We spent the first three weeks of April in a Great Road Trip of the Southwest, in hopes of finding a place wherein Hubby, Younger Son, and I would all agree on settling after Hubby’s retirement.
This was our itinerary:
|City||State||# of Nights||Cities Checked|
|Pueblo||CO||4||Pueblo, Cañon City|
|Canyon Lake||TX||6||Austin, San Antonio, Seguin, New Braunfels, San Marcos|
|El Paso||TX||2||Las Cruces, NM|
|Prescott||AZ||2||Prescott and nearby|
As you can see, we devoted a great deal of time to central and southern Texas. We were all convinced that it was the most likely place: Hubby’s relations have moved there. It has a warm climate. Cost of living is low. I’m Texan.
I could have been happy on the Texas Gulf Coast, and Younger Son agreed; yet I vetoed it myself. Why? Global warming. Those beautiful cities are under siege, and I don’t want to spend the next twenty years fighting off the Gulf of Mexico with a beach pail.
It nearly broke my heart.
As for central Texas—we might as well move to Palmdale, California and set up a massive outdoor humidifier. The climate is horrid, the suburban sprawl breathtaking in its contempt for the land.
Besides, Austin is filled with immigrants who are desperately trying to pretend they’re not in Texas. The rest of the area is filled with…Texans.
I’m more or less cool with Texans—I am one, though forty-five years away have given me a certain perspective that folks who never moved away often lack. But…well, let’s just say the indications were that culture shock would hit Hubby hard.
Not for us.
As for the rest, New Mexico had its charm, but Las Cruces, at least, has a very strange development pattern—and the real estate is comparatively expensive. Prescott, Arizona’s population is 60% over retirement age and getting older—what would Younger Son do for company? Real estate is expensive there, too.
Pueblo and Cañon City have beautiful old Edwardian houses in good repair for cheap. The climate is not too hot, nor too cold, nor too wet. Pueblo, despite its (to Angelenos) small population, has excellent city services. Both communities are thriving. We really liked what we saw of them. They may have low rainfall, but both are on the banks of the Arkansas River, so it’s unlikely that municipal water supplies will dry up. If we’d like to build instead, there are custom home sites with views of the Rockies…
So yeah. If and when we leave California (may it not be for a few more years!) Colorado looks like our destination.
In the meantime, I have a lot of beaches to visit.