I escaped city life to live the small town life… I escaped to Sandpoint, ID thirteen years ago this weekend. When I visited here in May that year I was not just blown away with the beauty of Sandpoint and its friendly people – I couldn’t believe it wasn’t discovered.
I have traveled to all the hip towns. I lived in Boulder, CO for four years so I knew Sandpoint had it. A few years ago, right at the height of the boom, Sandpoint made all the top ten lists, often as number one. Well, we are back. Sunset Magazine just made us number one in its list of the West’s best ski towns. Oh, I didn’t mention Sandpoint has a rocking ski hill.
I hesitate spreading the word, yet I am proud of what nature created and we are generating here in Sandpoint. At town of 8,000 and a county of 41,000 people created a community that retains the small town feel and the evolving hipness of a town like Boulder.
Other than those two years of the boom, people come here because they are looking for something different, something that is undiscovered, a little out of the way, a place that values its environs and its people. Once the right person arrives, he or she never leaves.
Five years ago I built a straw bale house 10 minutes from town on 14 acres abutting a creek. I face out looking at the last few mountains in the Selkirk range. There are no houses behind me all the way up to the Canadian border, 50 miles away. Moose, deer, bear and eagles visit me. Just this spring there was a bear cub hanging out in front of my deck.
Tonight we are a winter wonder land. We have two feet of snow. The spruce and fir are wrapped with snow. The buffering of all sounds from the snow makes it completely quiet.
I share this not just because of my pride for Sandpoint and what we are creating. I share it also as a reminder to myself and an encouragement to others that you can create your dream. I had a successful holistic medical clinic in Scottsdale, AZ – but I was not happy. I finally took the leap of faith and left a sure thing for an unsure thing. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard at first. I moved here via northern California and a failed relationship to no work and dwindling savings.
I started over. This time in a place that nourished me. I fell back in love with my craft – Rolfing. I dove deep into my shamanic apprenticeship. I spent times in the woods, on the lake and on the ski hill – it all renewed me. Six years ago I decided to give something back to the community. I started the Sandpoint Men’s Group. Out of that I created this blog and my book.
Don’t tell anyone, but Sandpoint is the place to live if you want to be in nature, enjoy a full array of adventure sports and hang with good people.