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My husband and son and I are thinking of moving west. We are currently in upstate ny and we really hate it here. Its freezing, and too far from the mountains. A little about us: Our son is 18 months old. We are APers, he's STILL nursing, we co-sleep, and we don't vaccinate. I am a doula, and my husband is an engineer. We are both hikers/climbers. We made a list of our ideal place. Here it is:
-surrounded by mountains
-sunny (more than in ny, which is like 20 days a year)
-low taxes
-affordable housing
-safe community
-midwifery/homebirth legal
-some type of AP group nearby (LLL or other)
-little traffic/safe for pedestrians
-young people
-maybe a college town
-an engineering job
-a whole foods or similar grocery
-no spiders (sort of kidding, but not completely, haha)

Does this sound like where you live? Please tell me where this place is. We are sick of feeling like wierdos everyday for our parenting choices. Also, tell me about Missoula. My sister-in-law lives there, and we wonder how closely that might meet our needs. Thanks so much!!!

Kris, Dan, and Luke
 

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You might want to look at Ft. Collins. There are lots of nice places in WY and CO, but you are definitely looking for someplace pretty big with your requirements. You would probably find a lower cost of living outside if areas with Whole Foods. It is sunnt like 300 days in WY/CO.
 

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I highly recommend Laramie, Wyoming (home of the University of Wyoming.) We are an hour from Ft. Collins, 2 hours from Denver and we do not have state income tax. There are 4-5 homebirth midwives that will come up from Colorado to serve the area. I really enjoy how safe I feel raising my children here and there are plenty of APers although you have to look a bit to find us. The weather is increadibly sunny (even when it is -30 degrees.) By the way, we have been here for 3 years and I have never seen a spider!
 

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I grew up in Upstate New York and love Colorado. I live in Boulder, which is not cheep!

Durango and Ft. Collins are great options,, but still getting $$.

FYI- For some reason there are a lot of spider's in CO. It's taken me a while to get used to this. I've talked to other people about it and they've actually had stuff about it on the local news, like how to spider proof your house. Not to scare you! I've never had a problem. Just was surprised...

Missoula would definitly be cheeper than CO.

Hope that helps!
leigh
 

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I'm in Westminster (NW Denver suburb) and we have some of those things. You'll have sun and legal homebirth anywhere in CO. The availability of midwives depends on where you are: more are available on the Front Range than in the mountains--but that's true of OBs and hospitals too.

If you want to be surrounded by mountains, living in them is a good idea.
We have mountains to the west of our house and it's a short drive--like 30-45 minutes to be up in them. That works for us to keep our work commute shorter.

There are AP groups along the Front Range, and LLL. I'm not sure what is available in the mountains, but there are some groups out in Durango, I think (I've seen threads here about them).

Little traffic/safe for pedestrians: if you want little traffic you'll want a quiet mountain town--and one that's quiet year-round. But lots of other places are safe for pedestrians, including Denver. There are a ton of walking/running/biking recreation paths in Denver and the community, and lots of sidewalks and crosswalks as well. I'm able to run or bike (or walk, but that would take longer
) to a couple of grocery stores and a Super Target, as well as other retail stores if I want in Westminster. (Upstate NY doesn't seem to have many sidewalks, does it?. I've gone running in Henrietta, Alexandria Bay, and Plattsburg (or Morrison? just outside of it) and I'm shocked by the number of places where there are no sidewalks!)

There are a number of whole foods grocers, even up in the mountains. The selection is better in bigger towns (I have two within three miles of my house).
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Affordable housing: much more tricky. It depends on where you are, but I think housing in Colorado is generally more expensive than upstate NY.

Spiders: I haven't noticed any more spiders out here than in Illinois or Indiana or when I'm out in NY (and I'm forever asking DH to remove spiders from places when we're out in NY). I did have pretty good luck with hedgeapples this year.
 

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Well, I would recommend Boulder, but you would have to eliminate the "affordable housing" from your list.


However . . . CO does not have outrageous property taxes like NY does.

We are in Fort Collins and it is still pricey, but fits basically every other thing on your list. We have a great AP group here too.

Both Boulder and FC are college towns.

I grew up in NE Pennsylvania, about 15 miles south of Binghamton, NY. DH lived in Vestal for most of his childhood. Then Dh and I lived in San Diego, CA and now we love Colorado. Before we moved here, I did some research and CO actually has more sunny days than any other state in the union.

Hope all these replies help!
 
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