We spent a week in Sedona in 2009… on the same anniversary trip when we discovered New Mexico. After visiting Arizona again this weekend, I came to the conclusion that, even though they are both southwestern states (that most New Englanders can’t tell apart), Arizona is way more “COWBOY” than New Mexico.
Aside from the obvious, like the fact that AZ is a conservative, Republican ‘red state’ and NM is a liberal, Democratic ‘blue state’, there are differences such as the fact that Arizonans want to build a wall to keep out Mexicans and be given the right to shoot illegal immigrants on sight. Here in Santa Fe, not only do most people not care whether or not a Mexican is legal, we pay them a minimum wage of $10.91 per hour same as everyone else.
Oh! And when you hear about 100 to 125-degree temperatures… That’s Arizona, not New Mexico!
But the differences run deeper.
While the Arizona state reptile is the Arizona Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake; New Mexico’s state reptile is the Whiptail (…a cute, small, harmless, lizard)
Arizona has spawned such celebrities like Zane Grey, Alice Cooper, Jack Elam, and metal band ‘The Meat Puppets’, while New Mexico has been home to Shirley MacLane, Carol Burnett, Alan Arkin (who lives only a few short miles from us!), Neal Patrick Harris and John Denver.
Perhaps the best indicator that AZ is more ‘cowboy’ than gentler NM is seen via highway signs. Driving through AZ, you’ll find signs for Horsethief Basin, Bloody Basin Rd., Twin Arrows, Two Guns…
Six Shooter Canyon
Whereas in New Mexico you’ll find signs pointing the way to Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Santa Fe…
and… PIE TOWN!!
Jack Elam: Arizona
John Denver: New Mexico
Meat Puppets: Arizona
Neil Patrick Harris: New Mexico
See? …Arizona is much more “cowboy”!