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Why I Left California

Author Mel Carriere is not even a real Californian, but he played one for 36 years. He is currently seeking cold comfort in Colorado.

The luster of the Golden Gate has fogged over for many folks who decided to flee, like me.

The luster of the Golden Gate has fogged over for many folks who decided to flee, like me.

Tarnish on The Golden, or Maybe Just 'Gilded' State?

Darn near everybody knows California's nickname, The Golden State. From the time kiddies everywhere are old enough to crawl toward the TV, they are hypnotized by the allure of all things California, at least that gilded, glossy image of California produced by Hollywood, the state's propaganda machine. Beaches, beautiful babes, palm trees, sunshine.

But even Hollywood itself is now a worn-down dump. You can't stroll the star-studded Walk of Fame anymore without being accosted by sketchies. No self-respecting starlet is on display there, mostly just lonely homeless people, pushing shopping carts stuffed with their meager goods. The false prophet of the Golden State government has not answered the needs of these downtrodden folks, nor has it produced for the majority of California's citizens - rich, poor, middle class alike. The few that have thrived are the members of the state's ruling party, and their financiers.

The experts say that pure gold is impervious to corrosion, that it is incorruptible. It can tarnish, they say, but never break down completely. Simply dip your gold jewelry into two drops of dish soap, diluted in warm water, and you can rub those ugly stains right out of there.

The Golden State, however, or maybe we should just say Gilded State, is shiny only on the outside. It has problems that go way beyond superficial, they can't be cleansed with simple dish soap. This makes one wonder if all that glitters is gold, or if maybe California residents, past and present, have been tricked by fool's gold - iron pyrite, a material that shines with the luster of gold, but lacks its incorruptible substance. Incidentally, Fools Gold is an unstable mineral, one known to spontaneously combust.

Thousands of Californians have seen through the shyster's sheen, and have departed for places that don't hide the true nature behind their base reality. Census Bureau statistics reveal that 653,551 Californians relocated elsewhere in 2019. That's three quarters of San Francisco sliding into the sea with the San Andreas every year. And we don't have the 2020 figures yet. Who knows, maybe an entire city by the bay will have disappeared from California this year gone past. Texas, Arizona, and Washington are the top recipients of the outmigration, but they are not alone in picking up the scattered remnants.

Mere months ago, I decided to join that Exodus. I thought I was happy living in the land of perpetual sunshine, blessed to be one of the few Californians with an affordable mortgage and a stable income, but circumstances beyond my control forced me to flee. When it's fourth and long and your best receiver is on a stretcher, you punt. Now, maybe I assumed that my problems were unique to me and my family, but perhaps that was just presumption. Perhaps I am just another insignificant statistic, a single data point among that bulging array. Maybe my reasons are not much different than those of the other hundreds of thousands taking flight.

Truth is, why not leave? More and more people are working from home now. Covid 19 has intensified that trend, and many of those under viral house arrest will never go back to their pricey office real estate. The blessings of air conditioning mean that people in Arizona and Texas don't have to endure that sweaty walk from parking lot to cubicle anymore. The blessings of central heating mean that my neighbors here in frigid Colorado don't have to slip and slide on the ice to get to work. What this workplace displacement signifies is that more and more gilded staters, such as I, have decided to go to places where they can watch California on TV from a safe distance, instead of enduring the material and spiritual strain of actually living there.

Fool's Gold

All that glitters is not gold - Iron Pyrite, better known as Fools Gold

All that glitters is not gold - Iron Pyrite, better known as Fools Gold

Corrupt Bargains

Like the Joad family in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, fleeing the Dust Bowl towards California, one assumes that the withering of roots deeply sunk into the homestead's soil must be an economic blight. The problems of this particular California refugee, however, were not so much economic, as otherwise. Upon further review, I guess my problems were ultimately economic, or would become so. Selling my house in my untenable neighborhood meant the untenable prospect of buying another one nearby. Yes, I took away a pretty good chunk of change from my residence, but rolling all of that money into another California home would still leave me with a mortgage I couldn't afford.

The question of why my once peaceful, delightful neighborhood became unlivable is a delicate one to answer. In doing so, I'll start with the general and move on to the particular. I'll begin with California's statewide corruption, which tends to trickle down into everyday life, like moldy water stains on the ceiling.

