FB, just PM me. It's beautiful here. We may not settle here forever, but we have no plans to ever move back east.
            Last edited by drmgncolor; Nov. 21, 2012, 12:44 PM.
            Dreaming in Color

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            • #66
              Originally posted by RAyers View Post
              The unemployment rate in Colorado is still above 8%. I am not sure where these jobs are that folks a touting.
              Well I said where -- technology. I don't know about other industries, but we have hard time filling the IT jobs where I work. Look at dice.com and there are nearly 1800 openings in the Denver area.

              Colorado tech firms compete for top talent with creative perks

              "While the overall jobless rate is 8.2 percent nationally, it stands at 0.5 percent for computer-hardware engineers and 2.5 percent for software developers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

              Recruiters say the Denver tech job market is even tighter."


              Not to downplay any of your other comments about cost of living, hay prices, etc., which are very valid considerations.

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              • #67
                I agree with drmgncolor. Colorado is not some horrible, cold Siberia populated with zombie potheads.

                I lived in Colorado for 13 years and have lived in NC for the past 20. While it is true you can go to work in the morning in sunny warm weather and by rush hour, there may be a blizzard going on, the weather moves in and out QUICKLY. "Solar" snow removal has been a time honored tradition in Denver. In fact, it got one mayoral candidate in Denver defeated (he thought using trash trucks to tamp down the snow on side streets and then just let it melt was a good idea). Long time ago, though, and that particular mayor had outlived his shelf life anyway.

                Yes, you have to watch the weather and plan ahead. The most dangerous thing I used to find during a sudden early snowstorm was the tremendous amount of people who had moved to Colorado during the summer, and had not bothered to buy snow tires in the fall. Lots of cars sliding backwards down hills.

                I find it much harder to deal with the long lasting nor'easters in coastal Carolina. They go on forever. Today I saw the sun for the first time in about 10 days. We are still suffering the effects of Sandy; it just wasn't as publicized as much here as usual due to the storm hitting NJ and NY.

                As far as the marijuana culture, I will take that any day over the Southern Confederate-flag-planted-firmly-in-my-truck, (and who will NOT slow down driving over roads with ocean overwash, thus sending waves of wake onto smaller cars in the next lane) hard drinking NASCAR culture. Much more peaceful.

                My only experience in living in CO was in Denver, which seems to be its own little banana belt sometimes. Winter storms obviously affect the eastern plains much more. And in the mountains, they WANT snow. If you plan ahead, you can survive winter storms just fine.
                "I swear it happened just like this" - Leonard Cohen

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                • #68
                  "semi-civilized"...?????

                  good heavens.

                  Yep, it can be tough out here weather-wise. Keeps out the riff raff is what my husband says. LOL
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                  • #69
                    Gosh, it was almost 70 degrees here today. glorious!!

                    If you are a lower level eventer (assuming you are if you're just doing one a year) then you would be very, very happy here. I'm in Parker and I could hit a cheap, fun schooling show just about every weekend if I wanted. I'm also right around the corner from the Arapahohe Hunt. There isn't much upper level stuff, but us smurfs can have a ball!! Backyard barns in my neighborhood are abundant... If you don't want an indoor arena, you'll be able to find a self-care facility in the $200 range, though you'll probably have to buy your own feed.

                    Hay is expensive, $15/bale is the going rate. Water is scarce, though maybe less so out east where I live since i have the right kind of well and I'm not trying to watere anything but people and horses. Farmers have it rough pretty much anywhere as far as water goes. Land gets cheaper the farther you get from Denver, though that's where the jobs are, so there's a bit of a compromise. I commute about 45 minutes to downtown Denver, it's not too bad. I know other horse folks who commute farther than that. Schools vary wildly... But you can open-enroll pretty much to any school that you want, so even that's no big deal if you do your homework.

                    As far as jobs go, it's going to depend on what you do. I'm in the building design and construction industry and our field has definitely come back with a vengeance. Everyone I know is hiring, including my company.

                    If you get serious about coming, pm rosijet here on coth, our local realtor. She can give you the lowdown from a real horsewoman's point of view and help you find the right place for you. Good luck!!!
                    Last edited by rhymeswithfizz; Nov. 21, 2012, 11:22 PM. Reason: Typos
                    where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

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                    • Original Poster

                      #70
                      Wow folks! THANK EVERYONE!! I will be sending out many pm's this weekend, hoping to chat with you all that offered up some help/direction Ideally, I would like to allow the kids to finish up the school year here since they've gone to the same school system their whole lives. We will probably pick a hotel in the Parker area for spring break, but we DRIVE a LOT, so will be personally checking out many of the areas you guys have recommended. The only real area I'm not interested in is the flat/plains area. I've driven through Kansas/Nebraska and it is NOT my cup of tea!!

