Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coeur D' Alene - Idaho 2013

This was a travel day, not a planned one. We were supposed to go to Bonners Ferry for one night. People who left yesterday for this location called us and informed us that highway 2 had a ten mile highway construction site with only gravel to travel on.  Doc, who went down highway 93 to Missoula, told us about the forest fires and the smog she encountered. So we decided to skip Bonners Ferry and come to Coeur D’ Alene one day early. I took highway 93 south to highway 28 west, then highway 200 south to highway 135 which took me to Interstate 90.
The little roads most of the time followed a river which was very scenic. I saw a lot of deer, unfortunately some death ones too. I had left Kalispell at 5:45 AM and arrived at the Eagles Lodge in Hayden Lake at 10:30 AM.
Hayden Lake is a few miles north of Coeur D’ Alene.
We are camping on a large meadow next to the lodge. Since I came early I got a site with electricity. They charge us only $ 5:00 a day. So far we have been lucky and got inexpensive campsites. This will change though when we go to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.

I felt like making potato pancakes for breakfast, and that is what I did. They taste just as good early in the morning as for lunch and dinner. We are now over 30 people. Our host for this outing arrived also. Since she had no time to organize activities, we are on our own tomorrow.
In the morning I went to the Visitor Center and got information about recreational things to do in and around Coeur D’ Alene.
When I came back I asked for a ladder to go on the roof of my motorhome. The lodge had a sturdy steel ladder. But the ladder was too short to safely step on the roof, so I brought it back. Then I started thinking and came up with the idea to make a long ladder by combining the ladder from the lodge and my own. I asked again and here is what I did. 

Going up is no problem, coming down requires the help of my neighbor. He holds the ladder so it will not move.
After the 4:00 PM circle meeting I spent two hours on top of the motorhome lifting the cooling fins on the air conditioner with a little screw driver. The job is half done. Tomorrow morning I will do the rest.

In the morning I finished the air conditioner repair. While I had access to the roof of the motorhome I took the vent covers off and did some cleaning. After lunch and a nap I went down town Coeur D’ Alene.
I walked the floating boardwalk. It rims the Coeur D’ Alene Resort’s 372 slip marina. It is 3,300 feet long.

Then I walked Sherman Street. They have some fancy stores on that street. 

 What I called a meadow is actually the Eagles baseball field. 

Lois is crocheting. She is 85 years old and over twenty years with the group. 

August is here and so is the rain. It was supposed to rain tomorrow, but it came early. We could not plan any outdoor activities.
I went to the German Delicatessen Store to buy bread. The bread was sold out and the next delivery comes the coming Wednesday. Federal Express brings it. The bakery is in Toronto, Canada. I ordered half a loaf. The whole loaf weighs five pounds. While I was there I bought some bratwurst. My next stop was Fred Meyer; they had cherries for $ 1.99 a pound. I bought five pounds. This was my excitement for the day.
Some of the women went thrift store shopping. They were tired and could not go dancing.
We went to the Eagle Lodge in Coeur D’ Alene. The lodge is larger than the one here in Hayden. We were matched this time. No woman had to sit a lot. Everybody got to dance all the dances. I danced one time with a local woman. In ten minutes I found out her whole history from when her husband died to when she moved from California to Idaho.
There was one older lady, and I mean old. She must be close to ninety; she danced every dance with a partner or without one. She could not sit still. She drove sixty miles to attend this dance. Jan knows the woman from Yuma, Arizona. The woman spends the winters there. At this dance was also the tall guy with the big handle bar mustache. He comes to the dances in Yuma and Quartzsite. He is not a WIN. The band was very good. They played western music and waltzes and cha cha. The band’s name is “ Desert Rose”. Phil asked them whether they came from the Arizona or California desert. They had never been there.
It rained when I went to bed and was still raining when I got up. The fire fighters will be happy.

It rained all day. In the morning I went to the library and Albertsons. The store had cherries on sale. After the 5:00 PM circle meeting most of us went in the lodge and had hamburgers or chicken strips. We try to support the Eagles since they are so nice to us.

It looked like rain in the morning. I went to the campus of North Idaho College for Art on the Green. The college is located at what was Fort Sherman.

A few buildings are still standing. One is the Powder Magazine. It is a museum now. 

A replica of a six pounder field cannon stands in front of the building.

Nearby is the Big Hank Cabin, which was used by fire fighters. 

There are signs all over the campus explaining what the local Indian tribes did at this location and the meaning of words. 

At the art fair a man was building a sand castle and he did a wonderful job.

There were a lot of booths were art vendors were selling their wares. It was not cheap stuff.