According to the NGO coalition for integrity, wondering who they are and if any of the coalition members actually live in California, California ranked second to Washington as the least corrupt state. This analysis was based on the alleged strength of anti-corruption laws and regulations in those locales. But there is plenty of documented evidence to suggest that members of CA's elected ruling party simply ignore those laws, for the benefit of themselves and their henchmen. Laws are passed for the little man, after all, not for the high and mighty.

Furthermore, many of these anti-corruption laws predate the dominance of the Democratic Party in Sacramento. Efforts to strengthen them have since been shot down by the state's ruling oligarchy. In 2014, then Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have restricted the types of gifts politicians can receive, and who can give them. Jerry Brown himself reported receiving 44,000 dollars in gifts in 2017. Perfectly legal, perhaps, but does this "legal" practice leave California's leaders untainted?

California's elected officials may be restricted in the amount of "contributions" they receive, but this does not prevent them from pouring out millions of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of friends and supporters, certainly with the expectation of a quid pro quo once they depart office, at which time they will no longer be restrained by those laws.

A perfect example is the Fool's Gold State's high speed rail debacle, former Governor Jerry Brown's sacred-cow pet project. On the Strong Town's website, Daniel Herriges speaks of the financial sinkhole the railway became, with all the kiddies having their hands in the cookie jar, while Grandma pretended to look elsewhere. In other words, as Herriges states, "...funding mechanisms that tend to try to satisfy every niche interest by throwing in goodies for all parties." Plain and simple, political benefactors got their palms greased, with whispered promises of a cushy, well-paid post on some corporate board for legislators (and/or their children) who voted for the $77 billion dollar line, the crumbling remnants of which will stand like a monument to avarice in the dusty sink of the Central Valley.

"California Stonehenge?" The sad, weed-grown remnants of the 77 billion dollar "Browndoggle" bullet train.

"California Stonehenge?" The sad, weed-grown remnants of the 77 billion dollar "Browndoggle" bullet train.

Gavin Newsom "Pot" Calling The Kettle "Brown."

Although current California Governor Gavin Newsom bemoans that "There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency,” on the bullet train Browndoggle, post-pandemic developments demonstrate that this is a case of the pot calling the kettle Brown. Newsom himself is quite adept at burying his own high-speed tracks in the dust of the San Joaquin Valley, where uncompleted train abutments rise like Stonehenge monoliths.

There is no need even to bring up the hypocritical (Golden State?) Governor frolicking unmasked at the French Laundry eatery, while the peasants had to eat their cake via curbside delivery, through covered mouths. That incident pales alongside what happened earlier in 2020, when the Governor cut a 1.4 billion dollar agreement with Chinese electric bus company BYD, a shady pact disguised by a cover-story of making masks to plug California's 40 million pie-holes. Curiously, this manufacturer had never so much as sewn a stitch on a face covering, or any other garment, but BYD did contribute 40,000 dollars to Newsom's gubernatorial campaign.

Governor Gav seems unwilling to look in the mirror and see the same zits he laughs about on the faces of other acne sufferers. A telling example is the way he dispensed pieces of the Covid stimulus pie, doling generous portions to the already-fat cats loitering in his dark alley, mewling for handouts.

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Before entering the Sacramento statehouse, Newsom supposedly divested himself of companies he had a stake in. But these same divested entities received Covid stimulus payments of 918,000 dollars apiece, their purported purpose being to maintain employee income during pandemic closures. Meanwhile, the statewide payment for similarly-sized businesses averaged $128,000. Who pocketed the additional 800,000, Californians may wonder, as their unemployment benefits run out, and that $600 stimulus won't save them from being thrown into the street when eviction protection expires.

Newsom is part of a corrupt California cabal whose primary interest is to maintain its stranglehold on the state's politics, while providing a generous return on investment for donors that finance the asphyxiation. The local Dems use every publicly-funded instrument possible to ensure the election of candidates that will not upset the high-speed gravy train.

