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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, four-corners area boaters... I was just accepted into the Dental Hygiene program at San Juan College in Farmington, and my wife and I will be moving there for at least two year. So... We've got lots of question about the area. I'll keep it simple with three ?'s:

1. I won't be starting the program until late summer. Any guiding/paddle-type jobs I could get for the summer?

2. We are really attracted to the available real estate. Worth it?

3. What kind of good hangouts are down there? Like the looks of 3 rivers brewing, but what else (besides trippin' up to Durango)?


FYI, I paddle IV+/V, row IV+, and my wife is a solid III+ paddler. We're excited about the re-locate. Any advice welcome.

Tyler
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Damn, can't believe I forgot to ask about the water... How's the paddling? Any good mellow dog-swimming floats? Thanx...
 

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I'm sorry about your relocation to Farmington, at least it will only be for 2 years.

The only whitewater paddling type jobs are in Durango or if you want to venture out to Bluff, UT. There are fly fishing guide jobs on the San Juan, but the floating is really mellow.

Real estate prices in Farmington have been creeping up lately, although not as expensive as Durango. I wouldn't buy anything until you have spend some time living there.

3 Rivers is probably the best Farmington has. The new Taverna wasn't too bad, but a little on the expensive side unless you just want a gyro. Can't beat Dona Maria's for authenic Mexican food. The chain restaurants are there but of worse quality than you would find in other cities. I would be scared to spend too much time at the other bars and clubs in town.

Farmington has a two drop playpark on the Animas, but that is about it. You can float the Juan there, but watch out for those refridgerator sleepers and junked car sieves!

Welcome to Farmington, where the state bird must be the flying wal-mart bag!
 

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I unfortunately did a two year stint in Farmington. If I were you I would commute from LaPlata County. I would seriously look at Hesperus and drive the LaPlata Hwy for 40 minutes. Ryan has great advice. I must add that Boon's Thai is excellent Thai food and the BBQ place is pretty good. I never found any mexican worth a damn in that town except for a little place on industrial blvd (it could be Dona Maria's). Three Rivers is okay beer and okay food. I second the "don't buy until you live there awhile".

In general I sum up Farmington with...The Natives hate the whites and the whites hate the natives. There are of course exceptions but that town is very racial and full of WT. San Juan college is a bright spot though. It is a nice little campus and has great facilities. You can rent a ton of outdoor gear cheap through the college too. There is a little book store on Main that is a good hang out too. It's rough man.
 

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Guide schools will be starting all over Durango the first week in May. While I will try to be more diplomatic, I have to agree with Ryan and Ikedub. At least try to live and work in Durango this summer. You might find that you'd rather commute by the fall, or if not, find a place near SJC to rent for awhile.

The social scene in Farmington seems to revolve around local heavy metal bands at Gators, Rodeos, and happy hour at dive bars. If you're into that, you'll fit right in- as long as you go to the places with others of the same race/socioeconomic status/ political (Republican) views.

3 Rivers is a bright spot in the melee with pretty good micros and OK food. I concur about Boon's Thai food and Dona Maria's and, when you make the obligatory trip to check out Jack's Plastic Welding in Aztec, eat at Rubio's.

Good luck with your move and I'm sure we'll SYOTR this summer!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok... hmm. You all are giving me a lot to chew on. When we visited, my wife and I thought it wasn't completely horrible. Yeah, kinda dusty and probably hot in summer, but doable for at least 2 or 3 years, until the housing market improves even a little, and then make a move into the Durango area, or elsewhere.

Hesperus, huh? Why there? It's tiny, and looks like a few smallish updated houses, but otherwise not on the radar. I get what you're saying about "LIVE IN DURANGO," but hey, we live in the Vail valley now, and we're not gonna be breaking into that real estate market anytime soon, let alone Durango's. From a pure real estate angle, Farmington's affordable and the market is prime to buy right now.

I'm also trying to minimize the commute time, too (read: bike to school).

Anyway, I suppose I got what I asked for- honest opinions. Thank you. Great heads up on the good chow/hang joints.

Anyone else?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey, Takemetotheriver- there's a few house opportunities in Aztec- maybe a block or two from the Paco Pad factory... is Aztec at least worth checking out, too?
 

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There isn't anything in Hesperus but it cuts the commute and still puts you in nice country. I prefer to be out of town so that is why I said Hesperus.

I think Aztec is a slight improvement over Farmington. Bloomfield is considerably worse than Farmington.

You can hack it for a couple years but that market could fall on it's face. The reason that market has sagged is because O&G have sagged. I think that remains an overpriced market, even if it seems "affordable" compared to the Durango market. When the O&G goes away (which will probably be quite a while from now) they won't be able to give houses away there. There are a lot of out of towners in Farmington that can't wait to move back to where they grew up...but they have that "good paying job".
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I read you about the O&G ebb n flow... One of the major reasons I decided not to go to Rangely, CO for school was that they are in the dumps with all the gas drillers leaving town. That place has become a depressing mess.

I suppose there could be an upswing in oil/gas sometime soon. I didn't consider that factor in the process.

We're heading down that way this weekend to look at houses. We've never even considered Bloomfield. Aztec may be an option, considering there's at least a hint of a whitewater community there, with JPW there. Thanks, ikedub.
 

