Road trip ID: Spokane>CDA>Sandpoint

Weather: Rain – heavy at times, 40s

Drive by impression of Coeur d’alene: high-end resort town, lots of restaurants and shops, beautiful lake

Saw CDA through the lens of a rainy dusk  and a long day and decided to push on and stay the night in the next “big town”.  Sandpoint is a charming little town, in fact it’s been named one of the most beautiful small towns in the country by USA Today and Rand McNally. And I concur. Came in late, grabbed a bite at a local brewery where the locals were having a “snow making” party – cutting snowflakes and drinking the local IPA. Passed a wine shop filled with Halloween costumed oenophiles raising their glasses to their blood-red lips.

Strolled the town and the beach in the morn.

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Mostly a ghost town this “early”, but there was a definite appeal and I can see why this town has earned so many accolades as an outdoor paradise. Summer sports – swimming, SUP, hiking,  biking – it’s on the famous International Selkirk Loop.  (Sounds like I need to add that to my “to do” list.)

It’s the  shoulder season -shops don’t open until 10:30 and the locals sleep in. Stopped at a coffee shop and spoke with the owners, a couple who moved here in 2001 after living around the country. They love it here and say that the weather is nice and temperate from about May until October, when Indian Summer usually hits. Apparently, the current cold front was an anomaly.

The  ski season invigorates the town as Schweitzer Mountain Resort  (downhill & cross-country) is just a stones throw away. Rand McNally must have a crush on Sandpoint as they also named it #1 top ski resort. Ran into an avid skier from New York on a quest for coffee. He scouted this place for his ski club and liked it so much he came back to try it out for a month. Hmm, sounds like a good idea to me. I think I feel a crush coming for  my Idaho 1 night stand charmer, Sandpoint…

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