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!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Street Fair

Downtown Coeur d'Alene transforms this weekend for local merchants and outside vendors during the annual Street Fair. For decades this event has provided a late summer opportunity to find fabulous bargains and enjoy the atmosphere of the City by the Lake.

Lawn Art

We love our lawns and what could be better than replacing that boring sprinkler with a wet and whirling work of art? Throughout the grounds of North Idaho College and Coeur d'Alene City Park, vendors and artists display their wares this weekend.

Sandcastle in the sky

Sand castle engineer/artist Scott Dodson of Post Falls starts with 16 tons of sand to create a 14th century gothic castle. The sand is sprayed with an Elmer's glue and water mixture to help it retain moisture and last up to two months. At 12-feet high and 10-feet wide, the annual sand castle project draws a continuous crowd of admirers during Art on the Green in Coeur d'Alene. Photos don't do justice to the intricate detail and sheer whimsy of the castle. Go see it for yourself at the west side entrance to Ft. Sherman Park, adjacent to North Idaho College this weekend. Then when you're inspired, grab your sand bucket and shovel and head to the beach to try your creativity in the art of sand castles.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


A beautiful bride deserves a beautiful backdrop and the Hayden Lake Country Club fills the bill. The historic club is 101 years old this month, opened on the site by Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad as the Bozanta Tavern and known nationwide as a posh resort and home to socialites from the country. In 1927 the tavern was aquired by a group of Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area businessmen and became what is now known as the Hayden Lake Country Club, 2362 East Bozanta Drive. "Bozanta" is an Indian word for Meeting Place by the Lake.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Faces of Pow Wow

The 11th Annual Julyamsh Pow Wow was a visual feast. I've come to enjoy most the Prairie Chicken dancers and the young men known as Fancy dancers. It's the faces of the native dancers that tell the story, though.

Friday, July 25, 2008

No, I didn't go "on location" to the rain forests of southest Asia to snap this photo of an albino Burmese python. I came across the snake and his owner at a street dance in Post Falls. Considering the Burmese python is one of the largest snakes in the world, growing up to 23 feet long and weighing up to 200 pounds, it makes you wonder why someone would take one out for a stroll in a public place.

Daring Duct Tape

So why is Ken McGrath, KHQ/NBC reporter, sporting a video camera duct-taped to his hand?
If you plan to ride the new 191-foot-tall Aftershock coaster at Silverwood while taping a segment for the 11 p.m. newscast, it makes all kinds of sense. As the photo shows, it's an over-the-moon kind of ride.
While I enjoyed going "on location" at Silverwood today during a media/tourism event, my feet stayed firmly on the ground. Unless you count floating the lazy river in Boulder Beach.
A few Aftershock facts ... it takes riders 65 mph frontwards and backwards with the longest vertical drop an incredible 177 feet! Did I mention the 4.5 Gs?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The Julyamsh Pow Wow and Encampment began at the Greyhound Park in 1998 and in the decade since has provided an opportunity for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe to reunite with fellow Native Americans as well as the general public. The three-day event (July 25-27) is a celebration of the Coeur d'Alenes' heritage that takes place on the banks of the Spokane River, part of their ancestral homeland. With drumming and dancing competitions for several hundred participants, Julyamsh is a feast for the eyes and soul. There are also Indian art displays and vendors. Admission is free with a $5 per car parking charge at the Greyhound Park Events Center in Post Falls.
For more information on the Coeur d'Alene tribe go to www.cdatribe-nsn.gov/
*pictured above: Dutch SiJohn / Coeur d'Alene 4th of July parade.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sign of the Times

Idaho is touted as the "reddest" state in the union, with North Idaho the most Republican of all. During general election time you can always count on Idahoans to show their patriotism, such as this sign on 3rd Street in Coeur d'Alene in the front yard of a proud NRA member.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Arts and Crafts

There are incredible artisians and craftspeople in North Idaho. This mask planter was displayed at the Farmers Market in downtown Coeur d'Alene. I love Farmers Markets, Art on the Green (the first weekend in August) and perusing little shops in out-of-the way small towns in our "on location" travels, supporting the arts a few dollars at a time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Upon Reflection

Through the reflective elevator doors to the marina at The Terraces on Lake Coeur d'Alene, the million dollar -plus view can be seen. Located near Silver Beach, The Terraces are the most upscale of the upscale residences on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Thirty condos, with the top end prices of $4.6 to $5.4 million, feature spacious 5,300 to 8,300 square feet of luxury that even Robin Leech and his Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous cronies would swoon over.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Water crawl

Everyone knows you have to crawl before you can walk. This youngster appears to be crawling on Spirit Lake ...
If you look closely you'll see he's actually playing on a slightly submerged piece of adrift dock.

Cat Days of Summer

I see dogs of all sizes and shapes on the waters of North Idaho... dogs love to float the North Fork in inflatable rafts and boat on Lake Coeur d'Alene but here's a first for me. This cat seemed quite comfortable on the bow of a boat coming into dock on Spirit Lake.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

North Idaho College beach

Anyone who's lived here for at least three decades probably still refers to the beach on the west side of North Idaho College as the Dike Road. But as this sign at the entrance explains, the official name is Yap-Keehn-Um, the gathering place. It was dedicated to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe twenty-one years ago this week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


For decades this roadside attraction was the first thing you saw after crossing into Montana on I-90 or the last thing you saw before reaching the Idaho state line at the top of Lookout Pass. The walls and ceiling of the bar are covered in real silver dollars and a wooden Indian and cowboy are permanent fixtures at one of the tables. There are thousands of kitschy souvenirs to be had and just about anything ordered in the restaurant is buried in brown gravy. We were surprised to discover on this trip that the famous 10,000 Silver Dollar Bar was now worth 50,000!

