Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Biking the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene

 While the husband is away, sisters must play.  Karen's husband, Dale, was off on a caribou hunting trip to Alaska, so she decided to take a little bike riding trip and invited me to join her.  We both love the Rails-to-Trails Coeur'd Alene Trail and planned our route so we would ride about 12 miles one way and then back to the car each day.  We headed north to St. Maries and took a little detour into Emida and Santa, Idaho, where Karen lived with her first husband, Steve, when they were newly married.  She reminisced about the "shacks" they lived in, the grocery store in Santa where they could "charge" their groceries, the lack of telephone service, the helpful neighbors, and the maturing she did while living in the backwoods of Idaho.  A new house replaced the dilapidated house in Santa, but she drove right to the lane and noticed the fields around the house are now mowed and well taken care of.  Leaving the small towns behind, similar to leaving that part of her life behind, we got on the trail at Medimont, making a goal of riding to Cedar Cove for lunch - about ten miles.   

Karen and I love to stop along the way and at this stop we noticed several newly-shorn llamas and their skinny necks.  One little black one looked like a bandit with his black and white face!  

We thoroughly enjoyed the quiet protected table where we ate our lunch, among majestic cedar trees!  When we got back to Medimont we met an older gentleman and his son from Seattle.  The son was quite chatty and asked us if we knew if there was a town named Medimont because his brother intended to meet them there.  I made a comment to him about how physically fit his dad was and he told me to ask him his age.  The man responded, "I'd give anything to be 80 again" ...he was 83!  When he found out I worked in an assisted living community he started talking about the excellent care his deceased wife received in a facility near his home.  My heart filled with pride to hear his stories and gratitude to the wonderful care-givers! Darn, did not get his picture!  But we heard about him later when we were shopping in Wallace.  He made quite an impression on the people on the trail and people in the shops.  
The weatherman predicted rain, but we never felt a drop and actually felt grateful for the cool, cloudy weather.  
I think we fell asleep shortly after enjoying a nice dinner at Noahs, and glimpses of the gorgeous sunset.
Our hotel, the Guest House Inn, was within walking distance of the entrance to the famous Silver Mountain Gondola Ride!
Day Two, we drove from Kellogg to Pinehurst and began riding back toward Cedar Cove.  Our first stop was the 1880 structure called the Snake Pit at Enaville.   Karen remembered taking her mother-in-law, Ada, here when she and Steve lived in Pinehurst.  Now, unfortunately, the place only serves drinks - no food until the business sells.

I loved the railing made out of tree branches.  Still unique even though some are missing..

Karen resting on the rustic wooden bench.  

This was our lovely resting spot for lunch, then we rode to Dudley, an abandoned town along the Coeur d'Alene River, and turned around knowing we'd be riding our bike for 25 miles this day.  

Karen took this picture so she could post it immediately to FaceBook and get a little free advertising for her son, Gus, and his device called Cellfy!  She put her phone-camera in this little bag and tied it to a tree.
 Here's the resulting picture!!

We stopped here for ice cream and the owner invited us back for dinner, but first we rode back to our car, then drove to the Mission at Cataldo.
Coeur d' Alene's Old Mission State Park is a state park and National Historic Landmark in North Idaho, USA. It is also known as the Mission of the Sacred Heart or Cataldo Mission. It contains the church itself, the parish house, and the surrounding property. Mission of the Sacred Heart is also the oldest standing building in Idaho.  n the early 19th century, the Coeur d'Alene Indians had heard of these powerful "medicine men" in black robes with a book and wanted some of these men for their own tribe. They sent men east to St. Louis, and in 1842 Father Pierre-Jean De Smet responded to the request and came to the area. Fr. Nicholas Point and Br. Charles Duet came and helped to pick a mission location. The first was along the St. Joe River, but was subject to flooding. In 1846 they moved it to the current location.

In 1850 the church was taken over by Antonio Ravalli, who began designing the new mission building. He made sure that the building was constructed by the Indians themselves, so that they could feel part of the church. It was built using the wattle and daub method, and was finished some three years later, without using a single nail.

This mission location is named after Giuseppe Cataldo, a sicilian priest born in the village of Terrasini, who spent there most of his life.

In time the mission became an important stop for traders, settlers, and miners taking on the role as a hospitality and supply station. It was also a working port for boats heading up the Coeur d'Alene River.
In 1961 it was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 1966 was put on the National Register of Historic Places.  (From Wikipedia)

I like this picture of an original confessional.
A very simple altar.
The organ
The original ceiling, with a section in the middle stained with huckleberry juice to get the blue tint.
We went back to the Old Mission Inn for dinner and found an old juke box!  Karen said, "I know how to get the waitress to turn off the TV."  She put a few quarters in the juke box and sure enough music replaced some baseball game on TV.  The waitress surprsied us with a few more tokens, "You made some great selections so I want you to choose some more music."  Funny thing was that we did not recognize most of the songs!  I think she found some Eagles music and I found some hits from the '60's.  Not showing our age, are we???
On Thursday, Day Three, we rode from Kellogg to Wallace and enjoyed a great tour of the former train depot.  It's even more amazing because the building was moved to make room for the freeway, which you can see just behind the depot.  
We both agreed, Wallace takes pride in the appearance of their historic little community.

I loved the tour inside the railroad depot, especially the old telephone
I'm fairly certain this diagram outlined our trip back and forth to Chicago in 1965 and maybe even Dad and Mom's trip after their wedding in 1945. 

The bench held hundreds of passengers waiting for the arrival of the trains over the years.  
Lovely flower pots all over town.  I took this one in front of a little museum about the mining industry in the Silver Valley, as this entire area was named after silver, iron and other ores were discovered here.  I should've taken a picture of a poster that promised $7.00/day to lure men to work in the mines in 1932.  The promise of high wages drew many workers to the Silver Valley in the depression because people like my Dad only earned $1.00 day.  The pictures and stories of the miners tugged at my heart.  
We enjoyed a lovely lunch at this converted garage and discovered Wallace truly had a well known red light district during the hey-dey of the mining business.  

The garage doors formed a framework for posters on the ceiling!

This little spot on the trail near Osborn delighted us and we did stop and take pictures and rest a bit!
We did leave a note and thanked the owners for the delightful stop!
A perfect end to our 3-day adventure!

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