Found In The Big Lost
Farm & Ranch Living|December/January 2018

Guided by fate, a southern couple braves a brutal Idaho winter to find their forever home.

Dawn McKnight

Last December my dear husband, Patrick, and I moved from southern Mississippi to central Idaho’s Big Lost River Valley during one of the heaviest snowstorms and harshest winters in Idaho’s recent history. It was 20 below zero when we moved into our unfinished home amid swirling, blowing snow. The house didn’t even have a front door yet, and on the third floor, where a window was missing, a pair of giant white barn owls had made a nest. On our first night in the house, those owls swooped from the top floor, flew past us and out the open door. We chose to name our place White Owl Farm in honor of that encounter.

We knew we were going to make the Big Lost River Valley our home a year earlier, when we drove through the area on a vacation and fell in love with the land and the people. We sought property that included enough acreage to grow apples, plant a big garden and raise some chickens and goats. We happened upon an unfinished house with just the right amount of land on the Big Lost River near the base of Mount Borah, Idaho’s tallest mountain. The real estate agent told us that the sellers shared our last name, and we knew it was fate. An initial visit to the property reinforced our belief. My husband and I share the same birthdate and, when we saw our birthday etched in a cement slab near the house, we knew the house was our forever home.

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