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, August 30, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are closing at breakneck speed in North Idaho, this long holiday weekend providing one of the last opportunities to splash in the sun.

Friday, August 29, 2008

National Stage for North Idaho

Today's announcement of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate has put North Idaho on the national map. Governor Palin was born in Sandpoint and was educated at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene and earned her degree at the University of Idaho in Moscow. Not bad for a small town girl from North Idaho. Hopefully the campaign swing between now and November will bring her OnLocation North Idaho!

Be safe this weekend

The final hurrah of summer, the three-day Labor Day Weekend, will find many of us on the lakes and rivers of beautiful North Idaho. Drive carefully and sober. The Kootenai County Marine Deputies will be patrolling the waterways to make sure we obey the rules.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rolling on the River

Coming or going, the Spokane River Queen is a bright sight on the river. Debarking from the RedLion Templin's Marina in Post Falls, the tour boat offers a slow-moving bird's eye view of life on the river. Small summer houses and huge year 'round residence mansions dot the banks and people playing on the water in boats of all manner make a cruise a must-do for visitors and locals.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Centennial Celebration

Spirit Lake is one of my favorite places to go OnLocation in the summer. The scaled down crowds on the beautiful lake and the historic two-block long downtown are draws for us. Spirit Lake is not one of those towns with a studied theme on their main street. It's authentically old, charmingly run down and I love that their city streets are named for states, especially the tongue-in-cheek humor of naming their main street, Maine Street. The well-kept city park is right downtown, heck, Spirit Lake city limits are only about two square miles. About 2,000 people make their homes there, rural folks, artists, recluses ... old timers and newcomers, seeking a bit of what Small Town, USA used to be and finding it. Their Maine Street saloons are world class and you can find bikers and boaters sitting side-by-side enjoying a cold beer. Their city council meetings in recent years have been rough and tumble but at the end of the day, the citizens of Spirit Lake agree to disagree on the little things and get together to move forward on the important things, like celebrating their 100 years in 2008. There's always been a Labor Day parade on Maine Street but this weekend they've added other events like a mountain bike ride down Mount Spokane on Saturday morning; a mountain man encampment, blacksmithing displays, muzzle loaders and Dutch oven cooking Saturday through Monday. If you've never gone OnLocation to Spirit Lake, this is the weekend to check it out.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Charming Dance Champ

The lovely and talented Julianne Hough will be back on Dancing with the Stars this season. Julianne has ties to Coeur d'Alene via her grandparents, Bob and Colleen Hough as well as her dad, Bruce, being a CHS grad. This photo was taken in February when Ms. Hough visited North Idaho. Memo to me: avoid standing next to a beautiful blonde 19-year-old when there are cameras around.
*DWTS will begin on KXLY/4 on Sept. 22. Hear her single, That Song in My Head at www.juliannehough.com

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mug Shot

While sitting at the entrance to the photography displays at the North Idaho Fair, I made the aquaintance of two-year-old Gina. She noticed my camera so I asked if she liked to have her picture taken. She said yes, so I snapped away while she mugged enthusiastically. This darling girl will break more than one heart I predict.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tribal Tradition

The Shooting Stars Dancers from the Coeur d'Alene Tribe featured some of the younger generation at the North Idaho Fair on Thursday. The children begin learning the traditional native dances as soon as they can walk. Pictured here are a young boy in the Fancy Dance and a little girl in the Jingle Dance, both popular dances in the pow wows of the region.

Wacky Weather

If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes and it will surely change. That statement was true in North Idaho on Thursday. Blue skies turned to wind, rain and hail mid-day. Thunder boomed and lightning cracked. Then it cleared, then it rained some more and on and on it went until early evening when Mother Nature treated us to several spectacular rainbows.Rainbow over downtown Coeur d'Alene photo by Don Sausser. The new Parkside Towers is visible, McEuen Terraces behind it. Tubbs Hill is to the right. The top photo by yours truly shows the giant flag on the Coeur d'Alene Resort grounds and traffic on Sherman Avenue.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This Bud's for You

The Budweiser Clysdale team will parade daily at the North Idaho Fair (check the info booth when you get there for the times of their parades and outings) You don't have to be a beer drinker to appreciate the massive majesty of these incredible creatures.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Five-Star Fair Food

Epicurean delights of the most all-American kind can be found in every corner of the North Idaho Fair. There's the popular elephant ear booth, which always boasts the longest line, buffalo burgers, deep-fried Twinkies and more. It's the food on a stick that's always most intriguing. The folks of Calvary Lutheran Church have a standing favorite ... meatballs on a stick (pictured). There's frozen bananas on a stick and even cheesecake on a stick. For the four decades of attending the North Idaho Fair, I more often than not stick to the Lion's locally grown corn on the cob, almost like having food on a stick. I delude myself into thinking it's a relatively healthy fair snack. That's because I pretend it's not soaked in half/half, a touch of sugar and real butter. Salt? What salt?
If you choose to enjoy an ear of corn, I'll be OnLocation behind the counter on Thursday and Friday. Stop by and say hello!

Saddle up!

