Trying to find a place to retire that has good kayaking options…(not whitewater). Looking real close at SE Missouri or SE Washington state. Any thoughts? Also into road cycling and waterskiing…


flatwater galore
We do have some challenging weather here at times (though what place doesn’t anymore) but western Pennsylvania has hundreds of miles of flatwater rivers, from small winding mountain streams to major Mississippi feeders, plus countless lakes. Plenty of waterskiing here – in fact, if you live in Pittsburgh there are boat ramps within view of downtown to access the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela for kayaking or no-limit powerboating. There are several large lakes (such as Arthur and Cheat) within 2 hours or less drive of the city. There’s an avid road biking community with much progress in recent years setting up dedicated lanes within town and spectacular country road touring in the surrounding mountain and agricultural regions. You can now ride from Pittsburgh to Washington DC completely on bike paths.

It’s also an inexpensive place to live with excellent health care options and one of the highest median ages in the country so lots of resources, practical and social, for older people. Real estate is far cheaper than in most major metro areas and has held or increased in value while other markets have crashed. You can still buy a nice house on a spacious lot in a good part of town for under $100K.

Coming from Texas, you might find the hills and valleys daunting but I guarantee you’d find the people down-home friendly. And in some ways, “the 'Burgh” is more like Texas than most Eastern cities: it has one of the highest percentages in the US of concealed weapon permits among its population.

We even have a Polar exhibit at the main Carnegie Museum of Natural History with genuine eskimo kayaks and paddles.

I wasn’t raised here and have lived in and visited many other places but I have found this a very agreeable place to roost. If you’ve never been to the area, you might want to plan a visit. It could be a pleasant surprise.

Delaware and Maryland sea shore
Area also includes Chesapeake Bay. One of the best places I’ve ever been for access to water, salt and fresh. Lots of everything for retirement.

Lots of things to consider
After studying the whole country I concluded there are only two really liveable places in the U.S.: far Northwest (Oregon and Washington) and far Northeast (Maine). The rest of the country is so hot you can’t survive without air conditioning. Without AC half the country would be dead tomorrow.

Many will object to Maine due to cold winters, and to Washington due to rain. An option is to summer in Maine and winter down south (North Carolina?). Other option is to ski your heart out all winter.

Maine has its beautiful coast plus thousands of wilderness lakes and ponds. New Hampshire and Vermont are too small to satisfy a kayaker’s need to discover new places. Maine could keep you busy for the rest of your life.

Even if kayaking is the center of your life, there are many other factors to consider. Or just make it simple and move to Maine!

Thank Goodness for Air Conditioning!
Funny I grew up much farther south and we mostly used fans and only ran the AC in June July and August.

If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of North Carolina! It’s getting too crowded anyway.

But if you want to come visit we have an awful lot of great paddling and biking from the mountains to the sea.

SE Missouri is great too. Somewhere warm.

I would live happily without AC if it meant I could live without winter.

Go someplace it doesn’t snow.


– Last Updated: Sep-08-10 11:32 AM EST –

That's where I was born & raised (Cape Girardeau) and where I live & work. I now live in the eastern Ozarks (Piedmont) and am close to many nice rivers. Paddling is easy and access and private property not generally a problem on our rivers and streams.

Driving to work (Sikeston) I pass into the lowlands with cotton fields and a few marshes including Duck Creek Wildlife Area and Mingo NWR. Lots of fishing and hunting. Most of the people are honest and hard working. Like anywhere else, though, there is a bit of riff raff. Our taxes and cost of living are relatively low compared to other areas.

Two good, large hospitals in Cape Girardeau. Sikeston is nice too. When you get out into the Ozarks, however; it can be a long haul to medical care and some of the rural ambulance services are only Basic Life Support services. Also, law enforcement can be a long way off if needed.

If you move here, though, please bear these things in mind. We don't have the best roads when you get off the main interstate. Get over it, that's one of the reasons why our taxes are low. Signs not the best for those said roads either, learn to read a map. We have lots of hills and curves, and a cow or deer may be in the road around the curve or over that hill. Please drive accordingly. Farmer Brown may be on the road with his tractor, be patient, he's the one helping to feed you.

We don't have fine dining with every ethnicity represented on every corner. Go to a big city if you want that. We don't have fine museums and the arts, we have beautiful State Parks and rivers instead. We tend to lean conservative after you leave the metropolitan areas. If you're Liberal, that's fine. But please respect our right to think differently than you, and don't look down your nose as more "Enlightened" than we.

Hunting and Fishing is a big part of our culture. If we wear camo at the local Walmart, it's part of our wardrobe, we're not all just a bunch of militia wanna-be's. Deer season is a holiday to us, as is the sucker opener and the trout opener, dove opener, turkey opener......

You'll notice that many of us born and raised in Southern MO have a "Southern" accent and talk slower. That doesn't mean we THINK slower, or are less intelligent. That's just the way we learned, just as someone from Brooklyn or Minnesota has a distinctive accent.

4 distinct seasons and summer is very hot and humid. Heat index is not uncommonly 100-110. Yup, we enjoy ac in the summer, but I remember we had nothing but fans during my childhood growing up 2 blocks from the Mississippi, and we survived the summers just fine. Winters can be cold, but snow rarely lasts over a week or 10 days. Most streams don't freeze as the springs keep them open. Spring and Fall usually very nice. Nothing like the fall colors of October and the hills of springtime laced with Dogwood and Redbuds!

If you relocate here and accept us, we will welcome you with open arms. If you come here and tell us how great the place you left was, well, we might tell you where you can go (LOL)! WW

Think big, er, far, far away
My first choices would be Cape Breton, Nova Scotia or just about anyplace in New Zealand. In fact, why not go back and forth between the two and you’d never have to see winter again…

cant pry me out

– Last Updated: Sep-09-10 12:00 PM EST –

Cheap living and alot of water and woods in SE MO however high paying jobs few and far between.

With Washington you have
good access to San Juan and Gulf islands and Van Isle.