Tag Archives: Coeur D’Alene

9/30/2019 Blackwell Island Coeur D’Alene, Day 20


Coeur D’Alene

I enjoy this small town.  It’s situated on a gorgeous lake with rolling hills and wildlife all around.  With a population of 45,000, it is roughly the size of my home town when I was a teen.  I’ve checked real estate prices on the lake.  Older homes with a good view, a pier for a boat, 3 br 2ba, and older floor plans run just under $600,000.   Homes with modern floor plans and lots of glass are just over $1M.  There’s one spectacular 3br 2ba home right on the lake that’s wonderfully designed and spectacular.  At $6 million, it’s ridiculously out of reach.  Why would I look at real estate prices in CDA?  We would never move here.  For me it’s a way to see how insane California real estate prices are.   Surprisingly for properties on the lake, the disparity is not huge.  Off the lake, 3br 2ba homes can be as low as $250,000.

The women’s motorhome is pushing on today.  We’ll head on to Missoula and Butte, though I doubt we’ll get that far.  We may stop in Arlee for the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas or the National Bison Range.  The Jocko Hollow Campground near Arlee is open year round.  We’ll see how far we get today.  Three to four feet of snow fell in parts of Montana and with the temperature expected to stay low for a few days, we’ll see snow today.


Lake Coeur D’Alene is Huge


Into Montana


Early Snow is Everywhere







Le Petit Outre, A Bakery Tale

We have evolved a tradition in our travels.  Bean probably started this last year by introducing us to Boise’s best bakery where we had amazing almond croissants.  We were blown away they were so good. Since then wherever we go, we sample local bakeries looking for our take on “the best”.  Leaving Idaho, Ellen notice we would pass through Frenchtown, Montana. Ah, they must have a great French bakery, right?  Wrong.  There isn’t a single bakery in Frenchtown. I mentioned we could make it to Butte today, but not to Bozeman unless we really push. Butte is 283 miles from CDA where Bozeman is 380, another two hours driving.  Ellen searched bakeries in Butte and found NOTHING. So sad, no great bakeries to visit there either.  What about Missoula?  We would pass right through. Ellen practically leapt out of her seat. “Le Petit Outre” (the small other) is a five star bakery in Missoula.  Cool.  It’s on the other side of town from I-90.  No big deal, we’ve driven Li’l Beast to Franconia Notch.  We can handle downtown Missoula blindfolded.




The final road our GPS took us on is a residential road with oblong roundabouts for traffic control and low lying trees.  With some trepidation, I drove into a residential area to pop out at an older brick building that announced “Le Petit Outre”.  Parking was impossible.  I dropped Ellen off, “Call me when you’re done and I’ll come pick you up.”  It seemed the only reasonable thing to do.  I got turned around, nearly lost, before finding parking close by.  Ellen called as I was exiting Li’l Beast.  She had a loaf of wheat stalk French bread, a chocolate croissant, an almond croissant, and two scones. She passed me one stalk from the loaf.  It was wonderful.  Based on the bread alone I highly recommend stopping by Le Petit Outre.  We drove through Missoula to continue on I-90.


Le Petit Outre Mural


Missoula Mt


Just Visitin’


And On To Butte


At Walmart Butte Mt


Walmart Returns

Butte’s Walmart took the 6 quart pressure cooker back without question.  They had a 3 quart display unit, but none in the box.  With additional drinking water we drove off to Butte KOA.

There’s about two inches of snow on rooftops in Butte in spite of temperatures in the 40s. The snow on the north slopes around Butte shimmered in the sunlight.  Gray clouds hung over the ridge tops, but the sun was bright as we arrived at the KOA.  It was cold.  Temps reached 47 here and there on the drive.  Mostly temps were low 40’s until the sun started down.  Now at 8:40 outdoor temp reads 30.  I have the light on in the water compartment which should keep our outdoor shower from freezing.  I’ll turn our gray/black tank heat on tonight. We should have sufficient water in the tank to avoid freezing in just a few hours overnight.  Temps should climb back into the 40s tomorrow.


