Relocating to The Yaak, by L.S.

I could type for hours with stories of Cougars, Grizzly Bears, Wolves, The Elements, and Cantankerous Neighbors. Allow me to introduce myself. I am a resident of Yaak, Montana. It is a tiny little town in the extreme northwest corner of Montana, not far from the Idaho state line. For the most part, I have raised and am raising six children here in these wilds. I have been married for 30 years.

This article focuses on my experiences in the Yaak River Valley–commonly called “The Yaak”–but it encapsulates some truths that are applicable to moving to nearly any rural area in the United States.

We are the exception to the norm. We moved up to the Yaak River Valley in our early 20s and we figured out how to live. Most don’t. Most folks come up here with a lot of “citified” ideas and ideals. They don’t last long. Now, more than ever, it is important to know how to get along with your neighbors.

For years, I stood back and shook my head wondering what people were thinking. After 25 years of homeschooling, my eldest two are now nurses serving our population locally. They have provided us with 6 grandchildren. Three of my children own land in Lincoln County. After working primarily in Emergency Medicine for 25 years, I became a Real Estate Agent. At first, I really questioned why after all those years, feeling fulfilled in Health Care, that I would do such a thing. It hasn’t been long on the job that I realized I am specially tailored to do what a lot of people can’t. I get along with the neighbors. I can go most places in this county helping folks buy and sell which is not the case for many. I understand how we think.

We are living in very precarious times. Now more than ever, getting along with the people down the road or the people next store has become paramount. It doesn’t matter how prepared or well-sourced you are. I don’t care about your skillset or your resources:

“…for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.” Proverbs 27:10B

I’m going to cite some common mistakes that I see people making when they come here. It is my hope that if you are considering relocating to a community like mine, that you can keep some of these ideas in mind and save your self untold frustration. Some of what I am telling you can influence whether or not you make it where you’re going.

“The Retired Leader”

By far, one of the most common mistakes that I see is made by the “Retired Leader”. These are men (and women) who were very successful in business or in other fields. They are ready to retire and move to a rural location. They were respected in their field of service. They are looking for something to do. Some of them weren’t. Some of them are just looking to have “left their mark” and a feeling of accomplishment. Whatever the reason, they are perpetuating the wrong attitude. These are folks who take up important positions on the School Board, The Fire Department, The “Clubs”, The Church. They immediately want to govern us and they want to bring their ideals with them. There is nothing wrong with wanting to serve on boards or help out in the community. It’s the attitude that they perpetuate and the ideals that they slowly want to incorporate. I understand older folks have in them the desire to have left behind a legacy. They are nearing the end of their journey on earth and they want to have left behind worthwhile accomplishments. Some of them have regrets that they didn’t influence their own children differently. These innate desires are not bad. They are good. It’s the execution that causes the problem. Things are not the way they were “back in the day”. What may have worked for you “before” is not what works here.

I would be rich if I had a dollar for every person who moved here and wanted to “guide me” in some direction. The truth is that if you have lived here for any amount of time “making it”, its us who has things to teach you. Please don’t presume that because you have been successful in some area somewhere else, that it gives you the skill set to manage us. Please do not come here with the idea that you are going to change (or educate) us, because you won’t. You might decide to “initiate” citified rules or management, but in the end you won’t be thought of as important. You are setting yourself up to be mocked. These are harsh words, but we are living in harsh times.

“The Isolist”

For some reason, folks who come from a bigger city think that they don’t need to respect (or need good relationships with ) their neighbors. They often times come with the idea that they only want to associate with a certain group. Whether your “group” is church people or those embracing alternative lifestyles, you will not make it here disrespecting others. Again, the people who live here are the ones you need to consider “successful”. Do not reject someone initially because they are of a different belief system than you. In the city you might only associate with them because of business or for purposes of evangelism but here they are your neighbors. Find some common ground with them if you hope to survive. They don’t have to believe like you. You don’t have to believe like them, but don’t blow them off because they are different. Take the time to be respectful regardless of what they drive, how they look like or how they present themselves. First impressions can be a world of trouble for you. If someone presents themself to you in a friendly manner, then do not be rude. If someone talks or looks different from you do not be rude. If someone is rude to you, don’t waste your time getting offended and don’t try overly hard to “work things out”. Give them some space and try again later. Come with the attitude that your survival here is directly related to getting along with them. Let me give you a couple of examples:

1.) A new person purchased some wood from a local mill and didn’t pay all that he owed. He didn’t realize it, but the mill owner told the mechanic who told the laborer who told the store clerk. His direct actions created an effect of proportion which he could not have possibly known. Expect that if you got huffy with one local, ten others might treat you differently because of it. Consider your actions wisely. A tiny bit of money, had a ripple effect that might cost this person for years. In the city, you can easily go someplace else. Going someplace else will cost you a lot of headache here.

2.) Another newbie came in with a Citified attitude. She took things that did not belong to her. She complained about somebody “shooting guns”. For the next month, the neighborhood was angry about what she took. She immediately identified herself as not being one of us by her own actions. In the city, she might think its her right to take things, not so here. Your actions are weighed. The neighbors told each other what she did. For weeks the neighborhood decided to exercise their right to the 2nd Amendment. Would you want this kind of welcome? Probably not. We do not have ordinances here like you do in the city. No policeman is going to magically appear at your doorstep. You darn well better respect the neighborhood you are moving into.

The Groupee

Another almost comical thing that I see is the groupee. They come and immediately want to “join the network”. They think that the network works like it does in the city. For example, if you are a prepper/survivalist, you might show up at an organized prepper/survivalist meeting. These people exert a large amount of effort “trying to locate” their people. When they ask me “where is the group”? I smile and try not to pity them. You are not going to find a special “organized group”, show up for an hour and leave. Many of these people looking for their “group” burned their bridges a very long time ago when they behaved rudely to their neighbors. They didn’t understand the power of community living. You don’t find real devotion and dedication showing up for an hour in an organized militia group or any other kind of meeting. You can try for years, but you will come to the same conclusion after years of trying. If you were decent with your neighbors, then you already have your group. We do not “form groups” like you do in the city. Our people do not operate like yours do. Our people have real depth. Expecting to organize us for an hour and not actually taking the time to get to know us is a very big mistake on your part.

