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Relocating to CA need some input on some areas

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Postby JHH60 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:58 am

If you like the ocean San Francisco proper is pretty cool both literally and figuratively. You are never more than a couple of miles from the ocean, and the weather is always comfortable, though some neighborhoods are foggy. The food and culture are among the best in the US. Sacramento is a shorter drive to the mountains but is more than an hour to the ocean as well, doesn't have as much going on culturally, and is basically in the middle of nowhere (the Central Valley). San Jose doesn't really have an urban center to speak of; it's more a sprawl. There's some OK culture and food and you can always drive to SF and other parts of the Peninsula, but the nicer places to live if you are there are the 'burbs, like Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos, etc. Los Gatos can be attractive because it has a cute little town with lots of upscale shops and restaurants, and you're at the foot of the Santa Cruz mountains and a short drive from good hiking and rock climbing there (e.g., Big Basin and Castle Rock State Parks) and about 20 miles from Santa Cruz; the downside is it's 70 miles from SF. If you live midpeninsula you can commute either to San Francisco or San Jose.
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Postby HandjamMasterC » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:12 am

Looks like OC (or LA area) would be your best bet for the 3 reasons highlighted. The Sierra is closer than San Fran/Sacramento, world class rock climbing in J Tree and you are near the ocean (and will still be cheaper than San Fran).

If you do pick Norcal, I'd go with Sac town; SF is just too expensive. However, you will be further away from the Sierra and there's no ocean.


Sacramento is NOT further from the Sierra - east or west side - time wise, than LA. In fact, to Cedar Grove / Kings Canyon, it is the exact same amount of time from Hwy 50 near Placerville as from Torrance / San Pedro area in LA. - 5 hours. Bishop - same thing. LA is closer to Lone Pine / Whitney. Sac is closer to Yosemite ( much closer ) / Mammoth Mtn etc. If you figure Friday night LA traffic into the mix, it can take much longer to get to Bishop from LA than Sac. I should know - I've driven it from both locations many many times.

Just FYI.
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Postby simonov » Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:05 pm

Luciano136 wrote:Pasadena or Orange County. I personally don't like how busy LA county is, so OC was the best option for me. And the clean air and beach is a bonus.

San Diego = too far south
Bakersfield/Fresno = no culture

San Jose/Sacramento area could work but is further from the east side than LA.


Luciano and I are neighbors in coastal OC, and apparently he is as happy with where he lives as I am.

OC is centrally located for access to beaches, mountains and desert.

The downside is you still have to drive an hour or two to get to those mountains and deserts. If you drive early in the morning it's no big deal, but then you always have to drive through the crap to get home.

OC is highly congested (Luciano and I aren't the only people who like it here). If I didn't work walking distance from my home, I doubt I would be able to stay here. YMMV
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Postby Luciano136 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:30 pm

HandjamMasterC wrote:
Looks like OC (or LA area) would be your best bet for the 3 reasons highlighted. The Sierra is closer than San Fran/Sacramento, world class rock climbing in J Tree and you are near the ocean (and will still be cheaper than San Fran).

If you do pick Norcal, I'd go with Sac town; SF is just too expensive. However, you will be further away from the Sierra and there's no ocean.


Sacramento is NOT further from the Sierra - east or west side - time wise, than LA. In fact, to Cedar Grove / Kings Canyon, it is the exact same amount of time from Hwy 50 near Placerville as from Torrance / San Pedro area in LA. - 5 hours. Bishop - same thing. LA is closer to Lone Pine / Whitney. Sac is closer to Yosemite ( much closer ) / Mammoth Mtn etc. If you figure Friday night LA traffic into the mix, it can take much longer to get to Bishop from LA than Sac. I should know - I've driven it from both locations many many times.

Just FYI.


Depends what area you're interested in. If you're looking for mountaineering in the High Sierra, you'll spend most of your time in the Lone Pine/Bishop area, which is a bit closer. I also don't drive on traffic hours and sit maybe 10 minutes in slower traffic around the Santa Monica area on the way up; none on the way back. I drive Saturdays and come back Sundays.

Distance wise to Bishop, it's similar but you can drive a good chunk of the way pretty fast since there are more major fwys before you get to the 395 (doesn't seem to be that way for Sac). You hardly have any towns slowing you down either; pretty much just Lone Pine and the jerky place (Cartago?). It takes me 3.5h-4h to Lone Pine and 5h to Bishop from Orange County. If you live more north in the LA area, you can pretty much cut another hour off.

