For the past 3 1/2 years of our life on the road, whenever someone asked us where we were from, we stammered for a minute trying to decide what we should say...but no more, now we chime in unison, Idaho!! And after our stay on the property this past summer, it truly is Idahome!! So what makes Far North Idaho so special to us??? Let us show you the ways.....
This past summer's weather was truly unique, much hotter than usual and VERY smoky! There was a 6,600-acre wildfire in the National Forest across the Valley from us that burned from July 29th until mid-September and did cause one incident of evacuation just North of us...but it also made for some vividly colored skies.
In combination with so many wildfires across the Pacific Northwest, our usually clear mountain vista was hindered by a smoky haze for most of the summer.
Although not life-threatening, but certainly not the most pleasant of circumstances, given that we can pick up and move whenever we want (and we have in less-that-ideal environments), if this condition had existed in the summer of 2013, we would have never stayed in Bonners Ferry for that summer or looked for property, we would have moved on and maybe returned to the area another time...wow, what a thought!!
As for the unusually hot weather, well, that played to our favor as we were able to grow an amazingly bountiful garden, far exceeding our expectations for North Idaho, including the presumptions of our farmer neighbors! The only drawback for us to life on the road WAS the self-sufficiency of not having a garden and orchard to grow our own food, but with this particularly ideal location in terms of elevation and climate, we no longer pine for the taste of a fresh-picked tomato, freshly-harvested corn, or the perfectly-ripe peach.
|First harvest of strawberries in mid-May!|
|First harvest of heirloom tomatoes in mid-July!|
|A garden so abundant we donated produce to friends who own a local Bonners Ferry restaurant|
|Cantaloupe, Kuri squash, and "size-winning" summer squash, an entry in the County Fair next year??!!|
|Not just heads of lettuce, towers of lettuce...premature (albeit pretty!) bolting from the heat|
And then there are the sunflowers....lots and lots and lots of sunflowers
The dry weather also led birds and wildlife to our property seeking respite from their parched food and water supplies.
|It was "wait-in-line" at the hummingbird feeder until....|
|...everyone found a place|
|The mineral lick and apples in our "backyard"...|
|...were popular both day...|
This past summer was unique particularly for the weather, but what provides fondness for our Idahome is everyday living in Bonners Ferry, giving us the opportunity to experience a fun-filled life with exciting, new adventures and activities we've enjoyed doing in the past, including happy hours with friends!!
|"Sundowners" with our neighbors from Tanzania|
The home should be the treasure chest of living
There are novelties...
|Preserved barn of a Bonners Ferry farming community|
created by the Homestead Act of 1862, yes 1862!
|Generations-old family business of ornamental plant and tree propagators|
|in Far North Idaho???!!!|
|With distribution throughout the US|
|Behind the scenes at the largest hops farm in the US...right across the Valley!|
|Propagating Willamette hops for Budweiser's new recipe|
There are quirks...
|Roasting the pig for the annual Elk Mountain Farm neighborhood party|
|Because these elk..........................are NOT for dinner|
|But speaking of propagating...|
|...there will be a new Zorse at the Elk Farm next Spring!|
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that action
Living in Far North Idaho one can't help but be overtaken by the simple agricultural spirit it embodies... Projects and chores are never in short supply...
Or for our neighbors...
|"Beef. It's what's for dinner."|
|In Far North Idaho we don't just tear down silos, we tear them down with bare hands!|
Where we love is home--home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
|Idaho's Stellar State Tree: White Pine|
|The Falls at Smith Creek|
|Ruffed grouse, Blue grouse, and Pheasant|
There's fishing too....
|Kokanee salmon spawning in Smith Creek|
|Most salmon go to sea, but Kokanee are land-locked sockeye salmon|
|They spend their adult lives in lakes and streams...|
|...instead of the ocean|
There are fly-ins....
|Community all-you-can-eat huckleberry pancake breakfasts support scholarships for young pilots|
There are contests....
|A great diversity of trees in the Idaho forests gives bragging rights to the winners of the Idaho State Forestry Contest|
There's a County Fair too....
|Old farm implements (!) and....|
|Young 4-H and Future Farmers of America are highlights|
For a small town of 2,500 people, Bonners Ferry is amazingly like "Alice's Restaurant":
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back, just a half a mile from the railroad track
An' you can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
- Arlo Guthrie (circa 1967)
|Enjoying Arlo Guthrie at the Sandpoint Music Festival, circa 2015|
|Complete with tie dye cake, compliments of the Hippy (and Happy!) Chic...all legal of course|