Some Good Tips:

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Pr 18:24

– “Showing yourself friendly” is a policy for me. Make some effort on your own part. Go in with the attitude that you are going to have to “sow” more than what you are getting from somebody else. Help an elderly person stack their firewood (not looking for anything in return). Loan out a tool and give somebody the benefit of the doubt. Give a heartfelt compliment of something good about the person (even if you have ten other criticisms going on on your head). Start putting good deeds into motion. Expect nothing in return. Let your behavior be known for good. Make effort when you have nothing to gain by it. Nobody has to be nice or good to you just because you’re you.

– Do not underestimate us. Remember that we have lived here for a long time. We don’t have the same need for appearances that you do. We aren’t competing with each other. We don’t go into a lot of debt showing off. We have a strong sense of comradery. If you pick a fight with one of us, you have summoned us all. Come with an attitude of humility. Respect that we have figured out how to live here with less income and less resources than you. We are a powerful force because we are one, despite our differences in politics, economic status or religion. There is no rule telling us we have to be nice to you. Its you who have to be nice to us.

– Ask God to show you a different perspective.
1 Cor 19-22 ” For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

Sometimes, adapting a different perspective is critical to your making it here. The Word of God tells us that we are all “right in our own eyes”. You might have a great case of why you are right. It really doesn’t matter. In the end, you’re wrong because you couldn’t get along with the people around you and it could cost you dearly. Every day, I ask God to show me how to love people more. The more that I do this, the more I see less of what I want and the more enabled I become to follow the thought patterns of others. Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re right. Find common ground with the people around you because you are standing on it. Do not think like a city person, train yourself to think like us and you will find what you are looking for, survival.


  1. Being a life long resident of the redoubt I have always been intrigued with the Yaak. I have heard that it is pretty difficult to make it there, That if the winters dont do you in, the remoteness will, So I suspect the turnover rate is pretty high there. When I lived in Coeur D’ Alene back in the 80’s I always wanted to move there. But I had more youth than money back then. You definitely have to have a steady income stream to live there. I have much respect for anyone who has made it their home.

  2. I love your story and couldn’t agree with you more. When I convinced my wife to “retire” to the country a couple of years ago my first words of advice was to remember that country folks don’t forget and to weigh hers words and actions appropriately. Now she told me I might as well dig a hole somewhere in the back woods because she is never going to leave-she absolutely loves it here. She was a urban girl her whole life but has adjusted quite well. The folks here accept us because we accept them and show them respect-in return they show us the same.


    Excellent article L.S., thank you for sharing your wisdom. I am a conservative Christian who has been considering relocating to the American Redoubt ever since JWR began publishing this blog. I currently live in a suburb of a large city in a blue state, and the current state of affairs in our nation has accelerated my plans for relocation to a red state. I have of course read Skousen’s Strategic Relocation, and have been studying national demographics, topographical and election maps to try and get a better understanding of the migration of peoples within the United States and attempt to determine where I should move.

    I appreciate the advice of L.S. in this article and will take it to heart, but I must ask, what if the Redoubt is overrun by incoming waves of people that are hostile to conservative Jews and Christians? Then what? No amount of good neighboring skills will stop unhinged Leftist zombies whose minds are completely destroyed, and who support the purge of conservatives. The cities are burning and the violence is escalating. We are no longer talking about simple differences of opinion…we are reaching an intensity level approaching that of 1917 Russia. There is a real possiblity of a Revolutionary Commmunist overthrow or a Yugoslavian-style breakup of the United States, and people need to get where they are going quickly before it is too late in order to survive or try and make a last stand witin communities of like-minded people.

    I have read in several articles and blogs over the last several years that people leaving California have been flooding into Montana and Idaho, and bring with them their Leftist ideology and lifestyles. This is very disheartening as I had often imagined that the American Redoubt was almost a ‘Promised Land’ for conservative Jews and Christians.

    I have been told that Montana is turning purple, and this for me will be a deal-breaker. Northern Idaho has Leftists trickling in and taking positions of power in local government. JJS of Radio Free Redoubt has reported that the leftist mayor of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho reprimanded armed Patriots who were patrolling the downtown area to prevent its potential destruction by Antifa/BLM elements that were rumored to be massing just accross the state line in Spokane. The mayor of Boise recently quipped how he might build a wall to keep out the Californians!

    I am moving to survive the coming political purge of conservatives. To find an area where like minded Americans could potentially make a final stand against oppression and possible annihilation. If Montana and Idaho are being flooded by incoming Leftists and the local government, house and senate and gubernatorial seats turn blue, it simply means more oppression of freedom and second amendment rights. What then?

    Can anyone reading here who currently lives in the Redoubt, including JWR (whom I admire greatly), please share their thoughts and any personal experience regarding the migration of Leftists to the Redoubt, and whether the Redoubt is destined to share the same fate as now-blue Colorado?

    And if not the Redoubt, then where else in America?

    Please share your personal thoughts and recommendations. Links to articles, factual and statistical analyses would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and consideration, and may you and your family find safety in the coming tribulations.

    1. @ Joe

      Same issue here in VT. It’s been getting worse and is now full speed ahead since Covid and the riots(sorry, peaceful protests) have freaked out the folks in NYC, NJ, etc so they are all snapping up homes and land up here, driving up the prices and having bidding wars. They see VT as a place of refuge as our virus numbers are low and so far the few “protests” have been peaceful. I doubt many(if any) are conservative folks as VT has gained a well deserved reputation for being the east coast CA so they feel comfortable here with this. Sad. And then they will try to change it even more to be just like what they left.

