Welcome to North Idaho

To live in a place other people dream of visiting is incredible. Through the lens of my camera OnLocation North Idaho will bring you a slice of life as we know it in the Idaho panhandle. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Catching Air

BMX trick bikers put on quite an exhibition at the MidTown Expo in Coeur d'Alene. Wearing protective helmets and a look of determination these 20-something daredevils dazzled the crowds. The first jump took them to a platform atop the Pita Pit motorhome and from there down another ramp, picking up speed before hitting the launch ramp for their airborne acrobatics. Shirtless Joe Perrizo was also fearless as he hung from the handlebars in mid-air and performed 360s. He seemed a bit amazed as he looked at a photographer's digital images of his stunts.

Land of the Free...

...because of the brave.
In the bright sunlight of a summer Saturday morning, over 100 people gathered to honor three Army Reserve citizen soliders from Idaho's 321st Engineer Battalion who received Purple Heart medals. Staff Sargeants Eric Stroh, Jacob Kammers and William Meyers are recuperating from wounds suffered in combat in Iraq.
"Three Star" Lt. General Jack Stultz, Chief of the Army Reserve flew in from Washington, DC to do the honors. Sgt. Stroh was particularly moved to be in his home town of Hayden for the ceremonies. In civilian life, Sgt. Stroh (pictured here with Lt. Gen. Stultz), protects and serves as well. He's an Idaho State Policeman.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Set Sail for Bayview

In the marina by the Captain's Wheel in Bayview a sleek vessel flies a pirate's flag. No Captain Jack Sparrow sightings, though. Bayview is surrounded by stunning views, and even in North Idaho ... famous for such scenic beauty ... Bayview is blessed beyond imagination. July 6 begins the annual three-day Bayview Days celebration if you'd like to set sail and see that historic small town with the grandest views of all. Pirate flags optional.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Say what?

We see all kinds of signs telling us what to do or not to do... where to park or not to park. We're told which way to go and what we will see but this sign posted on the wall at the Hauser Lake Resort was especially eyecatching. As you stand in the bar at the entrance to the dining area and patio overlooking Hauser Lake, this message appears to be more of a commandment than a suggestion. At least they say "please."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Inspirational Ironman

Ironman Coeur d'Alene is a true test of athleticism, will and a little bit of insanity. From the 7 a.m. mass start of the swim leg, to a 144-mile cycling portion and the full 26.2 mile marathon ... 2,196 participants began the race and only 110 failed to finish. The last two photos show friends and champions, Tim Cushman and Sam Mann in the last euphoric block to the finish line after a grueling 16 hours and 33 minutes. They proudly display their Ironman medals just before the midnight cutoff. It was a good day to be an Ironman.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Surf's Up!

Athletes of a different stripe were out in full force about ten miles from the center of Ironman Coeur d'Alene activity on Saturday. The 3rd Annual Dukes of Hauser Freeride Wakeboard Contest drew novice, intermediate and expert boarders to the shores of Hauser Lake. The California surf culture is alive and well in the Northwest as the event proved. Those fun guys and gals from Imagination Graphics in Coeur d'Alene, who specialize in wrapping vehicles large and small in graphic art, were front and center. Wakeboarding was developed from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques, with the rider towed behind a boat. You've got to love an X-Game sport with terminology like raley, fakie, butter slide, tantrum, tootsie roll and hoochie glide. On Saturday, June 30 there's a great free expo in Coeur d'Alene. Go to www.imgxsport.com for more info!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Let the Games Begin!

Coeur d'Alene is abuzz with Ironman fever as the town fills up with athletes and spectators. Throughout the week, the athletes could be seen running, swimming and biking the Ironman route in preparation for the big day. On Thursday a block of Sherman Avenue was shut down to set up the bleachers and special finishline VIP area seating. Tents have sprung up at the Third Street docks and in Coeur d'Alene city park with information, registration and all things related to Ironman. This view of Independence Point and Coeur d'Alene city beach on Friday afternoon shows the area where over 2,000 athletes will hit the water for a 2-mile swim at 7 a.m. Sunday to kick off the triathlon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hoo Rah for the Coffee Wagon

The Marine Corps League Pappy Boyington Detachment 966 volunteer their time to provide free coffee and cookies to weary travelers at the I-90 Huetter rest area. These patriotic Marines served their country and now continue to serve up smiles and conversation to all who pass their way.
The rest area and visitor center are adjacent to the Centennial Trail and offer respite to eastbound motorists before they reach Coeur d'Alene a few miles down the Interstate.
Semper Fi!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beautiful North Idaho

