Yeppers, we surely do live out in the country. To narrow it down a bit, we live way up in the mountains of Northeast Washington State. The Kettle Crest Range is the view from my front windows.
The Kettle Crest and one of our resident Evening Grosbeaks.
For those folks who equate Washington with the city of Seattle, I am here to tell you that we are a six hour drive and light years away from Seattle and the east coast life style. Washington State has these magnificent mountains known as the Cascades which pretty much divide the state. The west side is rainy and cool, while those of us living in the east experience hot dry summers with very little moisture. So, how far are we out in the back of the beyond? Well, our nearest town, Republic, is 10 miles away. Need to make a Walmart run? That’s 60 miles over the highest mountain Pass in Washington State to Colville! In the winter, Sherman Pass can get rather, ahem… interesting. If we need Walmart and Home Depot, it is 70 miles in the other direction to the town of Omak which is another county and mountain pass away.
So, what is it really like living out here? Oh goodness, where do I begin? Right now I am sitting at the kitchen table looking out the window across the fields towards Mt. Elizabeth. A very pregnant white tail doe is slowly munching her way up hill. Soon I will be watching the fawns gallivanting across the fields and I am remembering back to how this whole journey started………………….
Six years ago in 2011, I gave up my career as an RN dressed for success Risk Manager to accompany Dan across country from Buffalo, NY to Ferry County, Washington. He’d previously lived in Washington State for a good many years and had hunted, camped and fished this area many times. As he grew closer to retirement he knew this is where he wanted to spend his retirement years. Me? Let’s just say I was ready. More than ready to fulfill my life long dream of living out west where cowboys still rode the range. Thank you Little Joe Cartwright and Bonanza for planting this dream in a little 6 y/o girl’s heart. Some dreams take longer to realize than others, but I finally realized my dream. I traded in my designer Michael Kors heels ( Oh yes, I really did have them!)for these.
I actually have 3 pair. Low, medium and high depending on the terrain. The last time I wore heels was to Andrew and Molly’s wedding in September of 2015. BTW….Keen’s are awesome!
But, if it is rainy or muddy or I am scooping Alpaca poop, I wear these. Classic muckers
Let’s talk about gloves, shall we? One of these pairs are my “go to” gloves that I put on to walk out the back door every morning. Can you guess which pair it is? But, those fur trimmed velveteen gloves still get worn on rare trips to the big city.
I left behind Macy’s,Nordstrom’s, fine dining and Broadway Shows to wake up each day to this, the north end of Curlew Lake.
I traded a 6 ft tall Stockade privacy fence that protected my little world in suburbia for something much more.
This is my view driving towards town.
Growing up one of my greatest joys was working in my Dad’s huge garden. Even in the burbs, I managed to plant a tiny plot with tomatoes, green beans, peppers and herbs. I love that we now have our very own large garden and can grow so much fresh fruit and vegetables! You name it and Sparky has it in there.
The stores are asking and getting $4.98 for Asparagus. We have an over abundance for free.
I used to Roller Blade and ride my bike and even ran a bit down the hard asphalt of the Town of Tonawanda and enjoyed every minute. Now I share my dusty dirt road with deer, horses, coyotes and more.
My bird feeders attract Stellar Jays, Lazuli Bunting, Orioles, wood peckers, 3 types of Hummingbirds and these….Gold Finch!
On my daily walks I no longer see manicured weed free lawns and neat rows of flowers and trimmed shrubs. Instead my world rocks with the most amazing display of wild flowers!
Wild Lupine covers the hillsides today.
Wild growing roses line the roadside.
Country living requires us to be resourceful. If a tree goes down as they often do, you just pull out the chain saw from the back of the truck and get on with it.
The feeling of wide open space and glorious ever changing vistas more than make up for the lack of conveniences.
Observing the deer through all 4 seasons via my kitchen window is something I wish I could share with all my city friends. And my Dad….wish I could share this with him!
Even the simple pleasure of watching the barn cats “own” the fields and the mice therein brings a feeling of contentment. They are so happy out on patrol and doing their jobs.
This is Sylvia.
Seeing the Alpacas pronking in the large pastures after such a long, harsh winter is pure joy.
Yum! Got me a mouthful of the good grass!
Life is not always easy up here in the back of the beyond, but the pleasure of every day beauty as well as the peacefulness of life in our little world more than makes up for the lack of some conveniences.
Curlew Lake from the Trestle today.
And with that, I will leave you with just one more picture of wild flower beauty from my walk this morning.
Last week in a store, I saw a dozen roses being sold for $99.00. But this is my world and I wouldn’t trade it for those roses!
Thanks for stopping by today! My wish for you this day is the peaceful, easy feeling I get from living in the country way up here in the back of the beyond.
Hugs and much love from me.
Be sure and stop by my website and leave a comment. I love hearing from you all! : www.thejourneygirl.com
Roberta Weller says
Thanks for getting those of us who live here, to stop a minute and look around us and realize just how beautiful our area is during all four seasons of the year. We are so spoiled with our God-given gorgeous scenery, that sometimes we need people like you to make us stop and enjoy it!
Karen Giebel says
This is indeed “God’s Country Bobbi! I’m happy to share the beauty with friends around the world. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Sharon Paz says
Wow Karen, just beautiful. You’re own bit of Heaven on Earth.
Karen Giebel says
We truly live in a gorgeous part of this country! Thanks for commenting and have a wonderful day!
Carolyn Bach-Schultz says
Looking forward to God’s country! Lovely writing as to why you chose to live a simpler existence! Thank you for your heartfelt look into your daily life!
Many Blessings sent your way!
Karen Giebel says
We are Blessed indeed to live in God’s Country! Thank you for taking the time to write.
Becky Daugherty says
Karen, I just finished reading your blog and it jogged a memory for me. Back in the mid-50’s, I was a teenager and spent many summers visiting with my aunt and uncle who lived in Buffalo..more specifically, the Tonawanda/Amherst area. I loved that area and developed friendships that were renewed each year I returned. My summers in western NY were special.
As a young girl, I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC. I now live in the western part of Maryland where a Wal-Mart is just 6 miles away. So I am still in suburbia but not nearly as congested as the D.C. Suburbs!
Your area of Washington state is gorgeous beyond expectation! I am so happy you and your husband are able to make your retirement home in a such a spectacular setting. Congratulations!
Karen Giebel says
Hi Becky, Thanks for sharing your memories of summers in Buffalo! It was and is a wonderful place to grow up. I raised my family in the Town of Tonawanda and have no regrets. Great parks and recreation. Good schools. Lots of outdoor activities. So glad you found time to read my Blog!
Julie Bullock says
Thank you for your wonderful Blog. It has really opened my eyes to the beauty of our wonderful state. My husband and I are coming up on retirement (if you want to call it that) and have been contemplating a real “change of life and environment”. Republic has been one of the areas that I have been talking to my husband about. That was when I discovered your blog. It was also when I discovered we have a mutual friend. I do have a question that has never come up….do you have rattle snakes in your area and the winters seem especially harsh. Is this true?
Karen Giebel says
Hi Julie, Thanks for writing! Glad you enjoyed my Blog. To answer your questions, yes, winter is long and cold. We usually have more issues with ice and don’t get a lot of snow. Rattlesnakes are found down in the San Poeil valley which is the road heading south to Spokane. They are also found north of Republic up near the Canadian border in the rocky area around Curlew. I have never seen one and don’t worry about them. We also have bear, coyote, wolf and cougar. But the scenery is amazing and I love the mountains!