New Life in North Idaho: Back Yard

Well… I made it to north Idaho. I was offline completely for about a week, so I’m slowly getting back up to speed with everything as we settle into our new home. I should be getting back to the regular posts very soon — but in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown on my recent adventures and some pics of the new property.

The house thing happened very fast (about 1 month from seeing the sign to signing the papers). Once things got moving, it seemed like I was on the phone, responding to emails, or scanning documents every hour of every day.

New Life in North Idaho: Front Yard and Driveway

Getting out of San Diego was a challenge too. We didn’t have much time to pack the house or sell unwanted items, so the last set of moving boxes are just crammed with random stuff. We filled our moving truck and the two cars with stuff, but we still had to get rid of a few things (kitchen chairs, vacuum, and other bulky items that just couldn’t fit).

The drive up was an epic pain in the ass. Flat tire on the car dolly before we even left, lost a truck tire retread in the middle of the desert at high noon, and we had an underpowered moving truck with warped brake rotors. We ended up losing about 12 hours on the road, we had to unload the car from the dolly, and we barely made it up here in time to sign papers for the house. But hey… at least we’re still alive!

New Life in North Idaho: Fire Pit

Everything after the moving trip was pretty smooth. We got the house as scheduled, unloaded the truck, and started setting up the house. We still have stuff everywhere and boxes that haven’t been opened yet. Got my Internet all hooked up and the computer is mostly up and running. I’m moving right along with telecommuting for work, and I’m still hunting for a local job.

As for the new pad…

The house is nothing special, but it’s livable for now. It needs some work inside and out — most of which is minor or cosmetic. It has a front porch that runs the width of the house and it was enclosed by a previous owner such that it’s now part of the house space. Half of it is mostly finished and the other half is drywall and bare floor. I’ve already laid claim to half of it for an office and darkroom (which I hope to get started on before this winter).

New Life in North Idaho: Side Pasture

We’re sitting on 5 acres down a dead end dirt road with 8 or 9 other houses, so we don’t see a lot of traffic (or neighbors). The property is right across from my parents’ place where I grew up, so I’m more than familiar with the area. My grandmother also lives next door, so the kids have 15 acres all to themselves.

The property has a decent front and back yard plus 3 fenced pastures ready to go for animals (each with a small shelter, water, and electricity). We’re thinking about doing a few sheep next year to cut the grass, which also helps keep the bug population down. We’re also thinking about raising one or two cows for meat to split between ourselves, my parents, and my wife’s parents.

Other buildings include a detached two car garage, small tool shed, a decent size barn, and hot tub enclosure (we had that sucker running from day one). The kids also have a play area under some trees with swings, a slide, and a tree house.

New Life in North Idaho: Back Yard

All in all, it’s not a bad property, but it still needs a lot of work over the next few years. We don’t have too many trees because the previous owners used most of the land for raising llamas, so putting in some new ones is one of my higher priorities. We need to lay down more gravel on the driveway, redo the planter beds around the house, get the garden back in usable shape, finish the fire pit that we just built, fix a few fences, take down some dead trees out back… and the list goes on.

But even with our huge lists of things to do around here, I’m just glad to be back home and raise my kids where I grew up. We totally lucked out on this place with the timing, price, and location… I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I live here again and that I own the property. I feel like I’m just visiting, but I figure it’ll sink in when the first snow flies.

New Life in North Idaho: Front Yard New Life in North Idaho: Tool Shed New Life in North Idaho: The Barn New Life in North Idaho: Side Pasture New Life in North Idaho: Playground New Life in North Idaho: Office/Darkroom

At any rate, I just wanted to give an update on why things have been quiet on the blogs. I should be back in full swing soon enough.

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Big move! Glad to hear it worked out even with all the challenges of getting to Idaho. I look forward to hearing more about the adventure back home. Should be quite different than SoCal!

August 10, 2010 12:41 pm

Glad to hear that things have worked out, and you are now in Homeowner Mode (everything will always need fixing/repair/improvement). Looking forward to your North Idaho photos.

August 10, 2010 1:03 pm

Wow. That is a nice story Brian. Great to have family close but still be able to go to your own place.

Hope things work out for you.

August 10, 2010 1:03 pm

I miss you already. :)

But seriously, I’m glad you’re settling into your new home. I can’t wait to visit. Those clouds are enticing!

August 10, 2010 3:50 pm

I also are moving and getting a larger house so have to tell me about the changes, As Jim says BIG move and a lot of difference,

August 10, 2010 8:43 pm

Lamas??? oh well.
Looks like a great new place, Brian. all the best with this exciting move. Bet you;ll have a hell of a tag between fixing the house and exploring the land.

August 11, 2010 2:02 am

Enjoy your new life and all the wonderful opportunities this move affords you!

By the way, I hope the office has a futon or something so I have a place to crash when I decide to just start driving around the US on a crazy photographic journey.

August 11, 2010 3:23 am


I’m so unbelievably jealous! I’d love to move my family to a beautiful place like this. Some acreage and space for the kids to run free. So awesome!

Anyone for a photoroadtrip? (I’ve taken to compounding “photo” with anything and everything I can get my hands on.)

Bryan, you start off northbound, and we’ll all join up heading t’ward Idaho!

August 13, 2010 12:16 pm

C’mon up! We have plenty of space, and I would love to see some of my SoCal buddies head up this way.

August 13, 2010 11:12 pm

I think you can update your about information now (i.e. “Brian Auer is a photography enthusiast from San Diego, California. “). :)

August 16, 2010 10:45 am


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