Looking for the perfect town to retire in a la "Northern Exposure"

Craig F.

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
43
I live in Madison, WI so if you have to live in the Midwest, it would be on the top of the list. If I could ever convince my wife to move out of Wisconsin, I'd probably pick Durango, CO as the place to live.
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,487
Durango/Pagosa Springs are currently at the top of my list, too. But we're slowly starting to realize that we might be rolling stones and it may be a long time before we feel like settling down to any one place. The nomad life sounds pretty good.
 

gnwatts

Member
.
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
1,908
Have you considered Telluride area? We lived there for about 7 years, and I loved the small town vibe, going to the post office it would take you 20 minutes to get out because you saw so many friends. Downside is real estate prices are pretty high. We lived in Sawpit too, which is about 15 miles downvalley, it was affordable and pretty cool place. Rico, about 30 miles from Telluride about half way to Dolores and Cortez. A true funky Colorado mountain town. Winters are a little intense, but you have Four Corners not far away. Great weather too.

Although its a tourist place I really like Glenwood Springs. .

???????? Depends on what your definition of "tourist place" is I guess. Residents of Glenwood would beg to differ with you. :)
 

Absarokanaut

Member
.
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
660
I've actually given some thought to this too. I grew up in NM and have given thought to going back, but unless you're within reasonable driving range of the Rio Grande valley any place there is remote. In my experience, remote in NM isn't really like remote in other places. Outsiders usually aren't very welcome and I don't really want to deal with that. I think my preference would be somewhere on the western slope in CO. Although its a tourist place I really like Glenwood Springs. But Grand Junction and Montrose would definitely be on the list for consideration. Its not really on the western slope, but I like the San Luis valley. All of the towns there remind me of NM, and it feels like home whenever I go there. So, South Fork, Del Norte, Monte Vista, and Alamosa. Since I grew up a short walk from a hippie commune, I feel right at home in Crestone with all of the kindred spirits there. That would have a lot attraction for me since I think the Sangres are the best mountains in CO, but I probably couldn't afford to live in Crestone.

Curt,

I lived in La Veta for a long time. Alamosa and Monte Vista seemed pretty darn unwelcoming to me. Alamosa is a tough town in many respects.

But I love La Valle too. Always thought Saguache could somehow be invigorated, great location IMO. Love Moon Pass, etc. I think I'd much rather live in Salida than anywhere in the Valley.
 

Duke

Mountain Carver
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
382
Moab, UTy


Bob, don't hate me for my honest disagreement. We're all different and with all due respect there is no way in Hades I'd rather live in Utah than Colorado. Utah has more Bundystani whackjobs than any other state IMO, lots of people deceitfully raising money to purportedly get control of Federal Lands they darn well know they will NEVER be able to do. Although Salt Lake City is an exponentially better city than it was not long ago Colorado has one of the country's best economies and the progressive thinking of the Front Range outside of Colorado Springs makes for serious culture far beyond anything Utah has ever offered. In short, IMO Colorado is far more conducive to people invested in community and that don't appreciate the self-absorbed. If you're a teabagger Utah is a good choice outside of SLC just as much of Colorado is beyond the Front Range and Summit County. The influence of LDS in Utah is something quite unAmerican and IMO should alarm anyone that truly believes they are a free thinker.

Ouch.... self absorbed, budystani whackjobs, decitfull, land grabbers, no culture, un-American.....I think that is more Utah hate than I have ever seen in one paragraph before. :)
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,339
I don't hate people for opinions and It's just my opinion of CO ...... there are things CO does that I really disagree with. Unfortunately CO is dominated by the 'Front Range'. My feeling is that if you don't like a place...... don't go there, which is why I don't go to CO and a few other places. I will let it go at that as I don't get into political/religious/demographic discussions....
However, Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are more to my liking.
Personally, I would not like to live in SLC either....... :)
 

Absarokanaut

Member
.
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
660
Thank you both for the sense of humor and boulder of salt.

I love Utah and several beehivers, if I didn't I'd be as silent as so many others here. I'd never not go there because of all the deceitful schmucks, most of them don't get out on the proverbial trail anyway unless they're on ATVs and destroying archaeological sites in some insane form of disgraceful protest against landscape preservation. Bob I can't believe you'd never go to Sand Canyon, Grand Mesa, Browns Park, the Sangres, etc., just because you don't like people with an enthusiasm for inclusive politics and real reverence for our greatest documents of freedom but then again for the same "reasons" you told Vegan you didn't like the people where he comes from either. I take it we will never see you here in Teton County either? If you ever have a change of heart I'm a lot more agreeable in person without provocation.

