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Affordable ski towns

Christy

Angel Diva
I guess I shouldn't speak for everyone, but it seems like what matters, no matter if a person prefers to be in a red or blue state, is the laws and policies of the state, rather than the geographic extent of either party's dominance. I imagine that since rural areas are conservative, nearly all states are going to have big swaths of red (except probably Hawaii?), but it often doesn't really matter because relatively few people live in those places.
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My best friend lived in metro portland. She's given up skiing due to the traffic..
I'd have to go down and visit Mt Hood for a day to know if I'd move there. Then on another day visit Tigard. We had ski traffic problems up here too, but I'm told they are now resolved. Ours was the last 1/2 hour to the mountain.
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I guess I shouldn't speak for everyone, but it seems like what matters, no matter if a person prefers to be in a red or blue state, is the laws and policies of the state, rather than the geographic extent of either party's dominance. I imagine that since rural areas are conservative, nearly all states are going to have big swaths of red (except probably Hawaii?), but it often doesn't really matter because relatively few people live in those places.
Yes, for me it's primarily the laws and policies. Even if I moved to a more liberal area of Montana such as Bozeman I'd still be in a red state. Not to get into politics - it's just my preference!
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
.... My house in Spokane will be going on the market in May. We are building a new one, not leaving the area. Anyway I'm your Spokane source if you have questions. I've been posting positives in this thread since the beginning.
Thanks, yes I really appreciate all the information!
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I lived and worked in Portland from 2012-2018. Moved there from the DC area.


I skied Mt Hood Meadows 2 or 3 times before I started driving to Bachelor instead.

The first time, the primary part of Meadows was pretty icy. I was advised by a young man that it wasn't really suitable for an intermediate skier who doesn't know the mountain. So I skied the green trails off to the left and worked on skills.

When I did get to the main body of Meadows on another day, I couldn't tell much about where I was. All I could think was "why don't you put some money into some damn SIGNS". I am very comfortable with ski maps, but I couldn't find signs to match up to the map.

It may have been 1.25 hours from home (near PDX airport) to Mt Hood, but it took that long just to get off the mountain on a weekend. Drive home was close to 3 hours.

Then a friend told me that Meadows has ditches or gullies or something that I should be cautious of. I dubbed Meadows a "locals mountain" since apparently you have to already know the place to ski it safely solo.

I skied Timberline a few times, but only midweek or late season, and really enjoyed it.

I did more skiing when I lived in the DC area than in Portland. And skied Bachelor more than Mt Hood.

I'm sure there are others on here who know way more about Mt Hood than I do and who like it. It was just a PITA to me.


During my last full year in Portland, a radio announcer informed us that that was the 300th consecutive day without sun. IIRC, Portland actually gets more rain than Seattle.


Vancouver, WA may offer the best of both worlds wrt taxes. No income tax and you can cross the river to shop tax-free in Oregon.


Seattle had more of a city feel to me, so Portland might seem friendlier. But I was never convinced it was actually true.

To me, in DC, if someone doesn't like you and sees you coming down the street, they'll probably avoid you. In Portland, it felt like if they didn't like you, were on the other side of the street and saw you coming, they'd cross the street to stop you and chat with you, then talk about you behind your back. I had been forewarned that the Northwest has a reputation for passive-aggressive behavior. Since you're in that region, you may be used to it. I was not.

OTOH, Portland is full of locally-owned restaurants. I'm a picky eater, so exploring them felt risky! But I felt welcome and appreciated. My current location is south of Denver ... and this is the mecca of chain restaurants. That's one of the things I do miss about Portland. But you may find more of a chain restaurant culture in the family-friendlier areas around Portland, so YMMV. And you may find the people to be very accepting of newcomers.


Charts from Wikipedia:

View attachment 22972

Blue areas are more populated so the state may lean that way, but that doesn't mean you'll encounter blue attitudes everywhere you go


I didn't spend any time in Tigard, but based on the people I knew who lived there, it did seem to be family-oriented. Beaverton and Lake Oswego also seemed popular with families.


I'm not trying to argue your pros and cons, but my experience differs from how you're seeing it. There may be a whole host of reasons why Portland is the right place for you. And your priorities will be different than mine. I met many people there who were born and raised in Portland who cannot imagine ever living somewhere else.

