Woof. More on that later.
We have talked about trying stand up paddle boarding for the last couple of years. What better time than The Big Trip, and what better plan than Coeur d'Alene. The lake has crystal-blue clear water, the morning was sunny and hot and the water was refreshingly warm. Sort of adjective overload there; my lack of writing skills is showing. Everyone got up and really got after it (and almost everyone fell off at least once, too). It's a core workout for sure, but tons of fun and our new friend Chad from Row Adventures was a total champ.
After paddle boarding, a quick change and then off to eat lunch at a local favorite that paddle board Chad recommended - Moon Time. We've probably got 10 tips for places to eat so far, and we are 10/10. Ask a cool local, they're always right! Another great neighborhood joint, good eats, great beer selection, cool people.
After lunch, we were in the car and heading due south (NOT ON I-90!) for several hours through central Idaho to Cottonwood. The drive was another amazing one with scenery ranging from pine mountains to dramatic stark hills to rolling fields. Cottonwood is a very small town and home to a lodging spot that was one of the very first spots we picked out for the trip - Dog Bark Park Inn. Words cannot adequately describe a giant beagle in the middle of a field that is also a bed and breakfast. This place screams 'BIG TRIP', though - really the essence of what we want to be doing. It's FILLED with dog-related stuff and is really cute and quaint.
We spent at least an hour at check in talking with the amazing owners, Dennis and Frances. Hands down, the nicest people you will ever meet. They came to Idaho from the east coast a couple decades ago and settled here to build a quiet, artistic life. They hit it big on QVC with chainsaw art and built a giant beagle B&B. Just your run of the mill folks, right? Anyways, mission accomplished with this spot.
A tip from Dennis and Frances sent us out to the Keuterville Pub and Grub for dinner. All exaggeration aside, this place is out there, man. Like...out there. Past the small town, down the road, past the monastery and then three miles of winding road further to Keuterville. The proprietor Linda greeted us like long lost family, filled us up and took a picture with us behind the bar.
The trip is going very well for us. While we have been travelling, we have also been reading and thinking about some folk back home and others out on the road that have had some setbacks - some have been varying levels of annoyances and struggles, some have been life changing issues. So once again, we count ourselves as thankful and very, very lucky.
We will be in the car tomorrow morning for a very long drive, hopefully landing us safely in a spot that has often been the answer I have given when people have asked, 'What are you looking forward to the most..". Cheers.