Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Ranked Hottest Emerging Housing Market

I’ve been to Coeur d’Alene and wasn’t impressed. But then, cities don’t impress me. My advice: Skip the intermediate steps and move rural.

This article in the Wall Street Journal that names Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as the hottest emerging housing market in the U.S., beating places like Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, N.C. That amuses me.

Why? Because when we were looking for prepper property in Idaho and Montana a couple years ago, we visited Coeur d’Alene. From our perspective, it had several negatives, including its size. When we drove to the airport in Spokane, it was clear that Coeur d’Alene and Spokane are merging into one giant super city. It was a big solid block of surburnaism, and I expect it has gotten worse since then.

The city also had the cookie-cutter sameness that many large cities exhibit: The same chain stores. All the familiar chain restaurants. The shopping centers along the highway all look the same as every other shopping center in every other city. When we drove south on 95 and into Coeur d’Alene, we might as well have been driving into a city on Long Island or New Jersey. OK, so the downtown is nicer and the people are friendlier, but the area is now being flooded with Californians, so how long can that last?

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Prepper Diary January 23: It’s like Christmas all Over Again

The snow has cleared enough that we can make our way into town and finds good news waiting for us at the post office.

We finally went to town, dropped off our trash, and stopped by the post office.  It had been so long since we’d picked up mail that we actually had five packages waiting for us, including a book I bought on eBay and two very delayed Christmas presents that had been forwarded from our old address.  One of them had shipped on the 22nd, the other the week before, so it basically took a month for Priority Mail to get to our old post office and be forwarded to our new one. 

Happily, we received two refund checks from our old insurance company.  One for canceling the policy on the  truck that was totaled and the other for cancelling the policy on the house we sold.  Now we’ve paid for insurance on our new house and my new truck, but it still felt great getting money in the mail, even though we were being refunded our own money. You might ask why the policies didn’t transfer from the old car to the new one, but it is because we moved.  Our old insurance company doesn’t write policies in this state so we now have a new company.

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Prepper Diary December 13: Our Move is Over but the Fun is Just Beginning

Our move is over but the unpacking will take days. We are exhausted, but the poor truck diver had a really bad trip.

The good news is that we made it to our new home and very little was lost or broken along the way.

The bad news is that moving a household across hundreds of miles and up a steep mountain is hard work, even with professional movers.  It was such a lengthy, grueling process that my wife fell asleep Friday night at 8:30 while I managed to stay up only another hour.  We were both mentally and physically exhausted. 

I’m writing this on my laptop because while I have seen the box with my desktop in it, and I have found the box with my monitors, they are not in the same room, the boxes have not been opened, and the desktop requires an ethernet connection, which means a long cable run. Maybe later this week.

We’ll be unpacking for weeks, but I admit I am looking forward to getting my shop set up.  I’m also looking forward to building a chicken coop and getting a dog this spring.

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Prepper Diary December 9: It’s a Wasteland Around Here

The move is now 24 hours away and the house is a wasteland, with nothing to eat and no table at which to sit and eat. We can’t wait to move to our prepper property.

Our TV is disconnected.  There are no washcloths in the bathroom.  I’ve only got two days of clean clothes left in my closet.  The pantry is empty. I ate the last of the ice cream and drank the last of the sparkling water.  I am down to only two unread books.  It’s a wasteland around here.

I’ve packed away all our computer accessories, like the scanner, printer, speakers, and everything else that plugs into a USB port.  The only thing left is my external hard drive.  Tonight, I do a final back up, and then I carry that hard drive to our new house in my backpack, just in case.

The internet will be disconnected late Wednesday. I’ll pack the computer and wrap up the precious wireless router in its original box and take it in my truck.  We are using my old, backup router at the new house, but I can’t wait to swap this one in.  It is not only faster, but significantly more powerful and should give us a broader area outside the house in which we have WiFi connectivity.  This is important since we do not have cell service up there.  We use our phones through the WiFi.

