Dropping down through Idaho


Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

What’s in a Name?

Coeur d’Alene, translates to “Heart of an Awl,” which is a sharp instrument used to punch holes in leather, and I guess it was a big thing back in 1878, when Coeur d’Alene was founded.

How do you pronounce the town’s name? How do you spell it? The good news is that neither much matters. Locals mostly call it “CDA.”

Things to Do in CDA

Coeur d’Alene is a “choose your own adventure” sort of destination: bistro’s, beer bars, coffee shops and drive-through, shopping, hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, water skiing, lake cruises, a seaplane for flying above the Lake Coeur d’Alene, wind surfing or just lounging on the beach or “chilling out.”


The lake along the biking trail

We had hiked a lot at Bonner’s Ferry so we chose to go biking here. The bike rides were scenic, at times challenging (but I did pass some people on a uphill ride) and had nice established bike paths that went around the lake and through their historic district.

However, the town’s secret weapon is the lake. Sitting beside downtown and surrounded by Piney Hillis, Lake Coeur d’Alene is beautiful. It’s as deep as 250 feet and is the setting for all sorts of outdoor fun.


Where is CDA?

CDA is towards the top of the state in the northern Idaho panhandle, at about 2,300 feet. The town is tucked between the beautiful lake and the national forest that share its name.


Downtown Farmers’ Market

CDA has two farmers’ markets weekly. The Saturday morning suburb farmers’ market was a large market and the Wednesday evening downtown market was much smaller. Both markets had live music and an upbeat atmosphere.

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Both farmers’ market, for instance, included some kids selling homemade kombucha teas which were on tap; another stall hawking locally grown wool goods; assorted veggie stands, and, of course, because this is small-town America, local fudge. It also included long lines for the organic vegetable stand, which we were told, had been serving the area for generations.

The Weather

After being in the mountains we were taken aback by how hot it was when we first arrived (90’s) but with low humidity. Thankfully if cooled off at night and then a front came through and cooled it off for the remainder of our stay. However, we did have two smoke days from the fires of Idaho, Washington, California, and Canada. The lightening caused wild fires are the worse they’ve had in 100 years because it is so dry and they didn’t have much winter. The wildfires have added a new dimension in planning where we are going and several plans have had to be changed.

Where We Stayed

We stayed for a week at Tamarack RV Park with full hookups. It is in town and close to everything. At least half the residents of the RV Park are long term but it was quiet at night. We saw many long RVs in the park but it was a pretty crowded. We lucked up and got a spot at the end of the row so we had a little more room.


The RV Park was close to several grocery stores (including a “Natural Grocers”) so we were able to restock and get ready for our next adventure in Washington.

See You Soon,

Norma & Don

Two “Kids” Loving Retirement

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