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Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

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Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby mkpatrick » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:24 am

Hey guys,

I currently live in Portland, OR and there is a job opening in Durango that I am interested in. I enjoy scrambling, multiday backpacking, kayaking, intro rock climbing and skiing in my spare time. I am from a small town in Texas originally and have always thought that a smaller town with a good mountain scene might be a good fit for me, especially if my wife and I decide to have children. I love Portlands laided back go your own way personality, entertainment/food/beer, and the Cascades/Olympics. While I know I am a bit biased, a think the wilderness areas and national parks in northern Washington are argueably some of the finest in the lower 48. I love the temperate rain forests that open up into beautiful and heavily glaciate alpine in the NW. I feel like I have it really good in Portland, but want to seriously consider a possible move.

Durango is much smaller and obviously would not offer as much in the way of entertainment as Portland, but would open up a lot of new backcountry options for me (San Juans, better skiing, equivalent kayaking, near equivalent backpacking/climbing, and having the desert SW in striking distance would be an improvement for shoulder season trips. Durango would also get me within a long day of driving from my family in central Texas. Durango is also a bit more expensive per prelimanary cost of living searches, but fairly equivalent if my pay says roughly equivalent. I have not spent much time in Colorado other than family ski trips as a child. I have heard that Durango is a bit touristy and possibly a bit elitest/smug, but I am sure their are a lot of good folks there as well. I dont know exactly what it is that I am asking, but any thoughts on the Durango area, espcially compared to the NW would be greatly appreciated. I think I will submit my resume and see what the company has to say, it never hurts to explore a new option. Looking forward to your opinions,

Safe Climbing, Matt
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby pyerger » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:57 pm

Hard to beat the Pacific northwest, for remote, alpine climbing, big wilderness areas, and big city culture. downside It's ALWAYS RAINING. The beauty of Colorado, is the sun shines all the time. you can plan a trip most times of the year, and rarely will you get weathered out.

Durango is an awesome little town, although touristy,not as bad as Aspen, Vail, Breck,and they go home in the fall and spring. The San Jauns are some of the nicest,most rugged and remote mountains in Colorado, and Durango sits on the edge. Durango is also close to the desert, so it has the best of both worlds. in February you can be skiing cold deep powder one day, and rock climbing some warm rock in Moab the next. Hard to find that up north. As far as culture goes I will have to pass that on to someone else. Good luck!
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby Matt Lemke » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:50 pm

"Safe Climbing Matt"

Does that refer to me?
I didn't even know you were on SP. Did you get my message via NWHikers?
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby Sarah Simon » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:03 pm

I'm inclined to tell you: If the job is a good fit and you and your spouse are ready for a change of location - go for it! Enjoy the adventure!

PS: This, however, is coming from someone who used to move every few years but has found herself in the same town now for about a decade and a half. I'm getting antsy...I'd move if I were you, just for a change of scenery.

Best of luck!
Sarah
Go climb a mountain
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby mkpatrick » Sat May 18, 2013 4:26 am

Hey guys,

I wanted to bump this post, the job was withdrawn last year and has since re-opened. I submitted my resume and am a finalist for the position. I am really excited, but change is always a little scary. I am definitely putting the cart before the horse, but wanted to see if I can elicit a few more responses regarding Durango. I just finished a 7 day kayaking trip on lake powell that was pretty amazing, POWPOW in the winter, San Juan wandering in the summer, desert slots in the shoulder season. Licking my chops, for sure. Only down side is that I am in the process of negotiating a leave of abscence here in Portland that would allow me to spend a few months in Nepal/SE Asia or the Patagonia. Giving that up would be a pretty massive downside, but depending on the time table for the new job, I might be able to swing something in between jobs...that is, if I get the job.