Not only do Cali's power-brokers pass laws to prevent other political parties from checking and balancing the authoritarian abuse of the drained, hypovolemic California taxpayer, they also suppress the election of fellow Democrats who are unwilling to join the crony club. Indicative of this is the way Bernie Sanders was deprived of his 2016 California primary victory, when voting officials gave provisional ballots to the throngs of young adults who emerged from their apathy to vote for him. "Placebo ballots," one critic called them, "because you feel like you've voted, but you haven't." My youngest son, 21 at the time, was given one of the "placebo ballots," even though he was legitimately and legally registered. My firstborn, 24 in 2016, was older and wiser. He refused the bogus provisional ballot they tried to force feed him at the polling station.

The decay at the top of the California garbage heap might have remained an acceptable abstraction for me, a problem for those living in the fecal-filled streets of San Francisco and the traffic-choked corridors of Los Angeles, but then it started to seep into the local water supply. It eventually poisoned the well in Chula Vista, a city of some 270,000 that represents a significant chunk of the San Diego metropolitan area, a city that was my home for 36 years.

Former San Diego Mayor and California Governor Pete Wilson is credited with applying the moniker America's Finest City to San Diego in 1972, but these days the nickname is increasingly anachronistic. SoCal's gleaming gem, a place whose residents once rejoiced over because it had all of neighboring LA's benefits, but few of its problems, has not recovered from the 2008 recession. Garbage clogs freeways that once flowed freely, unvexed to the sea. The streets are in grave disrepair, rutted and pock-marked with potholes. Tijuana, the Mexican city just a stone's throw away, boasts better pavement.

California Governor Glamorous Gavin Newsom, the "Pol" Pot calling the kettle "Brown."

California Governor Glamorous Gavin Newsom, the "Pol" Pot calling the kettle "Brown."

Two Out of Three Ain't Enough - Noxious Neighbors

Could San Diego be gradually merging with Tijuana, adopting the characteristics of its underdeveloped neighbor to the south, to the point at which the two cities become virtually indistinguishable?

The two border burgs are separated by a long, high fence line, a fence that is nearly impossible to negotiate, either way. Sounds silly, but with skyrocketing rents in San Diego, 1000 bucks for a roach-infested closet, there really are a growing number of people who want to cross North to South, instead of vice-versa. Critics of current immigration policies say we need better fences to regulate this flow of humanity, even walls.

But fences are a touchy, even painful subject. My California home was abutted by three families that shared my fence line. Two out of the three were wonderful, couldn't ask for better neighbors. But unlike football, where two out of three ain't bad for a quarterback completion rate, when it comes to neighbors two out of three ain't enough.

So now we trickle down from the rusting rivets holding the Bullet Train's empty girders in place, to the brass tacks that were all that kept my Chula Vista fence from falling over. Having unburdened myself of my thoughts, opinions, and theories on California's government, I will now move on to the subject of why I, one lone data point among 650,000 or more disgruntled Californians, decided to leave the Golden State. I meandered down that rubbish-strewn freeway from Sacramento, because there is a cause and effect relationship between the Great Pacific Garbage Island the state has become, and the piles of spiritual and psychological refuse that ended up in my backyard.

I moved into my Chula Vista home in 1999, bought it brand new, and everything was pretty good until about 2004. Across one fence was a Phillipino family that kept to themselves, but caused no problems, except for an angry Rottweiler who bashed its fuzzy head against the fence, but never got loose. Across the back barrier lived my neighbor Joe, a very low-key gent. If he had a party he cut it off by about 10, out of respect for his neighbors. Then, on the south side a lovely Korean family resided, completely docile except for one of the sons who would sometimes sing off-key love songs in the shower. We could tolerate that.

Alas, the Koreans were only renting the place from a mysterious Texan we referred to as JR, because we had never seen him, and fancied he must be some billionaire oil tycoon. After the Koreans moved on JR decided to sell, and that was the beginning of the end.

I first met my new neighbors when they saw the "for sale" shingle and swung by to take a look at the house. They smiled and waved, and I waved back. "They look like nice people," I told my wife. "There goes the neighborhood," she answered. She was right.

The new owners didn't want so much to make a home out of the property, as to exploit it for financial gain. This process started off slowly, but gained momentum. The man of the house had a landscaping business. He would bring garbage home from his daily cutting and clipping endeavors and park it out front, where everybody could see and smell it. Sometimes his employees would loiter in our yard while waiting for the morning whistle. When we approached him amicably about correcting these issues, he smiled and said he would. He always smiled and said he would, but eventually lapsed into his old habits.

