Escape…to where?

After seeing Tam’s chilling images of Escape from Cyrogenica I couldn’t resist sending these pics of today’s weather to a friend back in the gray, dull, cold of MA… Also just to bug ’em because cruelty can be fun.
But recently my wife said, “Just tell me where we can move-to, and I’ll retire.” She’s so fed-up with the crap she has to deal with at work, that this place may not be long for the ride either. Where’s a congenial climate (absent snow or furnace-heat) with few gun restrictions and non-punishing economics/taxes? What happened to America?
1.) Within CA I have to look for counties that honor the optional Prop 90 on home-ownership taxation limits (yay Prop 13!). For reciprocity that’s; Alameda, Santa Clara, El Dorado, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Mateo, Orange, and Ventura. Some have no advantages (San Mateo, bleh) and some of those are simply absolute non-options (like LA). Ventura sounds interesting for the beach-life but I’ve never really been there and I’m guessing it’s not cheap either. El Dorado County may be the best fit with (somewhat) greater leniency towards firearms (greater than here anyhow), since it’s mostly country (dirtbike riding!) and mountains – but that firearms-friendly stuff also depends on the local Gendarmerie, even in the old-West parts of CA where it’s still OK.
2.) As a life-long local with family in the same region, I really don’t know anybody or have any friends in any of the other areas. All my relatives are within a 1-hour drive (not that I go to SEE them. Them? Sheesh.). There’s no family spread out all across the USA like some have, no network of brothers and sisters and cousins and ex’s all up and down the Interstate between Chicago and Nashville like the guys I met hitchhiking through there… After Grandpa jumped ship in Vancouver and came down the coast just in time for the ’06 earthquake, we’re all just here and we’re Srsly local. I think the last time I was even down south of Fresno was over fifteen years ago, south of Bakersfield 30-years, and I’ve never even been to San Diego. I went to Long Beach once in College to see the Grand Prix there, I think that’s close to Orange County, but I wasn’t very favorably impressed.
3.) In looking at the Big-R: retirement, I know that there’s nowhere that I can move-to and become a “local.” It just doesn’t work like that, not this late in life – ain’t gonna happen. I’m not gonna be able to move South and become a Southerner, or East and become an Easterner – you don’t get accepted like that. I don’t want/won’t to move to a gate-in hideout and just play golf till I croak. I’d die of boredom first. And one of the BIG comforts (for me) of being solidly at-home is knowing the lay of the land and the local cultural mentality intimately – and that is going to be missing when you move. Knowing all the back-roads and little ways-around is a significant awareness-factor/data-point when dealing with crisis-situations. Knowing how to get from one place to the next discreetly – in ways that isn’t on the Google GPS – that takes years to know. That’s deep-local. Maybe I’m stuck. Bug-in or Bug-out, I just dunno….


About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

34 thoughts on “Escape…to where?

  1. I’ve an Aunt in Eldorado county and I visit her on my Ca trips and I like what I see in the area, definetely worth a whirl.

    • We’re liking it so far, but the late 70’s trend towards uber-Oak-ey cabinets is a bit much and way over represented! Gaah! I’ve already torn out that kitchen AND those dated and nasty-old marigold-color appliances…

    • Unless you find something built newer, I expect that is all you are going to find. A friend bought a place in Amador, near Calavaras Co, back about ’88. Custom built, 2.5 stories tall (Loft bedroom at the top, IIRC). HEAVILY insulated. Think the walls were 18″ thick. Neat house on 7 acres, one plot from the crest. Free electricity due to easment for access to power pole. Think he paid around $88k, and it was brand new. Owner had to move her parents to a lower elevation, it was @ 3000′. Gravel drive was maybe a mile long. Was on the market for at least a year prior.
      Couple months later, he discovers the tax laws had changed while the bank was dragging out the paperwork. Had to put it up for sale, on market for 18 months at least, bank foreclosed just as he finished paying off the IRS. They thought that with the real estate boom getting hot, they would make a bundle on the place. Wronnnggg!!! Dumb shits had to pay for property maintenance for years before they unloaded it. (East coast bank)

      Anyway, nice area, but no high paying work. He wanted it for eventual retirement, and weekend relaxing. Beautiful views, deer herd crossing property, etc. Supposed to have been one of those gold claims on the property that was dynamited by the govt back in wwII.

