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Old 06-08-2016, 04:50 PM   #1
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Trip report - New Mexico and Arizona

We took a 12 day trip to New Mexico and Arizona at the last minute so had only about 1 day of research and planning. I picked out sights for the way out to Prescott AZ, which we wanted to visit to evaluate it for retirement, but didn't have time to research sights for the way back. We just followed our noses.

Little did I know there were so many hidden gems. We hit many great places that I never knew existed. I thought I would post it here for those who like off the beaten path sights.

The trip starts here in Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Spa and Resort.
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Spa and Resort
It was a place I had heard about, never been, and always wanted to visit. It did not disappoint.

Advance to "Newer Post" to see subsequent days.

The trip was so fabulous that I fell in love with RVing all over again.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:36 PM   #2
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Enjoyed reading about your trip. We love the Southwest for all the old history and we've been to just about all the places you have including overnighting at the Petrified Forest rock shop. It looked like we also stayed in the same spot as you had at Point of Rocks park and agreed, it was one of the better ones.

Just curious as to why you eliminated Prescott. We enjoyed certain aspects of it but it was a very crowded small town for us. Lots of shopping with the big stores. We enjoyed the outlying areas much better. Also, it does get hot there in the summer which surprised us.

You might want to try Show Low or Pinetop, AZ - a lot cooler and more 'small town' feeling.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:47 PM   #3
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Hi Two Gypsies,

We actually found Prescott to be too arid for us. We are from Denver so thought it would be similar and weren't prepared for the extreme desert environment of most of it.

The other thing that worried me is that it had only 1 of each type of store/restaurant I liked. If that 1 closed then we would sorely miss it. I think it might be just a bit too small town for us.

When we were there it wasn't very crowded yet, so it did not have a crowded feel. I suspect as summer moves on it becomes more crowded.

Thanks for reading my blog! I enjoyed this trip so much!
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:50 PM   #4
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Last August, my wife and I moved from Buffalo, NY, to Las Cruces, NM. It's the arid environment I wanted. But if you want less desert, the northern mountains of either AZ or NM look more like Oregon than the Southwest. Lots of options for small (really small) town living; fewer options for larger towns.

Good luck.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:06 PM   #5
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Thanks! I really love the area near the Ancient Way Cafe. The pine smell was outstanding and it was quiet. It looks like the closest town is Gallup but we didn't look at Gallup. Just drove through it on 40.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:13 PM   #6
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BOBSKI. Nice move, but you have to go to Tempe to get a Ted's Hot Dog!

Hello from Ski country!


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Old 06-10-2016, 08:35 AM   #7
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Oh, yes. I miss Ted's. Went to their Tempe spot last time I was in Phoenix. (For you non-WNYers, Ted's is a hot dog place that has about a dozen locations in the Buffalo area and, for some reason, one in Tempe, AZ. They use their own sauce and purchase special hot dogs also made in Buffalo so it can't be reproduced anywhere.)

Regarding Gallup and Grants, they aren't much towns but they do have the basics and are a great starting point for the area attractions. They also get cold in the winter. I woke up in Gallup a few years ago at Christmas time and it was -5 F.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:30 PM   #8
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prescott review

Hi micd.

We are also researching suitable retirement places (from SF area too...?)
A good friend suggested Prescott. So, we plan on heading there, along
with Phoenix and Tucson next spring. Be interested in your thoughts.
Prescott seems nice and cooler but probably less to do.

We went thru OR last summer. Beautiful areas . You would probably
like... little traffic, easy to get to camping areas. Bend is very nice
(like reno/tahoe area) but somewhat isolated.

Mike
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:49 PM   #9
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Hi Mike,

Prescott was too much of a high desert area for us. I had not initially put it on the list but a friend of mine said that Prescott was alot greener than I thought so I decided to have a look at it.

We may take a look at Reno.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:56 AM   #10
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Reno nice too

Thanks for reply.
Reno is on our list too. Nevada has no state tax and is still close
To CA. But, you should know Reno/Sparks is also high desert area.
There are farm area in Central Reno and the South area is nicer.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:00 AM   #11
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Why no mentions of Sedona or Flagstaff in this thread. If you want less desert and hot but still shopping you might like Flagstaff. If you want small town feel but with great restaurants and greener and cooler, then Sedona is great. And Sedona is one of the most beautiful places I have seen on Earth. I often say it is as beautiful as the Rockies but just different. Of course I am biased. We fell in love with the place and are rehabbing a home there to move to this year.
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:26 AM   #12
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Lots of good suggestions from folks. Were not really set on moving for retirement. We currently live in the Denver metro area and in all honesty, if I didn't already live here, I would definitely move here for retirement. I've lived all over but my husband has lived here his entire life so we are looking at different areas of the country to see if there is anything that catches his eye in terms of new areas to explore.

One of the reasons I love having an RV so much is I had not seen all the great western national parks/national monuments since I was raised in the midwest and have lived on both coasts (NJ and bay area). However, most of our RV trips are repeats from his childhood. So I can see his perspective that to retire back to where he grew up (which happens to be one of my favorite areas of the metro area) is kind of a let down.

So to make sure we've covered our bases were meandering about looking here and there for retirement locations. But were maybe half serious about it vs. folks who are more committed to change locations. I love Denver and am not sure I will be as happy anyplace else but we don't know what we don't know so are checking into it.
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