The view west from the homestead

The view west from the homestead

Sweet Chance

Sweet Chance

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We have been camped out in the KOA on the South side of Las Vegas for a week now as we look at our other opportunity for resettlement. Las Vegas is perched between high plateau grasslands to the east and the scrub valleys and mesas of pinon and ponderosa that lead up to the Pecos Wilderness to the west. In fact, it is just on the other side of the Pecos from Santa Fe (60 miles away), and 70 miles fromTaos. It is at 6400 feet elevation has spectacular clear skies. The first night here, Chris went out in the middle of the night and thought it was cloudy when he first looked up, but alas, it was the milky way, clearer than we’ve seen it since the Yukon.

The town itself is small, around 15,000 but has 3 colleges…a 4 year university (NM Highlands), a community college (Luna community college), and an unusual school called the United World College of the American West, a liberal enclave that teaches gifted kids ages 16-19 from around the world (only 25% come from USA) and offers a 2 year baccalaureate program.

Chris has been interviewing with El Centro Health Center and we have found a tremendous school for the kids called the Rio Gallinas Charter school. It is an Expeditionary Learning school, a program adapted from Outward Bound that teaches through “adventure and service”. The classes are small….15 to 16 kids, and the school has expanded slowly and is now up to K-8 grade. Very interesting possibilities…..

So here we are, looking at real estate and jobs again and scratching our heads. The contrast with Tucson is huge… couldn’t get much different:
semiurban cohousing vs rural life,
heat of the desert southwest vs the coolness of the Sangre de Cristo mountains,
winter snows and drives to town after mountain blizzards vs January in the 70’s,
searching out neighbors and like minds vs a ready made community in Tucson,
working with the rural poor vs more of a geriatric population...

It is not obvious yet….we are talking to all levels of life and consciousness, we have searched out homes in both areas, talked to residents, interviewed at both jobs and now interviewing again, walked in the woods and the desert, talked to the grandparents and have begged the universe for a clear answer. The calendar has now demanded we decide as the family plans for the trip back east to Cape Cod on July 1 and we have agreed to figure it out by Friday, June 27. IT’S CRUNCH TIME!!!! We’re open to all advice and suggestions from our friends. This is a tough one. So fill the universe with hopeful thoughts and help us out with this last task of “The Big Year” on the road.



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