Letter Re: North Dakota as a Retreat Locale

I couldn’t help but enjoy and giggle at the article that painted North Dakota so empty, old, and bleak. I am proud to be a North Dakotan, and find living here a blessing. “Brutal climate”, well it is the debt we North Dakotans pay to live in a beautiful land, with solid people, and raise our children in a nurturing environment. Young, strong, very well educated youth are our best export . Of course grain, oil, and livestock are good too. And, I regularly see youth returning back to good ole North Dakota for the quality of life once they figure out the grass really is greener here; I did! I’m betting most of your blog readers are strong enough to handle a North Dakota winter – it’s a character builder! “Nuclear weapons”, well, every place has its down side. There are many places well west of the [nuclear missile] silos, and with our solid westerly winds, I don’t worry too much. Finally, “lack of jobs” … this is a bit misleading, to say the least. We are desperate for reliable, solid people who are not afraid to get their hands dirty. Especially in Western North Dakota, the oil industry is especially desperate for good workers and starting them out at mid-$20s per hour. A person can make that go a long way in an area that has land prices starting at $500 to $1,000 per acre. Something to consider for people looking for a little freedom. Here, one does not need to buy a whole town for concealed carry. Is that really how bad it is in other parts of the country? Spike in ND

JWR Replies: Thanks for your comments. I rank North Dakota 8th out of my list of 19 western states, for retreat potential. I would probably rank it higher if it weren’t for its harsh climate. You can of course make up for a lot of that by building a large greenhouse and by keeping extra home heating fuel on hand. I advise keeping a three year supply, whether you heat with coal, firewood, propane, or home heating oil.

All of North Dakota is potentially down wind of nuclear targets in Montana, most notably Malmstrom AFB and extensive surrounding missile fields. I recommend that every family in North America have a fallout shelter, since in this age of terrorism you never know when and where the next nuke will be detonated. (And terrorist nukes will almost assuredly be ground bursts that will kick up plenty of fallout.)