Need Flagstaff Advice - Relocation

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by LostViking, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. LostViking

    LostViking Long timer

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    Hello Folks,

    I am in the early stages of a job offer that would have me relocating to the Flagstaff area. I have been doing my research, and I am about 7 pages in here on hits from a Flagstaff search.

    I am looking for more info on the area. I am from rural upstate New York. At present, I live nine miles from Canada. And the town I grew up in currently still does not have a traffic light. I live in the woods and would like to continue doing so if I move.

    I would most likely look to rent some place to get established first. What I am looking for is info from real people about the area. Not the typical tourist BS. I like the looks of the climate. It was 19 below here this morning and I doubt I will see zero today.

    I need some trees, and seasons,

    The taxes and politics of New York have had me looking to get out of here for a while now. But times are difficult. So it has been a long journey.

    A bit about me. I am pretty boring actually.

    My idea of culture is a cold beer and a campfire.

    This is what's out behind my house,
    [​IMG]

    This is what I do for fun,
    [​IMG]


    This is my prefered method of cooking,
    [​IMG]

    This is my coffee pot, my only coffee pot,
    [​IMG]

    I cut and split a lot of this,
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I love to do this,
    [​IMG]

    I can be talked into a few of these,
    [​IMG]


    And this is my current ride,
    [​IMG]


    You could probably do better, but you could do worse too.

    So what do you think?
    #1
  2. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    I rode through this region recently, around Jan 3rd-5th. I had one very cold morning about 100 miles west of Flagstaff, but it was still 15f above zero.

    There are forests, but (IMHO) not as lush as east coast forests can be - it will not feel like what you are used to. OTOH, you'll have the Sonoran Desert to the south which, IMHO, is the most beautiful of the American deserts. Plus proximity to things like Death Valley, Monument Valley, etc. Should be plenty interesting in terms of places to ride to, and nothing at all like what you have back home. I expect Route 66 will be interesting exactly once, and then more of a kitschy annoyance.

    That's about all I have, I'm sure others who have spent more time there know more.

    Can you finagle a fly out interview? If so, try to make a weekend of it and rent a bike for some sightseeing, then you'll have a better feel for things.
    #2
  3. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

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    Excuse my slew of thoughts...
    Flagstaff sits just shy of 7,000 feet and also sits right at the base of Arizona's tallest mountain, Mt. Humphrey (12,633 feet). Nice place. It's known as a railroad town in that it is long and skinny down both sides of the mainline. There is a lot of rail traffic but they have now made it a quiet zone so you hear the trains but no horns at all hours of the day. I think they get something like 5-8 trains per hour. Lots of college kids as NAU is located there. Snowbowl is pretty close. There are a lot of Navajo indians in and around Flagstaff as the reservation is pretty close... FWIW. That area is also very volcanic so you have got a lot of cinder... everywhere. It's probably a lot warmer than you are used to but still one of the coldest places in Arizona year round. Lots of Ponderosa Pines and Junipers.
    #3
  4. drdfblackm

    drdfblackm VeeFeer

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    Safe haven from Zombies aka Flagstaff AZ
    PM me and we can talk over the phone if you would like. I moved to Flagstaff in 2005.
    #4
  5. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT wannabe

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    i'll let any flag locals chime in and see what they have to say.

    one thing i would adress though is your lifestyle,,,, you'll need to get a fair bit out of town to have space and timber cutting like your pictures seem to show.
    #5
  6. Epy

    Epy Hen-teaser

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    Out of curiosity, what job? I'd like to relocate to Flagstaff but it's such a small area. Seems like the largest employer is the nearby college.
    #6
  7. drdfblackm

    drdfblackm VeeFeer

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    Gore is a really big employer and they are great to work for. Tons of health care to work for as well. Forestry service. Just have to look, there are many places to work for.

    I do not work for any of the above though.
    #7
  8. Gillies

    Gillies One Decade In

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    My brother has lived there since '86. Worked at Gore as an engineer, now a fire captain. Plenty of forest to play in. You can find plenty of wood to cut. The forest is ponderosa and very dry compared to what you are used to. Life in town can be congested with the college kids and Phoenix visitors. The vibe is still small town for engaged locals - can't go anywhere with my bro and family without running into friends. It appears you like space. If you are wealthy, there are options for living well in the forest all around. If you are of moderate professional means, head north east out of town on 89. Doney Park and surrounding area has lots of space, affordable rentals and places to purchase. It's a nice town. I may retire there in eight years.
    #8
  9. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

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    Hey Gillies,
    I don't want to be the bad guy but my sister lived in Doney Park and I would not recommend it to anyone.
    #9
  10. TrophyHunter

    TrophyHunter Long timer

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    Not a local but wish I was. Got some great guidance from the Coconino Trail Riders for a trip in '09. They might know of some "off the beaten path" places that would suit you.
    #10
  11. Crashed Bad

    Crashed Bad Big man, little bike

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    Set the controls for the heart of the sun
    I grew up in NYC and lived in Central NY for about 5 years. Flagstaff most reminds me of Oneanta, NY- a small railroad and college town in the mountains, except Flag has a lot more students.