      1. mama bear, I think some clarification is needed. Northeastern Arizona is the ‘rez’ – the Navaho Reservation covers nearly a fifth of the state.
        Could you have meant the Eagar, St Johns, Show Low area?
        That area is on the eastern side of the state; looking at a road atlas, it’s mid-state, far east, if that makes sense to Joe.

    2. Hi Joe,
      The redoubt shouldnt be seen as some magical conservative place where unicorns graze on the tender shoots of rainbows. But what we do have is a larger population of freedom minded people. Thats not to say liberal politics aren’t here. We have them, but its just not as far advanced as it is in well entrenched, well established blue cities and states.. Liberalism doesn’t raise it’s ugly head here, instead it is presented in a subtle way, for instance democrat politicians in my area wont stamp their tv commercials with ” paid for by Democrats for congress” they are sneaky and chose instead to promote some issue like an environmental cause like save the wolves that needs to be solved or some social issue like expanded bus service in Spokane that requires you to agree to higher taxes… or the tricities where a newly elected city council member from Seattle wants to explorer the idea of making the application process take longer for a conceal carry license.. they never come right out and boldly say something because they will get voted out, instead they creep it in..The overwhelming majority of people in the cities in the redoubt are conservative and keep them in check, but still understand that new Schools need to be built, and roads need to be maintained, so a bit of liberalism is needed to get it done…The problem is they never stop at just a little, they are never satisfied.. also the cities arent as big.. Spokane is the largest, its has its share of problems, but nothing like blue cities.

      Also there is secession being talked about openly.. there is a rift that has developed between the Eastside and Westside with many wanting to merge with Idaho.. Eastern Washington Looks favorably on Idaho, particularly Southeastern Washington, as does Eastern Oregon

      When you get out into the country is where you see the hard core dont tread on me crowd… I love these guys, But have a heck of a time making a living where the population is sparse. But if you can make a living without a city like Spokane/ CDA area, or tricities, then by all means move to the country here. It’s all God, Guns,and family. The area where JWR used for his book ” patriots” is ironically a liberal county ( Latah county) and If im not mistaken they vote Blue, but are surrounded by red counties. Still, Idahos Liberals are probably on par with Eastern blue states conservatives.. so i suppose tolerable for a few more years. I could blather on about the redoubt, but ill just end by saying, if something were too happen, and a CW2 were too erupt, or something along those lines.. I wouldnt want to be anywhere else.

      1. The 2 largest cities in Nebraska are turning purple and account for half the state’s population. Riots after GF incident turned violent. Western parts pretty conservative and are blessed by the Ogallala aquifer. Is Wyoming being affected by Jackson Hole liberals? I always thought it was pretty libertarian.

        If I didn’t have my heart set on NW Wisconsin, I would return to western Nebraska to retire.

        1. That may be…one of the downsides of a more rural state is that it sure doesn’t take a ton of migration to change the politics. If Denver pours into Omaha, it can change things fast.

          My friends in Wyoming tell me that the west coast wave is starting to reach them (but not nearly as bad as Idaho or Montana). Probably still a good destination.

          Maybe the best plan isn’t to expect a state to remain conservative or libertarian, but to find an off the beaten path enclave that is. (I’m pretty new to this site, don’t know if this has been addressed already.) God bless on your plans in WI, I’ve always liked that state.

          1. @ Millennial

            Yes, there are enclaves that are more conservative, even in lefty states like mine, but the problem is that the state legislature that makes all the new laws will be controlled by the leftists and even in your conservative enclave you will be subject to the same laws. Thus my state, which is controlled by the leftist dominated Chittenden Co plus Montpelier, passed a law to limit magazine sizes, ban private gun sales etc which was then signed by our RINO governor. And if your leftist legislature wants to welcome illegals, create sanctuary cities for illegals, provide a way for illegals to obtain benefits, etc., this will impact the entire state. So while it’s not as bad as living in a state entirely dominated by leftists, it still reaches into every nook and cranny.

  4. This article should be published in every media outlet in the country, especially cities.
    Most newbies I meet do not act wisely and are literally obnoxious. Imo, life in the Redoubt is changing to the negative because these people are bringing a different world view with them. Just like the Israelites, they could not leave Egyptian influence behind them on the other side of the Red Sea.

    1. @ GWH

      “Just like the Israelites, they could not leave Egyptian influence behind them on the other side of the Red Sea.” How true an analogy. Hmmmm. Is there some place we can make them chill for 40 years before they get to set foot in the Redoubt (or VT) ! 😉

  5. I think that your observations are true for many rural locales; they are certainly true where I live. I know that when I moved to the town where I built my farm, I didn’t try to get involved with any local government stuff for years and didn’t say anything at town meeting for quite some time; I just listened and learned. I didn’t get involved til people had grown to know(and trust) me and I was asked to take on some responsibilities in town. I always hated it when people would move here from the city and insist that we weren’t doing it right or it’s not like this where they came from etc.

    I still recall(not fondly) one gal who moved to a very small city here and was incensed that we were so boringly white and that we didn’t have co-working places for her to sit on her laptop til all hours of the night! I suggested maybe she’d be happier back where she came from. She did leave. Bye!

  6. Fantastic article. If only everyone would read carefully and follow the wisdom in it. We are seeing an influx of many previously city people. There is a large learning curve and this author has given extremely good advice on how to start learning it.

    1. @Buck, yup…walk through my neighborhood in TX and the California/Massachusetts/New York plates nearly outnumber Texas plates. I don’t mind them coming, I just wish they would be more respectful of the long-standing community they’re entering.

    2. Hi Buck,

      We are not quite totally flipped here in Texas, but every major city is a leftist haunt. We live outside one of those leftist cities. We are thinking about moving further out, but some health issues make us wonder if it will be possible, because of the sheer work involved. It is sad to see the leftists keep moving in, as we used to be solidly red. We were so fortunate in 2018 that Ted Cruz won his re-election instead of the communist bozo, Beto O’Rourke. We used to live in east Texas and it was solidly red. The rural areas are mostly red still, thank the Lord.

