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Old 06-16-2006, 03:36 AM
827 posts, read 4,541,267 times
Reputation: 505


Yes Steve, I know exactly what you are talking about. The areas too where you can hike, there are the homeless and guys looking for well "you know what" all around especially Papago Park and forget going to South Phoenix with all the gangs and drugs, it just isn't safe to get out except in one's gated community. I don't like all the tall fences everyone has, to keep everyone else out, so there isn't any contact with anyone or "hi how are you today" kind of thing. And everybody is in such a bleeping hurry and driving 70 plus miles an hour to get home to be in their sheltered fenced house in their gated community. What's that all about? You get a honk but always to go faster or hurry up never to honk to say "hi", maybe it is all this heat making people here so mad. I don't know but I have had it too and brother, I can't wait to be outside in some fresh cool air up in Durango. My brother lives in Durango and he just told me about him going kayaking and having a picnic in a meadow with his girlfriend up in the mountains and seeing butterflies and wildflowers then they went hot tubbing in the cool night air and saw the stars by the billions. They can see them there! I forgot what they look like with all these bright lights around here! Imagine sitting in anything hot in Phoenix??? They have this big Fourth of July fireworks display there and it has always been great. That community is really a close knit bunch and I love that they ask me "how am I doing" and mean it when I go anywhere there. You are lucky to get a "thanks" from a cashier here, mostly though, you are just a number plodding through the cattle bins.

Last edited by Crackerjack; 06-16-2006 at 03:42 AM..
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:35 PM
4 posts, read 19,810 times
Reputation: 11
Thumbs up Not a secret any longer.

First let me praise Crackerjack for all the good information he has provided regarding Durango and the surrounds. Excellent descriptions... maybe a little low on home prices. Because Durango is now so popular home prices increased a lot in the past 5 years. $300,000 might get you a two bedroom house on the outskirts of town. There is probably not a single house in town under $300K.

Property taxes are very low. The gas/oil companies like BP America offset the property taxes in La Plata county.

My wife and I came here on a vacation three years ago. We saw a place we wanted and thought it over for two days when we made an offer that was accepted.

This area is growing but not in such a bad way as say for example the Denver area and the Colorado Springs area.

I am concerned that the Grandview area is going to expand rapidly with the new hospital and plans for 2500 single family homes. However Grand view is ten miles south of downtown Durango so will not have a significant negative effect on Durango.

Now that Iive here I am not encouraging other people to move here but if you come here on vacation be prepared to become hooked on the mountains and the towns. ( See also Mancos and Silverton and Bayfield. )
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Old 07-07-2006, 01:26 AM
827 posts, read 4,541,267 times
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Thanks Mac from Durango! Oh No! I have to get out of this infernal city of Phoenix as soon as possible so I can get me a house in Durango while I still can!!! Thanks again!
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:58 PM
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Default Why you would want to move to Bayfield.

Dear Dizzy,
I've been a resident of Bayfield for over 20 years. I might have a different perspective on life in Bayfield from any of the others who have responded to you because none of them have actually lived in Bayfield!
Bayfield is currently a town of 1800 people. Although it's 20ish miles from Durango and is considered to be a bedroom community to Durango, Bayfield has some pretty wonderful things to offer. The town has been growing steadily for the last 5 years. People like the slower, simpler pace of life in a small town. They like actually knowing their neighbors and feeling safe in their environment. People in Bayfield still greet one another on the street, in the restaurants and stop and visit with one another in the stores. The quality of life is the largest draw to this small town.
The schools in Bayfield are considered the best in the county. I don't speak from a biased personal opinion, but I'm quoting the real estate agents from all over the county. People ask where they should raise their children and the real estate agents respond with "Bayfield!". Sporting events make up a central part of the social life. From T-ball for 5 year olds to high school sports, the town of Bayfield is passionate about children.
Our small town offers a grocery store, a three gas stations with convenience stores, three chiropracters, two dentists and churches of all denominations. We have one fast food restaurant, one brewery pub and several cafes.
Twenty miles north of the town is Vallecito Lake. It offers excellent fishing, backpacking and camping. Five miles to the southwest is the National Forest (Saul's Creek). It offers bike riding, hunting, horsebackriding and hiking. Beaver Meadows access to the National Forest is nine miles west. There is hunting, camping, horse back riding and wood gathering.
I hope this gives you a good perspective of Bayfield!
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:42 AM
Location: rural AR, in Ouachita National Forest region
8 posts, read 44,443 times
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Default Rivers in Durango and the polite people

