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

Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
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I'm just cringing at my 5-year-old comment. Haha. I still don't like those "use the outdoors to promote my social media" types, but I guess I'm desensitized to it now because I don't really care anymore.

I guess I live about 50 miles from the place I named. Funny how that works.
 

Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
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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?
I think a lot have probably become more touristy/busy and will get more so, since a lot of places have gotten more popular thanks to the hug of death that COVID-19 has brought to national parks, etc. Moab is a good example. I know there are lots more, like Bozeman, near me. I've only been in the area for a year and a half, but my grandparents lived here 15+ years ago and from my memories back then, it has changed a lot in a short amount of time. And I often hear longtime locals lament the loss of unique stores, bars, restaurants, etc. to places like Lululemon and Whole Foods. Fortunately, there seems to be strong support for buying local, so hopefully some of the uniqueness doesn't get edged out by big business. And the increase in population has brought some other interesting things to do in town, so I guess it's not all bad. The price of housing greatly dampens that though, since you can barely get by unless you're rich, in a double income household, or have lots of roommates.
 

Rockskipper

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I lived in Bonedale before it got so gentrified, @Nick. Really liked it back then. Sounds like you're in the neighborhood. I spent some time there last summer. As for Bozeman, I also lived there for awhile and at that point they were calling it Little Boulder. I liked it, except it was too busy and expensive. L-Town was more my cup of tea, and it's expensive now comparatively.
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
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Sep 23, 2016
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Jackson, now you are talking about how Bozeman has changed. I still remember how Bozeman was 40 years ago in the early 80s. There are way too many people there for myself these days.

So many places have changed big time in the last some years thruout the American West. In Jackson some of us were talking about all of the changes occurring and how expensive it all had become. We all had lived there for years. One remarked on if we leave then where would we go?
 
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John Morrow

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May 22, 2015
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Long thread...Have I already mentioned that I live in Cicely? Actually Roslyn, WA. Honestly, we are more Northern Exposure quirk than the show itself, still have a population under 1000, and have deeded natural forest forever surrounding us. Unfortunately, I can barely afford to stay after 30 years because we are becoming a bedroom community for Seattle...well, have been for a while. Sucks.
 

Titans

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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.

@regehr , we would certainly approve of you buying a house in Kanab! Wait, it turned out Rick looked too and also thought prices were high….
 

John Morrow

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@regehr , we would certainly approve of you buying a house in Kanab! Wait, it turned out Rick looked too and also thought prices were high….
What's too high? In 2010 a house across the street from me went for $175,000. This spring it went for $650,000 after about $50,000 in kitchen, exteior siding and appliance renovation. A .com white collar couple in their 30s from Seattle bought it. They have really nice toys and appear to live there 35% of the time. Haven't had the courage to introduce myself. I rent. What occupation can possibly be worth the income that is required to buy homes in my town? How can someone make what I make per hour in less than the amount of time it takes for them to go sit on the toilet or go to the office coffee room? The inequities of this economy never cease to amaze me. I probably should have learned to enjoy sitting in an office and enjoy looking full time at computers rather than labor outside. Those decisions have long since been made, and I otherwise can't complain.
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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Lol.... Town I'm in had 300 permanent people..... 4000 in the summer with vacation people
 

Rockskipper

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@John Morrow A lot of what we're seeing everywhere isn't real wealth, it's people borrowing on their stocks and company shares that are vastly overvalued. If (when) things go south, we'll see lots and lots of property and toys go south also. It's the "wealth effect" of an overvalued overleveraged market based on the Federal Reserve pumping funny money into the economy (QE and buying MBS), also the base cause of the inflation we're seeing.
 
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Bob

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Using free stimulus money from the feds as down payments ....... deferred payments... They can afford it for a couple years then it crashes
 

Laura

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Oct 1, 2012
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Omg, I can’t believe this thread is still running! I just looked it up for the heck of it, and found I have a lot of catching up to do. Anyway, I wrote the original post 10 years ago. Here’s where I am now: I fulfilled my dream of retiring early (55) and found an awesome town that has a lot of the quirkiness and character of “Northern Exposure”: Flagstaff Arizona. It’s not small compared to Cicely/Roslyn (though it’s a hell of a lot smaller than San Diego, and great to hear from someone in Roslyn!) but it really has a small town feel and you run into people you know a lot. Lots of interesting characters in this town! As for outdoorsy, EVERYTHING is about the outdoors here, even in winter. I’m a photographer now, I got accepted into a local gallery and I’m a contributor for Arizona Highways. The boyfriend I referred to in my first post has been my husband for the last six years. Best life ever! Hi to everyone who remembers me, and to all who are meeting me now.

Taken just outside Flagstaff about two weeks ago (that's fog forming over the meadow):
79FB309E-3DEF-462A-BED4-E11FA8AD762C.jpeg
 
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