On Thursday, 9-6, we drove over to visit the city & lake Coeur D'Alene. It's the largest city in Northern Idaho, with a population of about 40,000. It has a neat downtown right on the NW side of the lake, with a nice resort, park, marina, and the world's largest floating boardwalk.
It was such a pretty day and the lake was so beautiful we decided to take a 2 hour boat tour of the lake. It's a natural lake, extending 23 miles to the south, with 109 miles of shoreline. Coeur D'Alene had two major industries before the tourists took over, timber & mining. Both of these industries created much wealth and some of that money was spent on lake front homes. In fact some of the homes are only accessible by boat, and all of the materials to build the houses had to be delivered by barge. To this day, these homes receive US Mail by boat to a mailbox on their dock. The boat tour took us by many beautiful homes, some resort developments, and the Coeur D'Alene Golf Course with it's famous floating green in the lake. There is a special boat, named "Putter" that takes golfers from the tee to the green. Each golfer gets two shots on making the green, or if it lands in the lake they have to take a drop on the green. That way everyone gets to putt out, but it doesn't hold up play very long. They stated that each year 24,000 golf balls drop in the lake, to be recovered by divers and resold at the pro shop. Sounds like a profit making hole.
After the boat tour, we went to lunch in the downtown area. John spotted a small hamburger shop that had been in business since 1907 so we thought we would try it. The menu consisted of a hamburger, a double hamburger, a cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger. No fries, chips or salads. We were asked if we wanted pickles and onions. We said no onions. That's what we got. A bun, a patty, and pickles-no lettuce or tomato. As condiments they offered hot sauce, hot mustard or ketchup. And the only other items on the menu were drinks or pie. Talk about a limited menu! The restaurant consisted of a counter with about 24 stools. We ate about 2:30, and there were people waiting for a stool. The hamburgers were OK, but we couldn't see the appeal.
We wandered around downtown enjoying the unique shops and art galleries. Then as we were leaving, John noticed a small museum that had a train display so he had to stop. It was interesting to see the history of the lake region, what part trains played and how things had changed over the years. These small museums can be very interesting and it shows how some area develop and change.
After the museum we decided to visit the Coeur D'Alene Casino, which was about 20 miles away to compare it to Matt's establishment. The hotel was smaller, and casino was for slot machines only with no table games, and it was smoky. The big difference was the golf club, a very nice course that was 3 years old and seemed to be a very nice design. We took some pictures for Matt as his hotel will be opening their golf club next year.
It was a long drive back to the RV resort as John took the wrong direction which led us through Spokane during rush hour. Pearl was very happy to see us as we were late with her dinner.