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  1. #1
    Senior Member hodadmike's Avatar
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    Transfer: Wenatchee or Klamath Falls?

    Looking at a very probable job transfer to either Wenatchee or Klamath Falls. We rode close to Wenatchee on a ACA Washington Parks Route last summer and liked the weather and terrain. I've never been to K Falls though. Just wondering, what the cycling scenes are like in these 2 towns?

  2. #2
    Senior Member TheMudder's Avatar
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    man, I've been a lot of places in the world and in almost every state and the Rogue River area is at the TOP of the list of most beautiful. you have crater lake to the north. you're surrounded by national forests. california is right there....drive thru coffee places open late....

    Wenatchee and the apple orchards and river valley's are nice but imo not even close to your alternative.

    good luck with your new chapter either way.

    Cris

  3. #3
    Senior Member TheMudder's Avatar
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    the cascade cycling classic in bend
    grants pass has a stage race too still, i think. i took a prime sprint there in the 80's. $100 for a jr. racer was great.

    i think wenatchee will be a lot more limited...i'm sure it's awesome too though.

  4. #4
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    A caveat: I haven't lived in either city so am not qualified to give a detailed answer, but have spent a number of days in each during travel for work and recreational trips so can add a few comments.

    The climates are broadly similar in that each lies east of the Cascade Range and tends to have dry, warm to hot summers and cold winters with occasional snow. K Falls lies considerably further south than Wenatchee but is at a much higher altitude, so the latitude difference cancels out to some degree. Wenatchee is in a basin along the Columbia River, so it can get foggy inversions for days at a time in the winter (as does much of the Columbia Basin). K falls can get winter freezing fog as well, but less often due to its altitude and more open geography. Summer temperatures generally run 80s to 90s in both, sometimes exceeding 100. K Falls gets more summer thunderstorms than Wenatchee as it's closer to the southwestern monsoon effect.

    Wenatchee has a much more 'compact' feel than K Falls as its surrounded on all sides by high bluffs and mountains. It's also closer to major cities of the Northwest, so it gets a lot more cross-state traffic flowing through it. There's an active road riding scene there, and mountain biking is excellent. If you're a downhill skier, Mission Ridge is just outside of town on the south side. If you're a climber, the North Cascades aren't far away, and no more needs to be said!

    K Falls is more spread out and a bit more 'deserty' in its general aspect. I haven't ridden as much there, but there's a plethora of rural roads coming out of town and I suspect that traffic in general would be less than in Wenatchee. Mountain biking there is excellent, of course, with the Cascades nearby and vast tracts of public lands all around for high desert riding. Housing costs are lower than in Wenatchee, a plus. There's an interesting technical college there (OIT) which is one of the leading research institutions in the country for geothermal energy. Hot groundwater is relatively common in the area, and quite a few homes are geothermally heated via hot water wells.

    The two towns are different enough that you'll want to spend a generous amount of time in each to understand which one you prefer.
    Last edited by rnorris; 03-05-10 at 07:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member hodadmike's Avatar
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    Wonderful information, thank you.

  6. #6
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnorris View Post
    K Falls is more spread out and a bit more 'deserty' in its general aspect. I haven't ridden as much there, but there's a plethora of rural roads coming out of town and I suspect that traffic in general would be less than in Wenatchee. Mountain biking there is excellent, of course, with the Cascades nearby and vast tracts of public lands all around for high desert riding. Housing costs are lower than in Wenatchee, a plus. There's an interesting technical college there (OIT) which is one of the leading research institutions in the country for geothermal energy. Hot groundwater is relatively common in the area, and quite a few homes are geothermally heated via hot water wells.
    I can't give you much more than R, but I've done a little road riding near there- Ashland to Fort Klamath, Fort Klamath to Diamond Lake on Oregon Bike Ride 2004. Both days were exquisite- wide open roads with little traffic and good pavement. I've visited K Falls, too- it's an attactive town, and looked easily bikeable. The one bike shop I visited seemed well equipped and had trail guides for the vicinity.
    Jeff Wills

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    I cant speek for Wenatchee, but I did grow up in Klamath Falls and my folks still live there. As for the suroundings, the area has a ton to offer. Like others have said, It's right at base of the easter side of the cascades. Its surounder by the Fremont/Winema National Forest, and the Deschutes NF to the north. There's Crater Lake just up the road. If your into fishing, there's Klamath Lake, the Wood River, Klamath River, Lost River, many mountain lakes (Lake of the woods, Fish lake, Willow lake, Diamond Lake, etc.) If you like skiing there's Mt. Batchelor about 2-3 hours north, Mt. Shasta's the same distance south, Mt. Ashland's about 1-2 hrs West, Wilamette Pass is north, Warner Mt. 100 mi east, and Pelican Butte is 20 min out of town if your into hiking to your ski runs. There's tons of hiking and Mountaineering options. Plenty of scenic roads for good cycle trips, however, K-Falls doesn't have a big cycle population (it's slowly building). There's one very decent cycle shop downtown. If you decide to move there, the area you live in is going to make a big difference. My parents live at the Running Y, which is a resort/ golf course west of town. Its very beautifull out there, and it's a great community. Pacific Terrace is a nice older neighborhood. Lake shore drive, and Harbor Isles are neighborhoods right on the lake, which is nice, but there's a terible midge and mesquito boom in summer months. The town itself doesn't have much to offer. It's slowly growing and seems reluctant to bring in major retailers. There's also not much for cultural arts (although Ashland is the hub of cultural arts and its just 40 min west). I could go on and on, If you have any other questions let me know. I personaly love Klamath Falls as an area, but it has its shortcoming with some of its populous and lack business growth. Hope this helped.

    Brad

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I'd passed through Klamath Falls several times in the 1980s, but my real introduction to the area
    came about, oddly enough, after the damaging earthquakes there in October 1993. I was one of several people who installed seismographs in the area and made several trips there between October and January, and have returned several times since. With all the natural amenities around like the ones Brad mentioned, I imagine Klamath Falls will be "discovered" some day like Bend was.
    Last edited by rnorris; 03-09-10 at 04:37 PM.

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    The Wenatchee Valley Sports Council has some links describing bike routes, along with the fishing opportunities a ways north in Lake Chelan.

    Long ways to go to get to Crater Lake from Wenatchee, however, but Hwy. 97 does connect the two places.

  10. #10
    Senior Member hodadmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moleman76 View Post
    The Wenatchee Valley Sports Council has some links describing bike routes, along with the fishing opportunities a ways north in Lake Chelan.
    And the winner is: East Wenatchee!

    I have been perusing the internet sites in and around there, I don't think there will be any problem adapting. Looks like a perfect launch point for touring too. Looking forward to the dryer climate, I'm told they get 300 days of sunshine a year.

    You never know, I may even rediscover fishing too. Did that with the bike when I turned 40.

  11. #11
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodadmike View Post
    I'm told they get 300 days of sunshine a year.
    I'd like to see where this number actually came from. If you look at historical climate data summaries (I do because I am a weather geek), it looks to me like the actual number of "clear" and "partly cloudy" days is closer to 200-220.

    Overall, I think Wenatchee is a great place. Congratulations on your choice! Lot's of good Mountain Biking in the area as well as road riding.

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