Sandpoint Magazine | Winter 2007

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SANDPOINT Tales from

the Edge Mayhem and Magic on Schweitzer Ski Patrol What a Century: Bonner County Turns 100 Fantastic Forms: Photos on Ice INSIDE:



Selkirk Snowcatting, Film Festival, Acoustic Musicians, Backcountry Ski Adventures, Mark Story Interview, Ice Skating, Family Businesses, Thrift Shopping, Ben Olson’s ‘Wanderlost,’ Calendars, Dining, Real Estate ... and more








Earning your confidence for 100 years

Downtown Sandpoint circa 1906

Coldwell Banker is the oldest real estate company in the nation, and we are the longest-running brokerage in Sandpoint. We have been welcoming people to Sandpoint from the same building for 33 years. Now we also offer offices on Schweitzer and in Bonners Ferry.

Colbert Coldwell (1883-1967)

Benjamin Banker (1885-1965)

The Coldwell Banker success story has its beginnings in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The devastation

Just like our founders, we believe in honesty, hard work and putting the customer first, supported by cutting-edge marketing and communications technology.

Coldwell Banker Resort Realty ... A place where you are welcome, a name you can trust.

and loss of records created a need to provide people with professional real estate services they could trust. Colbert Coldwell developed rules that led to honest and ethical standards. These rules were to become the industry standard and created a successful business model for the next 100 years. We’re available to serve you 7 days a week! SANDPOINT PHONE: 208-263-6802 TOLL-FREE: 800-544-1855

SCHWEITZER PHONE: 208-263-9460 TOLL-FREE: 866-673-2352

R E S O R T R E A LT Y BONNERS FERRY PHONE 208-267-8575 TOLL-FREE: 866-375-8575



VOLUME 17, NO. 1


56 Stories from Ski Patrol Cover story: Hair-raising tales. PLUS: Heather Gibson tribute, Mountain Activity Center and Tom Chasse

31 Extreme Team KXLY and

Sullivan Homes pick up where ABC left off and spiff up Kinderhaven

39 Fantastic Formations Photo

essay with five full pages of images created by Old Man Winter

47 100 Years of Living Bonner County Centennial feature with a timeline and celebration preview

67 Snowmobiling the Selkirks Natives share experience on both sides of the ’kirks

73 Acoustic Artists Meet four

sets of musical artists on the rise and ready to bust out of Sandpoint

Father-son team launches film festival. PLUS: “Jenny’s Journal” local documentary and a group dedicated to filmmaking

83 Thrift Shopping From consignment shops to charity-ran thrift stores, bargain-seekers have lots to choose from

86 The Selkirk Crest Traverse

Follow Chris Park and friends on the first 50 miles of this ambitious backcountry ski tour. PLUS: Backcountry safety and hot spots

“Don’t write about how big the magazine is,” Publisher Chris Bessler warned me. Warning heeded. I’ll write about the great editorial in this issue. People love to read about people, and we have plenty of people stories in the almanac, such as Monte Bishop of the Palomino Ranch. She’s now 88 and still riding horses. Our feature interview subject is Mark Story, a former television commercial director who now focuses on black-and-white photography. He and his work are fascinating. This issue then moves into winter sports, with two epic backcountry ski adventures, one in the Selkirks and the other in the Cabinets; stories from the Schweitzer Ski Patrol; a feature on snowmobiling; and another on ice skating. All confirm: Freezing temps are good. Frozen playNext, we turn to the arts with an excerpt grounds lure ice skaters. PLUS: Ice from the novel “Wanderlost” by first-time hockey enthusiasts and U.S. Figure author Ben Olson; a package of stories on the Skating Championships film scene; and a feature on some of the upand-coming acoustic musicians in town. The Last Page feature is an essay by a young Part IV in a series on the generations of Sandpoint businesses woman who compares life in Sandpoint to the fast-paced life in New York City. An excerpt from 101 OK, I can’t help myself. The magazine grew the first novel by young author Ben again, breaking a record – again. Ha! Olson that was based on his rail travels –B.J.P.

Gliding on Ice


Business in Their Blood



Wilderness Adventure Two 104 On the cover: Rick Price, Mark Yancey and Allo men ski the Cabinets from Ross Creek to Clark Fork

Pucci cut the cornice in the North Bowl after a snowfall in this 2002 photo by fellow patroller 138 Dick O’Neill; see story, page 56. Essayist compares life in our little town This page: Logging played a big role in Bonner to life in New York City County’s first 100 years. This 1910 photo was taken in Sagle; see story, page 47.

Back Home: Last Page

D E PA R T M E N T S Almanac Calendar Interview

7 21 25

Real Estate Natives & Newcomers Travel Planner Lodging Dining Guide Serv ices

108 118 121 121 127 133

Mark Story, film director and photographer

Sandpoint Magazine is published twice yearly, in May and November, by Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 722, Sandpoint, ID 83864. E-mail: Web: Phone: (208) 263-3573 Publisher Chris Bessler Editor Billie Jean Plaster Advertising Director Scott Johnson Account Executive Dylan Amundson Art Director Laura White Contributors Terri Casey, Brent Clark, Sandy Compton, Kevin Davis, Lisa Gerber, Cate Huisman, Keith Kinnaird, Marianne Love, Holland Stevens, Sheryl Van der Leun, Laurel Wagers, Dianna Winget and Jesse Zirwes The entire contents of Sandpoint Magazine are copyright ©2007 by Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. No part may be reproduced in any fashion. Subscriptions: $9 per year, payable in advance. Send all address changes to the address above. Visit our Web magazine published at Printed in USA

Winter 2007


79 Film Scene Explodes

editor’s note


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Quality Farm & Garden is a highly profitable, growing business with three city lots, two connected buildings and a full inventory. Excellent real estate value with Hwy 95 exposure and plenty of parking. This busines is well established and pencils!


Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint

Monte Bishop still living and breathing horses


he broke her first horse at age 12, and in her 88 years, Monte Bishop has ridden a lot of “ornery” horses. The owner of the Palomino Ranch in Careywood, which she bought in 1947, Bishop still rides horses regularly, preferring her Paso Fino mare, Fancy. In fact, Fancy used to be one of those ornery horses who was given to her. “Over the years I’ve had so many horses given to me that they couldn’t do anything with, and they turn out to be the best horses,” Bishop said. In her lifetime, Bishop has also been a dairy farmer and a long-haul truck driver, but nothing has suited her more than the horse business – training, riding and breeding. The era she is the most fond of on the ranch started in the 1970s when she would have up to 12 kids from all over the country, and even from Canada, at the ranch all summer. “So many kids came back year after year,” Bishop said. “It was wonderful.” Those youth did everything from cooking to driving farm equipment. One of them was granddaughter Robin Harris. “We did a lot of run-

Monte Bishop, above right, in the first Sandpoint Saddle Club Show in 1943, and with granddaughter Robin Harris and horse Fancy.

ning into things on the place,” she said. In 2003, Harris moved her family from California to the ranch to help take care of Grandma. Bishop still has chores to do, though. “I look after the horse that used to be our stud and our poor, old chickens,” she said. Bishop’s legacy lives on in the Eager Beaver 4-H Club and the Sandpoint Saddle Club, two groups she helped establish in 1949 and

1943, respectively. The Sandpoint Saddle Club’s annual horse show has been held every year at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, except one during World War II. The Eager Beavers number about 80 today; Harris and her sister are both 4-H leaders. –Billie Jean Plas ter

Erik Daarstad travels to Iraq to film documentary enowned Sandpoint filmmaker Erik Daarstad shows up with a DVD in hand, as a small audience gathers for an impromptu preview of a film with the working title “Fighting for Life.” He loses part of the audience after scenes of 3-and-a-half-year-old Omar with burns over 30 percent of his body and a graphic segment of a soldier’s hand with no thumb, no index finger or middle finger. It’s not a pretty film. These scenes were shot in a Baghdad, Iraq field hospital that prepares patients for medical evacuation to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Produced by the

American Film Foundation and shot by Daarstad in 2005, the film is about graduates of the University of Uniform Services, which educates medical professionals to serve in the U.S. military. Scenes include nurses and doctors performing emergency surgeries wearing body armor. While Daarstad was in Iraq, a corporal was brought in after losing a leg to a roadside bomb. “Crystal Davis came in the last day we were there. By happenstance, we were on the plane that took her to Landstuhl,” Daarstad said. “Then, we were on the same flight with her to Walter Reed. We’ve been following her since.”

Eighteen months later, she still lives near Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “She goes to therapy every day,” Daarstad said. “In August, she was finally able to walk a little on crutches; put a little weight on the leg she has left. ” Daarstad returned to D.C. in September to do more filming of her and her dad, who has come to live with her. “I think,” he says, “that our presence has been good for Crystal.” The film is going to be finished late in 2006, Daarstad says. He plans to have it shown at the Panida.


–S andy Co mp to n WINTER 2007




Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint

70 years of measuring snow up Smith Creek




The original West Fork cabin, above, was built in 1935 to serve as a place for Smith Creek snow course workers to stay overnight. Al Flory, holding a snow tube at right, is shown with Gordon Cortis sometime in the 1940s.

snow-survey project. In 1936 Al Flory of Bonners Ferry helped to set up the original snow course in Smith Creek after a summer working at the Red Top fire lookout. Getting the data was no easy day in the field; for the first 30 years all Flory used to

–Kevin Davis

Sign collector preserves local history


ohn and Sue Elsa like antiques, and since they got together in 1976, they’ve been collecting them by being “yardand estate-sale junkies,” says Sue. In particular they seek out certain types of antiques, such as metal washtubs, which they display on their backyard fence, and vintage bicycles. But of special historic and local interest is John’s collection of old signs. Old Forest Service signs for Ball Creek and Lost Creek are mounted on the fence



railings; John and Sue found them abandoned in a house on Bottle Bay Road that they rented long ago. A “Fordson Authorized Sales and Service” sign that hangs on the garage refers to an old line of Ford tractors that can still be seen at the Bonner County Fair. An outdoor thermometer advertising Packard Motor Cars also graces the front of the garage along with artful arrangements of other collectibles: old tools, yard and garden artifacts, more


he snow was falling as the Forest Service technicians snowmobiled up the road on their way to the Smith Creek snow course northwest of Bonners Ferry. Depth and snow water content measurements have been collected here twice every year for the last 70 years at the same location. 2006 is the centennial year of the snowpack-monitoring program in the United States. It began in 1906 on Mount Rose east of Lake Tahoe. Expansion of the West was creating a need to monitor mountain snow and understand how it relates to water for irrigation, domestic water use and stream flow. In 1934 Congress signed an appropriations bill that funded the

travel in was snowshoes. “From the Smith Creek Ranger Station, at the bottom of the canyon, we would snowshoe for two days to get to the West Fork cabin,” Flory said. “Sometimes it would take us two days to get all the snow measurements, and then we would hike out.” Flory did the snow measurements, twice every year, until he retired from the Forest Service in 1970. “We used long tubes to get cores of the snow all the way down to the ground. We would weigh the core to find out how much water the snow contained,” he said. Snow courses are still run today but are steadily being replaced by automated ones called SnoTel sites. The Smith Creek snow course is slated to be replaced in five years. Flory said of SnoTel sites, “I guess they’re all right, as long as they work.”

Sue and John Elsa, above, collect antiques, including signs from defunct Sandpoint businesses, such as the ones seen at right.

Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint


Chillerdecks, for riding snow on the fringe


o what does a Sandpoint custom woodworker do if he is limited to paternal duties during a winter because of his newborn twin daughters? He invents a new sport to satisfy his craving for powder – even if it is only 1inch deep on grass. Mark Edmundson, owner of Edmundson Fine Woodworking, likes adventure and creativity, and last winter he thought of a way to tweak the sports of snow skating, snowboarding and skateboarding to find a way to ride around the house or terrain around Sandpoint. First, he mounted a wood plank on a snowboard deck. “I jumped on it and went across the yard in only a few inches of snow. So I started riding it around the house,” he said. “What happened next was that I knew a concave surface of a skateboard would contribute to the control of a snowboard.” So out came Prototype 2 from his woodworking shop, and he and another “test pilot” tried it out on a steeper slope and were surprised with the results. Ryan Ford, then 16 years old, from Sandpoint, showed off by handling some steeper terrain. “He dropped down a really steep slope and flew down it and hit this mound of dirt and jumped it.” Edmundson, 40, hopes to expand

Mark Edmundson shreds the terrain park on his protoype Chillerdeck.

by a bunch of kids.” He said he had to end the demo session when one of the kids ran into a police officer. Edmundson’s Web site,, offers a video of him dropping into deep powder in the snags and blogs about his latest adventures on the Chillerdecks. He can be reached at (208) 265-8730 or –Brent Clark

antique signs for Texaco, U.S. Royal Cord Tires, Coca Cola. Two relatively recent additions to John’s sign collection are easily visible from the intersection of Pine and Richland streets in Sandpoint. Mounted one above the other on the back of the Elsas’ garage and rising about 20 feet into the air are the recognizable signs from Harold’s Foods and Panhandle Milling, both Sandpoint “institutions” that were demolished in 2006 and 2005, respectively. The couple has personal connections to

and craft his skills further this winter and to create a small batch for resale in the local market. So, if you see someone cruising by on the mountain with a skateboard mounted on a snowboard, you’ll know you’ve seen a Chillerdeck. “There are a lot of strapless tricks you can do,” Edmundson said. He is always looking for advice and input from all ages. That is exactly what he got when he went to Whitefish, Mont., last year. “I took a bunch of boards to this snow skate competition to show them off, and I got mobbed

each place: John, an electrician, did work for Harold’s over the years; and John and Sue used to buy chicks at the mill. John and two friends spent an afternoon taking down the Harold’s sign before the teardown of the building began. “I’d have to say those two are my favorites,” John says. “Harold’s and Panhandle Milling are part of Sandpoint’s history, and if you’ve lived here long enough, you know where those signs came from.” –Terri Casey WINTER 2007




Blue Dragons exercise young, literary muscles


riting, then sharing their ideas with a supportive group and publishing their work on the Internet is a great way for writers of any age to learn and to develop their talents and skills. The Blue Dragons Young Writers Group, based at and sponsored by the Sandpoint Library since 2002, provides students ages 14 and up with a place all their own to stretch their minds and develop their literary muscles. The Blue Dragons meet weekly during the school year, reading their work to one another. This has led several of them to participate in the “Five Minutes of Fame,” open mic nights at Cafe Bodega in Foster’s Crossing. When Christine Holbert of Lost Horse Press heard them, she invited them to read at the Panida Theater in May 2006, sharing the stage with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson when the author of “Gilead” came to Sandpoint. “All I have to do,” says writing coach Karen Seashore, “is listen and stay out of the way.” Seashore, who has worked with them since 2004, says she is impressed with how the writers have become a group and how accepting they are of new people. As few as two or as many as 12 writers may attend any given session, bringing their poems and stories to the after-school meetings where they also participate in a




Four members of The Blue Dragons discuss what they have written during one of their meetings. From left are: Shay Blackburn, 17, a junior at Sandpoint High; Caitlin McCallum, 18, who is homeschooled; Hannah Rhodes, 19, a sophomore at North Idaho College; and Samantha Dale, 17, a Sandpoint High junior.

variety of writing exercises. Some of the Blue Dragons have posted work on the library Web site, “It’s awesome for me,” says a three-year Blue Dragon, horror-story writer Caitlin McCallum, “and great for kids and their writing.” Another three-year member and short-story writer, Hannah Rhodes, who is working on a novel, says she goes for feedback and “to see what I’m doing right.” A third, more recent member who writes poetry as “Shrewgol” says: “It’s wonderful to go and be accepted, and they help you so much. It’s a great program.” “It’s exciting to watch their talents develop,” says youth services librarian Suzanne Davis, who adds that new members are welcome. The group meets from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Go to the library or call (208) 263-6930, extension 211 for further information. –Laurel Wagers

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Blue Dragons exercise young, literary muscles


riting, then sharing their ideas with a supportive group and publishing their work on the Internet is a great way for writers of any age to learn and to develop their talents and skills. The Blue Dragons Young Writers Group, based at and sponsored by the Sandpoint Library since 2002, provides students ages 14 and up with a place all their own to stretch their minds and develop their literary muscles. The Blue Dragons meet weekly during the school year, reading their work to one another. This has led several of them to participate in the “Five Minutes of Fame,” open mic nights at Cafe Bodega in Foster’s Crossing. When Christine Holbert of Lost Horse Press heard them, she invited them to read at the Panida Theater in May 2006, sharing the stage with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson when the author of “Gilead” came to Sandpoint. “All I have to do,” says writing coach Karen Seashore, “is listen and stay out of the way.” Seashore, who has worked with them since 2004, says she is impressed with how the writers have become a group and how accepting they are of new people. As few as two or as many as 12 writers may attend any given session, bringing their poems and stories to the after-school meetings where they also participate in a




Four members of The Blue Dragons discuss what they have written during one of their meetings. From left are: Shay Blackburn, 17, a junior at Sandpoint High; Caitlin McCallum, 18, who is homeschooled; Hannah Rhodes, 19, a sophomore at North Idaho College; and Samantha Dale, 17, a Sandpoint High junior.

variety of writing exercises. Some of the Blue Dragons have posted work on the library Web site, “It’s awesome for me,” says a three-year Blue Dragon, horror-story writer Caitlin McCallum, “and great for kids and their writing.” Another three-year member and short-story writer, Hannah Rhodes, who is working on a novel, says she goes for feedback and “to see what I’m doing right.” A third, more recent member who writes poetry as “Shrewgol” says: “It’s wonderful to go and be accepted, and they help you so much. It’s a great program.” “It’s exciting to watch their talents develop,” says youth services librarian Suzanne Davis, who adds that new members are welcome. The group meets from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Go to the library or call (208) 263-6930, extension 211 for further information. –Laurel Wagers

Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint


Artist chalks up another mural Schuppel paints on Common Knowledge Bookstore


aces and figures, landscapes and skies unfurl along the west side of the Common Knowledge Bookstore and Tea House on Sandpoint’s Main Street – having taken shape under the brush of artist Diana Schuppel during the summer and fall of 2006 – and reflect the worlds and adventures that await explorers of the store. Schuppel describes the concept as moving from local to regional to global, and even to universal with planets and stars and a “portal” painted on a side door. It also moves from urban to rural to wild. The town area is a link to lake and forest, part of a mix of regional images that include faces, books, newspapers, a sailboat, people running on a beach, shells and

even food. Much of the paint for the highly public project, Schuppel notes, has been donated by local stores such as The Paint Bucket and Merwin’s. Murals are Schuppel’s most visible work in Sandpoint. With a partner, Leif Olson, she painted the west wall of the Pend d’Oreille Winery (then the Pend Oreille Brewing Company) and the mural “Timeless Flight,” recently moved from Belwood’s Furniture to Farmin-Stidwell School. On her own she created the Secret Garden children’s area of the Sandpoint Library; sets for Sandpoint High School plays; and commissioned works at schools, restaurants and private interiors. Trained by working with her artist father and later through commercial

Diana Schuppel in front of her newest mural

and fine-arts college courses, Schuppel also works on a small scale and has illustrated 10 books, most recently “The Kids in Mrs. Hildebrand’s Class” by local teacher Linda Dallmann. The 1999 Festival at Sandpoint poster artist, she is exploring possibilities in teaching and in working with out-of-town galleries. But the most important thing is the work: “If you have a passion,” she says, “the payoff is doing it.” –Laurel Wagers

Marti Kellogg Interior Designer


2 0 8 . 2 6 5 . 0 94 9 111 C h u r c h S t r e e t SANDPOINT, IDAHO WINTER 2007



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directed her toward a career with young people. Since then, she’s earned her master’s and doctorate in education from the University of Idaho. “I’m supposed to help the children of the world,” the Seattle native and mother of two says. Kiebert views communication with students, parents, staff and community as essential. Last summer, she met with each SHS staff member, asking about change and expectations. She also met with parents to pass along her message: visibility throughout the school, in classrooms – involved, firm, yet fair. “I hope we will have a strong team that works together to provide the best for our students,” she says. “World peace, eternal love, unconditional acceptance – you know, all those important things in life.” –M arianne Lo ve


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Sandpoint Youth Council, the alliance will hire local professional artists and coordinate student apprentices. The group will solicit input on design concepts, then purchase materials and coordinate the execution of the project. The Sandpoint Youth Council will learn to implement and complete a project while the community will benefit with an enhanced space to enjoy. “Developing the arts in this community is an important factor to our quality of life,” said Hughes, when asked why she is so passionate about art. “People grow when they are given an opportunity to express their creativity.” The primary, long-term goal for the Arts Alliance is to establish and operate an arts center that will host programs and events for people of all ages. To donate to the mural project, to become a member or to get involved, contact the Arts Alliance at (208) 2555273 or visit



Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint


memorial stone comes from Idaho


fter 17 residents of Bucks County, Pa., lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, their community envisioned a place to reflect and heal. Now, five years later, their vision is a reality in the Garden of Reflection in Lower Makefield, Pa., a memorial to all the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The centerpiece of the garden is a fountain where water falls on a grid of highly reflective stone – Idaho Diamond, shipped to Pennsylvania from Idaho Stone Landscape and Masonry Supplies in Ponderay. An Internet search for reflective stone brought the memorial’s planning committee to Idaho Stone, operated by brothers Bill and Dave Friedmann and their families. “We specialize in helping people find whatever they’re looking for, no matter where it comes from,” says Bill. “We probably spent close to two years

working with them to come up with the right stones, the right colors.” Idaho Diamond is white or silverwhite quartz with gold-colored veins, and its high mica content makes it extraordinarily reflective. “It will last forever and will not lose its color,” said Bill. Bill sent the committee samples and talked with them at length about the size pieces they would want for the fountain and the strength and thickness of each piece, as well as the varying colors. Batches of quarried stone are like dye lots of fabric – no single batch is exactly like any other. To

From left, Dave, Matt and Bill Friedmann show some of the Idaho Diamond stone that went to Pennsylvania for a 9/11 memorial.

make sure they had enough to complete their project, Bill sent them everything he could find at the time of their order. That amounted to 60,393 pounds of Idaho Diamond, packed in pallets on two flatbed trucks. The stone took only four days to reach Pennsylvania and arrived the week of the fourth of July. The memorial was dedicated on Sept. 11, 2006. –Cate Huis man

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Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint

Putting out a paper ‘worth wading through’ Gannon marks five years publishing The River Journal

Trish Gannon fronts some of the columnists who contribute to The River Journal, from left, Sherry Ramsey, Gary Payton, Boots Reynolds, Carol Curtis and Melody Martz.


round here, do what the locals do: Pick up a free copy of The River Journal on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. It mostly covers the Clark Fork River Valley from Sandpoint to Paradise, Mont., with a lively mix of local news, regional issues and entertainment features. While its individual contributors may have – ahem – definite opinions, the paper itself leans not so much to the left or right, but rather, prides itself on keeping issues front and center. “People want more than just bad news,” said Trish Gannon, owner and publisher since 2001. “We give public voice to the many different opinions people in our area hold.” The River Journal’s stable of writers includes some of the area’s most colorful characters. Boots Reynolds, international cowboy cartoonist and former rodeo rider, pens a humor column. Local author and storyteller Sandy Compton likes living “on the edge” – the border between Idaho and Montana, that is – where he finds inspiration for his syndicated “Scenic Route.” Sherry Ramsey, an award-winning writer based in Priest River, is the

paper’s newest contributor. Amidst its 20 pages are editorials, travel pieces, updates on the region’s watersheds, event previews and columns. If it sounds like a lot – it is. Just ask Gannon. She not only edits the submissions, but the seemingly indefatigable single mother of three writes more than a few articles herself, lays out the paper, sells and builds all

the advertising, oversees printing in Spokane, and even delivers 7,000 hotoff-the-press newspapers from the back of her Yukon to more than 60 locations. The paper is online at Check out daily postings at the new interactive blog and feel free to comment. –Sheryl Van der Leun

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Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint

Farmin creates a sculptural reminder ‘Pace Yourself’ put in park with her name


he two-piece sculpture near the clock tower in downtown’s Farmin Park, entitled “Pace Yourself,” is a whimsical reminder that slow and steady wins the race. The tortoise and hare from the famous proverb, cast in bronze, are the work of local artist Tammy Farmin, whose family name lends itself to the park. “In our busy world of cell phones, meetings, work and other demands, we often find ourselves running an infinite race,” Farmin wrote on a plaque accompanying the sculpture. “When we take the time to slow down, life becomes more enjoyable. Every day we make the choice to run ourselves to exhaustion or pace ourselves through a more satisfying existence.” Installed in August 2006, the sculpture is dedicated to Bob Lindemann, an art teacher who volunteered his time to

several local organizations. Farmin, 39, an agent with Windermere Resort Lifestyles, is a fourth-generation Sandpointer. She started sculpting with oilbased clay about 10 years ago, but clay is not the only medium she’s worked in, nor is “Pace Yourself” her only installation in town; Farmin also made the 22 steel banners that hang on First, Cedar and Fifth streets, which she created in her father’s metal shop. For “Pace Yourself,” Farmin submitted a proposal to the Sandpoint Arts Commission, which screened proposals for organizations funding the project, including the Sandpoint Rotary Club, of which Lindemann was a member. “I knew my vision would soak up the $10,000 budget at the foundry, so there would be no salary, but I was fine with that,” she said. “Serving

Tammy Farmin helps unveil “Pace Yourself.”

on committees and boards is not my passion or strength, but art is, so this is my way of giving back to this town, which has given me so much.” Farmin’s latest creation? Her own studio, now under construction at her Sagle home, where for the first time she’ll have a dedicated space for making art. –Terri Casey

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Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint Rhonda Bradetich performs Mozart at


the Festival at Sandpoint in 2006.

She has the golden touch on flute


nyone who saw Rhonda Bradetich play her “golden flute” in the grand finale “Happy Birthday, Mozart” concert with the Spokane Symphony at the Festival at Sandpoint in August witnessed more than just a local talent. Bradetich, 44, grew up hearing about how her grandfather played fiddle, banjo and harmonica at Westmond Grange dances.

