1. jim79
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    jim79 Member

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    rugged country in the US?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by jim79, Jul 14, 2014.

    Hi,

    I hope you guys can help. I'm looking to write a thriller based in and around a small town in the states but as i'm from the UK I don't know where to start looking!
    I'm thinking about forests, mountains, ice cold streams and lots of snow. so if anybody can point me in the right direction...

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Pick one of the States where The Rockies run through. They fit the bill. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Idaho is okay around the Montana border, but the rest is flat farmland. Wyoming is also mostly flatland until you get near the border.

    Colorado on the other hand is rugged mining and outdoorsy stuff. But we have far more sunshine then snow. While the back range is white year round you have to get up above 10,000 feet to feel it. We do have the most mountains over 14,000 feet here, so that's a thing.

    But if you want the earliest snow to be in mid August you should go with North Western Montana where the sky is clear, the trees are tall, the government is tiny, there's no sales tax, and traveling along mountain roads the natives might just take pot shots at your car.

    Nothing serious mind you, nothing over .22.
     
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  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    What's wrong with Alaska?
     
  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Their ex-governor.
     
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  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Jefferson C. Davis? Yep he was the first one.

    Edit: Sorry he wasn't the Governor, he was the first army commander of Alaska.
     
  7. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Do you want year round snow or can it be snow just in the winter? The Appalachian mountains are greener than the Rockies, but can be considered rugged.
     
  8. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Montana, for sure:).
     
  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'm sorry, I can't hear your voice from way down there. Try climbing to the top of the tallest mountain in the Appalachians. Then you'll only be 1,000 feet under me.
     
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  10. PeterC
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    PeterC Active Member

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    Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, despite being only 6288 feet high, has some of the worst weather on the planet. Low temperatures and high winds (record wind speed of 231 mph at the summit) are dangerous of course. However the highly erratic nature of the weather there is probably the most dangerous aspect of the mountain. Because of its proximity to highly populated cities in the northeast it is often hiked by inexperienced climbers resulting in many accidents and deaths.
     
  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    That was extremely pertinent PeterC, thank you. I'd be interested to know how many missing persons, it's been around 3 or 4 years since I was with SAR, but I know we're 15 deep in this season.

    EDIT: That's not all of Colorado, sorry. Larimer County Search and Rescue is 15 deep.
     
  12. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Colorado sounds like your best bet.
     
  13. ToDandy
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    ToDandy Contributing Member

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    My home state of Montana is a helluva good pick....plus there are no people here, unlike Colorado.
     
  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yeah I'm not sure how populated the OP wants it. CO is about 5 million, Montana is barely 1, and Alaska can't even get their chin up over 800,000.

    The important thing to remember about Alaska though is that's 700,000 people over half a million square miles. Most of it is completely inaccessible by road and some of it is completely inaccessible by any mode of transportation for 50% of the year.
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The western end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula fits the bill in every way, except the mountains are more or less hills. Tons of snow though, remote area, gorgeous forests, not a big population ...and Lake Superior. Fantastic place—but if tall, snow-covered mountains are a necessity to your story, probably best stick to Montana or Alaska.

    Google - Michigan's Upper Peninsula winter photos - and you'll get an idea...
     
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  16. jim79
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    jim79 Member

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    I think Montana might be edging in to first place... are there any shops that are unique to the state or anything else that would help to make the story sound more realistic?

    cheers

    Jim
     
  17. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    If you can handle the atmosphere, take a hike up Mt Driskill, the tallest peak in Louisiana at 535'. It can be extremely dangerous with all of the rednecks shooting at the street signs.
     
  18. fivetoesten
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    fivetoesten Member

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    I've been wanting to comment that swamps are pretty darn inhospitable, even though It doesn't fit your story. I just did a quick search (just to satisfy myself) and found what could be a pretty interesting site. It's World Landforms. There may be something there to help you.
     
  19. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    That's adorable! Do you climb all the way from sea level to get to that 535 feet?

    Other then Pamida, a chain of...whatever kind of store Walmart is, I can't think of any special brands.
    Unless anit-government nut case is a brand.
     
  20. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Hey, that gradual incline is slightly noticeable! If there weren't a sign, you would never know you're there.
     
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  21. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Not sure what you mean by shops? Montana is a huge, huge state. Did you have a specific town/area in mind?
     
  22. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Are you planning to create a fictional town, or use one that already exists?

    If you're creating a fictional one, all you need to be aware of is what small towns IN THAT PARTICULAR PART OF THE STATE are like, but you can at least be creative about street names, shops, addresses, etc, as well as the people who live there.

    Try to locate it near enough to known landmarks or bigger towns, so the writing is plausible. I'd say Google photos of many small, real towns in the area, to give yourself a flavour, then create your fictional town based on the reality of other existing towns.

    Do some reading about these real towns as well. Are there mountains in the background, rivers running nearby? Will these be actual mountains and rivers, or will you fictionalise them as well? How did the towns get started? Were they mining towns, farm towns? Did they have a rail head established when the Northern Pacific first opened (if you've chosen Montana) or the Great Northern a few years later on? Did they have a branch railroad established later on? What kinds of people, or what ethnic groups were the original settlers? Are any of their descendants still around? These factors are very important when it comes to establishing the location and nature of your fictional town.

    If you are going to use a real town, especially a small one, you really MUST visit, and speak to people as well. Get to know the place for real. If you use a real town—especially a small one—and make mistakes about it, folks will know. Don't forget, if word gets out that a writer has chosen 'my town' as the location of a book, people who live there will want to read it. Urkkk....
     

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