CALDWELL, Idaho. The other night, I was sitting at the bar in one of my best friend's kitchens three sheets to the wind from five very stupid shots of tequila. At 37-years-old and 106 pounds, I certainly know better than to go toe-to-toe with Jose Cuervo. But after the week I had had, I said, "Screw it," and went for it.
Not long after the fifth shot, I followed my drunk thoughts down a rabbit hole of nonsense and found myself wondering why there aren't more basements in Idaho. Seriously. Having grown up in the Midwest, the basement capitol of America, the tequila had unearthed a curiosity I've suppressed for the last 10 years I've lived in Star, Idaho.
The next thing I remember, I was sliding off the barstool to find the secret basement I was sure my friend had been hiding from me for the last two years. Much to my intoxicated dismay, the search was cut short when I remembered my bestie lived in a manufactured home.
The last thing I remember was wondering how basements hurt Idaho, and whether or not it was something I could help them work through. (Remember, I'm five shots gone at this point.) Despite the wicked hangover I had, I woke up the next morning and took to the Google for answers.
As it turns out, there's a perfectly simple and rational reason as to why most Idaho homes don't have basements: the frost line. Apparently, the depth of the soil that needs to be dug for a home to be stable, is typically deeper than Idaho's frost line.
Are there a few other factors, sure, but the frost line is the biggest reason as to why so many Idaho residences don't have a basement. If not for the persuasive powers of Jose Cuervo, I might never have known.