He died before she was born, but she seems to have inherited his musical talents. She began studying flute and won both the Northwest Young Artist Competition and the Spokane Music and Arts Festival Young Artist Competition. Soon after, she appeared as a soloist with the Spokane Symphony and later received grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, including a resi-

dency in New York City and Washington, D.C., where she studied with prominent flutists and researched her program of Slavic music from Eastern Europe. “My father was born in Croatia, so I’ve always been interested in Slavic music,” Bradetich said. “I’m also drawn to the similar passion and depth in the South American music that I perform with my guitarist partner, Dr. Paul Grove. Lately I’ve been studying jazz, and it’s interesting to apply those rhythms to Latin music and to Mozart.” Bradetich has toured the Northwest and in Canada and served artistic residencies in Italy. A member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, she has two CDs available on her Goldenflute label. Coming up for Bradetich are winter and spring tours of Seattle, Montana, the Oregon Coast and Sacramento. Following that, she’ll travel to Prague, Czech Republic, and Paris in May to further research her beloved Slavic music. –Terri Cas ey

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Calendar 1 Ladysmith Black Mambazo. See POAC calendar. (263-9555) 27 KPND Ski & Board Party. At Hooties at the Elks. See Nov. 29. (255-7494) 31 New Year’s Eve. Parties at Schweitzer inside Taps and Chimney Rock Grill. (263-9555)

11-14 Sandpoint Winter Carnival. See Hot Picks. 12 Urban Rail Jam. Schweitzer hosts this event at City Beach during Winter Carnival. (263-9555)

4-5 Holiday Art Market. POAC’s second annual event features more than 70 artist booths, food vendors, music and children’s art activities, at Bonner County Fairgrounds. (263-6139)


18 Holly Eve. Annual holiday fashion show and gala benefit, 6:30 p.m. at the Panida. (263-9191)

10 KPND Ski & Board Party. At the Beach House Bar & Grill. See Nov. 29. (2554947)

18-Jan. 1 Holidays in Sandpoint. Music, events and specials at stores downtown to celebrate the season, sponsored by Downtown Sandpoint. (255-1876)

hot picks

18-26 Thanksgiving Fishing Derby. Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club’s annual contest. (263-0424) 24-25 Syrah Futures/Library Wine Tasting. Pend d’Oreille Winery’s holiday season opener. (265-8545) 28 Ballet Idaho’s Nutcracker. See POAC calendar. 29 KPND Ski & Board Party. Radio deejay Jonny Knight and Mike Deprez cohost this series of ever-popular parties with thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes and music, 5 p.m. at MickDuff’s Brewing Co. (255-4351)

DECEMBER 2 Christmas Tree Lighting. Traditional event at Schweitzer in the Village at dusk. (263-9555)

13 KPND Ski & Board Party. At Slate’s Restaurant & Sports Lounge. See Nov. 29. (263-1381) 14-15 A Christmas Memory. See Hot Picks. 22 Night Rail Jam. Evening series in the Schweitzer Village. (263-9555) 24 Santa’s Traditional Schweitzer Visit. Santa hits the slopes, then makes a special visit to the Selkirk Lodge.

24 KPND Ski & Board Party. At the 219 Lounge. See Nov. 29. (253-9934) 25-27 Banff Mountain Film

Christmas one-man play In A Christmas Memory Truman Capote warmly remembers “fruitcake weather” from his childhood days, when he and his odd family would bake for all their far-away friends and partake in other Christmas-time rituals. Robert Shampain directs and stars in this nostalgic oneman play set in the rural South during the Depression. Produced by Flat Hat Productions with music by Rob Kincaid and his wife, Amy Craven, the play runs Dec. 14-15, at 7:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church. or 263-3504. It’s how to heat up winter Every winter, one long weekend promises to heat things up in this snowy little town – Sandpoint Winter Carnival from Jan. 11-14. The kick-off event, Taste of Sandpoint, showcases epicurean delights from some of the area’s excellent restaurants. The carnival’s signature event takes place Friday night, when the Parade of Lights winds through downtown, followed by the Urban Rail Jam at City Beach. Over the weekend, plenty of activities can be found around town and at Schweitzer. or 263-0887. The time the town goes wild From Feb. 15-20, Sandpoint goes wild with outrageous events, contests and performances during a six-day partying spree all throughout town, Madcap Mardi Gras. The Jazz Procession gets things going, followed by kick-off parties. In the days following, partyers dress up for the outlandish Masquerade Ball, get awed by brilliant fireworks, and either watch or participate in perfectly madcap games. or 255-4312. In conjunction with Madcap Mardi Gras, Angels Over Sandpoint present The Follies, an adult variety show rated R for racy, risque and ridiculous, on Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. at the Panida. 263-9191 or 266-0503. All in the leg action Two nights in a row, during the Yoke’s Outrageous Air Show, 40 or so former Olympians, national and world champions, new school and other skiers and snowboarders illuminate Schweitzer Mountain in a torchlight parade. Then the action begins, with a 45-minute aerial acrobatics show. Fires flare up, fireworks burst overhead and the crowds have a truly explosive experience at this extreme air show March 2-3. or 263-9555.



8 Jack Gladstone Concert. Blackfeet musician sponsored by Friends of Scotchman’s Peak Wilderness, 7:30 p.m. at the Panida. (263-9191)

19 John Jorgensen Quintet. See POAC calendar.





POAC Calendar Festival. Award-winning cultural and sports films and speakers at the Panida. Sponsored by Mountain Fever. (263-9191)

FEBRUARY 2 Cantabile, the London Quartet. See POAC calendar. 2 Starlight Race Series. NASTAR races at Schweitzer with post-race parties at Taps. (263-9555) 6 Peter Tork & Shoe Suede Blues. Blues concert by Concerts West One, 8 p.m. at the Panida. (263-9191) 8 KPND Ski & Board Party. At the Long Bridge Grill. See Nov. 29. (265-7929) 9 Starlight Race Series. See Feb. 2. 10 The Little Mermaid. See POAC calendar. 10-11 Chocolate and Wine Tasting. Chocolate delicacies paired with red wine at Pend d’Oreille Winery for Valentine’s Day. (265-8545) 15-20 Madcap Mardis Gras. See Hot Picks. 16 Starlight Race Series. See Feb. 2. 16 Night Rail Jam. See Dec. 22. 17 The Follies. See Hot Picks. 21 KPND Ski & Board Party. At Pastime. See Nov. 29. (255-4412) 23 Starlight Race Series. See Feb. 2.



2-3 Yoke’s Outrageous Air Show. See Hot Picks. 4 Banff Radical Reels. Action films, 6:30 p.m. at the Panida. (263-9191) 7 KPND Ski & Board Party. At A&P’s Bar and Grill. See Nov. 29. (263-2313) 16 The Barra MacNeils. See POAC calendar. 16 Night Rail Jam. See Dec. 22.

A fresh new season of topnotch international performers is all lined up at the historic Panida Theater, for the 23rd annual Pend Oreille Arts Council (POAC) Performance Series. With acts from all the farthest reaches of Earth, the series truly showcases regional and global talent, diversity and beauty. Tickets are sold at the POAC office, located in The Old Power House, by credit card at (208) 263-6139, or online at Other outlets have tickets two to three weeks prior to each performance: F.C. Weskil’s at the Panida, Eve’s Leaves and Eichardt’s Pub in Sandpoint; and Bonners Books in Bonners Ferry. All performances are ADA accessible; listening devices are available for free. Ladysmith Black Mambazo

The Little Mermaid

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. Traditional music born in the mines of South Africa has been brought back to life by this multigenerational group of eight, who travel the world as both cultural and musical icons.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Missoula Children’s Theatre is back for another spectacular performance, where kids from the community are the stars. The young and talented local actors really bring this timeless children’s story to life, guaranteeing a delightful performance for all ages.

Ballet Idaho’s Nutcracker

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m. This holiday tradition at the Panida Theater continues with talented young dancers from the Sandpoint region. Everyone loves the imaginative story line, colorful sets, dazzling costumes and spectacular dancing in this holiday spectacle. John Jorgensen Quintet

Friday, Jan. 19, 8 p.m. A pioneer in the American gypsy jazz movement, John Jorgensen dazzles audiences with skillful guitar and clarinet work and soulful vocals. He and his band make romantic, ecstatic music that leads them on tours all over the world. Cantabile, the London Quartet

Friday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m. These quirky guys from Britain never fail to entertain a crowd. Cantabile has emerged as a major international act, combining their unique a cappella music and internationally adored sense of humor for an unforgettable show.

16-18 Stomp Games. Freestyle ski and snowboard competition at Schweitzer. (263-9555)


21 KPND Ski & Board Party. At Captain’s Wheel. See Nov. 29. (683-1903)

7 KPND Ski & Board Party. At Schweitzer. See Nov. 29. (263-9555)

30 MonTango. See POAC calendar.

7-8 Spring Carnival and Rubber



The Barra MacNeils

Friday, March 16, 8 p.m. The Barra MacNeils are an outstanding Celtic group, a Nova Scotian family bringing the fiddle-based musical traditions of Cape Breton to sold-out concerts in North America and Europe. They continually captivate audiences with extraordinary vocals, harmonies and musicianship. They’re just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. MonTango

Friday, March 30, 8 p.m. Tango dancers, musicians and a lone female vocalist make up this uniquely energetic, internationally acclaimed group. They fuse Astor Piazzolla-inspired compositions with sensual vocals and passionate, exhilarating dance for a show that has made them a worldwide phenomenon. Duck Derby. Schweitzer’s annual seasonending celebration with music, games and contests. (263-9555) 28-May 6 K&K Fishing Derby. LPOIC contest. (263-0424)

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Mark Story, film director and photographer


13 years to Pam, he met her in the commercial film business and the two have known each other for 25 years. Pam was the first woman to be accepted into the sound union in Hollywood. Story has another home in Garfield, Wash., that is his base for a photographic study of the Palouse and its people. He spends January, February, March and part of April in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he likes to photograph Native Americans. Story was born in Los Angeles in 1947 and grew up poor; his parents divorced when he was young. He attended the University of California at Berkeley and then at Irvine, earning a bachelor’s degree in art in 1970. He also studied at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography from 2001 to 2005, where he learned how to perfect his prints. Would you tell me a little bit about your life and career as a television commercial film director?

By Billie Jean Plaster

I grew up in a Mexican ghetto in Southern California after World War II to young, white, poor parents. My mother had me when she was 17 years old. She had her graduation gown on, and she was pregnant. Each of my parents divorced three times, and I put myself through college with a swimmingacademic scholarship and also worked 20 hours a week and left home at 18 years of age and have no living relatives. None. I graduated from college and went to New York and went to work for Young & Rubicam advertising and worked for them all over the world from 1970 to



uring his 23-year-long career, Mark Story, 59, directed more than 2,800 television commercials – his specialty was comedy – filmed all over the world. During his off-time, Story traveled the world in search of faces to photograph, either people who were aged beyond their years or those who had lived 100 years or longer. The project took considerable resources, but he called it his “creative salvation,” his release from the highly polished world of advertising. He selected the best of more than 15,000 black-and-white portraits taken between 1987 and 2005 and published them in a book entitled “Living in Three Centuries.” As part of the project, he photographed 21 supercentenarians – those 110 years or older – across the Midwest and in the South in the summer of 2005. Story earned the prestigious Arthur Griffin Legacy Award in May 2006 and donated the $1,000 prize to the Panhandle Animal Shelter. In fact, any proceeds he earns from the book or selling prints goes to the shelter. This series of works has also earned three other awards since 2003. Selections have been published in B&W Magazine, LensWork and Shots, among others. His work has been exhibited recently at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts, the Gallery Saintonge in Missoula, Mont., and Hallans Gallery in Sandpoint as part of Artwalk II. A new edition of his book will be published by Verve Editions in 2008, and, in conjunction, his work will be placed in museums through traveling exhibitions. Living part-time in East Hope since the 1980s, Story is in his third marriage, and he has no children. Married for



112-year-old African-American man. A farmer and the oldest living World War I combat veteran, he never smoked or drank alcohol.


110-year-old American man. His father stood on the platform as President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.

106-year-old Native American woman. The oldest living member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, she helped her father farm and run steamboats.

up the hotel, because Kenya 1976. I worked for them in had extradited terrorists back New York, Frankfurt, to the Middle East for proseGermany, Hong Kong and cution. It killed 30 people. In Sydney, Australia … as a that same month, my father television producer, copydied of cancer. In that same writer and art director. month, I got a divorce. In When I came back, I that same month, I started worked in New York in the my own film production advertising business for two company, and in that same years, and then a commermonth I started therapy five cial film production comdays a week (laughs). Of pany was shooting one of course, the therapy commy commercials that I crepletely changed my life. .... ated when I was working at What therapy did for me was the ad company, and they it made me not be afraid to asked me if I would like to make decisions. It led to a lot become a commercial film of success as a film director. director for their company. … I loved my work a lot, and Then in 1981, in New York I never got involved in drugs. City, I opened my own film Mark Story shoots a portrait on location in China. A lot of people in the film production company … it business got involved in drugs. became Crossroads Films. But I’m pretty much devoted to black-and-white phoToday, Crossroads Films makes features, commercials, music tography, and I’m more interested in the social aspects of videos, shows for television and has 30 directors working for humans and their lives, and also now writing about the peoit. … Shooting commercials … required being on an airplane ple is as important as photographing the people. They just almost every 10 days. For one year, I flew back and forth to seem to go hand in hand. I can’t imagine doing portraits London every three weeks to direct commercials, and I was anymore without writing about them, because it’s brought perpetually jetlagged. I think it took five years off my life. so much more meaning to the photographs. … I am terribly Then in 1981 some very dramatic things happened in my interested in people. … I’m also interested in educational life. In January 1981, my mother was killed by Arab terroraspects of this. … Anything that can get children not to talk ists in Africa. She was staying at the Norfolk Hotel in about what their parents have bought them at the mall or Nairobi, Kenya, which was owned by a wealthy Jewish famwhat their friends have that they need, anything to get them ily from South Africa, the Block family. Arab terrorists blew



42-year-old Cherokee Native American man. Homeless for 17 years in Los Angeles, he said it was better than living on a reservation.

