Over Memorial Day weekend Kristy and I took a trip up to Sandpoint, Idaho. For those who have been following us for awhile, you'll know that Sandpoint is one of the areas that we are thinking about moving to to start our homestead dream. It is a beautiful area with a lot of potential for us. We have taken two previous trips to this area, (read about the reasoning behind this area here) this trip was designed to home in on some particular areas in and around Sandpoint.
Clark Fork is located at the confluence of Lake Pend O'reille and the Clark Fork River. It is one of the areas we wanted to explore further. While it is a beautiful area, it is colder than Sandpoint and lies almost entirely in a floodplain. And Kristy's dad is a hydrologist who has beat into our heads that it is probably not a good idea to live in a floodplain.
After the hike we drove around the area to the northeast of Sandpoint. It is relatively flat mosaic of meadows and forest. Meadows would be good for agriculture and have more moderate temperatures than the surrounding mountains.
The unexpected highlight of this area were some of the largest alpaca ranches we have ever seen. And in my opinion, there is nothing cuter than a whole herd of alpacas.
We also drove around the south side of Lake Pend O'reille, south of Sandpoint. While not ideal for farming (too many mountains), it did offer some spectacular views.
The next morning we drove to Creston, British Columbia, an hour north of Sandpoint and across the international border into British Columbia, Canada. It lies in the same general climate zone as Sandpoint (valley surrounded by mountains). We drove through the Selkirk Mountains just across the border and drove back into northeast Washington.
Right after we crossed back into the U.S. we had a special welcoming committee.
We then drove to Kettle Falls, Washington. This location had been recommended to us by one of our readers since it has a climate similar to Sandpoint (and somewhat cheaper land). It was a pretty location close to the Columbia River (which also flows by Portland), but just didn't have that certain juene se quais.
A town that surprisingly did was Republic, to the west of Kettle Falls. This was a small town that we didn't know much about. It turned out to be a charming town that reminded us of our hometown of Hill City, South Dakota. We will need to do some more research on this area.
The next day we drove home. Sandpoint definitely remains at the top of our list of places to live someday. It is beautiful, close to recreation, and has land that will support the type of gardening/farming that we hope to do. No place is perfect but Sandpoint comes pretty darn close.
But Republic is a place to keep an eye on.