The North Idaho Fair kicked off today and will run through Sunday. It's a North Idaho tradition with livestock, home grown garden vegetables, carnival rides, quilts, hundreds of vendors and special entertainment around every corner. Me? I love the rodeo, especially the barrel racers and bull and bronc riders.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gold Medal Swimming

While Michael Phelps was racking up an historic 8 gold medals in the Olympics in the Swim Cube, North Idahoans were showing similar good form on the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane rivers, just for the fun of it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Air Time

There are many ways to beat the heat in North Idaho and catching some air on a jet ski is one of the most popular.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flying lessons

A pair of osprey fledglings seem unsure about trying their wings. As we watched, the mama osprey encouraged her youngsters from a nearby piling on the Spokane River.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

North Fork Moose

Thousands of locals love to float the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River but this summer they're sharing the locale with a handful of moose. Teresa Peugh was camping there last week with her teenagers and enjoying a leisurely float when this bull elk wandered down the bank into the water right in front of their raft. They were able to quickly exit the raft in the shallow water and back up to give the moose the right-of-way. Teresa tells OnLocation that in addition to the bull moose there are two cows and a youngster who've taken up residence south of the Bumble Bee Bridge. Another reminder to give wide berth to wildlife when you're out enjoying the forest and rivers of North Idaho.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

20,000 served

I just noticed that visits here passed the 20,000 mark in just a little over a year. The numbers in the archive show there have been 343 posts in that time, the majority of them with one or more photographs. Thanks to FYInorthidaho.com, the Coeur d'Alene Press and to the Spokesman Review's Huckleberries Online for providing links to OnLocation North Idaho.

Hot, hot, hot!

It's August in North Idaho with temperatures heading towards the 100 degree mark. Time to find a lake or a river and take the plunge like this woman seen splashing on the Spokane River.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Three's Company

Idaho's Lt. Governor Jim Risch toured the new Post Falls City Hall and visited with Mayor Clay Larkin. The likeness of town founder, Frederick Post, looms in the background on the 20 ft. tall historical mural in the city hall rotunda.

Nap time

Even though the Post Falls Community Picnic was going on around him, 3-year-old Oskar Holinka was all tuckered out from play. The annual picnic features a bbq dinner at the Grand Pavilion, live music from Kelly Hughes and the backdrop of the city beach on the Spokane River.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lightning over Lake Coeur d'Alene

Don Sausser photograph 8/08/08

Light Show

In unison with the start of the Olympic Games on 8/08/08 Mother Nature put on a show of Olympic proportions over the North Idaho skies. I attempted to capture the spectacular lightning bolts from my porch in Post Falls with limited success. But my friend Don Sausser, who lives serveral stories up overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene, got a "money shot." He generously shared it with OnLocation.
*In the foreground left is the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce visitor center and to the right is Independence Point. You can see the dock where the seaplanes are located. Out on the lake in the upper left, those horizontal lights are from the Lake Coeur d'Alene cruise boats...what a view those passengers had! The lightning looks to be headed northeast over Casco Bay. Thanks Don!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mr. Strike Out

Don Larsen is one of North Idaho's bigger than life residents, not to mention being at least of foot taller than yours truly. He's a former New York Yankee pitcher and the only man in the history of the World Series to pitch a perfect game. The no-hitter Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers is one for the record books.
Don's personalized Idaho license plate reads DLOOO ... his initials and the no-hit, no-run, no-error line score from his perfect game.
It was a treat to meet him today on his 78th birthday.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Safety First

Dog Days of summer find our four-legged friends on the lakes and rivers of North Idaho. This pampered pooch's owner keeps Fido safe in a life vest while accessorizing her own beach attire.

Lazy River

When the temperatures soar to the triple digits in North Idaho the only way to beat the heat is to find water. Floating on a lazy river ... in this case, the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene ... gives new meaning to the act of putting your feet up.

Monday, August 4, 2008


The price of gas has altered the way most of us are traveling this summer, from daily commutes to the coining of a new word... staycation. Here in North Idaho I did a double take when I saw this seriously downsized motorcycle in a grocery store parking lot. Odds are it's not headed to Sturgis this week.

Traffic flow

While sitting in my beach chair on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene, this little snokeler swam by, unaware she was in the company of a family of ducks headed the same direction. I love summer.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Best of Both

Skimming the water and soaring above it all, seaplanes are a common sight on Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Spokane River. If you'd like a bird's eye view of summer in North Idaho, Brook's Seaplanes are located at the Independence Point Dock in Coeur d'Alene.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Simple Pleasures

A warm summer day with the start of the school year looming ... but this youngster playing in the fountain at Independence Point on Lake Coeur d'Alene reminds of those carefree days of youth.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Taste North Idaho!

The Taste of the Coeur d'Alenes is this weekend at City Park on Lake Coeur d'Alene. The vendors hawk everything from fruit on a stick to Indian tacos and teriaki bowls but if you want to taste something great from a genuine Idaho booth, you must pay a visit to the Ekness family. Their german dogs are wonderful but my all time favorite are their North Idaho Beer Balls. Small, round sausage with a slight kick of jalepeno are served with grilled onions and/or sauerkraut. Lyle, Joyce, Kevin, Keith and assorted other Ekness' are full of fun. Lyle knows more Ole and Lena jokes than anyone this side of Fargo and is generous with sharing them. Wish him a happy birthday!
*top left: Kyle Ekness. Bottom (l-r) Lyle, Joyce and Kevin Ekness