Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weaverville, California

Seeking retirement real estate, ranch lands, affordable riverfront properties, or secluded cabin communities in California? Or maybe you just wanna find th closest county park, nearest waterfall, mountain bike or hiking trails near your city. Anyone who wants to relocate to the California (or the lovely backcountry), this is the space for you.

This relocation blog is my search for the ultimate rural destinations in Northern California. Of course, most of us will need high-speed internet connection, to be able to work from home. I hear from a very reputable local source that the small community of Weaverville, CA does have DSL in town' & other outlying areas, like Lewiston, have wireless internet available.

Trinity River - fishing, hiking, kayaking & biking, horseback
2 LAKES NEARBY: Trinity Lake & Whiskeytown Reservoir
Weaverville is located west of Redding CA, on Highway 299

Home prices here can start below $200k, but it will be a shack or tiny fixer upper. You can find a small home in town for under $300k and a home with land for under $400k. There is plenty raw land available, but you may need to run electricity to it; plus dig a well for water & install a septic system.If you plan to build, price out everything ahead of time - not only the home build cost, but septic, drilling a well, solar options, lot grading, driveway paving, tree removal, and numerous unforeseen expenses. Visit the county clerk to gather more info on building a home in the area you are investigating.

Small town California could be waiting for you.
Stay tuned for more California destinations.

Downieville: Mtn Bike Sierra

Highway 49 is the Gold Country & this is the far north end of it, where the Yuba River runs wild & the Sierra Buttes are the majestic centerpiece for the Northern Sierra Nevada.

The infamous Downieville Classic is the big annual race for mountain bikers. A huge event for the small historic town. The Downieville Downhill is the longest and most demanding downhill mountain bike race in the country, or so they say. The rest of the year, it's great fishing, camping & hiking all the way around. Lakes Basin Recreation Area is perfect for a day trip, picnic & hike. Sierra Buttes, Gold Lake, Lake Campgrounds are abundant in this region. Goose Lake, Haven Lake,  Packer Lake, Sardine Lake, Snag Lake, Salmon Creek, Frasier Falls are all nearby lake destinations.

downieville ca

Home prices here are almost as high as neighboring Grass Valley & Nevada City, but you are much more remote in this location. Winters can be harsh with snow, ice, power outages and road closures. Smog from the Central Valley may not reach you tucked way back here and the Sacramento heat & bad traffic will be non-existent. Tourists traffic is abundant in summer, and overwhelming sometimes. Seasonal recreation like fishing, hunting, cross country skiing, snowmobiling bring locals here all year long.

california mountain cabins for sale

California Mountain Cabins

August is the month that search engines experience an influx of sweltering city folks searching for 'mountain cabins' in California. Rentals or ownership, small towns, higher elevations, wild scenery. No traffic, no stoplights, no cell phone signal... just fresh air, peace and quiet. The majority of cabin seekers are dreaming of cooler climates, hoping for a real estate deal, seeking a second home or maybe telecommute from a rural alpine hide-away.

California Cabin Communities are located in more places than just Big Bear, Tahoe & the Eastern Sierra. Total Escape has a full list of California forests & small towns - with vacation cabins rentals, fishing cabins & cabins for sale. If you gonna buy real estate or property in a rural region, you may as well spend a weekend up there & really check out the place.

  • Arrowhead Lake Cabins
  • Bass Lake Cabins
  • Big Bear Cabins 
  • Bridgeport Twin Lakes
  • Country Ranches
  • Gold Country Cabins
  • Idyllwild Cabins
  • Julian Cabins 
  • June Lake Cabins
  • Lake Almanor Cabins
  • Lake Tahoe Cabins 
  • Mammoth Cabins
  • Mount Laguna Cabins
  • Mount Shasta Cabins
  • North Coast Cabins
  • Palomar Cabins
  • Pinecrest Lake Cabins
  • Sequoia Cabins
  • Shasta Lake Cabins
  • Shaver Lake Cabins
  • Sierra Cabins
  • Tahoe Cabins
  • Yosemite Cabins

  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    Kennedy Meadows California

    Sometimes you don't need to drive to Northern California to find your rivers or seclusion in a cabin community --- all you gotta do is head up, as in elevation. This is the South Fork of the Kern River, way beyond Kernville, CA.

    The easiest way to get here is head up North Mojave Hwy 395, passing turn offs for Inyokern & Ridgecrest. Look for the small sign for J41, a county road also known as Nine Mile Canyon Rd. This will take you climbing from the desert valley, westbound, up the side of a granite mountain with joshua trees. Way up to the high elevation sage brush meadows of Kennedy, Troy & Monache.

    The Dome Land region has been hit with wildfires, but nature grows back fast and it's still gorgeous country up here. Pinyon pines, jeffrey pines, ponderosa pines too.... granite peaks, rivers & some cabins are sprinkled about the landscape. The big draw here is the fishing & hiking, but the off roading & mountain biking trails are plentiful too.

    Thousands of dollars will buy you hundreds of acres in the Kennedy Meadows Wilderness region. Finding anything & I mean any lil thing on real estate in these parts is very rare.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Rural Highspeed Internet

    a realistic reviews of 'online'  on the California back roads

    Ages ago they sold us on the digital revolution. How we needed to learn computers for our future, for college, for our careers and for life. Well folks, it is finally here, almost. Work-from-home fantasies can dwindle quickly without a stable high speed internet connection. City dwellers never worry about if their internet is offline or not. They pay the bill and the service works.

