My wife and I moved from the Washington, DC area to Western Colorado. The San Juans mountains hypnotized us. They are stunningly beautiful! We wanted to move to Montrose but wound up buying a home in Delta which is about 30 minutes north(less expensive area). However we both got jobs in Montrose. After 15 months though, we left. Here are some interesting things we learned about the region (Delta down to Ouray):
1 It's a tough place to make a living. Many (yes, many) people work two or more jobs and pay is terrible. Jobs are hard to find. Gasoline is expensive. Alot of people feel trapped because they can't afford to leave.
2 We found out that for every two that arrive one leaves. Real Estate Agents know this and are aware they could pick the listing back up in a few months.
3. They don't like newcomers, especially Californians and to a lesser degree Texans (the place is loaded with Texans). For the newcomer to make friends with a native... "foget about it"! If you do move there you will notice after a while that all your friends are newcomers like yourself.
4. Alot of drug usage and higher than normal suicide rate. As one woman once told me- "this is the most un-Christian place I have ever lived".
5. They are traffic Nazi's. I have never seen an area so obsessed with traffic violations. What am I talking about? Drive over the speed limit, or pass on the double yellow line, or run a red light and you will find out real quick (they have cell phones and they do use them).
The number one lesson we learned, like many who move here, is that the reality of living in Western Colorado is quite different than the dream. My parents who are retired fell in love with it and now spend their summers there. Nothing wrong with that! As I'm now fond of saying... "it's a great place to visit but no place to live!"