Miss Idaho Teen USA Krysta McNeal is a recent Sandpoint High School grad, earning academic high honors status as well as a sparkly crown in her senior year. Krysta took in the sights of Car d'Lane's Friday night cruise riding in a vintage convertible. She'll represent Idaho at the nationally televised Miss Teen USA Pageant later this summer and experience the big city with none other than mogul Donald Trump.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Roughing It

Recent surveys indicate that the price of gas will keep campers closer to home this year. We've long enjoyed camping, or our version of camping, within a 50-mile radius of home. Silver Beach Resort on Spirit Lake is a great place, right on a sandy beach that I guarantee you'll be sharing with several fun families from Canada who come down to vacation every year. We also overnight at least once each summer at the Coeur d'Alene KOA, where we take a raft and float through the wetland marshes adjacent to the campground for some of the best wildlife viewing around. Bring binoculars and a camera! But our all-around favorite North Idaho camping takes place up the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River several times each summer. We stay at Albert's Landing with the masses, spending the day floating the river and the evening around the campfire. If you want to find the locals when tourist season descends, look no further than the Coeur d'Alene River on a hot summer day.
Where's your favorite North Idaho camping locale?

Sunday, June 17, 2007


In Spirit Lake, aka MowerTown, USA, Father's Day was a celebration of yard equipment on steroids. Dozens of souped up riding lawnmowers and drivers took to Maine Street for prizes and bragging rights in the annual event. I'm sure all 860 people who live in this quiet town, located ten miles north of Rathdrum on Highway 41, turned out to cheer on the racers. Spirit Lake's police officer even took a spin on a motorized barstool between races. After watching the hot rods and muscle cars at Car d'Lane, this was the perfect capper to the weekend.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

High Octane Art

Cool cars ... a Baby Boomer's Nirvana. The 17th Annual Car d'Lane has it all. These lovingly restored works of automotive art speak for themselves.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Baby's First "Steps"

This morning I witnessed a fledgling robin's first flight out of the nest. As I watched the baby bird landed on the fence rail, looking around uncertainly. There it perched for over an hour until Mama Robin joined her baby on the rail. She chirped encouragingly to the reluctant youngster until it summoned the courage to spread its wings once again. There's beauty and wonder and the cycle of life all around us if we take the time to be still.

Happy Trails

The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is a rail-to-trail conversion which originated as a path used by the Coeur d'Alene Indians. From 1887 to 1992 the rail line provided mining transportation. The trail now features 72 miles of paved path that stretches from Mullan (at the Idaho/Montana line) to Plummer (at the Idaho/Washington line.) The trail crosses 40 bridges and passes through 13 towns.

The Chatcolet Bridge in Heyburn State Park is pictured here, where 14.5 miles of the trail at the west end are managed by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. Heyburn State Park, the oldest park in the Pacific Northwest, was created in 1908 and is comprised of 5,500 acres of land and 2,300 acres of water. The second photo is from the Kingston trailhead on the eastern portion of the route.
One of the best things about living in North Idaho are the many incredible opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors right in our own backyard.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Surf's Up

Silverwood Theme Park opens a newly expanded Boulder Beach Bay this weekend as the park celebrates their 20th anniversary in beautiful North Idaho. Now two wave pools are joined by the VIP Cabana Island, Toddler Springs and Avalanche Mountain Family Raft Ride. Governor Butch Otter helped Silverwood owner, Gary Norton cut the ceremonial ribbon along with Garfield and Odie. Bring on summer!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Picnic in the Park

Simple pleasures seem to make the most memorable of times. There are so many great places to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery on a lazy summer day. Click the link on the right for The Guide to North Idaho to find your perfect hiking trail or city park and plan a little stroll down Picnic Lane. Do you know where this sign is located?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Pied Piper of the Parade

After an hour-plus of parade watching in Post Falls on Saturday, spectators were feeling the affects of the 90-degree temperatures. Then off in the distance could be seen relief from the heat as the 6,000 gallon tanker truck from Ground Force Manufacturing made its way down the parade route. Kids of all ages romped in the spray ... the perfect end to a small town parade.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Sonic Drive In

The Sonic Drive In arrived in Post Falls this week, bringing rollerskating servers to the drive up stalls. A burger's, a burger, a burger but Sonic's retro recipe appears to be a winner with the public. The brightly-colored business on Hwy 41 and Mullan was a flurry of activity, cars lined up for over a block, two deep to get in on a burger, fries and rootbeer floats. More than a fast food joint, Sonic looks more like a destination attraction. Watching those cute kids on roller skates manuever through the parking lot carrying trays is worth the calories and carbs.