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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    SoCal
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    gut check: where would you move and why?

    [Should this be posted in Padded Room? Lemme know if I'm in the wrong place.]

    I've found myself in a situation where I'm soon to be intentionally unemployed and will be moving to the Pacific Northwest in an effort to get the hell out of crowded (and expensive) California and spend more time playing outside. Bend, Bellingham, and North Vancouver are all on my list, but I'm interested in hearing some mags' opinions on which of these three places they would pick. I'm 31 years old, single, and I'm obsessed with skiing (duh) and mountain biking, and sometimes I ride a road bike. I'm a big fan of craft beer, and overcast/rainy weather doesn't bother me too much. It would be nice to eventually find a "real", career-type job in one of these locations, but that's not a primary consideration at this point. Rent prices aren't too much of a concern because I'm coming from California, so everything will seem like a bargain to me. See below for a quick list of my initial thoughts on and experiences with each city.

    Bend
    -I've only visited once, about 8 years ago
    -no sales tax
    -lots of good beer
    -moderate climate
    -not very rainy
    -very close to Mt Bachelor (which now has lift-accessed riding in summer)
    -dry, dusty mountain biking
    -strong mountain bike scene
    -river floating is an option in summer
    -limited career opportunities
    -I know a handful of people in town, but no close friends

    Bellingham
    -I've never been there
    -tons of mountain biking
    -several bike companies based in the area (Evil, Transition, Kona)
    -good dirt
    -gray and rainy in winter
    -close to Vancouver and Seattle
    -3 hours from Whistler
    -significant drive to any ski resort
    -college town
    -beautiful scenery
    -small but solid network of friends who live there

    North Vancouver
    -I've spent lots of time here
    -suburbia with easy access to big city and tons of mountains
    -logistics of moving to Canada could be tricky
    -exchange rate would work to my advantage
    -gray and rainy in winter
    -huge mountain bike scene
    -super easy access to Whistler
    -would be very difficult for an American to find legitimate employment in Canada
    -good-sized network of friends and acquaintances in Vancouver and Whistler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    livin the dream
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    3,068
    Sounds like a solid opportunity to take a road trip with the bike and skis....
    Best Skier on the Mountain
    Self-Certified
    1992 - 2012
    Squaw Valley, USA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    8,043
    Just go.
    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Lamebird
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    251
    Van. Live life on the road, settle wherever you settle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    405
    I live in Seattle, have spent a lot of time in all three, and would hands down pick Bellingham. Yes, you'll have to drive a bit to Baker, but the town is cool, the beer/food is great and you're near Whistler/Vancouver. I'd move there myself if I wasn't tied down. I like Bend but think Bachelor would get pretty old after a while. Vancouver would be fun (and $$) but I think it's harder than ever for an American to move up there full-time. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2008
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    Wenatchee
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    Why just those places? None of them come to mind when I think of uncrowded and less expensive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    579
    Quote Originally Posted by AaronWright View Post
    Why just those places? None of them come to mind when I think of uncrowded and less expensive.
    the dirt bag lifestyle comes along with compromises that aren't so appealing to the young and single. There really wasn't much in the OP about cheap, only career opportunities. I don't think homie is hurting for cash.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronWright View Post
    Why just those places? None of them come to mind when I think of uncrowded and less expensive.
    Sounds like you've never lived in California. It's a matter of perspective. Virtually EVERYTHING is inexpensive and uncrowded compared to where I currently live.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
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    4,403
    I think your on the right path. I moved to Utah and it was the best decision to get out of CA.

    Canada is cool and interior BC like Nelson is awesome. Bellingham has cool vibe and is close to baker and Canada. Whistler was high alpine skiing and great area. If you like that apres ski then it's for you. Not for me I preferred interior BC and Nelson area.

    So whichever way you go enjoy being out of Cali.
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we have finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    20, 18, 16, 18, 13, 17, 8

    2016/2017 (18/19)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    north aspect
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    28,817
    Quote Originally Posted by whyturn;

    So whichever way you go enjoy being out of Cali.
    there are places in California that are very enjoyable.
    bF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    写道
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    9,242
    Kalifornia has turned into a political shithole, and it's worsening. Good time to leave. If you're serious about North Van., look into your US tax status should you start working again. You don't want to be paying both Can and US taxes (assuming you're a US citizen).

