looking for cool places to live in Central/SW OR

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by jesusgatos, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,514
    Location:
    on the road
    We moved up to Bend a few years ago and we're having a great time here, but we're also wondering what else is out there. So I've been thinking that looking for a new place to live might be a pretty good theme for some moto-ventures. I could sure use some help identifying places that might be worth checking out.

    Number one priority is the terrain: it's got to be interesting. Dramatic changes in elevation, good dirt, rocks, trees, rivers, creeks, streams, etc. Bend is FANTASTIC in that respect. The only problem is that I can't afford to buy any land around here. I want to build a freakin' ewok village in the forrest and be able to ride epic singletrack out of my back door.

    Number two priority is the weather. If we don't stay in Bend for the long haul, it will probably be because of the snow. The winter's aren't bad by any stretch, but I'd prefer to be able to ride year-round. So that's got me thinking about moving somewhere west of the Cascades, and probably to the southern part of the state? We really liked living on the coast (Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, San Diego), but there's no way in hell I'm moving back to CA and I think the coast up here might be too cold and gloomy for us. The idea of living 10-15 miles inland upriver is kind of appealing though, as I've heard that the climate is much better. We drove up/down a long stretch of the Alsea and Yachats rivers from where they dump into the ocean and there were some really cool ranches out there.

    We're self-employed and it doesn't really matter to anyone (except us) where we're located. I'd like to live somewhere that's rural, but not run-down. We just need to stay within about a 1/2hr of a proper airport, major city, etc. We have to travel for work and tend to need a lot of the types of resources that we can only seem to find in large(er) cities. That's got me drawing expanding circles in my Atlas around places like Eugene. Am I on the right track?

    As far as local resources go, the thing we're probably most particular about is food. The quality of a grocery store and the produce that's available is really important to us. Areas with local agriculture and any type of decent farmers markets or produce stands would be really appealing.

    I'm planning on loading up my 650 and hitting the road this weekend. Where should I go?
    #1
  2. 8 Dirt

    8 Dirt --

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    260
    Hey! How's it going?
    I like the country from Roseburg on down and out to the coast.
    It's serious boondocks west of I-5 in most of that area but beautiful.
    I've been through Cave Junction on/near the Illinois River several
    times. I really like the road (48) up over the Siskiyous' to Happy Camp.
    Great country. I love the Bend area too. Cheers. 8 d
    #2
  3. paddythesmith

    paddythesmith Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Wenatchee, WA
    Lived in Eugene for college (88-92') - obviously a great college town with a lot to offer. I go through there on occasion, and although it's grown in size, it still retains much of what I remember. Oh, you better like rain. As background, I lived in Klamath Falls 80-88', Portland 92-96'.

    SW Oregon would be my vote. Ashland for an overall package if Ashland has what you're looking for - I won't try and describe it, just go spend time there and you'll recognize it's not your average Oregon town. Also a great college town. The area around Jacksonville on out to the Applegate Valley is quite interesting - rural with much in the way of farming.

    All of Oregon is beautiful. In fact, one of my favorite areas has been time spent in far NE Oregon (e.g. Enterprise/Joseph). As far as airports, you can live in Portland and have to fly to Seattle to get somewhere. If you live in Medford or Eugene, you may have to fly to Portland to fly to... you get the idea I think. Oregon is no princess when it comes to air travel.

    I've been very happy with Wenatchee, WA, but then again I like the four seasons. Good luck with your search.
    #3
  4. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,514
    Location:
    on the road
    Thanks for the input. Keep it coming.
    #4
  5. ryanwilliamcantrell

    ryanwilliamcantrell Get Out and Ride!!

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,911
    Location:
    Nampa, Idaho
    Man, you've got such an outstanding place there in Bend... I think you're loco for considering leaving it!! :lol2

    If you move to Idaho, there are some tremendous riding areas here to explore (as there are in all of the PNW)... but I can't speak to Oregon, as I haven't riden there much.

    All the best to you...


    RWC
    #5
  6. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,514
    Location:
    on the road
    Hey Ryan-

    I hadn't really considered Idaho because of the winters, but a couple of my friends are selling Boise and surrounding areas pretty hard. What do you think?
    #6
  7. 8 Dirt

    8 Dirt --

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    260
    Get on that bike and ride.

    Check it out. The PNW is unbeatable.

    So many climates/microclimates.

    Find what you like and live it up.

    Havagoo-dwan. 8 d
    #7
  8. sector

    sector Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,204
    Location:
    S Oregon Coast and Rossland BC
    Check out Gold Beach.

    I'm not sure if it meets your specs on food... but the rest it might. We could use more riders in this area... It's super scenic. Oh, but in the winters, instead of snow, we have high winds and rain... :eek1
    #8
  9. MedicMan

    MedicMan Adventurer WannaBe

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Eye-Dee-Hoe
    I have lived here in the potato state for most of my life and I think there is no better. Oregon is beautiful, Washington is awesome (lived there 9 years), but for backroads, Idaho is da bomb! Not too many tree huggers closing roads and shutting down access, and plenty of wide-open spaces! All those trees get a little clausterphobic (sp?). I like to see the scenery and the horizon! There is something like 10,000 miles of back roads and such here and Boise is the door to it all! The winters aren't so bad either. As long as you don't mind a growing infra-structure (highways are getting larger and better, which is making the commutes better), it is a wonderful place to live. There are lots of riding clubs and group rides too. Check us out!

    www.motoidaho.com
    #9
  10. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,514
    Location:
    on the road
    I'm all loaded up, and I'm headed towards Roseburg tomorrow via any one of several GPS routes that Brad21 hooked me up with. From there, I'm just going to wing it.

    I don't know if I'll make it that far on this trip, but I definitely want to check out that area.