He also tried to launch a used-car lot out in the street. Grease-monkeys were dropping by and working on old clunkers parked in front of our own cottage. We found it necessary to get the home-owners association involved in that issue, and it eventually stopped. It was one tiny wave we were able to keep from lapping upon our shores, but we were unable to restrain the Tsunami to follow.

Mel Carriere philosophically contemplates the Tsunami that swept him from California to Colorado.

Mel Carriere philosophically contemplates the Tsunami that swept him from California to Colorado.

Cut and Run

That little ripple was but the warning shot for a daycare tidal wave we could not impede, though we certainly tried. I am not certain when California's current insane daycare policies first began, but they gradually gained steam. Eventually, local governments, homeowner's associations, even apartment owners became powerless to stop them. In other words, the greedy, authoritarian tentacles of the California political machine have snuffed out all autonomy at the local level. If you have the misfortune to live next door to a large family daycare in California, you are screwed.

Unless you enjoy the din of 14 abandoned, disgruntled children all screaming in unison, of course. Okay, so you rend your garments in indignation, thinking my wife and I are sourpuss old farts who hate children. I have actually been accused of that on online forums where I went to complain about the problem, probably by people who 1: ) did not live next door to a large California daycare, or 2: ) were not home when the daycare was in session, or 3: ) lived next door to a respectful operator who actually tried to limit the noise it inflicted upon the neighborhood. None of these applied to me.

I happen to like children. I enjoy the sound of neighborhood children, those who belong to the block, engaging in childhood activities. Their healthy ruckus takes me back to when I was a kid. But children cooped up in one small downstairs room for hours tend to get a little out of control when let up for air, especially when their daycare nanny encourages them to make as much noise as possible, just to piss the meddlesome neighbor lady off.

We first noticed the neighbor's daycare sometime in 2007, when we heard Barney music coming from a house where the children were past Barney age. We checked on the legality of the preschool and found it fully licensed, on the up and up. We also learned that, as neighbors, we were supposed to have been notified about it, in order to voice any objections. We had not been. When we informed officials we had not signed off, that our consent had perhaps been forged, nobody seemed to care. The damage was irreversible.

Through the years we dulled ourselves to the daycare, injecting psychological novocaine into the pain. Even so, at one point I decided to transfer to Albuquerque, New Mexico, my boyhood home, when I found a letter carrier there willing to swap positions. But a house-hunting expedition in 2015 revealed that the Land of Enchantment was not as enchanting as I remembered, so I decided to pull out.

My wife was relieved that she wasn't going to extract herself from her local roots, and the situation was tolerable for a while. Then our neighbor upped the tension level by looking the other way when daycare parents parked in our driveway, or blocking our driveway. When my wife approached her about this invasion of our property rights, the lady of the house proved not to be so smiley as her husband. "I don't see what the problem is," she said.

We had no other recourse but to call the police, but the Chula Vista police didn't want to do much, either. Although a 2018 ballot proposition voted in an increased sales tax intended to improve local law enforcement, the under-motivated force only had the energy to go after the low-hanging fruit, the anxious motorists who do the California roll past a stop sign at an empty intersection, or the distance-impaired who park more than 18 inches from the curb. On the other hand, when it came to teenagers dangerously drag-racing at night on the Proctor Valley Road, where a couple even killed themselves, they were nowhere to be found. My little problems were certainly not enough to merit their attention. The officers yawned, then told me to install security cameras.

The security cameras were the spark that kicked off the conflagration, the lantern that Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over in the shed, that night there was a hot time in the old town. For some reason our neighbors could not tolerate the prospect of being spied on, even though the cameras were pointed at our property, not at theirs. In the warm dog days of 2017, a confrontation in the front yard over this issue almost sparked a fist fight. The neighbor lady, and I use the word lady because the b word is not acceptable in this venue, filed a restraining order against my wife, claiming she was stalking her. In response I filed a restraining order against her son, who charged me during aforementioned incident, before being pulled back by his ever-smiling Pop. Neither order was granted, of course. It was simply the case of angry monkeys throwing their s**t at each other. None of that s**t stuck.