    I'd love to have a place in the pines, but have never been able to find employment to replace my income in Phoenix, even though the cost per sq/ft is every bit as expensive for a decent house in Flagstaff.

    My suggestion is a place big enough for ADV gatherings and minimum a spare room to rent me in the summer months.

    Flagstaff is a pretty liberal town (as most college towns are) compared to the rest of Arizona. I was amazed coming to AZ at the amount of usable open space to ride, camp, shoot and generally do what you want with little restrictions.

    Good luck in your search and keep us posted!
    #11
  12. LostViking

    LostViking Long timer

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    I grew up in Delaware County, about forty-five minutes from Oneonta,

    I do not have to live in town. In fact I hope to avoid it if possible. I am just not a town guy.
    #12
  13. LostViking

    LostViking Long timer

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    Wealthy = Not
    #13
  14. verge

    verge Adventurer

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    I lived there for 12 years during the 80's and still visit family there from time to time. Flagstaff is a mixture of collage students, Indians, hippies and regular working class people. It's a fairly large town but its spread out through the pine trees so you don't see it. There are lots of rural areas close to town that could give you the lifestyle you have now. It gets cold and snowy but not as bad as where you are now. The summers get up in the high 80's but they have a monsoon season that cools things down. In June , July and August in can rain for a couple of hours in the middle of the day but its kind of nice. A 35 minute ride can get you down into the high desert. It's only a 2 hour ride to the Phoenix area. You can see 4 states from the top of the ski area on a clear day so there are some great rides in every direction. The dirt roads are fairly tame and go forever through the trees but not a lot of creeks, lakes or actual destinations. I could ride all day and not see another person. The bike you have is a good choice for this area. Hope this helps.
    #14
  15. kbblue

    kbblue mmmm... dirt...

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    Moved here a couple years ago and it's perfect for me. Lots of wide open space, 4 seasons, tons of things to do and see. Can go up the mountain and ski one day, down the hill and ride some single track the next. Staying as long as I possibly can. You'll fit in well. Coconino Trail Riders is putting on a dual sport event this summer if you're looking for a time to visit and ride. The Overland Expo is here every year just south of town in June I think, Lots of good local beer too! Very diverse area for choosing a place to live. Have friends who live out about 25 miles in the volcano fields northeast of town and live off grid with wind and solar. That's some isolation if you want it. Also treed stuff west of town out by Parks. In town isolation is pretty pricey. Northwest of town out 180 has lots of stuff that backs up to the national forest, but 180 gets pretty congested with snow seekers from the valley sometimes. Depends on how much you want to drive.
    #15
  16. Gillies

    Gillies One Decade In

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    It's okay. That's what the internet is for. Can't say where in the Doney area your sis lived, but maybe neighborhoods in 300k+ range are slumming it for you.
    #16
  17. DerViking

    DerViking Shred

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    Based on your photo spread, you'll fit in just fine. Cost of living is very high, and work that pays well is pretty scarce. WL Gore, the University, USGS, Forest Service, National Park Service, and assorted other Federally funded outfits. THe hospital is a big hub, and supports a substantial portion of the middle class (also Federally funded, arguably) Housing costs an arm and a leg. Median sales price is over $250k. Williams and Winslow are near by, and much cheaper, but I cannot recommend them. Plenty of good riding around, politics with the Feds probably no worse than anywhere. They are on a big kick to expand wilderness locally, and just closed most of the single track a year and a half back. Plenty of 2 track in every direction. Know as the Ghetto in the Meadow, based on cost of living.
    #17
  18. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

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    Allright, you got me on that one. I did not realize there were houses that nice out there until I browsed the aerial imagery for a bit. She lived on Moonbeam, right out in the middle of a bunch of tiny, cheap little houses with prairie dog infested yards where the wind never, ever stopped blowing. And when they had that flood several years ago, seems like a lot of the area was covered in a foot of mud.
    But, if you've got some cash, it looks like there are some pretty decent places to be had out there as well.
    :rofl
    #18
  19. sandwash

    sandwash Long timer

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    All kinds of places to ride:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Gillies

    Gillies One Decade In

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    Yep. Moonbeam, Gemini, Saturn - seems the celestial streets leave a bit to be desired. My brother's got a rental on Gemini that was completely washed out by the flood. Too bad, really, no one in the area ever imagined a flood could take place there, so no one had insurance and the Feds didn't help because not enough folks were affected. There's lots more to the area though. Tons of really nice houses on 2+ acre lots all around in the 300-500k range. The wind does blow, and you do learn to live with prairie dogs or snuff them. Lots of riding in the Cinders right next door.

    #20