Tuesday, September 20, 2016

On to Coeur d'Alene

And on we went…from Kootenai Falls into the Idaho Panhandle and down to the beautiful city of Coeur d’Alene. We camped at Blackwell Island RV Park on the shores of the Shoshone River. 

Our site has a small grassy area where the dogs can hang out, and a lovely trail through the woods along the river.  

This coyote statue beside the trail garnered quite a bit of interest the first time we passed it.  Kota and Rue just couldn’t reconcile the fact that it looked like a coyote, but didn’t smell or act like one.  

We also saw whitetail deer in the tall grasses.  

The park apparently has a resident mamma moose and two “small-horse-size” calves.  The park is located adjacent to an abandoned apple orchard, and they like picking apples this time of year.  I saw mamma moose in the thick brush along the trail, but didn’t get close enough to take good pictures.  After all, even though not as big as some moose I’ve seen, she was still at least  “large-horse” size.  

We didn’t have a lot of time in Coeur d’Alene, but we did find time for a great afternoon hike up Mineral Ridge.  This was supposed to be a 3.3 mile hike, and it was.  What they didn’t tell us at the beginning was that the first 2 miles were uphill.  

We took advantage of one of the many benches along the trail to catch our breath and take a selfie.

Switchback after switchback took us to the top of the ridge, where we had fantastic views of Lake Coeur d’Alene and a .3 mile level walk before we headed down.  

You’re right, the last mile was almost straight down…thank goodness for switchbacks.

We also found time to visit Cedars, a floating restaurant adjacent to our RV park.  It was a challenge to restrain ourselves at the salad bar to leave room for the excellent prime rib entree.  And even though we had plenty to eat, we still had room for just one more huckleberry ice cream.

John has been concerned the last several days about the amount of charge going to the truck’s batteries, so we took it to Kootenai Auto and Truck Service to be checked out.  They determined that we needed a new alternator, so we had one installed.  We’re now much more comfortable turning off the key knowing the batteries have enough power to start her again.

Making sure the Falcon was in tip-top shape was one of the things on our to-do list.  Another was stocking up on fresh produce for the next several days when we will be on the road.  The local Farmer's Market was just the place.  In spite of frequent showers and intermittent drizzle, we headed out on Saturday morning to see what the local growers had to offer.

And they had plenty!  Not only some of the most beautiful vegetables we have seen, but flowers, fruit, cheese, meat and even fresh salmon.

There were local crafts available as well.  I was drawn to this woman who was spinning her own yarns from local suppliers of wool, mohair and alpaca fleece.  She was not only selling the yarns she had hand-spun, but garments she had knitted or crocheted from them.  

This was one time that I regretted living in Texas.  Our winters are brisk, but not cold enough for me to wear all that warm, snuggly wool!  My sisters in other parts of the country can wear theirs and think of me.

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