Hello, New Mexico

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Chuckanut, May 9, 2012.

  1. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    Hey y'all,
    I'm going to be in New Mexico in a few weeks to try and decide if I want to move there. I visited 2 years ago (check the link in my sig) and loved the area but want to make sure. After 36 years in the NW I really want to find somewhere sunny and I love the high desert.

    I'd like to meet with a few of you and get some pros and cons, and maybe even do some riding. Kinda get an insider's view. I have a few meetings set up with businesses I have connections with and have contacted a realtor to get the housing scoop but would like to get a better idea of the lay of the land, the ins and outs, the uhhhh... ummmm, ups and downs.

    Here's my NM schedule (this is part of a 4 week tour):
    May 30 Durango to Taos
    May 31 Taos
    June 1 Taos to Santa Fe
    June 2-3 Santa Fe
    June 4 Santa Fe to ABQ
    June 5 ABQ
    June 6 ABQ to Las Vegas
    June 7 Las Vegas to Salida

    Obviously I'm looking at northern NM, gotta have the mountains and trees, so if any of you in the area would like to get together any of these days, let me know. Or if you have any words of wisdom (or otherwise :D) pass them on. Heck, I'll even buy the beer. :clap

    Thanks, and I hope to hear from someone.

    Tom
    #1
  2. TaterHarry

    TaterHarry Redneck Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NNM
    Tuesdays are Brewsdays at Santa Fe Brewing company for the local inmates. I think the ABQ crew meets up on Thursdays at various locations. Post up when you get here :freaky
    #2
  3. Harpua

    Harpua formerly josdavlar

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Santa Fe and Taos are tainted by tourism to the point where they are kind of a caricature of New Mexican life.

    Northern New Mexico is generally hispanic territory, like it or not, and generally they don't like new-comers. Check out Jemez Springs and surrounding areas in that forest. Spectacular views, not crazy far from ABQ, SF or Taos. Oh, and friendly.

    Don't forget that northern NM gets real winters...
    #3
  4. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I'll try to make it.
    #4
  5. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    The tourism is a problem, although it seems if you get out of town you can avoid the worst of it. Of course, they do seem to be about the only jobs around... :cry

    I went through Jemez last time, GREAT roads, a bit isolated but worth looking at. I know about the winters, as long as it's sunny I'm not concerned about snow and cold. I survived the east coast.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    #5
  6. gregdee

    gregdee Motocampist

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    Location:
    Tijeras, NM
    I'm guessing work is not an issue?

    The back side of the Sandia's, just east of Albuquerque, are surprisingly mountainous and I think its a great place to live. We have trees and water, just not to the extent you will be used to. But I am guessing the lack of a constant mist in the air is part of the reason you are considering the southwest. (My folks live on S. Garden St. in Bellingham so I know what your perspective is.) The Sandia's themselves offer great opportunities for being outdoors and its a fairly central location to get to just about any part of the state. We do get real winters too, just not quite as severe or prolonged as what you will find in Taos. Community wise I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything quite like Bellingham anywhere in NM.

    If you are considering Durango as well then all I can say is that is one well located town: Two hours to Moab and all the mountains you could explore in 10 life times right at your doorstep.
    #6
  7. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    Work most definitely is an issue, so I'll have to be somewhere near a town. I really don't want to do ABQ although I have some contacts there. I like the north for the mountains, trees and weather. I plan on checking out Hwy 14 so I'll be coming through your area.

    Bellingham's a great town and area, I just feel like I need a change. The weather's been awful here for the past 5 years or so and I crave sunshine. The good thing is I don't have to move so I can just stay here but if the attraction to NM is strong I can move there.

    I appreciate the thoughts, thanks.
    Tom
    #7
  8. Hair

    Hair Free to a good home.

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Northern New Mexico
    I'll swap you. I am tired of the high desert. To much sun and too many fires. I am looking to retire north of Bellingham in a few years. I am headed there this summer to go on a San Juan Kayak trip with my sons. Before we go Kayaking I will be spending a few days bumming around the area. Maybe heading in to Victora.


    Good luck in your New Mexico search. I hope that you find what it is that you are looking for.
    #8
  9. Slideways#96

    Slideways#96 scooter trash

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Northern NM
    I live right off hwy 14, 10 miles South of Santa Fe. Pm me when in area and maybe we can do a ride around here and perhaps I can answer some questions for you about the immediate area.
    #9
  10. gbmaz

    gbmaz Power Newb

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    Location:
    Los Alamos, NM
    What kind of work will you be looking for?

    Do you have kids? Concerned about schools?
    #10
  11. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    Be careful what you wish for... If you haven't spent winter time here you may not like it. Sunrise to sunset is about 8 hours and the sun is so low in the sky you don't get much light. Combine that with clouds and rain and it's just plain dark for about 3 months. Also, the air on the west side of the Cascades never really gets warm. The ocean and Sound stay in the 50's during summer, so when you go into shade or the sun goes down it gets cold, fast. One of the few things I miss from the east coast is the warm nights. I've know many people who move here from CA and AZ and can't take it for more than a few years.

