Sunday, May 30, 2010

The two-oh-eight!

Once upon a time this was a ‘travel blog’ full of new cultural experiences and distant adventures.  Kate and I grew up in a friendly part of the world they call ‘Southwestern Ontario’.  Our family and friends are, for most part, still there.  This ‘Brizzy Days’ thing was me sharing the Aussie experience.  It has also doubled as a journal; a rough record of adventures that will be fun to recall.  Our adventures are lately just one big ‘adventure’ (or 'little' adventure if you go by weight.)  But today I jump off the Wallace bandwagon for a bit.  The little man is adorable as ever but this will be a pre-Wally style post.  You see, Wally may be a little Aussie but he won’t remember Brisbane.  Nope. Instead, it appears like my son will grow up in a tiny little American college town called Moscow, Idaho.   As of August, you can call us: ‘Idahoans’. 

I have little doubt that most of you have always desperately wanted to learn more about ‘the state of Idaho’.  Wait no longer, here is your crash course:  First, Idaho is one of the last remaining states with a single area code: the two-oh-eight!  I can’t explain why Ludacris didn’t mention it in his song.

Idaho grows 1/3 of America’s potatoes.  One and a half million people live in the state - one person for every 6 square kilometres of land.  So there’s some breathing room.  A lot of breathing room actually filled with forests, mountains, rivers, and many national and state parks (some with scary names like: ‘Hell’s Canyon’ or ‘Bear Lake’ or ‘Sawtooth’).  So there is much hiking, rafting, climbing, biking, fishing, hunting and all that outdoor stuff.  Here is a collage I made for you:

I wouldn't call my self an 'outdoors' person.  Kate certainly is.  But I'm not an indoors person either?  Hmmm...  And, of course, there are some big and wild animals that don’t always play nice.

Another key bit of information is that Idaho has many official ‘emblems’ including  an official state: horse, fruit, bird, vegetable, tougher bird, tree, flower,  fish, insect, gem, and fossil. 

Seriously: Appalosa, Huckleberry, Mountain Bluebird, Potato, Peregrine falcon, Western White Pine, Syringa, Cutthroat Trout, Monarch butterfly, Star Garnet, and equus simplicidens. That’s right... a fossil:  Equus simplicidens, or ‘Hagerman Horse’.   They also obviously have a state song, and flag, and a state dance (the square dance) a catchy Latin state motto: Esta Perpetua, which means: everlasting, eternal, forever (you get the picture) and translates directly to ‘it is perpetual’.  And here is their official seal:

That's it.  Congratulations, you have just completed your Idaho crash course.  I might also mention that the state happens to have many pick-up trucks.

And as for the town of Moscow (home to the University of Idaho): I have been there just once, briefly, and I think I love it.  It felt like a perfect little laid-back college town with almost as many students as citizens.  (Town: 23000 people.  University of Idaho: 12000 students).  It’s a rich pocket of life that happens to be far, far away from everyone else.  The closest ‘big’ city is probably Seattle at 7 hours drive away.  And incidentally it’s 10 highway-hours to Vancouver and 12'ish to Calgary (and about 36 to Southwestern Ontario)

This is the only picture I could find of downtown Moscow for you:
And this is the entire town from above. It sits on little rolling hills. 

There's not much to it.  Many people don’t like small towns: 'boring' they say.  But I disagree.  I've met boring people but have yet to discover a boring place.  You can read anywhere.  But little towns have fewer ‘random people’ and more ‘familiar faces’.  Many of us constantly see nothing but strange faces.  It's evolutionarily abnormal :)  Plus I hate traffic, I hate line-ups and I hate traffic.  But little Mowcow, Idaho... I can’t wait to get to know this town. 

Admittedly, beach volleyball may be tough to find.


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Anonymous said...

To flesh out your town here is a picture of the Moscow Idaho City Hall:

The primary school:

And the drug store :)

Can't wait to come and visit you in your little home town. Hope everyone knows your name by the time I visit :) Libby