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Old 11-18-2014, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Ohio
33 posts, read 25,932 times
Reputation: 16

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Okay, so I'm an author. A book I'm working on is centralized on a fictitious small-town sort of city. But I need to decide on a location to base it in. Here's the factors I'm looking for:

1. Mountains
Very important. I'm preferring something in the Rockies, but any mountainous area is okay. And preferably the sort you can populate without needing a belay system.

2. Large body of water
This can be the ocean, an inland sea, or a large lake. When I say large I mean you could potentially navigate the thing with a small navy ship (somewhere around 300-400 feet) If its inland, a navigable river would be nice, but in mountainous areas, such rivers are rare due to shallows/rapids/dams/etc, so the river isn't extremely necessary.

3. It doesn't need to be the size of D.C. or the popularity of Chicago, but a city relatively well known within a 30 minute drive (or so) of the location is what I'd most like.

4. Region of variety weather
As you might guess, I'm from Ohio (NE Ohio, actually). I never know if its going to be sunny or cloudy, rainy or dry, hot or chilly, etc. I'm NOT looking for that much variety. However, I want an area that can yield fertile crops in summer and has snow (even potentially blizzards) in winter.

5. In my book, the fictitious town's main industries are mining, forestry, fishing (hence the need for a fairly large body of water), and rail freight. The town doesn't have to be ontop of a BNSF line--I can "make" railroads wherever I want. But it should be an area known for large forests, abundant mineral and/or oil resources, and wildlife (including fish)

6. From research I've done so far, I'm heavily considering one of three locations in SW Montana. But any area outside of Montana is okay as well.

7. If an area is within the boundaries of a state or national forest, I don't care. I do want the immediate surroundings of the fictitious town to be moderately unpopulated.

At the moment, I have the city surrounding Whitetail Reservoir near Butte, Montana. However, I'd like to change as Whitetail is a very small lake.

Other possibilities I'm considering include:
the SE shore of Flathead Lake near Kaispell (more populated than I prefer, though)


the South shore of Jackson Lake in Wyoming (being a national forest, its a little too far into the middle of nowhere)

NE edge of Canyon Ferry Reservoir near Helena, Montana (according to Google Earth, however, the reservoir is in a valley and there isn't a lot of greenery)

So I hope someone can help me either choose one of my options or suggest a more suitable location. The city, by the way, is called Eagleton and is the capitol of an "autonomous republic" of sorts.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:02 PM
 
56,755 posts, read 81,102,256 times
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Plattsburgh NY or Burlington VT may fit much of what you are looking for. There are towns around Lake Champlain like Moriah and Elizabethtown that were known for iron mining and are within close proximity to the Adirondacks on the NY side.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,463,501 times
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Coeur d'Alene, ID, but I'm not certain about the navy boat thing.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:31 PM
chh
 
Location: West Michigan
418 posts, read 496,707 times
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Grand Lake, Colorado comes to mind. Or the North shore of lake Granby, just south of Grand lake.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Ohio
33 posts, read 25,932 times
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Wow! Lots of fast replies.
Already you guys have given me many great options to think about. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
Coeur d'Alene, ID, but I'm not certain about the navy boat thing.
I was mostly joking about the navy ship thing. Basically the largest ships it really needs to handle are around the size of an average fishing trawler, prolly no more than 200ft if that:

https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg...trawler_-1.jpg
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,463,501 times
Reputation: 13011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio-117 View Post
Wow! Lots of fast replies.
Already you guys have given me many great options to think about. Thank you.



I was mostly joking about the navy ship thing. Basically the largest ships it really needs to handle are around the size of an average fishing trawler, prolly no more than 200ft if that:

https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg...trawler_-1.jpg
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lake Coeur d'Alene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
5,302 posts, read 8,110,600 times
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Somewhere in Washington or maybe even Northern California would suit you, or perhaps Portland (Oregon).
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
779 posts, read 770,139 times
Reputation: 359
Have you considered Chattanooga, TN? It sounds like you are looking for places further north but I think the city would fit all of your criteria. The river there is huge and flows right past downtown in a valley between mountains. The city and the surrounding areas are rich in resources and there are a lot of underpopulated ares around there to work with for your fictional city. The city also has an interesting history and culture that you could probably fit in well with your story.

Attachment 139726

Check it out and let me know if you have any questions about it as I have been there several times.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
779 posts, read 770,139 times
Reputation: 359
It also fits the industries you are talking about with mining, fishing, forestry, and rail all currently being a huge part of that region.

If you're wondering about the body of water, large boats are able to fit through that river. It is very wide and deep at points.

The weather in TN is also varied with potential for very hot summer and even blizzards in the winter.
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Old 11-19-2014, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Ohio
33 posts, read 25,932 times
Reputation: 16
Looked Chattanooga up on Google Earth. I don't know if that's what I'll pick or not, but certainly does appear to fit well with my criteria. That front mountain in your picture looks like a promising spot. Definitely interested in learning more about the area
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