But the situation was becoming serious. Two days after the shouting match my wife collapsed, and an ambulance took her to the hospital. For the next three years she suffered palpitations, panic attacks, and occasional fainting spells that were directly related to her anxiety over the neighbors. Her health was at risk now, but still I dragged my feet. I had an affordable mortgage. Where else was I going to get that in Southern California?

Then the presence of our neighbors from hell began to become unbearable for me as well. I worked all day, so I wasn't there to hear the daycare screaming most of the time. But my virgin eardrums were battered by my wife's constant litany of complaints about it. She hounded me into calling the homeowner's association or daycare authorities over every perceived violation on the neighbor's part. I watched her descend further into paranoia, keeping her eyes peeled on her security cameras late into the night, jumping at every shadow she saw there, until I wondered who this woman I was living with was.

Finally I had to admit defeat. Another cross-fence s**t throwing exchange in August of 2020 provoked another meaningless round of court battles. The neighbors sent me actual s**t in the mail, which I could not prove to the court's satisfaction. They punctured my car tires, which I could not prove to the court's satisfaction. I couldn't capture them conducting their shenanigans on film, I didn't have witnesses, but who else would do it? I have no other enemies.

I had already known that nobody was going to put the neighbors in their place, that filing a restraining order would only make them stop for a while, creating a short-term cease fire until the smoke cleared. But as far as the long term was concerned, the daycare was a stubborn aching molar that no dentist could extract. We were stuck with it, and them. The war was only going to escalate. Somebody was eventually going to get hurt physically. I had no choice but to cut and run.

The old homestead once signified good tidings of great joy

The old homestead once signified good tidings of great joy

Rocky Mountain Hijacked

So now I sit writing this in Colorado, another California refugee hiding out where the inferno from the ignited fools gold cannot reach. Am I safe here? I hope so, but I am not certain. California may follow me to the grave. The legislature beyond the Great Wall of the Sierra Nevada has taken note of the frightening outflow of residents with respectable, taxable incomes. This revenue stream cannot be replaced by the influx of tired, poor, huddled masses streaming inward from destitute countries. Therefore, California's lawmakers have proposed a ten-year tax on people like me who have cut and run. Will it fly? It seems preposterous, but if living in the Golden State for near 40 years taught me anything, it is to expect the wacky and irrational.

I have already met more than a handful of folks on the lam here, like me. The parking lot of the apartment complex where I currently camp is generously sprinkled with California license plates. In the post office where I now work there are at least a half dozen former California residents who have transferred here. Colorado seems to be a soft landing pad for people fleeing their problems in the Bear Flag Republic.

Not to say that Colorado is paradise, either. I have discovered that paradise is a spiritual state, not a geographical one. My move has met its share of speed bumps on the four paltry lanes of the I-25 that lead here, a cow-track by California standards. Northern Coloradans are hella friendly, to employ a Northern California adverb, but their grins fade a little when they find out you are from that land of hippy liberals over there on the shores of the Pacific Pond. There goes the neighborhood, you see in their eyes, just like my wife said when she espied our neighbors from hell that first time, so many years ago it seems like yesterday.

Although the Missus misses her sons, who have not yet followed, and although she misses the sunshine as she shivers inside her furry hat, she is no longer paranoid, she no longer feels faint upon her feet, and she no longer clutches at her chest because her heart is all a-flutter. Colorado has, and certainly will continue to deliver surprises, both good and bad, but California is now in our rear-view mirror, left to solve its own problems without our uncounted input. That is, if there are any brains left in the Gilded State to keep it from sliding off the deep-end, much quicker than the San Andreas fault can push it.

Living in the shadow of Long's Peak gives me a Rocky Mountain high, but will the buzz wear off?

Living in the shadow of Long's Peak gives me a Rocky Mountain high, but will the buzz wear off?

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on February 08, 2021:

Thank you Mills it's really good to hear from you. I haven't seen you on my hub pages feed lately, and unfortunately that seems to be the only way to comment these days, unless I'm missing something.

I think California leads the way in exploiting the working class for the political gain of its politicians. Most of Sacramento's dictates wind up having a negative effect on working people. Funny thing is, the political right wing, the Trumpsters in other words, are much more visible and vocal in California than in Colorado, at least where I live. Out east on the plains it might be different. Here mask wearing is strictly enforced, and nobody complains about it. I see BLM and Joe Biden signs everywhere, but not so much as a bumper sticker in favor of Trump. Colorado is a strange beast, I am still trying to figure it out, but folks are friendly and I am beginning to adjust.

