Arizona Riding Questions

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by TOzman, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. TOzman

    TOzman Adventurer

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    Thinking about retiring to Arizona.....where are the good riding places in relation to Phoenix (east, west, etc)? I'm thinking about retiring to the Scottsdale area, but if that puts me 180 out from the best places I'll reconsider.

    Thanks,

    Oz
    #1
  2. dezrat57

    dezrat57 New River, Arizona

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    Hello TOzman!!

    Az. is a great retirement location,"north" scottsdale is a newer area w/ so called elbo room, also close by is Carfree,CaveCreek,Desert Hills and New River which offer the "Rural" lifestyle.

    Riding is year'round. street or dirt,most of Az. is Public land.

    in the summer you ride "up north" easy day rides w/ elevations in the Alpine region;in the winter,closer to home
    the weather is starting to cool off,yesterday i rode out of CaveCreek and did Approx 110+ miles of dirt and saw only 2 cars,i tagged along w/ Bill the Duck &
    AZklrgirl as they were heading up to CrownKing for the "Burning Liberal Festival"
    best of
    dave
    #2
  3. azkiwi

    azkiwi message in a bottle

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    Scottsdale is hardly a retirement village any more. The way New River is adding community, the path north will be gridlocked before you get the LazyBoy broken in (rural isn't spoken there since Del Webb moved 20,000 people in). There are lots of better places either further north (Wickenburg, Prescott or Verde Valley) or south around Tucson. Retiring to PHX is like retiring to hell.

    There is lots of good riding across the whole state - only the SW and NE corners are a bit bleak - and of course its four seasons riding though you'll probably want to stay below the rim country for winter (January through March). Thousands of miles of good forest roads in the Coconino for summer adventuring, and terrific blacktop besides all down the eastern border.
    #3
  4. xplore

    xplore Huskateer

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    You obviously haven't been to Yuma
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  5. TOzman

    TOzman Adventurer

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    Prescott is kinda where I'm looking thus far, but no location is totally off-limits. For some background, when I say retire I mean from the Army, but at only 45ish will still have to work. Am working on my MBA now, so need toput that degree to work somehow, so guess I can't get too far away from the action.

    On the other hand, can't stand the hustle and bustle of huge cities...........

    ho-hum, what to do......

    Cost of living will drive the location as well, since I need to get AT LEAST one acre of land....no covenants, want to be able to park the RV on the property, and must be able to get at great rides with relative ease, i.e., don't want to have to fight city traffic for 30 minutes to get out to where the good stuff is.

    Does such a place even exist anymore?

    Oz
    #5
  6. eskimo

    eskimo gunga-galunga

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    Lots of sorta rural areas around Prescott still fit the bill...but realize the lack of restrictions would apply to the neighbors, too.
    #6
  7. LC4CARL

    LC4CARL Been here awhile

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    #7
  8. FlagRS

    FlagRS Gone to the Dogs

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    Does such a place even exist anymore?

    Yes, in Arizona I think it does! I moved her 25 years ago as an 18-year-old easterner. I had no idea how lucky I was. Prescott is a good idea, however it’s boomtown USA and my guess is that in 10 years it will be too much. Consider north of Tucson (Oro Valley, Catalina, Oracle) good access to both deserts and mountains. Tucson is a good mature medium sized city with a university, plus the best BMW dealer in the state is there (only three in AZ).



    KB in Flagstaff
    #8
  9. SeanF

    SeanF Long timer

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    Tucson & Phoenix are the 2 big metro areas. They are growing at an astounding rate and have the problems associated with that phenomena (pollution, over-crowding, crime, etc.) But they also have more motorcycle dealers/techs, restaurants, universities, employment possibilities, and so on.
    Typical big city stuff. I lived in Tucson for 10 years, and loved/hated it (see above).

    The Prescott area used to be a nice place, but has recently been invaded by developers and the ensuing flood of Californians (cookie-cutter housing developments, strip malls, chain restaurants, etc.) But if that sort of thing doesn't bother you, I think it's a fine balance weather- and population-wise.

    Fortunately I am a telecommuter and can live almost anywhere -- I currently reside in Flagstaff and really enjoy it. Cost of living is high (compared to other areas), but it's do-able with some belt-tightening. We have 4 seasons, mountains, a university, tourists, Navajos & Hopis, uppity white folks, some gang activity, elk, volcanoes, pine trees, and fairly lax gun laws. There is beautiful riding around here, and in the winter I go South for more bearable temps.

    Bear in mind, however that Arizona is indeed the Desert, and we have a skyrocketing human population (from all sides -- retirees, students, Californians, Legals and Illegals from the south, folks makin babies, etc.) and only so much water to go around. IMO it will be an issue (and an unpleasant one) to face in our lifetime...just something to consider.

    Just my opinions & experiences.

    Best of luck
    Sean
    #9
  10. motozilla

    motozilla Long timer

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    Just bring your own water....


    I love PHX. If you like good food and a minimum of activity, then you'll want to be in the PHX area. Scottsdale is nice and consider Fnt. Hills if you don't need to commute. I lived there before moving downtown.

    It sounds as though you'll need a job and PHX is your best bet there too. What are you doing in Graf? My best friend was a range officer there in 97-98. Dave Klingman. Know him?
    #10
  11. TOzman

    TOzman Adventurer

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    Motozilla,

    No longer in Graf (Damn! Ned to change that profile), currently in Maryland. Was working in installation management operations (closest civilian position would be a city planner).

    Appreciate all the replies......looks like everyone else in the country has decided that Arizona is a great place, they just actioned on the idea before me. Just can't stand large cities where everyone is in a hurry (my hometown has about 6,000 folks in it).....we love Colorado, even own a home in the Springs, but jeezzz....didn't know you could build that much stuff that fast. 6 years ago we built our house on an empty field. Now, you can go from cradle to grave without ever venturing more than three or four blocks from home.

