Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Roger here...  We spent a week in Coeur d'Alene,  Idaho.  Pronounced core duh lane.  Now that  I finally know how to spell it, we are leaving and the correct spelling will return to the recesses of my frontal lobe --- not easily retrieved.  

We were busy every day in this busy and touristy town.  We liked it.  

Rather than writing a chronological diary, this time I thought it would be fun to put together a Top Ten List.  In no particular order....


Coeur d'Alene boasts the longest floating boardwalk in the world.  It is .75 mile long.  It is fun.  The opening picture gives the best perspective of the boardwalk with its elevated walk-over which allows boats to enter and exit the marina. 

It curves around the city marina and seems to go on forever.  It actually has a picnic area (middle right side of the picture) midway through.  The marina is visible during the entire walk.

Mudgy the moose greets strollers at the beginning (or end) of the boardwalk walk. 


I am so glad we did this.  The 90 minute narrated tour was so relaxing and interesting.  I highly recommend it.  And.....

We managed to score the best seats on the boat --- second level in front of the captain's bridge.  The chair to the left is not occupied by Dianne.  It is occupied by the Corona that she enjoyed during the cruise.

This was our view of a portion of the city beach as we eased away from the dock.

There was no lack of lake cottages as we circled the lake.  Many of them do not have driveways.  The owners depend on boats to get to their cars, and depend on mail boats to get their mail.

This tiny private residence does have a driveway.  It is two miles in length.  The house sits on five hundred acres.

One of our favorite activities when we visit our friends, Jay and Nancy, at their lake home in Indiana is cruising around the lake and looking at houses.  This house built on top of boulders is not something that we have seen before.  It may not be the largest house on the lake, but it is certainly the most unique.  It is also the most photographed house in Idaho.

Can you spot the mannequin on deck waving to boaters?

The golf course below was amazing.  If I still played golf, and could afford the green fees, it would be fun to play (well maybe, I have always been a horrible golfer).  Nonetheless, it is beautiful.

The green on #14 is unique.  It is the only floating green in the world.  A water taxi shuttles golfers to the green to putt out.  It really would be fun, except that I would lose a fortune in the lake before I landed on the green.

This view of Tubb's Hill (a city park) is a favorite of mine, especially since we hiked around the hill with the dogs.

As the waters began to reflect the late afternoon sun, we knew that our cruise was coming to an end.


One of the nice things about this 2.25 mile loop hike (other than the hike itself) was the ease to get to the trailhead.  It was so simple to park in the city parking lot and stroll over to the trailhead.  The other nice thing was that dogs on leash were welcome.

Here are a couple of photos of the early part of the hike.  (btw. I am not strangling Bandido --- the leash is attached at his chest.)

Dianne liked the fact that this hike was essentially flat (not totally).  I must admit that (for a change) I liked it, too.

Bandido and I found a rock on the edge of the lake to stand on.  We love that so much.

This condo complex, near the golf course, only has 32 units!  They must be huge, right?  What you cannot see in the photo is that there is a connected wing of equal size.  Probably some wealth here.

Half-way through the hike we approached a wobbly --very wobbly --  suspension bridge.  This was fun for three of us. This was terrifying for one of us.  Look at the space between the surface in the photo below.  Which of us was petrified?

Our (often macho dog) Bandido won that award.  It took quite a bit of coaxing to lead him across the bridge.  Actually, two years ago, I don't think he would have done it.
One step at a time!!!!!

(for four paws)

We had a nice view of McEwen Park as we neared the end of the hike, as well as a view of the city marina.


We picked an overcast day to drive an hour north to the resort town of Sandpoint on Lake Pend Oreille, the largest lake in Idaho.  Our goal was to see the lake and walk around town.  This was a good decision for a chilly day.  This was a very walkable town.

I spotted a blue cheese factory on one of the side streets when we drove into town.  Dianne noticed that it was a product that we use.  Needless to say, we will now consume a variety of Litehouse Bleu Cheese products.

We stopped by a kitchen store, more dollars spent, and then had a delicious lunch at MickDuff's  microbrewery.  We bought a couple of these beer glasses to remember the day.

