Sunday, December 11, 2011

OR or CO?

I've been  thinking about this post for a long time.  About 2 years in fact.  (I've been in Oregon for about 2 years now)    The fundamental question I am about to answer for you is: is Oregon or Colorado the better place to live.  That's right, a final and definitive answer to the question I'm sure you have all been asking yourselves.  And I will start with some history.

When I first moved to Colorado, I thought it was the coolest place in the world.  The sun was always out, the hiking and camping were excellent, and for me being addicted to running at the time, it was Mecca!  I would say "then I started fishing," but that would not only sound cliche, but would be untrue to boot.  It was all about the running for me for quite some time.

Colorado has a lot going for it.  Perpetual sunshine is a massive plus in my book.  Rocky mountains, hiking trails, 14ers, climbing routes, excellent hunting, tons of rivers/lakes/ponds to fish, great places to cycle and run, not to mention the general outdoorsy active culture where you're the weird one if you're not out on 63rd, 75th, 36, or in the mountains on your bike on Saturday morning.  Then winter rolls around and the ski season starts up and again you're the oddball if you don't get excited when snow is in the forecast!  In fact it's commonplace and widely acceptable to call in "sick" on a powder day in Colorado,  unless your boss is a jerk.

For all those reasons I loved living in Colorado and did my best to make the most of my time there.  I got in my fair share of hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, and more than my fair share of running while living there.

Then I moved to Oregon.  It was bittersweet for me, but largely bitter.  The sweet part was I was fed up with school and needed to get getting a 300% pay raise helped, I admit.  But the bitter was obviously leaving everyone I knew behind to move to a new place where I  knew no one and was working in an office of 4 people, all in the middle of the rainy and overcast season.  It was moving away from a place where I knew a ton of rivers and how to fish them to a place that has a bunch of fish I know nothing about, not to mention all new rivers and mountains.  Both literally and figuratively.

But since my move, Oregon has slowly been growing on me and the idea of this post has become a little bittersweet itself.  For so long I thought it was the easiest decision to make.  Colorado is obviously better! The fishing is more reliable and constant, sunshine, real mountains, and the active/outdoorsy culture. Then I started getting a little more into the fishing culture out here.  I always suspected the fishing in Oregon was better and that I just didn't know what I was doing.  That idea has only been reinforced the more experience I get fishing here. The fishing is undeniably superior with so many other fish than just your staple rainbow and brown trout that make up 90% of the fish in Colorado.  And so many bigger fish like salmon, steelhead, and bull trout.

There is decent hiking in Oregon, but I like to summit big peaks so it's not quite as cool as Colorado.  If you like the color green you would be in heaven here, but I'm not all that into lush green.  There is good running and cycling here along with a culture, but it's nothing compared to that of Colorado.  I have not yet experienced it, but I hear the big game hunting in Oregon is excellent, possibly better than Colorado.

In summary, I've compiled a list of some of the main features of each state and they are as follows.

  • Superior outdoor culture
  • Real mountains
  • Better skiing
  • Year-round cycling
  • Running trails (Boulder specifically)
  • Great beer

  • Steelhead
  • Salmon
  • Sea-run Cutts
  • Bull trout
  • An Ocean
  • More rivers and lakes, many within a short drive
  • Waterfalls
  • Great beer

In the end, of course, it depends on who you are. But for me, I enjoy the sun a whole lot. Cycling and running are best done on sunny days, although you could make a case to me for running in the rain. If Oregon didn't have a rain problem it would win hands down, unanimous, not even close. But boy does it ever have a rain problem!

Colorado is the overall victor from my perspective, but barely. If you live sleep eat and breathe fishing Oregon wins by 93 million miles.

Feel free to suggest additions to my lists!

And I'll write posts on MT and AK after I live there too.  :)

1 comment:

  1. Tim you need to just drive east an hour an you will get your CO fix. That's what really sets OR/WA a part You can drive a few hours east or west an its totally different.