    The problem with Colorado is that all the great places to live (IMHO) don't offer any employment opportunities.....you have to take your money with you when you move there.

    Maybe Nevada then......if not, Montana has a lot of space available.

    Tim
    #11
  12. motozilla

    motozilla Long timer

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    The trouble is....Everywhere is growing like AZ. Those damn Californians (I moved here from SF about 3 years ago) are taking over the the entire West.
    It's hard to find a city that isn't in sprawl mode no matter where you look in AZ, Co, UT, NV, ID or MO for that matter.
    #12
  13. azkiwi

    azkiwi message in a bottle

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    I think this applies to most anywhere nice in AZ. OTOH you have 10 years to find the next rural edge. All of southern Yavapai County is worthy of your examination. I find the smaller towns more convenient than big cities - I can go to the PO, the market and the bank and be home in an hour - and I live 5 miles out of town! I sure couldn't do that in L.A.
    No we don't have a Beemer dealer (we have a Kawa dealer), but it seems like these days dealers don't stock much anymore - and everything is just two days away via internet.


    Subject: Phoenix Diary Dear Diary:

    May 30th: Just moved to Phoenix. Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! It is beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.

    June 14th: Really heating up. Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I'm turning into a sun worshipper.

    June 30th: Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing the lawn for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

    July 10th: The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least its kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat is taking longer than I expected.

    July 15th: Fell asleep by the community pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body). Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.

    July 20th: I missed Lomita (my cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car at noon, Lomita had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag and stank up the upholstery. The car now smells like Kibbles and shits. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat.

    July 25th: The wind sucks. It feels like a giant freaking blow dryer!! And it's hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts. I'm gonna kill the next guy that says, "But it's a dry heat!" Yeah, so's a freakin' oven!

    July 30th: Been sleeping outside on the patio for 3 nights now. $225,000 house and I can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

    Aug. 4th: It's 115 degrees. Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature all the way down to 85. I hate this stupid state.

    Aug. 8th: If another wise ass cracks, 'Hot enough for you today?' I'm going to strangle him. Damn heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

    Aug. 9th: Tried to run some errands after work. Wore shorts, and when I sat on the seats in the car, I thought my ass was on fire. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and ass. Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried ass, and baked cat.

    Aug 10th: The weather report might as well be a damn recording. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. It's been too hot to do shit for 2 damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this damn desert? Water rationing will be next, so my $1700 worth of cactus will just dry up and blow over. Even the cactus can't live in this damn heat.

    Aug. 14th: Welcome to HELL! Temperature got to 115 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the damn windshield out of the car. The installer came to fix it and said, "Hot enough for you today?" My sister had to spend $1500 to bail me out of jail. Freakin' Arizona. What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live here??

    Will write later to let you know how the trial goes."
    #13
  14. Codewheeney

    Codewheeney Hoopy Frood

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    TOzman,

    Just got back into town and saw your post. I'm in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix, and what everyone here says is pretty on the mark. You can ride all year round, and there are some great roads (perhaps one of the best in the country, US 191 in Eastern Arizona).

    If you're not into the really big city thing, you'd do best avoiding Phoenix. Very big and getting much bigger. Besides Flagstaff and Prescott, which are also growing, you haven't mentioned Albuquerque. I personally really like the place, and it's well situated for some great riding (both pavement and dirt). Seems big enough to be a place where you could find some work, too.

    JC
    #14
  15. TOzman

    TOzman Adventurer

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    You know, it seems that Californians are invading all states west of the Mississippi.........maybe we should go to California, should be lots of room there now. :evil
    #15
  16. motozilla

    motozilla Long timer

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    Sure! IF you don't mind spending 600K on a 2 bedroom fixer upper. :eek1
    #16
  17. Team Dennis

    Team Dennis Certified Troublemaker

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    Just a quick note to tell you Prescott is now CLOSED. Someone forgot to close the gate so I made it my mission to do so. Also posted a sign.


    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. TOzman

    TOzman Adventurer

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    OOOhhh, that just sealed it......Prescott it is.
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  19. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Well, that is the deal. If there were a lot of job opportunities, an otherwise nice place rural town would crowd up overnight and turn into another ex-urbanite over-run spread of suburbia, and then it wouldn't be any different from where you came from. If you want to live in a nice place that hasn't been run over by the hoards, you need to either take your job with you, create a new one, change careers, or lower your standards.

    Not directed at you, TOzman:

    The sad part about what is happening out in the west are the number of people who want to "get away from it all" and move to a quiet, little rural town, but then want to bring in all the upscale amenities they had back where they came from. They have to have their Starbucks, shopping opportunities, trendy restaurants, better road maintenance, etc., until the nice little town is just another bland suburbia wasteland just like where they came from. Pretty soon the nice mom and pop stores that helped make the place special have all been replaced by chain stores.

    So, if someone thinks they just will die if they can't get a good latte, or need the latest trendy Bulgarian-South Seas vegetarian seaweed restaurant, or needs a proper new age health club with organic aerobics and the latest equipment and best trainers, or will only shop at a tony organic grocery, or thinks the town should not be supporting the hunters who come in every fall, or starts complaining because the favorite local bar allows smoking, or wants the county to have the dirt road to their new remote trophy home paved and the snow plowed by 6am, or can't get cable TV or high speed internet service at the aforementioned trophy house, etc., please stay in the suburbs where you belong.
    #19
  20. Caribou Aqua Buddha

    Caribou Aqua Buddha Long timer

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    Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Prescott, Wickenburg and even Kingman are my favorites. I have been over most of the state except the Safford and Clifton area.
    #20