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Old 07-16-2014, 07:30 PM
Location: Phoenix
21 posts, read 38,901 times
Reputation: 30


Hi everybody. I have been poring over the threads on Idaho and apologize if this has already been answered.
I am a native Phoenician, 52 years. I have been thinking about relocating to Idaho. Boise to Bonners Ferry. More likely Coeur d’Alene, or Sandpoint or a rural area with some acreage. I would have to commute to work where there is a major air carrier like Spokane or Boise. I have seen and researched the "banana belt" which I believe to be Boise/Lewiston. However I think I would prefer to live in an area less open, with more trees. I like my hometown of phoenix's weather etc, however the area is now too big in my opinion. When I was born there where 500,000 in the metropolitan area. Now there is like 4.1 to 4.2 million I believe. Too much growth with the related crime, commute times etc. So either I move just a little north in the phoenix area with the threat of the unsustainable population in an crisis, drought being one of many. Or I take the bull by the horns, pull up stakes and move to Idaho. I've read about Idaho's self sufficient attitude and am in agreement. The gun laws etc are favorable also. On a side note, here an 18 year old law abiding non felon may carry open, but may also carry concealed with no paperwork necessary.
Here's my question which of course only I can answer. But I would love to hear your opinions on whether a native phoenician could handle your winters. I sure its what you make up your mind to do but am afraid I might not like or be able to "hack" it. Have never done winter sports except hunting and some "tubing" when I was a kid.
Thank you.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:04 PM
1,056 posts, read 2,671,054 times
Reputation: 842
It's probably not the temps so much as the lack of sun and shorter days in the fall and winter.

If you prefer Phx's weather, than I'd say there's no way you'll like the generally mild-cold weather in NID. Maybe southern Idaho would provide for better adjustment...

Hard to say, really.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:08 PM
Location: Phoenix
21 posts, read 38,901 times
Reputation: 30
Thanks Boisefan88.
That is good food for thought.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:28 PM
Location: Phoenix
21 posts, read 38,901 times
Reputation: 30
Also in retrospect, I put up with the hot as heck summers here, for the great weather the rest of the year. If I moved to Idaho I guess I would "put up" with the winter for the gorgeous summers. In other words our "bad weather" seasons are reversed. Just using the term "bad weather for emphasis. I'm sure there are lots of people who love the winter and all of the activities it entails.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:58 PM
Location: Las Cruces, NM
50 posts, read 104,240 times
Reputation: 157
I currently live in Phoenix and am strongly considering retiring in NID in 2-3 years. I'm sure it will be huge shock after living in the Valley for going on 30 years but each summer is getting harder and harder for me to handle. I love the winters here but the older I get the more the summers seem to get to me. I count the days until it starts to cool down a bit in Oct.

For me, I lived in Colo. for 15 years and worked in the mountains @ 8500' for 3 years so the snow and cold are no stranger. It never really bothered me, in fact I enjoyed it but I was a lot younger then. It does concern me a bit but I do look forward to having 4 seasons again wherever I decide to settle.

What concerns me more though is the amount of overcast days from about Oct-Apr. In looking at the weather charts it appears there is very little sun from mid autumn to mid spring. I look forward to overcast days in Phoenix where they are few and far between but I'm not sure how I'll feel about having weeks on end of no or very little sun.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:59 PM
Location: Phoenix
21 posts, read 38,901 times
Reputation: 30
Hi Jim1405.
Would have gotten back to you sooner but my browser froze up and had to close it down in the middle of my response.
I feel the same way as you about the summers being harder & harder to take as we get older. However for some strange reason the last 2 years haven't been as bad to me for some reason. Go figure? Of course I haven't been going outside much either. //pics3.city-data.com/forum/ima...s/biggrin.gifI can't believe I worked outside from 1980 till 2000 in the building trades here in Phoenix. What was then Bank One Ballpark, Intel Fab 12 & 22 and what seems like 1000's of other jobs. I was even working on a custom home at Pinnacle Peak when it hit 122°. At least that was mostly in the "shade". Flashback. BOB in the middle of the summer, south roof deck, which is a silver corrugated metal, framing with galvanized metal studs that are soo hot you cannot touch them with your bare hands for more than about 1 second, and welding them together. Good times.
(I was working for MKB Construction Inc. for any body that is wondering).
I can agree about looking forward to October to!
With you having lived in Colorado for 15 years and working at 8500' in the mountains for 3 years in the snow and cold it looks like you are better positioned than me for NID.