I really appreciate you dropping in. I hope things are well for you.

Pat Mills from East Chicago, Indiana on February 07, 2021:

You have mentioned how bad things have been in California in other pieces you have written. It's too bad things have become so intolerable for you and for so many others. It's been said California usually leads the way in progressive ideas. Nobody needs the kind of progress that drives people from their state. I hope Colorado proves to be the right move for you and your wife,

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on February 03, 2021:

Thank you Davika. Happiness can indeed be achieved anywhere, one just has to be able to afford it. I appreciate you dropping in!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 02, 2021:

Mel Carriere It sounds like you are having a good life in California, I think no matter where one lives in this world happiness is important. Off-course you need to have a fair standard of living to be able to afford lifestyles.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 31, 2021:


No problem I didn't take what you said in a bad way. I have lived all of those things that you mention. The police in my former place of residence were just revenue collection agents for the city. If you are going five or ten miles over the speed limit they pull you over. Your foot gets a little heavy, it's not too dangerous to catch you, they pull you over. But if you're drag racing at 100 you get a pass. If you are breaking the law or disturbing the peace they show up an hour later, when the criminal is long gone or the party's over. I don't support defunding the police but in my former town it wouldn't have been a big deal. They didn't do much to help protect honest citizens anyway. Thanks again.

Ken Burgess from Florida on January 30, 2021:


I do not want to be misunderstood, when i said "tolerances" that was meant in reference to how insane CA has become... a couple years back making things like shoplifting and thievery all but legal, putting out port-a-potties and giving preferential treatment to the homeless over home and business owners, etc. etc.

Police will not respond to an emergency in some areas, they will not bother with "minor infractions" at all, "middle class" people are left to fend for themselves, all the while being taxed to oblivion for that privilege.

It was not in reference to the quickly changing demographics, if anything that may be the countries salvation, it certainly won't be coming from today's current class of leadership.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 30, 2021:


This article started out as a wild rant, a catharsis about the "blending in" you mention. Then I ripped it up and started over, thinking it sounded too hateful. Lord knows I know more wonderful Mexican people than bad ones, and most of them are not happy about the way California is going, either. But I definitely did not want this article to be something the proud boys would be proud of.

I appreciate your great comment.

Ken Burgess from Florida on January 30, 2021:

Great article, hinting at the woes destroying what was once the shining state of the nation, and I love the last part, how those in Colorado eye you wearily once they recognize where you are from...

Why wouldn't they, they figure you bring the same tolerances and voting habits that allowed paradise to become your prison. Not that I believe that to be particularly true, but I can understand how they consider you a harbinger of bad tidings.

And when you noted the possibility that California would blend in to its southern neighbor, this is the future for all southern states, there is no escaping that reality. There is no political will on any level to have it otherwise.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 30, 2021:

That's very sweet of you Linda. So far so good here. My water bill went from 200 to $13.97, so that is one positive. Gas is two dollars a gallon here, compared to 3.50 over there. So far so good, we'll see what happens. I appreciate you dropping in.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 29, 2021:

This is a fascinating and very educational article. Thank you for sharing the information, Mel. I had no idea about the facts about California that you’ve shared. I hope life is much better for you and your wife in Colorado.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 29, 2021:

Thank you KC. I wouldn't go to the hellhole extreme. It is a beautiful state and I will miss many things about it. It is unfortunate the government is so poorly managed and it trickles down to everyday life.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 29, 2021:


Thank you for your words of encouragement. The world really has become a tiny place, when we can prop each other up from all corners of the globe. I appreciate you dropping in.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 29, 2021:


Sorry I painted a grim picture. California is no doubt a beautiful visit. Thanks for dropping by.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 29, 2021:


Covid is not the problem. The figures I quoted were from 2019, before Covid hit. Maybe Covid made the problem worse, but once you leave California it's really hard to come back, unless you win the lottery. I really appreciate you dropping by.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 29, 2021:

It was nice reading this article.You painted a grim picture of California. I wish you best in your new place.