101-year-old Mongolian woman. She had lived through 19 life-killing droughts. She was 4 feet tall, 70 pounds and in perfect health.

What are some of the most memorable stories that these faces had to tell?

The guy whose father stood next to Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address – that one just did me in. I started weeping and crying and broke out in goose bumps. I think

that it was the shock of time span at the moment that story was told that blew me away. There’s a lot of stuff that people talked about that is not in the book. That same man, when he got married, he was carrying his bride up the stairs to their apartment, and when he got to the top, he fell backwards down the stairs with her in his hands. They could never have children after that, and they had just gotten married. He also talked about how horrific it was to be black in America and how poorly you’re treated all the time. Why didn’t you ever have children?

It became clear to me along the way, through therapy and through the lifestyle of traveling all the time, that I knew I wasn’t going to have children, because I saw so many people around me in the business who had children and someone else was raising the children. The parents were screwed up; the children were screwed up. Nobody was ever home. They ended up being less than productive as human beings. ... I think it’s truly the most important and best decision I have ever made in my life emotionally. How did you discover northern Idaho and come to live in East Hope?

A friend I went to high school with moved up here, and while I was in Europe working for Young & Rubicam in the early ’70s, I started to have him look for property up here. I knew I wanted to live in the mountains, but I knew I wanted to live near water ... and I loved the mountainous region of Italy and Switzerland. He became a builder, and he built this house over a long period of time, five or six years. He found the property. I got on an airplane and flew over the area, and that convinced me I wanted to be here. I also thought about being in an area where I know there is going to be water in the future, and the air has a chance of



to examine their lives, I consider to be terribly worthwhile. The most difficult thing about directing is getting insecure people who work at advertising agencies to make decisions and move ahead, because I have a crew of 70 people standing around. I’m responsible for a million-dollar budget, and money is dropping down a black hole because these nitwits can’t make up their mind. So what you’re doing is driving the crew, driving the agency to make decisions, you’re driving their client to make decisions, and you’re working with the talent and you’re lighting the set, and you’re making everybody move in the same direction. That aspect of directing gets very old. There’s plenty of joy in the creative aspects of working with actors, lighting sets and rewriting copy, but there is no joy in motivating people to make up their (expletive) minds. At a point, after I had made a certain amount of money, I decided to slow way down and do more of exactly what I wanted to do. The growth of taking photographs of faces – like are in the book – came out of casting sessions. Inevitably, the most interesting people to me were very old people who weren’t actors. I ended up using so many of them in commercials because they were out of their minds. They didn’t know what they were doing, and they were by far and away the funniest people you could put in commercials. That was work. … My escape was to go away and travel the world and photograph the faces that were interesting to me and talk to people to find out if they were interesting or not. That is a direct growth from the film business.

104-year-old Navajo Native American woman. She sat for 20 minutes in 24-degree weather in a thin jacket while being photographed.



being as clean as it possibly could. And I wanted to live in an area where industrial production wouldn’t take off and ruin the area. Also I wanted to have privacy and not be around too many people. And that’s from the film business – being around so many people every day and making so many decisions. I can do what I want to do with privacy, and I cherish my privacy. What have you learned about aging and genetics through this photographic project?

If you have good genes … and live a shitty life, you still may live to be over 100. But if you have crappy genes and live a careful life, you could still be dead tomorrow. Genetics affects your health so much. If you have good genes, you can be abusive and live to be ancient, but if you have bad genes and you treat yourself well, there’s no guarantee. That’s why it’s so important to be purposeful as a human being while you’re alive. You’re not on the planet as a slug in the garden. You were born to the head of the animal chain on this planet. It seems like it’s really important to do something with your life, if you’re born at the head of the animal chain. It’s a struggle, but it’s a privilege. And people don’t see their lives that way. People just can’t rise up emotionally. It’s too hard for them, too much work. The stuff these people have been through – the Depressions, the wars, the poverty, the hard work, the Dust Bowl – they’re alive. It doesn’t even come close to how we’ve had to live. Is there something else you want to photograph?

Yes, I’m already working on the Palouse and the portraits of people of the Palouse with the landscapes, but landscapes are inherently boring to me because there are so many people doing it, and so many of the same pho-




tographs have been taken time and again. And that is not the case with people. What do you like to do in your free time?

Read and nothing. Nothing. It is the most productive time for thinking that there is. People are terrified to stop and think about and examine what scares them the most. I love sitting and thinking a lot. I do it five or six hours a day. That’s the true joy of having money – is being able to think. And that’s been the best exercise of all for anything I’m trying to do that’s meaningful. … And eating. I love to eat, and if I could eat all of the time and not be fat, that would be my first choice. And we don’t eat crap. I’ve never had a soft drink in my life, and I don’t eat candy. I’ve never had a cavity or filling. We grow our own food and eat all our own food, and we drink lovely wine. We’re big drinkers. We drink three hours every day with a meal. Pam will cook a meal. … I love it. Are there any down sides to becoming reclusive as you have become?

As I’ve pulled back and reversed the effects of working with so many people in the film business, I’ve developed a little bit of a phobia. It’s hard for me to be in a room with a lot of people that I don’t want to be with. What did you learn from Hollywood and how has it affected your life?

What going into business and becoming a film director taught me is how to communicate very clearly in a methodical way to try to get everybody to move together to get a project done. That starts to spill over into your life. There’s a lot of time left if you’re organized to do things you want


for yourself. … I did a lot of casting for real people – not actors – people that were just people, who lived in trailer parks, poor. We found people at church socials, square dances, living in trailer parks in the desert, strange, lonely people. It exposed you to every kind of human being on the planet, and it exposes you to more travel than you would ever dream of. That also helps you develop values, lots of values. It’s so simple in the end to make a clear decision if you don’t get caught up in the money, the drugs and the fame, and you stick with being really good at what you’re supposed to do – writing scripts, communicating with actors and crews, lighting sets, picking locations, casting characters, and also being consistent in the product you deliver. If you screw too many commercials up, the word gets around to all the advertising agencies all over the world … you can be out of business in three months. It’s very rare to have a career as long as mine in the commercial film business. … I used the skills of the way I worked through problems in the commercial film business to solve other issues in my life. What are some of the most memorable commercials you made?

I made 2,800 commercials over 23 years … and your style changes to keep contemporary. You never end up falling in love with one thing because you move ahead. … I did commercials for everybody for everything. … Probably the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done on film is I shot a (threeminute) parody for Saturday Night Live of people walking the streets in Central Park in New York – they’re wearing fur coats – and they’re being shot and clubbed to death by hunters. It was for the Fur Coalition, and it won an award at the Cannes Film Festival. But I’ve certainly done film that has

made people laugh until they cry, and that does cure cancer. Tell me what your life is like in your other home in Washington.

I love the Palouse. I’ve been doing a five-year photographic project on the Palouse. Instead of driving there all the time, I have a home there. I fell in love with it slowly. I would love to build a studio there. It’s right in the heart of the Palouse, where you could drive for an hour and not see one car. You smell the wet wheat and see the animals crossing the road. I love the solitude and the peace of the Palouse. Sometimes I will get in a car and start driving for hundreds of miles and get lost on the back roads, just to be alone, have the windows down to smell the wheat. It absolutely clears my mind. I can’t explain why the Palouse does that to me. I love the Palouse as much as I love New York City. I have wonderful friends down there, wheat farmers, who are so down to earth. I love them. They’re genuine people. Do you have a vision for your own experience of growing old?

It’s already happened. There was no vision, and I’m happy the way it turned out. We spoke about the lack of the fear of dying. I can unequivocally say that I’ve become happier as I’ve grown older, much happier, for many reasons. Every decision isn’t as emotional, and it isn’t as important that is has to be right. … As you get older, you give yourself permission to take longer to feel the way you feel … and that takes a lot of stress away, and with less stress in your life, getting older is lovely. To learn more about Mark Story and see more of his photographs, look up

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Extreme Team Inspired by ABC’s Extreme Makeover

Extreme Team, spiff up Kinderhaven Sullivan, KXLY launch


Extreme Team’s seventh makeover, in July, was of Kinderhaven, the local shelter for abused and troubled children. “Our house was built in the mid-1980s but has been owned by nonprofits all that time, so it’s been hard to come up with money to maintain the outside,” said Nanette Porath, Kinderhaven’s executive director. “The Extreme Team and many local volunteers made it beautiful. They landscaped the front and backyards, built play equipment, paved the driveway, sheetrocked the garage, and painted the whole house.” While there is no pre-set budget for the makeovers, the improvements at Kinderhaven are valued at approximately $70,000. The makeover didn’t stop with the structure, however: On the wish list that Porath had been asked to produce when the Extreme Team evaluated the project was a dining room table that could seat 10. Belwood’s Furniture donated a table and chairs and threw in a plasma TV with a DVD player and stand, and Merwin’s Hardware gave a stainless-steel barbecue for the deck. “We kept this project quiet,” Steve Smith said, “and still the support from the community was unbelievable.” (The list of volunteers and WINTER 2007

By Terri Casey

Shots of Kinderhaven before the makeover and in progress are shown in the top row. The second row of shots shows the new deck, landscaping, play equipment and the reveal. While KXLY’s Mark Peterson points to the house as the reveal is under way, anticipation builds for Kinderhaven’s Nanette Porath.

he excitement and sense of contribution that some volunteers experienced in November 2005 around ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” of the Hebert family home in Sandpoint was so great, they wanted to keep the thrill of giving alive. Among them were Todd and Lori Sullivan, owners of Sullivan Homes, based in Spokane, and contractor for the makeover. “During the five-day Hebert makeover we’d become friends with Mark Peterson and Rob Davis, host and producer of KXLY’s ‘Good Morning Northwest’ show, and a few weeks after the project Mark and I talked about how we might keep going and perpetuate the good feelings from that project. The idea that came from that conversation was to do one makeover a month in this area,” Todd said. “Lori and our superintendents were behind this 110 percent, so we and our staff and various subcontractors became ‘The Extreme Team.’ ” Growing up, Todd and his brother Brett spent summers in Sandpoint with their family. Last spring they partnered with Steve, Doug and Larry Smith, owners of DSS Construction in Sandpoint, and in September, Sullivan Homes opened its Cedar Street office here. The



Extreme Team

businesses that donated time and materials is at “The concept is that we go out once a month for a day or two to the home of an individual who needs a house makeover because of some loss or distress in their lives,” said Rob Davis, KXLY producer. “We highlight that story the evening before on our newscast, we’re live for two hours on location with ‘Good Morning Northwest’ on the makeover day, then on that evening’s newscast we do the ‘reveal.’ We capture the work and the unveiling to the family or organization, and it’s always very emotional.” For a woman just diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the Extreme Team and community volunteers made her home handicapped-accessible. For a woman with four daughters who lost her husband to a heart attack, they created a relaxing space outdoors with a new deck, hot tub, privacy fencing, French doors and fresh paint. For the family of a man whose accident left him paralyzed, they put on a new roof, finished an addition, and added a carport. “The beauty of what we do is that outside of our own staff, there are so many volunteers and subcontractors who donate time and material,” Todd said. “I think part of why we all do it is that it’s a way of stepping out of your everyday life once a month. You go into this process of helping a family whose needs are so intense that you literally set aside your own life for 48 hours, and when you’re done and you’re hugging family members, you have an incredible feeling of having done something worthwhile.” The “one-day mini-makeover” concept that Todd and the “Good Morning Northwest” team originally envisioned turned out to be unrealistic. “On the first one, in February, we didn’t know what we were getting into,” Davis said. “We thought it would be one day at one house, but




we started at 4 a.m. and didn’t get done until 11 that night, and there were still a few minor touchups left to do. So we quickly decided to schedule a set-up day for demolition or prework on things like sheetrock or painting, which require time to dry before work can continue.” The TV team made changes in its presentation, too. “Initially we had the homeowner at home throughout the makeover work, but we decided it was better for them to be gone because the return is exciting, it adds glitz to the show,” Davis said. “So now, we wait until the makeover is finished then bring back the homeowner for the unveiling.” The story is highlighted Wednesday evening on the KXLY newscast, “Good Morning Northwest” broadcasts live for two hours on location on Thursday, makeover day, then on Thursday evening’s newscast the station shows footage of the “reveal.” Davis also compiles the last three makeover projects for a half-hour show that typically airs early on a Sunday evening. Sullivan Homes is the primary builder for custom homes and 200 cabins at The Idaho Club and for about 100 homes at The Crossing at Willow Bay; the firm also has a development in Bottle Bay and other projects on the drawing board. “As our Sandpoint office becomes stronger, we want to give back as much as possible,” Todd said. “It’s never easy to decide among the 40 or so nominations we get each month … We could do this every day and not scratch the surface of need.” Davis said KXLY and the Extreme Team are planning the Thanksgiving and Christmas makeovers and setting the 2007 calendar for 12 more. To nominate a person or organization for an extreme makeover, visit or

Sue Brooks makes things happen Sue Brooks likes to roll up her sleeves and make things happen – at work and in her community. When Sue moved here in 1999 she jumped right into community service becoming a member of the Community Assistance League, Sandpoint Parks and Recreation Commission and later a director for the Kinderhaven children’s goup foster home. Sue’s involvement gives her a vast knowledge of our town, local governments, recreation, schools and real estate – and she puts that same can-do attitude to work for her clients. Whether you are buying or selling a home, Sue has the knowledge, integrity and dedication to exceptional service. Give her a call today.