Bottom line for the OP, if you like Yosemite and the northern Sierra, Sacramento is a good choice. If you like the High Sierra in the LP/Bishop area better, you should probably stick to the LA area.
Last edited by Luciano136 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Luciano136 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:34 pm

Another good point brought up above is that you indeed need to make sure you like the location you live in, not just judge its proximity. After all, you spend most of your time around your home.
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Postby simonov » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:35 pm

Luciano136 wrote:Bottom line for the OP, if you like Yosemite and the northern Sierra, Sacramento is a good choice. If you like the High Sierra in the LP/Bishop area better, you should stick to the LA area.


Meanwhile, I spend by far the majority of my high elevation time in the nearby San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains, no more than two hours from OC. In the summer, I do a weekend backpacking trip nearly every weekend.

I wouldn't do that if I had to drive three or four hours each way every time.
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Postby Luciano136 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:38 pm

redneck wrote:
Luciano136 wrote:Bottom line for the OP, if you like Yosemite and the northern Sierra, Sacramento is a good choice. If you like the High Sierra in the LP/Bishop area better, you should stick to the LA area.


Meanwhile, I spend by far the majority of my high elevation time in the nearby San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains, no more than two hours from OC. In the summer, I do a weekend backpacking trip nearly every weekend.

I wouldn't do that if I had to drive three or four hours each way every time.


Good point! I didn't even give credit to the local mountains!
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Postby Luciano136 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:44 pm

redneck wrote:OC is highly congested (Luciano and I aren't the only people who like it here). If I didn't work walking distance from my home, I doubt I would be able to stay here. YMMV[/color]


Honestly, that is also relative to where you are. Inland OC gets pretty packed but around the coastal areas is not bad at all. When I drive to work in the morning, the streets in HB are relatively empty; it's when I get more north that it gets busier.

Then again, for Socal in general, pick your home/work location wisely and you'll be a happy camper. If not, you'll hate life LOL
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Postby The Defiant One » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:20 pm

Dingus Milktoast wrote:See NorCal and SoCal are really 2 different states. They offer a very different lifestyle and climbing style too, for that matter.

IMO its really important to understand the OPs mind. If he likes desert climbing So Cal is the place to be. If he's tried of heat and needs something completely different - San Francisco, proper.

If he wants to be close to Sierra, Sacramento or East Bay.

Ski? Nor Cal.
Surf? So Cal.
Down to earth? Nor Cal.
Idealistic and vain? KIDDING! JUST KIDDING!!!1111

Cheers
DMT


I'd go +1 on this sentiment.

Also like to note that many of us have mentioned driving times from some location to some activity. OK, sure, that matters. For us (Oakland/SF), the quality of the city we live in is much more important than how long it takes us to get someplace else when we leave. Afterall, we live here, and even in months when we're in the Sierra every weekend, we still spend more time at home. Most weeks, we don't use our cars at all except for the ~3 hours to the east side.

No matter what, congrats on the move.
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Postby The Defiant One » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:32 pm

1000Pks wrote:
One more thing to factor in...


When you buy property, I wouldn't worry much about quakes. Building code and such are that unless it's another huge one, you will probably be safe enough. Only a few structures collapsed during Loma Prieta, those were built on dubious unstable ground. Similar with L.A. quakes.

More deadly are wildfires. Then mudslides, floods (a potentially disasterous probability in much of lower Sac), and daily, almost, crime. Get the history of the property, and do some research. Lots of fools in the homebuying business, and insurance is no doubt sky high, but indispensable.


Couldn't disagree more about earthquakes--at least where DMT was talking about. Take the east bay (we're closing on a house today in Oakland :shock: ) where a huge percentage of the population lives near the Hayward Fault, and/or built on bay fill, often in soft-story buildings. Modern building codes are fine and dandy, but only if what you're buying is built up to them. Most of the homes in my neighborhood were built in the 20s-50s. They don't perform the same way at all.

By the way, Loma Prieta is in the boonies. So, we all felt it, but the reason it wasn't more devastating (and it was devastating), was location, location, location.

Wildfires aren't anywhere near as deadly as earthquakes, either, they're just a whole lot more common (forget microquakes).

Can you buy a nice safe home in SF or Oakland? Of course! Some are just "more equal".
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