If I may try to answer such an all inclusive question...I 'ran away' to this place back in 1980. Knew no one, came alone. I, like the Hopi, was looking for a place which I didn't have to fight for...a place no one else much wanted. The abundant water, oxygen giving forests, and lakes which felt little pressure from overfishing were a bonus. I had much in common with the 'old-timers', many of whom lived pastoral lives and some who still spoke the language of their native scandinavian countries...having a font of natural knowledge in the guise of Ojibwe elders, who knew methods of harvesting wild food and herbs was another bonus. Gravity and attraction brought me in touch with other hippie homesteaders at various stages of their growth. The nearly three decades that have passed since then have wrought many changes. Some have left their homesteads for the 'glitter and the rouge' of other places...many of the younger generations of Ojibwe have rejected their elders' path...the pastoral farms have been bought up by ag interests...center pivot irrigators and row crops have replaced small dairy and sheep farms in the valley...second and third homes have been built for the 'trickle down' wealth from Reagan/Bush/Bush policies and Clinton's .com/globalism and stock market booms. The price of land has escalated from 100 bucks per acre...to thousands of dollars per acre. Small subdivisions are sprouting on 40 acre parcels near lakes and forests. We've been relatively immune, but weekends find noisy, polluting, gas guzzling 4 wheelers 'enjoying' the forest roads at 60 mph...green for forests and blue for water all they are able to discern. Our homestead is an eden to us. If I was deaf and didn't leave home ever...I'd have little idea of what was happening beyond a mile of us. We've traveled extensively, and have often thought we may leave here to find a place away from what we see as a growing fascism and militaristic imperialism in this country...not wanting to be a part of an empire with troops in 130 countries of the world, and yet portraying itself as the arbiter of freedom and the perpetual victim. But...being an observer of history...a traveler through time and space...I can set myself apart from the complicity of all that...make my stand here and try to create as much change by example and by speaking out as I can. I know this place...deep in my psychic soul...the trees and the waters and the animals know me...we are friends, kindred spirits...and that is all I can ask for.
Though with the changes, it would break my heart to leave here, someday I will, as ashes or dust or perhaps of my own volition.