Sue Brooks

Phone 208-255-1601 Cell 208-255-6782 E-mail

Find these and other fine listings at 96+ FT OF PRIVATE WATERFRONT in prestigious Dover Bay waterfront resort community. Build your own dock or take advantage of planned marina. Incredible views & great location. #2064363 $825,000. Call Sue Brooks THIS ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE WILL CAPTIVATE YOU with its design & spectacular finishes. 4 bdrms, 3.5 ba, pool and media rooms. Sourdough amenities w/boat slip. #2063532 $1,795,000. Call Lauren Bisbee BREATHTAKING LAKE & GREEN MONARCH MOUNTAIN VIEWS on usable 8 acs. Road is cut in to outstanding building site. Mins from Lake PO, Mirror Lake & Shepherd Lake. #2064331 $257,000. Call Carrie LaGrace PRETTY LAKE PEND OREILLE VIEWS from this gently sloping .25 ac parcel. E Hope City water, power, phone and cable are close at hand. On waiting list for Ellisport sewer hookup. Owner/Realtor #2063614 $179,900. Call Susan Moon

GREAT HOME ON COUNTY ROAD. Remodeled in 1997 with 5 acres and an old log cabin. Seller willing to deal! #2054615 $244,900. Call Steve Battenschlag BEAUTIFUL ESTATESIZED LOTS W/PANORAMIC VIEWS located just SE of Bonners Ferry in desirable Paradise Valley. CC&Rs, paved roads, underground utilities; situated in the heart of pristine yearround recreation. Priced from $144,000. #20617332061758. Call Cindy Bond ROTERT CONSTRUCTION will spoil you w/this new home currently under construction. It’s not just the quality of materials going into this home, but the superior craftsmanship and attention to detail that will entice you. Plans, specs and more detailed information available from the listing agent. #2061573 $649,000. Call Cindy Bond 100 FT. OF DEEDED WATERFRONT ON LAKE PEND OREILLE with boat slip and dock, panoramic water and mountain views. Entertaining will be a snap with floor plan that has views from most every room, formal living/dining rm., family rm. and kitchen with island bar. Wrap around deck and 3-car garage. #2063991 $619,000. Call Cindy Bond

Reliable as the Moon rise Sandpoint is the greatest place to live! We welcome you to come and enjoy the many pleasures of Bonner County, where there is something for everyone. In 1910, the Moon family came to Sandpoint for all the same reasons you come here today – pristine setting, hunting, fishing, recreation, and quality of life. Give Susan or Brandon a call and let them help you find your piece of paradise and start your own history in Bonner County.

See these listings online at Gorgeous contemporary newer home on 4 acres in Sagle. 5 bedrooms 3 full baths, large family room, den, hydronic heat and cozy wood stove. 36’x50’ heated shop with bath. #2062683 $575,500

Lake Pend Oreille frontage and pretty mountain views from Holiday Shores in Hope. 2 bedroom 1 3/4 bath ground floor fully furnished condo. Forced air, propane heat, fireplace and central air. Marina for your boat in your front yard. #2062401 $479,900

Beautiful custom home on 2.8 acres overlooking Lake Cocolalla and mountains. Over 4,400 SF of living space with great room, 2 master suites, jetted tub, den, oak cabinets, granite countertops. Handicap accessible. Attached workshop and 25’x40’ metal building for all the toys and equipment. Community beach access. #2064054 $895,000

Lovely 4 bedroom, 3 bath home at Canoe Cove just minutes to schools, health club and downtown Sandpoint. Gourmet kitchen, red fir floors, stainless appliances. Family room, hydronic heat, 2 fireplaces, hot tub on the deck. #2064286 $625,000

Photo Essay

Fantastic Formations W

inter is a wonderful artist. She decorates her canvas with ice and snow manipulated by the forces of nature to form unusual, irregular or sometimes surprisingly symmetrical shapes. The way the currents shape the water along a shoreline and the way snow gathers and compresses on trees in the backcountry make for ever-changing wintertime portraits. The artist draws millions of ice crystals – each one unique – in a thick layer of hoarfrost that covers ponds and sometimes moving bodies of water, when it gets bitterly cold. An ice storm encases branches in sheets of ice, sometimes so clear that vegetation looks perfectly preserved and magnified under the frozen shield. This photo essay examines some of the fantastic formations that nature can design in ice and snow. We invite you to look at these intriguing, puzzling images captured by local photographers.

Jay Mock took both of the photos on this page on Feb. 28, 2003, during a cold spell “when cabin fever has real meaning.” He needed to get outside, so he put on hip waders and walked right into the creek. “I knew I'd find some interesting ice formations along its route, because with the temperature change from day to night, the creek would alternately freeze over and break up. ... This fluctuation caused icicles to form on the objects close to the water and under the ice shelf.”




Photo Essay

Top: A snag and living trees are well dusted with a fine powder snow as seen on the way to the top of Little Blue at Schweitzer in January 2006. (Chris Guibert)

the roots and just kept growing." She added that some of the tree's roots were hanging over the bank Above: Wind created these three-dimensional, wavelike ridges known as sastrugi; the reflection of the crystals gives it an iridescent quality in shades of gray. It caught the eye of Kevin Davis while atop Mount Casey north of Schweitzer in the Selkirk Mountains in 2003.


The photographer, K.C. Potter, was driving along the Pend Oreille River on Dec. 17, 2005, when she noticed this tree and its unusual ice formation in the middle of a long Arctic freeze. She had to stop and take a look. She wrote: "I am not sure how, but it looks like the ice grew up the tree. It was fascinating. I walked all around the tree fascinated by the whole thing. It looked to me like the ice grew up



into the river.

Photo Essay

Mountains north of Schweitzer during a cold snap in January 2005. The frigid temperatures formed these ice cystals from condensation that gathered on a single-pane window. When the early morning light came through the window, it caught the photographer’s attention. Marshall was at the lodge during a backcountry ski trip over a long weekend.

Top: The Pack River at the bridge on ColburnCulver Road just north of Northside School was frozen solid on Feb. 18, 2006, after about a week of frigid temperatures. The surface looked like frozen lily pads interspersed with clear glass. (Photo by Billie Jean Plaster) Above: A sphere on a tower at the top of Schweitzer’s Chair One is encrusted with rime in this January 1999 photo. (Photo by Kevin Davis)



Above: Doug Marshall captured this image inside an outbuilding at the Caribou Lodge in the Selkirk



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By Sandy Compton


River pigs steady a log so a fellow worker can scramble back up during the last log drive on Priest River, in 1949.

Bonner County marks the centennial milestone rary building on the site to rent to the county. Again, Dunn voted no. Weil’s building was begun anyway, and somewhere along the line, changed from temporary frame to permanent brick. It is the core of the building that is the Bonner County Courthouse still, and in what would seem a Herculean feat today, was completed in less than a year. In fact, in January 1908, the county commission voted with a twoto-one majority to purchase the new courthouse from Weil so they didn’t have to pay the enormous amount of $200 a month for rent. Guess who voted “no.” Bonner County was named after

Edwin L. Bonner, who established a ferry across the Kootenai River 30 miles north of Sandpoint, and was formed from the north half of Kootenai County. It stretched 70 miles from near the south end of Lake Pend Oreille to the border with Canada and took up the entirety of the Idaho Panhandle. The Panhandle is 44 miles wide at the top and 46 at the bottom (due to the convergence of true north upon itself as the pole is approached), so it averages out at 45 miles. The original county had some 3,150 square miles, roughly 2 million acres, most of it mountains and timber, split down the middle by the great Purcell Trench.




n March 1907, three commissioners met in Sandpoint to conduct business of a new Idaho county named Bonner. Mr. Clark of Granite represented the southern interests of the county. Mr. Roth from Clark Fork represented those in the east. Mr. Dunn, who was from up north at Moravia, was sort of a spoilsport. He voted against nearly everything that the other two voted for. Sandpoint developer Ignatz Weil met with them that day and offered to donate land for a courthouse. Dunn voted against the gift, citing concerns that it was an “uncentral” location. Later, Weil offered to build a tempo-


1907 Bonner County is formed in February out of Kootenai County. 1907 Westmond Cemetery, which lies just east of Highway 95 at Westmond, is created. 1907 Page Hospital opens in Sandpoint in April. 1910 A huge fire burns up much of the timber inventory in the east end of the county. 1912 Louis Poirier and three others organize the Blanchard Trading Company. 1914 The Priest River Times is founded. 1916 Sandpoint Boy Scout Troop No. 1 is chartered. 1920 Nell Irion of Sandpoint becomes the first woman from Idaho to run for Congress. She loses but later becomes the first Sandpoint city councilwoman in 1936. 1921 Another Nell, silent film star Shipman, makes “The Grub-Stake” at Priest Lake.

1922 The Priest River Public Library begins in the form of a women’s group called The Weekend Club. The library formally opens in 1926. 1930s The last of the annual summer powwows are held by Salish peoples on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille at Nell Irion. See 1920 Sandpoint. 1932 Selle Grange is organized on June 14, but the first grange in Bonner County was organized at Freeman Lake in 1919.

In 1915, Boundary County was formed from the northeastern corner of Bonner County, and included a 10mile-wide strip all the way across the top of the Panhandle, cheating

Bonner County of an international border, but leaving 1,950 square miles. Boundary County got 1,200 square miles, Deep Creek, the Kootenai River and the town named

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Year 0 0

1 for Edwin Bonner. Bonners Ferry became the county seat. Bonner County kept two of Idaho’s most beautiful lakes, Priest and Pend Oreille, and Sandpoint remained its

A CCC crew jokes around while working on building the Jeru Peak Lookout in 1934. See 1933.

Many of the young men serving in the CCC are not from Bonner County but from cities all around the country. They plant millions of trees, put in hundreds of thousands of days fighting fires, string thousands of miles of telephone wire and marry dozens of local girls. 1935 Northern Lights, the first Rural

county seat. It has been a century since Dunn cast his first no vote and a lot has happened, in spite of his reluctance. The county is gearing up for a birthday


1931 Humbird Lumber, begun in 1900, closes its lakeside mill at Sandpoint for good in November. The planer at Kootenai closes in 1934. 1932 The Tam O’Shanter Bar (or Tervan, as it is known locally) opens and still serves today, having survived the Depression, thousand of thirsty loggers and ski patrollers, and at least one unfriendly buyout attempt. 1933 When the existing Long Bridge needs replacement, an alternate route proposal is made, advocating a crossing at Rocky Point near Dover. The new wooden bridge, almost 2 miles long, is completed in 1934. 1933 The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) begins operations, becoming a savior to many during the Depression. By 1936, there are 20 permanent camps in North Idaho.

Year 0 0

Electrification Cooperative west of the Mississippi River, is organized. In 2006, it serves thousands of customers in Bonner and Boundary counties in Idaho and Sanders and Lincoln counties in Montana. 1936 Of the rural population in Bonner County, 20 percent is on relief. 1939 Jim Brown starts Sand Creek Lumber Company, soon to be Pack River Lumber, with $500 (borrowed). He begins by salvaging Humbird logs off the bottom of Kootenai Bay. Late 1930s The highway to Hope and Clark Fork is completed by Works Progress Administration crews. Not coincidentally, the last big steamer on Lake Pend Oreille, the Western, is burned and sunk in 1939. 1942 Farragut Naval Training Station is built near Bayview, providing Bonner County

party. The Bonner County Centennial Committee headed by Brian Orr, a former Bonner County commissioner, is planning the celebration. Bonner County Historical Society

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with hundreds of much-needed jobs. Once again, young men from elsewhere marry Bonner County girls. 1946 First Kamloops & Kokanee derby is held and is dubbed “Rainbow Days.” 1949 The last log drive in Bonner County down the Priest River happens. 1951 Construction on Cabinet Gorge Dam begins. It goes online in 1952. Albeni Falls Dam goes online in 1955. 1953 Cabinet School is closed, along with dozens of other small Bonner County schools, in a consolidation into one school district, No. 81. Eva Whitehead was the last teacher at Cabinet. 1956 Diamond Match closes the last of its logging camps at Priest Lake. 1956 The last wooden long bridge is replaced with a steel-and-concrete struc-

President Gary Pietsch, along with 17 others, is on the committee. “We’ve been meeting since January of 2006. Part of our plan is to ask every community to put on their own celebra-

Left: Cabinet Gorge is shown prior to the dam on the Clark Fork River. See 1950. Below left: Diamond Match Co. logging camp No. 8 in October 1929. See 1956.

ture. The State proposes running a highway bypass parallel to the Northern Pacific Railroad on the east side of Sand Creek. 1957 The last ferry in Bonner County closes. Folks have a much longer trip from Hoodoo Valley to Laclede after that. 1963 Schweitzer Basin opens in Bonner County with one chairlift. It was and still is powered by electricity from Northern Lights, Inc. 1967 to 1980 Many parcels of logged-over land in the upper reaches of

tion. The theme, which Marcella Nelson, came up with, is ‘Bonner County: 100 Years of Living.’ ” Nelson is another committee member who is representing the Ponderay

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Year 0 0



Year 0 0


the Pack River drainage and on the west side of the Priest River above the Peninsula are

subdivided and sold — much of it to backto-landers and “hippies.” 1973 Much of downtown Priest River burns.

