I lived in Idaho for 6 years, but I’m back in the Klamath River Valley now as I write this. I couldn’t stay away. I tried. I will tell you why I tried and why I’m back in this blog post.
I tried to leave because after thirteen years of living in Happy Camp I wanted to live out in civilization again. The town of Happy Camp is beautiful in many ways, but it is far from large stores and other cultural opportunities. I also thought that since I’m getting older, I should live closer to a hospital.
It was on my bucket list to someday live outside the state of California. I’d always lived in this state since birth, and wanted to know what it was like to live elsewhere. I chose to go to North Idaho, hoping for more forests and rural areas.
What I found in North Idaho was Jesus… someone I’d never had in my life before. That happened two weeks after I arrived there. It was totally unexpected.
I also found out that daily walks were not as pleasant as what I was used to. In Happy Camp I could walk 10 feet from my home and be in a beautiful forest. I could walk next to the wild and scenic Klamath River. I could walk all the way around town in less than an hour. Anyplace I needed to be, I could walk to easily.
Not so in Post Falls, Idaho. There I was in a small city. I rented an apartment in an act of desperation as I was about to become homeless as in, sleeping under a freeway overpass or something like that. I’d run out of money and my credit cards were maxed out. I had few options. The United Gospel Mission home for hapless women was looking mighty promising at the moment. Fortunately I was told I could move into the apartment that night… and I did, and I slept on the floor for two weeks before a good soul loaned me fifty dollars to buy a bed from a man who was moving out of the building.
In that area there were no buses. When I moved north I’d seen bus stops on the map next to the apartment complex, but when I arrived I discovered the bus service had been cancelled due to budget cuts. I do love to walk, but I ended up doing a lot more walking than I’d ever done in Happy Camp, and in much less pleasant surroundings. There was no lovely forest outside my door. I lived on the Rathdrum Prairie, a bleak and boring landscape full of industrial buildings and tiny housing areas. My apartment building was right next door to a place where heavy equipment was rented, and across the street was a storage locker facility, right next to a cow pasture and an auto repair shop.
Worse – I was half a block away from a truck stop and there was another truck stop a block from that one. We were one block away from a rural truck route and from a major freeway. It was a busy, noisy environment. I could lock myself away in my apartment for some peace and quiet, but when I went outside for a walk there was smoggy air, noise pollution, and lots of traffic. Definitely not what I liked in an outdoor environment. It was not pleasant to walk in. Later when I got a bicycle, it was not pleasant to bike in.
Did I mention I left my car in Happy Camp? Oh yes. I decided to give my old 1991 Ford Tempo to my ex-boyfriend who wanted it and I gave my mechanically unsound van to my son who was better equipped to fix it than I was. I thought I’d be okay in North Idaho without a vehicle as I expected to use public transportation buses there. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was two and a half miles from the nearest supermarket, walking west. To get to the actual town of Post Falls to use the library and anything else was another two and a half miles to the east. This was not a very happy situation for me but I bucked up and took it in, and did my best. My feet hurt like Hades after many of my long, long walks for groceries, books, or anything.
I started a YouTube channel, “Book Lady” (now changed to “Linda Book Lady”) . . . I learned to make videos by filming some of my walks and bicycle rides.
Three and a half years after arriving in Idaho I was blessed with my mother’s car. She wasn’t going to need it anymore.
Still North Idaho, nice as it was once I had transportation, was not home. As soon as I got the financial opportunity I made arrangements and returned to the Klamath River Valley. I came here on vacation in 2019. I returned a few months later and bought real estate with an old mobile home on it. In 2020 I returned to Idaho. I got everything I’d left there and returned to the Klamath River Valley in late August 2020 and put all my things into the mobile home – just in time to lose almost everything in the Slater Fire on September 8, 2020. What a fast way to downsize! All those things I had trouble letting go of in Idaho, I managed to get rid of in one hot night in September. It is amazing how you can lose so much so quickly. Also amazing how so much is transformed to nothing but ashes. About 200 homes were lost in that fire – it wasn’t just mine.
That just about covers everything I meant to tell you about, until now. Next time I’ll write about gold.