  7. I understand what the author is saying about land , real estate prices going out of sight ( this happened here when Citibank came to town many yrs ago ) and as far as getting alone with people , in my youth I watched the popular guys and how they acted and what hey did and I tried doing the same and I was put down more times than I can remember. So I went the other way and kind of , sort of, made fun of myself, just trying to get along with people and I still got criticized for it. So for the last 30 plus yrs, I’ve bent over backwards just trying to get along with people, going with the flow ( so to speak ) and do my job, and I still got criticized for it. So no mater what a person does, some body, some where will jump on you for doing what you know is right. Sorry, just had to get up on my soap box, gotta get off of it, it is getting pretty shaky now. PS, I’m taking flying lessons now at age 73, hope to solo in the next few weeks, wish me luck.

    1. Alfie,

      Good for you with your flying lessons and going solo shortly. That sounds like a barrel of fun and I’m jealous! HaHa! May God richly bless you on that solo flight. Enjoy the views!

  8. This article resonates in Slower Lower Delaware. People moving from the Northeast and other urban areas try to impose their way of life on the communities in which they move into. Unfortunately, if there are enough like-minded people, (usually other recent transplants), it does happen.

  9. “If you were decent with your neighbors, then you already have your group.”

    Very true. If you really want to make a difference, you can’t just engage with your community on the one or two issues you care about, and ignore them the rest of the time.

  10. One caveat, in a small community, do NOT complain about so and so for any reason, simply because the person you are complaining to is so and so’s cousin, uncle or friend, and the next time you need a plumber, electrician, fence builder, car mechanic, you will be screwed. Remember in a small community there may be only one plumber, one electrician, one car mechanic and if it’s fishing or hunting season, be prepared to wait. Also, for some reason small community dwellers are either shy or a little stand-offish, I have had to make the first move every time by going across the road when I see them at their mailbox, and introducing myself etc.

  11. I certainly agree with the author….very insightful. There is one item which makes me wish I had moved back to SW Virginia, where I once had a small farmette. After 28 years of knowing about and practicing ALWAYS being the outsider, I have lost several good local friends due to passing and the one remaining “local leader” is a butt of a tyrant who bullies everyone in sight…yes 6 generation locals too.

    I’m very elderly and can’t change much now. During 32 years of military, I never had this dispicable of a neighbor. But he grins a lot and is the head deacon so it must be me, right? My point is: If you’ve done your best to be a “real Christian” and not the “Sunday type”, continue the ways you know are right, and hope for the best your last few years

  12. I miss the Yaak, and that area of Montana; live in Alaska now and as much as I love Alaska, the Montana blood is still in my veins. Wonderful article, well written, and very accurate. May God richly bless you.

  13. It’s coming and there is really no escape. I live in a small town in Wyoming where we have a public fishing hole which has a walking trail leading up to it and around it, yesterday I took my dogs down for a little swim and a walk and then headed back to my vehicle in a parking area, then I sat down on a bench before leaving, and a deputy pulled up and made small talk and then mentioned I was wearing a gun, which I acknowledged. He said I wish everyone carried, but he said he had to make contact because a tourist had called, and said someone was down by the pond wearing a gun. I really don’t think it was a tourist because there was a woman leaving the parking area in a new Tacoma with our county # on her tags, I believe she was new to the area because I had never seen her or her vehicle before. New people are buying up lots and land like crazy in our surrounding area, sure realtors love it, but change is a coming, and not for the good . Trekker Out

      1. Me, too, AL. Nazis are everywhere.
        I had a very unpleasant ‘encounter’ with one, who didn’t like me going w/o a mask, at a store in Phoenix. She had been standing outside, and watched me go in. This was in the early days of mask wearing. She ran inside the store yelling, “I need a manager! I need a manager!” Eventually the manager came up to me saying they required a mask, and wanted no part of me, telling him about the state exemptions.
        I was very disheartened at this whole episode as it showed me what we’re up against, on a small scale.

    1. It’s Wyoming for Pete’s sake!

      (I thought everyone carried there, lol.)

      This story filled me with sadness and exasperation, as did L.S.’s mentioning the Yaak lady that complained about shooting noise.

      When my folks had a ranch, a lady built a house right up near the fence line, and then would call and complain whenever they were burning. Ugh.

      I want to move as far away from these type of people as possible.

      I thought for sure the Yaak and Wyoming would have normal people. Soooo sad.

      How about a vote on new county signage?

      “We own guns here.
      We wear guns here.
      We even shoot guns here.

      If you do not feel comfortable, please leave.”

    2. Reminds me of living on the front range of Colorado…….we had a full bore socialist move into a very rural neighborhood by me and during one of our group automatic shooting sessions the neighbor reported us to the sheriff’s office for setting off fireworks…the deputy Who responded and checked us out got a laugh when he saw we were shooting machine guns which was legal and not fireworks which was illegal. We even let him shoot a Thompson machine gun which he was smiling from ear to ear when he left He went back and told these liberals we were within our right to have and shoot machine guns, the neighbor stayed about a year and moved back to Chicago.

  14. I don’t know anything about the Yaak, or any other place in the Redoubt for that matter. I’m a curmudgeonly Southerner, through and through. But this piece resonates for anywhere rural.
    It makes me think of how it was when I was growing up. I was taught that respect was always to be given as a right, until the person you were dealing with proved otherwise. That’s not to say we weren’t judgemental- God knows no one is as judgemental as a Southerner. We just generally kept it amongst ourselves. It was polite that way…Color didn’t matter by the way, at least to most of the people I knew. After de-segregation hit my area (’68), my best, and most remembered, teachers were black (Ms. Hooks and Mr. Grady, you still have my respect).
    When I was growing up, people who relocated from elsewhere were always viewed as oddities (As in, “Why the hell did you move here of all places?”), to be tolerated until they learned our ways. Until they became “galvanized” as my old daddy used to say. Actually what he said was, “Son, there are three types of Yankees- Yankees, galvanzed Yankees, and Damned Yankees.” When I asked him what that meant, I remember he said “Yankees are fine, they live there, we live here. A galvanized Yank are one of those Yanks that decided to come South for what ever reason- and they learned to fit in. So they’re almost one of us. And then there’s those damned Yankees, the one’s that don’t live here but think they know what’s right for us.” (FYI- for most older Southerners, that, not slavery as is taught today, was the root cause of the Civil War).
    If those transplanted Yanks never learned, they were tolerated, but remained “special” at best, or excluded and isolated worst (See Damned Yankees above).
    As a community, we never much cared for people telling us how to live.
    In many ways now the South has changed, even in the rural parts. It’s not quite that way anymore. I some ways I wish it still was. (Personally, I blame Atlanta-lol), But I’m glad that lives on in places like the Yaak. Makes me want to visit, though I could never live there- too damn cold.

