Lake Pend O'Reille, oh how I've missed you!
We weren't able to make it the last two years for our annual neighbor trip up to Sandpoint, Idaho to stay and play on Lake Pend O'Reille. We rented a different house this year. It was beautiful and had a great yard but I so miss the original house on Ponder Point. It sold - - for 3.2 million dollars! The new owners were in the business of renting it out but the new WEEKLY bill was going to be $18,000. PER WEEK! That's double what we used to pay. And while we love the place, we just couldn't justify it. It was definately more centrally located right in Sandpoint. But hey, again....... $18,000 is a LOT of gas for us to drive the 12 minutes into Sandpoint, ha ha!
Something nice about this house was that it had a guest house out behind. It was smaller but lets face it - what we needed were beds and this slept lots!
Apparently the people who had rented it out the week before us had had quite the alcohol party. I don't know what kind they were drinking but it spilled all over the floor and it literally took the finish off the concrete! That alone is reason enough for me to never want a drink!
We spent a lot of time playing board games, fishing, swimming, eating, washing dishes, eating more, washing more dishes...., playing chess, putting puzzles together, boating, more eating....! As always, we throughly enjoyed ourselves!
We spent several nights out by the campfire making s'mores
The kids planned a colossal water balloon fight. Shasta had bought these balloons somewhere. You fill like 20 or so up at a time and they self tie! How genius!!! I don't even remember how many they filled, but it was an all out brawl when the water fight began. The kids stationed water balloon areas all over the lawn and they wreaked havoc on each other!
On July 4th, we made our annual tye dyed shirts. I don't know why but for some reason everyone seems to have fun doing this. We love seeing how thy turn out!
I'm sad that we forgot to take a picture of the kids in their shirts!
Shasta, Jana and I went out to eat at one of our favorites!
Normally I HATE jalapeno poppers but for some reason, I seem to really like theirs!
We stopped by another favorite - The Pie Hut - to pick up a few pies for dessert that night.
These girls have been friends basically since birth - and I kind of feel like a mom to all 3!
By far, the biggest hit was the Fly Board.
Parry's bought it last year and everyone loves it!
Something new we did this year was bike the Hiawatha Trail. It's 15 miles of gorgeous scenery! It's mostly downhill but about the last 2 miles of it are slightly uphill the whole way. But hey, I'm a fatty and made it with ease. Mind you, my legs, but mostly my butt, were DONE at the end. But it was absolutly worth it! Although I wouldn't do it again unless we were staying in Couer D'Alene. It was just too far of a drive, there and back. It was 1 hour and a 45 minutes each way and we spent about 3 hours on the trail. Take in to account lunch and dinner breaks..... it was an ALL day deal. But lovely still the same!
The trail begins in Montana through the east portal of the Taft Tunnel, which is 2 miles long and completely pitch black. Each bike is equipped with headlamps so you can see. The tunnel is about 45 degrees inside so even though it may be mid summer, you will want a jacket!
The Hiawatha trail follows an old rail line. The rail line was built to take advantage of West Coast Markets as well as Pacific Rim trade. It's construcion began in 1907. In August of 1910, one of the most devastating forest fires in recorded American history destroyed 2 &1/2 to 3 million acres. The cloud of smoke spread throughout southern Canada and the Northern United States. The smoke from the fire was so intense, that for five days, lights had to be used during the day to even see from Butte, Montana to Chicago. After the fire, some towns rebuilt and some did not. The rail line ran until 1980. You cross over 7 trestle bridges and go through twice as many tunnels, with the Taft Tunnel being the longest.
We all totally loved feeding the squirrels our peanuts from our trail mix. They would come right up and grab the nut from your hand. They were so cute!
Molly was pretty excited about finding a catapillar. Her hands were disgusting! Yes they were dirty but they were mostly stained from tye dying our shirts.
On this particular day, Jeff had driven Jens and Sidney into Spokane, WA to catch a flight home. Sidney had to get back to work and since shes too young, an unacompanied adult, ha ha, Jens went with her. I love that he's 18 now! So just the two younger kids and I went with everyone on the bike ride.
So funny, there were little mud puddles all along the trail route, mostly in the tunnels when it was dark and you couldn't see them. Mud was splattered up everyone's back!
Once back in Sandpoint, we also had to make a stop back at one of our favorite chocolatiers for some yummy treats!
There are SO MANY of us and it's super funny whenever we go out together. Some of us are white, some are black, some are Japanese....... We see people watch us and hear comments like, "Maybe they're one of those church groups...." Nope! Just families and friends!
It's always a great time when we go to the lake. I love it. We relax. We laugh. We spend time together. We make the best memories!