The Appalachian Redoubt, by Bethany

Encompassing parts of 13 states from southern New York down through the northern region of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, the Appalachian mountain range offers a Redoubt alternative for those east of the Mississippi. More than just a geographical designation, Appalachia offers some unique cultural aspects that contribute to its potential viability for preparedness living. The “Appalachian Redoubt” has been referenced various survival-minded authors, who mainly focused on the Cumberland Plateau region and the more rugged mountains of North Carolina, primarily geared towards a “bug out” /retreat scenario. I’m going to address the area that I live in — Southeastern Ohio/Eastern Kentucky/Northern West Virginia, from a permanent resident/”bug in” perspective.

As with any location, there are pros and cons to the Appalachian Redoubt, which very often are one and the same. Every cloud has a silver lining.

1. Poverty and a stagnant economy head the list of potential pitfalls. While good paying jobs can still be found, they take some searching for, and an appropriate skill set. It is imperative that you either have secured employment, an independent means of support, such as an internet-based business or telecommute job, or sufficient cash on hand to purchase your property and necessary infrastructure and equipment outright, before finding your dream retreat and moving. You can’t depend on moving and then finding employment. Two of the biggest sectors are prison employment (state governments are fond of dumping their “unwanted” into rural and poorer parts of the state–out of sight, out of mind) and healthcare. Skilled trades such as mechanics, electricians, and plumbers can also find work. There are some opportunities in IT, bio research, and manufacturing, but competition is stiff in these areas. Mining and timber industry employment still exist, but they are the most precarious options for long term employment, and the majority of the jobs are filled via the “good old boy” network- the sons and friends of current employees.

On the upside, economic stagnation means that properties can be found at much lower prices than in more affluent regions.

However, due to the aforementioned poverty, it pays to carefully select your property. There are areas of nicer well-maintained properties scattered among the broken-down mobile homes and tumbledown houses. There are also undeveloped tracts available for extremely low prices. An in-person viewing is imperative. If you plan on relocating from any significant distance, it would be wise to first secure employment/support, take a short-term rental, and then spend a bit of effort looking for your permanent property.

2. Water, water everywhere. Appalachia hosts a plethora of waterways of varying sizes. Rivers, creeks, streams are all within a few miles of anywhere. Properties with creeks or streams on them are common. The average rainfall is close to 50 inches per year. This means available roof area can be guttered and stored in rain barrels for future use, gardening, livestock, the pond stays full, and fishing is close by. It also means some areas are prone to flooding, and bottom lands tend to stay boggy. Another reason to look at potential properties in person, spring is a good time, as it will reveal areas of standing water or wet basements that may be a problem.

Where’s there’s water, there’s trees. The area is a mixture of rolling hills and hollers, flatter bottom lands, with small areas of pasture and crop land intermingled among woods. Pick a place with an acre or two of woods- or an entire hillside full of trees- and you have a steady supply of free firewood for your wood burning stove.

3. Small livestock operations, chickens, rabbits, gardens and fruit orchards are the standard, not the exception. Due to the relatively long growing season and temperate climate, a variety of vegetables, berry bushes, and fruits trees grow easily, providing both ample fresh eating, and an abundance to preserve for the larder. Gardens and orchards yield not only the standard garden vegetables and ubiquitous apples, but melons, berries, cherries, pears, paw paws, along with cold hardy varieties of plums, peaches, apricots, and grapes. You won’t stand out as the weirdo with all the animals and a huge garden that screams “Prepper”, elsewhere. Feeder animals, breeding pairs/trios of whatever species you want, along with equipment, both new and used, are readily available.

The viable grazing season for animals last from early April until the snow covers everything. In early January, our critters are still finding green grasses to munch on, reducing the need for supplemental hay to something for them to munch on at night in the barn. Being able to turn them out to pasture also reduces the amount of straw and bedding needed.

The downside is that everybody has critters, wood, and gardens, or is neighbors or relatives of those who do- and sell the same. Don’t plan on turning your homestead into a viable self-sustaining source of income by selling animals, eggs, wood, or produce. Those that are buying buy from their friends, fellow church members, and extended family; not the strangers that moved in.

