The Palouse, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer.

Holy Smokes, it’s March already? My how time flies. It’s funny how time goes by when life is mundane and you feel like you’ve wasted the days. On the other hand, when you’ve got something to look forward to, it just can’t come fast enough.

I suppose I ought to let you, my readers, up to speed on my future. In January, I received a notice of acceptance to the University of Idaho. So last week, Erin and I went out that way to visit the school and the area. Long story short, we love it out there. We even found a house with a barn and riding ring that we like and should be able to afford. While I still have outstanding applications at a few other schools, we are more than 90% sure that come August, I will be a Ph.D. student in Idaho.

Idaho? What’s there? I thought it was a big hole in the ground. Go ahead, crack all those jokes. Idaho is a huge state with a population that barely exceeds one million. Much of the state is extremely conservative, people who are very Christian and have the “government should stay out of our lives” mentality of the west. Guns, God, and no Government. It’s sickeningly amusing. But Moscow is an anomaly, a spot of dark blue in a sea of blood red. Moscow is extremely liberal and progressive. I noticed only two car dealerships in town and one specializes in Subaru. Moscow is all about keeping it local. Buy locally grown organic food from the Co-Op. Buy locally made merchandise from any of the shops downtown. Or just support a small, locally owned family business including a book store, game shop, outdoor gear shop, two pet stores, and the list goes on. Moscow is like a very miniature Portland, Maine.

The part about northern Idaho that I really like is the abundance of recreation opportunities. Just outside of town is Moscow Mountain, covered in trails and a mix of private and public land. Hop up to an hour away toward Lewiston for some canyons to explore. Extend your drive to up to 3 hours and you’ve got some big mountains and sweet roadless wilderness areas. To the north is Couer d’Alene, the I-90 corridor, some big lakes and ski areas. To the south is Idaho’s Seven Devil’s Wilderness, to the southwest is Hell’s Canyon (deeper than the Grand Canyon) and Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, to the east is the Bitterroot range. And for longer trips, Glacier, Mt. Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic Naitonal Parks are all withing driving range. There’s world class white water rafting on the Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater rivers. And when I need some city culture, Spokane is less than 2 hours away and Seattle and Portland are less than 5 hours away.

I’m ready to move out there and explore some new terrain.