View from a Wells Fargo ATM



Butte KOA

We stayed here last year.  I remember meeting the owner near closing time. He was helping a bus-sized RV add water at the time.  Last year we arrived the day they were closing.  This year they’ve shut off water to the sites and closed the shower/rest rooms! It was cold in Butte this past weekend.  We expect around 22 F tonight.  No worries about freezing, yet.  No reservation necessary at this KOA; it’s practically empty.  Cold weather drives “sane” RVers south.  Not US!



Clearly a trip to Glacier National Park or into Canada is not happening this trip.  Tomorrow we’ll drive to Bozeman stopping at Walmart and REI; Walmart looking for a 3 qt pressure cooker and REI for a warm down parka for me.  We hope to stop at the Museum of the Rockies to check out their dinosaur exhibit. We’ve never been.  I asked Ellen if she had a preference: arriving at West Yellowstone or Gardiner as entry to the park.  She preferred Gardiner.  I was very happy as I like Gardiner much more than West Yellowstone too.  It’s small and much more quaint.  We can visit a photographer we met last year.  A bonus, Mammoth Campground is open year round.  We’ll go from Mammoth to Madison Campground enjoying the expansive views, one of America’s true last wildernesses.

I-90 and side roads have been clear.  We’ve had no rain or snow today.  This weather should hold to Friday 10/4 with temperatures rising daily.


We sleep over an electric blanket that warms us from below on very cold nights.  Usually we turn it off and keep the heat off.  Last night we kept the blanket on low with the heat off.  We were toasty.  Tonight we may leave the heat on but set to 50 or 55.  That should dissipate some of the interior condensation.   Even in 7 degrees we’ve been toasty inside.

9/25/2019 Blackwell Island Coeur D’Alene, Day 15

A quick note about photos.  I’m using Windows Live Writer to write offline then publish. Microsoft stopped supporting Live Writer years ago.  Their support for the photo album server was discontinued.  As much as I would like to gather photos into an album in my blog, I can not with the tools I’m currently using.  I may upgrade my tool set, though at present that’s not a priority for me.

Ellensburg KOA Revisited in Photos

Dave and Mary asked if we had visited the town of Ellensburg.  No, we sped on to CDA.  Mary said Ellensburg is an interesting all brick town with one eccentric house that stands out.  It’s worth visiting. Perhaps next time. Here are more photos taken at the Ellensburg KOA.











In The News

Big in the news today: Impeachment Inquiry into Trump started in the house, Thomas Cook goes bankrupt stranding 500,000 travelers, poll shows Elizabeth Warren leading the democratic primary contenders in California.


A low pressure code front is dropping in from Alaska.  Today is 10 degrees colder than yesterday, though it is sunny and warming in the sun.  Tomorrow’s weather in CDA will be rain and cold, followed by cold/rain Friday and Saturday.  Low temperatures will be below freezing Sunday and Monday.  Snow is forecast in Glacier National Park, Lake Louise, and Yellowstone NP.  By Wednesday next week temps will return to normal with lows of 44 degrees.  Low temperatures in Yellowstone remain below 30 degrees for the next ten days though high temps are above freezing each day.  The roads should be clear once the cold front moves through.  I expect we’ll stay in Coeur D’Alene while the rain & snow moves through.

Blackwell RV Resort Photos




Moose love Apples, but No Moose So Far


Atypical for us, we seldom connect to sewer


Our Preferred Site


It’s a cool 50 degrees at 9:30 this morning.  We’ll wait for the temp to rise a bit, then break camp (oxymoron when RV’ing).  To get to CDA and the bike trails, we have to go across a two lane bridge off the island.  We’ve walked this bridge once last year and won’t do that again!  No way we’d cycle over it.  So we’ll take the short drive to the north campus parking lot.  We’ll enjoy todays sunshine while we can.


Sherman Ave, the “main street” of Coeur D’Alene has tap rooms, lounges, restaurants, pubs, a bakery or two, tourist shops, and a few art shops.  We have not found a great restaurant in CDA largely because we’ve looked on Sherman Ave.

We enjoyed the Art Spirit Gallery of Fine Art last year.  I was most impressed by the hand made wooden kayaks.  Clearly these can be floated and equally clearly anyone would be insane to use the kayak and not simply mount it as art.  These were beautiful.  We’ll explore CDA’s art shops and look for a really good dining experience on a rainy day.

