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so we are thinking about moving to Hood River....or Portland
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Joined: 19 Jul 2000
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have lived in Rowena and commuted to Hillsboro. The concerns omitted here are driving across Portland in rush hour, and the Gorge winter inversions layers. You can easily add 45 minutes to your 90 minute commute if you time the traffic incorrectly. Certainly this is not an issue if you work on the east side of Portland, but a big deal on the west side.
If you must commute try to car pool if you can.

The Central/Eastern Gorge as well as other low elevation locations in the intermountain west are plagued by an inversion that seems endless during the late fall and early to mid winter months. This means fog and 35 degrees or so during most of the day at the valley floor, and ice fog/frost on the hill tops.
Many find the very cold dense fog to be depressing. IMO it is far worse then the rain showers and sun breaks Portland gets during the winter with 40F to 50F ish temperatures. Sure, it's nice to be closer to Mt. Hood Meadows, but many find Portland way better in the winter than the Gorge.
Also consider Troutdale/Corbett/Camas have less ice storm activity than Cascade Locks but considerably more than say Beaverton or Longview.
Also, living on the western tip of the Gorge can bring oppressive East Winds which might be great for survival sailing but unpleasant for daily living.
Good luck..
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Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19799

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strong wind "oppressive"? Maybe in January @ 50 kts, but in August and Sept, when it's averaging 30 or 35 mph, the swell is creamy and shoulder high, the skies crystal clear, air and water temps ranging from board shorts to shorties ... few of us call that "oppressive" or "survival". On the contrary, it's why we live here. Add a full wetsuit and October's crispy leaves beneath blue skies, and it is pure magic.

Mike \m/
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Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

surfersteve wrote:
Speaking as someone who was educated in CT, the schools here are crap. OR is in the bottom 5 when you look at most respected websites. The TAG programs are virtually non-existent.

Steve - have to call you out for B.S.
My daughter was educated in HR K-12.
She was in TAG classes from 7 - 12.
National Honor Society, great SAT scores and full scholastic scholarship to U of W school of Oceanography.
At U of W she was not behind the other students..... on the contrary.
Also - I have many good sailing friends who are fantastic teachers in the middle school and HS TAG programs.
Not sure where you're coming from.......
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Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My advice is simple: do what is best for your kids. Don't make make your decision on what lifestyle you want. I have homes in Portland and Mosier. I would not have sent my kids to school in the Gorge. They attended school and grew up in Portland, and there are few public schools in Portland I would OK. Unless you can't live without sailing every day the wind blows, Portland is the place to raise a family. It is easy to get to the Gorge to sail in the Summer. Your kids will have more options in Portland. For example, if they play sports you want to be in Portland where the competition and opportunity for other instruction is far better than in the Gorge.
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Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1324
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I've only lived here for 3 years (Hood River) I've been visiting for 15 summers prior. Moving was a big change from living in the SF Bay area and a huge change from Southern California.

A few things I've noticed......

I LOVE the small town atmosphere and the people who live here. If you have lived in larger cities you will like the change.

The summers here are magic. Pretty much the reason why I moved here. I can't imagine another place in the US I would want to live.

It rains a lot in the spring and fall, BUT for the most it is a light constant rain (with a few exceptions). So you learn to get out and do what you want to do in the rain (hike, kayak, sup, some bike, etc). Learn to embrace your "wet" self Smile

Winters suck. It is pretty much that simple. If you like gray skies, gray clouds, and a light gray haze, then you will love it in the winter. If you like the sun, you can kiss it goodbye. For weeks at a time. Some may find this depressing. However a short drive to Mt. Hood usually can solve this. Many flee to Baja and other "warm" places during the winter.

I haven't had to drive on I-84 during any nasty days, but during a good rain it can be quite unnerving. You would think in an area that has this much rain they would design the roads to handle it better, but quite the opposite is true. Many pools of standing water and "rivers" will be found on the highway. Get used to hydroplaning if you like to drive fast.

If you are moving here and windsurfing is your only hobby, then I'm not sure that is a good decision. Some sail year round, but many of us don't start till May and maybe sail till Late October. The Columbia in spring is quite cold which is quite a difference from the boardshort sailing in late summer.
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Joined: 15 May 2010
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently bought some land in Underwood 3 miles from Swell & The Hatchery and was able to get it cheaper than most lots were listed for in town. Even though I believe we got lucky and were in the right place at the right time there are still many good deals if you have the time to look. We are fortunate in that fact.

Found a GREAT young architect and in the design process now. If you decide to buy outside of the city and want to be fairly close to the river you will most likely be in the National Scenic Area; and if you prepared for a lengthy permit process (7-9 months). Not too difficult but will require an extreme amount of patience and tolerance.