There were pockets of people and places in the Portland area that I really enjoyed and that I miss. But I had retired and Portland seemed to be declining, so I decided it was time to move on.
Thanks for the insight!

Did you get the sense that not a lot of people in the Portland area ski, or are passionate about skiing? We have some very enthusiastic skiers up here in Seattle. We take our skiing seriously. lol

I do worry if I will be a good fit with the people. We all want to live someplace where we feel at home.

The rest of it all seems fine - from the schools to the neighborhood to the nearby activities. I think my day to day will be similar to Seattle, with weekends I spend outdoors. But will I like the skiing and will I like the people?

I don't have a lot of opportunity to explore. I have a baby so I can't go on a road trip visiting cities all over the country. Even with a narrowed down list - I may not like any of them. Portland is known and close by so it's low risk. But really the affordability of the beautiful townhomes in a very nice neighborhood is what has me seriously considering it. We don't have that here, they would be $2 million here in the suburbs.

I agree with the food! Chain restaurants are not for me.
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I should say it's already been a journey, even if I haven't visited anywhere yet... I first envisioned myself in a cute little house with snow outside and a creek next to it, living just a few miles from a beautiful ski resort. That's not going to be possible on my income.

And I know I want a blue state, so that further narrows it.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You'll find your tribe, wherever you end up! I go between "I want out of Utah because I'm tired of the gerrymandered BS that allows for the churchislature to rule here" to "I'm going to stay and work to loosen this place up!" Regardless, I have found my tribe, partly thanks to my husband who grew up here and has been embedded in the ski community here for 30+ years. We have an incredible friend network and it just keeps growing. The air quality does upset me on a regular basis. The latest legislative session ended up declaring "we will continue to burn coal!" (I'm not kidding--the stuff they battle against here vs. what REALLY matters boggles my mind.)
 

Trailside Trixie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You will definitely find your people. I've always felt finding your happy place for home is one of the most important things, even more important than work. Now that we're in remote land for work the possibilities are endless for home utopia.

I wanted to move back to California but then we moved to uncrowded NWCT near the mass border and I also fell in love with the londonderry area of Vermont. Both places are home now. We'll move likely to VT one day full time but until them we're perfectly content with 2 happy places.
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You'll find your tribe, wherever you end up! I go between "I want out of Utah because I'm tired of the gerrymandered BS that allows for the churchislature to rule here" to "I'm going to stay and work to loosen this place up!" Regardless, I have found my tribe, partly thanks to my husband who grew up here and has been embedded in the ski community here for 30+ years. We have an incredible friend network and it just keeps growing. The air quality does upset me on a regular basis. The latest legislative session ended up declaring "we will continue to burn coal!" (I'm not kidding--the stuff they battle against here vs. what REALLY matters boggles my mind.)
That would be hard! But nowhere is perfect. :-)
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You will definitely find your people. I've always felt finding your happy place for home is one of the most important things, even more important than work. Now that we're in remote land for work the possibilities are endless for home utopia.

I wanted to move back to California but then we moved to uncrowded NWCT near the mass border and I also fell in love with the londonderry area of Vermont. Both places are home now. We'll move likely to VT one day full time but until them we're perfectly content with 2 happy places.
I miss California, but it's expensive and the places I liked didn't have skiing
 

Trailside Trixie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I miss California, but it's expensive and the places I liked didn't have skiing
I miss California too but living in Southern California would no longer work for me unless I had 2 homes; one in the OC and one in the mountains. I used to go to big bear or mountain high every weekend and mammoth once a month but that was a lot of driving and wouldn't work for me any longer. I've got skiing 6 months of the year where I am now anywhere from right out the door to an hour away so I'm actually quite spoiled. Hard to give that up, nor do I want to.

Moving to mammoth or heavenly one day full time would certainly fit the bill. Moving to Reno would also work but we're good where we are for the time being.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
One thing about finding your tribe: it can take a lot more effort on this front than when we were younger. I've encountered a bunch of media (books*, podcasts, NPR) lately about how many Americans are most isolated than ever--they don't belong to the institutions prior generations did, they are working at home--and they often don't understand why it seems so hard to make friends. One thing this all made me think about is how many of my current friends made the effort with me whereas I've generally done very little in terms of making the effort to make friends. Working at home full time also made me realize how many friends I always made through work, but that pipeline is gone.

