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Old 09-05-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
keystiger OP
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Oregon day dreamin?

So after residence stints in Ohio, The Florida Keys, and South Alabama, for me.
Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, FLorida Keys and South Alabama for new pretty wife, (we like to travel can you tell?) we both are looking toward the State of Oregon to be our next residence. I spent a couple days in Portland on business and was VERY impressed with the area.
The states topography seems very diverse and seems to have almost all the things we like from the various areas we both have lived ----except palm trees---but we can adapt.
But certainly MUCH to do, much to explore and from the day trippin posts here on adv the apparently the ability to go from rain forest to desert to snow capped mountains in a single day or two's ride. Uhm WOW!

We have approx. a 3 to 5 year plan, bought a VERY low price foreclosure in Bama we are refurbishing and hope to sell for a profit (when/if) the market gets a little better (hence the 3-5 year plan) Plus we have kids in the 17-22 range who's lives are still in "flux" and want to get them settled before we run off to the Great Pacific Northwest!

O.K. I will get to the question allready, am certain there will be a little debate amongst you all, but we are looking to narrow down the best 2 or 3 areas to focus our search on for the relocation. ANd I was hoping those who live there could assist with this daunting task. As I do not really have the time or the $ for numerous fact finding and researching trips across the country most of the work will be done via the internet.

So lets hear it.........what are the best areas for some active 40 somethings to settle down, live, work and play in the great state of Oregon??!?!?!?!?!?!
We ride, enjoy water sports, hiking, camping, she is an avid gardner and would like to be outside the city limits to have a small garden and maybe some critters, but I would like to be close enough to stores and city to not have a 1 or 2 hour commute for food and parts etc. When the time comes will probably search another foreclosure or fixer upper as I am rather hammer handy.
Pros and cons are much appreciated as well as "whatever you do DON'T move to such and such etc."

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:07 PM   #2
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The first thing to decide is: east or west of the Cascade mountains. East has everything your looking for in the way of riding, hiking, camping, and watersports. However, the winters are looooong and the growing season is short (high desert). West is much wetter, much greener, and has a much longer growing season. There's probably an equal amount of the recreational opportunities west also. My area (Bend) has the added advantage of lots of winter sports opportunities within a 30 minute drive. Just my 2 cents worth........
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:11 PM   #3
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rain.......

Rain certainly doesn't scare me away. In 2007 Mobile (closest Major City to where I live) topped the list as the rainiest city in the U.S. and is always in the top 10, so I am USED to getting wet. We have had tropical storm Lee dumping on us since Friday morning.....and its still raining......Monday evening.

THank you luckybum. I think we would like to be on the west side of the Cascades, it doesn't appear to be THAT LONG of a drive from east to west if we desire the desert and "dry" side. Bearing in mind I lived in the Florida Keys for 10 years, it was a 14 hour drive just to get to Georgia or Alabama......hell the closest wall mart was a 2.5 hour drive 1 way!!!!!! So anything shy of that for "adventure" is a pleasure trip
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:20 PM   #4
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I agree with luckybum. I'm originally from Silverton which is west of the Cascades, now live in Bend for the last 27 years. I love Bend for the recreation and because it's right on the edge of the mountains and the desert. Gardening isn't practical though and winters are long and cold. The coast is beautiful but lots of rain and fog. Most people in Oregon live on the west side of the mountains between Portland and Eugene. Lots of rain, long gray winters, but it doesn't get real cold and it's great for gardening. There's also the Medford/Ashland area that's a bit dryer and warmer. Also the La Grand area that is beautiful with great recreation but long cold winters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by luckybum View Post
The first thing to decide is: east or west of the Cascade mountains. East has everything your looking for in the way of riding, hiking, camping, and watersports. However, the winters are looooong and the growing season is short (high desert). West is much wetter, much greener, and has a much longer growing season. There's probably an equal amount of the recreational opportunities west also. My area (Bend) has the added advantage of lots of winter sports opportunities within a 30 minute drive. Just my 2 cents worth........
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:29 PM   #5
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Thank you.
Well......Ohio (near Cleveland on the Great Lakes...lake effect snow.... "fun") is where I was born and spent 18 years of life. She has lived in Canada and Alaska oh and North Dakota.....grey cold winters are not an issue.
It is sounding like the West side is more our speed, especially with the longer growing season.
I know Portland is a large city and property values are a bit higher because of that. Are there other areas that offer some city amenities but less cost of living?????
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:07 PM   #6
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My favorite cities over on the west side are the college towns of Corvallis (small) and Eugene (big). An hour to the coast, 2 hrs to Portland, 2.5 hours to Bend. Ashland is one of my favorites, college town, near Medford (big), hot in summer, right next to the California border, excellent Shakespeare plays at the outdoor Elizabethan theater.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:18 PM   #7
smilin jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keystiger View Post

