An Extra Long Adventure – Sandpoint, ID

Checking out the local caboose

After being in Montana just shy of a month, it was nice to move west into new territory. We planned on camping at Priest Lake, at Reeder Bay. My friend Emily and her family go there almost every summer and have ever since Emily was a little kid, so I’d heard about how awesome Priest Lake was since she and I became friends in junior high (also when I met Chris – junior high was very good to me in retrospect).

Our spot at the Hi Dee Ho RV Park

We knew it was time to get our brakes adjusted/rotated/what have you (I’m a girl, not down with the appropriate vehicular terms) when we left Montana, so we started calling around for RV brake shops. I think Chris called every shop within a 400 mile radius and the only shop that could get us in before August (it was now mid-July) was in Ponderay, Idaho, about an hour south of Priest Lake. We decided to forgo our original Priest Lake plans (sadly) and camp at the Hi Dee Ho RV Park down the street from the brake shop. Hi Dee Ho RV Park is about 5 minutes from the town of Sandpoint. The staff is super friendly, the sites are shaded and there are full hook-ups, as well as a nice laundry room and showers.

Beach day at Lake Pend Oreille

Long long long story really, really short, what we thought would be a three day stop-over in Ponderay (which is just outside of the town of Sandpoint) turned into a ten day stop-over for ordering the proper parts for getting our brakes done. I think at one point Chris, Caleb and I were considering the possibility that we’d be stuck there forever. We’d drop off the Moho in the morning at the brake shop just up the road, hoping that would be our last day there, and come back that afternoon just to find out they needed one more day for a new part to arrive, or it was the weekend and they couldn’t get the parts until Monday, or they forgot to do the front brakes along with the back brakes.

Like peas in a pod, these two.

We did manage to entertain ourselves while we were there. Chris had to find a place to do work so we ended up at a couple of local coffee shops in the mornings. Common Knowledge had great vegetarian food and smoothies, and the Readery had yummy zucchini bread french toast and fun board games. We saw a movie (Despicable Me 2, Zeph’s first real movie theater experience – he loved it of course). The boys went paddle boarding on the lake.

The boys enjoying the pontoon on Lake Pend Oreille

One day we went to the town of Hope on the other side of the lake and rented a pontoon boat to explore Lake Pend Oreille. We had a grand time, the four of us, and Chris caught his first fish of the entire trip! Granted they were small (there were four of them caught that day, as I recall) and they all went back into the lake to grow bigger, but it was quite a moment when he hooked that first one after not catching anything at all anywhere else we’d been in the last eight months.

There he is, the first fish in eight months… we put him back in the lake

There was a great beach in Sandpoint (City Beach) which had nice warm water – about 70 degrees – and plenty of room for all the beachgoers. Sandpoint also had some fun shops to see and plenty of good restaurants… Joel’s was decent Mexican food (even by Southwest standards- yay). I got my first pedicure since January in Orlando, which was a real treat (another silver lining of being stuck in a town for longer than expected) and looking back on it, although we didn’t plan to be in Idaho for so long, we quite enjoyed our time there.

The view of Lake Pend Oreille from the top of Sweitzer

We ventured up the mountain to Sweitzer, which in the winter is a great ski resort. We took the chair lift up to the top of the mountain for a great view of the lake and some fun exploring.

Hiking around Sweitzer

We did make it up to Priest Lake for a day, spent the day at Luby Bay campground in the beautiful water. There’s a great little store and restaurant right up the road with unique gifts and tasty huckleberry milkshakes. Korner Market I think it was called.

Our private little spot at Luby Bay on Priest Lake

Finally after ten days, the brakes were finished and we got to move on. Our next destination was a bit unknown – so many options as we head to the West Coast!