Monday, January 19, 2009

Small town, Utah

So, we have been busy lately. I've mentioned this in previous posts, but ever since we met, Jason and I have had the desire to raise our family in a small town. Jason was raised in small towns. We met and fell in love in a small town. Jobs and schooling have prevented this until now, but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for schooling and are in the process of doing our "small town homework." We don't exactly agree on where we should move to, so for the past few weekends, we have been driving through the ones we have talked about off and on for the past 10 years.

Here's some pictures and details from our journeys. We have mostly just driven through the town, trying to see if it's a place we would want to live, work, and raise our children. Seeing what land is available and at what price. Seeing what kind of businesses are there.

If you have lived, worked, or know much about any of these places, please comment and tell me what you like and dislike. Given the current job market, there is always the possibility that we may not be able to move this year, but we intend to and all this homework will not be in vain.

Cache County
We drove up there on New Years day. We drove through Mantua, Hyrum, Providence, and down a bit to Paradise (HELLOO? Who wouldn't want to live in Paradise?). It was fun, and some of the towns were cute and freshly covered in snow. I really like it up there. Jason's biggest complaints are smog (apparently they're supposed to have the worst air in the nation) and the fact that he's so far from his family. But it was a fun trip and we enjoyed driving through the area.

Wasatch, Summit, Morgan Counties
January 3rd was our 2nd trip. We did a big loop - went up Provo Canyon, through Midway (and stopped to visit the Engmans there), Heber, Kamas, Oakley, (that's the one area we both agree would be great to live in. It's too bad land is so expensive and jobs are scarce) and then up through Coalville, Echo, and into Morgan. We spent more time in Morgan checking out some beautiful land on the West side of the freeway. It was really beautiful and just about what I had pictured as our eventual "homestead." We both really like Mountain Green as well. We came down Ogden canyon, into Ogden (we're not considering Ogden) and then into Layton to go to an open house for my foster sister who just moved into a new home. That was a BIG driving day! The girls did good for the most part, and, we really love the areas we drove through.

Kaylie and McKinley at the Engman's in Midway. We all had fun visiting, playing, and seeing their new baby girl.

We ended the day by going to Josie's house for some AMAZINGLY yummy homemade pizza! Thanks guys!

Sanpete & Iron Counties

Jason took last Friday off and we took off for the South end of the state. We went through our college stomping ground - Sanpete county - stopping in Fairview for lunch and a nice visit with a college roomie I hadn't seen for probably 5 years. We both have a soft spot for that area since that's where we met and fell in love, and we loved the open spaces and the inexpensive land, but jobs are even more scarce down there. We also went through Gunnison and then stayed the night in Richfield at his parents. Saturday morning we took off and went through Beaver, Parowan, and Cedar City. This was getting a little too far away from my family for me and I'm not as much of a fan of the red-rock-cedar-trees-sagebrush area, but there were a few lots I might consider. We kept going and stayed with his brother in St. George that night and headed back Sunday afternoon. It was a fun trip to see family and we even got to go on a triple date to Cafe Rio and Nielsons Frozen Custard. Yum! Thanks for hosting us Hamiltons!

Ireland cheesing it big-time @ Brook's house. Sorry Brook - I didn't take hardly any pictures of your cute house!

LOVIN' the St. George weather! Ireland & Daddy on Uncle Jeff's 4-wheeler.

Are they cute cousins or what? Ireland, McKinley, Sedona, Daken & Camri


Carrie Wagstaff said...

I knew you guys wanted to move to a small town, but I didn't know you were already doing research. You guys may be moving before us! I wish I could offer info on any small towns, but I'm kind of a big city girl. I just can't give up the shopping!

Patricia Potts said...

I loved how you summarized your search! It would have been fun to see all those places highlighted on a map too! I followed along fine but it is just an idea.

Cute pictures! I am praying for you and praying that I can have a good attitude about having you further away...I know you are following your heart. You are Jason are such incredible examples that my guess is someone is praying you to their "maybarry" town. I just told Cindy and Dan we can look forward to more fun road trips. - Love, mom/sis

Dave and Ashley said...

So I'll share my 2 cents. Dave's parents live in Oakley and to be completely honest I do not love it. They live there though, and they love it so that is what matters. Dave and I have decided if we ever move out of the valley we would head straight to Mountain Green. I love it, I love the whole area up there. Eden, Huntsville, Morgan, etc. Although, wherever you decide to go you will fall in love with I'm sure.

Marta said...

I have family in Cache County, mostly in Logan, but an uncle in Cove, and another in Richmond. Both places are small, both beautiful, but close enough to Logan that it isn't too inconvenient. Cove is north of Richmond, and practically down the street from Idaho. Both relatives have quite a bit of land, with horses and occasionally other farm-ish animals. I've spent more time in Cove, and it really is beautiful, with a lot of land still agricultural.

Marta said...

Oh I forgot, I've heard GREAT things about Morgan, though I think most everyone likes it so it may not stay small for long!

diana said...

I love small towns too. I grew up in a couple of small nevada towns. We even lived on an indian reservation for a few years! Karl grew up on a ranch where there was one school for all ages and all his friends were his cousins. Too bad his job is big city. We are wishing you the best to find your dream place but, we will definately miss you guys around here.

Get Hooked said...

I just can't wrap my brain around why someone would want to live in a small town!?!?

I lived in Cedar City for 3 years. I loved it, but really now, it represents a simple life to me. Where we had no money, rent on our studio apartment was $200. I could never go back to that. With that said I have a sister that lives in Cedar City. She loves it. She is seriously dating a man that lives in Salt Lake. She refuses to leave Cedar, and both are ok having a long distance relationship/marriage! So I guess whatever makes you happy. If you are intersted I could put you in touch with her and she can tell you all the great things the "festival city" has to offer.

I wish you the best with whatever you guys decide, but you sure will be missed. I guess we better get as many play-dates in as we can!

Ryan and Shannan Hoffman said...

I have a vote, you guys should move to Heber City. :)

Market Maven said...

my dad comes from a VERY small town! ever heard of Rockville? It's right outside Zions National Park. You blink and you'll miss it! It's BEAUTIFUL down there! It's fun to visit. Places to hike, horses to ride etc. and you're 30 min from St. George so you can shop if u want to. My dad owns tons of land down there....Everyone I know that lives in Logan, loves it!......that's all I know!.....believe it or not, I love the small towns.

Gardners Glad Tidings said...

You have talked about small town life for a while....and you and I couldn't be more on the same page. I love small town life....All of those places sound fabulous. My entire extended family is from Cache county (logan, mendon, Nibley) If you can see through the smog check out the west side of the valley as well, wellsville and such it is so stunning. So did you alreay sell your house? I am glad you are doing so well!

Kelli said...

I do not want you to move, but Cache county gets my vote. I absolutely love that place. It is gorgeous. That is where Scott and I have always wanted to move, and it is the end plan for this family (when he retires, I guess!)

Lena Baron said...

Heidi, I was laying in bed tonight and I can't sleep. My mind wandered back to the fact that I thought about you this afternoon about how you're trying to figure out your future. I wondered how you were doing... then tonight you came back to mind and I wondered if you had considered Kanab as a small town option? What are your hubby's career goals? Just wondering if you had thought about it. So I went back to this post to re-read what you're looking for... Keep me posted. Sure would be fun to have you out here(for as long as we're here anyway)!!