O.K. I will get to the question all ready, am certain there will be a little debate amongst you all, but we are looking to narrow down the best 2 or 3 areas to focus our search on for the relocation. And I was hoping those who live there could assist with this daunting task. As I do not really have the time or the $ for numerous fact finding and researching trips across the country most of the work will be done via the internet.

So lets hear it.........what are the best areas for some active 40 somethings to settle down, live, work and play in the great state of Oregon??!?!?!?!?!?!
We ride, enjoy water sports, hiking, camping, she is an avid gardener and would like to be outside the city limits to have a small garden and maybe some critters, but I would like to be close enough to stores and city to not have a 1 or 2 hour commute for food and parts etc. When the time comes will probably search another foreclosure or fixer upper as I am rather hammer handy.
Pros and cons are much appreciated as well as "whatever you do DON'T move to such and such etc."

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.
It might make a difference which line of work you may be interested in... Most of the high tech stuff is in the Portland area and south to Eugene. There are some on the east side too (Google headquarters) and Nike in Eugene/Portland areas. If you're retired, then go for a house in Bend area and a toy hauler to visit the coast and ride the sand dunes (permit required).

Oregon State Parks website lists MANY motorbike OHV sites to ride (permit required). http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/ATV/index.shtml

http://atv.prd.state.or.us/places.php This link is for maps.

Look thru old posts of the advrider/regions/pacificnorthwet for lots of pictures. http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=48

Dave
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:29 PM   #8
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Oregon is four hours tall, and six hours wide,,you have plenty of time to see it all whiz by if you just average 94mph wherever you ride!
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
My favorite cities over on the west side are the college towns of Corvallis (small) and Eugene (big). An hour to the coast, 2 hrs to Portland, 2.5 hours to Bend. Ashland is one of my favorites, college town, near Medford (big), hot in summer, right next to the California border, excellent Shakespeare plays at the outdoor Elizabethan theater.

Ditto the Corvallis (Sleepy, cept by the College) and Eugene (not so sleepy) reccomendations. There are good ADV rider groups in Portland and Eugene. Skip Salem phlease....boring, weird, gangs, lot's of crazy people (they import them). Medford is the "haves" and mostly the "have nots." There is not much middle class IMO. Also, Medford = conservative and Ashland (12ish miles away) = ultra liberal. Neither Medford nor Ashland are big enough to support much variety for "night on the town" opportunities.

If you decide against OR then you should look at the Boise area (fun, energetic, clean, low low crime, lots and lots of outdoor opportunites, great food, great people, funny blue football "Smurf Turf" though...ick! I'd be in Boise if I weren't here in OR.

Best of luck to you on your exploration.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:02 PM   #10
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4 hours tall and 6 hours wide.....now thats what I am talking about!