1974 The first Pend Oreille Arts Council Arts and Crafts Fair is held in front of the Edgewater in Sandpoint. 1977 Bonner County Fair celebrates its 50th anniversary. 1980 The last loggers celebration is held at Priest River. 1982 First Festival at Sandpoint is held. 1988 Coldwater Creek is born in Ann and Dennis Pence’s closet. 1991 The first issue of Sandpoint Magazine is published. 1998 Harbor Resorts acquires Schweitzer Mountain Resort out of receivership from U.S. Bank. 2001 Bonner County’s seat, Sandpoint, celebrates its 100th birthday. 2005 Elaine Savage of Priest River becomes first female Bonner County sheriff.

build celebration this coming year around the community theme. The time for celebrating history is also being turned into a time for gathering history. In cooperation with the

Bonner County Historical Society, the committee has been working with third and seventh grade teachers to develop a curriculum in which students will be assigned to conduct oral

and written interviews with relatives. These histories will be integrated into a Web site,, being developed in cooperation with the Museum and Keokee

The original Schweitzer lodge. See 1963.




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Year 0 0

Creative Group. “This will be an interactive site,” Bonner County Historical Society Museum Curator Ann Ferguson said, “with a map of Bonner County with place names. Click on a name, like Selle or Wrencoe, and a history of that place will come up. There will be photos and written and oral histories. We hope to offer a choice of audio or written versions of the oral histories. “We also want to be able to allow classes to upload their histories to the site. In addition, we will have a history forum and maybe even a blog.” One of the most innovative ideas that the committee has arrived at is community “history gatherings.” Pietsch says, “We are encouraging neighborhoods to gather together and bring their stories and pictures to a central place where we can meet them with scanners and digital recorders to gather materials on the spot.” Bonner County has kept good track of its time. There is an incredible amount of material available at the Bonner County, Priest Lake and Priest River Museums. Bonner County Museum’s collection alone is daunting, even if a visitor talks to no one. But Curator Ferguson and museum volunteers (read “history junkies”) like Eva Whitehead, Vern Eskridge and Dale Selle can fill a head with factoids faster than you can say “Sandpoint Daily News Bulletin.” It’s nearly impossible to know where to start. So, we put together a random sampling of the first 100 years of life in Bonner County (see timeline starting on page 48). That’s not near all, of course. Missing, I’m sure, are a couple of hundred thousand important events – at least that many. But there is one other bit of trivia that I thought was important – and fitting – enough to save for last. When Boundary County was formed in 1915, Bonner County might have lost nearly 40 percent of its area and its namesake town, but it also got rid of that naysayer, Mr. Dunn. Special thanks is due to historian Nancy Renk, Ann Ferguson and the Bonner County Historical Society.


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n 1974, a 15-year-old girl came to Midway of Chair One at what was then Schweitzer Basin and told the lift operator her brother was buried in an avalanche. The operator called the patrolman at the top of the chair, 21-year-old Duane “Blackie” Black, who told the liftie, “Send her up.” “We had three radios on the mountain then,” Black said, “so I phoned the bottom to notify our posse of a possible burial.” The “posse” was every able-bodied skier working on the mountain. While this group mobilized, the girl took Blackie to where she had last seen her brother, 15 feet into the no-ski zone that the South Bowl was then. “Everything from A-chute to the C’s had come down,” said Black, “a slide 200 yards wide.” With Tom Anderson calling cadence, “Probe left. Probe right. Probe forward. Move up,” a line of searchers using 16foot aluminum probes began across the rubble pile.

The boy’s chances dwindled fast. At 6 minutes, survival rate for someone buried in an avalanche is 50 percent; at 10 minutes, 25 percent; 15 minutes, 5 percent. It was at the 90-minute mark that Anderson’s probe hit the buried skier, and the digging began. ••• ohn Olson, patroller since 1971, says that the difference between fairy tales and patrol stories is that fairy tales begin “Once upon a time,” and patrol stories begin, “No (expletive deleted), there I was, and I thought I was gonna die.” Not every patrol story begins like this. Some end like this, and when you ask, “Well? What happened?” the teller says, “So-and-so showed up and got me out of the jam.” Writing about Schweitzer Ski Patrol is like writing a Russian novel. There is a lot of snow and wind and a huge cast of characters to whom numerous and sometimes notso-pleasant adventures happen. (It’s easier to remember the names, though – and I’m not making any of this up. The stories all


belong to someone else.) Black is expert at telling ski patrol stories. “In 1963 – or was it ’64? Let me think … ” ••• e’s only been on patrol since 1972, so Black didn’t actually witness this, but patrol stories often have vague time frames. After you’ve patrolled for 30-plus years, it ceases to matter when it happened as much as it does that you survived it. Not everyone does when things go sideways on the mountain. “Maybe it was ’64,” he continues. “Anyway, a woman skiing in South Bowl got onto a big patch of ice, slid into a tree and died. Sam closed South Bowl for 13 years.” (Everything 100 yards south of Chair One and above the top of the T-bars was closed.) Any monolithic statement about “Sam” refers to Sam Wormington, who supervised the installation of Chair One and ran Schweitzer for 14 years. Wormington hired original patrol director Jessie Mask – qualified by the fact







John Pucci and Arlene Cook on patrol in 1999.

device lobbed finned “beer cans” full of explosives at the cornice in the South Bowl, with the idea that concussion would knock them down. Sometimes it worked. A cornice, if you don’t know, is a big overhang of snow built by the wind on the lee side at the top of steep slopes. They are prime avalanche starters. “The cannon was used when we got it,” Pucci said, “and didn’t have all its parts. The charges were lit, stuffed into the gun and shot toward the ridge. Once, we put a lit charge in, pulled the trigger and nothing happened. It was like a cartoon – everyone diving off that knob in all directions.” The charge turned out to be a dud. “In the ’70s, we knocked down cornices in the South Bowl in the middle of the day ’cause no one could get over there anyway. Took out the top of T-Bar 2 twice. Then Sam sent me to Whistler for an avalanche course, and I wrote a snow plan for Schweitzer.” In 1977, with avalanche control work minimizing the danger, Wormington reopened the previously forbidden portion

of South Bowl. “We bought our first defibrillator by giving tours of the South Ridge for a dollar each,” Black recalls. Part of patrol’s job on a daily basis is to make sure snow slides down the hill on demand rather than piling up to dangerous weights that might release unexpectedly and, well, kill someone. They do this by various means, but the most common is the use of dynamite “bombs.” Everybody’s got a bomb story and an avalanche story. Sometimes, they are the same story. “The most exciting part of the job,” Greg Gibson said, “is shooting the cornice in the North Bowl when you can’t see the edge.” Six years ago, when Harbor Properties began to guarantee lift opening, control

work became more important still. Mike Rogers, patroller since 1982, says: “A couple of guys take the early-early call, go to the top in the dark, generally on a snowmobile. One guy goes to Six, the other to One, and we assemble bombs. “It’s hard to read the mountain; wind, snow, what the load is, so if I think we need 10, I make 12. It’s not good to get out there and not have enough. Then the early-call folks show up and we go throw bombs.” Jay Hall, Steve Brown and Assistant Patrol Director Arlene Cook were throwing bombs in the North Bowl, ready to drop one at Shot Point Ten, just above the Banana Chute. “I had the explosives,” Cook said, “and Jay had Brownie on belay. The snow was hard, and not much had been falling (from the bombs). Steve put a hole in the cornice with his pole





and a crack opened right between his feet. The whole thing ripped out from Upper Kaniksu to us. Jay pulled Brownie out, and the slide took all the ice out of Colburn Lake.” Cook has also had the thrill of hearing someone on the radio say: “Ted (her husband) just went over. I’ll call you back when I know more.” Ted survived the slide, but he skied to Number Six Midway on one ski and shaky legs. Rogers has ridden one, too. “It made me realize that my greatest fear wasn’t being suffocated but being pummeled to death at 120 miles per hour,” he said. Black’s slide ended with him buried, but when he picked up his head, it came out of the snow. His patrol buddy Frank Stonebarger then skied over and stood on his chest. Patrol humor is sometimes on the dark side. Pucci rode one under Chair One. “Three of us were ski-cutting the Face, and Jon Jaeger (then patrol director) yelled, ‘Hang

Ted Cook launches off the cornice in the South Bowl, pulling a Cascade Toboggan behind him.

on! You’re going down.’ It picked me up and buried me. When it stopped, I couldn’t breathe. That’s about as scared as I’ve ever been, but the slide started again, and I ended up buried to my waist. Phil Owens was there, but Glen Phillips was missing. “A liftie riding up the chair yells, ‘Over there! Something’s moving over there!’ Glen had one finger out of the snow, and it was wiggling.” It’s not all about adrenaline. Arlene recalls the satisfaction of finding an autistic boy who bolted from his mother at the

bottom of Chair Six. Scott Hadley, who patrolled for 30 years, said: “The most satisfying thing was taking care of the injured, wiping a tear out of their eyes. Working with the kids, making sure that they were happy. That’s what the job was about, making sure that people were taken care of, kept healthy and happy.” It’s about family, too. Pucci met his wife, Joan, in a lift line at Schweitzer, as Hadley met his bride, Jackie. Ted and Arlene Cook have almost as much time married as they do on patrol. They met on the mountain. Pucci’s sons, Jonah and Allo, both patrol, and there are some other patrol family members coming up who will be wearing the red coat with the white cross

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GIBSON LEAVES LEGACY OF CARE BEHIND Brought skiing, cancer care together


eather Gibson, avid skier, rower, lover of life and wife of ski patroller Greg Gibson, died Aug. 8, 2006, of complications from her eight-year battle with cancer. She would be quick to point out that it wasn’t cancer that got her but something else her weakened immune system couldn’t handle. Before she left, though, she made sure anyone going through the same fight has lots of help – and help on a local basis. Heather’s House, the location for Community Cancer Services (CCS) on Cedar in Sandpoint, is one of several critical accomplishments that came of Gibson’s desire to make cancer care more available. CCS Executive Director Lisa Porter said: “Heather had a certain vision of what she wanted this to be. The focus now is to support cancer patients and their families.” After being diagnosed with cancer in 1999, Gibson worked endlessly to make life better for herself and others who suffered. Her decision to focus on local programs came after she realized there was not much help available in town. She and fellow cancer sufferer Sharon Bezecny spent a lot of time on the road to Coeur d’Alene for chemotherapy treatments.

“Don’t say ‘tireless effort,’ when you talk about Heather,” Bezecny says. “There’s no such thing. Heather got tired, but she kept doing it. She persisted.” Her persistence is paying off. Porter listed the programs at Heather’s House. “Road to Recovery” provides drivers and travel vouchers for getting patients to treatments. “Look Good, Feel Better” is designed to help patients overcome the effect of cancer on their looks. Laney’s Library, named for cancer victim Laney Deem, provides literature to help patients and families learn about the disease and better cope. The center also hosts two cancer support groups and offers one-on-one counseling and post-mastectomy fitting. Porter also hopes to add a nutrition and exercise program as well as yoga classes. It was Gibson who inspired and helped organize the first Cancer Care Challenge ski event at Schweitzer in 2000 to raise money for a local center. It has become an important annual event. Even in the “nosnow” year of 2004-05, the Challenge raised thousands. Cancer fund-raisers are not the only things Gibson organized. She was a found-

Heather and Greg Gibson

ing member of the legendary Schweitzer ski group, “Powder Pigs.” Originally made up of five women, their Wednesday ski days became sacrosanct. Fellow Pig Marie Warren says: “Heather was a social person, the Emily Post of Sandpoint. She loved getting people together, for whatever reason.” If there were a picture beside the word “indomitable” in the dictionary, it would be of a smallish woman with a turned-up nose, freckles, a brave grin and curly, auburn hair. Her name was Heather. –Sandy Compton

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on the back. This family goes beyond blood. Currie, who has been back on patrol for five years after a hiatus in Alaska, said: “We’re a family group who helps each other. We’re concerned about each other’s welfare. I’m the oldest guy on the crew, but it keeps me about 12 years old every day I go up there.” Meanwhile, back at Eichardt’s, Black finishes the story of the first avalanche probing back in 1974. “When we found him, we started dinging, and when we got about three feet down, we came to his head. He was breathing! We dug him out and strapped him to a sled and took off for the lodge. We get him to First Aid, and the doctor takes his temperature. He’s 92 degrees. He’s supposed to be dead.” Black grins. “So, (Craig) Harris and I strip down to our skivvies and get under the covers with him. He was cold to the touch, but we warmed him up.” All in a day’s work for a patroller. All in a day’s work. Black finishes his beer. “Wanta hear the best part?” he asks. Of course I do. “The next day, I’m working at the top of Chair Four, and about 11 o’clock in the morning, I look out the window, and here comes that kid, riding up the chair.” Another Schweitzer Ski Patrol success story. ••• It’s snowing hard and a bit foggy to boot. I’m riding beloved old Chair Six out of the back side. It’s last ride, I’m the last man on the chair and it’s completely silent except for the hum of the cable running over the tower rollers. As my chair comes up out of the woods, swinging up the hill above Kaniksu, a single, dark figure comes out of the gloom and stops almost below me. “Cloosing,” the figure sings. “Clo-o-o-osing.” I watch over my shoulder as he goes on his way, making graceful arcs into a white oblivion. I can barely make out the white cross on the red coat, but I know who he is. All in a day’s work.








