Living - and already savoring - the Adventures across the backroads of western Idaho and eastern Oregon!

04 October 2012

Wheels on the Van go round and round

That’s what Idaho has felt like, though we’re happy to be off the treadmill our Maryland lives had become.  700+ miles alone while househunting our first two weeks here!  Having just replied to a couple of you via email, and thinking about what’s up in the new year, gets me to posting some new stuff.  That, and several of you have encouraged me to again write.
It’s interesting how you can shift your perspective by trying new ideas or shaking old ones around.  For example, Mrs. TMM has to deal with my rants about politics, esp. my feeling that the President’s role in managing day-to-day governmental ops is vastly overrated; he’s just one person whose guidance takes so long to filter into actual policies.  And where is the accountability on Congress to do its basic job – field a budget?  And, we reap what we sow when Congress is allowed to formulate budgets down to the program level, unlike many European countries where bureaucrats like me would translate an entire department’s funding into specific programmatic actions not subject to the vagaries of election cycles.  Pro’s and con’s, and I’m not advocating anything here, just looking at the issues from a different lenses!
Idaho and the West.  Much less controversial and more interesting to many of you?  I cannot believe we live in the land of Sonic and still have drive-in theaters here; that’s the benefit of such predictably dry and warm weather so much of the year, with nary a mosquito in sight.  And the Sonics’ ATM readers here are so polite – “Do you know your PIN?”  “Ahh, duhh, no, can I have it for free?!”  And they have ‘home-tending’ here, whereby a realtor can allow a buyer awaiting a home sale closure to stay dirt-cheap in a house that’s up for a short sale.  So, we’re paying but a fraction of the cost of a rental house and have a very simple lease whose term ends only when the bank sells this house (but we'll close on our own house Oct. 15).
My annual autumn sojourn to the C&O Canal trail is no more, to be replaced this year by simpler trips (and a short campout?!) to eastern Oregon’s national forests.  Oregon because we’ll live but twenty minutes from the state line.  In two hours flat, mostly along I-84 at 75 mph, we can arrive at the trails around 7,100-ft elevation Grande Ronde Lake or the superb fishing at Phillips Lake; or nearer to home, we can do see songbird and hawks capture-and-releases at the Idaho Bird Observatory.  Like DC and other cities, Boise has its own river walk and we hope to do a couple hours’ walk after Saturday’s observatory visit (then some slices of pizza nearby before heading home).
Oh, did I mention last weekend we did six hours round-trip drive to Craters of the Moon National Monument?  What a surreal and fascinating place to behold, something I highly recommend for anyone who’s in the area and interested in how our earth continues to form.  Windy but quiet, strange flora and even folks camping among the cinders underfoot.  Next year we’ll camp just to see what it’s like.
Enough pent-up thoughts for today as I type from bed on a sick leave day.  See – work is so interesting and family life so energized that I can’t find time to write in the evenings!  Be good to yourselves as the eastern seaboard considers cooling off and autumn festivals are just around the bend!

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