Farmington First Impressions
It’s been 16 days since we jumped on the plane in Sydney and I think we timed our arrival just right: we flew into a desert town sitting in a water-carved groove in the bare and inhospitable mesa, and now we’re looking at trees covered in green leaves and colourful blooms. Spring is definitely on the way.
The days have been variable – we’ve had sandstorms, heat sufficient for thongs (the Aussie kind), shorts and a t-shirt, rain, freezing conditions – and the nights have been cold outside (sub-zero on occasion) but of course, lovely and warm inside. It promises to be a hot, dry summer. I’m learning not to dodge the tumbleweeds as I drive to work, even though some of them are higher than the bonnet of the car!
The town is around 50,000 people and very spread out. The town is mostly Navajo and Hispanic, so we stick out like sore thumbs. The people are (I’m told) typical small-town folk; we’ve found them very friendly and laid back, though most of them seem to spend a significant portion of their free time shopping. For a town of its size, it’s got incredible facilities for the consumer:
- Not one, but TWO (!!!) 24 hour Walmarts (they’re both like walking into a Coles, Kmart and Bunnings under one roof – immense!)
- Multiple department stores – there’s the equivalent of 3 Myers just in one mall! – scattered across town
- Acres of car dealerships – one of them is the size of all Perth’s car yards rolled into one
And stuff is CHEAP! Secondhand vehicles less than 3 years old are selling on the corner for less than $3,000. You can fill a shopping trolley to the brim with groceries for less than $200, and, like everything else we’ve seen, the trolleys are HUGE!
We’ve found a cute house to live in – 3 bed/2 bath so plenty of room for visitors, hint hint – and have spent the week enjoying having our own space and not having to cook in a microwave.
The food’s… reasonable. I guess anything was going to be a letdown after 3 months in the south west wine region 🙂 No shortage of restaurants to try though, and by far the best service I’ve ever experienced (must be the $8/hr waitresses and bar staff get paid). Good thing too, because the beer sucks.
One of the best things about Farmington is its location. Yes, it’s 1100km from the nearest beach, in a desert, at 1700m above sea level… but we’re within 6 hours of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park. Its called the Four Corners region because we’re less than 30km from the point where New Mexico meets three other states – Colorado, Utah and Arizona – and less than an hour from a gorgeous town called Durango (will post about our adventures there shortly).We can fly direct to a number of places, albeit in a plane that seats 24.
Let the exploration begin!