Hopefully, I can make one more post from my laptop using my phone as a hot spot.

I packed the remaining guns.  My last rifle and shotgun are in a locked double-rifle case.  I’ve put two pistols in my suitcase and the Banshee in my backpack.  Outside of the loaded magazines, I have very little ammo left here, and most of what I do have is in my chest rig, which is going in the truck with me.

More Downsizing

Today, we gave away more furniture, including a set of dressers and two coffee tables.  Yes, believe it or not, we had three coffee tables.  One I bought back in the 1980s and it has lived in our basement for the past 20 years.  One my ex-wife bought but left behind when she took half our furniture, and one that arrived with my second wife.  I guess you would not be surprised to learn that we kept her table. 

We have one person coming on Wednesday to get the last of our items, then I make one more run to ReStore with the leftovers, my wife gos to Goodwill, and we should be ready for the movers.

Locks and Keys

While packing, I cleaned out the drawer that contained all my spare keys, many of which were my “just in case” keys.  Those are the extra keys you keep around, just in case you need them one day.  I know some of them are to my old, now totaled truck.  Some go to old mail boxes I no longer have.  One was to my daughter’s prior car.  I believe most of them are to old desk drawers and file cabinets from past offices. Well, they are all toast now.  I tossed the lot – and there were plenty of them as you can see in the main photo.

Between a front door with a numeric keypad and my wife’s car that uses a fob rather than an actual key, I am looking forward to eliminating most of the keys I carry.  Unless I start using some of my padlocks, I might be able to get by with carrying only the key to my gun safe, my truck, and maybe the backdoor key to the house. 

I’m also planning a greatly streamlined wallet, getting rid of silly stuff I carry, like my NRA Life Membership ID card.  (I’ve never had to whip that out.)  I think I can get down to my driver’s license, my concealed carry permit, my American Express, and my debit card, which also works as a Visa. I won’t need my library card, Costco membership, and similar things.

Back when I traveled for work, I had a travel wallet that had all my airline, hotel, and rental car membership cards.  I think I’ll make myself a streamlined every day wallet, and then a bulkier one for when we go on road trips of leave the area.

Urban EDC vs Rural EDC

That’s going to be part of a big change to my every day carry loadout.  I have not yet determined exactly how my EDC will change as I move from the exburbs to an extreme rural setting, but I expect add a lighter and a fixed blade knife. Nothing too big, mind you, maybe about a four-inch blade and a nice utility blade.  This will be in addition to my folding knife. 

I expect to continue to carry my .38 revolver at all times, but I may swap out the Glock for a 1911 or a .357 revolver when I am working on the property on in the woods.  We do have bear and I think a heavier, harder-hitting round might be preferable.  I haven’t carried a 1911 for years, but I have at least four holsters, both leather and Kydex to choose from.  I have a holster designed for a S&W K Frame that holds the gun on your chest.

Once I can find my small sling bag, I may set up carry some basic survival gear when I am hiking and exploring the area around our property. 

As you can see, I am excited about moving, and both my wife and I are ready for this pre-move packing to come to an end.

Prepper Diary December 6: On the Road Again

We zip off to the mountains for one final delivery. Meanwhile the boxes pile up and the food runs low at home.

We are on the road again.  Just a trip up one day and back the next to drop things off at the new place, but there has been some snow up here in the past few days, which made the trip that much more interesting. 

We’ll be back late Sunday and then full move is scheduled later in the week.  We loaded the inside of the rental pickup truck with potted plants and the back of it with the last of the ammo, and boxes of bottles, cans, jars, jugs and other liquids the moving company won’t take.  This includes liquor, cooking oil, food like olives and pasta sauce, cleansers, a few aerosol cans, and a surprising number of bathroom items like shampoo and body lotion.