I obviously detest the deceitful, avaricious sentiment that there is some kind of virtue in advocating theft from more than 300,000,000 of us. Fortunately it will never happen however rich some posterior orifices get from suggesting it could. I'm just surprised how many purported outdoor lovers here embrace the politics of enabling natural destruction with their silence.

Peace,

John
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,339
......... I have spent time in CO.. extensive thru Durango, Telluride, Ouray, Silverton, Lake City, Leadville country. Time at Beavercreek, Aspen, Telluride. I have found that there are many, many places to see and things to do and time is short. So I can limit places a little easier by staying out of areas (states) that have policies I have some disagreement with.....

And I didn't say all the people are bad from places I don't care for.......
I am thru Teton county a lot......
 

gnwatts

Member
.
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
1,908
I Unfortunately CO is dominated by the 'Front Range'.

Ignorance is bliss as the saying goes. You have to be kidding, right? I don't remember the last time I visited the dominating "Front Range".
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,339
Not ignorance.......different lifestyle and views ......
 

Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
.
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
2,927
Ennis, Montana is my vote.

What bothers me about both UT and CO is the members of my age demographic there. They're slowly discovering great lesser known places (they have every right to, of course) and they use the outdoors for self-promotion; namely with selfies taken everywhere and slathered in hash tags in attempts to get likes and make their lives look exciting and adventurous. I could go on for hours about this, but I'll stop here.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,339
Ennis is neat and close to great places......
 

1mancattleman

New Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
1
@
Okay, it's times like these (end of the year) that I start thinking about not working. I'm lucky enough to have an early retirement option at my job and my boyfriend and I have always wanted to retire in a town like the fictional Cicely, Alaska of "Northern Exposure" (if you don't remember that show, I feel really, really sorry for you!) Anyway, I have 8 1/2 years to find that perfect little quirky mountain town. The real town that show was based on is Talkeetna, Alaska but I've been there and it's really touristy now, plus Alaska winters are too severe. So where is the next closest thing? I think I'll find it in the four corners somewhere. I'm looking for someplace small, outdoorsy, and quirky (you know, where people are tolerant of each other, lots of interesting, out of the box people live there).

So far here are the suggestions I've gotten either from personal experience or friends:

Springdale, UT (my friend that lives there assures me it's really quirky).
Moab, UT
Flagstaff, AZ
Torrey, UT

I've heard Cortez, CO is awesome but have never been there.

Ruled out: Escalante, UT, Cedar City, UT.

What do you guys think??
Well it's been about 8.5 yrs. Where did y'all decide. We're interested in doing the same thing. Loved northern exposure but Alaska is just too cold for us.
 

regehr

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,840
Yeah fun to see this thread revived!
Looking back over it, I'd have expected to see more discussion of access to good medical facilities, seems likely to be important to most of us sooner or later. For example a few years ago my mom had cancer and would have almost certainly been dead within months if she'd gone with the recommendation of her small-town doctor instead of driving a few hours to a real cancer center. But for some of these western towns it's at least an all-day drive to a decent hospital -- makes it tough to get chemo or whatever.
 

Rockskipper

No ETA
.
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,732
When asked, I used to tell people cool places to go and explore and camp - places like Onion Creek and Cedar Mesa and the Swell. I've learned it's a good way to help ruin a place. Part of the fun is finding places on your own, including where you want to live.

And @regehr makes a good point. I once went to a yard sale in Moab where the couple were moving to Tucson because he needed dialysis all the time.
 
Last edited:

Janice

Member
.
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
722
So interesting to read through this thread. I wonder how much some of these places have changed in the years since the discussion started in 2012. Would some be knocked off the list because of increased tourist activity (Springdale, Moab, etc.)? Would some be knocked off because of political issues?
 

regehr

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,840
I've long considered Moab untenable! Outlying areas such as Pack Creek are great, though a person I know who had a house in Pack Creek lost it to their fire last summer. We were in Kanab over Thanksgiving and on a lark glanced at house prices and they seemed really high.
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,939
Fine question... there are a few small towns in Utah I wouldn't mind but I think you'll get a mixed bag of tolerant outdoorsy folks and closed-minded locals. I guess that's the case anywhere, but I think especially in some small Utah towns. I think I'd look at western Colorado myself. I've heard Carbondale is nice.

