Northern Idaho - 2005
In the summer of 2005, 7 of us did a week long bike tour of northern Idaho. We we're fortunate to have Kevin and Barbara along with their van as a support vehicle.
Planning the route
Many a beer was consumed while we studied maps and websites. Actually Andy did all the work. The rest of us just had to show up and ride.
Ready to roll
At Kevin and Barbara's house ready to leave. We took two vehicles, their van, and Andy's car. Left-to-right: Paul, Dan, Paul, Kevin, Barbara, Larry. Andy took the picture. In fact Andy took most of these pictures so you won't see much of him.
I haven't quite got all the content in place here. You can see it all on the old site .
Below is my log for each day of the tour. Use the navigation controls to scroll through the days .
Wallace's big claim to fame is that they had the last working bordello in the US which is now the Oasis Bordello Museum. Our camp site was in a cold canyon that never got any sun.
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
One of the premiere paved rail-to-trails, the trail is straight and practically flat for 73 miles through the Silver Valley. The trail was built as a super-fund site. There was so much toxic junk that leaked or dribbled from the trains that they just buried it and paved over it. What we didn't know at the time was that what looked to be pristine meadows and woods just off the trail, was still quite contaminated.
Leaving Wallace we first went through a few old mining towns like Kellogg and Pinehurst, before heading out to some beautiful country.
Eventually we made our way across Chatcolet bridge before finding our campsite on the banks of Lake Coeur d'Alene
More about the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
A mix of busy roads, empty roads, gravel roads, bike paths, city streets, and country roads.
We started out on a nice road along the lake but soon did some serious climbing away from the lake. Andy was a little sketchy on the route at this point and we did have to ride a short gravel section. Paul had to ride on some super skinny lightweight tires I got for him. Larry was the only one with wide enough tires for gravel. Eventually the road came back down to the lake and we got on another paved bike path the rest of the way into Coeur d'Alene.
We left Coeur d'Alene and headed north. We knew this would be the longest day of the trip and we had already come a good distance. We climbed up to an open plateau of mostly grassland with views to the east. We got pretty spread out and I was well ahead when the road turned to gravel (or maybe just funky pavement, I can't remember). I waited for us all to regroup with the van, to figure out which way to go. The road was funky for a while but soon improved. Eventually we got on the main highway leading into the park.
Farragut State Park is located near the very bottom, southwest corner of Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced 'pond array'), and is a popular destination. We had a reserved camp site and after a really long ride we were ready to relax, but when we got there we found our camp site was not quite what we hoped for. There was barely room to park the van, never mind a bunch of tents. Larry broke out the beer while Kevin and Andy went to see about finding better accommodations. They returned a while later with good news. They were sending us to a group campground that would have enough room. Enough room was an understatement. We had this whole place to ourselves for two nights. Now we were very happy.
A day loop. Back country ranches, cabins, even a dome, and then a busy highway.
Rain, rain, rain, but nice green country. Incredible wetlands along Pend Orielle lake and Cark Fork river.
No more rain. Montana is spectacular. Highway was not bad. Back roads throgh some very nice ranches.
First pass was a steady climb through the Bitteroots. Second pass was really steep.