4. Proximity to metropolitan areas. This is a double edged sword. While the region has an abundance of rural land, it is uncommon to be further than 60-90 minutes from a metropolitan area. This makes the employment situation somewhat better, if you don’t mind the commute. I personally work 68 miles from where I live. The difference in the pay scale more than outweighs the transportation cost. We have the income of a suburban dweller, with the cheap land and lower tax rates of the rural area, and the ability to produce a large portion of our own needs.

For those worried about defense from the Golden Horde- once off the state highways, the region is a maze of twisting hilly roads, over ridge tops and down hollers. There are houses and building areas on those ridge tops you will not get into or out of when it’s snowy, or muddy. It is quite possible to be well hidden up the hill behind the trees with nothing more than whatever drive you put in to mark your presence. Although our main house is on the gravel road, it’s in the middle of the hollow, with 16 acres of hills and woods with a stream behind it. It also backs up to 10 acres of uninhabited woods, which in turn borders another 10-acre tract. The two are owned by a father and son. We have plenty of “retreat space” on our property, with a large buffer zone on the backside.

5. Minimal to no zoning regulations in rural areas. No permits are required for ponds, sheds, chicken coops, etc. Septic fields are common, as are wells. You can put an outhouse in the woods (staying “downstream” of your underground water/well) and no one will be any the wiser. We put in our own culverts running to a drainage ditch to deal with some water issues, built a chicken coop, and put up storage shelters for both wood and hay, without the pesky need for permits and such. This also explains the “cluster” of homes you will see on the same property. Great-Great Grandpa claimed a chunk of the holler, Junior put a house next to his, and now the great grandkids, and assorted cousins have moved in mobile homes, and passed those around and down. Reason # 999 that viewing potential purchase property in person is a must.

6. Hunting is considered normal. Going hand in hand with this is a strong support for 2nd Amendment rights that exists in the area. Bagging a deer in the fall, or setting up a gun range on your own land won’t alarm the neighbors. (Check state regulations, in our state, you can legally shoot on your own property of 10 acres or more. YMMV in other areas). Deer, squirrel and wild rabbits inhabit the area, and the occasional duck can still be found.

7. Predominately conservative values. While no place is perfect, conservative sentiments run deep in Appalachia. Small churches are prevalent (primarily various forms of Baptist, Pentecostal, although there are scatterings of other Protestant denominations and Catholics within commuting distance). The 2nd Amendment and personal rights are highly respected. This leads to public school still being a viable option. I can only speak to my school district (again, YMMV). The Pledge of Allegiance is still recited every morning. Vo Ag classes are still offered. While the schools are somewhat hampered by federal regulations, the teachers come from the local community, and families that have been here for generations. There are no pro LBGT or trans indoctrination lessons, civics lessons are presented in a factual manner, without overt partisanship. The school nurse does not dispense birth control or abortion advice. Drag Queen story hour has not invaded the public libraries or kindergarten classes. 4-H and FFA clubs abound, the county fair is a summer highlight. If public school is a potential option for you, it’s another reason to choose your property carefully- there are country properties that fall into larger city school districts- something to avoid. I recommend looking for a district located in a very small town, as the majority of students will be from the surrounding rural area.

8. The barter economy is alive and well. As always with barter, it’s a matter of finding somebody who needs what you have, and has what you want. Browsing Craigslist for ads that say “may trade”, or posting your own “willing to trade” is the fastest way to secure large scale barters- we have successfully traded a gun (which we have an excess of) for a wood splitter (which we needed). Small scale barter also exists, but due to the large population of extended families who have lived here and known each other for generations, it takes a while to “break into” the more informal barter system. Your neighbors need to get to know you before they start offering to trade milk for eggs.

9. Boundaries are irregular. Appalachia was claimed, settled, land was handed down, divided up. Combined with a hilly wooded terrain leading people to build in the bottoms rather than on the ridges, this led to nothing being nice and square. Expect to find narrow deep tracts, sometimes coming in odd shapes. Our property is over 16 acres, with a whole 700 feet of road frontage. We can see our neighbors on either side. However, it runs deep, up a couple of hills filled with woods, down the other side to a creek, up another hill to the boundary with the 20 acres behind us. Such topography allows ample hidden space for building alternate structures and “guerrilla” gardening. We have a kitchen garden visible from the road and a couple of apple trees, with a second, larger garden and orchard up the hill in a clearing, and several scatterings of perennials we let go wild among the trees.

