moving to Ajo, Az (Sonoita: motorhome, camping, live)
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Thanx AzDesertrat86. I have been in contact with the chamber, (very nice lady there), and she got me in touch with some realtors(who are also being very helpful and promised to keep in touch) We will be there with the Border Patrol and are only waiting for a report date. I thought maybe someone may not be going through the realtors...we have been google earthing Ajo and the area..we look forward to the quiet life. It looks to be absolutely beautiful!! Do you really hear cyotees at nite? I haven't heard that wonderful sound since I was young in North Idaho...fell asleep every nite to thier singing. We are excited and ready to go and prepared to tent camp til we find something to rent/buy; so will be there soon. Liking this site too.
I just graduated from Auburn University and accepted a job offer from AMEC. The first project they have me working on is building a solar power plant in Ajo. I've done a lot of research, and this thread has been very helpful. I've never been west of Alabama so this is a huge change for me. I'm really excited about it. I'll only be there until August or so, but I'm sure I'll enjoy my time there. I'm concerned with the quality of the internet in Ajo, but I haven't been able to find out anything about it.
Jehremy, there are 3 ways to connect to the internet.
1. TableTop Telephone. Not sure what speed you get but I understand it's comparable to many other cities. I've never used it (no phone service for us).
2. Ajo WiFi. They offer their wireless solution. I've tried it for 2 seasons (snow bird) and the quality overall has been less than desirable. Others that use the service like it.
3. I now use Verizon via my smart phone to use my Banking services. Also for my credit card services. Overall works well for me.
It looks like I also will be joining the AJO AZ community here shortly, and was wondering how the cost of living compares with Tacoma Washington. As I will not be able to sell my home here ,due to the failed economy. I am hoping that I can afford some sort of quality of life on a average budget.
Most food, dry goods, water and electric will be higher. You should find gasoline about average compared to other locales.
Need clothing, shoes, etc? Make a trip to Phoenix. Sun, clear sky, beautiful desert are abundant (Oops, and free)
I am possibly moving to Ajo or close by. I am moving there with my job and have a few questions I'm hoping someone can help me with. My wife works in a bank processing mortgages. Does anyone know if there are any potential jobs related to that field within an hour of Ajo? Phoenix or Tucson are too far of a commute. Also, we like to ride motorcycles. Are the windy, twisty paved roads plentiful there? Off roading is also a hobby. Are there four wheeler trails and riding areas plentiful? And what about horse trails? We love to explore and would like to find ghost towns or abandoned buildings. Being from the northeast, all we know about the drug war and illegal immigrants is the sensationalized news stories on TV. What is the real deal? And should I carry a firearm when in the middle of nowhere? Also, is there a patchwork of small towns in the area? Or is there pretty much nothing between Ajo and the cities?
The closest town, that I'm aware of, is Gila Bend which is about 45 miles north of Ajo. I've not seen nor heard of anything other than the McDonalds there as being a place to work. The closest WalMart is about 110 miles either North (Buckeye) or West (Casa Grande.) Either of those places is, by Ajo standards, fairly booming and you'd probably be able to find something there. I've seen several banks and my Credit Union is in Casa Grande. (I use WalMart simply as an indication as to the size of the town; Ajo has two dollar stores and the closest thing to a fast food place is one Dairy Queen. Buckeye and Casa Grande have multiples of pretty much everything; WalMart is just my abbreviation for "large enough to be worth visiting.")
The local bank is National Bank of Arizona. It is the only bank in town.
Lots of people in town ride motorcycles. I don't, personally, find the roads to be "windy and twisty" if they are paved; however your mileage may vary.
It's my understanding that there's a small amount of off-roading done in the desert around town, but the land west of town is Bureau of Land Management property, south of town is Organ Pipe National Monument, east of town is the T'Ohono reservation and north of town is the Goldwater Air Force range. In other words, I don't think there's too much "official" off-roading done.
I have lived here 7 years and never come in personal contact with anyone that I felt was on drugs or in the country illegally. I don't ask, particularly in regards to the second case, and have never figured out how anyone could just "tell" someone was an illegal alien. People will tell you that there are several druggies in town; the paper publishes the log of arrests that the Sheriff's department made over the previous week and it's certainly not unheard of for there to be between two to five arrests for drug use, generally marijuana, over a two or three week period. It's not unusual, either, for the Sheriff's log to indicate that the deputies assisted the Border Patrol agents in apprehending a couple of illegals. My point of view is that, over a 7 day period and probably a 20 mile circumference when we're about 40 miles north of the border, a couple of illegals is hardly any sort of crime wave I'm worried about. And while I'm not particularly impressed with people who use any sort of illegal drugs, living in the middle of the boonies like we do I'm not particularly surprised at the fact that some people use them.
I know a few people like to carry a gun; I've never heard of anyone actually needing to use theirs. However -- and this is a big however -- the local paper is of the opinion that news that upsets people is not conducive to a neighborly relationship, so there's very little in the weekly (not daily!) paper that might in any way be considered controversial. (Unless the owners of the paper feel strongly themselves about an issue or a particular issue is picked up by the Phoenix or Tucson paper, then we might get something.) I've heard that visitors to Organ Pipe have been warned about illegals; I'm also aware that this country is hyper sensitive to lawsuits -- both the threat and use of. We are so far out that the people we get for sheriff's deputies and Border Patrol agents are *very* young and, often, *very* macho. Shall we say .... there may be a fair amount of exaggeration when stories are told? Certainly if you expect to be out by yourself in the desert and happen to have a gun (presumably legally,) I would be kind of surprised if you didn't take it. Just in case.
But, keep in mind that I'm female and someone who spends most of her time inside. I don't go off-roading or motorcycling or walking through the desert so I just may not have the experiences others have. If you have the time and inclination, stop in the NAPA auto place, the grocery store, Marcella's restaurant, the dollar stores, etc. and talk to people. Particularly if you come on a weekend morning and look for motorcycles in the parking lot before deciding where to stop you might find some more first hand information that what I have.
The website for the local paper is cunews.info; it hasn't been updated in a couple of months but you can get an idea of what they think is important. You might try calling or emailing them directly if you really want some specific information.
Thank you for the info, MAO. Very helpful. Can you tell me if there is an influx of people in Pima County over the winter? Is there a certain draw to the county such as camping or recreation?
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