Blackwell Island

We walked to the Cedar Restaurant past boat storage, two marinas, and boat works. I stopped to admire a tall masted sloop.  It was a large sailboat without a single winch showing. It has a massive main boom that houses the mainsail.  The paint job is phenomenal. It looked to be a very fast boat.

The Cedar restaurant was open and had the menu posted outside.  It is expensive at $42 for a filet. Dinner could run well over $140.  Still, we’ll go back this evening.

Walking back to The Beast, I flagged down a tractor driver.  “Do you know anything about the boat at the end of the pier over there?”  “Which One?” “The tall masted blue hulled sailboat.”  “Oh you mean SIZZLER.  Sure it’s a carbon fiber hull.” “I don’t see a single winch on deck” “Oh all the lines run through the mast and below decks.”  “It looks like it could be single handed.”  “Yes, probably.”  “It looks custom built.”   “Yes, it is custom.  It’s carbon fiber over a wood frame.  We built it here at the boat works. We’re really good at what we do.”  Sizzler is an amazing vessel.  She’s light and carries a huge amount of canvass aloft. She must be very fast on the water.




Coyote Statues to Control Pests


I think the Pests are Wise to the Ploy


A Custom Starcraft, This Boat is All Motor

















We ate at the Bakery, Cedars will wait ‘till Tomorrow


Back “home” it’s leftover pizza for lunch followed by a bike ride.

The Centennial Trail CDA

We drove right to the north parking lot.  Even with taking off the rain covers, the bikes came down from the rack easily. Ellen’s cycle is relatively light and not a problem weight wise.   It took a bit longer sorting through our shoes and clothing and getting ready.  My newish water bottle cages hold our large water mugs just fine!   Off we went on the Centennial Trail that runs along the lake.  We stopped a few times to absorb the incredible views over the lake.  It was comfortably warm in the sun in spite of a brisk wind. We zipped through town thinking we’d stop at “our” bakery, but breezed right past.  The Centennial Trail transitions to back streets then turns onto E. Coeur D’Alene Lake Drive, a busy local highway.  Luckily the bike lane is very wide.  With a bit of uncertainty, Ellen took that in stride after a promise of “If it gets really bad, we can turn back.”   Rather than getting bad, the trail reverted to a paved bicycle route along the lake.  We covered 7 miles with an occasional stop to look and chat (like show and tell on cycles).  Around mile 6 we hit our first hill (not one of Ellen’s preferable flat hills).  With her electric boost, she soundly beat me up the hill.  Good for her and a boost to her confidence.  At one point I asked, “How fast do you think you can go on the flats if you try?”  Answer?  18 mph though I don’t know what boost level she was running.

A road sign warned of twisties ahead.  We opted to turn back.  It was getting late.  Coasting back down that hill I hit 28 mph which didn’t feel particularly fast.  Ellen understandably took that grade much more slowly.

We found our bakery on the near side of town.   Bakery By The Lake at Parkside is wonderful.  I very highly recommend their croissants.  They are flaky, crispy, and crunchy.  Even the almond ones filled with almond paste are too.  Their cappuccino was perfect.  I felt like a tap dancer walking on the cement floor.  Tap, tap, tap went my steel clip-in cleats.  Like my bike, they’re old school and stick out well past the shoe.  We ate in and brought croissants with us for breakfast tomorrow.

Funny how going to an unknown place always takes longer than returning (at least it feels that way).  Our return trip went by in a flash.  Cog patiently awaited our return in Li’l Beast’s cab.

Ellen’s been Tooling around the RV camp on her trike.  She’s having fun.  She’s grown more confident of late which is a huge change.  She’s never felt stable on a bicycle; her fear of falling or crashing got in the way of “cycling as fun”.  She’s having fun.











Kyte Boarding on a Hydrofoil, Extreme Speed













Going Uphill Ellen waited for Me!


And I didn’t Stop!



Stopped across from Lakeside Bakery


Moose atop the Bakery


Corrected Ellen’s Cappuccino Order