Idaho: We Left our Hearts in Coeur D’Alene

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Our trip to Idaho covered very little ground. Specifically, the ground across the teeny tiny part of the state up at the very top! Idaho is a big, wonderful place with plenty of beautiful features spread across it (from forests to dunes to mountains- and up-and-coming Boise to boot!)- so it was a tough choice to stay up north and skip everything to the south. We’d already plotted our itinerary for Montana several months in advance, and planned to hit Glacier National Park just across the Idaho border. Driving hundreds of miles throughout Idaho just to come back up didn’t make sense.

This is a good example of how moving state to state isn’t always ideal. Taken alone, we’d do whatever looked the best in a state. Since we have to stick to a route, we are always weighing distances and timeframes. We are constantly deciding how much ground to cover in a state, since we are moving across borders so quickly. A few precious things have been cut out due to the nature of the trip (hello, Southern California, Atlanta and miscellaneous National Parks).  We were also hoping to save on mileage for this part of the trip. That gas money doesn’t grow on trees, ya know! Enter Coeur D’Alene, a popular resort town nestled on a giant lake.

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My parents came out to see us in April in New Mexico, but we hadn’t seen Carl’s parents yet this year. They had their pick of when and where to meet us, and they chose Idaho as a rendezvous point since they’d never been there before. USAnywhere means Adventures for everyone!

We rented a little house in town for the week and parked the trailer out front. What ensued was a relaxing week of hikes, bikes and glasses of wine leading into dusky backyard evenings.

Both on the brink of retirement, Don and Martie came armed with their next-life-chapter self-help books and we took turns quizzing them about their values and future plans. Actually, we’re all sort of at a weird crossroads in life, trying to think about our next steps and how we want to live our lives well and with purpose.

One thing that’s become so clear to us this year is the value of spending time with the people you love. And not just the holiday, birthday, few-hour hang out time interrupted by all the little things that get in the way- but serious, long hours full of reflection and connection that actually bring you closer together. Our week in Idaho definitely qualified!

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On a hike in the woods outside Coeur d’Alene

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We did an awesome bike ride on one of our days. The Route of the Hiawatha is an old railroad route that has been paved over and converted into a bike path. Several railroad bridges and tunnels run throughout the route. Better still, it’s all downhill! You coast for miles and miles through beautiful countryside. Because you are traveling a long distance it feels like you’ve accomplished something (even though you’ve hardly done anything at all except coast). A bus takes you back up the hill!

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Wallace is a small town close to the Route of the Hiawatha. It was pretty sleepy on a Monday afternoon but it had a lot of character. It’s called the “silver capital of the world” because of an enormous silver mine. The shop windows had plenty of taxidermy and antiques.

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We even went ziplining on another day! It was kind of scary, but the good kind. About half of us had done it before, but no one had been on such a long course. We met in town and our guides from Timberline drove us up into the mountains. Carl’s mom was a little unsure of the heights, but she was a trooper (and we think, in the end, that she enjoyed it after all!)

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We took a dinner cruise out on Lake Coeur D’Alene on our last night. The lake is HUGE, so we only covered a little bit of it as the sun set. It was a great way to see the water (and the fancy houses on the lake! I added a few dream homes to our list. Like you do.)

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Taking a break in Idaho was a good change of pace, and a great way to reconnect with family.  Having some time to chill out also prepared us for the National Park adventures to come in Montana and Wyoming. HUGE thanks to Don and Martie for coming out to see us in Idaho and for being game to try some new adventures with us!

2 thoughts on “Idaho: We Left our Hearts in Coeur D’Alene

  • You convinced me to go visit the area–What more could you ask of good writing?!! Thanks for sharing your adventures! Good luck in the final weeks of your travels. And in all your adventures beyond this year!

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