    Thanks for the info. What about the climate though?
    #10
  11. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,529
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    The Northwest is an incredible place to live and yes we do have it all but don't tell the rest of the country. :evil

    The Spokane/CdA area doesn't match you specs since we do have winter but Spring, Summer, and Fall are about as good as it gets. I use winter to catch up on all the stuff I neglect the other three seasons:lol3 and other people use the white season for snowmobiling, skiing and other similiar sports.

    I'm sure you can find a new home that will fit your needs and desires. Enjoy! :1drink
    #11
  12. ryanwilliamcantrell

    ryanwilliamcantrell Get Out and Ride!!

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,911
    Location:
    Nampa, Idaho
    Jesse ~ sent you a PM.

    If some guys catch me building-up Boise, I'll be flogged for bringing more 'outsiders' into the valley. :lol2

    Kidding, of course......... kind of.

    :pep
    #12
  13. MedicMan

    MedicMan Adventurer WannaBe

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Eye-Dee-Hoe
    The climate is great if you like all 4 seasons. Warm(HOT) in the summer, cold and snowy in the winter(but not that cabin-fever winter), but the best is the spring and fall - beautiful colors, warm days and cool nights - perfect conditions for riding! Winter only lasts 4 months (Dec, Jan, Feb and parts of Mar), but you wanted an excuse to fly south in the winter anyway!:ricky
    #13
  14. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,514
    Location:
    on the road
    Just got back. Logged 810 miles and covered the whole coastline from Reedsport all the way down to the CA border. Got a better idea of what's over there now.
    #14
  15. brad21

    brad21 We have a pool... and a pond.

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,734
    Location:
    Carson Valley, NV
    Didn't we used to have a "this thread is useless without pics" smiley? :D

    Hey RWC or anyone else, if you have any more Boise info I would surely appreciate it.

    :beer
    #15
  16. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,514
    Location:
    on the road
    On Saturday I rode over to Reedsport and down to Coos Bay. I checked out that area and then camped there for the night. Then on Sunday I rode all the way down to the CA border AND back up the coast, over through Roseburg and all the way home.

    There was an area about 15 miles east of Cottage Grove that I really liked a lot. I stopped and talked to an older couple for a while and they told me a lot about the history of the area and a bit about what it's like now. I think that's a good example of the type of place we might be interested in moving to. It's an older community, but all of the homes looked well-kept and it didn't seem to be too backwards. Plus it's only about 15 miles to Cottage Grove and what, another 15 miles up to Eugene?
    [​IMG]

    Just west of Cottage Grove I almost wrecked my shit when I came across the most dangerous cattleguard in the world. What the FUCK were these people thinking?
    [​IMG]

    With so much terrain that looks like this, I've got to believe that I'll be able to find a piece of land out there somewhere that's perfect for us.
    [​IMG]

    I rode a lot of these backroads. They all started to look the same after a while.
    [​IMG]

    It's pretty much a requirement that we be near some type of water.
    [​IMG]

    This old cottage was rad. I love these old places that are being reclaimed by the wilderness, rotting out, with vines growing all over and through them.
    [​IMG]

    This is what I'm NOT interested in. WE don't have any delusions about living ON the coast. It was just the best way to get up/down and inland.
    [​IMG]

    I liked Gold Beach. That area was cool, and I've hear there's a lot of good riding along the Rogue River a little further inland. Coos Bay or somewhere around there might be a possibility too, but I'm not much of a sand rat. I don't know. We're not going anywhere before this winter, so I'll probably go re-visit a few of those places in different seasons. What about somewhere further inland, like west of Medford, below Grant's Pass?

    Oh, and I can't forget this guy. I was traveling on a loooow-budget, so I stopped at 7-11 and I'm almost ashamed to admit it but I hit up a few (4) of those gnarly corndawgs they put out on the warming racks. Anyway, this guy was hanging out, playing music and selling CD's. You know how food tastes better when you're camping? Well, I'd been camping and I had been out in the rain all afternoon, and I was still 200+ miles away from home. That was the last picture I took.
    [​IMG]

    138 past Diamond Lake at 5,500ft was pretty fucking cold at 11pm (especially considering that was raining on the coast earlier that afternoon). Plus my carb got clogged-up with something late in the day, so I wasn't able to ride much faster than 50mph. Slow, cold, dark (35W headlight). Finally got back at about 1am. Great trip though...
    #16
  17. Watercat

    Watercat . . . gravity sucks

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,895
    Location:
    Beervanastan, Duwamps Pacific NorWet
    What the ? ? ? ? ?
    :yikes :yikes :yikes :yikes :yikes

    [​IMG]


    Not only is that a cattle guard - it's a motorcycle guard; Needs to be reported ! ! !

    What kind of inbred built that ? ? ?
    #17
  18. ryanwilliamcantrell

    ryanwilliamcantrell Get Out and Ride!!

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,911
    Location:
    Nampa, Idaho
    Someone needs to get their ass kicked....





    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,514
    Location:
    on the road
    I went and checked out GRants Pass and Rogue River yesterday. What I saw community-wise was kinda depressing, but the terrain looked incredible. Anybody know that the trailriding scene is like down there? I talked to a couple of people, and they could only tell me to check out Prospect, Elderberry and John's Peak.
    #19
  20. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    24,654
    Location:
    Über Alles,California

    It is a depressing area..we left in 2000. Prospect has good riding up river from Gold Hill..mostly fire roads. Elderberry Flats has a bunch of good riding, tons of trails.. not all legal riding. John's Peak is in the Jacksonville area, decomposed granite..tons of good trails if it's still open..take Pair-A-Dice Rd off the hwy. It's a great riding area, keep in mind that forest closures are very common during fire season.
    #20