Let me start by saying that , I was born in a small town in Northern California 63 years ago, There were orchards and farms everywhere you looked in this pristine valley. Everyone knew their neighbors, not only next door folks, but everybody on the block. No one had to lock their doors and no one needed to lock their cars. Crime was so low, you could go for years without reading about a killing or rape. Those crimes were a very rare occurrence in the 50s & 60s.
This town consisted mostly of Italians and Irish when I was growing up. This wonderful place is now known as Silicon Valley. And it now stretches from San Jose to almost San Francisco. Needless to say over the last 50 years, things have dramatically changed there!.
The orchards and farms are all now subdivisions, the fertile valley I knew, is a giant parking lot. The air quality is unhealthy to say the least! The friendly neighbors are not to be found anywhere; the gangs, including the Asian, Hispanic, African American, and Aryans now rule this valley.
Not a day goes by without a killing or rape or home intrusion in the Santa Clara Valley. Many people who work in Silicon Valley now choose to live 90 or more miles from where they work in towns like Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and Los Banos-- 3 hours a day driving. (This must take it's toll, but at least they can keep their families safe from the terrors of the unforgiving Big City).
When I graduated in 1966, and married in 1968, I knew I had to get out of this part of California. I worked two 8 hour jobs each day to save enough money to have a decent house and car before we moved to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. My wife and I said good-bye to our friends and relatives and left California in 1972. We bought a home for 44k, (FHA) with $4k down and a payment around $285.00 a month.
We had a boy and a girl, one year apart, and my wife became a housewife and raised two wonderful kids.
The schools back then taught the basic courses in Math, English, History, Geography, Home Economics, Wood shop, etc. These are very useful when you're growing up. Now, look at what kids are learning today!
So now that our 40+ year old kids have been on their own and doing well, my wife and I decided in 2006 to look for a place that was similar to what we enjoyed before everything got out of control in California.
- 1st goal was seclusion, yet within 2 hours of a major city for supplies.
- 2nd goal was cool Summers and acceptable Winter conditions.
- 3rd goal was a population of like-minded friendly folk, God fearing, with Conservative values to boot.
We looked for a country setting with low taxes, low utilities, bargain-priced housing with land to spare.
We had come to realize that over the last ten years our government had pissed off a lot of countries around the globe and eventually their plan to kill Americans was going to happen in the USA. I guess when my wife and I were watching 9-11 happening on live tv, I knew we needed to get out of the Tahoe/ Reno, area--mainly because it was within 50 air miles of a primary target --Fallon Naval Air Station ( Home Of the Top Gun Pilots training base).
After checking Department of Defense maps online for Nuclear targets and fallout patterns we decided on Harney County, in Eastern Oregon. The climate was identical to our former area except 10 degrees cooler in Summer and 10 degrees cooler in Winter. Elevation 4900 ft , close enough for us!
Even if Seattle or Tacoma was nuked, we would be safe there, the fallout pattern misses us by 130 miles in every direction. We have 5 lakes close by with some with trophy size trout and white tail deer, antelope, elk, pheasant, and quail are in abundance. Our town is populated with 4 generations of cattle and horse ranchers for almost 100 miles in any direction.
Our town is 2 hours from the Snake river to the East, and the Columbia river is to the North; Deschutes river is to the West. We enjoy clean air, and with no industry here to pollute the air; excellent clean water with aquifers fed from snow melt each Winter; it is ideal. Population under 3000.
If you have ever seen the TV series Jericho, a post-nuclear war town in Kansas, this is exactly the same type of town here in Eastern Oregon. People will stand together and help each other. They would protect our Western and Eastern entrances with their lives. They can barter their cattle, pigs, goats, chickens, horses, etc. Crime here is mostly minor offenses also! Just about everyone here has plenty of guns and ammo. Shooting Coyote's is almost a sport around here!
There are no Wal-marts, no Super-cuts, no Olive Gardens, no Domino's but we have everything we need run by mom and pops stores selling the same goods and services, but all family owned. There are cafe's , bars, banks, credit unions and hardware stores, also two major food chains, clothing stores, book stores, even local movie theater (Just $4.50 anytime; it has the 3rd largest screen in Oregon!)
This actually is like living the good life back in the 50's. We are enjoying low property taxes, cheap electricity--thanks to the 12 hydroelectric dams on the Columbia river. There's also a abundance of wood and if we need anything special we can jump in our 50 mpg VW diesel pickup and can go to the big city to shop at Costco or Home Depot--only 2 hours--and use only 5.5 gallons of diesel round trip.
We also have a late model 4x4 compact SUV, 28 mpg. Luckily we have no house payment or car payments, no credit card debt--all because we beat the housing collapse by 2 months back in 2006 and sold our home for double what we built it for in 2002. Now that we are prepping and ready to get going on our garden in May, we will be adding 6 laying hens for bartering with fresh eggs and also start canning our own homegrown veggies. We both now look forward to adding our own backup electricity and be totally off grid by next Winter. We already have secured 2- 1000 gal. LPG tanks for the hot water heater, kitchen stove, freezer and refrigerator.
We will be purchasing a Sportsman propane generator 7 kw, for $ 850 at Home depot this Summer for backup. We have found communication devices such as a shortwave Halicrafters, tube type receiver on E-bay and walkie talkies with 20 mile range, 2 Midland compact CB radios for house and VW pickup from Amazon at $30 each. By the way, this propane generator can be easily fed by gasifier wood vapor if we ever run short of LP, without any modifications. Same goes for using a methane source.
Our prepping list is getting close to being completed this year, and since we have not taken any expensive vacations the last 3 years, the money we saved has gone for the needed things you want to have on hand WTSHTF like flashlights, radios, batteries, a rather large amount of TP and paper towels, first aid supplies, and 2 years worth of our meds and pain relievers. The list continues with basic food supplies, like Pinto beans , rice, canned goods, canned meats, canned fruits, Albacore in Olive oil. Also do not forget to buy large bags of salt that might be needed for preserving meat in the future!
Something else that nobody talks about on survival forums is car supplies. We have purchased oil filters and cleanable air filters, fuel filters, tranny filters, spark plugs, spare injectors and glow plugs for my VW pickup as well as brake pads, brake fluid, gear oil, wiper blades, fuses, spare starter, spare alternator, ignition switch, spark plug wire set, radiator hoses, fan belts, timing belts, fuel pump, thermostats, headlight bulbs. Imagine trying to find these items after the looting begins!
Our house sits on a 1/3rd acre lot fully fenced, with a shallow 25 ft well to irrigate our garden and flush our toilets. If the cities pumps ever fail, I picked up a 1/2 hp 12 volt water pump at Harbor freight for 39.95, and with 160 watt solar panel, I can pump water from 10:00 am to 4:00pm at about 3 gallons a minute.
Lastly we figured out the easiest way to store extra water for bathing and cooking or drinking was to purchase a 15 ft x 48" round Intex pool for $199.95 that holds 3700 gallons of our well water and comes with a cover and filtering system. If we ever run out of our own drinking water, we can filter the pool water with the Berkley filter that we put away for the future. Also if you have the room it is also a good idea to have a extra 300 gallons of fuel stored in a tank about 4 ft high so you can fill your vehicle by gravity alone. That gives me about a 5 year supply.
Oh, just in case you have been wondering, houses can be had in this part of Oregon for as little as $25,000 for a 2 bd, 1 bath with enough land to grow your own food. Nicer and larger homes on even bigger lots can be had for $59,995 and up. These are stick built, and many like mine have basements as well. Hope some of you check out Harney County on the Internet. Not many Jobs here however, but I great place to retire and be pretty safe!
A & J OR
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