    Unfortunately, the rural areas of California are not as hi-tech as you might think, even in this day. Check email from your lodge room at the ski resort, your vacation home or your iPhone - in areas like Mammoth or Tahoe, but forget about great coverage around the SoCal mountain communities. Various broadband companies try to provide to hundreds of remote locations within California, but nothing is real stable yet. The dang San Andreas fault line must be throwing every off.

    As of September 2008, according to the Center for Rural Affairs, "Only 38 percent of rural Americans have access to a high-speed internet connection." read more on this

    Seriously now, if you plan to buy a mountain cabin and work from home as your primary source of income, best to do your research thoroughly on high speed internet options and their stability. I wish I did. Certain popular areas like Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead have real DSL - and so does historic Gold Country w/ Twain Harte, CA. Most of the California Central Coast is hard wired, but certain canyons aren't. Ridgecrest has it, but Randsburg does not. Do real estate shopping - while also doing your homework on the utility companies and internet access. Promises of 'whats to come' do not count.

    In a decade I have been through 4 internet providers while trying to live - and work, Total Escape - from the mountains of California. For background, I am a web professional who uses the internet daily. I run an outdoor driven, 14 year old web site that focuses on camping and recreation in California. My site sees some serious traffic of 10,000 people per day and I obviously do not host my web site a home, but I can manage it from home. Or so I thought.  For the past decade I have sold and shipped topographical maps through an ecommerce store, so I must be online nearly every day (except when I am camping).

    Mountain High speed neighborhood:
    For over a decade I have been working from home w/ my web-based business. First from a Hermosa Beach apartment, then from downtown San Diego and now, a mountain area just north of Los Angeles. We have thousand of people living and working from higher elevations, right next to Mount Pinos.... without cell phone signals and without reliable high speed internet. So much for my hi-tech career!


    AT&T DSL

    The real deal, if you live in a populated area with proximity to a freeway. Stores and gas station pumps require stable internet. Basically, the closer you are to an interstate the more likely you will have real fiber optics nearby with DSL service from your phone company. Reasonable pricing. $20-50/mo

    Earthlink 56k (dial up) - the safety blanket
    As a web pro I have always had Earthlink as my backup system - for 56k dial up connections, when the high speed falls offline, which is quite often. Numerous local numbers to choose from in almost any local. Toll free dial up numbers also available. Cheap. $9-19/mo

    Hughes Satellite

    In 2003 I tried Hughes Direcway. Purchased the Hughes satellite for my high speed internet, but soon found out the realities of satellite service. Snow on dish means no service; Upload speeds are close to dial up speeds; Accessing any kind of database is slower than molasses; and then the dreaded FAP (fair access policy - means they cap your bandwidth after several hours online). Expensive pricing. $50-80/mo

    Wireless Internet
    Wireless signals are bouncing all over the cities and people are becoming so used to digital service everywhere. Tourists and vacationers should be warned, rural back roads lead to places out in the sticks. Smaller mountain communities like Idyllwild and Pine Mountain have had wireless internet service

    In 2005 my next try was to Frazier Mountain Internet, but I could not receive their wireless signal because I am located in a deep valley. Dense pine forest and steep landscapes make for poor wireless signal transmitting. Reasonable pricing. $20-50/mo

    Cable Internet

    This option is usually the worst case scenario, no matter how you look at it. 30 year old cable television wires can deliver your hi-speed internet, as well as satisfy every cable television customer? Hardly. Reasonable pricing. $25-50/mo

    In the Frazier Park area, poor Rapid Cable was recently bought out by CalNeva - and while they might have new digital equipment installed in house, the staff is clueless, rude and lacking, the damn wires feeding the PMC hills are still not working properly. They must still be running old coax cable from 1980, cuz I've never seen such horrible connections in my 20 year computer career.

    Rapid Cable was the joke of the mountain - as it fell offline almost daily. In 2007 I  got so fed up, I went back to dial up 56k (as my main internet connection) for over a year. Then the announcement came. Rapid Cable was being bought out by CalNeva, a new company that plans to dump some serious cash into this old equipment. Wow, really? 

    I waited a few months and heard praise from the neighbors, so I decided to give them a try. And so did a hundreds other local folks. Their service has been going progressively downhill for the past 6 months. I begin with CalNeva Oct 2009; They waived my outstanding $150 balance from previous RapidCable; Opting for lowest cost: $25 for a lower bandwidth 256k connection, I still had my doubts on the stability of this system. Now it's a year lately and I am certain we are screwed, indefinitely. 

    CalNeva falls off-line daily - or is slow most of the time! There is no customer service assuring me things will get better, no price discounts, no one in tech support telling me about the new equipment upgrades, no letters from a CEO informing me of what is going on. No communication at all. 

    There is obviously no way to work from home like this. I used to keep track of every time I experienced downtime, wasting time logging each incident and who I spoke with on the phone at customer service. Now a year later, I am so angry I've decided to write this article for the world to see just how pathetic this 'rural internet stranglehold situation' actually is. One day these utility companies might get their act together, but I am not holding my breath. Until then, I am typing from my single phone line (listening to the screeching of a dial up modem) just to post this blog. Go Earthlink, go!