    Bellingham is nice, I like it there a lot. Spokane is also pretty k00l. I like the Moscow/Pullman area, don't know about MTB or skiing there, though.

    Why the hard-on for the Pacific Northwest? No consideration for places like Flagstaff, Durango, Reno?
    ˇÓrale, vato!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    344
    Quote Originally Posted by Viva View Post
    Kalifornia has turned into a political shithole, and it's worsening. Good time to leave. If you're serious about North Van., look into your US tax status should you start working again. You don't want to be paying both Can and US taxes (assuming you're a US citizen).

    Bellingham is nice, I like it there a lot. Spokane is also pretty k00l. I like the Moscow/Pullman area, don't know about MTB or skiing there, though.

    Why the hard-on for the Pacific Northwest? No consideration for places like Flagstaff, Durango, Reno?
    I lived in Lewiston for a year. Moscow is a way nicer, funky college town on the edge of the Palouse. It gets wicked hot in the summer but spring/fall/winter is really nice. In general, I wouldn't want to settle down in that area though long-term. Decent local biking and steelhead fishing on big waters but otherwise it's a good 2-3 hour haul to the Bitterroots, northern Idaho, and McCall/Riggins/Sawtooth mtns (5 hr+ haul). I would have to say - very cheap cost of living and hasn't been exploited yet by rich tech yahoos from the Bay. Also, the Selway-Bitterroots, Frank Church areas, S Fork Clearwater are some of the prettiest areas I've been to in the U.S. and make for a great long weekend with little to no crowds for good hiking, rafting, skiing, fly fishing/hunting. Plus, Stanley is 4-5hrs hours...perhaps my favorite mtn town in the entire U.S. I still have friends in the Moscow area who ski tour in the St Joe area and take occasional ski trips south to the Wallowas.

    CDA is another decent option. Beautiful area but real estate is expensive as it's full of rich, spoiled California transplants. Closer to skiing though, plus Missoula and southern B.C are within 2hrs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    North Lake Tahoe
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    137
    This is easy, Bellingham for a variety of reasons. I went to school there briefly, and it is a nice town. Lots of mountain biking, skiing is close, San Juan Islands are close, Canada is close. Moving to Canada could be an issue as they don't want Americans up there taking their jobs for the most part, they want you to come in, spend your money and then leave.

    The Pacific Northwest will be culture shock for you coming from So-Cal though. I have to agree with a couple of posters on this thread, California is turning into a shit show, or it has already.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Ridin' 3 Sisters
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    6,486
    Vancouver is expensive. And you realize that Canada has immigration requirements? You can't just show up at the border with a moving van and expect them to let you in.

    Central Oregon sucks. You would be bored with Mt Bachelor very quickly and there's very little decent mountain biking. And the only beer available is IPA with 200 IBUs of hops

    Think about Wenatchee. Or Ellensburg. Or Hood River.
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  15. #15
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    May 2011
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    Sonoma & Truckee
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    there are places in California that are very enjoyable.
    I know, people are funny this way. It's a pretty big state, yet people will see like 10-20% of it and think they know all it has to offer. There are pockets that are pretty fantastic. I agree the California they're talking about sucks for the most part.

    Which I'm fine with.

    OP - I hear Bend has kind of jumped the shark in terms of crowds and rising expenses, but that could be just uninformed talk. I haven't been there in 10 years though so who knows.

    IMO you should get in the car and explore some of the smaller towns / cities that have all of the same access as the places you mentioned.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    344
    Quote Originally Posted by TBS View Post
    Central Oregon sucks. You would be bored with Mt Bachelor very quickly and there's very little decent mountain biking. And the only beer available is IPA with 200 IBUs of hops

    Think about Wenatchee. Or Ellensburg. Or Hood River.
    Nice, I'm moving to Corvallis this summer/fall!