10. Thanks to mainstream media, the region has gained a reputation of being a drug-infested haven, with some even going to far as to calling a “big white ghetto”. While the influx of cheap heroin, fentanyl, and prescription drugs has wreaked havoc on the cities and smaller towns, the rural areas are still home to hard working, friendly people. Again, it’s a matter of choosing your property wisely. Look for a property where the neighbors take care of theirs, with appraised values indicative of appreciation. The auditor’s web site is a gold mine of information when it comes to this.

In summary, if the American Redoubt in the Inland Northwest isn’t for you, then take a good look at the Appalachian Redoubt. Secure your means of support, choose your property wisely, and we’ll see ya’ round the holler.




40 Comments

  1. We own property in the southern tier of western New York. The area is everything the article says it is; grade-a firewood, fruits and berries, abundant game and plentiful water. The major drawback is that it’s in New York.
    Poverty in the little towns could be alleviated if the state were to capitalize on the vast oil and gas resources via fracking, but I don’t see that that happening in the short term.
    I commute a ways for my job but it’s more than worth it.

  2. Living in Middle Tennessee on a farm that has been in the family for a century this year, I think this post is an accurate representation of life in this area….however, NEVER underestimate the intelligence and kind personality of anyone. Try to find common ground with everyone. If you are sensitive to being called honey, sweety, or any other southern “terms of endearment” by strangers at Walmart then you might be offended. Personally, I think it’s great.

    1. I agree. Also, a point of common courtesy. My spouse’s family calls me a ‘hillbilly’. Not to my face though. That is one wedge between her and her family, put there by THEM. MY family however tells me that we are “briars”, a much more acceptable term. Don’t call people names if you want to get along with them.

      1. My MIL once said my neck was “just red enough”. She was from NYC, and I’m raised half each in E. Tennessee and DC.

        From my desk, I can see the river my property sits on, and across the river, the ridge where my first ancestor in this area was killed by Cherokee in 1765.

        I’ve planted berry bushes, fruit trees and a garden (I’m an indifferent gardener, finding myself on travel most harvest seasons). There were eight deer in the yard at midnight last night. Ducks and geese on the river, and fish in it.

        So, I’d agree that Appalachia is a reasonable choice for a retreat.

      2. First I consider “redneck” to be a compliment. But when I lived in Ohio they used the word “briar” as an insult for those who came from South of the Ohio river.

  3. We are in north central PA in the northern part of the Appalachians. Moved here about 3 years ago from FL. Yes, winters are a bit harder for us but you adapt. We love it here. First thing we did before moving here was to find a church……best advise I can give! Get to know your neighbors. This article is spot on.

  4. From this excellent article: ~”Two of the biggest sectors are ~>prison employment (state governments are fond of dumping their “unwanted” into rural and poorer parts of the state–out of sight, out of mind) and healthcare.”~
    ***
    From Wikipedia = “California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC) is a male-only state prison located in the city of Lancaster, in Los Angeles County, California. The ~~>only state prison located in the county, …”
    “……. the conversion may “reduce the number of ~>families that will relocateno prisons but accounted for ~>forty percent of California’s state-prison inmates.”
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    Many Big-City Politicians do NOT want convicted criminals released into their districts, because of the recidivism rate of the convicted criminals. When men get out of prison, they will often return home to live with their families. [And often go-back to their old ways]
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    “Progressive waste laws are playing a game of “pass the trash” that falls mostly on poor, rural, minority communities in the South.” [OZY site]

    “In northeast Georgia, Donnie Smith spends slow mornings at his auto shop, watching Netflix and counting the trucks passing by his window. You can hear the 18-wheelers from a mile away, barreling down the picturesque Appalachian countryside as early as 4 am. Hundreds of them carry toxic coal ash and a sterile stench daily to the landfill next door, which leaves residents nervous about drinking the tap water from their otherwise pristine lake.” …

    “You’ll find the same book, just a different verse, in downstate South Carolina, where Uncle Sam and private industry have left the Savannah River with radioactive cesium levels that are among the world’s highest, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. Already saddled with at least $35 million in cleanup costs from now-bankrupt companies, the region’s burden comes with radioactive alligators and disturbingly high cancer rates that shot up by as much as 25 percent in some counties between the 1980s and the 2000s.” … [Lots of Articles are on the Internet like this one. Do the research for your relocation area.]
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    The problem of Toxic Waste Dumping isn’t just down South. … Big-City Politicians dump on rural areas all over the USA. ~ Big Money buys votes in USA politics.