    • Forgot to mention: Where is the water coming from? Pump/well, or municipal, etc. Water at that house was from deep well, and it was clean and good tasting. A co-worker who owned a house within a mile had bad water. Had to change multiple stage filters every month or so, IIRC.
      Also, maybe once a year, the house would get snowed in, due to the elevation. If I had lived there, I would have bought a plow of some sort. More fun!

  2. Have you considered Arizona? You might like it better in the western states. (I don’t consider California a “western” state; it’s just an eastern state tacked onto the west coast)

    • There’s a health-care golden handcuff and tax benefits from Prop 13. El Dorado County is even more “West” than parts of Utah or even AZ (esp. Sedona). Pumas County where Black Bart worked (robbed stage-coaches) might be a bit better but I don’t know for sure…both are pretty gun-friendly.

  3. Pingback: Looking For America | Daily Pundit

  4. Have you ever been to Southern Utah (St George, Cedar City, Escalante)? Not as cold as northern UT, where I live, but a great place with wide open spaces for guns and dirt bikes. Also, you are no more than a day drive from most places in the west, including CA.

    • That’s the prob. with HERE at the moment – it takes a day of driving just to escape the Bay Area, and then you’re just in the Central Valley and nowhere near where you want to be! 🙂
      Georgetown/Greenwood in El Dorado County looks good right now…plus it’s easy/easier to escape further north or west

    • Yes, but wherever you end up it would be best to find a place that you do not need to escape from…

  5. Shhhhhhhh don’t tell anybobdy. Fresno County is currently very carry friendly. No jobs dirty air/blistering heat in the summer and high crime keep the housing affordable. The Sierras are our backyard and we’re just a 2.5 hr drive from the Central Coast.

    For now, If you don’t need employment to live, it’s not bad. But we’re still under Sacramento’s thumb.

  6. I recently went through this process after being retired for a few years. I was in CO and got tired of the hard winters. Cold, I don’t mind but the snow and ice was getting to me. So any place with less snow than where I was worked. Including some places that would never occur to you like much of WY. I also wanted dry. Check this out for data.
    Basically, though where ever you go at least one season will suck. So travel.
    I also wanted a place with no state income taxes and reasonable other tax burden. So I looked at TX, NV, WY, SD. WA(Issues with other taxes here.) and AK also work for that but were just too over the top in terms of climate. Google “state and local tax burden”. You will get enough detail that you can choose your poison on taxes. I wanted a reasonable political climate as well. No place is perfect except maybe WY but generally the low tax thing is a good indicator. It won’t be hard to beat CA. Also picking a place that suffered from the housing meltdown is a plus. I wanted to financially downsize my real estate. Then I spent a couple of years driving around looking at places. I wanted basic shopping and medical close and specialty stuff within day trip range. And outdoor stuff close. Then settle in and work on rebuilding your social support network. After all that, I wound up in S NV about a hour out of Vegas. I do like desert.

    • Richard, thanks for the response and the link to weather-history, that’s very comprehensive! The health-care issue matters in that we’re grandfathered under a pretty good policy as long as we remain in CA. My wife’s parents used to ship the kids off to mean grandparents in Nevada and threatened to become missionaries there, not a good impression that remains…

  7. I’m thinking that retirement might entail me getting substantially busier than I am already, and I’m not sure how that can actually BE. Not that I’m all that close to retirement, however, I’m REALLY wanting to do some serious driving around the country when it’s time, and do it in an old car that I build for the purpose of open road grand touring, and when finished from a tour, go back to a mountainside, palatial estate.

    Switzerland is beautiful, but too far out of the pocketbook, so the Kraut is trying to find a place in Bavaria. I’d settle for Montana.

  8. California’s climate is exactly why it’s in the mess it is. Such a pleasant place will always attract hordes of people with all kinds of needs, wishes, goals — and incomes. It’s been said that had the continent been settled west-to-east, all the Northeast would be left as howling wilderness.

    But with the climate, you get the loonies and lefties. Below some critical percentage, they don’t matter and actually add amusing notes to public life. Above that critical percentage, however, and things go bad quickly, which is what’s happened. My private hunch about California (and I’m only an occasional visitor) is that the last Boomer (and I’m one) will have to be gone from the scene for a generation before things can bottom out and start to get better.

