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Opinions about N Idaho, W Montana and W Wyoming...

7912 Views 30 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  IsaiahM33
We are hopefully going to put California in our rear-view mirror in a few years, and are starting to plan our move. We will be taking another trip up there soon and would like to get some feedback from some members who live in these states.

I would prefer the boonies, but we have kids and grand-kids following who will need work. Weather, cost-of-living, taxes, conservative politics, cities to avoid (like Missoula) etc all play into the decision. We have spent some time in CDA and south Idaho, and a little time in western Montana, but no experience with Wyoming.

Primarily looking from Kootenai/Shoshone county north to Sand Point in Idaho, western Montana, and Star Valley Wyoming, but open to other areas, just no high-desert. Any feedback would be great. Looking for a minimum of 5 acres, hopefully more.

Thanks for any input
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Many of us southwestern Idahoans view the northern part-particularly the CD'A area- as pretty liberal. Keep in mind, liberal CAN be a relative term. Still nowhere near as conservative as the vast vast majority of southwest Idaho. A guy can still get pretty "rural" in central and even still southern Idaho. Taxes are pretty low-compared to other similar regions. Like I just said, it IS really conservative around southwest and virtually most of the state. Weather in my particular area, known as the "Treasure Valley" is perfect as far as I am concerned. Lows of maybe 0 or maybe -5 (this last winter doesn't count-we had a handful of -25 nights!!!) and during the summer it gets up to 100 at about 15% humidity! It is not unusual for it NOT to rain from mid-June until late August. You just have to keep your lawn watered. Water is a precious commodity around these parts during the summer. You can, if you play your cards right, snow ski and water ski the same day. Hunting is good, not as good as it was years ago, but where is it as good as it was years ago? Fishing. The mecca of fishing.
Things to NOT brag about- all the complaining about the illegal alien issues in the southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, and California----wait, they don't complain about it in California) are related to here, The illegal aliens that they are talking about for the most part are simply passing though those states. A very large percentage of them stop and live in Idaho.
Good schools, people still wave at total strangers as they pass on country roads. Wages are nowhere near what they are elsewhere, but it IS cheaper to live here.
It's not unusual to see guns in back windows of pickups out in the sticks. It is not unusual to see and hear full auto at a range. Stores stock 30 round mags on the shelves, and it is nearly impossible to find a 10 round Glock mag-ask me how I know. ( I needed one for a recent trip to California and couldn't find one at all. Every gun store asked simply---"why do you need a ten round mag? Nobody buys them, no one needs them, we can't hardly sell any..... ".) But I digress.

OOPS, just checked, we're full up. Sorry.
 

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Well John Denver said it best decades ago, good luck most of California is thinking the same thing.

"his heart still knows some fear
Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend
Why they try to tear the mountains down to bring in a couple more
More people, more scars upon the land"

-Rocky Mountain High
 

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I lived in the Clearwater River (Idaho) area for a couple years back in the mid 70's beautiful mountain country. Lewiston is the big town there, Orofino, and a host of other towns. Get down south to Grangeville, Kamiah, Kooskia etc until you get to the Salmon area. All beautiful country and probably little changed since I was there. I also love Montana, most of it anyway. I had a 20 acre lot for a while in eastern MT above and east of Lewistown. Wyoming probably has the best tax structure if that matters, Idaho has a state income tax, but no or low sales tax. I live in WA (born here) but have spent lots of time in the mountain states. Be curious to see where you end up, anything will be an improvement. Enjoy the hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Bill, great info! That is definitely an area where I’ve just driven through but spent little time in. I’ve heard that it’s pretty liberal around Moscow/Lewiston too? A friend of mine lives in Post Falls and works in CDA said the same thing; that some “not like-minded folks” are moving there.

How about jobs? My son-in-law is an engineer and one son is in the trades HVAC/construction, and the other wants to be a deputy.
 

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As one of those guys that moved recently to Idaho (Boise region), our family really likes it. We had to stay close to metro area because the wife wants some conveniences and I still need to work off and on. Many people in our suburban area still have their American flags up, and I was happy to put mine up on the new house. Some have full-height flag poles even and the guy next to me has a POW one, fully illuminated so it's up all the time.

DMV was no fun - there are a lot of people moving here you can tell. I can't get my CA plates off soon enough. I don't pretend it'll be good forever, but we, as a family, feel we have more runway than we ever did in CA to get the kids grown a bit more before we decide if we want to go more rural. Wife lived in CDA, Post Falls, Hayden Lake for awhile and liked it, but that was awhile ago and I'm pretty sure it's changed quite a bit.

You could do worse (a lot worse) than the 3 regions you mentioned.
 

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nearly impossible to find a 10 round Glock mag-ask me how I know. ( I needed one for a recent trip to California and couldn't find one at all.
Forgot to mention... Can take it offline to not further hijack OP's thread...

If you need some next time you go, let me know. I'm in Boise area.

By the way, I only was in CA for awhile working - I am mostly from Texas ... mostly, if that helps. Couldn't get the wife to move back home with me, so ID was definitely a good second choice. GI1
 

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I lived in Cody Wy. For 7 years after I retired. I really loved it but the winters finally got to me. The first freeze was 1st week of Sept and the last freeze was 1st week of June. Having a garden was difficult, One year we had to wear coats to the 4th of July parade. I’m in Fla. now.....
 

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I lived in Cody Wy. For 7 years after I retired. I really loved it but the winters finally got to me. The first freeze was 1st week of Sept and the last freeze was 1st week of June. Having a garden was difficult, One year we had to wear coats to the 4th of July parade. I’m in Fla. now.....
My brother who is now 66 talked a few years ago about moving to Cody as well, he really liked what he saw there,,,, in the summertime! I told him one winter there would probably cure him. We are all from the moderate NW of WA state where the temps rarely if ever approach zero in the winter and the same with flirting with 100 in the summer, very rare. For me as well the older I get, the less those extreme temps intrigue me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Question # 1 - Do any of your group have any health concerns? What distance to major medical care will you be comfortable with?

