Taking a walk off the well-worn path today. On the ride to work this morning, I got to thinking about (of all things) finding a new place to live. Retirement is getting closer with each passing day and our hope has been that once that day arrives we would move to some final QTH that will provide us with a little more room to stretch out.

I could publish an entire manifesto on my thoughts about location. Suffice it to say that anywhere we go will be north of where we currently live. Mostly due to climate change but I also dream about living in a much less-populated area. In my head I can see an eight-lane superhighway with cars bumper-to-bumper headed south while I’m in the lone vehicle heading north and that seems perfect to me.

Harsh winters are great population filters.

But as we advance in age we would also like access to quality healthcare services. So while I may dream of a cabin situated on a hundred lonely acres in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the reality is that we will likely end up in some small town with doctors and a hospital. The notion of healthcare access and remoteness are at opposition with each other and that’s why this requires considerable thought and planning.

There was an article recently about the The Best Places to Retire in America and while it looked at services and low-crime, many of the recommendations were smack in the middle of densely populated areas. Some of them even in places that wouldn’t exist without supernatural volumes of air conditioning.

That was a waste of the authors time to write it and mine to read it…

We’ve been exploring places hundreds of miles north of here in preparation for our exodus. Low-crime, decent healthcare service, access to large amounts of freshwater and the ability to hunt and fish have had us looking mostly at Michigan’s western coast. The area around Traverse City looks promising so we intend to make a few excursions there in the coming weeks.

Given the parameters of our search, I don’t worry much about antenna restrictions, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. Stealth antennas are a fact of life for a lot of radio amateurs and portable operation away from a restricted residence continues to grow in popularity. Besides, I don’t plan to remain radioactive right up to the day I die. One of these days I will liquidate all my ham radio gear and go QRT.

No point in leaving that chore to my wife and kids.