    That said, when it's clear and sunny (like today) it's FANTASTIC. The mountains, the water and islands, are almost enough to make up for the dark and rain. Almost... :rofl

    Tom
    #11
  12. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    Will do, thanks!
    #12
  13. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    Mostly I'm a computer jockey, I've been working the past 7 years for a large food co-op doing pricing and database work. I'm very rusty on bleeding edge tech, and I'm 56, so I don't know how hire-able I am. I have connections with Durango, Los Alamos, and La Montanita co-ops, and a few software companies down there, but that's it.

    No kids, no schools, no wife (anymore :cry :D). I'd like to be somewhere rural yet not too far from services (airport, stores, cultural, etc.), that's part of why the Santa Fe area is attractive. You know, I want it all and I want it cheap! That's not asking too much, is it??

    Tom
    #13
  14. gbmaz

    gbmaz Power Newb

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    Location:
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    A few years ago I would have been telling you to checkout Los Alamos National Lab for work, but they have been doing some downsizing so it is a not a great time to look for a job there. LA is a great place to live, but expensive compared to surrounding communities.

    Not having to worry about schools makes it a lot easier to find a cheap place in NM. Outside of Fanta Se, Taos and Los Alamos things are generally pretty affordable. Are you moving and looking to buy and stay long term? Or is this a check things out type of move?

    If you end up trying to piece together an income from working with the co-ops you might also look at http://www.skarsgardfarms.com/. They sell to the co-op and do organic food boxes delivered to your door so they have to do a lot of back end work on their ordering site. No inside scoop, just a thought.

    Good luck with getting everything to work. I love living in Northern NM (warts and all) and plan to stay here long term. I moved to ABQ almost 20 years ago and have lived in Pueblo, CO, Tucson AZ and Boulder, CO before ending up in Los Alamos (my wife is a scientist). NM can be dirty and there is a lot of poverty, but when you scrape down just below the surface you find some of the most down to earth, mellow people you will ever meet. You also find a fair number of pretentious jerks who relocated here for the arts scene. They are easy to spot and avoid.

    Your upcoming trip should give you a good chance to check things out. I always find it so different visiting a place when I am thinking about moving there.
    #14
  15. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    How do you feel about wind? :lol3
    #15
  16. Hair

    Hair Free to a good home.

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    Location:
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    I've been in Seattle off and on over the years. I originate from North Dakota. I understand the lack of sun in the winter. And as I get older I find that I don't much care for daylight at 10:30 pm either. But I want to give it a shot. I love the land\sea interface. I hope to get a boat and do some exploring. I am looking forward to spending time in Canada and north. And before I move there I want to spend at least one two week vacation in the area during the winter months.
    They say that Taos is just the opposite from Seattle. That is Taos has 70% of its time with clear skies. And Seattle has 70% of the year overcast. I know that when I moved here I had a hard time dealing with the lack in the change in the weather. I was here for 5 years before I felt my first cold front move through.
    In your search don't overlook Colorado Springs, Woodland Park area. Also just about anywhere along the front range there is a nice mix of great life style and employment opportunity. A lot of people from the PNW end up along the east side of the front range.
    #16
  17. Harpua

    Harpua formerly josdavlar

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    Location:
    Edgewood, New Mexico
    I live in Edgewood actually, and yes, it's pretty darn good. FYI, the Bank of America owned foreclosure next to me will be a screaming deal for someone. Very nice home. Garage!
    #17
  18. vasculopath

    vasculopath You're not your bike

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I moved to outside of Santa Fe (Lamy) from Seattle 4 years. Spent 5 years there, couldn't take it. Every Winter I felt like I was living on some alien planet that hadn't finished the terraforming quite yet.

    I do miss Harborview though. Great hospital and I saw and learned things there that will be with me forever.

    I raced WMRRA for a couple of years, nothing like getting a knee down running full wets in a supersport race. Whole new perspective.

    I love the southwest though, and will never leave again.

    Allergies here can be severe, and only hit after 2-3 years of exposure.
    #18
  19. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    I got to experience that in 2010 when I rode through. Not fun! Of course we get hurricane force winds here in the NW Interior during the winter, so I might be able to trade.
    #19
  20. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    I spent the 90's kayaking all over WA and BC and it simply can't be beat. I've paddled with otters (river and sea), seals, sea lions, porpoises, orcas, gray and humpback whales, and even a bear one time. I can watch the NatGeo channel and honestly say, "Done that!" The mountains, the desert, the ocean, makes me wonder why I want to leave.

    I'm looking at CO, it wasn't on my radar until recently so I want to check it out. I lived in Denver decades ago and hated it, and can't imagine it's gotten any better. Plus I've had my fill of cities, I like being near them so you can visit then get the hell out. I've got Vancouver BC one hour north and Seattle 2 hours south, so again, why am I wanting to leave? :lol3

    Tom
    #20