Thanks for your perspective on the overcast days from Oct-April. More food for thought. //www.city-data.com/forum/image...ies/oglvvd.gif
And like you I love the overcast days here, (which as you said are few and far between), and I to am not sure how I would feel about having weeks on end of no or little sun.
I have imagined myself there in the dead of winter longing for the summer, and the beautiful summer making up for the long winter.
It's just the opposite here in phoenix putting up with the summer for the great weather we have from late october-april may.
Thank you for your reply.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:04 PM
Location: Phoenix
21 posts, read 38,901 times
Reputation: 30
Oh yea, just an aside.
I forgot to mention previously that back in the day, here, before every thing was so built up, that it actually used to cool down here in the summer at night a considerable amount more than it doesn't now.
Chalk it up to "the heat island effect.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:04 AM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
29,175 posts, read 22,153,599 times
Reputation: 23792
I honestly think you would suffer in an average Idaho winter, Mr. Stoic, given that you're an Arizona native.
Idahoans tend to downplay our winters here on the forum, but just like Phoenix can become blistering hot on any given year, along with the rest of the state, the winters here can become blistering cold in a true reverse.

And just like a Phoenician forgets a heat wave after a while, we forget the cold snaps. The real problem you will have adjusting to our weather is it will be cold for you here much earlier than it will be for us natives and long-timers, and will stay colder for you longer in the spring.
One of the greatest problems newcomers from warm states have during the winter is, ironically, always being either too warm or too cold. It takes months of personal experience to learn how to best dress for the perpetual cold of a winter here. You would undoubtedly go through a period where your feet are freezing solid while your forehead is breaking out in sweat from wearing a too-warm coat but have forgotten to wear the right footwear.

Indoors everywhere here, especially in the public spaces and businesses will be warm, often warmer than is comfortable when dressed entirely for the outdoors. Dressing in preparation for a day indoors will always be chilly when you go outside. Learning what's best for you is something no one else can adequately advise.

Our deep winters are becoming shorter, but the temps here can hover right around freezing for many months. Northern Idaho is very susceptible to extended periods of overcast skies. All of the state is darker longer than it is in Arizona, and a sunny day is often the coldest. The gloom and short days can really get a person down who isn't used to them.

(I'm one. It took me 40 years to learn how susceptible I was to winter depression due to the lack of bright light. February was always a melancholy month for me until I finally learned I needed lots of light, both natural and artificial, in my home.)

Before moving here, I strongly suggest trying 2 weeks to a month here in January or February, or even March before committing to move. Folks from Arizona and California always tend to think of N. Idaho first, but the south end of the state is sunnier than the north. This state is much more varied than you can know unless you come up.

Newbies go both ways once here; either they tolerate the winters or come to like them, or they find they're miserable and can't wait to go back to warmer climes.

In addition, life in Idaho where there is only one 'big city', is very, very different from life in a city of over a million folks. Boise metro is now still far less than a million, and up north, C d'A, at around 60,000 is the only city of any size. The south end of the state includes Boise metro, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and Pocatello. All are major population centers.

The rest of the state does not live with 24 hour conveniences, easy shopping for anything, short distances for entertainment like going to the movies, and very few big box stores. For some of our towns, getting a McDonald's at last is a real big deal.

If you move here, you're going to miss some of that urban stuff a lot, more than you know right now. And much of your life experience is something that could be completely alien to some of the folks you will get to know.