The most beautiful river running through a city was seen in Durango when we were visiting there. I believe it is called Animas River. Not sure though or of the spelling. We also went to Dolores, Cortez, Mancos and some other really neat smaller communities, including Bayfield. We are moving to CO, their attitude of live and let live is appealing versus our home state but the weather, the altitude or something caused our aching arthritis to be much less. Perhaps that was psychological as folks were friendly and did not encounter anyone yelling at someone who had a rainbow bumper sticker or a political sticker. We saw stickers for both political parties, yet polite acceptance was abundant.

Where we live and have all our life, this is no longer the situation. If one has any bumper sticker that is relative to civil rights, democrat party, peace sticker, etc. you run a high risk of being yelled at from another vehicle to worse. Sad situation and we are ashamed of how people have become so polarized here. I so hope this does not spread but rather the behavior we saw in the Durango region spread outwords.

Our only hope is to find a way to afford to live there, in any form as we have become desperate to find a peaceful community.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:46 PM
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Carolyn, your words touched my heart! It is so sad to live in a place where they are so narrow minded! I know Arkansas all to well. My brother-in-law and sister live there and I have seen how you have to conform to a certain way or you wont be accepted. My sister told me to cut my hair shorter then it was when I was there so I would "fit in" and not disturb people. I thought I was back in the 1800s! I am certain the reason you felt better was the low humidity in the Durango area. My dad can't hardly go to Arkansas because he aches so bad there but he gets back out west and is fine.

The Durango area will accept you! I have seen about every type of person there and nobody gives them a second look. I saw women wearing pink and purple hair and shaved and bald, not even a glance from people. Do that in Arkansas, I don't know if you would make it back to your house alive!

The river is indeed the Animas River and you will often see fly fishermen, swimmers, waders, tubers, kayakers and rafters floating or fishing. Oh and you don't have to worry about deadly snakes like water moccasins and copperheads like Arkansas has and NO CHIGGERS! Yeah! NO ticks! I have never seen a tick or a chigger anywhere in Durango or the area.

Dear friend, I wish you well on your move whether Durango, Pagosa or Bayfield. What Bayfieldresident said is true. Bayfield is a great small community with great schools.
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:56 PM
1 posts, read 11,691 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thank You All For Feedback


I just found this thread and it has been helpful with all the feedback regarding the Durango area. My wife and I and our two children are exploring moving to the Durango area. We are currently in Chino Valley, AZ and we can identify with the lack of open mindedness present here. In addition we have found that the area is growing with out any plans for infrastructure, services and accommodating the needs of it's citizens.

Looking at various websites it seems Bayfield, Durango, Cortez and Mancos seem as though they are meeting needs (although differntly) of their citizens. We are looking for larger acrerage as we have horses and thus the Bayfield and Mancos towns look good with easy access to Durango or Cortez. Durango seems as though it would be similar to Prescott here but it just seem more positive and accommodating.

Again thank you to all who have shared and we will welcome more so that we have a better sense of those who have lived or are living there. My wife and children visited two weeks ago and my wife and I will visit shortly to scope it out more. Our children surprisingly have an interest in moving. We had just moved here two years ago from NH.

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Old 08-09-2006, 11:02 PM
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Default Durango Cortez and Bayfield

Bondo77, Since you have horses, I would concentrate on Bayfield or Cortez. There are a lot of horse ranches in those areas. You might also look near Durango, from Florida Mesa (out past Grandview) on Highway 172 toward Ignacio. They have a lot of ranches out in that area. Another area would be from Bayfield out on County Road 501 and then back to County Road 240 (Florida Road) but it starts getting congested as you go toward Durango on County Road 240.
Hesperus area, would be south on Highway 140 out to Breen, Marvel, Red Mesa and on to the New Mexico border. Mancos has some country roads to check out. Cortez has a lot of county roads especially north up to Dove Creek.