I've never spent a winter in MN but I can't imagine that it is that much worse in the Gorge Wink

Good luck and if you have any questions relating to realtors, architects, builders, or planning commissions shoot me a pm and I will be happy to relay my recent experiences.
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Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19799

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnl 1, duckwind 0 (beyond his opening statement). Bias alert: I would never live in any big city. That said, a pair of 40-something close friends who had lived in and loved Portland all their lives RAN to Hood River when their kids hit grade school* to escape Portland's exploding gang culture. She had traveled all over Europe on her own and he fought for years deep in the jungles of Viet Nam, but both had become scared even for themselves, let alone their kids, due to the throngs of gang bangers and/or homeless hanging around every street corner and shopping center in the 90s.

* Their older son got a lacrosse scholarship to an East Coast college from little old Hood River. It's on the map, and its school and youth sports programs seem well supported.

Even more alarming to me is Portland's extreme political culture. but I'll leave that for the politics forum beyond expressing my absolute disgust with the entire ruinous concept of sanctuary cities. Even San Francisco wised up somewhat about that fiasco. OTOH, if you voted for Al Franken, you may love Portland.

The there's this, from 4 years ago:
Statistically, PDX is about on par with Detroit. From the Portland Business Journal, June 2009:
<<<Portland unemployment jump leads nation

The Portland metro area had the highest jump in unemployment in the nation in the past year, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Laborís Bureau of Labor [U3] Statistics. The areaís 6.9 percent increase in unemployment was higher than Detroit (6.6 percent) ... Portlandís unemployment rate was 11.6 percent in April, up from 4.7 percent in April 2008. The national unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. Unemployment was higher in April in all 372 metro areas tracked by the federal agency.

Unemployment jumped significantly in all six Oregon metro areas:

Bend: From 6.6 percent to 15.6 percent.
Corvallis: From 3.6 percent to 8.6 percent.
Eugene: From 5.1 percent to 13 percent.
Medford: From 6.8 percent to 13.9 percent.
Salem: From 5.3 percent to 11.8 percent. >>>
to which a blogger added ...
"If you add people who have given up looking, have passed the window of time for unemployment, or are employed far below their capability- reliable estimates from UO put the true unemployment around 20 %"

That was four years ago, but it shows Portland's sensitivity to the national economy. How you feel about our economic recovery outlook may affect your outlook for Portland.

To summarize what I've witnessed and heard about and read for over 25 years now regarding outdoor recreation access: Portland is well-placed for outdoor buffs who want to spend weekends in the Gorge, at the coast, or in the mountains, while Hood River is well placed for people who want to play at any of a few dozen sports before work, at lunchtime, and after work.

I'll take the latter by a tsunami ANYtime, both for the parents' and the kids' sakes.
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Joined: 30 May 2000
Posts: 671

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived in SE Portland for 10 years when I first moved to the NW, back in the 90's when space was "manageable". There's now new houses pushed up next to the house I owned... absolutely no open space thanks to the urban growth boundary.

I made a decision to move to the Gorge to find more open space and peace of mind, found that prices and taxes were much too high in HR. Also, the climate in winter was too dark and frozen along I-84.... doesn't thaw out for weeks. That is not acceptable in my book.

Then I discovered a pocket of paradise on the other side of the river.... Home Valley. Right along the dividing line between the inversion clouds in the east and the rain downpours all spring further west... this is an area that gets more sunshine than anywhere else in the gorge. It's also a short, easy drive to all the western sailing sites from here. Portland is a very fast and easy 45 minutes and you have the option of taking I-84 or SR14 on the Washington side..... the Washington side gets much more sunshine so the road tends to thaw much faster. It's a very relaxed, scenic drive.

I've been very happy with this choice. Only problem, it's very difficult to find land or houses here since these are in such high demand. There's no new construction here thanks to the scenic area act.

Good luck.
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Joined: 20 Oct 2001
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isobars is almost correct about Portland. His statistics are 4 years old and by now it's become shockingly worst. I believe that the unemployment rate is now approximately 6000 percent and everyone...I mean everyone is homeless, except for those living in the local FEMA camp and those who are living off the land.

There are a many small groups of people here that have banded together to fight off the gangs, lefties, and you guessed it....... Zombies! Since no one works, we Portlanders have had to turn to foraging,cannibalism and eating the drywall in all the vacant houses to survive. The lucky ones get to eat the drywall without the lead paint.

The Portland area windsurfers are a pretty hearty group though. We still manage to get our time on the water despite the current hardships.

We could always use a few more good hands to shoot our way out of town to make it to the hatch for the day. If you come to Portland to join the cause please bring food, camo gear and lots of ammo.
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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1226
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things are WAY better in the gun shops now compared to 6 months ago. Prices dropping. Ammo still on short supply but improving.
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