For many reasons, my wife and I, along with our four children, left behind the city life in Florida two years ago. Crime, ranging from home invasions and break-ins to vehicle vandalism and car-jackings, which had spilled outward from the inner city into the suburbs where we owned a home, was increasingly being caught in the crosshairs of criminals. Mobs of rioting teenagers were occurring on the weekends at the local malls. If you were a female, alone, it was not safe to go grocery shopping at night.
Locally, the public high schools, where our children were planning to attend the following year, experienced fights among students on a nearly weekly basis. There was rampant drug use and drug trafficking in most all the public schools in the region.
We did not have sufficient income necessary to send them to private school, and in our opinions sending them to the area public schools there would have been seriously detrimental for them. Home schooling was out, since both my wife and I had to work full-time jobs.
I tried taking on a full-time night job as an armed security officer, so I could home school my two boys. I did that for about half a school year, and it about killed me. Maybe if I had made a triple digit salary, my wife could have stayed home, but alas that was not in the cards for us. I applaud all of you home schooling parents out there that can make it happen. I know first hand how tough it is.
In addition to the other types of crime we were witnessing, within ten miles of our home children were being abducted in broad daylight, right out from under the noses of our communities, and ending up dead in a nearby landfill. Bullying was out of control at the bus stop in front of our subdivision. As parents, it was getting quite worrisome.
In addition to the spiraling crime rate, there was the stifling heat and humidity we had to deal with during the long summers and a plethora of biting and stinging insects as well as other nasty critters. For me at least, no job nor any amount of money was worth staying in Florida. My wife may have thought otherwise, but she would go anywhere to be with me. I am so very blessed to be married to her.
We recognized that the window of opportunity was still open, although it was beginning to close, and we had to get out, pack up, and head somewhere safer. We chose to find somewhere else we could continue our TEOTWAWKI preps and secure a more promising future for our family.
Now I don’t recommend to others doing this, but we left without having a job for me waiting at our journey’s end. However, my wife did have an interview setup upon her arrival. It was a leap of faith for us both. I have marketable skills in the low-voltage trades, in telecom and commercial fire alarm, and I am also a retired Navy veteran.
My wife and I became preppers soon after we were married in 1996– pretty much right before Y2K hit– but we really kicked it into gear after 9/11.
I happened upon James W. Rawles’ website several years ago. We read Patriots together. His ideas on the American Redoubt struck a positive chord with my wife and I. Always trying to be better Christians, we engaged our faith in making important decisions, prayed about our relocating at length, picked an inspired point on the map, and headed northwest.
The land upon which we found ourselves would be considered by some, and to us, a land full of breathtaking beauty, and by others, a miserable wasteland. It can be an unforgiving land with many challenges, full of various kinds of wildlife, with both large predators, big game, and world-renowned lake and stream fishing. The altitude is high enough where poisonous snakes don’t even venture, nor do many other poisonous critters found throughout North America. Winter here is approximately seven months long. The climate here is classified as sub-arctic. There’s not many people that live here, though during the warmer months, many tourists pass through our town. Have you guessed where in the U.S. we now live?
Well, if you guessed somewhere in Wyoming, you’d be correct. We now live along and among the highest plains of Wyoming, on the western side of the lower Rocky Mountains, known as the Wind River mountains. Multi-generational ranchers and cowboys, and salt-of-the-earth conservative types comprise the majority of folks who live in these remote parts of our nation. Folks here are friendly, helpful, and accepting. As an outsider, just be careful not to stick your nose too deep into their business and you’ll be just fine!
A remarkable thing happened one day that I have to share with you. I heard that Wyoming is a very gun-friendly state, so I decided to test that notion by going into town, along with my wife, to do some grocery shopping with my western .45 Colt six-shooter strapped to my hip. As I was walking along the sidewalk, I got several glances but with smiles. At the checkout counter, an older cashier commended me. She said she loves it when a man wears his sidearm in public! Is that cool or what? During Rendezvous, I walked right by a pair of Sheriff’s deputies standing on a street corner with my gun on my hip, they didn’t seem to care.
Our friends and relatives back east had, for the most part, struggled to understand our decision to move here. Mostly they laughed at us and were convinced we’d be back in short order. They were wrong. We have fallen in love with this land of prairie, mesas, mountains, and sage. We’ve visited them since moving here, and they seem envious of us now.
