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Old 04-12-2009, 10:43 PM
 
Location: NEPA
42 posts, read 83,480 times
Reputation: 38

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I've lived most of my 21 years in two PA towns with populations of around 50k and 15k and Pittsburgh for a short year. Growing up near farmland I thought I'd break away to become a "city girl," but I've found that nature is more important to me. The consumerism and hectic lifestyle of the city just isn't for me, and neither is this in-between small town/suburb junk either. (I know it's for some people, but it's just not my deal.)

I'd love to move somewhere within the next year, and I'm really interested in a rural lifestyle. Most of my "entertainment" comes in the forms of outdoors activities, reading, music, playing drums, spending time with friends, etc... I don't think I'd have trouble adapting to a slower-paced life, but it's the practicalities that I'm concerned about. I was browsing through threads in this section and was seeing things I never gave thought to (zoning, differences in utilities, weather preparation, hardcore self-sufficiency, pest/critter control, etc...). I am prepared to do the research and have the knowledge I need before I move, but this seems like an intimidating process.

Anyway... I'm lost as to what areas could be right for me. Here are my preferences. If you don't know of such a place, please don't bother commenting! Just because you don't know of it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

- east coast, not south
- inland, not a coastal area
- lots of trees within sight, lush and green
- hills or mountains nearby would be cool but not necessary
- least severe winter/snowfall as possible in this type of setting
- within an hour or two of a (decent, not dive) strip club - possible? yes, I am serious.
- is it possible to rent places in rural areas? what is real estate/properties like? what are monthly expenses like for maintaining this lifestyle? This is an area I know little about.

When I say rural I do mean not close to a shopping mall or chains, far from a metro area, LOW population, more independent living.

West Virginia seems like the kind of landscape I'm looking for but I am open to other states of course. Also disregard my last thread about winter - I'm accepting that it's just a part of the circle of life.

Any info you can offer will be appreciated, even if you don't recommend a specific place. I'm a researcher personality so compiling wisdom and experience from others is fun. peace out.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:29 AM
 
4,259 posts, read 9,883,479 times
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Maybe the State College area. Winter in the Nittany Valley would be a click warmer/sunnier than in Pittsburgh. I've never been to the nearby "End Zone" so don't know if it meets your serious criterion.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:09 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,683,788 times
Reputation: 8170
You are truly blessed that being only 21 years you don't have to worry about earning an income.
( I did not see "job" listed on your criteria)
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,146 posts, read 50,314,105 times
Reputation: 19849
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingbear
...
- east coast, not south
- inland, not a coastal area
- lots of trees within sight, lush and green
- hills or mountains nearby would be cool but not necessary
- least severe winter/snowfall as possible in this type of setting
- within an hour or two of a (decent, not dive) strip club - possible? yes, I am serious.
- is it possible to rent places in rural areas? what is real estate/properties like? what are monthly expenses like for maintaining this lifestyle? This is an area I know little about. ...
I bought land for $900 per acre.

I built a house with large picture windows on three sides. So in our home we have a wide view of the surrounding forest. Our forest is thick with a canopy. So much of it is dark underneath the canopy. Looking up from my desk as I type this, I look out over a wooded marsh, and to both sides I see dense forest.

We have 1/4 mile of river frontage. The back of our home overlooks a marsh where we keep two kayaks in the water ready to go. When the water level goes down, about 5 acres of our flood plain grows fiddleheads [which we pick for market].

We have free ranging chickens and goats, that wander around in the forest.

To me this is very peaceful.

We have raised bed gardens and have been planting orchards in the clearings. This year was our first attempt at tapping maple sap.

Maine does have coast, rocky coast, but Maine also has a lot of inland forests.

Most of Maine is forested.

My land is flat. However Mount Katahdin is not far, we do have an assortment of small ski resorts North, South, and West of us.

'Winter', sigh. Well our first two years here I never touched a snow shovel. The 'storms' left a dusting, and I drove our car up and down the driveway and packed it down, and we were fine. You see most of Maine is well North of the 'snow-belt' which blows East from the great lakes region. However last year we did get one snow dump of a foot, which was a pain. And this year we got 6 snow dumps.

What I did, after last winter's one dump, was I became determined to own a tractor with a front loader. we shopped and shopped, and finally found a Massey Ferguson dealer selling new tractors for 0% interest. We bought this tractor in November and it was here for each of our snow dumps this winter. It made moving snow fun for me, rather than a pain. I can once again say that this past winter, I did not touch a snow shovel, not once. Even though we had a much colder winter.

Looking around in this area most farm houses have a tractor or an old pick-up truck with a plow blade. They are not registered, they only operate during the winter, and the snow is handled. It is simply what rural folks do to get by, and the end result is that an 80 year old living by herself is perfectly capable of clearing her own snow. You just need to have the right equipment. Which is NOT a shovel.



