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My wife and I are currently living in Denver and have been boating for 4 years... just breaking into easy class V stuff (Gore, Bailey), and stoked to keep building skills and running more difficult water. We have been wanting to get out of Denver (cost and crowdedness) , and I may have an opportunity for a really sweet job in Sante Fe.

From my own research everything living in Santa Fe sounds awesome except for the kayaking. The size of it is really nice, good food, access to mountains, cheaper than Denver. The kayaking season sounds like a really short and limited, and that there will be a lot driving. This is especially disappointing because kayaking is my main adrenaline hobby... no skiing or mountain biking. Right now I am used to boating around 3-4 days after work, and also on the weekends during May through June. I am guessing this will not be possible living out of Santa Fe?

So how dire are things as a kayaker living in New Mexico... can anyone give any comment or advice? Am I going to need to buy a mountain bike or climbing rack if I move there?
 

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The lower box (III/IV) runs pretty frequently from march through June, and sometimes the rio pops up enough for a fall run. The RC/pilar (II+/III) runs pretty much all year but its pretty much mostly II+ below like 800 cfs (not at all exact but when the rio is low its pretty easy). The lower box and RC both get better the more water there is. It all relatively close to SF, probably an hour/hour and a half drive . The class V's don't run as often, when they run I've heard they are a blast. Your options are pretty much the Embudo, Upper Box, and Pueblo.

New mexico boating can be hard sometimes but there are some fun runs, and the goods in CO aren't too far if you can take a weekend trip.
 

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You're going to need to get into skiing, climbing, and or mountain biking in order to keep outdoor stoke levels high in NM. The boating in NM is borderline depressing if you're coming from CO. I'm from Albuquerque but have lived in colorado for the past two years, where I learned to kayak. I just recently moved back for school and can say from personal experience it's a rough transition.

I agree with above post, but would add a word of caution RE the extreme unreliability of NM rivers. This year and last year were good water years, with the Rio Grande peaking around 2k and running steadily through July. However, many years the Rio Grande hardly runs at all. I worked as a raft guide on the Rio Grande two summers ago and the river didn't get above 400cfs for the entire season- most of the summer it sat at around 200-250. The year prior was the same story.

Santa Fe is a nice city, and Northern New Mexico is a beautiful area. But for a whitewater junkie it can be a major bummer.


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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tip, this is what I was afraid of... I guess we will see if I get the job then deal with it from there.
 

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There are no easy Class V rapids.


I tried to move to northern New Mexico but was stopped by racial tension. The Spanish, Mexican, Native American groups clash with the newcomers from out of state. The Heroin Connection in Espinola clashes with everyone.


Santa Fe has become a weird phony art colony. I would live in many communities in the northern part of the state, but not there. They have 100 art galleries, but you cannot get your transmission fixed or find a welding shop. It is too groovy and expensive.


For rivers you have the Rio Grande and the Chama and little else. Colorado is not that far.
 

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Ppine, you forgot to mention that us Anglos also clash with "newcomers from out of state." With the racist leaning of your post, I'm glad things didn't work out for you here.

Like everyone said, NM is terrible. Best to stay up north, please.
 

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Ppine, you forgot to mention that us Anglos also clash with "newcomers from out of state." With the racist leaning of your post, I'm glad things didn't work out for you here.

Like everyone said, NM is terrible. Best to stay up north, please.
I see you have marginalized the Franks and the Irish. ;) Have fun with all your outrage :)

BTW, localism is for kids.
 

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All the ethnic groups and socioeconomic groups have some tension in NM. The people that live there do not notice it much. It is not an easy place to move to. I have lived in 6 western states and it is the most difficult to assimilate in my experience.
 

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Ppine, you forgot to mention that us Anglos also clash with "newcomers from out of state." With the racist leaning of your post, I'm glad things didn't work out for you here.

Like everyone said, NM is terrible. Best to stay up north, please.
The people of New Mexico struggle with racial problems. I have no patience for racial issues and would therefore never move there. So you can relax. My post is not "racist leaning" and I resent that accusation.
 
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