No. I was just in Idaho and Wyoming. I haven't put pictures on the computer yet, but I will.
So we rolled back into town at 5 this morning, and I was ready to be gone again when I woke up to an "excessive heat warning" and 15% humidity that renders our swamp cooler all but useless. I am now firmly committed to moving next June. The thought that this could be my last summer in Vegas is a really, really nice one.
But, readers, I need your advice. Being a teacher means I'm short on the kind of dough that would make a full-scale exploration of the West possible, so I could use all the suggestions I could get before we pack up our stuff and strike off into the sunset. Here's what I've got in mind, as far as criteria for places to live:
1. Summer days in the 80s or 90s.
2. A population of roughly 5,000 to 50,000 (enough for two teachers to find work).
3. A house with two bathrooms on half an acre or so for under $180K.
4. Mountains close enough to see from town. Preferably with a ski area not more than 90 minutes away.
5. In the states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, or Washington. We'd also consider Minnesota, Michigan, or Wisconsin if there's something there that you could suggest.
6. A minimum of 6 fishing waters within 3 hours' drive, preferably with a variety of fish in them.
7. Access to rock climbing and mountain biking areas.
8. A movie theatre.
10. Green and growing things.
12. A university or community college would be nice, but not essential.
13. A 3-hour drive or less to a town of 40,000 or more (because sometimes you need an airport or a Wal-Mart or something).
I don't really think that's a whole lot to ask for. Here, in no particular order, are some of the places we have in mind:
1. Boise, Idaho
2. Idaho Falls, Idaho
3. Bozeman, Montana
4. Helena, Montana
5. Kalispell, Montana
6. Cody, Wyoming
7. Provo or Orem, Utah
8. Boulder, Utah
9. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
10. Heber City, Utah
11. Spokane, Washington
12. Missoula, Montana
13. Pocatello, Idaho
The rest of these might be pipe dreams, but nevertheless are fun to daydream about:
14. Montrose, Colorado
15. Bishop, California
17. Bend, Oregon
18. New Zealand
Please leave a comment if you think there is a town I've overlooked, or if you feel overwhelmingly praiseful/disparaging about any of the towns I've mentioned. Thanks for your help, and I'll reward you later this week with a virtual vacation to Yellowstone National Park when I get my pics posted!