There will be more questions.


Hobo
Hobo.

Overall our medical is good. Major medical within an 60-90 minutes for us, is what my wife is comfortable with. Our kids will probably be closer into town/city for work and medical (having babies etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As one of those guys that moved recently to Idaho (Boise region), our family really likes it. We had to stay close to metro area because the wife wants some conveniences and I still need to work off and on. Many people in our suburban area still have their American flags up, and I was happy to put mine up on the new house. Some have full-height flag poles even and the guy next to me has a POW one, fully illuminated so it's up all the time.

DMV was no fun - there are a lot of people moving here you can tell. I can't get my CA plates off soon enough. I don't pretend it'll be good forever, but we, as a family, feel we have more runway than we ever did in CA to get the kids grown a bit more before we decide if we want to go more rural. Wife lived in CDA, Post Falls, Hayden Lake for awhile and liked it, but that was awhile ago and I'm pretty sure it's changed quite a bit.

You could do worse (a lot worse) than the 3 regions you mentioned.
Thanks Schrader. We spent some time in the Boise area a couple of years ago; while not what we are looking for it definitely beats CA. We did look at some homes in the Idaho City area that we liked, and jobs for the kids in Boise is a plus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My brother who is now 66 talked a few years ago about moving to Cody as well, he really liked what he saw there,,,, in the summertime! I told him one winter there would probably cure him. We are all from the moderate NW of WA state where the temps rarely if ever approach zero in the winter and the same with flirting with 100 in the summer, very rare. For me as well the older I get, the less those extreme temps intrigue me.
That is a significant concern for us, especially for my wife. Everyone I talked to says most of Wyoming gets very cold, and the Star Valley area is quite a bit colder than Cody with the historical averages.
 

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That is a significant concern for us, especially for my wife. Everyone I talked to says most of Wyoming gets very cold, and the Star Valley area is quite a bit colder than Cody with the historical averages.
Any and all of the mountain west can get very cold in the winter. I once got up in the morning where I lived in Weippe Idaho and it was 35 below zero! Coldest I have ever seen here in Wet WA is about 10 above.
 

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I lived in CDA idaho. Heck I was born there. But if you move to north Idaho it would be best to move north of sandpoint or south by Moscow. CDA is very frustrating to me. Agenda 21 county and your rights are sliding away. Bonner county is much better and more remote. There are some jobs. I worked with Idaho forest group until I moved to a better place. I sold my 5 acres by cocolalla lake. I now live in alaska. My neighbor and best friend still lives there. Bonner county has a better county government and people like to be left alone.
Yes you put on more miles to drive to CDA or spokane but I dont want to live in either of those places. Just so you know my family lives in CDA.
I miss home a lot but I am enjoying the nothingness in alaska too. I dont miss the crowds in north idaho. When I was a kid you could drive hwy 95 to sandpoint and only pass a few cars. Now it like an interstate. Also when I was younger I had a chance to buy land for 800 bucks an acre with large trees. That was in 1995.

If I were to move back to that area I would move to north west montana or shoshone county or east bonner county by Montana. Lovely place that is.
But I like freedom and I want to share that with all. Please be safe with your move from California and please leave Cali in Cali.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great info; this is really helpful. I’ve heard the same thing about CDA going Agenda 21/2030, that is one of the concerns we had for that area. As soon as they buy into the “sustainable development” narrative, your rights start to go bye-bye.

I live in a fairly remote area (for CA) in Placer County. We are involved a movement here called Jefferson State, that wants to break off from CA in the worst way, but its mostly wishful thinking. Like NY, most of CA (acerage wise) is rural and conservative, but our voice is drowned out by millions of liberals, led by the media and Hollywood elite. I know the sight of CA lic plates is not what many people in other states want to see, but our clan won’t be bringing any “Cali” with us. The Cali I grew up in is long gone.

I lived in CDA idaho. Heck I was born there. But if you move to north Idaho it would be best to move north of sandpoint or south by Moscow. CDA is very frustrating to me. Agenda 21 county and your rights are sliding away. Bonner county is much better and more remote. There are some jobs. I worked with Idaho forest group until I moved to a better place. I sold my 5 acres by cocolalla lake. I now live in alaska. My neighbor and best friend still lives there. Bonner county has a better county government and people like to be left alone.
Yes you put on more miles to drive to CDA or spokane but I dont want to live in either of those places. Just so you know my family lives in CDA.
I miss home a lot but I am enjoying the nothingness in alaska too. I dont miss the crowds in north idaho. When I was a kid you could drive hwy 95 to sandpoint and only pass a few cars. Now it like an interstate. Also when I was younger I had a chance to buy land for 800 bucks an acre with large trees. That was in 1995.

If I were to move back to that area I would move to north west montana or shoshone county or east bonner county by Montana. Lovely place that is.
But I like freedom and I want to share that with all. Please be safe with your move from California and please leave Cali in Cali.
 

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Changed my plates out today! CA plates off - proud owner of ID plates. No more hidin' my face. Too bad about State of Jefferson not gettin' more weight. Placer did pretty good, relatively, in the Veto signatures last year as I recall.

I have definitely heard the CDA stuff and glad I talked the wife out of goin' there. She grew up there earlier and had the same notion - that it was not crowded. Reckon she'd not recognize it anymore. Montana was nice when we visited this summer - just a bit too remote for us at this point in our lives.

Good luck on your travels and keep the family safe wherever you end up.
 

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Sandpoint is beautiful but have to put up with tons of liberals.
 
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