I turned down a cushy Park Avenue job to move to Steamboat Springs, Colo. New York City vs. Colorado. How much more different could you get?
I think it was my first trip to the library that made me realize I had made the right decision about choosing Steamboat over Manhattan.
I walked into the main entrance, and I was greeted by a big black Lab who came over and wanted me to pet her. There's nothing like this in Ohio, where I'm from, let alone in New York as far as I know. I thought, "This is great. I love it here!"
But there are a few things about Steamboat that bother me. First of all, why are there so many men here? The population appears to be 90 percent male. Where are all the members of the fairer sex? How are we supposed to find dates here? And what do all these men do for a living? It baffles me.
The cost of living also is something that is killing me. I make good money here at the Pilot, but when I spend nearly $700 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, there's not a lot left over for food, car insurance and other bills. Some months I wonder if I'll have enough money to even buy gas for the car to get back and forth to work. Why does it cost so much to live here? Why do I have to pay $2 for a half-gallon of milk? How are normal working people supposed to survive here? I realize this is a big resort town, but what about all of the Routt County families who have been here for generations? I think it's wrong that good people have to live in such remote areas as Oak Creek or Craig and commute all the way to Steamboat to work just because the cost of living here is so outrageous.
But I guess Manhattan would have been more expensive without the beautiful views and wonderful people.
I don't plan on ever leaving northwest Colorado, so buying a house is in my future. But how can someone like me even afford to buy land up here? It bothers me that half the homes in Steamboat are owned by out-of-towners who just come up here for vacations. They drive into town in their Lexus SUVs and $500 ski wear, spend the weekend and then drive back to the Front Range, where overpopulation and urban sprawl has taken over. Not to mention the increase in traffic, waiting in long lines at the grocery store and dodging beginner skiers on Mt. Werner.
But I know living here is worth it. None of us would be here if we didn't choose to be, and the high cost of living is a sacrifice we make for living in this awesome playground no doubt an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. I've never met anyone in town yet that isn't friendly (excluding the tourists, of course). We can ski five months a year in wonderful Champagne powder at one of the best ski areas in the world. We don't have traffic problems or pollution and the only crimes here seem to be lost dogs and too much partying. I'd say paradise comes at a price a nice price.