  5. One overwhelmingly HUGE advantage of several parts of the Appalachian redoubt that makes it more sustainable and desirable for survival than any other part of the US, is FREE ENERGY. Yes there is an abundance of coal and wood for heating but I’m talking about Natural Gas. We have an old gas well on our property as does almost every neighbor. These are not big industrial operations, but shallow farm wells that have been drilled here over the last 125 years. Easy to maintain and most will last a couple generations of home/farm energy requirements. When we found our property, mineral rights included, our first big purchase was a 12.5kv natural gas generator. While we do have utility service, I plan on cutting that in the next several years as I build out battery banks with solar and windmill backup. Oh, and my next truck will be a fleet grade gas/natural gas vehicle, and the purchase of used compressor/fueling equipment. SHTF and I can still be driving, taking endless hot showers, running laundry and dishwasher, ECT ECT.. The key takeaway from the article above is picking the right community/property. If you and your neighborhood has free energy, you have to be able to defend it in SHTF. The topography will help but good blue collar neighbors that grew up in a rural lifestyle that worship Christ, John Browning and Johnny Cash (in that order) will be the key to success.

  6. Like Woodsplitter, too live in the southern tier of western New York and it is as he says. We live in the woods near other like minded people. Everyone on our road gardens, hunts, raises some kind of animal and we all trade with one another. There are natural spring everywhere so water is abundant. We have all kinds of wildlife so hunting is great and the woods provide all types of wild edibles (like leeks). The downside is driving long distances for a decent job and the NY state property taxes are outrageous. Most people here believe strongly in gun rights. I would say that most people in this area disregarded most of the gun laws that KIng Andy (that would be our idiot governor) put into place along. The one thing I would like to see grow is the homeschooling movement. The small schools here are mostly still conservative but I do see liberal ideas creeping in. We halve talked about moving but for now elderly parents and the abundance of resources keep us here

  7. I lived in Eastern Kentucky for a few years. I will strongly second the positives. Where I was at, forested property routinely sold for $1000 an acre. It was common to have springheads and streams on properties, blew my mind. It’s hard to describe to those that haven’t been there, but you’re much more isolated than it looks like on a map. Just drawing a circle in a map doesn’t really encompass the real distance or travel time.

    On to the negatives, in the years I lived there I never did find a house for sale that didn’t need significant repairs. Homes would be built in family clusters, and also the minimum possible distance to the road (shortest possible utility line costs). Property disputes are common because documentation of property lines is lackluster. Oftentimes documents are referencing markers that are no longer extant.
    Be aware that the good old boy network also applies to the rule of law. If Billy Bob and the boys were using your property as a private hunting preserve and you kick them out, it can be real trouble for you if Billy Bob’s uncle happens to be the Sheriff or the Judge Executive.

    1. Sometimes a good realtor is invaluable. After looking at a half dozen places that sounded good on paper but turned out to be not so desirable in person, we found a good realtor, and handed over our list of must haves and bonus points. Must have- 5 acres or more, wood stove, independent water source, no more than 75 miles from work, with the ability to actually get in and out of it in the winter. Bonus points for a ranch floorplan, barn, already fenced pasture, garage. Absolutely no handyman specials, needs a little TLC, or mobile homes. In return, we had fully approved financing with no contingencies. Took another few months, but we finally found what we wanted.

  8. This same could be said of most “Heartland” midwestern states (or is that now a trigger word for our progressive friends???). Except for IL and MN, most are conservative-leaning red-states, have many legislators who vocalize traditional Judeo-Christian values and don’t interfere unduly with churches or homeschooling, there are natural resources to homestead and grow your own food/heat with wood, and hunting is a generally accepted part of the culture. It is the “Breadbasket of the World” and great for growing crops with its fertile soils. Cost of living and to purchase real estate is reasonable.

    I’d advise staying at least 30-45 minutes outside of Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, or St. Louis, and as far away as possible from Chicago (in fact I’d avoid IL in general, as Chicago politicians have overtaken the state legislature, and it looks like more like California than a midwestern state). Those cities will be a zoo if the balloon ever goes up.

