I moved away for close to 20 years, then returned to my hometown 14 years ago, and have never regretted the decision.
Kellogg is located in the north Idaho, on Interstate 90. (Yes, in the skinny part.)
Right now is has a population of about 2,000.
It is part of a larger community called The Silver Valley, which encompasses communities along Interstate 90 from Cataldo to Mullan.
It is called the Silver Valley, because this area is the world's largest silver producer.
There are a few mines still open in this area. Back when I was growing up, there were mines located all over the Silver Valley. But the year I graduated from high school, 1981, The Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Company closed down, and was a huge blow to the Kellogg as well as the Silver Valley economy.
Kellogg is now more of a tourist town than a mining town. Silver Mountain Resort is now a part of the town. It has a Ski Hill with the world's longest gondola, an indoor water park, Galena Ridge Golf Course, and the Morning Star Lodge wear people can own or rent condos.
But to me it is more than just a mining town or a tourist town.
It is where my roots are. It is were I grew up.
I attended schools here, played sports, performed in the band and choir, performed on stage. I was a Blue Bird and Campfire Girl, selling Campfire mints door to door so I could go to summer camp.
I helped clean and schools in the summer as part of my job.
I have climbed the hills. I have ridden bikes on the roads. I have developed friendships that have lasted a lifetime. I attended church. I babysat. I picked huckleberries. I went camping, and fishing and floated the river.
When Paul and I got married, we never had a plan to end up in Kellogg, Idaho. But somehow we knew we would. And we did.
I have friends who would love to move back here if only there were jobs available. It is fun to listen to the stories of people who grew up here. Most of the people I know loved growing up here, and the experiences they had while living here.
In a way I am glad I moved away for a while, then returned to Kellogg, Because for me, it helped me appreciate this town even more.
This morning in church a young couple got up and shared about how glad they are to have moved to Kellogg after graduating from college, and how they love living here. Another friend told them after the service how refreshing it was to here a young couple talk about how glad they are they live in Kellogg. It is nice to hear positive things about my hometown. Because I love it, too.
A friend took a walk through the town of Kellogg recently, and posted it on her blog. You can find the blog post here.