From the Art Festival I walked to the street fair at Sherman Avenue, the main street in Coeur D’ Alene. About seven blocks of the street were shut down for motorized traffic and 250 vendors were selling food and all kind of articles. 

A local woman has written a book about Mudgy and Millie. Mudgy is a moose and Millie a mouse. 

Mudgy is looking for his friend along the shores of Lake Coeur D’ Alene. At different places are statues of Mudgy. People and their children follow the trail until they find Millie. Some of the WINs did it without children.
At the park were kids in a bubble, which was floating in water. They tried to stand up but always fell down.  

 In the park is also a fancy castle for children to play on. 

When I came back to the motorhome I noticed all the cars at the other half of the baseball field. There was a high school reunion for 45, 50 and 55 years out of Coeur D’ Alene high school. About 400 people showed up.
They were lucky it did not rain today. In the afternoon the sky was a little lighter. 

This was another glorious day. The sky was blue and there was no raincloud in sight.
At Hugs and Mugs the group decided who would ride with who on the Lake Coeur D’ Alene Scenic Byway, with a 3.2 mile hike on the Mineral Ridge Trail. I wanted to hike the trail but did not know whether I could do it. Therefore I did not want to ride with anybody and did not have a passenger either. The trail has an elevation of 660 feet.
I left before the group took off. When I left the Interstate I saw a SUV with a kayak on top following me. I stopped at the first viewpoint and Phil and Diana stopped too.

They wanted to hike early because they were going to the mission today. The group will do this on Thursday. Diana and Phil will leave Coeur D’ Alene on Tuesday
The three of us hiked the Mineral Ridge Trail.

We came to a hard rock tunnel. Miners tried to find precious metals here. Evidently there was nothing at this spot. 

When we came to the Caribou Cabin we had a good view of the lake and the Interstate highway on the other side. 

We also took a little rest.

From the same spot we saw the lake and the highway bridge and the valley.

 There were also two Mineral Exploration Sites. They were holes in the ground.

At the Silver Tip Viewpoint we saw floating houses.

When we came back to the trailhead and parking lot we met the members, of our group, who had started later on the trail. They walked faster than we and almost came back at the same time. We all went to Harrison a very small town. There we ate our lunch in the town park. I had eaten my lunch earlier and had dessert there. I bought a pastry at the bakery and later when everybody bought ice cream I had that too.

At the park is also a camping area with a view to the lake. Mother and father eagle were feeding their young.

The drive along the lake was very scenic. Highway 97 did not disappoint us.

Highway 3 was different but still beautiful.

At 10:00 AM we visited the Pappy Boyington Museum. It is housed in the former Eagles Lodge, on the same property as the new one. We only had to walk a few hundred feet.

Pappy came from this area. He was a Sioux Indian. Robert Conrad portrayed Pappy in the TV show “ Ba, Ba Black Sheep”. 

The museum is open only by appointment. The docent has put a lot of work in this project and he would have talked for a few more hours. Carolyn knew when to stop him. 

We decided to do the Tubbs Hill two mile hike. I started early because I had arranged to visit friends late afternoon. 

I started at 11th Street and walked only the lower trail. Tubbs Hill is a peninsula and one has a very good view of the lake. 

The Coeur D’ Alene Resort can be seen from every place in town. It is so tall. 

People were swimming and having a good time. 

Young ospreys were sitting on the nest on a high pole, in the construction site for the new park. 

While walking through the neighborhood, on the way to my car, I saw this house with the yellow flowers. 

And this modern design house.

Later I visited my friends and picked up my mail and my new camera which Diana had ordered for me from Amazon. Rosie and Roy lived three houses down the street from where I lived in Carlsbad, California.
We had a wonderful conversation and I told them what happened in the old neighborhood in the last few years.

Today we went to Farragut State Park, which is located on Lake Pend Oreille. During World War II it was a Naval Training Facility.
The lake is almost 1200 feet deep and the Navy has a sonar testing station here.

All what is left of the training facility is the Museum at the Brig. It was the jail for the Navy.

German Prisoners of War were also at the camp. They arrived in 1944 and worked in the kitchen and maintenance. They also helped fight fires. 

They had only two complaints, there was not enough reading material and the beer was too week. The Navy bought the library of a German family in Portland but could not do anything about the week beer.

A German POW donated the pictures he took, while at the camp, to the museum. He was able to take them to a POW camp in England and then back to Germany. 

My next stop was the little town of Bayview. The view from the hill was magnificent.

Here I saw a lot of floating houses. The buildings are sitting on large logs. 

There was even a two story house.

