whatahutch wrote:Richmond,KY is not a bad little town, it is 45 minutes from the 'Lode and the rest of the PMRP, by beautiful country roads. It is a college town that is quiet in the summer, the rent is cheaper than Lex, there is a bit of culture (ethnic foods, small concerts, etc), and a decent night life. The climbing community is made up of a mix of old school tradsters that were putting up the classics in the Red back in the early '80s, gumbies learning the ropes at EKU, and plenty of others that fall in between that experience spectrum. If you are more into the social scene than maybe Lexington is the place for you. If you are more interested in climbing than I suggest Richmond. I lived in Richmond for nearly a decade and there were many times that I headed down to the southern region at 5:00 in the afternoon (in late spring, summer, and early fall) and got at least three pitches in by dusk, and made it back to Richmond in time to join other climbers for drinks at one of the night spots. It is also only about 45 minutes north of the Rockcastle bouldering area off of I-65 that is getting developed and growing.
I would also suggest there are a number of local businesses there that are currently, or soon to be, hiring in preparation for the students coming back in August. I have always been partial to beautiful Kentucky girls and there are plenty that are working on their degrees in that town. That's where I found my beautiful wife and subsiquently climbing. If it isn't being rented, I know where the is a cheap studio apartment with climber friendly landlords. They let me build a bouldering wall in the basement there.
Richmond is nice, but for a college town it may be disappointing. For instance, what kind of college town only has a small handful of bars (only 1 really worth going to), zero coffee shops, and a titty bar right in the middle of downtown? Answer: Richmond.
And if you like to ride a bike around, Richmond has got some of the most hostile motorists I've ever seen. I've had garbage thrown at me and been yelled at many times just for being on the road ("get the fuck outta my way!
").... Almost got wrecked once because of a particularly malicious driver (some twisted shit, if you ask me). It's not an every day thing, but it happened enough for me...
That being said, I enjoyed my time there. I lived right in downtown, so walking a few places was feasible. The drive to the southern region is indeed beautiful and short. And we paid $500/month for an apartment that would have been twice that in Lexington. Dirt cheap! You can learn to love it, but some people don't. I don't regret my time there, it was fun!
Richmond is a "fixer-upper" town--if you're a community-minded individual. A few coffee shops, a community garden, and some god-damn crosswalk zones will make that town great. But for now, motorists own it. McDonald's has the upper hand in Richmond--not the small businesses.
But enough about all that--why even move here anyway? The Red gets boring quickly, the climbs are over-hyped, and the crowds are only going to get worse. You say you're into sport--if you're not a 5.12 or 5.13 climber, then you'll spend a lot of time waiting in line for so-so routes like the rest of us. Besides, if you move to this area then you're basically going to HAVE to climb at the Red. Other decent destinations are hours and hours away.
My advice again is to go learn some trad. Within a month, you'll be having more adventure than most of us ever do.