Congrats PG! You won't regret it!
I Lol'ed at giving directions! Mine are "Go 7 miles south after you turn at the fork in the road, watch for a clearing with a pond and a red gate, after that there is a steep hill and to your right there's a shot up stop sign laying crooked across the ditch, turn there and..."
Why we moved...
8 years ago we lived in a booming city, brand spankin new custom 2,500 sq ft home with a heated three car garage, 5 mins from the grocery stores and new restaurants, and had promising careers. I did have a 5 acre pasture for my horses, but all the land around us was being turned into sub divisions and the once quiet roads I grew up on turned into a cruise strip for the bikers visiting the new Harley dealership built down the road. One night when I was pregnant a drunk driver hit our house going 45 mph, right beside my bed.
That sealed the deal, we were out of there!!! I have family that grew up out in the country, I'm a hillbilly at heart, but had no real
knowledge of how to farm or live out in the wilderness...
So we moved to the middle of nowhere surrounded by the National Forest, about an hour and a half from any city.
First turned an old well house into a 1 room 400 sq ft cabin. It was down on the river and a little piece of paradise... Until we flooded several times and had several AM visitors come up from the river trying to "borrow" our cars, etc...
We had added on, built HUGE gardens, nice fences, patios, etc but I couldn't handle living in a flood plain where we had 6 100 year floods within a span of 2 years!
So we found a small mountain farm, elevation 2,500 ft! (even further from civilization!) No more floods for us!
Took us a year to rehab our house that hadn't been lived in in 10 years, are still working on the grounds and the barns... We're getting there! It was started in 1900 by two brothers who raised tomatoes. So we have some great historical coos like hand dug wells, rock fences, native stone fireplaces, and a great old horse barn. Only 20ish acres of pasture but 60 other acres of forest with miles of trails winding around them and two waterfalls at the bottom. Lots of wildlife, I've seen bear, turkey and their tiny chicks, deer, you name it! I love love love this place!
Some of the pros...
Gardens!!! Oh I love raising my own food, still have so much to learn!
No neighbors. Closest people are over 4 miles away.
Fresh air! Which can be a con because all I want to do is sit on the balcony drinking tea/wine and read books!
Not worrying about visiting friends/relatives, LOL!! They call days in advance now! I used to get so frustrated with people popping in at random times.
Chickens! I've always had chickens but could never free range, or have a rooster, so now I have 19 and am expanding into Turkeys and hoping to get some guineas soon. Lots of fresh eggs!
(GREAT idea for the chicken tractor! I had one and loved it.)
Hunting, you may not like game... But we really enjoy putting up fresh venison, so healthy!
The people out here are great! Mostly people like us now that have gotten out of town. Some moved out here in the 70's, others more recently from as far as Great Britain and California... We have the best parties! I've become great friends with the "old timers", they pop in and have coffee or we meet down at the gas station/snack shack (18 miles away) and swap stories! I've learned so much from them, one even gave me a colt.
Cons... I hate to complain, really these aren't bad but you should know.
If you're exhausted you still have to cook! No running to grab a quick dinner!
You have to plan. I only go to the big city once every two weeks for groceries. There are a few essentials at the gas station and in the small town 30 miles away, but the prices are astronomical and poor quality.
Schools... Our daughter is only 7. She goes to private in the small town. Thankfully DH has a brother with a kid so we car pool. Takes an hour and a half to get there and back.
Gas... Funny having to drive 18 miles to fill up your car! But only a little bit because it's super high so we get enough to get to town where it's slightly lower.
Purchasing and maintaining equipment. For us it was a struggle because it wasn't like we could call Joe Schmoe to come out and brush hog. Appliance stores won't come out this far to deliver or pick up broken appliances/equipment for repair.
Tips! What for me is necessary for living way out.
Big Dogs. I love the feeling of security, and they have done a great job protecting me on multiple occasions.
Get a mid sized SUV! Must have an SUV with 4 wheel drive that gets decent gas mileage. We had a big new diesel but with gas so high, and having to haul groceries/feed/stuff in the rain, even with a bed cover an SUV has been so much better for us!
Get Vonage! Or whatever satellite phone service you have up there. A regular land line with only 100 minuets of long distance (ummm every call is long distance out here, LOL!!) ran around $120 a month! Way more when of course I went over! We do have spotty random cell service up high.
Wood fireplaces for heat. You can't count on electric.
Are you on a well? Get it checked, test it for production and put in water storage tanks. If it goes out you could wait quite a while for a repairman.
Love our Ranger, we use it for something almost every day.
Look for Air Evac services in your area. We pay $150 a year for helicopter first response/medical. It could be hours for a Ambulance to get to us.
Be prepared. Have as much first aid on hand as possible.
I'll think of more... Can't wait to hear about your adventures!
My friends think I'm absolutely mad for living out here, but I think they're crazy for staying in town! I really hope you enjoy it!