*One very funny and interesting book about trying to make friends (in London) is Jessica Tan's Sorry I'm Late But I didn't Want to Come.
 

sibhusky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Most of our friends locally came because we had a kid. Since she moved away, many fell along the wayside and it takes more effort. If I didn't ski I'd go nuts. (Church is the glue for many in the area and I'd last an hour.) Living in the woods doesn't help either. When we lived back East it was in a condo and we went to offices to work and we had a kid - all links to others. Here? The only possible hook is volunteer work.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
One thing about finding your tribe: it can take a lot more effort on this front than when we were younger. I've encountered a bunch of media (books*, podcasts, NPR) lately about how many Americans are most isolated than ever--they don't belong to the institutions prior generations did, they are working at home--and they often don't understand why it seems so hard to make friends. One thing this all made me think about is how many of my current friends made the effort with me whereas I've generally done very little in terms of making the effort to make friends. Working at home full time also made me realize how many friends I always made through work, but that pipeline is gone.

*One very funny and interesting book about trying to make friends (in London) is Jessica Tan's Sorry I'm Late But I didn't Want to Come.
This is so true.
 

La Louve

Diva in Training
If you are considering Portland and Mt. Hood, you might look at Vancouver, WA, on the north banks of the Columbia River. Voter maps may show it as red because of previous presidential elections but overall it's pretty equally balanced, and Vancouver itself leans largely progressive. Washington's US senators, our region's US Congressional rep, and the majority of our state legislators are all .

Yes Oregon has no sales tax, while Washington does, but Oregon income tax is very high. Consider that every dollar you earn in Oregon is taxed, but not every dollar you spend in Washington is taxed. I will say that Washington has one of the highest gas taxes in the nation and I often will gas up when I'm in Portland to save $0.20 per gallon.

I bought a home in Vancouver 30 years ago and got more house for my money, lower property taxes, better schools, and better social services. I think housing is still more affordable in Vancouver vs. Portland. The entire area has many amenities important to me: great grocery and pet supply options, world class medical care (both traditional and alternative), lots of history, great museums and parks, a vibrant restaurant scene, excellent higher education institutions, plenty of outdoor activity options, proximity to the ocean, and gorgeous scenery.

Downsides: It's a little further than your stated parameters. I live just north of downtown Vancouver, west of I-5, and can be to Timberline ski area at Mt Hood in about 1:30 - 1:45. Wildfires are definitely a concern and we're all learning to live in the new climate reality. Traffic can suck at certain times of day, but it's still better than Seattle imho. And of course the rain lol. But this area has fewer gray days than the Puget Sound region, and warmer summers too.

Good luck in your search!
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I miss California too but living in Southern California would no longer work for me unless I had 2 homes; one in the OC and one in the mountains. I used to go to big bear or mountain high every weekend and mammoth once a month but that was a lot of driving and wouldn't work for me any longer. I've got skiing 6 months of the year where I am now anywhere from right out the door to an hour away so I'm actually quite spoiled. Hard to give that up, nor do I want to.

Moving to mammoth or heavenly one day full time would certainly fit the bill. Moving to Reno would also work but we're good where we are for the time being.
Mammoth or Heavenly both sound great! Both unaffordable.

I can't see myself living in Reno just to ski...

Yes, perfect, a house in So Cal and a second home would be ideal for me! :-)
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Me wanting a friendly place has to do with the type of city Seattle is, and perhaps Portland is that way too. There are a lot of introverts and self labeled nerds here, and they rule this city. I feel out of place, even with my friends here. For instance my friend group has a very nice scientist and we are polar opposites. She's a better fit! I think the Seattle freeze is real and a lot of it is that people here aren't outgoing and so they stay home and keep to themselves a lot. So my personality isn't a good fit. Some places you feel at home, but some places you feel like you don't fit in and what you have to offer isn't valued. I could never code and I think it takes a certain personality to do that and we are a tech city. I'm a marketer!

Cities like San Diego, Miami, LA, and Dallas probably fit my personality more. Except I love to ski and I also just love the snow! I find it all so magical and compelling.

That said, not everyone here is an introvert and I have made friends. But I don't feel like I fit in here.

One thing I love is Seattle is not a superficial city. In So Cal you are literally judged by the car you drive! lol

Also it's liberal and eco conscious and people don't litter and they care about the environment and love the outdoors. So in many ways it's a fit!
 

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