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The Bayfield area has some has some pretty good real estate prospects in this soft market. That would be a great way to get into the area and be located within striking distance of a lot of great water. They seem to be doing a lot of work on the San Juan run through Pagosa, some fun water through there with a few holes and one big wave. You know about the Durango town run, and you could always hit that top drop in Farmington at lunch, right (the bottom drop in that park is a washout, they have ruined it)? Don't know if you ski, but you then have Wolf Creek an hour east and Purgatory just over an hour to the north. 15 minutes from Vallecito or Lemon Damn as well, lots to do out there. We moved in to the "Bay-Area" a couple of years ago and it has worked out great. We plan on getting back into Durango someday of course.
 

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and I grew up in Bloomfield, an absolute armpit for sure. And yes, there is some racial tension there but this thread has over simplified things a tad. I count many natives amongst my friends, and vice versa.
 

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F-town pretty much sucks.... but there's a few saving graces:

The golf (both frisbee and regular) is great.
The moto riding is pretty damn good.
MTB trails in the area are decent.
Proximity to Bisti and Chaco.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
right on, thanks for more beta. Good to know there are a few boaters around. The program's pretty intense, but if I can get some play in on bikes, in the play park, or within an hour's drive get to skiin' and more boating, I'll be fine. Gotta study, mostly.

We'll see how it all plays out. Thanks again, and keep the advice comin' if you got it.
 

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I will pimp my place for sale between Durango (25 min) and Farmington (35min). It's a great layout of 37 acres, 30' yurt, totally off the grid with a solar array. Springs and a creek running through the land, Navajo sweat lodge, wood burning hottub, zen garden and many rock carvings. It is a special place, and one that is livable now without the price of a new home.

Hesperus, CO, 81301 - MLS #608078 - Land real estate - REALTOR.com®
 

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If you are predestined to be stuck in Charmingtown for 2 years, buy yourself a beater duplex, live in 1/2, the other side rent pays your mortgage. It's a buyer's market. In 2 years you can avoid capitol gains and cash out or keep it and rent both sides as a cash cow.
Make friends in Dgo and stay at their house for the weekend. good luck!

Steve.
 

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Farmington

I love the San Juan tail water. Take up fly fishing, or don't, because it will hurt your grades. Farmington is a town on the edge of the reservation. Bad vagrancy, theft, drug stuff happening. If it isn't locked, it's gone. If your there for two years, rent, because your wife may not want to stay. If she falls in love with it, their will be real-estate in future years. I didn't want to respond yesterday because I didn't want to be negative. If after six month's your wife hates it, move up towards Durango. I had the worste experience of my life coming down to my car one morning and finding a young indian that had been rolled (Beaten and robbed) by some guys from the chama land and cattle company. 25 years later and I still can't get over the inhumanity of that incident.
 

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I will pimp my place for sale between Durango (25 min) and Farmington (35min). It's a great layout of 37 acres, 30' yurt, totally off the grid with a solar array. Springs and a creek running through the land, Navajo sweat lodge, wood burning hottub, zen garden and many rock carvings. It is a special place, and one that is livable now without the price of a new home.

Hesperus, CO, 81301 - MLS #608078 - Land real estate - REALTOR.com®

Want to trade for a house in DW1?


Tyaker;

Farmington is an 'interesting' place. As for as people watching goes it is up there with Elkins, WV. Never a dull moment.

On the plus side you are 1 hour away from La Plata Canyon hiking/skiing. Hesperus ski area is pretty fun when there is snow and season passes are cheap.
The drive from Fton to Purgatory(Colorado's steepest nordic area!) is about 1.5 hours, so you're better off going to Wolf Creek, better snow, better terrain, cheaper, and less police hiding in the trees.

The San Juan river below the dam has great fishing. The permitted section of the San Juan is almost always floatable year round and less than 2 hours away.

I'd recommend being observant of your surroundings in Farmington, lots of bad things happen there. Farmington is a strange mix of impoverished natives, thugs, rich white people, and everything in between. Bad drivers abound. A little firepower in the house or vehicle wouldn't be a bad idea if you are into that kind of thing.

scott
 

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Rivers-
-San Juan (as said, the tail waters below Najavo resevoir aren't great whitewater, but are incedible fishing...and it's purdy!)
-Upper San Juan (by pagosa) has some fun II and III- runs
-Animas Town run (in DGO) fun III and can be run to Bondad (maybe further?)
-Piedra Upper and Lower box IV
-Upper Animas (rock and roll in your face IV and V contiuous fun)
-Vaillcito Creek (a must-do class V creek)
-Others? Lime? Cascade?
-In 2-3 hours you can hit the Dolores, Chama, Rio Grande

Check the neighborhoods in Farmington, there are good ones and bad ones. Durango... I guess I must first say that I lived there for a decade and have a romanticized vision of the place. Yes, Durango has incredible natural surroundings, but the town has pimped itself out in the name of growth. Thus, when hiking, biking, skiing, paddling, etc., you have to go further and further back to get a wilderness experience. People used to look you in the eye when you passed them on the street and say hi, but now you have more and more averted gazes like you would experience in a large city. The college keeps the feel of the town young, but also keeps wages low. (Vail is expensive, but has high wages. DGO is expensive and has significantly lower wages.) I love the place, but like I said it is romaticized, so I always have a little heartbreak everytime I go back. Progress I guess.
 
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