You are not prevented from experimenting and growing because of your geography. Admittedly, if you live on a farm in the middle of nowhere then you might have some trouble working with smart people and learning from them. But then again, the Bay Area has no monopoly on innovation. There are more affordable cities that are doing innovative things — Seattle, Boston, Chicago, etc. I think this argument fails because there are two counter-arguments:
a) if the cost of living is too high somewhere, then people are naturally going to migrate elsewhere and that in turn will have an impact on the ability of that place to innovate, unless of course
b) the ability to innovate is tied to skills that can afford you the ability to live here regardless. That is a theory worth testing in my opinion. Have you thought about your skill set?