I'm originally from Chicago so I feel like I hit the lottery when I accepted a job out here about 9mos. ago. I did exactly what you want to do. Moved out here with a packed car, got rid of most of my "stuff" and started fresh. It was liberating for sure. I live in Boulder and commute about 10miles outside of town. Close enough to ride my bike to work.
There are A LOT of outdoor companies out here: Kelty+Sierra Designs, GoLite, Pearl Izumi, Sea to summit, etc.. Might be a good idea to add some outdoor gear to your resume. And if all else fails you could always get a gig at a brewery
We've got tons of those too.