Letter Re: Roger Mills County, Oklahoma as a Retreat Locale

Hello Mr. Rawles,
I live near the town of Cheyenne, in Roger Mills County, which is in western Oklahoma.
For your information:
Roger Mills County has a population density of just .75 people per square mile.
Not a single stop light in the county.
Not a single major franchise business in the county.
Local pharmacy, bank, motels and restaurants.
A very high percentage of the county are what you call “millionaires” because of the production of natural gas wells.
We have a very low crime rate.
There are people in this area who have not locked a door nor removed keys from an automobile in 30 or 40 years.
An agriculture area of mostly grassland with some alfalfa, wheat and sorghum production.
We have a problem with methamphetamine, the major drug of choice (depending on how you define alcohol).
Cheyenne does not have police department because the sheriff’s night patrol covers the town.
It is considered part of the Bible Belt
A homogeneous population, with a small number of minorities.
Lots of water, although in places much of it is hard water.
Excellent hunting with some thousands of acres of public hunting (Black Kettle National Grasslands)
The only county in Oklahoma with a National Park.
Lots of timber with ranchers begging people to cut down the trees for firewood.
It is a rolling up and down topography.
We have mountain lions and porcupines just like New Mexico and Colorado.

Our family is not originally from this area. We came from a less civilized part of America: New Mexico. We bailed out of that place.
Roger Mills County was in the past a hotbed of the Ku Klux Klan and elected the only Socialist legislator to ever serve in the Oklahoma legislature. Well, do tell.

I found this place in the early 1970s during my work with the USDA, Soil Conservation Service.

All in all it is a good place to retire to and to develop a “retreat”.

A factor that I do not see people considering when thinking “retreat area” is the accessibility.
My thinking is that any area that is does not have a grid of roads in the Township/Range fashion would be low on the list.
Furthermore any area that is not cut through by a major river(s) is low on the list.
The road grid is just too hard to control by the Powers That Be.
Yes, it does give the vandals and rapists the opportunity to expend their gasoline and come to your area.
But it is also easy to block roads with a line of steel posts driven into the roadway and a tangle of wire spread across them.
Contrary to [what is depicted in] movies, even a fast moving vehicle will not penetrate this kind of set up and if it does it could have the undercarriage ripped [fuel lines, brakes lines] or hung up on it.
The rivers are natural barriers and in Roger Mills County there are only four bridges crossing the Canadian River to our north. One of these is a private bridge for the oil companies and most civilians do not even know of its existence nor its location. This bridge is not on road maps.
Rivers are barriers…just block the bridge and burn the vehicles. All traffic stops. The 4x4s will get stuck in the sandy bottoms of the river and become monuments of stupidity for years to come as they rust away.

Selecting a retreat is difficult. But south of any major snow line in a longer growing season area is best.

I have written some 10 years ago about the flood of what I called “gypfugees”.
I said, “you will see them in the future”, people moving across the land looking for a safe place away from danger.
That’s them, the gypsies and the refugees. Hence, the term “gypfugees’. We are seeing the first of them living in their cars in places [around the US]

You have a wonderful site. Thanks, – J.W., Cheyenne, Oklahoma

JWR Replies: Thanks for that recommendation. Several times in the blog I’ve mentioned the advantages in living in a natural gas-producing region, like yours. Most cars and trucks will run on natural gas condensate (commonly called “Drip Oil”, or just “Drip”.) For some details on the availability of Drip, see my book “Rawles on Retreats and Relocation”.