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Old 04-05-2010, 07:26 AM
 
265 posts, read 759,924 times
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After several years of trying, I finally made a trip to the Alamogordo area to check things out. Overall my reaction was one of disappointment.

My first experience was in Santa Rosa. Local cop gave me a ticket for not having my seat belt fastened. $81 down the drain. My fault, but was still surprised. Could hear the cop say he had gotten an '" out of stater "

Proceeded down rt 54. The towns of Vaughn and Corona struck me as quite depressing. Seems the only viable business in town were gas stations for those traveling thru.

Did go thru Carrizozo. Some attempts there at improving the town. Contrast between nice and shabby places quite stark.

I did like Tularosa. To my eye, there seemed to be a plan for improving the town. Actually the main road thru town is nice.

Then on to my real destination of Alamogordo. Arriving from Tularosa was quite a shock. I was in Alamogordo about 25 years ago and remember it as a nice sleepy town with the Space Museum being excellent. Now it has sprouted every fast food and motel chain on the face of the earth. I was struck also by the contrast between the beautiful mountains in the background with a trashy appearance in the foreground. Not my cup of tea. So will not be living in Alamogordo.

Next drove up into the mountains to see Ruidoso. Actually it is a nice small town in the mountains. The mountains were a treat. Much more impressive than i imagined. It snowed 7 inches at the ski area overnight and my car was froze up in the morning at my motel. Kind of surprised by that. Guess I shouldn't have been.

I did make it to Capitan. Coming in from the south, I was very impressed with a broad valley surrounded by mountains. But the town itself was a disappointment. I am so used to the neat small towns in Illinois, that to see such poverty was a surprise. Once again, guess I shouldn't have been, since I have been told about the poverty in NM.

From Capitan I headed east arriving in Roswell. I had been in this town many years ago and wasn't that impressed. However, this time it was a pleasant surprise. I really like Roswell. It has definitely improved with time.

From there headed thru Portales and Clovis into west Texas. Another downer for me. I was very glad to get home.

I must apologize to any of you that I may have offended with my comments. However, my purpose is to just give my honest opinion of what I saw.

Overall, New Mexico to my eye is truly the land of enchantment. It is magical in its beauty. But the effects of man on the land are sad to see.

This trip was just a quick look by me. Sort of a snapshot. I know that I missed many great things to see and do. Perhaps left for another time.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
259 posts, read 747,709 times
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What parts of Alamogordo did you drive through? I'm from Pennsylvania and love it here. I lived in South Dakota for 6 years so I'm used to things being more spread out and rural compared to the more urban lifestyle I grew up in in PA.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
68,680 posts, read 78,674,307 times
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I am sure getting the ticket didn't start your trip off on a positive note. Yes, it is a small town, certainly not urban in anyway, but that is what so many people like about it. Maybe your next trip to NM you will see more of the wonders the state has to offer, but do remember, no place is right for everyone. Some people just do not enjoy the open spaces.

Nita
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:42 AM
 
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I don't think there's a lot to argue with in your comments. NM is a very poor state
and that's reflected in what you've seen in some of the small towns. The one
thing that struck me was that Debbie and I thought Roswell was grim and depressing
so if you think it's improved..

We were in Mountainair again this Saturday and had lunch at one of our favorite
restaurants, the Alpine Alley. Debbie drove from I-25 to the town which gave me
more of a chance to eyeball things than I normally have as I typically am driving.
Mountainair has certainly gone through a "fix-up" phase, but I can't tell whether
it's ongoing or stalled. Murals on buildings, slouching cowboy cutouts on the telephone
poles, etc., etc., but a lot of empty storefronts in the small "main street" section.

Within a few minutes after our arrival, Alpine Alley was full of what appeared to be
local residents and they definitely were NOT farm equipment mechanics.