    1. RB in GA I chuckled when I read your post. I was born and bred in the West, but all of my kin on both sides are from the areas of Texas, MO, Arkansas, & Oklahoma And all of them had come to those places from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Virginia and Florida (before they were invaded by Yankees). In fact the west owes a lot of settlement to displaced Southerners after the war and if you know anything about Southern culture you can see it’s what the culture here in the West was built on. I now live in Idaho, in a little valley that is almost a step back in time. It’s good to have neighbors that have your back.

      IMO there is no place to run to anymore, the enemy is everywhere and more are coming.
      Prepare to defend your culture. Stack your beans and bullets deep.

  15. Yep-We often give ourselves mercy and judge others harshly. I’m to the point in my own life that God has fully revealed all things… The harshness which I used to take out on others has disappeared. Hopefully humility is increasing and pride is disappearing (personal goal). Lord, teach us how to truly love like You!!!

    Your essay is a great contrast between true biblical community and communism (arrogant, coercive pseudo leaders).

    The real legalism danger in USA is left-wing and (because it’s sourced in supposed historical injustice + bitterness)- dictionary definition of a hate group. However guarding against legalism and hypocrisy is mentioned in the NT.

    Marxists and antifa are far more dangerous and aggressive than any right wing hypocrites—One of my siblings became a Trump supporter because he saw the hate of the Obama supporters. Chief among those leftists of them was a Texas university UT professor… Who stiffed him for almost $10,000 using liberal illogic (She claimed to have been abused like Christina blasé Ford—She use that as the way to not pay him for his contract). My siblings have seen the logic of downsizing and buying rural property in little towns of 200 or 300 people.

    Marxism is an excuse ridden sickness as a means of defrauding our neighborhoods and towns. They take no responsibility for their personal character defects—Rather it’s Fabianism… They wear you down by continually attacking good people to deflect attention from their own sinfulness. And when you tell people they are wrong …They attack you all the more. Mystery of lawlessness= left wing, Marxism.

    Having said that we also don’t want to be guilty of responding to them with hate as ambassadors for Christ. Defending one’s family, life and property is part of the biblical love of God.

    Too many people embrace a martyr mentality (Because they actually haven’t known or lived around the TRUE martyrs)— Once you been around the real Christians getting persecuted (Andrew Brunson) and their property and family abused for their faith… You never forget them. At least i didn’t.

    Epic post, thanks for sharing. You set off a rant in me thanks (born in Western MT!)

    Stay away from Whitefish, that once humble little town is gone… citified, swallowed by hubris. That’s why everyone in the state of Montana notes “My gosh the Flathead Valley is beautiful but Fish is off the deep end”. There once was love and community in Whitefish… but not anymore. The people running the town are from Salt Lake City and San Francisco and they fled the cities… now exporting their junkie lifestyle, hard/fast city values.

    Try Thompson Falls …Plains or the Yaak. Do it patiently.

    1. John, yours too is a wonderful post.
      I love this forum! so many terrific people contributing, and so much is valid. Thanks to all for ‘piping up’ – you are appreciated. 🙂

  16. About a decade ago I left the biggest northeast city to a very rural New England town. I joined the local rescue squad and for the most part have been accepted. There are a lot of liberals here due to the local college who are very vocal. The conservatives tend to be quiet about their thoughts so it seems very one-sided. Reality isn’t quite the way it appears.
    Pretty much everyone here has firearms. I suspect that violence is going to erupt pretty much everywhere, the only question will be how much to the extreme for each locality. The divide is too great, and the hatred and bitterness too deep. I have come to the conclusion that a violent communist revolution has already begun, and there really is no place left to run. Some areas will see more violence and destruction than others, but fathers and sons will be on opposing sides as will neighbor versus neighbor. There will be no sitting this one out. Pray and hold firmly to your faith. This fight is not about left or right, rich or poor, but ultimately is about good and evil. Prepare accordingly.

  17. Those towns are drifting over the edge as well John, along with the rest of western Montana. Promotion of the “Redoubt” has backfired. A person employed with a state agency told me of a new guy who moved to a certain place in western Montana and in less than a week had “reported” all his neighbors (who have living there for decades) to state agencies to make sure they had obtained all “necessary permits”. Most of which we do not have. Things get rough, that guy will get NO help from neighbors.

  18. Great article. Thanks for writing this. Montana is a great state where your glasses can freeze to your face.

    I moved to Montana, after some Army experience, for the lifestyle and in search of a Montana wife.

    PTL I found her, and on our second date told her she was who I wanted to marry.

    Just because we know something is not always the justification for sharing that information upon its realization. That awareness didn’t come to her for quite awhile afterwards. Lesson learned.

    By the grace of God Almighty, she continued dating me and we now are still married despite the Sign of Mount Saint Helen’s blowing up a few weeks before our wedding.

    Good advice to let your actions speak and keep your words silent in a new location.

    I moved to Idaho not quite 2 years ago. I came with the idea that I would enjoy my freedom and respect the Locals. As the article described, I was a former “successful city” person, but I know quite a few like myself who have no desire to ever tell anyone what to do ever again. I think that’s called burn out. In fact, there are many CA transplants where I live. Most of my neighbors are ex-Cali folks. They remember when Cali was a conservative state – I know – hard to believe but true. They are so thrilled to be living without the high taxes and ridiculous energy and housing costs. Most people are respectful and helpful. Not everyone agrees in regards to religion, but most everyone agrees in regards to freedom, property rights, and the 2nd Amendment.