Matt
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby Sunny Buns » Sat May 18, 2013 9:57 am

Both areas are very nice. :mrgreen: The US and world economies are fragile and there may be extremely rough times ahead - job security may be the most important thing to consider. :cry: Not sure if one place is better than another to weather bad economic times. :?: An oil shale boom (if it occurs) in Colorado could help many survive. If you were down and out, the cold Colorado winter would not be your friend - but many could survive the mild Portland winters. Availability of water is more difficult in Colorado. If you are a pharmacist, I'd think the SW USA would be good as the baby boomers turn into old farts, move there, and need more pills. :) Also, if TSHF in the USA, you'd be closer to the Mexican border and might escape to someplace doing better down south. :shock: The downside to the close border MAY be higher crime :shock: - I don't know - that's a guess - but you might compare crime statistics for your area and for Durango.

From a mental health perspective, Colorado wins hands down due to the abundant sunshine. That sunshine can also heat your home in the cold winter if you have lots of south facing glass. There is a large hill/mountain west of Durango - I'd try not to live in the shadow of that if possible - I'd want afternoon west sunlight. :wink:

Near Durango are the Weninuche, Big Blue, and Maroon Bells Wilderness areas and others - all awesome mountain areas. A little farther and you can visit the Wind River Range and Tetons in Wyoming, High Uintah Wilderness in NE Utah, the many national parks of Utah, Grand Canyon, parts of Nevada, etc. Downside to Colorado for backpacking/climbing is that on most summer afternoons the threat of thunderstorms and rain is present. In the Pacific Northwest, the sun shines every day from July 20 to Aug 15. But all other days are iffy here for weather. Typically the PNW probably has better snow for winter sports (better for quantity, NOT for quality). But Colorado wins for sunshine.

In Durango you may have the opportunity to have a place with some land :D - not likely in Portland unless you are very high on the pay scale. :cry: The southwest US is suffering from a drought - not sure how that will affect water and liveability over the long run. Living in Colorado at altitude would give you a significant advantage for acclimatization if you want to visit the worlds high peaks - I always spend at least a week there before departing the USA. :wink:

49.97 acres Looks like 17 miles WSW of Durango, $49K: DYODD!!!!! Address: Alkali Gulch, Hesperus, CO 81326
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/Tbd-A ... o-lightbox

Hard to beat the Telluride/Ridgway/Ouray/Silverton loop. 8)
Last edited by Sunny Buns on Sat May 25, 2013 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby AndyJB444 » Tue May 21, 2013 9:11 pm

You'll be happy in Durango. Its a cool town with lots of outdoor opportunities all around.
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby mkpatrick » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:02 am

Well, fellas, it just got real.

Both my wife and I now have job offers in Durango and we are flying down next weekend to scope out the scene! Really excited, but cant deny that I am a little nervous now that it is tangible. As long as something does not spook us when we are there, I am pretty sure we will accept our offers. I feel like it is time to finish a chapter here in Portland and turn the page to start something new. Thanks to everyone for taking time to post. Sunny Buns: Thanks for the detailed response, lots of good tid bits in there. I feel like I need to start building my bug out bunker after reading your post!!!

Take Care and safe climbing,
Matt
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby Fletch » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:16 pm

Do it. Durango is a kick ass little town on the edge of the prettiest place on earth... you'll be happy there.
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby Clark_Griswold » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:23 pm

mkpatrick wrote:Well, fellas, it just got real.

As long as something does not spook us when we are there, I am pretty sure we will accept our offers.


Don't let the train spook you. As long as you remember that it stays on the tracks >99% of the time and you stay about 5 feet or more from them, you'll be fine.
...
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Re: Possible move to Durango, Advice Please.

Postby fatdad » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:28 pm

Durango and surrounding town (Silverton, Ouray, Telluride) are pretty nice. Decent rock climbing, good bouldering, great skiing, lots of ice in the winter. Awesome road and mt. biking (seasonal). Kayaking too on the Animas River. You are also pretty centrally located if you want to hit Moab, stuff in northern New Mexico, etc. Lots of peaks, though the rock is generally crap (at least in the San Juans). It is a far cry from the Sierra or Rockies if you're looking to do technical stuff on higher peaks, because you won't for the most part. As long as you're happy with scrambles and some alpine stuff, it's pretty good. Culturally, it'll be a dead zone if you're used to a more cosmopolitan city. Still, if I had a chance to move there, I'd think I'd find a way to be happy.
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