NFR Western States Growth : An Observation

Growing up and living in the West most my life I've always considered myself, what my wife calls a "western man". Sagebrush, Pinion Pine and Juniper are in my blood. So it was with real surprise and a little sadness what I saw as I drove to Heber, Utah and back from Puget Sound for a family reunion. The last good place, as they say in Montana, is forever changed. Staying in Park City and attending ceremonies in Midway, Ut. was a real eye opener. Park City has changed into just another suburb of Salt Lake. Commuters abound, traffic sucks, and crowds surge, all in the illusion of recreation. Not my idea of fun. Poor little Midway and Heber have unfortunately taken a hit also, as the rich, beautiful people invade the rural tranquility of my ancestors homeland. Pretentious wealth flows from behind the no trespassing signs, as rude Texas drivers hog the road. Privacy, shit there's someone already loitering where you want to be. On our way back we thought we would divert from I-84 and drive thru Central Oregon for a change of scenery. We used to love to stop in Boise and take a walk along the River Trail, to stretch our legs on such a long drive. What a change, and not necessarily a good one, to this beautiful area. Building was rampant. Meridian and Nampa were overrun and the highways torn and abused. Cars in turmoil and people frowning everywhere. What a relief when we hit the exit at Ontario and drove the lovely stretch of highway down to Burns, OR. This is more like it, the West I see in my fantasy of wide vistas and empty roads. Nice, then came Bend. Crist, I'm not going to even comment. Been twenty years since I'd been there and probably won't return except to drive on thru to somewhere else. So there you go, one old grumps view from the windshield, of our vanishing home. Love it why you can...
 

Buzzy

Active Member
I remember when my hometown had a single stop light and that intersection was never busy. Ah - Sequim in the 60's.

My wife and I drove to Seattle a month ago, did some Uwajimaya shopping and headed home on I90. Busy damn freeway. At CleElum, no more I-90 (for awhile) - two lane all the way to Vantage. I'm sure we added an hour or more to the drive but it was far more sedate.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
This has been going on for a long time. When I was 10 years old my hometown had about 15,000 people. 10 years later when I moved away for good it had grown to 40,000. that was around ‘74. I visited the place 8 years ago and there was over 80,000 people in Medford, OR and close to a quarter million in its metropolitan area.
 

cdnred

Active Member
It's not just the west that's getting overrun with people, it's happening everywhere. I see it myself in my town in Canada, everyone is immigrating to North America and mixing cultures. Traffic on freeways and in towns have become horrendous to get thru. Look at the highways on the weekends, they're all congested. It used to be that you could plan a weekend away camping, now you have to make sure you get your reservation in weeks or months ahead of time to get a spot. Times are a changing..
 

Cal I. Baetis

Active Member
Growing up and living in the West most my life I've always considered myself, what my wife calls a "western man". Sagebrush, Pinion Pine and Juniper are in my blood. So it was with real surprise and a little sadness what I saw as I drove to Heber, Utah and back from Puget Sound for a family reunion. The last good place, as they say in Montana, is forever changed. Staying in Park City and attending ceremonies in Midway, Ut. was a real eye opener. Park City has changed into just another suburb of Salt Lake. Commuters abound, traffic sucks, and crowds surge, all in the illusion of recreation. Not my idea of fun. Poor little Midway and Heber have unfortunately taken a hit also, as the rich, beautiful people invade the rural tranquility of my ancestors homeland. Pretentious wealth flows from behind the no trespassing signs, as rude Texas drivers hog the road. Privacy, shit there's someone already loitering where you want to be. On our way back we thought we would divert from I-84 and drive thru Central Oregon for a change of scenery. We used to love to stop in Boise and take a walk along the River Trail, to stretch our legs on such a long drive. What a change, and not necessarily a good one, to this beautiful area. Building was rampant. Meridian and Nampa were overrun and the highways torn and abused. Cars in turmoil and people frowning everywhere. What a relief when we hit the exit at Ontario and drove the lovely stretch of highway down to Burns, OR. This is more like it, the West I see in my fantasy of wide vistas and empty roads. Nice, then came Bend. Crist, I'm not going to even comment. Been twenty years since I'd been there and probably won't return except to drive on thru to somewhere else. So there you go, one old grumps view from the windshield, of our vanishing home. Love it why you can...
Like losing a loved one.
 

bakerite

Active Member
Here in Baker City it’s not really happened yet, but I can see the start. People moving from Bend and the camping and fishing is becoming way more crowded since the people from Boise started coming. I used to love central Oregon. Too crowded now. Try fishing Hosmer during the kayak and SUP hatch! The only decent time to fish Is during a thunderstorm.
 
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Roper

Idiot Savant
WFF Premium
Then you have the opposite effect, at least in Oroville, WA. Twenty years ago it was a vibrant little town. Lake Osoyoos was full of waterskiers and fishermen. We even had a Mickey Dee’s in town. The video store was the go to spot for home entertainment. Restaurant’s were
busy and Alpine Brewery was hopping with brats and brews with live bands. Now it’s barely surviving. Empty shops, gas stations, and restaurants. Canadians have been denied entry for almost two years. They were a large part of the economy.

Sad…
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
It's happening everywhere in the country, it just seems more acute in desirable areas.

It's also important to remember that birth/fertility rates have been on the decline for decades. US fertility rates are below replacement. I wouldn't be surprised if growth stalls or even declines over the next decade.
 

Rocking Chair Fan

No more hot spotting
It's happening everywhere in the country, it just seems more acute in desirable areas.

It's also important to remember that birth/fertility rates have been on the decline for decades. US fertility rates are below replacement. I wouldn't be surprised if growth stalls or even declines over the next decade.

How about people relocating to more desirable locales like the PacNW. I remember the influx of people from CA at least according to folk lore..
 

wetswinger

Active Member
As weather patterns change the NW will seem pretty desirable with its mellow climate. I'd be leaving the SE yesterday with what they have to deal with anymore. Hurricanes, tornadoes and floods oh my...
 

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