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September 3, 2013: Could you Live Here?

This is a common question that Pete and I sometimes ask one another half-jokingly, sometimes not. It’s a question that actually has become more commonplace in the past year or so because we are seriously considering relocating the Lower-48, aka America.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, the political climate in our neck of the words is unfavorable, and it doesn’t appear as though it’s going to get any better. Related to this is the fact that the entire area could in the next ten years become coal mine territory. Fighting this is like taking on Godzilla and Mothra both with single toothpicks.

We also both have a desire to be closer to our respective family members. Funny how that works. But it’s something to consider. Additionally, it seems now (after ten years) that a teaching job is not going to materialize for me where we are currently living. Consequently, we both agree that our having a double income would enable us to do more traveling without ending up in the poor house.

It will break my heart to leave Squalor Holler, a place into which we have put considerable sweat equity. But the reasons for moving keep popping up like the targets at the fair rifle arcade. For instance, there is also the horse thing. Hay prices continue to climb. I’d also like to have access to competent riding instructors and other Icelandic horse owners. It would also be nice to be a member of a healthy regional Icelandic horse club. Additionally, the prospect of having a decent trail system outside the door is a motivator to look elsewhere for a place to live.

This morning we went for a ride outside of Mackey; we rode the Trail Creek trail. We went for many miles without seeing a soul. We were in a canyon, we rode upward, were surrounded by aspens and sage. Had a view of odd rock formations, and high peaks. Unlike at home, we didn’t have to deal with ATV users. We saw two vehicles with ATVs on rear trailers, but that was it. Of course, as we were trotting along, I considered living in this area.

Later, Pete went over to the Forest Service office and I went over to the real estate office, which had postings in the windows. I discovered that there are many affordable parcels in this area. However, there are no colleges or universities. Have to have that. If not for work-related reasons, at least for intellectual stimulation.

Prices ARE lower here than in the Teton Valley area. I suspect that eventually I’ll find the best of all worlds.

In the meantime, we are spending the night at the Mackey rodeo grounds. The pens here have large rebar rails and are semi-clean. Showers are padlocked though. Might mean a trip to the combo laundry/shower facility. A storm is in the nearby mountain range and heading our way. Very windy. So we are sitting in the truck, Ryder between us, sleeping. I am writing this dispatch and Pete is reading yesterday’s New York Times. Rainbow is in the back seat, and the horses are still in the trailer.

Tomorrow we’ll head in the direction of Challis, Idaho. The animals are all doing very well. We are adjusting to Ryder’s way of being—moments of intense excitement punctuated by moments of intense sleep. I like it when she sleeps, for she is then quite cute. I’m sure that many years ago, my mother thought the same thing about me.

Next: 168: 8/4/13: Mackay’s Mine Hill Tour-on Horseback