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Idaho and Indiana

May 11, 2011

I grew up in this small town in Idaho.

Notice the dry, brown hills. Also the tall, majestic butte that provides the landscape for our valley community. Southwest Idaho is a semi-arid climate. Meaning it is hot and dry in the summer and cold in the winter. Meaning there is an abundance of short and scrubby vegetation (aka sagebrush) and not many trees. Like this:

And it hardly ever rains. In the summer it often gets in the triple digits and you won’t see a rain drop for weeks on end. The only trees and green things growing naturally are along streams or rivers.

But in Idaho there are also mountains nearby. It is just a quick car ride to white water rapids and stunning mountain landscapes, perfect for hiking, camping, whatever. Some people really love having mountains nearby and can’t live without them. My mom, when she moved from Utah to Idaho, said she really missed the Wasatch Mountain range that was always in view in the Salt Lake area. People in our little town called that butte in the picture above good scenery, and after living near the Wasatch, my mom was like, “really?”

Now I live in Indiana. Which is almost the polar opposite of Southwest Idaho. Now I live in this.

Indiana’s climate has unusually high humidity and an abundance of rain. And because of that, everything is green! Green is everywhere you look. I just can’t get enough of it after living all my life in the dry, barren, brown, sagebrushy hills of Idaho. I just couldn’t be happier. Though, of course, there are also no mountains anywhere near here. Some people move to the Midwest and miss the mountains. You can look to the horizon and all you can see is sky. There are no signature horizons lined with the shape of mountains. I was a little worried that I would miss that too. But I have found that I don’t miss it much at all. Because instead of mountains we get this:

Beautiful, green, tree-filled rolling hills! I’m so excited for my family to come out in July and see for themselves all the wonderful things Indiana has to offer. Sometimes when it’s been raining for two weeks without stop it can feel really wet. And the humidity makes the summer much, much hotter. This week we have highs in the 80s and it already feels too hot. But for me, all of that doesn’t bother me so much because I know that because of this climate, we have greenery everywhere.

It’s a good thing Idaho still has our family and the beautiful city of Boise to offer, or else I might never want to leave.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 8:19 am

    Ahhhh. . . Indina. . . . midwest. I love the greenery! Craig’s been traveling to Maryland for the last few months and is immensly enjoying the green. I’m trying to get him to take pictures, but that’s not his style. I’ll just have to go with him next spring so I can enjoy the greenery as well!

    I don’t know if we mentioned it, but we are planning on visiting for 3 days before the family reunion. Let us know if you’d like us to sack out on your livingroom floor (which we’ve done many times before) or if you need us to find another place. We’re super excited to visit you and show the kids some of their roots!

  2. May 11, 2011 8:29 am

    There isn’t a day that goes by that I ever think Idaho is prettier then Indiana. I miss the green so much but not the humidity. I feel really lucky that Boise is so green compared to many of the other areas around here. But I have to admit I love camping in the mountains, nice cool nights and warm/hot days. I remember those sweaty hot nights camping in Indiana, it just wasn’t fun. Enjoy that greenery because everyone in our family out west miss it SO much! Plus I’m glad you’re getting to see our homeland, I still tell people I’m from Indiana.

  3. May 11, 2011 8:44 am

    I LOVE the Midwest! I miss the greenery and the big trees and the rolling hills all the time. But I have finally acclimated to the West and no longer miss the humidity, but that took a long time because it does good things for your skin. I’m glad you’re loving it and not missing the mountains too much. The mountains will always be home to you but I’m so glad you like the Midwest!

  4. Dad McLean permalink
    May 11, 2011 12:27 pm

    It took us years to adjust to the lack of mountains, especially Mom, and we never really adjusted to the humidity – we just endured it. What we miss is the green, like our daughters, and the closeness of so many places to visit. In Las Vegas if you drive 2 hours in ANY direction you are STILL in the desert. In Indiana and Iowa you would be in so many beautiful areas. To me there is nothing more beautiful then in early June driving across Iowa’s rolling hills from west to east and watching the corn and soybeans grow. When was at Iowa State University I did a lot of summer traveling to students and always took the back roads. It was so much fun.

  5. JoAnn McLean permalink
    May 11, 2011 12:41 pm

    I miss the big trees and green everywhere. I also miss the hawks we would see on trips to Chicago. Today I bought a BIG bottle of body lotion. But, living in Vegas, the lotion has sparkles.

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