                      Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        That's good to hear... I have a phone interview for my dream job in Misoula next week. We didn't make it all the way to Missoula when we visited Montana in September, so I have no idea what it's like. But I like the sound of "milder"! It looks greener in the photos, too. We're bringing 5 horses with us, so I'd like to find a place with acreage with actual grass...or maybe I'm dreaming on that one!

                        I am worried about the roads getting there. Do you have to go over steep passes to get to Missoula?

                        Hopefully we'll just be in the rv for a short time! I've been reading up on winter rv'ing and it sounds do-able, though I may change my mind in a hurry. XD However, we have 2 dogs and 2 cats, and I don't know if I can find a hotel where I can keep them all. Plus we already have the rv (fifth wheel), so I guess we might as well use it!

                        Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                        The weather is much more temperate in the NW corner of Montana than the rest of it. I grew up in the NW corner here then lived in south central Montana for 20 years, near Bozeman; the weather here is MUCH milder. Missoula isn't too bad but anywhere east of there can be bitterly cold and windy.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Good luck, and have fun! Our son thinks we should move to Colorado (our kids are grown btw, which makes it easier). We did go to Manitou Springs and RMNP one year and it was amazing.

                          Originally posted by WideSquareAlter View Post
                          Wow folks! THANK EVERYONE!! I will be sending out many pm's this weekend, hoping to chat with you all that offered up some help/direction Ideally, I would like to allow the kids to finish up the school year here since they've gone to the same school system their whole lives. We will probably pick a hotel in the Parker area for spring break, but we DRIVE a LOT, so will be personally checking out many of the areas you guys have recommended. The only real area I'm not interested in is the flat/plains area. I've driven through Kansas/Nebraska and it is NOT my cup of tea!!

                          Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Colorado is full of microclimates and there are dramatic differences from west to east. It's a glorious state and we considered moving there ourselves a few years back, but could not make the job/housing combo work financially for us anywhere we wanted to be. (And yes, we stayed in California... )

                            I would personally suggest before considering Montana that you go there for a week or two during the depth of winter. I say that not only because of the cold and the snow but because you may be surprised by how short the days are that far north in winter.

                            Good luck, OP, in finding a great job in a town that you love.
                            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              I moved from Va to CO 5 years ago and I freaking hate CO and can't wait to get to a less God forsaken part of the world. Over 300 days of sunshine, but nobody tells you the wind blows all the time. I'm about an hour East of Loveland, or 45 min NE of DIA. Snow starts in October, and the last snowfall with accumulation is the first part of May. Being near to civilization, shops, restaurants etc might help me like it more, but I doubt it. I really hate the weather here. The overall quality of horses I have seen is far below back east. You can't just pop in the car and go to another state for a getaway vacation. You are days from the beach.

                              CO ranks 37th in the nation for overall education, and 48th for money spent on students, so make sure you are in a good school district, or pray you can get in to a decent charter or private school. I have worked in Jeff Co, Weld, Morgan, Denver Co schools and can't believe how undereducated and under informed these kids are.
                              Originally posted by The Saddle
                              Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Uh...yeah....as someone who moved from CO to northeastern NC (almost SE Virginia) 20 years ago, I would be pretty much in the opposite position from rustbreeches on everything said.

                                Undereducated and uninformed???? really??? Again, pretty much opposite, in my opinion. And even though I don't live there anymore, I have nieces, nephews in schools, friends who are teachers/former teachers in Jefferson County, Denver County, etc., friends who have children in the school systems in several counties.

                                I will grant you that NE of Loveland is a place I would never want to live in the state. Too much of the windswept plain. Poltroon is very right when she says Colorado has several micro-climates.

                                JMHO of course.
                                "I swear it happened just like this" - Leonard Cohen

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  East? No, for sure. Windy. Desolate. Nope! But that is not the whole state!