KC McGee from Where I belong on January 29, 2021:

California is nothing but a marxist hell hole, and no wonder, the people who run that state are marxist.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on January 29, 2021:

Thank you for sharing the reasons behind your move from California to Colorado, Mel. I wish you well and hope you settle in to a happy and contented life there.

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on January 28, 2021:

Covid's a scary thing out here in LA. You're probably better off in Colorado, Mel. LA County and San Diego can be pretty expensive. Our areas have always been over populated. I wonder about updated statistics. Many people may be leaving in droves. But I guess once we have Covid under control again, many people will come back again.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 28, 2021:


Now there's the rub, isn't it? We flee California as fast as our kelp-covered feet will carry us, but then we want to change our refugee camp into mini-Cali.

I doubt the Newsom recall will work, because the ruling party will find a way to rig it. I have no faith in the California electorate either, they will always vote to screw themselves.

But I will miss those drives on the PCH, taking in the elephant seals at San Simeon, the sea otters at Morro Bay, Cannery Row in Monterey where my hero Steinbeck roamed, then way up the coast to the breathtaking Redwood forests.

You are right. California is a beautiful place - to visit. I appreciate you visiting my long winded rant here.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 28, 2021:


I assumed you were born and bred Chicago, not a recovering Gilded Stater, like me. In Cali, if you're not doing Uber you're driving Door Dash. I forgot to mention that Good old Governor Gav tried to kill the gig economy too, because the poverty level wasn't low enough for him.

I'm going to look for your article on the Dems. I'm a working man's working man, but the California version of the party is a complete fraud.

I appreciate you dropping in.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 28, 2021:


Former neighbor and forever friend, I am afraid the tide is going to eventually find you too, even in your verdant rolling meadows of the Sprung Valley. If I were you I would hitch up the mule to the wagon and join me here on the Overland Trail. Quick like.

I appreciate you dropping in.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 28, 2021:


I just read an article that Washington is the second most popular destination for California refugees, Tennessee is number one, if you can fancy that. Colorado is about 6th. I checked out Washington houses too, but they are kind of out of control there, at least in the Seattle area.

I appreciate you dropping in.

Mel Carriere (author) from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 28, 2021:


Thank you for your sympathy. Complaining about out of control daycares ruffles feathers in California, probably because most people there have their kids in daycare. You have to to survive. I bought my house right before the market exploded, so I made it work on a single income. My wife was able to stay home and raise her babies. That's just a fairy tale in California now.

I really appreciate you dropping in.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 28, 2021:

I hope the people moving away from CA don't bring their plitics with them, or they will end up in the same mess. I have red about the recall of Nesom bit I don't know if it will work. I lived in CA in the late 1970's and Hollywood was not even nice, then as it had the reputation for a place to hire a hooker.

On the positive side, CA is a beautiful state, but so is CO. I loved traveling up north too. I am happy that your wife is doing better. You did hold out for a while, but it is hard to leave a place where you have lived for so long. This is a very interesting article, Mel. I hope you and your wife will be happy in your new home. Take care!

James C Moore from Joliet, IL on January 28, 2021:

Sometime come early February will make it exactly 7 years since last setting foot in California. But I have my sources. Californian rideshare passengers have shared the following info with me:

1) Uber is everyone's second job in L.A., 2) $120,000 annual income is considered poverty wages in the Bay area, 3) One job isn't enough.

This state is simply too expensive. The rest of its issues stems from that along with the problems with today's Democratic party in dealing with social economic situations. (The Democrats I'll write about later)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 28, 2021:

I will be back to finish but thought I would drop a note halfway through. Spring Valley has issues but not nearly as bad. I could go on and on. You are quite accurate my friend.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 28, 2021:

What a friggin' mess!

We are seeing quite a few Californians moving here to Washington. Can't say I blame them. I welcome them. No reason I can think of to hog this paradise all for myself, although even our paradise has warts.

I think you showed amazing restraint and patience. You lasted longer in that hellhole than I would have.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 28, 2021:

What a terrible time you've had, Mel! I know what it's like to have unpleasant neighbours (now gone, thank goodness) but they were nothing like that. I'm not surprised that your wife suffered so badly health-wise. Stress can do awful things to the body and mind.

Well, I hope your present location allows you to live as you wish, peacefully and with decent neighbours. I wish you well.

Keep safe and well in these troubled times.


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