 Before returning to the car we stopped at the Panhandle Cone and Coffee.  They make their own tasty ice cream.  I had orange chocolate chip.  Dianne had apple pie.  An observation from traveling around the country....  The northern climes seem to do the best job with ice cream (New York, Michigan, Idaho).  There is one exception --- Pinocchio's on Sanibel Island in Florida.


Our seven-night home base has been at the Blackwell Island RV Resort.  It was a very nice campground located along the Spokane River, less than a mile from downtown  Coeur d'Alene.  One of our best moments in Coeur d'Alene was a short hike with the dogs on a campground trail.  

Someone here has quite an imagination and a sense of fun.  Life-like statues of a wolf were hidden in the foliage in two locations.  The dogs were not amused.

Bandido saw the wolf first.  He hesitantly approached, and then....

... then licked it on the nose.  What a brave dog.

The story was a little different with Tequila.

"What is that?!!!!"

"Is that wolf alive?  I think it is alive!"

"Get me outta here!"

Dianne actually had to drag Tequila past the statue before she eventually figured out that she was not in danger.

Further down the trail the space opened up in a  thicket of wildflowers by the Spokane River.


We had a great view of the Coeur d'Alene fireworks from the banks of the Spokane River at the campground.  Unfortunately, we are not experts with nighttime pictures.  Suffice it to say, the fireworks were excellent.  While we were gone, the dogs spent an hour cowering in the hidey hole that Dianne built for them next to the bed, snug in their Thunder Shirts, windows closed, and cartoons blaring on the TV.


The campground rents water toys.  I heard that it was an easy one-hour trip around the island where our RV park was located.  Too difficult for me to resist.

I paddled down the Spokane River to a slough which ran along a wooded hillside.  After a short time I found myself in the middle of a boat dealership.  

A left turn found me on the edge of the lake where I soon turned back onto the Spokane River and back to the campground.  


We drove by this place outside of town.  A return trip for ice cream was a must --- Moose Track milkshake for me.  "Espresso Explosion" for Dianne.  


Our good friend from Retama Village, Dave, recommended two restaurants that were featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  The corned beef breakfast concoction at Jimmy's Down the Street was so good that I did not eat for the rest of the day.  (Dianne here:  not to be outdone, my breakfast included deep-fried pecan roll sticks with maple syrup, with a side of bacon and eggs.   I didn't eat for the rest of the day, either!)

The lunch at Capones Pub & Grill (pizza and beer) was s-o-o-o good.  We do not eat pizza that often, but we DO love it, and this was especially good.  


While we were eating at Capone's, I (not Dianne) had a view of The Junk Store across the street.  I gave Dianne a running commentary on the people waiting in line for the store to open.  Dianne said, "We have to go."  So, after our pizza and beer, across the street we went.

Dianne found a bird house to replace one of ours in Texas that has disintegrated.  She also found a cool smashed silver spoon key ring with the inscription --- Not all who wander are lost.  Very appropriate for the two of us.


Mid-day on July 4th we received a text from two of our nicest friends at Retama Village.  The text said, Happy Hour at 4:00 --- your place or ours?

Bert and Sheri were passing through and decided to spend a night in Coeur d'Alene.  What a nice surprise!  (Dianne again:  It was nice to have a mini version of the Saturday night happy hours we enjoy all winter at Retama Village in Texas.   All that was missing were our other Saturday happy hour buddies, Sharon and Larry (spending the summer in New York) and Jim and Sue (spending the summer in Minnesota.)  The nice thing about living in a neighborhood of RV'ing friends is that we tend to meet up all over the United States when we happen to cross paths.  The snacks weren't as elaborate as our winter get-togethers, and the wine was in a box, but the camaraderie was just as good!)

Tomorrow, we leave for a few days in Missoula, Montana and a visit with one of my former students who then became a colleague.  More on that later.

The Pet Pictures of the Day....

Bandido Struggling Across the Bridge --- poor baby!

Tequila Deciding to Play with the Wolf, rather than be afraid

1 comment:

heyduke50 said...

Massive breakfasts!!! Look dang good too! We enjoyed our stay there a few year ago...