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Old 10-27-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,483,390 times
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It is fun to drive up to say where the continental divide marker is but I still wouldn't drive that pass in bad weather. I at one time thought about driving from Trinidad to Pagosa and then down to Chama but after seein that pass I do Trinidad, Chama then up to Pagosa. All is safe driving in my book
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:00 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,120,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbie at bouontiful View Post
It is fun to drive up to say where the continental divide marker is but I still wouldn't drive that pass in bad weather. I at one time thought about driving from Trinidad to Pagosa and then down to Chama but after seein that pass I do Trinidad, Chama then up to Pagosa. All is safe driving in my book
Like it or not, driving the mountain passes in bad weather is part of living in Colorado--especially if one chooses to live in a mountain area. One should never be foolhardy--attempting to drive in near-impossible conditions or driving when one knows that conditions are beyond one's driving ability--but having winter driving knowledge and the willingness to use it is unavoidable if one plans to live in this state and travel most anywhere in it during the winter. Sooner or later, the time will come when a driver is confronted with having to drive in miserable winter conditions--often in circumstances when there may not be a choice--and that driver needs to be sufficiently prepared and experienced enough to handle it. If they're not, they really shouldn't be living here--it's part of what is necessary to live in Colorado successfully.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:57 AM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,483,390 times
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I agree with you jazzlover. I've lived in the mountains before and lived in the mountains oversees so I know about driving. I probably would wait until roads are cleared before attempting anything but no matter how much driving experience one has you got to say that particular pass is scary coming down not too much going up except my car seemed to not like it much. I've have driven quite a few passes and I guess I prefer the long staight aways like from Santa Fe to Chama a little bit better than going up to wolf to ski.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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Okay, so Pagosa is scratched off my list for now, hehe. At least until my winning lotto numbers come in.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:19 AM
 
1,051 posts, read 1,577,224 times
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Pagosa Springs is indeed a beautiful place but the naysayers are all on target here. If you are young, have plenty of money, no need to work, and no medical issues (and don't mind staying home for long periods of time), then PS is great.

I chose Durango and own 5 acres that I plan to build on as soon as I can. PS to Durango may only be an hour commute but Jazzlover is correct when he states that it's not an easy commute. If you have any medical issues at all, that 1 hour commute to the hospital at Durango can be life or death.

I wanted badly to retire to Vallecito Lake. My wife & I just fell in love with the beauty of the mountains, the lake, the serenity, it was just paradise. It's only a half hour from downtown Durango and is an easy drive........ in the summer. In the end, the thought of dealing with winter as much as 9 months of the year, the potential of a longer drive to the hospital in case of a medical emergency, etc, all assembled to support a more sensible land purchase on the Florida Mesa outside of Durango. We'll be 4 miles from the hospital, 7 miles from Durango, and less than 1 mile from DRO so when we travel, it's literally a 5 minute drive to the airport.

Durango will be retirement for me and hopefully sooner rather than later. I'll be bringing my retirement money with me and will have no need to work. Just a few more years and I may finally be able to realize that dream. Until then, I'll just have to continue to put up with the hot humid summers & gray wet winters of Southwestern PA.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:32 PM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,483,390 times
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Never really looked at the Durango area, just PS and Chama. I will be retiring off of a cattle ranch that is somewhat remote so we like remote. Although reading your post, medical may some day be a problem in those two areas. Right now it is about 40 minutes to the nearest medical but that is 40 minutes winter or summer. I keep forgeting that winter can hang you up even though we have lived in pretty heavy snowed areas in the past. Like you we'll not be looking for jobs just home sweet home.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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Unfortunately, medical care issues are one of the growing stumbling blocks for people who want to live in rural Colorado--in several ways. Make no mistake, overall medical care is better in rural Colorado than it was, say, 40 years ago. Then, before helicopter medivacs and before most rural hospitals had a lot of the sophisticated equipment that they do now, a lot of routine medical problems could wind up being life-threatening or deadly in rural Colorado. That said, the overall medical situation in a lot of rural Colorado is now deteriorating, for a number of reasons:

1. A disproportionate number of people in rural Colorado are Medicaid or Medicare patients. Those people are money-losers for rural Colorado clinics and hospitals and that drives up the costs up for private insurance or private pay patients. As a result, medical costs are above the national norm in most all of rural Colorado. It also means that a lot of rural Colorado hospitals live in constant financial distress.