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f your husband doesn’t ski and the rest of the family does, you can reduce your guilt level as you head for Schweitzer’s Great Escape Quad by turning him over to Paulie Cohen at Schweitzer’s Mountain Activity Center in the Selkirk Lodge. Be forewarned, though. He may be on the tubing hill when it’s time to buy dinner. In its fourth season, the center has a lot of options for active folks of all ages and tastes. If there’s an alternative form of fun at or near Schweitzer, Cohen and his crew know about it and will be happy to hook guests up. “We’ve stepped up our services many notches this year,” Cohen said. “We have a huge database of things to do in the area, and we cater to active skiers and non-skiers alike. We can help you plan a day or a whole week of activities.” The Activity Center helps Schweitzer guests arrange a ride down the tubing hill, take a snowmobile tour or backcountry skiing trip with Selkirk Powder Company, or set up on-mountain photography. Snowshoe and cross-country ski tours of the hemlock groves in the lower part of the mountain have been standard for the past few years. This year, cross-country skiers and snowshoers will be able to take interpretive tours, as well as work their way higher up the mountain and participate in the popular full moon tours. The center-run Selkirk


Theater will also be showing up to three movies daily. “We also have something for kids every Saturday,” Mary Weber-Quinn, village events and activities director said, “plus craft activities at Christmas time. We’ve added new activities every year since we started the center in 2003. We also oversee Refuge, the mountain teen center.” Refuge is a safe, friendly teens-only space in the Village. The most exciting addition to non-skiing activity at Schweitzer this year may be dogsled trips with True North Expeditions. Local musher Dan Phillips has moved his Iditarodqualified dogs home from Snowmass and will be giving a variety of tours on handmade, traditional sleds. The Activity Center also acts as concierge for Schweitzer guests who wish to enjoy an on-mountain massage, explore Sandpoint to shop downtown (including Coldwater Creek’s new store on First Avenue) or visit one of the town’s great restaurants for dinner. By the way, if you think that your husband might want to learn to ski or snowboard, the Mountain Activity Center can arrange that, too. Contact the Mountain Activity Center at (208) 255-3081 or by e-mail at activity –Sandy Compton



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Schweitzer Mountain 2006-07 Season Acreage: 2,900, 82 named trails plus open bowl skiing and riding Terrain: 20% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 35% Advanced, 5% Expert Longest Run: Little Blue Ridge Run, 1.7 miles Vertical Drop: 2,400 feet PHOTO BY CHRIS GUIBERT

Top Elevation: 6,400 feet Average Annual Snowfall: 300 inches Cross Country Trails: 30 kilometers Lifts: “Stella” high-speed six-pack; “Great Escape” high-speed quad; plus four double chairlifts, Idyle Our T-bar, a beginner’s Musical Carpet and a handle tow Total Uphill Capacity: 9,267 per hour

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Schweitzer’s new leader hails from Attitash


ve been here two weeks, and already I know we’ve made the right decision,” said Schweitzer’s new president and chief executive officer, Tom Chasse (pronounced like the word chassis), about the decision he and his family made to move from their home of 29 years in North Conway, N.H., to Sandpoint. One sunny day in late August, a road-weary Chasse drove up the Schweitzer Mountain Road at the end of his long drive from the East Coast and was greeted by an impromptu welcoming committee that gathered upon seeing his vehicle with the “Attitash” stickers on it. “I’ve since removed those stickers,” said Chasse. Then he added, “But I left the ‘Yankees Suck’ sticker on there.” Chasse had been president and managing director of Attitash in New Hampshire for eight years. Originally from Lynn, Mass., he’s been skiing all but the first two years of his life. His wife, Donna, two daughters Jenna and Amanda, and son Brennen are all excited about the change. “My wife and I have always talked about moving out West,” said Chasse. A series of events took place that caused the Chasse family to realize that life is certainly fleeting. Donna had a bout with cancer and has been free cancer-free for two years. In March 2006, Tom’s father passed away, and then a good friend passed away. It was then that talk became action.




CEO Tom Chasse plans to “sample the product” at Schweitzer regularly.

Tom and Donna heard about the available position at Schweitzer, so they came out in June. “It felt right,” he said. The scenery, the lake, the friendly people – this town has it all, they decided.

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Tom has been involved in the ski industry in various capacities for 26 years. His aspirations to become a professional ski racer were unfortunately dashed in a ski accident in 1976, ironically, at Attitash. That’s when he got into ski instruction and found a new passion. He became involved in the Professional Ski Areas Association as an examiner for the Eastern Division. During ski season, you won’t likely find Tom sitting behind his desk. He is more likely to be outside “sampling the product,” as they say in the industry, or interacting with guests and employees and getting to know how the resort works and feels during busy and slow times. In baseball season, if the Red Sox are playing, he will more likely be at the Chimney Rock Grill. And if you go, you might want to think about cheering for the right team. –Lisa Gerber

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Idaho natives share more than

100 years of snowmobiling experience


Craig Hill climbs Phoebe’s Tip in the Trapper Creek drainage high in the Selkirks. Found on state land east of Priest Lake, this spot is still accessible to snowmobilers as it is not subject to a recent ruling.

nowmobilers get their motors running in North Idaho at the first dusting of snow on the Selkirk Mountains. It doesn’t matter if the snowmobilers are on the east or west side of the Selkirks – the first snowflakes mean it’s time to get their sleds and gear ready for the upcoming season. The locals have exceptional riding out their back door, but the area has become a lot more popular for Spokane and Coeur d’Alene riders, and it even attracted the International Snowmobile Media Council in 2002. The area’s renown continues to spread via word of mouth and from recently published articles. Snowmobiler Tom Holman has lived in the Priest Lake area since before sleds were even offered in the area in the ’50s. But Holman lucked out as a kid with a dad that was an entrepreneur. “My dad had a snowmobile dealership when I was 13 years old here in Priest Lake,” said Holman. His first days of riding were on a Skidaddler around his house, but his adventurous spirit began taking him deeper into the surrounding terrain. He said some of the pioneers in the sport around Priest Lake purchased Evinrude snowmobiles because they had a longer track and could access many of the areas modern-day snowmobilers explore. He began avidly pursuing the sport back in the mid- to late 1960s and has seen and explored much of the terrain the Selkirk Mountains offer. “You didn’t venture very far off the trails with the Skidaddler,” he said. But technology, lighter sleds and motors that scream with power are now allowing riders to go to new places in the Selkirks. “I love the east side – the beautiful views and vistas – the highlight is the view of Priest Lake when you get near the top,” said Holman. He added he enjoys riding off-trail, such as the open, subalpine country in the Trapper Creek and Camels Prairie area east of Priest Lake. Holman noted his best time to go riding is in March and April after the sun has warmed the snow, and overnight freezing has solidified the snow into a denser base. This freeze-thaw cycle also creates a safer snowpack, but later in


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the afternoon wet snow avalanches can still occur. “You are able to get off-trail easier, cover more country and there are a lot more opportunities to find those great views and vistas,” Holman said. The Selkirks offer as much dangerous terrain as you want from windloaded cornices to imposing 400-foot cliffs, and Holman said he hopes snowmobilers that are visiting respect the Selkirks for their ruggedness and take into account how to snowmobile safely. As a member of the Priest Lake Search and Rescue, he has had to assist in finding numerous snowmobile riders or having to go out on nighttime recoveries and transport of injured riders. With hundreds of thousands of acres of land to ride in, riders need to be prepared for a night’s stay in the event of becoming lost. Or, if their snowmobiles break down, they need to be physically fit in case they need to walk out. Holman recommended snowmobilers take an emergency repair kit and equip themselves with a well-stocked survival kit, which should include extra food and clothing, map, compass or GPS, knife, matches, fire starter, first aid kit and flashlight. Another rider, Mike Sudnikovich, who was born and raised in the Priest Lake area before snowmobiles could be found frequently around the Idaho gem, also remembers the early sleds. They were primarily used as a workhorse, but he now appreciates the recreational sleds that offer more terrain for him to explore. Although wildfires are battled in earnest by state and federal land managers, he said the Sundance Fire back in 1967 was a blessing in disguise and opened up the area for some great riding just east of Coolin, Idaho. Another hot spot riders new to the area should enjoy, he said, is in the Trapper Creek area. During the 200506 season, he rode his sled north to the Continental Mine, then south to

Trapper Creek and then cross-country to Kaniksu Mountain. And while this adventurous ride was the highlight of the season for him, he noted that half the enjoyment of the ride is being with good friends and the camaraderie. “I like to go riding through the trees and like some open riding and exploring places,” Sudnikovich said. He added that spring is the best time to ride because the snowmobiles don’t need the speed to stay up on top of the snow. Most lodging accommodations in the Priest Lake area are on the west side, but with snow coverage on the valley floor, riders can literally circumnavigate the 23,000-acre lake if they feel adventurous. On the east side of the Selkirks, Brion Poston, a longtime resident of Bonners Ferry, said he likes to venture up Smith Creek, just south of the Canadian border, to find his high-altitude thrills. “There is open riding in Cow Creek Meadows,” and with imposing Phoebe’s Tip peak looming off to the west, the area offers phenomenal scenery. Many backcountry skiers and snowboarders are now exploring the Selkirks’ dynamic terrain and using sleds to access steep chutes and powdery turns far away from the ski hills – finding solitude in their turns. Dave Pecha, a Sandpoint resident, and his friend from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Bridger Reid, make annual trips each year to Roman Nose for snowmobiling camp trips. “There are steep slopes and powder and crazy terrain. It has easy access and is just fantastic,” said Pecha. “During the week, there is a lot less riders,” he said, and during the spring, the increased daylight hours, safer snowpack and ease of access allow for some “superb” camping spots. “We usually try to do three-day, two-night trips,” said Pecha. He pulls behind a Polar Sled to pack all of his gear for Selkirk Mountain adventures.

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And more riders are now taking advantage of a new route southeast of Priest Lake that allows access to Schweitzer Mountain Resort. A quick ride down the chairlift, and riders can be enjoying a candlelight dinner or feasting on pizza in Schweitzer Village while the powder settles outside for the trip back. The natives of the area may now have to start sharing their crown jewel of the Selkirk Mountains, but Holman noted that the added snowmobilers in the area can only help small business owners struggling in the Priest Lake area and surrounding communities. “There is plenty of terrain for snowmobilers to get lost in and find solitude,” he said. The ’kirks also offer some great riding up Snow Creek and the Pack River, but in December 2005 a federal judge in Spokane restricted the grooming on the upper end of the Pack River and up Smith Creek. Snowmobilers were able to venture into these areas but had a bumpier ride getting there. The grooming ban also affected a limited amount of the trails northwest of Priest Lake on federal lands. Then in September 2006, U.S. District Judge Robert Whaley banned snowmobiling on approximately 300,000 acres; however, the judge gave the Forest Service and environmental groups a week and a chance to make a trail-specific plan and approach for him to review. In his ruling, he noted that the court would be “over-protective” rather than “under-protective” for the last remaining caribou herd. The good news, if any, is that the ban did not affect the state land east of Priest Lake, which holds some of the best riding and will be attracting a lot more snowmobilers this season. Visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forest Web site,, for future updates on grooming, banned routes, and on venturing into the Selkirks for the 2006-07 season.






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Acoustic artists on the rise Four local groups growing out of Sandpoint Story by Holland Stevens Photos by Chris Guibert


ppropriate for Sandpoint’s gorgeous, eye-opening and even oldfashioned backdrop, the music scene around town has returned to nature with artists who have unplugged their instruments to live and breathe in the world of acoustic music. Whether they are looking up at the stage, sipping cold drinks on the beach or hot ones in cafes, audiences crave the acoustic folk rock exemplified by four standouts that have proven themselves as truly talented musicians. A married couple, two brothers, a set of twins and one guy going it alone are all acoustic artists working their way to the top, and they’re getting too big for little Sandpoint to contain.

Rex James

This sometimes-duo, sometimes-trio was raised in Sandpoint since childhood. Brothers David and Anthony Powell, masters of both traditional and unconventional stringed instruments such as the harp guitar and mandolin, have produced two albums with nowNashville artist Avery Anderson, also an accomplished “stringfreak.” The band’s unique name was born from the combination of the brothers’ middle names, David Rex and Anthony James. Outside of making music in their own recording studio, David takes interest in computers and model air-


Pronunciation: ah-‘küs-tik of, relating to, or being a musical instrument whose sound is not electronically modified planes, while Anthony’s second trade is photography. Both are college graduates. Inside the studio, however, Rex James is a music-making machine. “We’re kind of a tribute to earlier 20th century mandolin quartets, which were really popular,” Anthony said. They were originally drawn to music because of the allure and history of stringed instruments, falling in love with their Western origin and endless variety. David’s instrument of choice is harp guitar, stemming from his first love of bass. It’s just like a normal guitar, usually acoustic, but with harp-like strings attached to a second, curvier neck that produce a deeper, bassy sound. The brothers quickly became connoisseurs and even creators of their craft, beginning with the first mandolin Anthony ever built in 2002. They have since formed Tonedevil Guitar Co., building custom instruments in their own luthier shop.

