August 15-21, 2018 — After leaving smoky Glacier National Park we headed south and west through Montana into the northern panhandle of Idaho. Unfortunately the wild fire smoke remained with us for the week. With thousands of acres burning in the western United States and Canada it is hard to escape the smoke. Despite the smoke we found many areas to explore in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
The Miracle of America Museum in Polson, Montana is a must-see when in the area. It is run by a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the preservation of one of the largest collections of American history. We spent hours wandering around the museum grounds trying to take it all in. We will definitely return to the museum when in the area again as there is just so much to see. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children 2-12 years old. Well worth the price!
Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries, farms and attractions that invite self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight. Since starting our journey we have enjoyed the hospitality of many of these locations.
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The National Bison Range near Charlo, Montana offers a driving path through the range for wildlife viewing. Vehicles on the Red Sleep Mountain Drive are restricted to 30 feet or less in length and no trailers of any type are allowed on the road. Also, for safety reasons, motorcycles and bicycles are not allowed to travel on the graveled scenic drives.
This is the first wildlife we saw at the National Bison Range. It was sunning itself in the middle of the road but was definitely alive and moving. Our guess on type is a Prairie Rattlesnake. The tail was too close to the car to get a picture of without opening the door so we didn’t see for sure if it had rattles.
This Bison was very photogenic and stood still for a photo. He actually was looking at a person that was standing outside their car no more than 20 feet away from him. Signs all along the drive state very clearly to stay in your vehicles at all time but not everyone follows the rules. Wonder if the tourist had a clue how fast and powerful these animals are.
Our home for a night at the 50,000 Silver Dollar in Haugan, Montana. It’s a bar, grill, casino, convenience store, gas station and gift store all in one location. They offer free overnight parking with electricity for RVers. It’s located just off of I-90 making it very convenient for travelers. It was quiet when we arrived mid day but was very busy by the evening.
50,000 Silver Dollar in Haugan, Montana really does have silver dollars. According to the tally on August 16, 2018 they had 73,261 silver dollars on display in the bar. Wow!
Idaho also has a Statue of Liberty. This one stands 30 feet tall and is located on Lake Pend Orielle at Sandpoint City Beach Park in Sandpoint, Idaho. In the background of the photo the haze is caused from wildfire smoke.
WooHoo a new yogurt flavor, Oregon Marionberry. Yummy! We also had Mountain Huckleberry flavor which was just as good.
Kootenia County Farmer’s Market in Hayden, Idaho. Fun market with a variety of arts, bakery, produce, meat, food trucks, and music. Two sellers offered free wine tasting. There was a booth where for $3 you could sit and hold a rabbit. It was very popular and had a long waiting line.
The northern Idaho skies were filled with smoke making it impossible to see the beautiful Coeur d’Alene mountains and countryside.
Buck Knives in Post Falls, Idaho manufacturers sport and field knives since 1902. The are credited with inventing the “folding hunting knife” or “buck knife”. The company offers free tours of the plant and knife museum for guests age seven and up. Very interesting and popular tour. Reservations are required.
Coeur d’Alene Casino and Resort in Worley, Idaho is one of the most beautiful casinos we have seen. Both the inside and outside of this casino are spectacular. The casino offers both free dry camping and paid parking with electrical hookups. We didn’t stay overnight at the casino but there were several dozen RVs present the day we visited.
400P-Automatic RV is VIAIR s first Automatic shut-off function portable compressor. This 33% duty cycle unit is capable of pressures up to 150 PSI and can be operated for up to 40 minutes at a time before needing to be rested.
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The smoky air from the wildfires is slowly improving in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho but still was rated at hazardous and unhealthy. The forecast moving forward showed an upgrade to moderate which is great news for everyone.
The wildfire smoke cleared up enough so that we could get out and enjoy the outdoors for a few hours. It didn’t last long, though, as strong winds returned the smoke to the area.
Farragut State Park is located in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains at the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho. The 4,000 acre park site formerly held the Farragut Naval raining Station, a major training base of the U.S. Navy during WWII. Over 293,000 sailors received basic training at Farragut during the 30 months it was in operation from 1942 until 1945. The site was also used as a prisoner of war camp holding 900 German soldiers.
One of many floating businesses and homes in Bayview, Idaho. The town is located on Lake Pend Oreille and is home to the U.S. Navy’s Acoustic Research Detachment which tests new submarine and surface ship shapes and subsystems.
The skies finally cleared up enough from the wildfire smoke that we could take a cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The views were hazy but also spectacular. The lake is 25 miles long and 1-3 miles wide.
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This is the most photographed house on Lake Coeur d’Alene and it is appropriately called the “House on a Rock”. The 2 bedroom 3 bath 1,980 square foot house is currently listed for sale at $1,999,000.
This impressive building on Lake Coeur d’Alene is the 30 unit Terraces luxury condominium development. For a mere $3,400,000 you can buy a 6300 square foot fully furnished unit. Be aware that there are also HOA fees of $4,500 each quarter.
Wow that was a lot of activity for just one week! So much that we are looking forward to a few days of down time during the remainder of August. First, though, we need to move west to another new state and explore the Spokane, Washington area. See you then!
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