Remote versus Rural

Having grown up in rural Illinois, I love it even better here in Montana. It’s our home.

However, it’s not rural here.

We are NOT rural.

We are remote.

In fact, I live in the 17th most remote county in the United States. Considering there are approx. 3100+ counties in the US, that's remote.

Not rural.

There is a huge difference between rural and remote.  It’s good to understand this, in case if you ever find yourself wanting to visit or move to a remote area. Your stay will be much more pleasant if you prepare.   If a remote area person tells you to watch out, it's best that you watch out, because obviously they care about you.  Sometimes people don't get advice. Take that with a grain of salt. And a shot of tequila.


Here are just a few feral notations on the differences-


Rural - you count distance by miles i.e. “it’s ten miles to town, eight miles to the gas station, etc.

Remote -  you count distance by time i.e. “it’s an hour to town unless it’s raining. Then it’s give or take an hour and a half unless ____ road is washed out. Then it’s usually a day or two unless the sun doesn't come out. Then it could be some time.  Yep. it could take a season to get to town.”


Rural – “make sure your cell phone is charged!”

Remote – “make sure you get that flat tire fixed in town from last time, we’re down to only ONE spare for the truck.”


“AAA? … isn't that for drinking drivers who think they may have a problem?”


Rural – “we will be there as soon as we can.

Remote – “Meet us at the highway as soon as YOU can.”


(if it’s really bad**)

 “whats your GPS coordinates for air flight?”

**Really bad means how much did you make at that last cattle sale and then ask yourself, is that missing finger really worth a helicopter ride $ ?


Rural – every day except Sunday. The Rural USPS is very proud of that.

Remote –3 days a week; Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

And it’s just like a little house on the prairie freakin’ Christmas each time- yay big rubber-banded bundles!! - Except our mail carrier is super much better looking, nicer and more dependable than Mr. Edwards could ever wish to be. And you end up with a  healthy supply of rubber bands.

I love our post office people.


Rural – “we guarantee delivery to your door, no matter how far!”

Remote – “Are you are coming to town? Next season? We can hold it for you.

I just paid another extra $17.95 to that  @#$% company for delivery, and the delivery people dropped it off at the post office?"

Like I said, I love our post office people. They don't even complain when they have that umpteenth package on top of the little house on the prairie Christmas rubberband bundle to deliver on Mon/Wed/Fri; they are that very remotely wonderful.


Rural –  “we call almost daily to see if they need anything!"

Remote – “they were alive three weeks ago at branding time."

No explanation needed.  If you need one, stay away.


Rural – “sometimes I can’t get coverage if I’m out in the fields.”

Remote – “oh yeah, those things people have attached to their hands in the city….”


(when talking to visitors)

Hmmm, if you really need to send a picture of your cell “selfie” with a cow, we can drive you out to _____ Butte to see if there’s a signal. It’s about a half hour from here… unless it starts to rain…


We may be remote, but its HOME!

 ...although for some, temporary...

:o !

but for us Humans, ALL the time!




  1. That is a good comparison. We are rural but there are remote places here too. I know of people who moved from the urban areas in Ontario and the Real Estate Agent sold them remote places. They simply did not understand the difference and always end up selling and moving to 'town'. I could stand to be a bit more remote but it would bother Ed so for now we're fine.

  2. And don't you love every minute of it?! There was a time when I'd have been right out there with you but now I'll just take rural.

  3. Haha I hear you, we are one of those remote places as well but we only get mail twice a week :( Wonder where our county stacks up in Canada???
    Somedays I wish we were closer but for now I like it

  4. Perfect and yes, I am rural but could do with remote also. A 'Hermitess' by nature!

  5. Perfect! We are rural, and have a really long drive back to the house... a good thing!

  6. I live ruraly remotely. Now I know!

  7. I envy you! The worst invention that I have ever seen was made by Alexander Graham Bell. Someday, somewhere, maybe I get to kick him in the behind! :-}

  8. GW Feral Woman,

    Sounds like a peace of heaven to me!

  9. So you are remote and I am rural.This I know. There are many differences not to mention language barriers between the two of us. (hence the no U in neighbour) ;0. Seriously I admire anyone who can live the remote lifestyle and I have always believed you are one of the bravest women I know. I do someday expect to come for a visit and expect that you will take good care of me and teach me the difference between rural and remote and all the advantages and the untouched beauty that go with that from a woman and man who really really know. Great post . I think I am getting too old to live remote for too long now:) xo HUG B

  10. I had a chuckle at your 911 medical services comment. Locally, especially important for those down in remote Big Sur, CA, there's air ambulance "insurance" - it's an annual membership fee, so, if you ever need, you won't be stuck with a $20K+ transport bill.

  11. Thanks for the warning. I definitely want to be rural as soon as I retire. I'm like Buttons, I am getting a little to old for remote. You are awesome!

  12. Had to lol at "I just paid another extra $17.95 to that @#$% company for delivery, and the delivery people dropped it off at the post office?" I might add you better stay on the good side of our post mistress, who knows all and has the power. ;D

    We are also remote out here on the island. Not so far away from civilization as the crow flies, just separated by bridges and large bodies of water. Nearest vet, feed store and hay source - 3.5 hours away. One road in - may or may not be passable during hurricane season. (The only) bridge gets closed periodically after inspections reveal pilings aren't quite connected to the sea floor...

  13. nice comparison. you are hardy folks.

    thank you for your kind comment on zim. i know you know the grief.

  14. Well, you certainly nailed that differentiation. Though I'm actually a city boy, I've lived both rural and remote. I think I prefer remote, but I'm back in a city again and can't do much about my situation. Hope your life is ore than remotely interesting. Which I guess it is.

    Can't remember your dog's name. Ranger, maybe?

    Blessings and Bear hugs, anyhow.

  15. Our government designated us a 'remote rural' area when we moved here 22 years ago. Since then, the power hardly ever goes out and we don't have to go to the top of our driveway to get cell phone reception. We actually have internet full time. So now, I think we are just rural. UPS will not open our gate, but they will call us when they drop a package off there, only a half mile away. Interesting in a snowstorm. If I were younger, I would love to go back to 'remote'.

  16. We live in a small town surrounded by rural space. We're looking forward to an even smaller town. Not sure I'm up for remote - but it sure looks peaceful!


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