salem or olympia

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Patrick, Apr 12, 2003.

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  1. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    I am relocating to the pacific northwest. After much contemplation I decided this was the best area
    for me, even though I am admittedly worried about the job market. I do know that I don't want to
    live in a big city, i.e., Portland and Seattle. But I don't want to be isolated, either. I think the
    best scenario would be to live in a smaller independent city within 40 miles of a major city. Both
    Salem, OR and Olympia, WA seem to fit this criteria. I would appreciate any comparisons,
    impressions, or insights, I might be able to get from people familiar with either or both of these
    towns. Obviously bike riding is my primary interest. But I also like the idea of trying out
    kakaying. Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, Patrick <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I am relocating to the pacific northwest. After much contemplation I decided this was the best area
    >for me, even though I am admittedly worried about the job market. I do know that I don't want to
    >live in a big city, i.e., Portland and Seattle. But I don't want to be isolated, either. I think
    >the best scenario would be to live in a smaller independent city within 40 miles of a major city.
    >Both Salem, OR and Olympia, WA seem to fit this criteria.

    I enjoyed living in Olympia and there is great riding around there, big riding events in the area,
    lots of trails and some big climbs available. It is rather damp.

    I spent many years in the Rogue valley (Ashland, OR) and I think that area is also a cycling
    paradise. It puts you within striking range for rides in the Cascades, Siskiyous, and the coast as
    well, and there is good riding in California just south of the border, a lot of very remote rides
    with big hills. The Rogue valley is also not a wet area, it is a dry annual-forest-fire type of
    place, very nice cycling weather as long as the forest isn't on fire.

    I always through Salem was a rather boring place but someone who lived there could say better. I
    would pick Portland over Salem any day.

    Sorry there is really no good news about jobs in Oregon, not a good choice for that.

    --Paul
     
  3. [email protected] (Patrick) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I am relocating to the pacific northwest. After much contemplation I decided this was the best
    > area for me, even though I am admittedly worried about the job market. I do know that I don't want
    > to live in a big city, i.e., Portland and Seattle. But I don't want to be isolated, either. I
    > think the best scenario would be to live in a smaller independent city within 40 miles of a major
    > city. Both Salem, OR and Olympia, WA seem to fit this criteria.

    Unless you hanker to work for state government (otherwise, why pick two state capitals?) what about
    Bellingham? I'd pick Bellingham over Olympia any day. You could argue that you're too far from the
    major megalopolis, but it depends on how you measure where that megalopolis ends -- at the city
    limits, or the end of the suburban sprawl.

    Bellingham is also proximate to Vancouver, as well as Seattle. Canadians, when they aren't lording
    it over us about the Battle of 1812, are rather nice, and the favorable exchange rate makes the
    whole country a bargain basement for us shopping with genuine US greenbacks.

    Good luck with your move.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
     
  4. [email protected] (Claire Petersky) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > Bellingham is also proximate to Vancouver, as well as Seattle. Canadians, when they aren't lording
    > it over us about the Battle of 1812, are rather nice.....

    Come on Claire, I can't remember mentioning that more that a dozen times.
     
  5. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    [email protected] (Claire Petersky) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > [email protected] (Patrick) wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > > Unless you hanker to work for state government (otherwise, why pick
    > two state capitals?) what about Bellingham? I'd pick Bellingham over Olympia any day. You could
    > argue that you're too far from the major

    Thanks for your input. I did in fact spend a summer in Bellingham; the only NW town I am familiar
    with. And the sense of isolation was discomforting, in an end of the line kind of way. I never
    thought of capital cities as being void of, or lacking in, manufactering and other non governmental
    jobs by virtue of their status as state capital. I just assumed government jobs were a nice
    complement to the local economy. I've had most of today to look around Salem by car. Bike lanes seem
    to be on nearly all streets. The place is kept up nice, and the rents are very reasonable. 1BR on
    average is about $500. I spent the day in Portland yesterday driving around, and the conjestion is
    crushing, particularly on the west side it seems. I couldn't find any bike lanes on the roadways.
    I'm sure they're plentiful, considering Portland's status as best bicycling town overall, per
    Bicycling Magazine, but I didn't see any.

    Still Salem does seem boring. I don't know if I can endure a summer here. Tomorrow I will go up to
    the Olympia area and look around. Your thoughts and impressions were appreciated.

    was a bonus.
     
  6. Baltobernie

    Baltobernie Guest

    Thirty five years ago, my parents and I sat nervously in the outer office of Admissions at Penn
    State. I'll never forget the interview that followed. After asking what I really enjoyed, the
    counsellor patiently waited while I described my love of the outdoors, and all hobbies and sports
    associated with nature. She then said, "Well, Bernard, I think that the best course of study for you
    would be one that prepares you for a career that gives you the time and money necessary to enjoy all
    of these activities!"

