Something I’ve always wanted to do

Written by karen on October 17th, 2008

For 20 years or so, I’ve had the idea of moving somewhere completely different, remote, isolated, beautiful. At various times, this has taken different forms: a move to a desert island, a foreign country, a big farm in the country.

I could never find anyone who was willing to — let alone wanted to — do this with me though.

Then I met Brad. He always said he thought something like this sounded fun. Then a couple years ago when we began working together and had more professional flexibility, we began making plans.

So for a long time, we looked for a place to go make a new home. Our basic requirements were to find someplace 1) warm (preferably no snow), 2) remote (sparse population), 3) within 2 hours of an airport, and 4) inexpensive enough that we wouldn’t have to work constantly (especially looking at someday retirement).

Those requirements led us to the southwest. As much as we love California, it is too expensive and too crowded. We narrowed it down to Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. We really like Utah, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for us. (We got fairly close to Moab, but after subscribing to their local newspaper, decided there are too many development issues there. Subscribing to a local newspaper is a great way to find out about things you’d never know in a few weeks’ visits.) We liked New Mexico, but the elevation in much of the state means snow. Nevada — pretty, but I can’t stand the slot machines in every corner store.

We kept coming back to Arizona. It met all of our “checklist” items, but we visited city after city and just couldn’t find the place that “felt” right. We heard great things about the Tucson area, but after 3 or 4 trips never found a place we liked. We tried Bisbee; that wasn’t it. (The ginormous mining pit on the edge of town did not make a good first impression.) We kept looking and made trip after trip.

Along with all the trips, we also scoured the Internet. We looked for places selling lots with a lot of acreage. Then we found Portal-Rodeo. There were an amazing number of 40 acre lots for sale there, and the prices were amazingly cheap (and not even just by California standards). So we decided to go look.

The first time we were there, we loved it. The second time we were there, we found KB Ranch. The third time we go, in a couple weeks, we’ll stand on the land that will be our new home.


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