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Old 07-25-2018, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,258 posts, read 8,457,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmatda View Post
One more question: what is the best cell service provider in the area? We currently have Verizon and Sprint. Our visit was pushed back until this Friday.
Sorry, have to punt on this question. I use a Tracphone.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:14 AM
 
Location: SW Virginia
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I guess we will find out this weekend. My husband and I both have prepaid providers, his uses Verizon towers, mine uses Sprint. Those coverage maps aren't really helpful.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:07 PM
 
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The Verizon maps are pretty good. We were in the Seneca Rocks area which is a huge grey area on the coverage map, and had exactly zero service (which was wonderful actually). You can zoom into street level.
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,258 posts, read 8,457,683 times
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Yeah, in general terms cell coverage is good in the urban areas, and spotty in the rural ones, although much better than it was say 10 years ago. I can confirm the dead zone in the middle of Eastern Allegany County. The mountains can break up signals too if you in the wrong spot. For instance calls are nearly always dropped when crossing over Haystack Mtn.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:04 PM
 
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ATT works over that way
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:48 AM
 
Location: SW Virginia
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To update this, we spent Friday and a little of Saturday in the area. We stayed in La Vale. This may be kind of long, but is for anyone in the same situation we are and considering locating to the area. And we spent less than 48 hours because we had to get back home to pick a kid up from camp. But it helped tremendously to see how close the towns were to each other, and to the plant where my husband could possibly be working.

Sprint service does not work except right in the city of Cumberland. Same for my husband's verizon, although it would say roaming he couldn't make a reliable call. AT&T is what we were told to get, or US Cellular.

It is very much like where my husband grew up in Russell County, VA. Reminded me of Big Stone Gap, VA or Norton, which are small towns/cities built up during the coal boom in southwestern VA or southern WV and KY. So if one is looking for all the newest chain stores or restaurants, they will be disappointed. But you can find everything you need between Keyser, La Vale, and Cumberland. For us, it was a little like stepping back in time to 30-40 years ago.

Most everyone we encountered was very friendly. The roads were good. Traffic was not bad at all. I live in a town that was not designed for the number of cars we have today and traffic is terrible. It was easy to get around and only a bit confusing in Cumberland at first. Gas is about 40-50 cents more per gallon, but the grocery prices were comparable. We didn't get a chance to explore too much in the daytime.

Cumberland, we only drove around and mostly at night, but I love the old feel and look of Cumberland. All those row houses and historic homes. My husband got sick of hearing me say, "ohhhh, look at that house." The downtown area looks so nice, but I was surprised that at 9 pm on a Friday night there weren't more people out and about. We did see a few people here and there. While driving around, we did see some rundown areas but at no time did we feel unsafe in our car.

La Vale, again, it has the older feel to it, with beautiful homes and established neighborhoods. This town does have more shopping than Cumberland, with the Walmart and the mall. And Walmart is Walmart, no matter where you go. With very few exceptions this Walmart was just like the one we went to in Hawaii and the ones we have here in SW VA. We didn't explore the rest of the mall, but there is a JCPenney and Sears. For groceries there is an Aldi and Martin's, also. We ate at D'Atri and it was very good and the prices were exceptional. I had to bring 1/2 my meal back to the hotel. (If you go and like mac and cheese, try theirs. It was yummy.)

Keyser, much smaller but still had a grocery store, Dollar General, and a little more rural town vibe to it. We did see a lot more people out and about on a Friday night. The DQ was packed. The neighborhood houses were smaller, but what we saw was nice.

Here is what I did not see openly in the areas we explored: homeless people and obvious drugs. Now, I know it's there, it's everywhere, and especially in older towns were manufacturing has left. We saw one panhandler in La Vale. I see one of those on every corner at home. I also saw one police officer the whole time. That was in Cumberland, and he pulled up beside us at the light. I'm not sure where the schools are, either, because we didn't run across any of them while we were out driving around.

Westsideboy is exactly right when he says that in 5 minutes you are out of town and in the country, no matter which town you are in. And the countryside is gorgeous this time of year, MD side or WV side. If you like outdoor activities, plenty of them here.

