Photo: Mike Lemmon

1. You took Drivers Ed at 14 ½.

With all of Idaho’s agricultural communities and off-road recreational vehicles, kids need to learn to drive YOUNG. You probably learned in a rusted-out truck out on a dirt road years before Drivers Ed made you legal, when you could barely reach the brakes.

2. You’ve definitely shot a gun before.

You own a gun, a bow, a BB gun, or at least a sling shot. We love our right to bear arms. Ok, maybe too much…

3. Taxidermied animals don’t faze you.

All those guns get put to use. Game trophies show up all over the place, from grandpa’s buck hanging out in the basement to that moose over the fireplace at the ski lodge. You’re not sure what it would take to faze you when it comes to seeing dead animals.

4. Not having fry sauce is not an option.

Wait, fry sauce isn’t a normal-everywhere thing? What does everyone else dip fries in? Almost all Idaho restaurants serve fry sauce, which is basically two parts mayo to one part ketchup. When you travel, you have to mix your own for a little taste of home.

5. You either love or hate Boise State.

Bronco Nation swept the state and beyond after the underdog victory in the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. But around here, the long-standing rivalry between University of Idaho and Boise State still reigns. Even though the football teams are no longer in the same conference, born and raised Idahoans have strong loyalty to whichever side of BSU they’re on — love or hate!

6. You know there’s no “Z” in Boise.

It’s pronounced BoySee, not BoyZee — come on, people.

7. You get defensive when people forget Idaho is a state.

Or confuse us with Iowa, or Ohio, or assume we’re in the Midwest, or think that Idaho is flat and boring. Seriously, you’ve seen a map, right? We’re in the west with a belt of the Rocky Mountains and lots of ski towns, but if you think we’re boring potato farmers, by all means, don’t come visit.

8. You’re sick of talking about potatoes.

But you’ll never be sick of eating them! Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, boiled potatoes, potato soup, tater tots, hash browns, some Lays chips, and McDonald’s fries (you’re welcome, America).

9. You’re not an asshole driver.

You use your signal. You let people in when they need to merge. You get mad at the California transplants that drive like jerks around here. You didn’t realize you were considered a polite driver until you drove in LA or DC traffic for the first time.

10. You know Idaho is underrated.

People call it America’s best-kept secret, and you want to keep it that way. The economy could be better, but we have flourishing midsize cities and gorgeous forests, lakes, and mountains where we snow ski, water ski, camp, hike, mountain bike, dirt bike, river raft, hunt, and fish to our heart’s content.

11. You know you could survive a zombie apocalypse.

Or any other invasion or disaster, for that matter. We’ve got guns, natural resources, the most wilderness area of any state in the lower 48, and rural communities few and far between. We’ll be fine, thank you.

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