Idaho has become one of my favorite places despite the limited time spent in her interior. My last trip was spent further south, hiking and kayaking through Ketchum and Sun Valley, Craters of the Moon and the Sawtooth Mountain Range.
From Missoula, we headed north and west for a spectacular view all the way to the Idaho Panhandle. It’s an alluring area that is tipped northward towards Canada, speckled with resorts and lakes. I had heard about Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint for years so didn’t want to give the area a miss this trip.
Sixty lakes lie within 60 miles of Coeur d’Alene, including Hayden, Priest and Pend Oreille, where we discovered green lilies and peaceful necks and heard nothing but the sound of birds.
Separate from its beauty, the Panhandle has a reputation as a base for neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups. Luckily, we didn’t encounter any; instead we found a few wine enthusiasts and spent the late afternoon tasting wines from Oregon and Washington vineyards in a funky bistro painted in vivid yellows and greens.
After a couple of days of lazy drives, we headed north to Spokane, Washington, the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis. After the Panhandle and the serene days and nights on lakeside towns, I longed to get back to the water and lush greenery, so we made our way south to the Columbia river which lines both Washington and Oregon’s borders pretty much all the way to Portland.