reening Ways         for earth-wise days
About: Areas Covered Southwest Area
updated 03/28/2015 AREAS COVERED Southwest All of the Southwest including California and Nevada are considered, but focus is put on the areas listed below. Arizona Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Phoenix Colorado Cortez, Durango, Colorado Springs, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction  New Mexico Albuquerque, Four Corners (Aztec, Bloomfield, Farmington, Kirtland) Northwest Oregon: Oregon Coast and vicinity: Corvallis, Newport, Lincoln City, Portland FOCAL CITIES (below): Farmington, New Mexico;  Durango, Colorado; Glenwood Springs, Colorado;  Flagstaff, Arizona FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO See map link here:  Google Map of Farmington, New Mexico San Juan County is located in the northwest corner of New Mexico.  As the largest city in the area, Farmington is about thirty minutes from the Colorado state line, and is about forty-five miles from Durango, discussed in the La Plata County section of this website.  It is part of the Four Corners area which includes the four states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.   San Juan County is mostly a safe and pleasant place to live (see added comments below).  It has four seasons, but mostly moderate weather; there are some very hot days in summer, but they usually are tempered with some more moderate ones.  There is snow in winter, but it usually melts relatively quickly, leaving paved roads clear within a day or two.  The climate is one of its advantages.  During inclement weather, dirt roads (abundant in rural places around the area,) are often muddy and unusable except by the most rugged vehicles.  There is a high clay and sand content to many of the soils which can make dirt roads difficult if they are not maintained regularly.  Even 4x4’s can and do get stuck out there, needing extra-heavy duty assistance (like from towing companies) in getting pulled out.  New Mexico and San Juan County need improvements in bicycle-friendly measures: “Report: New Mexico unfriendly to cyclists.” By Ryan Boetel rboetel@daily-times.comdaily-times.com.  Farmington Daily Times. 5/23/2012 http://www.daily-times.com/ci_20695235/report-new-mexico-unfriendly-cyclists Farmington area links: San Juan County:  http://www.sjcounty.net/ Aztec:  http://www.aztecnm.com/ Bloomfield:  http://bloomfieldnm.com/ Farmington:  http://www.fmtn.org/ Kirtland:  http://www.city-data.com/city/Kirtland-New-Mexico.html National Geographic maps of the Four Corners Area:  http://www.natgeomaps.com/destination_0628 Recent changes to the land use code in New Mexico, put together largely because of a citizen advisory committee on related concerns:  http://www.sjcounty.net/ DURANGO, COLORADO  See Map Link here: Google Map of Durango, Colorado Durango is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado.  It is a small city with an almost international quality with its attractive historic downtown area, alpine setting along the northern edges, strong tourist industry drawing people from around the country as well as world, and a well-reputed four year liberal college, Fort Lewis College. It has winter skiing in the nearby mountains.  In addition, the community fosters a strong fine arts, environmental and intellectual orientation which attract people from many places.  It has a statistically high number of well-educated people working at all levels of the city strata as well as those who are into the creative arts.  Durango keeps its natural world up and around its public visual areas clear of clutter and over-development, so there is always a fresh look at nature from almost any vantage point in and around the town. The downtown area is small and foot traffic friendly; this allows people to easily access basic needs like grocery stores, a post office, municipal offices, and so on.  The city is listed as “Bike Friendly” and the city transit makes getting around the area manageable without a vehicle.  People feel nestled in a protective, aesthetically pleasing and safe feeling space between the higher mountains to the north and the increasingly higher hills or bluffs on either side of the town.  This progressive city encourages inclusion and diversity, women’s rights and exploratory approaches to renewable energy and global issues.  It has offered ideas for several of the things discussed on this website. Nearby Areas La Plata County http://co.laplata.co.us/ Bayfield http://www.bayfieldgov.org/ Cortez http://www.cityofcortez.com/ Dolores http://www.doloreschamber.com/ Durango http://www.durangogov.org/ Ignacio http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/TownofIgnacio/CBON/1251594448256 Pagosa Springs http://www.visitpagosasprings.com/ Silverton http://www.silvertoncolorado.com/ Regional Areas Ouray, Colorado http://www.ouraycolorado.com/ Moab, Utah http://www.moabcity.state.ut.us/ Monticello, Utah http://www.monticelloutah.org/ FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA See Map Link here: Google Map of Flagstaff, Arizona Flagstaff is a city worth visiting and is often described as charming, quaint or environmentally oriented.  It is a college town with the well reputed Northern Arizona University located near its historic downtown area on the western side of the city.  It has a history of heavy snow and skiing up in the nearby mountains in the winter, but this can vary.  There can be dry, warm and sunny days in winter to the point you feel like taking off your jackets and wearing short sleeves.  Summers are warm to hot and other than monsoons or unusual rainy periods, usually pretty dry.  There is a lovely ponderosa pine tree forest around the city which recedes as one goes further out in any direction.  As you go east toward New Mexico, a high desert plateau is discovered and can be particularly relished at Wupatki National Monument.  As you go south toward Phoenix, you run into high desert and then true desert terrain, making the quick change of environment a delightful study in contrasts.  Flagstaff Informative Links http://www.life123.com/sports/vacations-vacation-planning/southwest/things-to-do-in-arizona- flagstaff.shtml?o=2800&qsrc=999&ad=doubleDown&an=apn&ap=ask.com http://www.flagstaff.az.gov/ Flagstaff area Native American Ruins Flagstaff Special Edition:  http://flagstaffspecialedition.com/ancient-indian-ruins-cliff-dwellings/ Wupatki National Monument:  http://www.nps.gov/wupa/index.htm Walnut Canyon National Monument:  http://www.nps.gov/waca/index.htm GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO Glenwood Springs is a delightful small city found off the I-70 between Grand Junction and Denver, the two largest cities along that stretch.  It is about an hour and a half from Grand Junction and two hours from Denver.  It has hot springs, lovely views of both high desert hill country and pine forest mountains and is near ski areas.  It has a pretty historic downtown crossing the bridge over the Colorado River from the main highway on the eastern exit side.  On the western side of the city is a newer development with a major shopping area.  Across the highway are further shopping centers, hotels, car dealerships and more.  In this regard, the city’s one drawback is that it is rather scattered, but the beautiful scenery and historic setting help make up for that.  The weather is relatively mild compared to the nearby higher altitudes - Glenwood Springs is under 6,000 feet - but does see some snow in winter and things definitely get nippy even in late Spring.  There are bicyclists and walkers in the downtown area which has things close or reasonably nearby, like a post office, governmental offices, coffee shops and two main grocery stores.  History of Glenwood Springs http://www.visitglenwood.com/history Visit Glenwood http://www.visitglenwood.com/ Articles Environmentalists Fear for Roadless Areas Around Aspen http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20060401/NEWS/104010069 Groups Protest Water Issues in Area http://www.postindependent.com/news/10967139-113/river-colorado-rivers-american Environmental groups oppose new Thompson Divide drilling requests http://www.postindependent.com/article/20120613/VALLEYNEWS/120619967 Environmental Lova Trails Lower Valley Trails Group 144 E. 3rd St.  Rifle, CO 81650  970-625-5658 http://lovatrails.org/ Wildize P.O.Box 3078 Aspen, CO 81612 Telephone: 970-923-1795 http://www.wildize.org/contact
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