I think there are a lot of people settling in that Estancia Valley area who are
bringing money with them, but aside from taxes, I wonder how much that actually
benefits the little towns that they live near? With Albuquerque only an hour away and
Santa Fe not that much further, how much of their relative wealth is actually spent
in these little towns' retail businesses? I suspect the answer is "not that much"...
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: 3219'03.7"N 10643'55.9"W
7,931 posts, read 16,670,990 times
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I can relate to everything James wrote in this post, except for Roswell, which I haven't been to, and I mean everything. When we first arrived here 5 years ago, my wife was actually crying when she saw Alamogordo for the first time. The funny thing is now, after 5 years, it really doesn't bother me as much as it used to. I've learned to accept that great portions of this country are incredibly depressed economically, and for the most part, the economic engine in this country lies in its suburbs of large cities. I am from the northeast, and rural areas there are generally much more prosperous than the rest of the nation as a whole. That was really one of the big adjustments that came with making a move to another part of the country. I think, however, by any stretch, that Vaughn and Corona are just about some of the poorest places anyone is going to drive through. Those places are tough to fathom if you are from the midwest, or the northeast, or Coastal California.

I especially liked, and agreed with your overall assessment: "Overall, New Mexico to my eye is truly the land of enchantment. It is magical in its beauty. But the effects of man on the land are sad to see. " Those three sentences sum up much of New Mexico. There is a positive way for man to imprint his settlement on the earth. However, when those who settle are not well off financially, what you witness is what you drove through on US-54. It's not very pretty to look at.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
1,643 posts, read 4,160,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james57 View Post
But the effects of man on the land are sad to see.
That pretty much sums it up in one sentence.

The effects are much more obvious (IMO) in NM because there is so little code enforcement - people can trash the land at will, and many do.

On the other hand, urban sprawl has despoiled MANY once scenic vistas across the USA. That aspect of man's "plowing over the land" isn't confined to NM. As an example, I was looking at the area where my daughter and husband have decided to move to in Colorado Springs - from Dallas - trading one urban sprawl area for another. Considering how people have to live in places represented by the attached photo of east CO Springs, I think the small towns of NM at least still offer some sense of openness/uncrowding.

Attached Thumbnails
Disappointed With Alamogordo-cosprings.jpg  
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Texas
31,983 posts, read 17,309,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james57 View Post

My first experience was in Santa Rosa. Local cop gave me a ticket for not having my seat belt fastened. $81 down the drain. My fault, but was still surprised. Could hear the cop say he had gotten an '" out of stater "
Santa Rosa's revenue must depend on ticky-tack traffic fines. Crappiest little town I think I've ever passed through. I'll avoid it at all costs in the future.

As for Alamogordo, it has a kind of run-down appearance, but it's in a great location. In about 20 minutes you can be in Cloudcroft - a wonderful place to escape the desert heat in the summer and get in some snow skiing in the winter.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Where I live.
9,191 posts, read 18,415,067 times
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I like Alamogordo, but all of you are correct about the poverty. It's hard to see, but it is indeed the underbelly of a very poor state.

Alamogordo has a number of Midwesterners who live here year-around, and it has always surprised me that they like it, since it's such a stark contrast from whence they came. The year-around climate is probably wonderful to them, since Midwestern winters can be so miserable.

I can think of far worse places to live (in and out of NM), but it sounds like NM overall just may not be your cup of tea.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Keonsha, Wisconsin
2,480 posts, read 2,779,095 times
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Some people seem to think that Interstate 25 and 40 are their trash cans and ashtrays too.
What would be great is if New Mexico adopted a law to make retailers bag your groceries in brown biodegradable bags, so that when people throw their trash out onto our public roads, the bags wouldn't be nearly as visible as plastic bags hanging from our thorny cactus.

Another thing our state could do is give consumers 2 cents for every glass bottle and a penny for an aluminum can. This would empower people to recycle. A $500.00 fine for tossing a cigarette butt too would be nice.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:26 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
23,931 posts, read 38,400,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre57 View Post
A $500.00 fine for tossing a cigarette butt too would be nice.
In New Mexico there is a penalty for littering: "Petty misdemeanor. Fine of not more than $500 or six months imprisonment or both. In addition to or in lieu of imprisonment, and at court's discretion, community service litter clean up in area littering occurred."
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