To get to Fleming County from where we started, you go through Cincinnati and then down the AA Highway. We used to live in Northern Kentucky and I worked in downtown Cinci, so that basic route is plenty familiar but it doesn't take very long at all before you are out of the big city and into banjo country. As one drives along the AA, up and down the hills, following the Ohio River, you are struck by the beauty of the hills and valleys covered in trees. It is pretty to look at but it also made me wonder about trying to find someone out in the hills that doesn't want to be found. The Cincinnati area is home to over 2 million people but in 30 minutes you can be out in relatively untamed wilderness.
Fleming County itself is a border county between "official Appalachia" and the rest of Kentucky.
|( https://www.arc.gov/images/appregion/AppalachianRegionCountiesMap.pdf )|
While I am pretty happy with where we live for a lot of reasons, including being a pretty decent place
Appalachia is around 205,000 square miles of hills, hollers, forests and swamps. The people down there tend to be a little more rough and tumble. Most of the men look like they can fight and have been in fights. Compared to most suburban men, they are like a different species. Spend time in public around suburban men and it is startling how soft they are. They talk softly and meekly, the look like their mom dressed them for the first day of school, they look like they would die of fright if you startled them. It is the result of decades of conditioning that seeks to stamp out any overt masculinity. When they are with their family, they look helpless. They defer to their wives and have no palpable authority over their children. The guys in Appalachia? They look like they would pop you in the mouth if it were called for.
Something else interesting about Appalachia is that is forms a natural barrier between the East Coast urban centers and the heartland. You know the heartland, where food is raised, stuff is made, gasoline is refined, coal is dug, etc.
For comparison, Vietnam is only around 128,000 square miles, or about 60% of the size of Appalachia. Afghanistan is around 251,000 square miles, and while much of Afghanistan is hilly or mountainous, it is a pretty barren, arid country in terms of vegetation. We are still seeing how easy it is to subdue places like that.
There are over 25 million people across Appalachia. It would only take a small percentage of them to wreak havoc on railways and roads crossing Appalachia. Pipelines, rail lines, highways, all bring necessary materials to those big cities. How long would it take before gas started running out or shelves in stores sat empty?
Hopefully it won't come to that and I am in no way advocating anyone engage in illegal and/or violent acts. Just know that it will take more to bring the American people under control than locking down the big cities.