As far as schools, Bayfield has some of the best in the area. Durango also has great schools. I don't know about Cortez schools. I know Cortez, Bayfield and around Durango, have lots of horses and organizations like 4H are well grounded in the area.

Jobs, Durango will have the most and if you have a college degree, you should be able to get on at one of many companies there and do well. Lot of banks in Durango, tech jobs, medical jobs, light industrial jobs, assembly lines, construction jobs, city jobs, police and airport jobs. Lot of others. Restaurants do good and I talked with a waitperson who said she made real well in tips and did fine living in Durango. Durango is really growing and needs new retail businesses as well. Cortez and Bayfield are growing and news jobs will come from that. Durango is still the main city in the area.

Costs of living. Actually not as much as you think if you already have a house since taxes are very low, low utilities and shopping is just like anywhere else, Walmart, Albertsons, etc, same prices about everywhere on that. I talked with a couple who have only been married a few months and asked how they got their country place near Durango. They said in general, young couples will buy some land with a modular home (a large double or triple wide mobile home on a permenant foundation) and after they get their land paid off, they will build their house and move the modular.
If you look you can find good deals. Places like Lightner Creek have some ranches that are closer to Durango, you can be in downtown Durango in only 5 minutes. They are pricey though because it is so close to downtown. The rule is the further out from Durango, the cheaper; the closer, the more expensive.

Altitude. I do know my dad will ache and hurt when he goes down south to Arkansas with all the humidity but when he goes to Durango, he feels fine. He lives in Farmington, NM right now but is going to retire in Durango. It takes a few months to a year to get used to the high altitude. Once your body adjusts, you are fine but some with serious medical conditions should check with a doctor to see if it is OK for them to live in high altitudes. I know when I am in Durango, I rest a day to adjust to the altitude and then I will have a lot of energy. Now the Four Corners has it's annual monsoon season that lasts about a month. They will get most of their moisture in that time and it rains and is cloudy but then will clear soon and be sunny and dry most of the rest of the year.

What you might do is rent a place for a few months and get to know all the area and then find what you want, need and can afford. This would be a good time to look for a job and when you get one, you can then look to buy a place. That way, if you can't get a job or if you find another town nearby to move too, you wont be out much in expenses. Apartments in Durango are comparable to most cities out west and cheaper then California. College kids will be coming in soon so the apartments will start to get slimmer. Farmington is another place to rent, then look around Durango, Bayfield or Cortez to buy. Farmington, a desert city, is about 50 miles south.
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:31 AM
6 posts, read 22,545 times
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Environmentally, what are the differences between Durango, Cortez and Bayfield?

I read in another thread that USDA Zones range from 2 to 7 within the area, which is wild! We're gardeners, so are familiar with these categories, having gardened in places ranging from 4 to 10, believe it or not. (Kinda nice to have fresh oranges and mangoes, until a hurricane comes and knocks down the trees.) I'm assuming the zones have a lot to do with the altitudes.

Any realtors, feel free to chime in with information. A range of prices for raw land would be great within the area and in the three communities.
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:16 PM
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CactusJack, It does have a lot to do with all the altitudes. Up near Silverton for example is about 47 miles to Durango yet Silverton is over 10,000 feet elevation! Durango is around 6500. Cortez is 6,200 and Bayfield is similiar to Durango. Farmington is 5300. Cortez is the warmest in Colorado in the SW area. Farmington, the warmest, in the northwest NM area. Durango and Bayfield are similiar. North of Durango say from Durango Ski Resort up to Silverton would be Zone 2. From about Tamarron to Hermosa about 4 then changing to 5 to Durango then south Durango would be zone 6 down to the NM border and into Aztec would be around a zone 7. Cortez I think would be a zone 6 or 7. Bayfield a zone 5 or 6. Farmington is quite warm and could be even a zone 8. They have hot summers and mild winters but it is a desert. So for example, say in late December or January, a storm would be, two feet of snow up at Durango Ski Resort to over three feet of snow in Silverton to about 4 inches of snow in Durango and Bayfield to about 3 inches in Cortez to rain in Farmington that might change into a brief snow flurry back to rain but not really accumulating on the ground. Durango's snow melts off the roads fast and isn't icy. Durango proper would be a zone 5 or 6.

Last edited by Crackerjack; 08-10-2006 at 11:42 PM..
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