A Travellerspoint blog

2017 Happy Trails - Week 15

Week 15, August 27 thru September 2, 2017, Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Sunday, August 27

Drove 207 miles.

Route: I90 east from Ellensburg, WA to Coeur d’Alene, ID

Campground: Blackwell Island RV Park, Coeur d’Alene, ID $59.35

What a difference a day makes! We crossed over the Snoqualmie Pass as we drove through the Cascade Mountain Range yesterday from the Seattle area and the terrain changed completely. As opposed to the lush, moist (and usually chilly) temperate marine climate of western Washington, we are now in a much drier climate with temperatures in the mid 80’s. I think we’ve finally found summer!

As we drove east from Ellensburg this morning we crossed the Columbia River, (or to be specific we crossed Wanapum Lake on the Columbia River) and stopped to stretch our legs at the scenic viewpoint overlooking the huge Columbia River Valley.


Our destination was the “panhandle” of northern Idaho and the beautiful Blackwell Island RV Park just across the river from Coeur d’Alene. Not knowing what to expect of the campground, we had only made reservations for one night; but as we pulled into the park we immediately added another four nights to our reservation.

Finally we are going to be able to enjoy a nice relaxing summer camping experience – picture chairs out under the awning with cocktails, reading books, walking to the beach, and taking in the local color.

Monday, August 28

Drove 6 miles.

Route: Into town of Coeur d’Alene and back

Campground: Blackwell Island RV Park, Coeur d’Alene, ID $59.35

We lazed around the campground for most of the day after being virtuous and doing our WOD 9.2.

The only driving we did today was a short hop over the bridge into the quaint town of Coeur d'Alene. We walked around the beautiful riverside park, enjoyed the many wonderful sculptures in town (my favorite was the spent dandelions) and browsed the shops up and down the main street.


A stop at the outdoor patio of Crickets Grill for lunch was a great choice. The food was delicious!

We seriously considered ordering one of their specialty cocktails, but in the end settled on a nice cold brew. LOL

We ended our visit into town with ice cream cones from the Sweet Shop. (I had a delicious Huckleberry flavor.)

The Blackwell Island RV Park even has a doggie beach which we all enjoyed immensely during our stay.

Tim had brought along one of Sunshine’s floatable fetch toys. Unfortunately she wasn’t in the mood for a game of fetch, she only wanted to look for fish in the clear water. So Tim had to do his own fetching. LOL

Tuesday, August 29

Drove 91 miles.

Route: ID 95 north to Sandpoint, ID and back to Coeur d’Alene, ID

Campground: Blackwell Island RV Park, Coeur d’Alene, ID $59.35

One of the things we wanted to do on this return trip from our Alaska Adventure was to explore the “panhandle” of northern Idaho, one of the few areas of the country that we’ve never had the opportunity to visit. Tim had mentioned to Sarah and Ken at the Ford Dealership in Marysville while he was waiting on truck to be serviced that we were coming to this area of the country. They told us that Coeur d’Alene was a beautiful area but that we also absolutely had to visit Sandpoint, ID and Lake Pend d’Oreille (pronounced “pond ah ray”). In some of the tourist literature we picked up we noticed that there was a sunset dinner cruise offered there, so we made reservations and took a day trip north to Sandpoint today.

We discovered that Sandpoint is an even quainter town than Coeur d’Alene with lots of upscale shops and a brewery or two. And like Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint also has a wonderful city park and a public beach on the lake.


Spotted this cute little day sailor.

After lunch and an afternoon of browsing the shops (Tim bought a porch swing!), we went to the docks for our sunset dinner cruise. It was a surprise to find that the cruise was on a smallish boat with the dinner and drinks catered by one of the local gourmet restaurants. Total capacity was 24!

We had been expecting something more like the paddle wheel dinner cruise that we took on Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO where they serve hundreds of folks “rubber chicken and mystery meat”. This was by far much more exquisite, the food was delicious and all you can eat! The dinner was served buffet style with us eating off of lap trays and they had wine and beer available for those who wished.

The lake is home to a number of Bald Eagle “couples” and the captain and his mate keep track of them, their nests and offspring.

Smoke from wildfires in Oregon cut our visibility for photographs but the scenery was still quite beautiful.

And then there was the sunset. Oh my.


Return to port.

Wednesday, August 30

Drove 5 miles.

Route: Into town of Coeur d’Alene and back

Campground: Blackwell Island RV Park, Coeur d’Alene, ID $59.35

Today we relaxed at the campground, enjoying the summer weather, the doggie beach, and no driving.

Thursday, August 31

Drove 45 miles.

Route: I90 east to exit for Wolf Lodge and return to RV Park

Campground: Blackwell Island RV Park, Coeur d’Alene, ID $59.35

We spent another relaxing day enjoying Coeur D’Alene. We even worked in another WOD 9.3.

One of the other things Sarah and Ken from the Ford Dealership told Tim last week was that if we had the chance we should have dinner at The Wolf Lodge Inn Restaurant. They cautioned him that the wait could be hours if you didn’t have reservations so yesterday we called and made reservations for this evening. OMG! It was fabulous. All of their steaks are cooked over an open Alder wood fire. Tim said it was the most delicious steak he’s ever had in his life and I second his opinion. Makes my mouth water just to write about it. He also said, as he signed the check, “It’s pricey, but not a new record!” LOL

Friday, September 1

Drove 393 miles.

Route: East on I90 from Coeur d’Alene, ID to Livingston, MT

Campground: Livingston Campground, Livingston, MT $40.00

Sadly we had to leave Coeur d’Alene today. We would have enjoyed staying over the Labor Day weekend but the RV Park had no sites available. In fact the park was full every night we’ve been here. It is a wonderful spot and if we’re ever back this way again, it will be a destination for sure.

Scenes of Lake Coeur d'Alene

We’ve been hearing there’s a hurricane brewing in the eastern Atlantic and so we decided to head on back to our property in Missouri. Our sightseeing days are over for this year. Now it is just a matter of how many miles we can cover each day. For those of you who follow this blog you know we don’t usually travel on the Interstate Highway system; you miss so much if that’s all you do. But for “destination travelling” that is definitely the way to go, so we headed east on I90, leaving the beautiful Idaho panhandle behind and driving into Montana.

Saturday, September 2

Drove 366 miles.

Route: East on I90 from Livingston, MT to exit for Gillette, WY then east on Hwy50 to Rozette, WY

Campground: All Seasons RV Park, Rozette, WY $40.66

We had an uneventful day of driving, continuing east on I90 across Montana and into Wyoming.

Posted by JudyandTim2015 06:25 Archived in USA

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