Monday, July 14, 2008

That bugs me....

We just traveled the entire width of Montana, taking the "low road" - I-90 eastbound and coming home on the "high road" of Highway 2. Visiting family in North Dakota and Eastern Montana is always fun but for the thousands of reasons seen on the front of my car, it's good to be home in North Idaho!
I know we have some summer pests but nothing to compare to the mosquitos in those parts.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Soaring on the River

In the changing landscape of waterfront living, some Spokane River homeowners use this bright yellow pontoon plane for easy access to their docks. It's a common sight in the summer months in North Idaho.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

To market, to market

The Farmer's Market in downtown Coeur d'Alene is a fun place to spend a Wednesday afternoon and early evening. Vendors display their wares, there's a variety of tasty treats and local musicans provide the background sounds.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Singing for their supper

I only have to step outside into the backyard to hear a chorus of bird songs every day. Our resident house sparrows are all raising families in the trees and in the two nesting boxes near the fence. One group of chicks is older and not long from trying their wings while another family of five are only recently hatched. Here an older chick checks out the big wide world while a duet of new babies call for their mom.

*the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game on Kathleen Ave. across from the Forest Service Nursery in Coeur d'Alene has nesting boxes for sale for just $5 each. They're intended for mountain bluebirds but don't tell my sparrows.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Going out in style....

The three-day Independence Day weekend is at a close. This image of a star-spangled sunbather on Lake Coeur d'Alene says it all.

Beijing or Bust!

Post Falls' own, Ian Waltz, will be going on location to his second Olympic games next month after finishing first on Sunday in the US Olympic qualifying track meet in Eugene, Oregon. His discus throw of 216.1 feet was more than enough to give Ian another shot at Olympic gold. The photo is from 2004 right before Ian (PFHS Class of '95) headed to Athens. On the left is Ian's brother-in-law Cameron Christenson and on the right is my own big strong guy, Bert.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

River sushi

A great wildlife viewing opportunity in all of North Idaho is with osprey. They're also known as seahawks or fish eagles. Ospreys are a large raptor with a diet that consists almost exclusively of fish. From over 100 feet in the air, the osprey sight their prey and then dive to depths of 3 feet to make the catch. We were on the Spokane River when we saw this osprey watching her mate intensely as he caught a fish to bring back to the nest. Alas, he struggled with the heavy fish, several times stopping to rest on the log booms. We can only hope he successfully "brought home the bacon" to the missus.

Bursting in Air

Post Falls held their first-ever community 4th of July fireworks celebration at Q'emiln Park on the Spokane River and it was a rousing success!

Friday, July 4, 2008


It's a red, white and blue kind of day in beautiful North Idaho! Dozens of celebrations on the lakes and rivers, including parades and fireworks. I'll be "on location" in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls. There will be no shortage of reminders about how blessed we are to have enjoyed freedom for 233 years in this great United States of America. Celebrate with your family and friends!
for 4th of July events go to the FYInorthidaho link above.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bigger than life

Rob Brickett reads the historical plaques on the new 20 ft. tall mural on the rotunda wall inside the recently dedicated Post Falls City Hall. The plaques tell the story of town founder Frederick Post and his lumber mill operation and chronicle the efforts by local businessman Bob Templin to form an Associate City relationship with Post's birthplace of Herborn, Germany. The mural was made possible by an Idaho Historical Society grant.

FYI on Herborn, Germany

The leader of the Herborn city band, visiting their sister city of Post Falls over the 4th, took a few minutes to look over The Guide to North Idaho for things to do. The Herborn group was at city hall this afternoon for the dedication of the stained glass mural that depicts the birthplace of our town founder, Frederick Post. Irwin Gabriel and his band will perform at Q'emlin Park at 6 p.m. on the 4th of July and again at the park pavilion on Saturday afternoon. www.postfallsidaho.org

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lighting up the sky

Mother Nature put on a pre-4th of July light show in western Kootenai County on Tuesday evening. There were some spectacular flashes of lightning with the booming thunder. This photo of lightning striking the ground on the Rathdrum Prairie near Hauser Lake was taken on Chase Road in the first pass of the storm over Post Falls. High winds, hail and rain lasted for over two hours.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Good Ol' Elmer

A fun North Idaho roadside attraction is one we've only seen from I-90 for years, always remembering it's there right after we pass by eastbound Exit 66 after leaving Wallace. This time we were prepared and took the little frontage road and stopped. Elmer's Foundain is named for the late Elmer Almquist who built the sculpture out of salvaged mine equipment from the nearby Gold Creek Mine. Funnel shaped cone crushers capture the water before it flows over the edges. There are several of the quirky fountains and it's worth a stop on a hot day. Tip: Exit 66 is accessable only from the eastbound lanes of I-90 right before the exit to Mullan, the last town in Idaho before Lookout Pass and the Montana border.