    If you can find a niche in California where you’ll be left alone — great. But you might also start looking at places that have serious winters. Something about that kind of physical reality keeps things saner, at least in locations where the ruling elite runs thin on the ground. I’m thinking Mountain West, and probably the more northern, colder end than the southern. (Although you might consider deep rural New Mexico: Catron County, for example. It’s bigger than Connecticut and has a population of less than 4,000 people. N.M. ain’t all Santa Fe and Taos by a long shot.)

    Good luck!

    • A lot of what you say is correct. As my 80+ yr old dad (who grew-up here) says, “All the weirdos come out here. The *REAL* weirdos go on to Hawaii!” I’m gonna to have to get my wife to get up and travel a bit, I don’t think she’d trust my immediate judgment!

    • Hawaii’s a mixed blessing. Be sure to make some extended visits before committing to there.

      It’s strongly Democrat in politics, weather is highly predictable and “temperate” (though definitely humid), everyday living costs are high, nothing gets done on time (it’s “island time,” you haole), and you’re a long plane flight from anywhere else.

      If those factors are OK with you, it’s perfect. But check it out thoroughly.

    • Been to Hawaii a lot, we know, “Aloha also means goodbye, you haole prick! Got married on and know someone on the Big Island – IMO Oahu is as bad as Sunnyvale… Maui is better but you’ll never be a local there either.

    • I lived in Hawaii right after retiring from the Navy. HIDEOUSLY expensive, and surprisingly chilly – of course, I’d just spent three years at Cubi Point. We stuck it out for two years, loved it but couldn’t afford to stay any longer. Now we’re near Sacramento, CA, which is nice enough except for the politics, which are toxic. El Dorado or Placer counties are close enough to town to find work, and far enough away that you’re not right IN the city. But then, Sacramento isn’t a city; it’s a “really big small town”.

    • I totally agree and after a visit to Oahu – even the North Shore – I much prefer Maui or Kauai or BigIsland! Move north to El Dorado! Fortunately we’re not job-dependent, besides nobody will hire me even as a Wal-Mart greeter or a, “you want fries?” guy, and my wife is fed-up after 35-ys at the Big Private University. We’re on our own.

    • For me on the Big Island, I’d avoid the east side, even if that’s where all the volcano action is. I suspect Hilo’s nickname is “Mildew Capital of the World” — living on the wet side of the island would be an eternal bummer for me. But others may have a different take.

    • Spent part of our honeymoon in Hilo and it never stopped raining. Driving over the Saddle Road from Kona we entered the hills above Hilo and in 20-feet I had the wipers on. It was like walking from a dry room into a curtain of rain. We have some friends up in Hawi and that’s nice country…

  9. I’ve heard of some people that buy a good motorhome, and one or more plots of land in locations they like, and follow the good weather. Got to make sure zoning allows you to park a motorhome or trailer on the property. AZ or FL for the winter, ID for summer, maybe. You could spend some of your time building a home on each plot, perhaps. If you have your portable abode, then you shouldn’t feel rushed to construct something. If it takes a few years, no big deal, barring TEOTWAWKI.
    I’m thinking that if you drag a large trailer, with a small car on it, you have room to pick up bargains on materials you run across. Maybe just park a vehicle at each location, so you have more room 🙂

  10. Hellva situation there my friend… I do have friends up in El Dorado, and it’s a nice area (and carry friendly sheriff). OBTW your former blog has been hacked and is now back ‘up’…

    • Head for the Hils! By staying in CA we keep the precious Health Coverage.
      OTOH – That is so absolutely bizarre, Anthroblogogy is “back”? I don’t know what to do about that. Seems like FindTheBest is in error however.

    • There you go, another possible summer location. You can hunt for gold! That’ll keep you busy, and out of your wife’s hair.

    • I’ve been gold-mining before, that’s a sure-fire road to complete insanity! 🙂
      Besides my wife would probably find the gold first, she’s competitive.

    • Well, hobbies in common can be good! Back in the 80’s, I worked with a guy who did it on vacation, here in CA. I think he was dredging in streams, with family. Made enough to pay for all vacation expenses, and put some in pocket. Just read that CA outlawed dredging. Might harm the water, don’tcha know…

    • I worked a stream with a dredge up in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area back in the late 70’s with a guy and later did the same down in Colorado. The cold went right through the wet-suit and after an half-hour you’d shake like a paint mixer while you stood IN the fire warming up, shades of Sam McGee. AFAIK the guys who make some money on a claim do it by selling the rich black-sand tailings that have a high mix of ores and metals – but you need to fill 55-gal drums with it.

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