  17. #17
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    Dec 2009
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    WA
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    2,422
    Leavenworth or Bellingham

  18. #18
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    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,628
    If you are thinking Bend consider Reno (area). Same kinda weather. Coastal PNW is not like Bend at all if weather is a factor.

  19. #19
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    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4matic View Post
    If you are thinking Bend consider Reno (area). Same kinda weather. Coastal PNW is not like Bend at all if weather is a factor.
    Agree with that on weather. I live in Reno.

    I like Bend, and it's much more attractive than Reno, from the perspective of neighborhoods and the town itself. Reno has more ski options, real airport, more job options, and no state income tax (Bend has no sales tax but does have income tax).

    Agree 100X with suggestions that OP take a road trip to all these places and check them out. Personally I would have difficulty with living in the rainy climate in western WA or OR, but I think those places are beautiful. I'll just visit instead of moving there though.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Eburg
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    9,922
    E of the Cascade crest for sure. Six months ago we moved to the dry side (Eburg) after 30 and 24 years in Seattle. Move has exceeded expectations. No regrets. Small college town vibe + quick access to numerous portals to the Cascades + 1 hour or less to Snoq Pass/Alpental + much drier climate + lower cost of living.

    B-ham was an option (job openings for Honey) and it's has a nice vibe but it's every bit as wet and soggy as Seattle the portals to the Cascades w/in 2 hours are limited. Long ways to E side mountain portals, even worse in winter when SR20 is closed. Seattle is closer to skiing.

    We have friends in Bend, spent lots of time there. I've explored Central OR Cascades (e.g., skied S Sister, Broken Top, Middle Sister & climbed Washington, 3FJ, Thielsen, etc.) Okay but lacks the ruggedness and expansive wilderness of WA Cascades. Bend strip development/zoning gone wrong sucks. Weather is nice tho.

    Van is the PNW's most cosmopolitan city and that's cool, but very expensive and getting out of town to the mountains can be a big PITA. Wet and soggy.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexterq20 View Post
    I'm 31 years old, single, and I'm obsessed with skiing (duh) and mountain biking, and sometimes I ride a road bike.
    Why wouldn't you just move to a real ski town?

  22. #22
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    Sep 2008
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    a poop plant
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    I know, people are funny this way. It's a pretty big state, yet people will see like 10-20% of it and think they know all it has to offer. There are pockets that are pretty fantastic. I agree the California they're talking about sucks for the most part.
    OP is from SoCal. I have lived in Northern California for 50 years and have been over the Grapevine maybe a dozen times. It may as well be another state. I don't identify with SoCal in any way.

    But yes, everyone should leave California. It's crowded, expensive and full of evil liberals!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northern BC
    Posts
    1,018
    Whatever you do, start yourself off with a trial run. Rent, don't buy. And go into it with the mindset that you're only there for a year and if it works out, you'll throw down some roots and if not, you can try the next place on your list.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by dexterq20 View Post
    Sounds like you've never lived in California. It's a matter of perspective. Virtually EVERYTHING is inexpensive and uncrowded compared to where I currently live.
    I moved to my current location from CA(Bay Area) in 2003. I don't consider Bend/Redmond/Prineville, Bellingham and the Vancouver area uncrowded. Bend metro/Bellingham is still expensive relative to the region and Vancouver is expensive, only slightly less so than the Bay Area.

    It's all perspective but anywhere west of the Cascade crest from Portland to Vancouver is crowded and desirable areas are expensive in my opinion.

    There are great areas in CA off the radar but jobs will be sparse and amenities few if that's important.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    No of SoBo, So of NoBo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angle Parking View Post
    Whatever you do, start yourself off with a trial run. Rent, don't buy. And go into it with the mindset that you're only there for a year and if it works out, you'll throw down some roots and if not, you can try the next place on your list.
    This seems like the right advice. If you're not tied to a job or anything else that requires you to put roots down quickly, go and get a year or even a six month rental, and see if you like the place. If you fall in love with it, great. If not, move on to the next one (and keep your eyes and ears open for recommendations of other places you might like even better). Within a year or two you'll have found the place that works best for you, without having to rely on a bunch of strangers on the internet to make your decision for you.
    Outlive the bastards - Ed Abbey

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