2. There is a looming shortage of qualified doctors in much of rural Colorado. The above-mentioned problem with Medicare/Medicaid makes rural Colorado a financially unattractive place for a lot of doctors. Many doctors in rural Colorado now refuse to take Medicare patients or refuse to take new patients altogether. That really limits options for newcomers--especially older retired people on Medicare.

3. The doctor shortage also means that many communities lack any kind of "urgent care" medical facilities to take care of minor medical emergencies, especially on nights, holidays or weekends. A medical problem during those times often means a trip to an understaffed, overcrowded, and expensive hospital emergency room--minimum billed cost for such a trip starting at about $1,000.

4. The last line of defense for most rural hospitals is medivac transport to a bigger medical center--for the more complicated issues that often means to Denver, Colorado Springs, or Salt Lake City. The billed cost for a helicopter medivac typically is $200 per mile. So, a 150 mile helicopter medivac flight from, say the San Luis Valley, to Colorado Springs can cost $30,000. Even a short flight of 60 miles from, say, Montrose to Grand Junction will cost around $12,000. Not cheap.

Of course, all of these issues are well-known to medical insurance carriers, and their rates charged to rural Colorado residents reflect it. Considering that many small rural Colorado employers do not provide medical insurance coverage as a benefit to their employees makes the medical care issue all the more problematic for many rural Colorado residents. All of it is just one more little dirty secret that the promoters of rural Colorado living fail to mention to the wannabe Coloradans. Those of us who live in rural Colorado, though, have to contend with these issues every day--and that part of living in rural Colorado ain't much fun.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,489,116 times
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Don't forgot to hit the hot springs!
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:01 AM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,483,390 times
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I agree with jazzlover. This last trip my husband did a real good number on his thumb fishing. His thumb was fillet instead of the trout! We did find a doctor but he only comes in when called and that was almost 2 hours later. He stitched the thumb up in less than ideal situation or even looking at his office was pretty scary. Anyway, thumb okay now but while in town waiting for my husband I got to meet lots of locals that were excited the doctor was in and decided to sit in the waiting room. They discussed medical with me, unfortunately they all were able to use the Dulce Apache medical and not being Indian that was out for me. So, we would have to go by helicopter or drive to Santa Fe from the Chama area. Pasgosa Springs probably Durango. Trinidad has a nice hospital but I bet most major stuff goes to Peblo. Here where I live you drive 40 minutes into a town called McAlester which is pretty big but most stuff even there is helecopter into Tulsa 2 hours away. We all have areas on our property for a helcopter to land and we take out insurance for that helcopter which is pretty cheap actually down right cheap at 50 bucks a year. One friend said his bill to Tulsa was 5000 dollars he had heart attack.

We would have retired Federal Employee insurance which will be great but yes you have to have the doctor to fix you too! medical is a big concern but at the same time living where you want is also on the top of the list.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:17 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,285 times
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Default Pagosa Springs- Big City

Quote:
Originally Posted by debbie at bouontiful View Post
Never really looked at the Durango area, just PS and Chama. I will be retiring off of a cattle ranch that is somewhat remote so we like remote. Although reading your post, medical may some day be a problem in those two areas. Right now it is about 40 minutes to the nearest medical but that is 40 minutes winter or summer. I keep forgeting that winter can hang you up even though we have lived in pretty heavy snowed areas in the past. Like you we'll not be looking for jobs just home sweet home.
PS actually now has a full service hospital, no more ambulance to Mercy in Bayfield. Tomorrow they will announce that Walmart is building a big box in Pagosa. No need to drive to Durango. In fact, a bit more of this and there is no reason to to leave a city for Pagosa.
I may have a very nice home for sale there soon.
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