    1. @Patti- Sorry, but I am prejudiced. LOL. In my opinion, the same applies to North Carolina. No offense to anyone, but I have never been to the Northwest American redoubt. I can only speak fairly about the places that I know. But in my experience, you can find ‘down home’ folks almost anywhere. I liked (Western) Virginia, but even 30 years ago when I was there, I found the state government to be oppressive.

  9. Great write up Bethany!

    “Thanks to mainstream media, the region has gained a reputation of being a drug-infested haven, with some even going to far as to calling a “big white ghetto”.

    IMHO if you’re smart, you’ll do everything you can to help spread that reputation as far and wide as you can, as often as you can. 🙂 I’ve personally witnessed heavenly places ruined by too many outsiders moving in and then making it “just like back home” that they were escaping from in the first place. Go figure.

    1. St. Funogas!

      Re: ” I’ve personally witnessed heavenly places ruined by too many outsiders moving in and then making it “just like back home” that they were escaping from in the first place.”

      That’s just TOO TRUE!

  10. Multiple Redoubts. YES! Think New Borders. We need to think like free people.

    Americans enjoyed their greatest Liberty under the Articles of Confederation and common law. There was no federal government, no Constitution and no political parties. Yet the States defeated the mightiest military in the world.

  11. We live in Appalachia, and absolutely love it. Wouldn’t trade this place or the people around us. Our area is geologically stable, has access to lots of water, and enjoys an extended growing season (including produce 12 months a year with our below grade greenhouse to incorporate the benefits of geothermal exchange). We are surrounded by forest and mountains, rivers and lakes. We also have the advantages of an inland location, and have some elevation which protects us from the risk of tsunami events. Culturally, we live in a very conservative, hard working, 2A community which is predominantly Christian. At least a couple of other blog posters are probably close enough to be considered rural neighbors!

  12. Be careful about your assumptions regarding the public education system. I’m from SE Ohio and can ensure you that the teachers union is strong in the school system and will be indoctrinating your children in a similar manner as they do in the suburbs. If there are liberals to be found in your County, they’ll likely be found teaching.

  13. Speaking as a Vo Ag teacher myself, from my personal observations even the rural schools are liberalizing quickly due to federal influence, but are still much better than the more urban ones. Also, in regards to the FFA, I am an FFA advisor, and it seems to me that even FFA is taking a gradual turn to the left. It is still an organization that presents many opportunities for high school students to learn valuable skills, but the leadership in the organization are bowing to the culture in our country. For instance, National FFA made a policy that no FFA advisor or staff is allowed to lead prayer at any FFA event (I’ll continue to do it anyway, they’re welcome to fire me if they choose) and the FFA official dress (uniform) has been modified so that boys or girls can choose to wear skirts or pants depending on their gender preferences. The infection is even spreading to organizations like ours. As for me, we’ll keep praying at our meetings, and I will NOT take a boy anywhere wearing a skirt, and my students know that.

  14. I live in the southern foothills of the Adirondack mountains. Very conservative area. Hunting, fishing, gardening, gun ownership etc are common here. However, politics are controlled by ultra liberals from New York city. High taxes and utilities ad a slew of terrible laws being passed recently are ruining this state. There is even a bill currently in committee that would restrict homeschooling. The bill would only allow homeschooling if you are a certified teacher which will pretty much eliminate homeschooling in NY. A few years i wouldn’t think such a bill would pass, now I think it more likely to pass. I like where i am but Nanny state politics are forcing me look outside this state for a new home, hopefully moving in less than two years. However, pray and seek the Lord’s will before making any decisions. Isaiah 26:3

  15. I enjoyed this article. We spent a few weeks in East TN last fall and fell in love with the area. Our goal is to find a “vacation property” somewhere between here (NE OH) and there- probably in West Virginia. Get a deal on some land and slowly build a retreat that will eventually be a retirement location.

    NC Scout draws parallels between Chechen guerrillas and the Appalachian culture:
    https://www.americanpartisan.org/2019/12/radio-contra-episode-i/

    Landwatch.com is an excellent resource as well.

