OK, the last few posts have been a little extreme, not particularly practical. Now Silver City, New Mexico seems a lot more of a real possibility. I say seems because I've never been there, but with the magic of the internet and clipping a few chosen pics, we can all get the start of an idea.
Somehow, I seem to be connected to Silver City without having gone there. More than 10 years ago, I had a friend who moved from So. Cal. to Silver City and then disappeared. More recently, my friend Bob met a friend in Phoenix, Kristen, who is originally from Silver City and had recently returned to live there. Bob has visited a few times and given me the low down on what a nice town Silver City would be to live in.
With about 10,000 people, it is a college town, a mining town, and a retirement town. Bob says that everyone is friendly and the pace is relaxed.
As for weather, Silver City is pretty far south, say about parallel with Tucson, but at almost 6,000 feet elevation its cool and dry like Prescott. As for the surrounding country side, they are just south of the mountains that are more than 8000 feet elevation and covered in pine. Further south, the valley becomes typical Arizona/N.M. desert, so there is a lot of variety.
Housing is quaint with lots of these old Victorian homes in the downtown district. It looks like you can live on the cheap with a poor little house for under $100k, but nice Victorian houses like this would be more like $150 to $250.
Now the only challenge would be the idea that the next big town is 100 miles away.