    I was floored. My high school advisor had suggested forestry, and that would have been a disaster;
    I was very weak in science, and would have failed basic chemistry, let alone dendrology,
    mensuration, etc.

    You didn't mention your age, Patrick, but allow this old fart to emphasize that contemporary America
    is a fair-to-middling democracy, but an <outstanding> example of capitalism. As an avid outdoorsman,
    I'm sure you are anticipating a long and healthy life. Next to your choice of a life partner, the
    most important decision you must make involves jobs that will enable you to earn enough money to
    enjoy the lifestyle to which you aspire.

    That's not to say you can't live in a region that appeals to you. But when us boomers get done with
    Social Security, the safety net enjoyed by today's retirees will be ancient history. Get a job in
    the Northwest, if that's where you want to live, but put the job first. Buy a house as soon as you
    can, and don't be afraid to change jobs for a better offer. Maximize your production from 8 to 5,
    don't piss away your waking hours commuting long distances, and understand the miracle of
    compounding interest.

    Not only will you enjoy yourself now, but when you're in your fifties (and beyond) you'll have
    plenty of time (and money) to continue kayaking and cycling wherever and whenever you want.

    Bernie (remove my age to Reply)
     
  7. Baltobernie

    Baltobernie Guest

    Steve McDonald <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I reject completely your entire premise. If people spend their best years grubbing and
    > scheming for the most dollars, most will become flabby and unhealthy. And, no matter how much
    > they acquire in assets and the false prestige that accompanies it, they won't be happy. There
    > may never come a time when they can abandon this ethic of maximum acquisition and finally
    > relax and enjoy the things they've missed most of their lives. The best way to have a good
    > life is to learn how to need as little money as possible. You can't buy the things I've
    > enjoyed all my existence. I now live what to me is the life of a prince and I do it with what
    > would likely be no more than pocket change to someone like you. I know how to have marvelous
    > adventures every day within riding distance of my door, at a cost of pennies. I'd be very
    > unhappy taking jet-set vacations, knowing I could provide a much better time for myself
    > without blowing many thousands for it. When the world's ecology, economy and culture
    > collapses because of the greed and overconsumption by so many, I'll be well prepared to make
    > the best of things-----will you?
    >
    > Steve McDonald
    >

    Steve,

    Nothing in my post claims that I am wealthy. Millions of youngsters in their 20's earned five times
    what I did last year (happy April 15th, by the way). What I <have> been able to do, and what I urge
    Patrick to do, is to realize that we live in a capitalist society, and to recognize that we all have
    a finite period to accumulate enough nuts and berries to survive.

    For the record, my wife and I have never been on a cruise, let alone a "jet-set vacation"; we drive
    to the Jersey Shore and rent a motel room every year for the past 28. Her car is eleven years old. I
    last bought a suit in 1991. And the "marvelous adventure" I had yesterday afternoon began at the end
    of my driveway too, on an after-work ride in the Maryland countryside. I was able to do this because
    my office is attached to our house. The reason I walk to work is precisely because I've avoided the
    ratrace you've described in your post.

    Steve, I completely agree with you that money does not buy happiness, that "more" is not the same as
    "better", and that nobody can buy the pleasures of your life's experience. My advice to Patrick was
    not to engage in grubbing and scheming for money as you describe, but to recognize that the system
    under which we live operates on dollars. Like yourself, I wish it wasn't so mercenary, but the
    <reality> of life in 21st century America is that if you don't accumulate enough monetary assets
    during your prime working years, you will be at risk in the case of illness or injury, not to
    mention a burden to your children/family/friends in senior years. Reality is not the way things
    should be, its the way things are. If Patrick reads between the lines of my post, he will understand
    that I'm advocating frugality by investing his 8-5 weekday hours wisely, by not being at the mercy
    of a landlord, etc. I'm not trying to frighten him with a scenario involving morbidity, public
    housing or dog food. But I hope he realizes that the "productive" timeframe of American workers
    shrinks every year. I'm not describing his value to his family and friends. I'm talking about his
    relative worth as measured by our (flawed) society. In my father's lifetime, a man's earnings were
    highest when he was between fifty and sixty years of age. Today, 50-year-olds are shown the door,
    and I do <not> plan on wearing a paper hat or smock at age
    60.

    Patrick can enjoy many of the things that you and I do. He can live in a region of the country that
    appeals to him. He can also have the serenity and confidence to go thru life with self-respect,
    knowing that he's planned for his and his family's future.

    Bernie
     
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