    People have been very friendly to me, but I’ve been quiet and observant so that I understand the culture. I seek to not disrupt anyone’s way of life, only to live my own life as I see fit. The transplants have brought a lot of money into the area and have created a lot of jobs. There are help wanted signs all over due to the increased need. The town people realized that, and have thankfully embraced the transplants and the increased business they bring.

    And it’s very true, as the author mentioned, don’t piss ANYONE off early on. There may be only one electrician for hire in your county. The county I live in is over 1200 square miles. You’ll have to wait *patiently* rather than rage about “the schedule”. You have to be fairly self-sufficient and leave any attitude of entitlement and demands at the state line. Patience. Kindness. Thoughtfulness. Friendliness. Buy a used 4 wheel drive truck and dress down. No one competes like they do in the big city. Competitiveness is frowned upon as a form of arrogance. Trades people can be booked a year in advance, as I found out early spring this year. LOL. Plan accordingly. Don’t flash money around. Just don’t. Many people in my area, one of the poorest counties in the state, have never seen the kind of money city folk have. Always pay your bills in full on time. Always tip. Don’t brag about what you used to do for a living – no one cares, honestly, that you were the Director of Such and Such.

    The Locals will assess you from a distance for quite some time before offering an olive branch. I waited quietly and smiled a lot. I have several neighbors who now tell me “if you need anything, just call”. I love it here and hope I can live here until I meet my Maker.

  20. We moved a decade ago into our present location in a quasi blue state. However, we have built relationships and go to a Bible believing church that has a radio outreach that tells of God’s Word to over 80 cities. And our church is small about 40 people. This is where God wants us to be.

    Anyway, we could leave to feel safer in a Red State but I think people need to take a stand where The Lord has placed you. My purpose is to shine Christ’s love to the people where I live now.

    And seeing what’s coming, who wants to be a newbie or the “Outsider” in an area that no one knows you. I doubt serious one has years to developed serious friendships.
    Just my 2 cents from an old gray haired Christian.

    1. Bloom where you are planted, because “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind.” 2 nd Timothy 1:7
      In our large rural county in Idaho (93 % federal land) we have many transplants, including many retired U S Forest Service and other retired federal employees. Most have seemed to adapt, but those that haven’t make this 81 year old guy look longingly to history, examining records of application of a bucket of tar and a gunny sack of feathers.

  21. A lot to digest here…the main article and all the comments. Good people have taken time to give their opinions. Glad to see they are concerned. Hopefully all are worried enough to vote, and to encourage all friends and family to do same.
    That’s what it is going to take to keep what you have and get back what you may have lost, or what seems to be slipping away. If you are serious, you must fight from this moment on, and don’t even think of letting up.
    I resided in the country or in a small community until a few years ago. Democratic communities and a county with liberals as hard as nails, with no Conservatives ever even running for office. I had to run as a Democrat and was elected for 25+ years as a law enforcement officer. After retirement I worked overseas for DOS/DOD for more than two years, meeting many other contractors and military personnel with similar stories.
    Two years later the county elected a Republican Sheriff, a Republican Associate Circuit Court Judge, and at least one Circuit Court Judge switched from the lib side to Republican.
    The county now has elected it’s second Republican Sheriff.
    This is what can be done if we work hard at it. It takes elbow grease, not just talking. The communist wave can be stopped and must be stopped.
    We see what they are capable of and they cannot be allowed to move in and take over the Redoubt.
    They can be voted out before they get a grip.

  22. Excellent article and so true. For years here in the Idaho panhandle we’ve seen several rounds of newcomers and about half only make it a couple of years before high tailing it back to the suburbs.

    I have found that it’s easy to spot the ones that will leave: “people here are sooo stupid” while the ones that will make it say: “I’ve learned sooo much since I came.”

    1. I’ve observed the same thing. The other key factor is that the conservatives that have large families, while the liberals have few or NO kids. So the problem with liberals will mainly solve itself. Demographics are destiny, and the liberlas have destined themselves to lose.

  23. Hey L.S., great article, lots of excellent points. I should print a copy and drop it into my new neighbor’s mailbox one night… 🙂

    I’ve lived in one small town where the neighbors are falling over each other to welcome my family to the neighborhood, and other towns where they are bashful as someone already mentioned. In those situations, it’s quicker to knock on THEIR door with a jar of jam and introduce yourself. Word will get around quickly about what a cool new neighbor you are.

    The best advice I’d offer people moving to another state is to re-register your car as soon as you close on the property so when you are moving in, the locals won’t know you are from another state. And more importantly, get rid of your cell phone number and get one with the local area code! Keep both phones while your old friends are transitioning over to your new number but never under any circumstances give your old phone number to any locals. Let them think you are moving in from the next county over.

    If you’re from somewhere they won’t appreciate (like CA, NY, etc) then when they ask where you’re from, there’s only one appropriate answer: “Nowhere near as nice as this place.” And lay off all the “When I lived in…” stories! When the locals hear them the only thing they’re thinking is, “So if it was so great, why don’t you go back where you came from and leave us alone?”

    And last, wave and smile at everybody who drives past your place. When you pass people on the road, observe how people are waving and do the same. The last small town I lived in the wave was just a single finger lifted off the steering wheel. (No, not that one!) In my current location, it’s four fingers with the thumb holding the steering wheel. Watch how the locals wave and do the same. City Slickers have no idea what the wave is so if you don’t do it, you’ll immediately set yourself off as an outsider.

    My 2¢.

    1. St. Funogas
      Excellent post. I grew up in Wisconsin where in winter I walked over our neighbors car since the snow was drifted so deep. You have to rely on your neighbors cause you can’t be awake 24/7. I really hope my son and grandchildren are able to live in the life I had.

