Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Winter Vacation in North Idaho - Mountains, Lakes and Unforgettable Memories.

Having spent the past five years living and working in the flat lands of Chicago, I have learned how to cram a lot of fun into my western adventures, which are always too few and far between. The destination of choice is almost always Lake Coeur d'Alene and her surrounding mountains in Northern Idaho.  Here I know a restless first night's sleep will coax me out of bed and up a nearby mountain where seconds seem like hours as the morning sunlight spreads across the valleys below.

I'm fortunate to have the absolutely enjoyable "job" of collecting new content and photos for our website (  Always wanting to be there when the sun comes and goes, on my second morning day two in Idaho I found myself belly crawling over slabs of ice on the lakeshore searching for just the right angle. Who says the lake isn't fun in the winter?

Later in the day, my family went to Beauty Bay where the Bald Eagles were enjoying a seasonal feast on kokanee salmon.  After admiring the big birds for an hour or two, we hiked the Mineral Ridge Trail.  If you haven't hiked this trail, I would suggest doing so at your first opportunity.  It is relatively quick hike with moderate inclines and exceptional views of Wolf Lodge Bay and Lake CDA, and it is a great way to introduce out of town friends to the Inland Northwest.

This year (2013) brought a little less snow than we had hoped, so we headed up into the mountains to celebrate New Year's Eve in as much snow as could be found.  Collectively, snowshoes, fireworks, and a big bonfire are a really great alternative to watching a ball drop on TV! :-).

Finally, on last day of our vacation, we ventured up the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes from the Springston trail head (near Harrison, Idaho). It's not uncommon to see moose, waterfowl, and other critters on the trail, but this time they all stayed hidden leaving time for us to reflect and enjoy some spectacular reflections before heading back to Chicago.

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