This, too, is something that you will either come to accept or love, or grow to hate. I've seen plenty of folks who went either way over the years.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:40 AM
Location: Phoenix
21 posts, read 38,901 times
Reputation: 30
Wow banjo mike your reply is really succinct.
I have been off for the last 4 days and have been pouring over these forums. You've really been giving me an education about your great state of "Old Mother Idaho," and your answer has given me pause. It truly is great advice to come up in January or February or even March for 2 weeks to a month before committing to a move. At this stage in my life it would be intended to be the last. (More reason to come up an check it out in the real cold so as to make a better decision).
I appreciate what you said about the lighting too, very important. I can see I would have a big learning curve on proper winter dress also!
The bottom line is I know the winters are really not for me. What I am trying to figure out is if I could stand them enough. Or tolerate them enough. And if Idaho's freedom, politics, people and beauty. And fishin "n" huntin could make up for it. I do love to read, lol. I had also considered a little cross country, (local), skiing for exercise in the winter. I'm sure there is a bit of a learning curve there too.
They say when you live in Phoenix for some time that your blood thins. I wonder if this is true?
And conversely I would image if that is true then your blood would thicken up north.
Another thing I was thinking about was that if I didn't live in a city proper and decided to get 10 acres or so out in the country, if that might not be the greatest idea as I am currently flying solo and as I age all the stuff I would be doing on "the spread" might catch up with me. Like clearing snow, cutting wood and a bunch of other stuff to keep the place going.
This and the advice from, boisefan88, Jim1405 and you banjomike, has got me thinking harder once again about the Boise area, Mountain Home, Kuna etc. Especially and specifically the cold, lack of sun and shorter days. Also thinking about sticking it out here maybe moving out a bit from central Phoenix or up north. Nobody has a crystal ball however in a SHTF situation I may be better off in Idaho hating the winters, and slowly learning to tolerate them. And getting over my learning curves and dreaming of summers trout fishing. Or working my rear off cutting wood!
Well I am going to work today for the next 3 days.
I will let what you said simmer and will comp template it.
Thank you very much banjomike for taking the time to respond.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:35 AM
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
414 posts, read 1,088,800 times
Reputation: 624
I'm an Idaho native and I still despise the North Idaho winters except for having several great ski resorts within a couple of hours drive. For me, it's not even the cloudy days (which I contend there really aren't that many of), though compared to Arizona, there certainly are fewer. For me, it's the short days. In December and January, a person who works an average day will find him or herself headed to work in the dark and coming home in the dark since the days are so short (less than 8 1/2 hours).

I also dislike driving in the snow and ice. Roads get slick, and even with traction tires it's easy for drivers to make mistakes that lead to accidents. Not to mention, the people who think they can drive 45 miles per hour on a sheet of perfect ice just like they drive on dry roads, because they have four wheel drive. Just to clear something up--it'll help you get started in slick conditions, but on ice, just like a two wheel drive, your vehicle turns into a toboggan if you try to make a quick speed correction. For that reason, I almost like the bitterly cold temperatures and wind. They keep the snow dry and prevent the ice sheets we call roads from forming a film of water atop the ice.

And every couple/few winters, a particularly heavy snowfall will make driving nearly impossible for a day or two even living in town.

And then it kept snowing throughout the next couple of days. There was much more on the mountains surrounding Coeur d'Alene, and even more up north of us. My car has very little clearance from the ground, so it's a regular thing in the winter for the roads to be completely undrivable for me, particularly the side roads which often don't get cleared for a few days or which have snow built up over several days, but no single 24 hour period of snowfall which meets the city's threshold for plowing those streets.

There are a lot of people in North Idaho who flee the area when winter comes, leaving in November or December and returning in late March or April once the worst of the snow and cold weather has passed. Interestingly enough, a lot of those people head to Arizona. All of the people I know who do that are retired, and I'm not sure what the tax situation is like when you split your time between the two states. One couple that leaves for the winter, doesn't head any particular place. They have an RV for winter use and spend their time touring the warm states over the winters. While you're still working, splitting your time between two states might not be a viable option, but perhaps something to consider at a later date.

That said, our cool springs and autumns balance out the winter as far as making living here a good experience for me, and the long, hot days of our two month summer--July and August--spent camping, fishing, rafting, playing on the water, hiking, etc put it way over the top.
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