  24. I currently live in a red California county. I considered moving to the redoubt many times in the past because of the laws being passed in this state, but I could never really pull it together. However, since covid and riots, real estate in the redoubt has skyrocketed, making it beyond my means. My new plan is to stay put for a couple years and wait until some of the new redoubt residents “impulse buyers” realize what real winter is, decide they made a mistake and look to relocate to Arizona, etc. I will then find a decent deal and retire there. In any case, where I currently live is just as conservative as anywhere in the redoubt. So it makes the stupid laws this state passes just a tiny bit more tolerable.

  25. Great information in this article.

    Living somewhere new? Spouse has lived within 2 miles of his birthplace all but one year of his life. That one year was 10 miles into town. We moved out near the birthplace one year after being married. I wouldn’t dare move back to town. Would love to live in the boondocks, but I don’t a 500 grand to drop on 100 acres! We’ve been contacted by developers and investors (3 of us) 3 times over the past two weeks for our property. Someone is wanting land bad!

    Because of all that is around where I live, I can’t say we’ve been overrun by libs, we have people from everywhere in the country and beyond. Their influence is overwhelming. Unfortunately we look upon the politicians as crooks around here. Lining their pockets is their main goal.

    As far as living in perilous times, I agree 100% that we are. I started reading this article this morning, and pulled up YouTube for a “How to” video, then the feed started showing protests in Leipzig, Germany and Paris, France around the same time. To top it off, there are still riots and looting around the USA. Crazy! The world has gone plum crazy! I looked at the ethnicity and age of the protestors, interesting enough, they were mostly young caucasian men. Very organized. It makes one wonder who is orchestrating all this for Satan.

    I pray not only for my community and country, but the world. Yes, there is a battle of good vs evil that is getting closer to all out war everyday. May God have mercy on us.

    The best that we can do while prepping for ourselves, is witnessing to the lost every chance we get. The more we present Christ to a lost and dying world, the more others have the chance to accept Him as Savior and Lord.

    My plan for my own growth…work my butt off spiritually, physically, and mentally. Learn all I can from SB and all the great contributors, and pass that info on to my family and friends that are like minded and hint to the non-like minded.

    Be vigilant. Be prepared.

  26. As a bit of history, the US Air Force at one time had a radar site near Yaak, MT. The various radar transmitters were located up on top of Hensley Hill. A small cluster of buildings with a barracks, chow hall, and Squadron headquarters were located down below near the town of Yaak. The radar site was used to track aircraft and was active in the 1950’s. Within ten years bigger and longer range radars eliminated the need for all the small radar sites. Yaak AFS (Air Force Station) closed in 1960. There is nothing left on top of Hensley Hill, but I don’t know about the other buildings near town.

  27. One of my neighbors here in the city decided to build a country retreat. Built a nice little cabin put a good lock on the front door went back to the city. On his next visit he found the cabin broken into.

    Fixed the lock and tried to fortify it a little better .Spent some time up there and again came back to the city. On his next visit once again the cabin been broken into.

    He put a steel door and steel shutters on the cabin hoping this would stop the burglaries. The next time he went up his “neighbors” had burnt the cabin to the ground.

    Apparently the locals believed you should leave your property open so they can use it at their leisure. Their vindictiveness had cost this man many many thousands of dollars.

    So don’t worry about this city boy. You can have the woods all to yourself. I’ll stay here in the city where it’s safe 😉

    1. Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

      In the parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37 Jesus explains among other things whom our neighbor is.

      Sin is everywhere. Even in rural areas, but maybe just a little less concentrated. For some reason people think their area would be heaven If only those new people wouldn’t have moved in. Meanwhile there was trouble with the “locals” all along. Everyone needs a scapegoat. It helps us ignore our own sin. Reminds me of Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  28. Folks

    You cannot run and hide from the situation we are in.

    Stand and Fight

    You might be surprised how many of your current neighbors join you, if you show some leadership.

    The Rat

  29. This article really fits the situation my wife and I are in. We live in rural W.PA and we’ve desired to move west for many years. Somewhere we can enjoy the wilderness but still have access to a modern hospital if needed. Honestly I am deeply concerned for our country and want to move where being a Conservative Christian and believer in our Constitution doesn’t put us in the minority. The North East isn’t it! A solidly red state for years to come. I am 55 and want to enjoy my last years , not worry about encroachment of leftists. I grew up in the 70’s when neighbors helped each other. Its different here, we are outsiders. Moved here in 2003 when I retired from the military. Its been tough, you got skills but people hire based more on who ya know it seems. I have accrued a whole month of vacation time and plan next year to drive to Wyoming and back to look for a place that will work for us. Maybe checkout MN. One son is awaiting PCS orders ,hoping for a western state so he can do some of the legwork. Then I can work in a visit too. Our house here I feel will sell fast when the time comes. Everything contingent on severity of things this fall. I sure don’t want to ride out a Depression or worse here.

  30. Some good advice and all true. Here is some more. When you pick your area find out which cafe, coffee shop, feed store wood stove, or senior center the real leaders of your potential new home hangout. Go introduce yourself and ask for advice. Tell them why you want to move to their town or surrounding area. Ask smart questions like water table, soil issues, problems to consider before buying and if there is any properties to avoid. Do not be in a rush. Plan on staying in the area or returning several times. Tell locals you just want to confirm what the realtors are telling you. Appreciate their time and buy the coffee. Let them consider how helpful they want to be. Land is sometimes made available when owners think you would be good as neighbors, co-workers, employers, or friends. Most of the best properties are sold word of mouth and with a handshake in my area. People care who lives in the home they built and loved or were raised in.

    When you move to a rural area and pay too much you raise taxes on everyone surrounding you. When you move to a rural area and are surprised to find out why a property you purchased has been on the market for 300 days you show yourself a fool.

  31. I live in eastern Idaho (39 years). Houses are selling very shortly after being listed for above asking price. The people moving in are from all points of the compass. I hope very few are liberal, though I have noticed a few Bidden/Harris yard signs.
    Rumor has it that Black Lives Matter/antifa has set up a training camp outside of Victor, ID. Firearms and maneuver training. If that is true, it will be a game changer. To learn more about antifa and communist plans to go and have your eyes opened.
    Good luck to all.