Politically speaking, there are really only two liberal left-leaning places in Wyoming– Laramie (University of Wyoming) and Jackson. We’re far enough away from Jackson, which is about an hour north of us, as not to be overly concerned. It’s mostly made up of foreign tourists on vacation to see the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone and “Hollyweirds” from southern California. I do admit that the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone are magnificent, but driving among the tourists stinks.
Yes, it can get very cold. Last winter it got down to about -35 degrees F (without windchill factored in), with snow drifts up to four or five feet in places. However, with proper cold-weather clothing and footwear, a dependable four-wheel drive vehicle (or snow mobile), a good stock-pile of wood, and a blazing wood-stove in the home, it is actually quite nice!
It seems to be easier staying in better physical condition living here. Because of the higher altitude, our red blood cell count has increased, and for any amount of physical exertion, more effort goes into it.
As a family, the best exercise for us has been driving into the mountains and venturing into the woods with a pickup truck and bed-box trailer. Taking a good chainsaw with us, we then begin felling, limbing, and bucking our own firewood. At home, we would then split and stack it. It’s a great family bonding event!
Also, if my Florida-raised wife can handle it, and she’s become enchanted with this place too, then anyone in decent health, with a desire to give it an honest try, could make it as well.
My wife and I are growing tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, sprouts, and onions indoors. In November, we will begin raising cold-weather chickens for eggs (Buff Orpington hens). I’m building a coop and a run this month.
It’s amazing how much can grow well outdoors and in green houses during the warmer months. We continue to add to our long-term food storage, ammo, and other preps.
The public schools are far superior here, compared to where we were before, even though we still have to deal with Common Core :-/ Our teenagers and pre-teens like school here much better.
There are so many outdoor activities to choose from– skiing, ice skating (indoor and outdoor), sledding, snow mobiles, and lake ice fishing in the winter. There is ATV riding, horseback riding, bicycling, and off-road motor biking, hunting, hiking, high country backpacking, and awesome fishing during the warmer months.
Big game hunting is also great exercise! With the proper permit, antelope, mule and white-tail deer, black bear, moose, and elk are the primary game. Under certain conditions, buffalo is also available. There is also plenty of cotton-tail rabbit to hunt.
There are no Lowe’s, Home Depots, Wal-Marts, K-Marts, Target stores, shopping malls, or fast food restaurants within about a 90-minute drive or better. There are, however, a handful of good dine-in restaurants, a few convenient/gas stores, a grocery store, a couple of hardware stores, a saddle shop, a feed store, cowboy clothing outfitters, an outdoor shop, a few bars, a couple of auto repair and tire shops, several Christian churches, and a Subway sandwich shop. It’s just enough civilization.
Oh, and I should mention these important points. Three of the best aspects of living here is there are plenty of natural resources, food (wild game) and clean water, and a lack of people. The population around here is a couple of thousand. We are mostly off the beaten path– a good distance away from any major populations. You don’t have to go far to be completely alone. There are still plenty of good jobs in the oil and gas industry out here. Life for us is good.
All it really takes is a willingness to make a serious change for the better and to decide that the benefits to living here in the American Redoubt is worth the extra effort to make it happen. We found that we don’t have to earn lots of money to afford living here, although the cost of living is slightly higher than what we were used to in Florida. We just had to be willing to place our faith and trust in the Lord, live according to His will, serve others, and we would be blessed. We have thus far been blessed, abundantly.
Please take some time, if you have not already done so, and hearken unto the words of JW Rawles, regarding the American Redoubt. We are convinced that there is truth in his research. If you want to have a better chance of surviving the coming collapse, then maybe you should reflect on where you currently are and where you really should be.
There are many beautiful and bountiful places in the surrounding states of Idaho, Utah, western Colorado, and Montana as well, which are well worth the time to visit.
With the current world climate of Islamic terrorism and an encroaching pandemic, don’t you think being trapped in or near a large city may be hazardous to your health?
I hope this is helpful to those parents and single folks too who are facing the question of whether to stay or go. Please, patriotic Americans are preferred, and be sure to bring along your guns and extra ammo! You’ll be in good company.