I don't mean to overamphsize something but...
I have always said that my favoite highpoint is my last one. My trip to tbe Norhtwest has gotten stirred up in unexpected ways. For the first time in more than 20 years -- I am now seriosuly looking into relocating to a new location. The Norhwest holds a lot of appeal -- the snow, the umpteen approaches, the ocean, the moderate yaar round temps, the "cosmpolitan world view". the relative small town atmosphere, and the geekiness of a computer nerd. And last but not least is that my brother lives in Seattle.
Anybody out there want to hire a geek with high pay and no responsibility? (I know it's chum change for you microsoft groupies -- I promise to never post again about Bill's conspriacies -- even though I "visited" his house or at least the gate at "1700 Something or other" in Bellevue. Let me start. .Net is good. .Java is evil (Bill realy should defend my 360 summit panoramas). Afterall how rich can this guy be if you can see his house from a bridge?
It ain't East Hampton, NY, standards (hey, I will sell out to Bill who's a year younger) for pocket change.
And from a practical circumstance I think the Northwest surpasses Colorado as the U.S. "Mountaineers" headquarters (e.g., Alpine Associates, RMI, etc.).
In any event, I am curioous about your opinions of outdoor superstores. The only one in the East that I know of is L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine. (rushing water, lots of photos of Katahdin, etc.).
NYC which has everything you can possiby buy has EMS which has qutie frankly been very disappointing every time I've visited (they're usually not busy and more fashion than gear conscious). I nearly froze in Utah last September because I caught them between summer and winter when I bought gear.
The religious Mecca in Seattle is REI
With climbing wall and a huge parking lot, waterfalls, doug firs, etc.
Carbela's near Nebraska is a meccea for the hunter oritented near Panorama Pont.
I grew up in the 1970's with religious experiences at Colorado moutaineer stores which I have forgoten the names of (I assume there has to be a superstore in Denver). Notably missing is California.
There has to be something in the Denver envrions.
Three superstores in the country has to be pretty pathetic.