I like Socorro
Originally Posted by cal to colorado
I lived in Socorro NM for two years while attending grad school at New Mexico Tech. I was too poor to ski but enjoyed the NM lifestyle and still visit at least on a yearly basis.
My take on NM:
Pros: An amazing vibe, friendly people,great scenery, history, culture, food, backcountry wilderness etc
Cons: Very poor in many place. A hard edge at times..especially in places like Albuquerqe and the small towns near Taos, Espanola, Las Vegas etc..gang grafitti, bar fights etc. To me there are two New Mexicos, the one of Santa Fe, Taos, Los Alamos and the one of poor villages/small towns/ outlying regions. Some of the places people live in (including my apt in Socorro) are like 3rd world shacks.
Still, NM is an awsome place just be prepared when you leave the upscale part.
I spent a lot of time in Socorro a few years back when we were doing a project at White Sands. I thought it was a nice town, though we really didn't have too much contact with the locals. Not rich tho...
We drove up to Sante Fe a couple of times, and it is very different from the rest of New Mexico. It is a little island of wealth that draws on a world-wide customer base.
When we were in Socorro, we had an unexpected free weekend. This was early season, but I checked around and discovered Wolf Creek Pass had gotten a huge storm and opened all their terrain. So I said to one of my co-workers, "It's only 4 hours, let's go!"
This is a blatent lie, by the way. It is at least
a six hour drive from Socorro NM to Pagosa Springs NM, not counting any rest stops.
We stopped in Albuquerque and bought ski pants (still my favorite pair, by the way) and stopped for dinner in Sante Fe.
As we were driving, my buddy worked the cell phone and found somewhere to stay. [I just noticed this post is starting to be about CO instead of NM, but what the heck,..] For those of you complaining about the expense of skiing, the room was $29 a night. The owners said they'd probably be asleep by the time we got there, but they'd leave the key under the doormat.
The skiing was incredible. The powder lasted the whole two days we were there. The guys in the on-mountain rental shop were very helpful. After I decided there was no way that I would be able to ski in the standard rental boots, they scrounged around in the back room and found a pair of translucent green Langes that did the trick.
We climbed to the top a few times. From the website, it looks like they are changing things this year, but at the time the start of the climb was a boot ladder about 40 feet tall leading from the top of the chair to the ridge line, where there was a little patrol shack. So I'm puffing pretty bad after that, so we find a corner protected from the wind and rest awhile. After a short rest, I'm ok and we hike up the ridge line to the summit. But during my rest, a patroler comes by, sees I'm winded, and checks to make sure I'm ok.
We had such a good time, we decide to do another lap. Wouldn't you know, I'm resting in exactly the same spot when the same patroller comes by. I sure she was planning how to evacuate me till we explained it was our 2nd lap.
Oh, and at the top on our second lap we were talking to a different patroller who told us it was a much easier climb from the other chair along the other side of the ridge!
Afterwards, we went to the Pagosa Hot Springs. An interesting place - check it out if you get a chance. Make sure you do the river dip if you do. I think we left to drive back to NM about 10 pm....