Thursday, January 04, 2007

Not the Tetons

Bec’s post and pictures of her hometown in Wyoming reminded me of my home in Northern NM. The town of Red River was much like Bec’s hometown in that at one time land was cheap. Tourism played a big part in waking up RR. What was once a sleepy little mining town and then a great place to take your family for vacation, is now full of homes and businesses. Land is expensive and the cost of living is high. There are still a handful of the "old Red River" people, and I still love it, but it has changed. It is still a great place to take your family for vacation, but there is no way I could afford to buy a place in RR. Back in the 50’s, my dad leased a piece of land from the National Forest. He built a small cabin on the side of the mountain for next to nothing. It was a wonderful childhood place to play. That same cabin is still there, but who could afford it now? There is hardly an inch of land left in the Valley that is not commercialized. Land was so expensive fifteen years ago, that we bought land north of Questa near the CO border. We were still only thirty minutes away from RR, but closer to Toby's work. We built the home of my dreams and I could see the Spanish Peaks (pictured above) to the north as well as the Rio Grande crevice to the west while living on the side of a mountain. It was perfect.


Buck Pennington said...

We built the home of my dreams...

Have I asked this before (I haven't poured that first cup yet)? Why did you leave? Land just keeps getting more expensive every day. It's shocking, and somehow I feel those Californians (Hi Bec!!) have something to do with it... I'm half-serious.

Even P-Town is more expensive these days. When the AF announced Cannon had a new mission, home prices went up.

BTW...the changes you made to your template are quite good, Lou! I like the pic.

Ah. Coffee's done...

Laurie said...

My hometown (where I live now in the same house I grew up in) used to be "way out in the boonies" but now it's very upscale and trendy. Taxes are high. There are the people who lived there for years and years, mostly modest middle class. Growing up there were farms surrounding the village itself. Now there are the "new" people buying the gentlemen "estates" and driving their Hummers, Escalades and Lexus. It's happening everywhere.

Bag Blog said...

Toby wanted to run cattle. Land in NM was mostly desert and water rights were few and very expensive. People from CA (sorry Bec) were buying up land for way more than it was worth. We could buy a section of land in OK for what a house would cost in Taos. We also wanted to move closer to parents who were getting older. OK does have a beauty of its own.

Bec said...

Hi Buck! It's okay, Lou! :)
Your little town is beautiful, Lou. I can see why it has been "discovered." Your memories must be a little bittersweet at times.

As for Californians being to blame, I sure can understand the sentiment. They were practically kicked out of Oregon back in the eighties for that very reason!

I look at it from a slightly different angle, though, I guess.

If you ask many "Californians" where they were born and raised, they would tell you they were from a different state! Many moved here, made their money, and then decided to go "where the pace was slower" and then proceed to disrupt it! Original Californians (meaning born here in the fifties or earlier) are pretty laid back folks and we really miss our orange tree-filled, rural oasis.
For example, my husband's family on his mother's side used to own 1260 acres in Trabuco, called the Robinson Ranch, that looked like this, with a few wooden homesteads. (Doug has some great old black and white family photos of those days) The family's descendants (including Doug's mom) sold it to pay for taxes and it ended up like this:
Rancho Santa Margarita, a new, planned community of 46,000.
Doug and I used to go out for visits back in the seventies and eighties before it was sold, so this is pretty recent.

So anyway, who do Californians blame? :)

Laurie said...

"Who do Californians blame?"