We have one strip club 20 miles South of us in Bangor and another 30 miles North in Millinocket. Though I honestly suspect that neither is up to your requirements.



Many folks do rent, in which case snow removal is done by the landlord.

I see homes selling for $40k on up to $200k.



What I like about this area: I moved here for the forest, the river, and the low cost of rural living. But we have discovered something that mis much better than what we moved here for.

Once we got here we discovered a large network of organic farmers. I was a vendor at a Farmer's Market for a year. I met a lot of great folks and I learned a lot. We simply do not have enough production on our farm yet to maintain a stall in a Farmer's Market, so I left that market. But we are working on increasing our production.

The network of organic farmers here includes Co-ops sharing seed, monthly workshops of how to produce various foods, livestock, wool spinning, and more.

They have organized a journeyman program, where someone interested in organic farming can go through their program, be placed as an apprentice on an existing farm, and once they complete so much, they help to locate a farm for the person and help to arrange financing.

Now I know, you are a dancer, and I am talking about farming. I must be an idiot right? What I have seen here is that there exists a group of really nice people. Who have disconnected from the commercial corporate ad-engrossed environment.

Some live in communes, some on Co-op farms, and some on private farms that accept apprenticeships. I have been approached by people asking if I would take them onto my farm in an apprenticeship.

Most of these 'farms' are only 5 to 10 acres and heavy forest with a thick canopy. They use clearings and greenhouses, and try to fit in with nature as much as they can.

This is entirely a different kind of lifestyle group than what I had anticipated when I moved to Maine.



I do hope that you can find a place where you can be happy.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: NEPA
42 posts, read 83,480 times
Reputation: 38
ki0eh: Thank you for the suggestion! I've thought about it before but it feels too close to what I've grown up around. I suppose I'm looking to move farther.

marmac: Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but I do have to be somewhat concerned about income.

forest beekeeper: Wow! It sounds like you have quite a lovely rural lifestyle going on. You guessed right about my work, but to be honest farming is something I'm interested in. Maybe at a different stage in my life. Thank you for sharing with me! If only I could handle the winters of Maine... I don't think I'm that brave yet.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,719 posts, read 45,824,484 times
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Actually you may find that the winter where Forest is isn't any worse than where you are now.

It's going to be difficult to work as an exotic dancer and live out in a truly rural area, not that I have ever been a stripper, just that this sort of entertainment is mostly urban. In a small town people will "talk" about anyone who works there or goes there. At least the small towns I have ever been in.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,146 posts, read 50,314,105 times
Reputation: 19849
I don't see the issue with the 'talk' so much as disposable income.

You need a mill running, a factory, or something where folks get off work and have the money to sit and have a few drinks.

Over all our economy is in the toilet. Not really connected to the current market crash, Maine's economy has been in the toilet for decades. It is largely why I moved here. I have a pension, I needed a rural area where nobody had jobs. this way my tiny pension looks really big.

When I have seen strip clubs that prospered they were in cities that had thriving economies. Lots of folks who could swing by after work, have a drink and stuff 20s in garter belts.

Around here there is just not many folks who can afford that luxury.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:09 AM
 
Location: North Alabama
858 posts, read 1,895,818 times
Reputation: 842
The town of Owenton, Kentucky is almost exactly 70 miles equidistant from the following metropolitan areas: Louisville, KY; Lexington, KY; and Cincinnati, OH/Covington, KY. No mountains, but they do have plenty of rolling hills and nearby waterways (e.g., Kentucky River, Ohio River, Elkhorn Creek). It's sparsely populated (Owenton is about 1,400 people, Owen County totals about 12,000 people IIRC) and portions are heavily forested. Housing is very inexpensive IMO. Very few snow events result in significant accumulation, but some light icing of highways does occur over the course of the winter. People are friendly if you are friendly, leave you alone if you don't want that much social interaction. Very little zoning or government oversight of land usage or development. Outside the town, most services are on a pay as needed basis (solid waste/dump) or voluntary subscription (fire).
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,940 posts, read 16,465,238 times
Reputation: 8247
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
It's going to be difficult to work as an exotic dancer and live out in a truly rural area, not that I have ever been a stripper, just that this sort of entertainment is mostly urban. In a small town people will "talk" about anyone who works there or goes there. At least the small towns I have ever been in.
Unless you can manage to find work at one of those clubs just off interstate exits that seem to cater to tourists and truckers. (See Cafe Risque of the 'we bare all' billboards fame located at an I-75 interchange in Micanopy, Florida)
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:47 AM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,540 posts, read 24,681,268 times
Reputation: 8930
Look up the counties surrounding Charlottesville, VA. For what you are describing google the area south of route 64 following route 15 or 29 (within 10-15 miles). Cost of living is dealable there. FYI north on 15/29 has more traffic/tourists/horse people. From here you can travel to blue ridge or UVA. Also have access to I-81 (hourish) to travel back north if needed. Plenty of work available in Charlottesville if needed.
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