Where’s The Nearest Beach?

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By James F. Finn

I have always loved the weather and natural beauty of the west coast. When I was young, I lived in Northern California. Scenic drives to see family were a staple of summer. I loved the Pacific coast so much that I travelled by bicycle one summer (see Parts 12 and 3) along it. Yet that’s another story. Instead, my travels took me to Spokane, Washington.

I took a day trip out to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for hiking and fun on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Since Seattle and the Puget Sound are a little over four hours driving distance from Spokane – residents drive over to Idaho for a beach day.

The lake is stunning and is every hiker’s/tree hugger’s dream. As I hiked the trail, I could see how clear the water was. No traces of garbage or mud appeared in the lake water. Dead trees laid-out along the shores of the lake displayed the initials of visitors to that spot. Names of passing hikers, couples and more adorn the dead and dried-out tree. As a passing traveller, I wondered what had become of those that inscribed their names into the tree. Question such as, “Did that couple stick together? or “What the hell does that mean?” came to mind.

If you visit Eastern Washington and need something beautiful to look at or a cold dip, head on over to Idaho. Should you visit in the summer, many locals brandish tattoos across their bodies. Consider that part of the experience: a living, walking and breathing art museum.

Stay tuned for my next post on hiking and waterfront fun in Seattle.

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