I’ve never lived in an area that expects earthquakes. I grew up in Illinois, where we were much more concerned about tornadoes. I’ve lived in New Mexico, where drought was the primary concern. Now, I live in Idaho, where there typically aren’t tornadoes or serious droughts or earthquakes. I mean, we’re close enough to Yellowstone that if the supervolcano ever blows, we’ll never even have a chance to respond to it, but you don’t prepare for that.

While I’ve visited places that might expect earthquakes or tsunamis, I had never experienced an earthquake. Until last night. In Boise, ID.

It had been raining yesterday, so when I first heard/felt a kind of rumble, I thought it was thunder. But then the TV started swaying and my husband, who has lived in earthquake areas and lived through other earthquakes, told me to get up and open the door and stand in it. We stood in the doorway of our patio. Outside, we could see branches swaying in a nearby bush, but no large effects. I kept looking inside where our TV kept swaying and some fishing poles propped up in a corner were rattling.

It was both scary and less than I expected. Scary, because I’d never encountered an earthquake before and I didn’t know what was coming next. Less than I expected because I’ve only ever seen earthquakes on TV or in the movies and this weird swaying was not very dramatic. (Thank goodness.)

The news was not quick to pinpoint exactly what was going on. We don’t usually watch television news, but Ambrose decided we should check it out. They pretty much had the same information as we did, via Facebook, of lots of people reporting the tremor but no news on where the epicenter was or how deep (which was something Ambrose wanted to know).

Later, I found out that the epicenter was west of Challis, ID. I knew vaguely where that was, but looked it up on the maps to get a better idea. That’s when I saw that the epicenter was actually quite close to places that I’ve hiked. It was within 4 or 5 miles of the Lola Creek Campground, and therefore also the Idaho Centennial Trail. Not too far from Stanley Lake.

Oh, and the epicenter itself was actually right next to a creek.

Shake Creek.

No joke.

Now I can no longer say I’ve never been in an earthquake. Check that one off the list. I just hope the aftershocks don’t exceed the initial one. I’ve had my fill, thanks. 

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