I am, too, BC. Although my disabilities don’t affect my mobility and I can still work (up to to a point) my income puts a roof on what I can afford. Many years ago like you I scanned the Pacific Northwest, and while I took weeks to explore the state’s gorgeous coastline (back in the 80’s), just like I did with Cali, loved it and went home. I may yet move again, but it won’t be there for the reasons you state.

You make an excellent point about how it’s not the immigrants, et.al. Most of those folks couldn’t possibly afford real estate or rent, any more than they can in Colorado. We’re pricing out the working poor. At some point we may have to bus in workers the way almond growers bus in millions of bees to do the pollination thanks to Roundup, other pesticides, single crop farms and other offenses. We are nothing if not rapacious.

Another commenter wrote with genuine passion about California, in the same way. Monied people tend to colonize without much consideration for the nature of the place, nor a commitment to preserve that which made it so lovely in the first place. I am not trying to denigrate or judge- there’s plenty of evidence from time immemorial. It is what we do. As someone else pointed out there are alway winners and losers. What saddens me is the very real loss of the character that made a Portland Portland, Tahoe a Tahoe and much more. We cannot hang on to what was, any more than I can visit the farm that formed my childhood. Likely it’s condos now, being on a lake. What I need to do is my best to embrace what I find in the world, respectfully mourn what we are losing, and where it makes sense fight for preservation. I have to pick my battles. I don’t have 80 years in front of me, I have perhaps 30 or a few more. Those I hope to spend in as much joy as possible, which for me means coming to peace with some of the trends you so eloquently outline here.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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