Overall, if my husband is offered and takes a job in the area, it will be a fairly easy transition for us, because we grew up in a similar environment. (Actually, I grew up in a place more like Fort Ashby, which I really liked.) If you are coming from an urban area, it would be more of an adjustment.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:24 AM
 
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My sister-in-law Fort Hill grad seems to think the schools in WV are better.

The PA schools have basically abandoned the borderland, don't go up there unless you want to pay for Bishop Walsh or something. Kindergarten kid on land bordering Rocky Gap State Park on PA side has 1 hour one way bus ride to Everett.
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,258 posts, read 8,457,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmatda View Post
To update this, we spent Friday and a little of Saturday in the area. We stayed in La Vale. This may be kind of long, but is for anyone in the same situation we are and considering locating to the area. And we spent less than 48 hours because we had to get back home to pick a kid up from camp. But it helped tremendously to see how close the towns were to each other, and to the plant where my husband could possibly be working.

Sprint service does not work except right in the city of Cumberland. Same for my husband's verizon, although it would say roaming he couldn't make a reliable call. AT&T is what we were told to get, or US Cellular.

It is very much like where my husband grew up in Russell County, VA. Reminded me of Big Stone Gap, VA or Norton, which are small towns/cities built up during the coal boom in southwestern VA or southern WV and KY. So if one is looking for all the newest chain stores or restaurants, they will be disappointed. But you can find everything you need between Keyser, La Vale, and Cumberland. For us, it was a little like stepping back in time to 30-40 years ago.

Most everyone we encountered was very friendly. The roads were good. Traffic was not bad at all. I live in a town that was not designed for the number of cars we have today and traffic is terrible. It was easy to get around and only a bit confusing in Cumberland at first. Gas is about 40-50 cents more per gallon, but the grocery prices were comparable. We didn't get a chance to explore too much in the daytime.

Cumberland, we only drove around and mostly at night, but I love the old feel and look of Cumberland. All those row houses and historic homes. My husband got sick of hearing me say, "ohhhh, look at that house." The downtown area looks so nice, but I was surprised that at 9 pm on a Friday night there weren't more people out and about. We did see a few people here and there. While driving around, we did see some rundown areas but at no time did we feel unsafe in our car.

La Vale, again, it has the older feel to it, with beautiful homes and established neighborhoods. This town does have more shopping than Cumberland, with the Walmart and the mall. And Walmart is Walmart, no matter where you go. With very few exceptions this Walmart was just like the one we went to in Hawaii and the ones we have here in SW VA. We didn't explore the rest of the mall, but there is a JCPenney and Sears. For groceries there is an Aldi and Martin's, also. We ate at D'Atri and it was very good and the prices were exceptional. I had to bring 1/2 my meal back to the hotel. (If you go and like mac and cheese, try theirs. It was yummy.)

Keyser, much smaller but still had a grocery store, Dollar General, and a little more rural town vibe to it. We did see a lot more people out and about on a Friday night. The DQ was packed. The neighborhood houses were smaller, but what we saw was nice.

Here is what I did not see openly in the areas we explored: homeless people and obvious drugs. Now, I know it's there, it's everywhere, and especially in older towns were manufacturing has left. We saw one panhandler in La Vale. I see one of those on every corner at home. I also saw one police officer the whole time. That was in Cumberland, and he pulled up beside us at the light. I'm not sure where the schools are, either, because we didn't run across any of them while we were out driving around.

Westsideboy is exactly right when he says that in 5 minutes you are out of town and in the country, no matter which town you are in. And the countryside is gorgeous this time of year, MD side or WV side. If you like outdoor activities, plenty of them here.

Overall, if my husband is offered and takes a job in the area, it will be a fairly easy transition for us, because we grew up in a similar environment. (Actually, I grew up in a place more like Fort Ashby, which I really liked.) If you are coming from an urban area, it would be more of an adjustment.
Thanks for the update, and I am glad you and your husband felt welcomed and enjoyed your stay.

Homelessness isn't a big problem, but it does exist. Allegany County, MD saw a rise in what I would call "homeless by choice" people who started to squat around Canal Place where the hiking/biking trails meet. The county passed some anti-panhandling ordinances and cleared out a few of the squatter camps, and the situation is much better. As for drugs, hang around long enough and you will find the parts of each town where their presence is a more noticeable. At your price point, you can absolutely avoid the worst of it though.
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