Thank you for the info all. Salem.....sounds interesting...but might avoid that one....gangs being not my "style"...crazy people on the other hand I am related to enough to keep me busy

smillinjack I am in the t-shirt printing biz. Screenprinting if you will, been doing it, or marketing/ selling it for 20 + years now. I know EVERYTHING about the textile printing biz. And what I don't I know I will improvise adapt and overcome. ooh rah!
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:05 PM   #11
oremike
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You said you were accustomed to rain, but how about not seeing sunshine from Oct to June? Some people get some weird Seasonal Affective Disorder. And then there is this:

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Old 09-05-2011, 11:04 PM   #12
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Or,,,

You and the missus could board an airplane,,fly to the great PNWet and attend WetFest,,(if it don't git burnt by fires) and get a feeling for the assholes you'd be living with/among/around, not all of us are bad peeple.
Come on up,,I can gittcha in the gate, I'm betting!

Time is short,,plan NOW!

OK,,shitcan all that! If you came here now you would see the countryside and the peeple at their very best,, sunshine, and all happyshit,,,but,,,come here in February for the real deel/feel.
When folks are rain soaked, and beyond grumpy.
Still,,come for WetFest if you can, you can only be sorry you did,,but you are sure to be sorry if you didn't,,
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:13 AM   #13
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I grew up near Grants Pass, a bit west of Medford. My wife and I lived in Eugene a while, and ended up coming back to Klamath Falls, so my experience is all S. Oregon.

I like visiting big cities, but have no desire to ever live in one. I totally share the "outside city limits" mindset, and since I have the misfortune to currently live within city limits, its only getting stronger.

Now I don't mind visiting the deserts, but frankly, Klamath Falls is only tolerable because its got a large lake and it close to the mountains. I am not a "dry lander" and gardening here is a bit of a chore due to the climate. There are occasional snows as late as May, as early as September, and while rare, a frost can occur any month of the year. This place goes from winter to summer like a switch is flipped, and summer to winter is often the same. I really miss a moist lingering spring and a slow cooling fall. Those are things I grew up with in the Rogue Valley.

I would love to try living on the coast a few years, but my wife grew up here east of the Cascades and gets pretty down unless she gets a LOT of sunny blue sky days. I find the lack of greenery here to be depressing from autumn until the trees have leafed out in spring...but the snow helps.

I think we are on track to try to get moved to the Rogue Valley someday, once our kids move out. Relatively short drive to the coast, nearly the same to drive to the edge of the high desert. Then again, our idea of paradise would be a nice house out in the woods, with no neighbors in sight, and not more than a 30 minute drive to some town.

A lot of my feelings are based about climate because other than riding, my main hobby is bonsai. I would love something better than a 5 month growing season.

That's my opinion, pretty worthless in itself, but its another data point for you.

P.S. there ARE palm trees here and there in the Rogue Valley and around Eugene, but not the huge ones that you find in California, but if you really need, you can get down to Redding for a palm fix - they sort of freak me out...
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:08 AM   #14
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Good to know about the Palm trees

And good info all. Thank you. Certainly think we are looking to the west side.

Some seem to almost be trying to scare us away lol, dark grey days......I was raised in north eastern Ohio, its where the whole winter suicide/ seasonal depression thing started.
She was raised in northern Alaska......not grey but NIGHT for months and 60+ degrees below zero. AND might I ad we both lived in Key West.......weirdo's oddballs and freaks are the norm.

My favorite saying for living in the Keys was "were all here, cause were not all there".

Wetfest you say......I looked it up here on advrider and WOW that does look like fun. However I will not make it this year.....but possibly next. Really some great riding out in the PNW.

Again thank you all for the info. And keep it comin!
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:13 AM   #15
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I'm not trying to scare you off, only let you know it's not quite the utopian paradise others have let you believe it to be. It is nice here, I've been mostly around the world including Ohio and Florida, and here is where I keep coming home to. It does take some adjustments, from October to June you need an indoor hobby or good rain gear and muck boots. I put knobbies on my XR and play in the mud. From Memorial day to Labor day I leave the coast to the tour-ons. Right now we haven't had any rain since July and there are several big wildfires burning and filling the state with smoke. All off roading is about to be shut down until it starts raining again. Still and all this is where I call home and I love it here. The rain is what makes the green and fills the rivers. The fires make me glad to see the rains come and when it's not on fire or raining it's is pretty darned spectacular.
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