Selkirk Loop-Sandpoint,Idaho

We have completed the Selkirk Loop and what a site it was. Wild flowers in all colors sprinkling the hills and valleys. Waterfalls galore. Does delicately eating the fresh grass as their fawn stand close by. Hawks and eagles grazing the tall pine tops ready to dive for a meal scurrying on the ground.

Sandpoint is a town in Northern Idaho sitting on the banks of Lake Pend d’Oreille. With an abundance of water sports, beaches, nature trails,  a ski resort,  and let me not forget my favorite…antique shops, there is something for everyone here.

We love going into town and having lunch at this little place called The Pie Hut. You have to get there early in order to grab a pot pie because they run out fast. If you miss out, try their sandwiches and pies, they are equally delicious. I recommend the chocolate peanut butter pie. Not too sweet and not to peanuty, just right  and very silky.  You can enter the antique store next door right from the restaurant. We always end up finding some kind of treasure there.

Such a beautiful, unspoiled place, Sandpoint should be on everyone’s “must see” list.

Selkirk Loop-Nelson BC

One of the last cities we stayed in while driving the Selkirk Loop, was  the town of Nelson. It is a hippie, cute town that kinda reminds me of Berkeley in that way.  The people are friendly and very outdoorsy. We spent one of the days at Lakeside Park. It’s a park that  basically has everything you would want for a great summer day. There is grass and beautiful flowers, plenty of benches, an outdoor bar that serves snacks, cold drinks and even delicious ice cream. There is a beautiful beach next to the lake (Kootenay) where you can rent paddle boards, canoes or kayaks for $7/ person for 3 hours!

I think that’s pretty incredible. We had so much fun kayaking and paddle  boarding. My husband lost his  second pair of sunglasses on this trip while trying out the paddle board.

The downtown area is full of boutique shops and restaurants. We stopped for crepes at this adorable place called Sanderella’s boutique and Starbird Tea house. Inside  is a charming boutique selling jewelry, candles and soaps, but towards the back of the store they make crepes, paninis and drinks.

We didn’t have all the time we wanted to explore this little town, but the three days we spent here were wonderful. Hopefully we can come back one day and explore some more.

 Ghost Town of Sandon

Considered one of the last ” true ghost towns” Sandon B.C was booming in the late 1800’s. It had stores, brothels and even a school. A fire almost destroyed the whole town, but it was rebuilt over a period a few years. Sandon was a mining town, silver mining to be exact. It has an interesting story about two men from different places partnering up the find the mother load of silver and strike it rich. One of them betrays the other (sounds like most stories in history) and strikes it rich while the other moves on.

What’s left of the town can still be seen in the leftover shantys and few buildings. The miner’s old housing was turned into a museum. It has great information  and artifacts about the town and its history.

Walking through Sandon a few trolley buses from the 1940’s can be seen on what used to be the Main Street. The buses are awaiting refurbishing and possible placement back into circulation in Vancouver.

It’s believed there are possibly 10,000 silver coins along the bottom of Carpenter Creek which runs along the ghost town.  Anyone interested in a swim?

The Selkirk Loop-Ainsworth B.C

Three and a half hours from the Norther Idaho border is the quaint village of Ainsworth in British Columbia, Canada. It sits on Kootenay Lake and it is a popular destination during summer and winter alike. What is so popular about Ainsworth is it’s natural hot springs resort.

We spent three days at the Ainsworth Hot Springs Inn. The outside pool has natural hot spring water that has to be cooled down as it comes from the underground spring. It’s such a relaxing feeling to soak in the warm waters and take in the beautiful surroundings of Kootenay Lake and mountains. If you prefer a hotter experience, you can head to the caves which are next to the pool. It’s exactly that, a walk through cave with mineral water which comes from the hot springs, it feels like a natural sauna inside. The Native Americans would come after battle and soak in these waters which they believed had healing  properties. When you’ve had enough of the caves take a cold dip in the plunge pool which is filled with natural spring water continuously flowing through a spigot from the mountain. Let me tell you, it’s chilly taking a dip in there!