We also packed a cooler of frozen food to transfer up there.  Then we threw all manner of odds and ends, like brooms, mops, plant stands, and garden tools, on top and covered it with a tarp to keep off any rain or snow.  I’m afraid we looked at bit like the Beverly Hillbillies again.

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Prepper Diary December 3: Trading Convenience for Safety

2021 is less than a month away, yet COVID-19 is rising, lockdowns are looming, the political divide is growing. It might be worse than 2020.

I made a run to the hazardous materials drop off location today and dropped off all sorts of things that have been hanging round in my basement or garage that we did not want to move.  These included: cans of oil-based paint, garden chemicals, used motor oil, aerosol can and spray bottles of household cleansers, fluorescent lightbulbs, and an assortment of other things you don’t want to pour down the drain or dump into the standard waste management system.

The guys working at the center were friendly and helpful and, best of all, it was free.

While I was out, I dropped a table off with someone who wanted it and bought more boxes at a U-Haul store.  I also poured $239 worth of change into the machine at our credit union.  This was the last of our loose change. 

We’ve been doing other moving-related chores like changing our address and canceling our television.  From here on out, we’ll be watching streaming TV only.

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Prepper Diary December 2: More on the Move, the Truck, and COVID-19

It’s a busy week at Pete’s house as the move gets closer, COVID-19 gets worse, and he still needs a new truck.

Packing continues.  I have become an expert at using rolls of toilet paper to fill in voids in large boxes.  I also excel at using clothing to pad electronic equipment in boxes.  The downside of this approach is that if we don’t unpack quickly, I’m going to have a limited supply of clothing to wear.  The positive is that in some future where there is no toilet paper, I will open a box labeled “Pete’s Office Supplies” and find two pristine rolls of toilet tissue, making me the hero of the hour.

We are at that weird place where we are trying to eat everything in the refrigerator and freezer so we don’t have to move it or toss it.  For example, we’ve been drinking a river’s worth of sparkling water, tonic, and we’ve been eating hors d’oeuvres for dinner.  Today, we munched on some rather large green olives that are flavored with vermouth and meant to go into martinis.  My wife is making popcorn for snacking to prevent us from having to move the few popcorn kernels left in the bottom of Orville’s jar.

We’ve already have condiments at the other house, so things like the half jar of relish and partially used bottle of ketchup are going to be sacrificed when we go.  I was happy to note that the maple syrup has made the cut and among the glass bottles in an old liquor carton.

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December 1 Prepper Diary: We Pack Like Crazy

It’s been a busy couple of days, much of it spent packing and the other part spent planning when to do things like ship back the DirecTV boxes, return the cable modem and unplug the WiFi. 

I have trips planned to the hazardous waste materials drop off site, the recycling center, Restore, Goodwill, and so forth. 

I have packed most of our winter clothes, our audio equipment, most of the TV-related accessories, what little remained in my office, and our bug out bags. My wife has been focusing on the kitchen and dining room, which is tedious work.

If I skip a few days posting, please forgive me!  Quite hectic around here. Or, as a friend says, I’m busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

Prepper Diary November 29: Truck Travails and Making Moves

Our impending move is made more challenging by the destruction of my pickup truck, but we persevere by renting a Ram 1500.

We have finished the leftover turkey, but there is still stuffing and pie left over, so I really have nothing to complain about. 

My youngest daughter came over and smoked a turkey breast.  With only the three of us for Thanksgiving and us being in the middle of packing, it just didn’t make sense to cook a whole turkey.  We did have most of the standard fixings, including my wife’s excellent stuffing, which include sausage. 

We debated what time to eat, and we kidded my daughter who is usually late.  She said, “I’ll aim to have dinner ready by 3:30, and that way we’ll be sure to eat by 5 p.m.” We all laughed, but sure enough, we sat down to dinner a few minutes before 5 p.m.  She now has a Thanksgiving dinner under her belt, so whenever she is called upon to cook Thanksgiving again, she’ll have a practice run under her belt.

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