We visited another old church. The Coeur D’ Alene Old Mission is the oldest standing building in the state of Idaho. The mission is located 24 miles east of Coeur D’ Alene.

The church and the Parsonage House are the only buildings left. The rest of the buildings burned down. It is a miracle that the church is still there. Homeless people lived in it for a while and burned the wooden floor when they had campfires going. The floor has been replaced and the buildings are now protected. The area is now a State Park. 

Before the river changed its direction and there was no road to the Mission steamers came to Mission Landing and people went to church and had picnics. 

There was a building where travelers could stay for a while. 

A stock and crop barn was available for housing the farm animals and storing the crops. 

A grist mill was an important part of the mission. 

The Old Mission Bell is on display. 

The ranger wore a black robe like the Jesuit Priests wore. Some Indian tribes would actually ask the Jesuits to come to the reservation and teach them about the Great Spirit. In one of their legends they were waiting for the Black Robed People. It is similar to the Aztecs in Mexico waiting for bearded gods. The Spanish Conquistadors took advantage of that.
The Coeur D’ Alene Indians would not have religious services inside of a building. The Jesuits had the Indian workers paint the ceiling blue and the tribe accepted that. The color came from huckleberry juice. In this part of the USA huckleberries are used for many things. There is huckleberry beer, ice cream, pies and a lot more. The ranger told us that the Jesuits were not as large as he is. They were slim while he looks more like Friar Tuck.

The church was built without the use of nails or metal. The big wooden beams were cut to shape with hand tools. 

The faithful WINs and a family were listening to the ranger. 

This wooden statue was carved with a pocket knife. It has a crack. The Jesuit priest in charge of building the church was very talented. He carved the statues, painted the pictures, was the architect and took care of the medical needs of the mission. 

The two large cherry trees were loaded with ripe cherries. The lower branches were empty but the higher ones were full with delicious fruits. Dan lifted me up to get some. It is a shame; they will spoil. 

In the Parish House was a chapel. 

On the way home I stopped at the Mullan Road Historical Site. Captain Mullan and his soldiers and civilian crew built a road from Fort Benton, Montana to Fort Walla Walla, Washington. It connected the Missouri River with the Snake River.  

I got ready for the move to our next stop. After our morning walk and Hugs and Mugs I went to a Laundromat and did laundry. Next door was a Super 1 store. I walked in there just to look around while the laundry was being done. The store had red and green grapes on sale for 99 cents a pound. Green peppers were 38 cents apiece. There were many more bargains. I have not seen prices like this since I left southern California. I loaded up a shopping cart. This was a twenty four hour sale.
In the afternoon I went to Best Buy to buy a case for my new camera. They had what I needed and it cost only $ 2.99. They were on sale. I have a feeling some people did not like the color.
Before the circle meeting Donna B came to my motorhome. She noticed that I was running the air conditioner and wanted to know whether she could use my oven to bake some cookies for the meeting. Her motorhome would be too hot. Actually they were not cookies. She made fake toffee. She put crackers in the pan and some mixture on top. Then she put on top of this chocolate chips and nuts.
Since it was not cooled off when she served the stuff it was messy. It tasted good though.
In the evening we went dancing at the Eagles Lodge in Coeur D’ Alene. The same band was there. They are good musicians and we really enjoyed the evening. 

Donna B participated in the dance raffle. They put numbered paper plates on the floor. For one dollar you can pick three plates. When the music stops you pick three plates near you. Donna won a pie. 

Two groups went riding their bicycles today. One went over 20 miles outside of town and the other group stayed in the town limit. Both had a lot of fun.

This was the day to leave Coeur D’ Alene. A few people did take off. I decided to leave tomorrow morning. I wanted to take the Higgins Point Drive.  Higgens Point can be seen from I-90 but it looked like no road was going there. I got some more travel material and found the direction.
The Coeur D’ Alene Lake Drive and the North Idaho Centennial Bicycle Trail go there. I saw many people on bicycles. The ride along the lake is one of the most scenic ones I have seen. Steamers came here many years ago.


There is a large resort on the lake.

On the hill side are beautiful large homes.

I ate my lunch on one of the scenic stops. Coeur D’ Alene has a population of 45,000 people. For a small city they have very good recreational facilities. There are maintained bicycle trails all over the city and the country side. Boat ramps and places for fishing are plenty. Many people have boats. 

In the evening we supported the lodge by eating their hamburgers. 

Twenty of us went in for dinner. 

Some ate their own meals. 

This is Jackie and her husband Steve. They are the Eagles camping hosts and are almost ready to head south with their motorhome. We were in good hands with them.