                                  H of G- wintering in an RV up here is not the easiest way to go so I hope you get your dream job! Mssla is the liberal spot in the state! tons of coffee shops and festivals (the testicle festival!!). As far as horse property, you are in the pricey Bitterroot Valley area which has very much been "discovered", but you might find straight land. if you are heading west on I-90 you'll go over Bozeman pass and the one outside Butte that I can't remember. If you are towing you'll feel it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Mmmm-I trust rustbreeches' opinion quite a lot, might be worth looking into. She's certainly right about the weather-that's what I did not like about south central Montana, near Bozeman. Cold cold cold and wind wind wind along with those days of sun sun sun. I like it back on this side of the Divide in Montana, it's a whole different world!
                                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      I think poor rustbreeches is probably closer to Nebraska than Colorado. That area really does kind of suck! And does seem ALWAYS windy. I wouldn't want to live there either!

                                      OP feel free to look me up when you plan your Parker stop and we can grab a beer. This town is horse paradise and even though suburbia has moved in, the town has held onto its horsey character, complete with public equestrian parks, plenty of horse-friendly trails, a horse-drawn carriage Christmas parade, the Colorado Horse Park, tack shops galore (even a Dover now, though I still like the locals better), and of course the hunt right around the corner. Bliss.
                                      where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by rhymeswithfizz View Post
                                        I think poor rustbreeches is probably closer to Nebraska than Colorado. That area really does kind of suck! And does seem ALWAYS windy. I wouldn't want to live there either!

                                        .
                                        I actually have a lovely view of the mountains, esp Long's Peak. Still hate living here. OP, I don't know where you are relocating from, but the horse scene here was hugely disappointing, but to each their own.
                                        Originally posted by The Saddle
                                        Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by drmgncolor View Post


                                          Wow, you make us out to be some sort of alien nation. I think Colorado has a fabulous climate. We have, on average, 300 days of sunshine! The sun is much more intense here, so if you are pale like DH and me, wear sunscreen at all times even in the winter. There is no humidity here and so cooling off in the summer consists of finding a shady spot, which can be tricky. Our temps were above normal this year in the summer, but I believe that was the case across most of the US.

                                          Yes, there is snow in the winter, but on the Front Range it doesn't stick around like snow on the east coast. It's not a wet/icy snow usually... light and powdery and I've seen it snow 2 feet and the next day all the roads were totally clear.

                                          When DH and I moved out here, people who had never even been here were saying how crazy we were to move to such a cold climate and that they could never live here. Fine. More for us! They had visions of 6 months of continuous snow and tundra. But that isn't ALL of Colorado. The Front Range is drastically different from the Western Slope which is different from the Southwest corner and the eastern part of the state is flatter than a pancake. Seriously, it gives Kansas a run for it's money.

                                          On many days in a Colorado winter you can ski in the morning and be home on the front range in time for an afternoon horse ride in the outdoor arena. If traffic is in your favor of course. I 70 is the only east-west route through the Rocky Mtns in Colorado and it can get packed, especially on the weekends.

                                          And winter storms are dangerous? Of course they are! So are hurricanes on the east coast and tornadoes on the plains, and earthquakes in California. Winter Storms are really no more dangerous here than anywhere else. Unlike the east coast, the supermarkets don't sell out of bread and milk at the first prediction of snow.

                                          And THIS is the kind of fun we have on the flats when it snows.



                                          OP, Calamber does have a point here. Colorado has, on a state level, legalized MJ for recreational purposes. If you have a serious problem with this, you might want to rethink your relocation. If not, come on out.

                                          If you are up in the Boulder area in April, PM me. I'd be happy to meet your family for a local microbrew and even take you out to where I ride. Horses are kept a bit differently here than where I am from in NC... but mostly that has to do with the lack of green pastures out here. And water. That's a big issue at all times too. Especially in the drought we're having. And forecasters aren't seeing an end to it soon if the lack of snowfall in the mountains at this point is any indication.

                                          At any rate, OP... I was you just a couple of years ago (minus the kiddos.) Feel free to reach out to me with any relocation questions you might have. If you want to check out my Colorado pics on FB, just PM me. It's beautiful here. We may not settle here forever, but we have no plans to ever move back east.
                                          It will absolutely be alien if you are not prepared. The rosy colored glasses of the tittle tat crowd needed removing. Many, if not most of the people in this country are really ill prepared for the crisis that is still at hand and the enablers of someone who is coming with children and a horse, no job and nothing saved beyond a tax return? are going to be in for a hard shock. What is alien these days is thinking things through thoroughly, and not just coming because you are sick of the area that you are in. Looking before you leap is just wise, perhaps that is what is most alien.
                                          "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

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