Not Sure About Flagstaff

The verdict is still out concerning Flagstaff. We like all the public lands, the beauty of the area, the sunshine, the proximity to National Parks, etc., but so far we have not found much we love about the town. We are trying to remain positive and keep thinking we just haven’t found the right areas.

We knew Flagstaff was going to be economically different from the other places we have been. REI has a complex formula they use to determine salaries in their stores so that hypothetically employees at the same “level” across the country will have the same spending power. Mary took a significant pay cut to come to Flagstaff. We assumed Flagstaff was not going to be as upscale as some of the other places we have visited in the West but we were not expect what we are finding. The town and its denizens seem to be more like what we would expect to find in economically challenged areas of the southeast - many people are overweight, there appears to be a lot of tobacco use, many vehicles are dirty and unkept, there is trash along the roads and in parking lots, there are a lot of pawn shops and second hand shops, etc. Many stores, businesses and restaurants are run down. There are big box stores and chain restaurants that are just like big box stores and chain restaurants everywhere. What seems to be missing are the sweet little local places. The town seems to be lacking community pride. Everyone we have met has been friendly and nice enough but so far Flagstaff is a bit of a let down. We will continue to seek out places and things to love about Flagstaff - I’m sure we will eventually find them.

Mary started work today and I spent the morning searching for a grocery store that I liked. I like for grocery stores to be bright and clean; I like them to have lots of products to choose from. I don’t like them to smell bad or have empty shelves. I like the meat and produce to look good. I went to several stores before finding Fry’s (which is associated with Kroger) and a Safeway that will work.

After my grocery store hunt, I picked up some flowers and lettuce to plant in planters in our yard. I also got some boards to work on our sewage system. Our sewage dump is on a hill beside the RV. The height of the dump is just about level with the sewage hookup on the RV. Since sewage needs to flow down hill I had to be creative in designing a system where there would be at least a little downward slant from the RV to the dump. I ended up building a bridge from the RV to the ridge of the hill and then made a runway with a very slight downward slant to the dump so the sewage will run from the RV to the dump. After experimenting with several different arrangements, I think I finally have it right, it is relatively sturdy and it keeps things flowing.

I spent some time this afternoon working in our yard. We now have three pots of flowers and five small planters of lettuce.