I wasn’t trying to be coy, I’m just a dork and got all the way to the end of that post and realized I hadn’t said a thing about where we were going. And then it felt like I needed to do a whole big explanation thing that I didn’t have time for.
So, I try not to be too specific online about my city / address, because weirdos. But this is kind of hilarious because we’re moving to Wyoming, and since there are only like three inhabitable places in the entire state, it’s harder to be elusive about it. (I exaggerate.) Hint: it’s not the pretty northern / Jackson Hole part I’m already well acquainted with.
On my first (and only) trip down to the south-western area I was at first sort of encouraged. We drove down along my beloved Snake River, through gorgeous Afton and Hoback Junction by Jackson. I knew that we’d eventually reach the big empty part, but had sort of convinced myself that it would be similar to south-east Idaho. I mean, I’d already adjusted to the flat farmland of Idaho after moving from the splendor of Salt Lake City’s Wasatch Mountains, so how bad could it be, really?
I WAS NOT PREPARED.
The first two photos in this post are not mine (and I am horrible because I do not have the credits, so sorry. Photographer, if you find me, please feel free to yell, I will understand). But don’t they seem like it’s going to be okay? Charming bluffs with sort of a deserty, arty feel, right? And hey! Snaking trains in lieu of a river! I can deal!
These two photos, however, are mine — well, they are J’s. We were in shock. It was such a jolt! Of nothingness! I mean, looking at them now that sounds very dramatic and like all the Wyomingites will want to punch me in the face. I can see some of that deserty charm — and I think ID really did help prepare me to do so, because would you not just basically sit down and cry if you were moving there straight from the shadows of these?
I mean, right?? That was my view out my front room window in the house I grew up in. I completely took those mountains for granted.
Anyway, it was all good though. Because driving through hours and hours of what felt like a completely empty, alien planet — or you know, the MOON — by the time we reached a town, it felt like a breathtaking oasis in the middle of nowhere. We poked around the cities that were near enough to my husband’s place of work to not make a commute utterly miserable, and I found that I rather liked the place. It was a relief, to drive around for a few days and feel like I could more than deal. Even in the lovely little cities, you do feel very isolated knowing all that nothingness is on all sides, though. It feels a little bit like you really super better have your food storage and your back up heat source and, I don’t know, basic knowledge of deer hunting (there are MANY, all over the place), because when the zombies come, I don’t think ANYONE is going to remember that there are these little outposts of humanity in Wyoming and send help.
My friend Tracy grew up in the area and she says that Wyomingites like it that way. I can totally see that. This area is having a boom, but there isn’t anyone (or at least not many) building houses. They have a housing shortage. It’s so bizarre. All these people are flooding to the area for work but there aren’t enough places for them to live, yet the state has more empty, open, and available SPACE than anyone else in the union. House hunting down there has been insane.
Here, I’ll show you what we’re dealing with. It’s called sticker shock.
This house above is available near me here in Idaho for $230,000. It is 3100 square feet and has 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It was built in 2008 and sits on a beautifully landscaped acre. It’s not my dream house or anything, but should give you an indicator for comparison.
Here’s a comparable listing (price-wise and sizeish-wise) from one of the areas in which we are looking:
Asking price is $224,000. It has 2200 square feet, 6 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms. It was built in the late 70s and sits on a 0.14 acre lot. Now, I’m not going to house bash, I realize these are very different housing markets, and know I could compare a listing in ID to something in the bay area in California and we’d all die of sticker shock. It’s just an adjustment.
Plus we’re coming from years of dreaming of a lot more land; taking steps to try and make that happen, but instead we’re shopping around in a place where it’s going to be a major score if we have enough yard for a couple of dogs to not go completely mad.
So, you know, different! Shelving the dream! It’s probably going to be hard. But we’re not giving up on the dream either. Hopefully this will just be a means to an end… another stepping stone on the path of life. I dunno, insert your own cliche.
My youngest is next to me in bed. He just rolled over and mumbled something about Jabba the Hut. I will leave you with that & schedule this for 5am (rest assured I will not be awake). I’ve got lovely friends descending at sun up (hopefully not right at sun up) wielding packing tape and Sharpies. They are the best.
p.s. Daylight savings is the WORST. This was the longest day ever with the crabbiest children on the planet ever in all history of ever. We were stuck in the house with various degrees of colds (thank you, Halloween! I totally blame you, just so you know.) (Halloween totally doesn’t give a crap.) So if this post sounds ever so slightly doom and gloom, never fear; I will cheer up when the sun comes up, I am sure.