Fun to see this thread pop up again, especially considering I now live 20 miles from the town I mentioned 9 years ago. :lol:
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
ghsmith76 Looking for best multi-day Backpacking Trips near Livingston, MT Trip Planning 6
TeamJenkins17 Looking for info on Clark Creek drainage/Pierpont Pass into Hidden Basin in the Washakie Wilderness Trip Planning 5
chebba87 Invite Looking for partner - Yellowstone late August Meet Up (Members Only) 1
Jamesoutside life Looking for backpacking buddy montana aug/sept Noobs: Introduce yourself! 0
IlVagabondo Looking for a ~30 mile loop in the Scapegoat/Bob Trip Planning 2
Mormadmom New and looking for an adventure Noobs: Introduce yourself! 7
Happyidiot Looking for camping spot close to Denver. General Discussion 2
montanaclimber Looking for bob Marshall recommendation Backpacking 1
U Favorite sites in Glacier in North Fork, Lake McDonald or Cole/Nyack? Looking at mid july Trip Planning 2
Contra Looking at buying a used travel trailer opinions wanted. General Discussion 16
U Favorite Yellowstone Gallatin Mtn Area Campsite? Looking at WD5, WE7 and that area Trip Planning 5
U Glacier North Circle Loop Mid July - Looking for an alternative back-up plan for a 3-4 nighter Trip Planning 0
fossana BLM looking for input on accelerating grazing permits (comment through 6 Mar) General Discussion 2
Benjamin Hayden Looking for good hike away from people in Sedona in mid-February Trip Planning 3
Kullaberg63 Super short notice: Looking for Winds partner Meet Up (Members Only) 4
Perry My First Multi-day Solo this Weekend - Looking for some Beta Trip Planning 0
M Looking for friends and a partner Noobs: Introduce yourself! 0
M Novice Backpacker looking for a 5-6 trip in July! Noobs: Introduce yourself! 3
sydissoocool Looking for a backpacking buddy for Uinta Highline Trail Noobs: Introduce yourself! 6
swmalone Looking for a new bike helmet Gear 5
Perry Looking at new trail runners: Altra Lone Peak or Hoka Stinson ATR? Gear 22
ADubs Looking for info from anyone who has done the Egypt loop and exited via 25mile wash (Escalante). Trip Planning 3
Jazzy Joe Looking for Escalante Area Short Backpacking Suggestions Early Spring Trip Planning 21
Benjamin Hayden Looking for advice on Maze District, Canyonlands Trip Planning 1
swmalone Looking for Info On How to Access Newfoundland Mountains Trip Planning 1
Laura Looking to avoid photographers Trip Planning 10
Elli Morris Looking for non-petroleum gear options Noobs: Introduce yourself! 4
dhertbag Looking for info on Death Hollow Trip Planning 13
swmalone Looking for Assistance to Introduction to Escalante Area Trip Planning 4
fiber Looking for backpacking/hiking/mtbing partners Meet Up (Members Only) 2
J Looking for backpacking partners Meet Up (Members Only) 3
C looking for the secret society of pictographs ..... Trip Planning 14
swmalone Looking for Softshell/snowshoeing pant suggestions Gear 6
C Looking for HCL 1901 Rock in Old Womans Wash Utah Noobs: Introduce yourself! 2
Burrito Looking for moderate route in the wind rivers Trip Planning 8
mpuchtel Looking to give and receive trip advice Noobs: Introduce yourself! 2
Kullaberg63 Looking for experienced seamstress General Discussion 4
P Noob looking for solitary beauty in canyon lands, san rafael, escalante Noobs: Introduce yourself! 2
Nico Wind River - Looking for fish (of the Golden variety) Trip Planning 9
trantelica Looking for a good trail for scouts Trip Planning 3
Mike Jones Looking to by my first real camera Photography 0
Jenece Mordt Looking for a unique hike Trip Planning 9
natylka New to the site! Looking for people to hike and backpack with. Noobs: Introduce yourself! 11
Michael B Looking for Utah backpacking recommendation for early spring Trip Planning 11
J Back again, looking for different access points for Death Hollow...... Trip Planning 9
jdgibney Quick Southwest trip Jan 14-18 - Looking for suggestions Trip Planning 3
owyhee Noob looking for solo hike advice in Capital Reef Noobs: Introduce yourself! 12
Nick Looking for a place around Joshua Tree? General Discussion 2
Laura Looking for pictographs in the Zion Area Trip Planning 24
Legstrong Looking for Utah wilderness Trip Planning 6

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top