On moving to Cedar City UT

As most of you know, Sue and I moved from Orange County CA to Cedar City UT this week.

Among the reasons, there are no CPA jobs in Socal now, prospects here actually look better for Sue, and we bought a duplex with friends and are living in one unit, substantially dropping our expenses. Unemployment in Utah is 2% less than the national average while California is 2% higher. Catastrophic budget problems in California coupled with utter gridlock in the legislature portend no easy answers or solutions. Things there are going to get worse before they get better, IMHO.

Those fly-over states that coastal types mock generally are now doing substantially better economically than California, New York, and other coastal areas. The real estate bubble wasn’t as insane so the crash hasn’t been as bad. In Orange County CA, 25% of the economy was based on real estate. Most of that has gone away and won’t be returning any time soon. Also, it really does seem that fly-over states managed their budgets more conservatively and thus aren’t getting whacked as hard.

30 minutes up a trailhead literally out our back door

So, what’s Cedar City like?

As you can see from my iPhone photo, the area is stunningly beautiful. It’s near Cedar Breaks and Zion National Park with lots of hiking and camping. There’s considerable tourism here as well as a highly regarded Shakespeare festival.

The people are friendly and they mean it. It’s not faked. The night we moved in we went out to dinner. They gave us free desert when they learned we’d just moved.

Cedar is about 30,000 people and is home to Southern Utah University, so it’s a college town. In a coffee house yesterday, there were Asians speaking in their native tongue, hipsters on laptops, lots of tattoos, it could have been a coffee house in Venice CA.

A few days ago it was 27 degrees at night and 65 during the day. Wide temperature ranges are common.

A few years ago there were no Mexican restaurants. Now there are several. Grocery stores are large and well-stocked. And there’s a 24-hour Walmart.

It’s on I-15 and the speed limit is 75 mph. You can be in Vegas in 2 1/2 hours.

We’ve moved 4 times in five years and were in south Orange County for a year. Unlike other areas, upon moving, it has been erased from my data banks. It’s like we never lived there. It was just endless, enormous outdoor shopping malls and gated communities, all carefully manicured, but with no personality or unique characteristics to distinguish or separate anything. You absolutely need a car to survive. The area is totally based on the automobile. We can walk to stores now. And they don’t know what traffic is, either!

Will we be here long? Who knows, but it’s a small town with a more cosmopolitan feel than its size might imply. And I plan to do lots of hiking and I bet we get lots of house guests this summer too.

One comment

  1. Rules of Utah , Idaho , and the Wild West are as follows:

    1. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.

    2. Turn your cap right, your head ain’t crooked.

    3. Let’s get this straight: it’s called a “gravel road.” I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you’re gonna get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.

    4. They are cattle. That’s why they smell to you. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don’t like it? I-80 goes east and west, I-15 goes north and south. Pick one.

    5. So you have a $60,000 car. We’re impressed. We have $250,000 combines that are driven only 3 weeks a year.

    6. Every person in the Wild West waves. It’s called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.

    7. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of geese/pheasants/ducks/doves are comin’ in during the hunts, we WILL shoot it outa your hand. You better hope you don’t have it up to your ear at the time.

    8. Yeah. We eat trout, salmon, deer and elk. You really want sushi and caviar? It’s available at the corner bait shop.

    9.. The “Opener” refers to the first day of deer season. It’s a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.

    10. We open doors for women. That’s applied to all women, regardless of age.

    11.. No, there’s no “vegetarian special” on the menu. Order steak, or you can order the Chef’s Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham and turkey.

    12. When we fill out a table, there ar e three main dishes: meats, vegetables, and breads We use three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup! Oh, yeah…. We don’t care what you folks in Cincinnati call that stuff you eat… IT AIN’T REAL CHILI!!

    13. You bring “Coke” into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over ice. You bring “Mary Jane” into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.

    14. College and High School Football is as important here as the Lakers and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.

    15. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don’t hit the water hazards – it spooks the fish.

    16. Colleges? We have them all over. We have State Universities , Universities, and Vo-techs. They come outta there with an education plus a love for God and country, and they still wave at everybody when they come home for the holidays.

    17. We have more folks in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines than all of you put together, so don’t mess with us. If you do, you’ll get whipped by the best.

    18. Turn down that blasted car stereo! That thumpity-thump crap ain’t music, anyway. We don’t want to hear it anymore than we want to see your boxers! Refer back to #1!

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