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Old 11-29-2012, 02:55 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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There is nothing Pacific about New Mexico. Geographically and culturally, New Mexico tends to closely align with Colorado. Certainly northern and central New Mexico at any rate which also happens to be the demographic center of the state.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
There is nothing Pacific about New Mexico. Geographically and culturally, New Mexico tends to closely align with Colorado. Certainly northern and central New Mexico at any rate which also happens to be the demographic center of the state.
I thought about my gaffe later. I should have tagged AZ and NM the "Desert Southwest." It was too late to correct that. The ink had dried.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Northridge, Los Angeles, CA
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You know, its interesting using the term "Desert Southwest", since many include Nevada as a part of that. What many DON'T realize is that the Nevada desert connects directly to the desert in Oregon and Idaho (the Great Basin goes up to those two states, along with going into Utah), and the Great Basin in Oregon and Idaho directly touch another desert or semi-desert area, the Columbia Plateau.



Western Ecology Division | US EPA III (for typologies)
List of ecoregions in the United States (EPA) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (easier way to see typologies)

The North American desert system is a LOT larger than most people realize. I'd say it encompasses around 35-40% of the whole Western United States.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lifeshadower View Post
You know, its interesting using the term "Desert Southwest", since many include Nevada as a part of that. What many DON'T realize is that the Nevada desert connects directly to the desert in Oregon and Idaho (the Great Basin goes up to those two states, along with going into Utah), and the Great Basin in Oregon and Idaho directly touch another desert or semi-desert area, the Columbia Plateau.

The North American desert system is a LOT larger than most people realize. I'd say it encompasses around 35-40% of the whole Western United States.
Right, I am aware of that. Northern Nevada's desert lands, put on the map by "Burning Man" , connect into similar terrain in Oregon and Idaho. However, I think it's a latitudinal thing. With the bulk of those states being above Las Vegas, St. George, etc., they stop being Pacific or Southwestern. Not only that, it seems that AZ and NM have some distinct, and shared, vegetation, animal life (Gilas), land forms, not to mention being adjacent to Mexico.

Yes, the percentage of the American West that is desert is more of a negative than it is a positive, at least to me. The desert may have its own stark brand of beauty, but using that term, and its derivations, has always had a negative connotation, even in the Bible, for those who have had some indoctrination in it.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Northridge, Los Angeles, CA
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Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Right, I am aware of that. Northern Nevada's desert lands, put on the map by "Burning Man" , connect into similar terrain in Oregon and Idaho. However, I think it's a latitudinal thing. With the bulk of those states being above Las Vegas, St. George, etc., they stop being Pacific or Southwestern. Not only that, it seems that AZ and NM have some distinct, and shared, vegetation, animal life (Gilas), land forms, not to mention being adjacent to Mexico.

Yes, the percentage of the American West that is desert is more of a negative than it is a positive, at least to me. The desert may have its own stark brand of beauty, but using that term, and its derivations, has always had a negative connotation, even in the Bible, for those who have had some indoctrination in it.
Well, using history, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado COULD be considered Southwestern because they used to be part of the Spanish Empire, as opposed to being British or French. However, unlike AZ or NM, neither of the 3 states were settled heavily by Spain or by Mexico.

AZ and NM, IMO, are connected more by demography than anything else. There's a much stronger Spanish/Mexican/Native American influence in Arizona and New Mexico than there is in either Nevada, Utah, or Colorado.

When I was younger, I used to not like the desert. However, as I get older, it's starting to grow on me. It's an acquired taste, sort of like a dark beer, to like the desert.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lifeshadower View Post
When I was younger, I used to not like the desert. However, as I get older, it's starting to grow on me. It's an acquired taste, sort of like a dark beer, to like the desert.
I have failed to acquire this taste. In fact, even seeing the Las Vegas skyline brings a sigh of relief after crossing California's Mojave Desert. Give me green (trees), turquoise (water), or both. Only the latter formula seems to work for me.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RC01 View Post
Most of those are positives for me. Obviously minus the suicide rates
Same here. I love the Black Hills, but I could move west to the mountains of Wyoming. I think the Bighorns and the Tetons are beautiful. I enjoy the breathing and elbow room.

I have never been to Idaho but I'm hoping to make the trip next summer.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lifeshadower View Post
Well, using history, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado COULD be considered Southwestern because they used to be part of the Spanish Empire, as opposed to being British or French. However, unlike AZ or NM, neither of the 3 states were settled heavily by Spain or by Mexico.

AZ and NM, IMO, are connected more by demography than anything else. There's a much stronger Spanish/Mexican/Native American influence in Arizona and New Mexico than there is in either Nevada, Utah, or Colorado.

When I was younger, I used to not like the desert. However, as I get older, it's starting to grow on me. It's an acquired taste, sort of like a dark beer, to like the desert.
I agree somewhat with the way you have aligned the regions. However I think Phoenix could be excluded when talking about the desert southwest. I was recently in Tucson and couldn't believe how different it is from Phoenix. To me Tucson does align with the desert SW. It has Spanish roots and is way older than Phoenix. Tucson does align with Albuquerque and even with El Paso. Phoenix to me aligns more with Vegas and inland SoCal. It's a much newer city than Tucson and doesn't have the deep southwestern roots Tucson does. Plus there is far more interaction between Phoenicians and LA, SD, Vegas, etc. than Abq. Nobody in Phoenix takes weekend trips to Albuquerque and vice versa. Those two cities aren't really as similar as people think and really don't share any immediate regional ties.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LAX-PHX View Post
Nobody in Phoenix takes weekend trips to Albuquerque and vice versa.
True, but I was defining the concept by states, overall. I mentioned that Denver is an anomaly for the bulk of Colorado. The same is true of Phoenix. It does look and feel like it is an enormous Inland Empire suburb of L.A., with its own set of skyscrapers, in some way. Ditto for the city of Las Vegas. Again, LV is just a dot in the whole of Nevada, though LV contains the bulk of that state's population.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:32 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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Originally Posted by Syringaloid View Post
If you are lumping these three states together then you must add Utah as well. Utah is one of the most desolate states in the nation, the dryest state in terms of precipitation and has a lot of wind, very conservative even right in SLC compared to most other cities. Boise feels more liberal then SLC. Idaho is not nearly as desolate as the rest of the intermountain west or even the desolation of New Mexico because Idaho is the most forested state in the west except for the coastal states, some of the healthiest intact forests left in the Lower 48 are in Idaho. Colorado is "bleak" as well, the eastern side just like eastern Montana and Wyoming. I feel the most scenic states considered to be Intermountain West are Idaho and Utah.
Get down to the true topography of the states you had mentioned and yes it's true Colorado and Utah have plenty of desolation. I think Denver and Salt Lake City offset much of that isolation, at least by impressions. Like robert says 'the anomalies' as it has spawned further development and notoriety in those states well beyond the metro areas. Where as Wyoming and Montana are so sparsely populated having only one congressional district with no large cities at all.

I've always considered Idaho culturally close to Wyoming and Montana as being in the northern tier of the Intermountain West and the conservative nature along with the state being sparsely populated, though less so than WY &MT. Though topographically and geographically Idaho is closer to the Pacific Northwest with its forests and lakes covering much of the state. My experiences with the state are up around Priest Lake (one of the finest and most beautiful lakes in the entire west) Northern ID seemed like and an extension of WA in terms of scenery. Then I drove I-84 across the southern Idaho which pretty much colored my impressions of the state (unjust I suppose). Once leaving Boise heading towards Salt Lake the stark desolation resembles that of Wyoming.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 11-30-2012 at 09:04 AM..
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