If the last presidential election taught me anything, it’s that journalists based in New York need to pay attention to life outside cities. And I was further intrigued by La Puente. The group runs one of the country’s oldest rural homeless shelters. Cheslock told me that more and more people who show up at the shelter, especially in winter, have been trying to live out on the prairie. In good weather, the large area between the mountain ranges has many appeals: incredible views, eagles and other wildlife, and land you can buy for a song. Five-acre lots on the prairie are typically priced at $3,000 to $5,000. (Land costs a lot more around the mountainous edges or in towns, where more people live.) But only the hardy can make it here year-round. The cheap land is almost all treeless and miles from anywhere, and the valley is famously windy. Settlers will typically have a few solar panels hooked up to batteries for basics such as lights and a refrigerator, but beyond that you need money for gasoline, you need water, and, when it gets cold, you need a reliable source of heat.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor