I kinda wanted to show you guys how remote an area I now live and work in. I know some of my followers/readers are from smaller states or smaller countries, where if you drove 10 hours, you'd drive straight into an ocean. Which, as we all know, would be a bad thing.
The largest city I deliver the Publication to is Redding, which is around 90,000 people. It just goes down in population from there. Quite possibly the least populated town I deliver to is population 20 (on the sign on the highway).
As I stated in earlier posts when I was preparing to move to Sticksville, we have no chain stores. No chain restaurants. No Wal-Mart (Thank God), no Target, no fast food, nothing. There are a couple restaurants and a cafe, a book store, one main grocery store (I've met the previous owners and the current owner - the previous owner's daughter), a smaller grocery store, one gas station, a small hospital, a Post Office, and an auto part store. Many of the buildings are historic - I really should take some pictures of them.
Many of these small towns and communities are similar in that they have a local grocery store and if they're lucky a gas station. This region of NE California is primarily ag related - cattle ranching, farming, that sort of thing. If you need a Wal-Mart, the nearest one is at least two hours or more in any one direction. Same for a Costco. Same if you're craving any of the main fast food chains. Many of these little towns (including mine) don't have a physical bank in town. My nearest bank is 30 minutes away. Around here, we do things in bulk. If one of us needs to go to Town to the bank, we ask if someone else needs to run any errands in Town. Being that gas has been sitting $4.39/gallon for two months, you don't make wasted trips anywhere.
Also, as a side note - the vet clinic I work for (as job 3), covers more ground than any clinic I've ever seen or worked for. They pretty much cover an entire county, and filter into neighboring ones as well. They operate a total of three offices - the main one in Town, one in Sticksville and one about an hour in the opposite direction of Town. A vet is in those offices one day a week, and a receptionist an additional two days to sell merchandise and make appointments. The main office in Town is open 6 days a week with a vet there each day. It's quite a busy business.
Anyway, here are some random pictures I've snapped while driving around. Hope it puts it into some perspective as to how spread out it is up here.
Out on a road called Grasshopper Road. Basically, the middle of nowhere.
Coming into the Fall River Valley.
Manzanita Lake in Lassen National Park.
After I've left the cities - about a half hour or so outside them.
Somewhere on a highway. Sometimes there are trees on this highway, but not a lot.
I found this guy in my back yard after dinner the other night.
And this is him on the way out of my yard and into my neighbors yard.
I hope this helps you picture the region of CA that I live in, which is the least populated county in the state, I think. It's kind of beautiful in is desolateness.