The resort has its own restaurant, the Ktunaxa Grill. We had lunch and dinner here and were pleasantly surprised. With items on the menu such as bison burgers, venison rack, and fish and chips, there is something for everyone. All the food is fresh and local, and most importantly very tasty.

We didn’t get a chance to visit Cody Caves, which is a very popular destination here as well. I was afraid my car wouldn’t  make it up the 10 km steep and bumpy drive. I was already nervous about doing this 3 week close to 3000 mile road trip, I didn’t want to push my luck. I’ve heard the caves are an amazing experience…maybe next time!

Selkirk Loop-Montana

On our way to British Columbia we took a side trip to Ross Creek Cedars in Butte, Montana. It’s a beautiful either 1/2 mile or 1 mile walk through groves of red cedars. Fresh water streams sprinkled throughout, we even spotted a deer drinking from one. My husband lost his sunglasses in a fast moving stream and tried to retrieve them only to have his feet go numb from the cold water. Goodbye sunglasses.

His place truly feels like a magical forest. Amazing looking cedars, some with their trunks entertwined like the one below. To me it looked like people resting.

Above picture is of a bed of river rocks which have been arranged by passers on their way down the trail. We didn’t leave empty handed from this magical place of course, we took with us many mosquito bites. Warm weather and water….

Coeur d’ Alene

This summer we decided on doing the Selkirk Loop because I’ve heard such wonderful things about the scenery and picture opportunities. The Selkirk Loop is a scenic loop from Northern Idaho through Montana, up into British Columbia and down to Washington and back to Idaho. We stopped in Coeur d’ Alene for three nights which included The 4 th of July.

Coeur d’ Alene is a town situated next to Lake Coeur d’ Alene and is a very touristy town especially in the summertime. Many people flock to this area for the water activities and small town summertime feel. I must say it’s a very charming place.

On our list of fun things to do, zip lining and kayaking.

Timberline Adventures is the company we went zip lining with. I can’t say enough about them, the zip lining was so much fun. I have to be honest I was scared because of the fact that we were literally up in the trees very high off the ground, but as soon as I went zipping down that first line all my fears disappeared. It was awesome!!!
On the 4th of July we spend the day kayaking with row adventures. It was such a relaxing and fun way to see the lake and surroundings.

By nightfall we were ready for the fireworks.

All in all Coeur d’ Alene was a great choice for three days of adventure and relaxation! Check it out if you ever get a chance and let me know what you think.

Portland eats- Forktown Food Tour

If you’ve ever done a food tour you know they can be pretty tasty and informative. If you’ve never done one let me explain what it is. A food tour is a walking tour around a part of a certain city where different restaurants or food venues are incorporated into it, along with some type of history about the town all this led by a guide. While in Portland, we went on a food tour called Forktown Tours. We stopped by a few different restaurants and the farmers market where we sampled a mix of cheese, charcuterie, cherries, and Oregon hazelnuts. 

 The first restaurant we sampled at was called Nel Centro. Here we had a beautiful beet salad, local grown beets, arugula and hazelnuts of course, with house made ricotta cheese. Very fresh and beautiful.

Next, we made our way to a local food truck called Wolf and Bears which serves up Middle Eastern food and it’s special is falafel. 

Portland has many food carts that specialize in every cuisine imaginable. Grilled Cheese Grill is a popular one that serves up grilled cheese sandwiches, some with hamburger patty inside called ” The Cheesus.”

Grass was next on our tour. This restaurant serves up homemade pasta which they continuously make behind a counter (fun to watch) serves up with tasty sauces. I’m not a big fan of pasta but this was pretty good.

We had two sweet stops along the way. First up was Cacao and as you can guess it offers chocolate made from cacao beans from different parts of the world. They also offer different drinking chocolates which tasted heavenly, we ended up buying a bottle of it.

Last but not least was Saint Cupcake, an adorable,sweet smelling shop that serves cupcakes of course. With mini and regular sizes, they have a flavor to please everyone.

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