I am considering heading off to the hills


Platinum Member
Jun 29, 1999
2007 is just about here, and I am considering adding "head out West" to my New Years resolution. The sun and beach are fine; but, I am tired of having to drive hours just to find a decent growth of scrub pine. It would be nice to settle somewhere closer to the hiking trail. Perhaps Wyoming or thereabouts. What is it like out in those big middle "red" states?

The Rocky Mountain West has big cities if that's what you need. There are more commonly largesh cities, not like LA, which are close to outdoors activities.
Cities of 50 to 70 thou. There are many 10,000 pop size cities, often closer to natural resources. Between known hangouts, like Sheridan WY or Boseman MT, there is still much unexploited room. But it is disapearing. You can find a community not far from true woods, if not nestled inside, have access to most modern stuff and still have 'home value' in the community. Wyoming is booming because it allows mineral and gas exploration. Montana is locked down. The Yuppie enclaves continue to grow, but many smaller places wither without jobs. There are many previously vibrant areas depressed, and land values will be slightly less, though not completely a panic sale. There are too many families looking for the same thing, and even land in rolling prarrie near the mountains is considered good stuff.

Western Co still has much unclaimed room. So does Montana and Wyoming. Idaho is filling up fast. New Mexico has few vacancies, though everyone I know has moved there.
I think AZ is getting filled. It's all getting filled. As the population increases, willingness to brave the cold pushes people north. I don't find the cold all that bad. I'm an old duffer now, and spend a lot of warm cave time. I can go outside and see the trees any time of year.

My wife has been wanting a move to a mid sized place, around 10,000, with modern stuff like little theatre groups and shopping, and still have access to woods. The Rocky Mountain West still has a lot of 'secret' towns like thouse, but employment is the problem.

The contrary is Ohio...lots of jobs and farms. Free open land is rare.
Free open land is rare" Nasty

What's free open land? Are we going to colonize Canada?

There's a totally cool triangle house in Cheyenne, WY for sale. It has my name on it, but I think I'm a bonafide southern wimp, so not sure I'm going to head back up north. Wyoming is beautiful and there's lots of mountains and hills. Laramie is about 7000 ft altitude and beautiful. College town though, but nice. Stay away from Nebraska.........it seriously sucks.........sorry all you NE people, well, Omaha is OK, but not many trees there. The high country of Arizona (think Show Low and Payson) is beautiful. Lots of hiking, close to the desert and then pines, too. Best of all worlds. Not much cheap land here, though.

Well, some thoughts for you to consider.
Oregon is nice, mountains and beach not too far apart, but you'll need a visa and work permit to get in, they have immigration controls there for foreigners from other states. they'll let you drive thru without too much hassle, long as you don't stay there too long.

Washington ain't bad either, but it sure rains alot. Seattle was neat, but as you drive south on the interstate it had (last time i was there awhile back) a goodbye sign that said 'would the last person to leave seattle please turn out the lights'

Commiefornia is a nice state, shame about the govt. there tho & all their intrusive 'kumbayah' laws...
I'm in Sheridan, Wyoming now and it isn't too bad. Housing is scarce and/or expensive, but it is everywhere else too it seems. I like the ability to load the dog into the van and drive up into the Big Horns for a hike. Buffalo, Wyoming is better for that than Sheridan, but is smaller (less "civilized" stuff so to speak) and therein lays its charm...

N2... what do you do for a living? There are jobs out here, but it really depends on what you do, or want to do. The mineral boom has opened up plenty of jobs in that field, but there a whole lot of other opportunities around. But I guess it depends on what you want to do. I'm back in school for a computer science degree and will "probably" have to move out of state to find work. There is some work in that field locally, but not that'll typically pay enough to buy a house and "live" here.

That is Wyomings traditional problem... the state's population has been bleeding due to lack of jobs/opportunity. Kids get educated and leave the state to find work. Rich folks have been moving in and buying up properties (driving up prices). Good paying jobs aren't easy to find. Land is expensive when you can find it for sale.

BUT... education is cheap and some areas are growing. You can't beat the Spring/Summer up in the mountains. It is nice not to have to fight traffic on a daily basis. My summer time down in Florida opened my eyes to what I had up here... which is why I came back.

Munk... Sheridan fits the 10,000 pop sized town (sort of... I think we're at 15,000 now). We do have the civic theater/arts scene and a great school system too. Heck... Home Depot opens its doors on Jan 3! Finding affordable housing and a job is the hard part...

I lived 3 or 4 miles outside Sheridan WY, on the road to Bighorn. We lasted 3.5 years. The money was too short.

N2... what do you do for a living?

I usually do something in administration or marketing; such as program/contracts management, or bidding and negotiations. Then again, I may just settle down to do the academic thing, and teach.

I was driving around the area last week and the entire Southern half of Florida now feels like a gigantic strip mall parking lot. There isn't even a decent park down here worthy of a good stroll; and, that doesn't even take into consideration that our state bird should be a mosquito. Have we turned the rest of the country a glorified ant colony already; or, are there still people living in the real world?

In the mood I am in, I am going to have to hum this all day long. :) :rolleyes:

N2, come on up... I bet you could find something to do. The misquetos aren't even that bad..

Munk, I remember you saying you lived over by Big Horn. I don't remember how long ago that was. It might have gotten better... might not. I'm a bit worried that the CBM growth is going to hit Sheridan County hard this summer... the companies are starting to relocate out of Campbell county and moving into Johnson and Sheridan. If I can't find a computer tech job during the summer, I'm going to go work for a CBM company and bank some bucks for next school year. I hate 12 hour shifts... but I love the overtime...

Well we have tons of land, no water and your lucky to find a house you can afford .......... brand new houses in the mid 300,000 only been lived in for the last 5 years:)