  16. Bethany, or anyone, under the article’s 10th pt – on the mainstream media’s portraying the Applachians’ as a drug-infested haven… The last 2 sentences in that paragraph are “Look for a property where the neighbors take care of theirs, with appraised values indicative of appreciation. The auditor’s web site is a gold mine of information when it comes to this.”
    Does this refer to a county auditor’s website? Or a different auditor? For those of us searching for property for a small homestead, I/we would like to access a site w/ that kind of info.

    1. Yes, the county auditor. You can see the appraised value and sales history for any property in the county. Additionally, some counties list heating type, sewer/water source. We eliminated some properties that were attractive at first look due to fuel oil as the heat source. Realtor sites such as zillow also have the option of clicking on the map, and then choosing satellite view- boundary lines, which will give you a birds eye view of the area, along with the value of the surrounding properties.

      However, market/appraised value is only half the story. Part of this number comes from the integrity and improvements on the land, not just size. A 5 acre parcel with a stick built house in good repair, a septic leach field, and a well will be valued more than 25 acres with a mobile home and a septic holding tank on county water.

      The value of the neighbors is but one factor to consider overall to aid in narrowing down the options to see in person.

  17. My wife’s family is from the southern coalfields of WV. The economic destruction there from the closing of the mines caused a ripple effect throughout the region. Associated jobs closed and workers/families left. What is left behind are the elderly, drug addicts, thieves and diehards who will never leave. There may very well be parts of WV that fit Bethany’s description, but not where our kin live. We would love to go to WV to live out our lives, but we can’t with the condition that it is currently in.
    Yet, we feel compelled to move there almost daily. We can feel the mountains calling us.

  18. The Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Maine, and the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York are all part of the Appalachian Mountain chain which does not end in southern NY.

  19. This matches what I am seeing in PA as I search for a retreat. I have relatives in upstate NY and have camped all over PA and NY. Vacations in NY have been great.
    NY looks more isolated, fewer people in rural areas, cheaper land, beautiful lakes, trees galore, but the winters are still harsh, the growing season shorter both from temperature and intensity of sun, even I can’t handle their gun laws designed for cities, and then there are the taxes. PA is my favorite but I’ve had trouble finding enough soil to support septic drain fields, rocks are everywhere, springs soak the soil they have at the bottom of the hills, I’m not sure if the fracking is causing the health problems it is in TX, the Spotted Lanternfly is killing trees and prices look like they have recovered from 2008 to fairly steep prices. I’m still looking, checking out different parts of the state, where I can find supplies, where there is healthcare, and I’m saving my money for the next recession when I hope prices go back down. I’ve looked at lots with the neighbors you don’t want, many of the lots have had ATV trails but one lot was covered with fresh ATV tracks that covered at least 3-4 adjacent lots so I had to cross that one off list. No privacy if lot is part of the local trail system.

  20. All partly true–and there are good Americans in this region. But the state governments in question obliterate any possibility of this place achieving “Redoubt” status as we know it, based upon Rawles’s American Redoubt region, where I reside. For this reason I do not regard eastern Oregon or Washington to be truly within the original Redoubt any longer.

  21. I grew up in the SE Ohio/northern WV/Eastern Ky area where you are & keep one foot there with numerous family members & my bugout location with them. We’re on a tertiary road with multiple family homes on the property & deep generational ties to the community. Outsiders are noticed immediately. When I bought a new car a few years ago & then went home for the weekend the phone didn’t stop ringing on Saturday with folks checking in to see who the “outsider” might be. Education & health care in all forms are the leading sources of employment in our area, and while the Good Ol’ Boy network fills the schools payroll the hospitals & clinics are always hiring. Appalachia is most definitely a viable Redoubt location, but choose wisely.

  22. Bethany, thank you for a very good and reasoned article. You described the great region and even greater people of Appalachia very well, and presented solid evidence for it to be a choice retreat area.

    Knowing that most people won’t bother to read the comments section, I feel reasonably assured that I can thank you especially for NOT mentioning the Ozarks as an alternate choice.

    If someone does inquire about that, simply tell them that there’s way too many ticks, chiggers, rocks and ornery people for it to be a viable consideration.

    It’ll be much appreciated.

    May our God’s blessings rest richly on you and yours.

  23. Permits are mostly minimal, but DO check county regulations before settling on a neighborhood. We lucked out with only having to draw a square to get a permit (WV), but folks in county next to us aren’t as lucky.

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