  32. So true! My father and I were taking a Sunday drive in the rural community I grew up in and where he still lives. As we drove around the countryside, we talked about who lived where, etc. since I haven’t lived in the area for awhile. As we were were deciding where to turn next, my dad says, “Don’t turn there. That’s a lane, where one of those gun-toting conservatives lives.” I laughed. “It’s Iowa,” I said. “Everyone is a gun-toting conservative.” He replied, “No, this guy is one of those end-of-the-world types.” So … everybody knew this guy, but nobody trusted him. He had blown his op-sec on day one, and ruined his chance of relationships. NICE JOB …

  33. I recall a former neighbor…ULTRA Lib. She was from the UK and her husband was from South Africa. They moved into our southern town at the end of our street. We became friends quickly and learned much from them about the many places they had lived and traveled. I always had the feeling we were viewed as bacteria in a petri dish by them, and my attempts at spreading the Gospel and conservative ideas was falling on deaf ears. I suggested they take a trip to the local race track for Saturday night family fun. Her report was so funny: “My God! They had fried pig ears there to eat!!!!”. (Pork rinds…) We had many long discussions on politics and religion, but somehow, our friendship survived in spite of our differences. They moved back west and we didn’t hear from them for many years. She recently reached out to us to report she had embraced Christianity. Never assume your words are falling on deaf ears…
    I recall being met at my truck by a neighbor while we were searching for property on which to build our new home. We played 20 questions, and he was most helpful with filling us in on the area. At the end of our conversation, he pointed to the Jesus fish emblem on the back of my truck and said he really appreciated seeing that and hoped we would buy the property. He is now a trusted neighbor, and we were recently discussing how to defend the area in the event of collapse. I am happy to be with my tribe!

  34. I discovered Mr. Rawles blog in ’08 after reading “Surviving the Coming Collapse.” Read it regularly for years. In ’12 I visited Bovill and other parts of Idaho in the book. I liked what I saw, and started researching Idaho. In ’14 I visited the Coeur d’Alene area based on the location there of a Latin Mass parish, Saint Joan of Arc. Talk about large families! After the second visit, decided to find work and move. At that time I was living in Western Washington and working at Fort Lewis. It took a little over a year, but in September of ’15 started at a new job and rented a room from a fellow parishioner in Cd’A. My wife stayed behind for a year, and I went back every few months to work on the house to sell it. I was able to check out the area and figure out the best location for what I wanted, and areas that looked like would be overrun with development. We got a nice 20 acre place in a rural area. Moving here was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It does take time to get to know the locals, but it’s been my experience here that once they know you aren’t going to try to change Idaho, they get along with you fine.

    Despite the arrival here of lots of folks from the so-called Blue states, it’s still a pretty conservative place, with many people here wearing Trump hats and shirts without any fear of being assaulted.

    Our parish has grown tremendously in five years, with most of the growth coming from out of state people. Of course the PanicDemic has helped, with a lot of new people from Spokane, since we don’t have any socialist distancing nonsense here, and only one or two families wearing the face diaper at Mass. I recently visited family in Rapid City and was disappointed to see a lot more Branch Covidians there than in Idaho. I thought South Dakota was supposed to be more sane than Idaho.

    I highly recommend to anyone considering relocating to a rural or semi-rural area to get a job and rent for a year to be able to best make a good decision about where to buy. The internet is great for research, but nothing beats boots on the ground.

  35. I think it’s very hypocritical for someone not from the area to move into an area and then tell other people who move in to the area how to think and act. And on top of that not to be all that good of a neighbor to others in that area to begin with.

  36. We’re redoubters who escaped from CO. We had the benefit of living in a small town there for many years until hordes of leftists showed up to fix everything. We packed up and left after the mag ban.

    Life up here in North Idaho is much different – for the better.

    First, I’d say the prevailing politics are heavily libertarian rather than what you’d nowadays call “conservative” (aka, RINOs). Think Ron Paul instead of Mitt Romney.

    Second, people are just nice and have great attitudes. We’ve been here 5 years and in all that time, the only rude people we’ve dealt with are newcomers. Everybody makes light-hearted jokes and don’t take things too seriously – except outsiders who want to fix everything.

    I like to say there’s an unusual combination of “mind your own business” with “shirt off your back”. Nobody sticks their nose into your business, but if you need a hand, you’ll get it.

    Even in small town CO, there were “groups”. There were gun groups, prepper groups, heavily polarized political groups. Not so much here. For example, you don’t really have a “gun clique” because everybody here has guns. It’s not a “thing” like it was in CO. You get used to any random person you’re talking to suddenly talking about their AR-15. You get used to talking openly about politics because you’re very unlikely to encounter anyone who disagrees, let alone who will come unhinged and get in your face and scream at you like neo-progressives do.

    Outsiders, especially Californians and now Oregonians, are pouring in. Many of these folks are nice people and fit right in great.

    A heavy majority of these folks are politically compatible.

    However, even of the politically-compatible types, many of them are just jerks. They come here with an attitude and ready to fight. They do look condescendingly towards their neighbors. They drive like jerks (you rarely see tail-gating or horns used here), they let their dogs run wild, some do indeed have the gall to complain about shooting. They bemoan the lack of shopping, expect services to match what they had in their big trendy city. They keep their out of state license plates for YEARS. They leave nasty reviews online for local businesses over nothing, then realize they need that business.

    They don’t realize they lost the big-city anonymity that let them get away with acting like jerks. They end up shunned and isolated, and many (but not enough) end up packing their bags and moving on.

    So, to those who haven’t moved here yet, consider whether you’re fit to live some place where the primary advantage is the ability to get along with like-minded people. If you’re arrogant, a jerk, think your fancy job means you’re better than the guy who pumps your septic, or you vote Democrat, you’d best stay in your big city.

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