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Old 01-05-2010, 02:21 PM   #1
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Rural

We just returned from the library (Florida allows visitors to get a library card.) This month's Discovery magazine contains a flat map of the world colored to show the most rural parts in a dark red/purple. It states that only 10% of the world is now classified as rural.

Most of the accessible rural portions are in the northern hemisphere, Northern Canada, Greenland, Alaska, Himilayas and Siberia. In the Southern Hemisphere it's parts of the Amazon and Antarctica.

It turns out that 1/2 of the world's population lives within an hour's drive of a major city.

One of the most rural portions is northern Quebec, Labrador and parts of western Newfoundland.

I am as much interested in the ruralness as Yellowstone or Yosemite, place we also love. In some sense visitng the truly rural areas of the continent is like going to another planet or maybe regressing to another time, testing ones independence, observing a beauty not to be seen in the more busy portions of the world.

One difference between visiting the rural and Yellowstone is that Yellowstone is instantly stimulating, so different that it takes but a minute to be enthralled, to recognize the uniqueness of the place. With ruralness you need to take your time to absorb the wonder, sometimes to even wait for the wonder.

Oh well maybe we can return before too long,
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:47 PM   #2
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emam
We spent 3 1/2 full months in Yellowstone this past summer and I can say it was very eye opening.

We were both very excited to go there and mainly because of the remoteness and ruralness of it.

By the end, Cindy was going insane because of those same two things. Its very different when you have to drive almost 2 hours to get to the nearest full service grocery store.

Fresh fruit, good meats and things we normally take for granted were things we went without almost the entire summer. I found it very strange that the Beef Capitol of the United States had the worst meat selections we've encountered in all our travels (Outside of Mexico)

I love spending time away from cities, towns and losing ones self in the country, but the extended trip wasnt for Cindy. She's a big people person and loves the interaction with new and different people. Something we never really found in Yellowstone.

Everyone was on vacation, so they came and went non-stop, but you never really got to know anyone for more than a short conversation, and those conversations seemed like you were always saying the same things.

Just another side of the coin I guess.

I'll have to go find that magazine, simply because I'm a map junkie. Probably have a few dozen framed back home and have tons more saved away in the camper
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:45 AM   #3
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People

It sounds like Cindy is like my wife Virginia in that she truly enjoys 'people engagement'. As a youngster my favorite book was Verne's Mysterious Island, a novel of a few people on a 'deserted, forced to be self-sufficient.

It's true that often when we travel we have relatively little people interaction, however during our summers in NH we're saturated with friends and relatives, partially because we live at the beach and partially because we have a dozen or so relatives around us, some within a 100 yards.

On the rural treks a slow pace permits more interaction with people, though I will say Labrador just has very few people.

As to major Grocery stores, I remember one story. Ginny went to get a hair cut in one of the tiny towns on the southern Labrador coast. She asked the lady cutting her hair where she shopped. The lady said, when the ferry from Labrador to Newfoundland is running (not from November to April) she drove down to Cornerbrook in Newfoundland once a month to shop where there's a Walmart and a major grocery store, a four hundred miles round trip and 3 hours of ferry.

Cornerbrook is the only place on the west coast of Newfoundland that has a truly 'American' type grocery store though there are places along the west coast that have stores you might find in smaller American towns. Happy Valley and Labrador City both have medium sized grocery stores. All other communities in Labrador have mom and pop sized stores, combination grocery and hardware and clothing stores. We love exploring those little stores because they contain a myriad of different things.

I will say we were able to buy very good baked goods in many of the small towns.

Most places only have frozen meats. We bought one frozen block we thought was beef but could not eat it once we cooked it, never figuring out what we bought. We were able to buy a cooked rotisserie chicken in the smallest of towns in Southern Labrador, a real treat.

We tend not to eat out a lot. Howwever in Newfoundland that trend is reversed. We know so many little places to eat that have excellent seafood or unusual things like caribou that we eat out more than normal, having our usual good breakfast at home, a lighter hikers/explorers lunch, and often going out for dinner.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an issue in Labrador. When ever we saw a banana or any other fruit we bought it.

Ginny says that there are just not a lot of people in Labrador, even in the few campgrounds. When you can stop for Lunch in the middle of the Labrador highway, have lunch, walk about a little and not have another vehicle pass in an hour in either direction, you know you're alone.

Safe travels,
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