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!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas on Parade

The small North Idaho towns of Rathdrum, Hayden, Smelterville and St. Maries will usher in the season with festivities, including parades, caroling and special programs on Saturday, December 1. We love going "on location" to these celebrations where crowds are in the hundreds, not thousands. This Lakeland School District school bus was a favorite in last year's Christmas parade in Rathdrum. *click on The Guide to North Idaho link to the right for the FYI North Idaho calendar of community events.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

World's Tallest Christmas Tree

The world's tallest Christmas tree, at 161 feet, is more than twice the size of the tree at New York's Rockefeller Center (75 feet tall). The 120-year-old Grand Fir (Abies grandis) overlooks Lake Coeur d'Alene from the waterfront home of Duane Hagadone (outlined in lights in the background of this photo) and features a 10 ft. tall star on top. The Coeur d'Alene Christmas tree is green in more than one way, decorated with LED lights, which use 90 percent less energy than conventional light bulbs. The bulbs will use the same amount of power as 21 average household light bulbs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First Snow

Like clockwork, Old Man Winter arrived with our first real snow of the season during the last week of November. North Idaho is a winter wonderland and an outdoor recreationist's dream.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Hundreds of starlings descended on a Post Falls (Syringa Street) neighborhood, blanketing front lawns and trees in their search for food. It was incredible to see them darken the overcast sky, swooping and flying in unison. The starling is a song bird and can mimic other sounds. According to the Birds of Idaho field guide, starlings gather in the hundreds in the fall and feast on insects, seeds and fruit.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Santa's workshop

North Idaho is closer to the North Pole than some might realize. An evening on the lake during the fireworks and downtown lighting brought us up close in our "on location" travels. The lights along the Coeur d'Alene Resort boardwalk marina are plentiful but only when you venture across the lake to Casco Bay will you see Santa in his element. In the summer months Santa's workshop is a boat garage and the beach and grounds of Duane and Lola Hagadone's summer home are now ablaze with delightful lighted figures. My favorite? A towering display that lights up on cue as The Twelve Days of Christmas rings out. Lake Coeur d'Alene Cruises, 765-4000 or click on The Guide to North Idaho on the right side of the page for everything going on for the holidays in our hometown.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Room at the Inn

A few blocks from the spectacular lighting display in downtown Coeur d'Alene, the historic Roosevelt Inn was being decked for the holidays by innkeeper John Hough on Thanksgiving eve. Red bows, garland and lighted wreaths in the three-story brick building's windows remind of a simpler time. On the corner of 1st and Wallace Ave., take the family for a stroll by to see it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gobble Gobble

Wild turkeys in Coeur d'Alene's French Gulch are regular visitors to Bliss and Annette Bignall's yard. This flock is celebrating not making an appearance on someone's Thanksgiving table tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tree Toppers

Crews prepare the lights high atop the Christmas tree on the Hagadone Corporation offices on Monday afternoon. More than 1.5 million lights will sparkle across Lake Coeur d'Alene as the Holiday Light Show, the largest on-the-water resort holiday light show in America, readies for the day after Thanksgiving kick-off.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Icy Art

In North Idaho we're a week or so away from what is traditionally the first real snow of the season but there was no shortage of ice on Saturday in the Montrose neighborhood of Post Falls. An early holiday celebration included a local company, Northern Ice Works, and their ice sculptors. The team made quick work of several blocks of ice using chainsaws and smaller tools to create the detail as shown here on an icy tree trunk.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Off Road in North Idaho

This group of riders enjoyed a fall afternoon on the Fernan Saddle. North Idaho has some of the best off-road ATV and motorbike riding opportunities in the whole country, with over 95% of those located on National Forest or public land. There are nearly 4,000 miles of trails/roads to ride in the Idaho Panhandle, where the number of registered ATVs number approximately 13,000.
Top Rides in North Idaho:
Canfield Mountain-Horse Haven Trail (Coeur d'Alene)
4th of July Pass (East of Coeur d'Alene)
English Point Trail System (Hayden Lake)
Steamboat Area (Silver Valley)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sunrise silence

The sunrise this morning silhouetted the point at Tubbs Hill on Lake Coeur d'Alene. I see more sunsets than sunrises but was "on location" in the towers at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Standing on the balcony in robe and slippers, the silence of the cold morning on the lake was beautiful. A low fog clung to the water, rising up to meet the clouds, changing colors as the sun crept up behind Tubbs Hill.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Take the Deal!

North Idaho is an incredibly generous place for a number of non-profit organizations. There are hundreds of charity auctions and benefits annually in our communities. The Post Falls Chamber of Commerce put a new spin on their annual auction by recreating the Deal or No Deal game show for their recent gala. Tapping 21 local luminaries for numbered case duty, it was great fun for all. Proceeds will help construct a new visitor center near Cabela's, where a million people are expected to shop in the coming year.
*(l-r) Shannon Brown-2002 Post Falls Jr. Miss, Lt. Pat Knight-Post Falls Police Department and Sarah Polk Stehno-1994 Miss Idaho Teen USA.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Land of the Free

...because of the brave.

The Killed in Action monument at the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza in Coeur d'Alene pays tribute to local fallen heroes from the Spanish-American War up to Iraq.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Art of the Lure

There are all kinds of lures in life and the waters of North Idaho draw fishing fans throughout the four seasons. Lakes, ponds and reservoirs, including alpine lakes, are open all year for fishing. Winter stream season runs from December 1 through March 31
http://fishandgame.idaho.gov has comprehensive information on fishing in North Idaho.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Great Outdoors

Thousands of people will be heading indoors for the official opening of Cabela's in Post Falls tomorrow ... stocking up on everything they need to enjoy the great North Idaho outdoors. World-famous outfitter Cabela's will open a spectacular 125,000 sq. ft. retail store near the Washington/ Idaho state line. The store features a towering mountain replica, running waterfalls and streams, a gigantic freshwater aquarium stocked with fish native to the area, museum-quality representations of many wild-game species, and a world-class gun library.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vox Pop

It's election day in North Idaho, when the voice of the people is heard at polling places in small towns and big cities. The Kootenai County Elections office will be tabulating ballots for Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Rathdrum elections, with live feeds of the results available on-line after 8 p.m. http://www.kcgov.us/elections/results/

Monday, November 5, 2007

Skating with a View

The Coeur d'Alene Resort is adding a 4,000-square-foot outdoor skating rink overlooking Independence Point for their Holiday Light Show. Miles of tubing was ready to be installed last week. The rink will open to the public on November 9.

Balanced Breakfast

This spotted woodpecker displayed a knack for balancing as he took over a front porch birdfeeder in Post Falls on Monday.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tick Tock

North Idaho is in the Pacific Time Zone and like most of the country we'll be falling back one hour in the wee hours of Sunday morning for Daylight Saving Time. This wall full of clocks at Watches by Gosh in the Coeur d'Alene Resort Plaza Shoppes will take quite an effort to rewind!