Anthony, right, and David Powell with his harp guitar are brothers and the duo Rex James.

Anthony’s work was featured in the third annual International Harp Guitar Gathering ( in Oregon in 2005. “The more involved we got with acoustic instruments, the more we appreciated the quality and real tonality,” Anthony said, “but, still, you can’t lose that ability to rock out once in a while.” Since first discovering acoustic music, the group has developed a bluegrassy, old-time style of rock that they work on continuously either live or in the studio. “Music is just one of those things,” David said. “You get addicted and have to keep going.” As many musicians eventually find themselves doing, they plan on movin’ on out. “We’ve considered moving to WINTER 2007



Acoustic Artists

Nashville to explore country music or the West Coast to experiment using harp guitar with that kind of rock,” Anthony said. While still around town, they hope to put on a “Panida show showcasing what we’ve done all summer,” David said, which included performing six days a week, five shows a day at Silverwood Theme Park. A twist on the Panida idea might be a variety show with other Silverwood entertainers. There is no doubt they will continue making music, because they are “driven to be successful and able to sustain life with our passion,” according to David. “You can do so much with music. It’s an amazing art,” Anthony said. “I think the secret to the universe begins

with understanding the worldwide language of music.”

2FOR2 Seven years ago, a soft-playing guitarist and emotional lyricist met the perfect Detroit-tough, hard rocking counterpart, both musically and otherwise. Julie and Ben Silverman, of “acoustic retro” group 2FOR2, have devoted their lives to each other and to their music, a tense and even somewhat rebellious-sounding form of art that is the product of two very different, very passionate beings. “Julie writes – real melodic, soft, lyrical. I tend to want to rock,” Ben said. “And that’s where you get all the tension. I try to drive the music, she

tries to soften it up.” This gives their music a conflicting sound, as the softness in Julie’s voice and words clashes with the harder edge Ben provides, perfected in his own recording studio that he has owned for eight years. This conflict is consistently evident in their music, creating a signature sound that has been gaining popularity all throughout the Northwest.

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With experience in almost every kind of venue, 2FOR2 are finally breaking out, starting to make contact with the West Coast and becoming more of a regional band than local. “We’ve played everywhere from the Athol Texaco to opening for Jay Leno in front of a crowd of 12,000 people,” Julie said, referring to an October 2003 experience in which the quiet, respectful audience epitomized the most sought-after group of listeners. “They were there to have an experience of music.” Julie and Ben have a plan in the works to “hopefully help with the jump from local musicians to regional.” “We want to rent smaller theaters around the region and do self-promotion. You have to work hard to get

audiences that are there to listen,” Julie said. “To move from the lounge act to the concert level is one of the hardest things to do. Most musicians never do, just because they don’t know how.” As far as the future goes, Julie and Ben hope to continue satisfying their passion for and devotion to 2FOR2. They will continue to make music and go wherever it may take them, with no particular destination in mind.

Shook Twins

One chilly Saturday night, tucked away inside a warm and lively downtown brewery, the Shook Twins could be seen through the windows that surrounded them. They each had a guitar, a microphone and blond hair, and

they handled their instruments with natural ease. Inside, the seats closest to the two young women were all taken by music junkies like Joshua Hedlund, but their modern folk wails filled the entire busy room. The University of Idaho seniors had taken a break from their studies in Moscow to play a few hometown shows over the weekend. The brewery was familiar territory; it’s one of many on Voted Bonner County’s Best Senior Living Facility

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Acoustic Artists

the Shook Twins’ revolving venue list. “We usually play in wineries, coffee shops – mellow, chill places,” said Katelyn Shook, the higher-voiced of the 22-year-olds. Much larger opportunities have come their way, though, such as opening for country/rock star Ryan Adams at the Festival at Sandpoint in 2005 and even headlining a big show in Nashville. The twins blend and harmonize perfectly, a foundational skill Laurie said they learned in choir when they were young. Their music has a quirky quality, too, not only because of Laurie’s occasional beat-box session but also their unique ability to lace modern pop/rock with folk roots beautifully. They started out by playing covers by some of their favorite artists, like

Sarah McLachlan and Ani DiFranco. Then they began to experiment with original songwriting and eventually developed their own “vibe and style.” With two recordings and a slough of original songs already under their belt, Katelyn and Laurie will soon be degreebearing graduates. They graduate in December with degrees in film/digital media. Of course they hope to continue working as musicians, but plan B is to stay within the lines of the industry by capturing it on film. “Music is cool because it gives artists a chance to say something strong or political, and people are more accepting just because it’s in musical form,” Laurie said. In hopes of catapulting their career to a further level, the Shook Twins are

taking off as soon as their diplomas are in their hands. “After graduation we’re going on a tour, hopefully, on the West Coast. Hopefully we’ll reach Austin, Texas, the heart of acoustic music.”

Josh Hedlund

To the naked eye, Joshua Hedlund seems surprisingly shy for a wellknown stage performer. Once his true colors are revealed, though, this humble 23-year-old solo artist’s creative talent is immediately obvious. Seen often at different establishments around town, the singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist has an experimental and hauntingly simple sound. The careful, intimate handling of his instrument is paired with unfor-


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giving and delicate vocals, creating live performances that audiences can’t get enough of. “I don’t think it was a choice to become a musician. I just sort of stumbled upon it,” he said. Because of an injury when he was 15 or 16 years old, he explained, he was held back from his favorite activities, such as snowboarding and skateboarding. So he picked up his dad’s guitar, which had been sitting around his entire life. Joshua quickly fell in love with the art of making music and hasn’t put down the guitar since. “A year and a half ago I was still playing strictly inside my bedroom,” he said. “Then they started Open Mic Night at the Downtown Crossing. It took me two months to get the nerve to do it; now I play two or three

months to enjoy snowboarding trips up in the mountains, but he plans to take his music elsewhere next year. “I would love to stay here forever,” he said, “but as far as music is concerned, I need to go somewhere with a little more of an audience, where there’s a little more circulation of my kind of music.” He hopes to find his musical oasis on the West Coast this spring, maybe Seattle, or Portland, Ore. There, his career as a musician can really begin with the production of his first album, bigger shows and, eventually, perhaps even stardom as an acoustic artist. “I just hope I can successfully be part of the music industry,” he said. “That’s the only way I know how to express myself.”

times a week at different places.” Joshua’s songs are quiet and evoke a deeply personal reaction. His words are kind but unsettling, and his guitar style returns to classic, acoustic folk music. “I write about everything I can think of, but I would be lying if I said I knew what influences or inspires me,” he said. After a summer of working hard, Hedlund is kicking back for a few

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Filmmakers’ launch of yearly film festival a success

Father-son team celebrates independent films T

for movie showings and has plans to hold other auxiliary events such as panel discussions and a possible gala for filmmakers, media and sponsors. The name Lakedance is a takeoff on the famous Sundance Film Festival, started by Robert Redford, and joins the ranks of similarly named film festivals – Moondance, Slamdance, Nodance – that specialize in films by women or in digital technology, for example. “Lakedance is moving from August to September to allow more people to attend after resuming their normal, post-vacation lives,” Trevor said. While IPIFF scheduled as many films as possible over three days, Lakedance will have less intensive programming and will focus more on individual films. “At a film festival, people want to see the geniuses of tomorrow – filmmakers who can create a masterpiece on a very limited budget – not just the established stars,” Trevor said. “IPIFF had some really well-made productions that may not have made their way into other festivals, and Lakedance will be the same.”


From left, Trevor Greenfield, Karen Bowers and Fred Greenfield collaborated to put on the first Idaho Panhandle International Fim Festival at the Panida Theater.

By Terri Casey


he first Idaho Panhandle International Film Festival (IPIFF) started out as an idea for a 68th birthday gift from filmmaker Trevor Greenfield to his filmmaker father, Fred, and ended up a successful four-day event in late August – so successful, Trevor says, that the two are doing it again in February. “From the standpoint of everyone involved – including the dozen filmmakers who attended, the audience members we talked with, the Panida staff, the volunteers from Sandpoint Films, and our sponsors – it was a great launch, and we intend to do it annually,” he said. The 24-year-old festival organizer, whose own short film, “High Fire Danger,” was screened at the Idaho International Film Festival in Boise in September, said that IPIFF received 150 submissions from 17 countries and selected 55 for screening. The 30 hours of film showcased in the festival brought in more than 1,000 people, including several hundred from outside Sandpoint. Six anonymous judges rated the festival’s feature, documentary and short films – representing eight countries and ranging in length from two minutes to nearly two hours – in nine categories, including directing, cinematography, editing and sound. Nineteen awards were given, among them the Best Northwest Filmmaker award to Sandpoint native Jeff Bock, whose 23minute documentary “Jenny’s Journal” profiled Sandpoint resident Jenny Meyer and her struggle with cancer (see sidebar on page 81). The Greenfields, who have been restoring the Hotel Charbonneau in Priest River, are designing a different sort of film festival, with its own name and identity, for Sept. 8-16, 2007. The Lakedance Film Festival will use the Panida Theater again as its main venue for screenings but might expand to other locations



Between the True West Film Festival in early August and the Idaho International Film Festival in late September (both in Boise), plus the debut of the Coeur d’Alene Film Festival next March, it seems Idaho in general and the Panhandle in particular are becoming magnets for independent film (see sidebar on Sandpoint Films on page 82).

“We’re not here to compete with other festivals. We just want to raise awareness of the quality of independent film and encourage people to see these independent and international films as well as Hollywood films,” Trevor said. “We hope to exploit the differences and get Coeur d’Alene folks up here for our films and get Sandpoint folks down to Coeur d’Alene for those films. It can be win-win.”

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Fred, whose film “The Treasure of Costa Rica” was shown at IPIFF, said he was most pleased with his birthday gift. Smiling, he added, “Wait until Trevor finds out what I want for Christmas.” The Greenfields’ second annual festival in September, this time called Lakedance, can be found on the Web at

From left, Jeff Bock, Marianne Love and Jenny Meyer pause outside the Panida Theater after the award-winning film about Meyer was screened.

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he IPIFF lineup contained a poignant film made by and about Sandpoint natives. Jeff Bock, 31, is producer, director and editor of the documentary “Jenny’s Journal,” his first film, and Jenny Meyer, 32, is the subject of the film, which chronicles her struggles with cancer. The two were classmates from kindergarten through Sandpoint High School and were alumni of the English and journalism classes taught by retired SHS teacher Marianne Love. Bock earned a film degree at Montana State University and moved to Los Angeles in 1997. In 2002, when students from Love’s class reunited in Sandpoint, Bock and Love brainstormed a TV pilot based on a book Love was writing, a collection of stories about former students. “Jenny agreed to be our guinea pig,” Bock says. Meyer was diagnosed in 2000, while she was pregnant, with a rare, aggressive form of Stage 3 breast cancer. She was given a 5 percent chance of living five more years. She had surgery, gave birth to Grace, then had chemo and radiation. The cancer went briefly into remission before returning in 2002 as terminal Stage 4 cancer in her liver and bones. Starting in summer 2003, Bock and Love filmed Meyer twice a year. Ultimately, Bock trimmed 30 hours of footage to 23 minutes. Meyer narrates the film via reading entries from her journal, where she recorded the most difficult of her thoughts and emotions rather than burden her family with them, she says. The film juxtaposes images of Bonner County’s beauty with the journal material. “Jenny’s Journal” had its premier at the Calgary Fringe Film Festival in mid-August, then screened at IPIFF on the weekend Bock got married in Sandpoint. He is now enrolled in a master’s program in screenwriting at California State University at Northridge. Meyer’s condition remains stable, and in September, she and her husband, Jeff, accomplished a goal set a few years ago: to walk Grace to her first day of kindergarten. “For me the filming was a blessing, because it gives me something to leave to my family, and it will also offer talking points for young people with new diagnoses,” Meyer says. “My first reaction to viewing the finished film was negative, but others have called it powerful. When I hear that, I understand the film has a message, and it’s a good one.” “Jenny’s Journal” has also been accepted by Westwood International Film Festival in Los Angeles and Calgary Film Festival. –Terri Casey



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andpoint Films is a new nonprofit whose mission is to have hands-on educational, community-inspired filmmaking events via producing films or helping others produce films. The group hopes to host monthly workshops and has sponsored three so far: Ted Parvin, Sandpoint resident and retired Hollywood producer (“Psycho,” “The Birds”), taught an overview on filmmaking; Kay Bye, semi-finalist at Sundance, taught scriptwriting; and Don Hamilton, of Hamilton Studios in Spokane, lectured about camera operation, technique and lighting. “We’re always looking for industry professionals interested in holding a clinic,” said Mitchell Fullerton, member of Sandpoint Films board of directors, adding that the group would like to offer an acting clinic soon. Before getting its nonprofit status earlier this year, the organization started out as “a group of semi-amateurs coming together with a love of filmmaking and a community spirit to create a film from scratch,” according to board of directors member Karla Petermann. “Most of us had no idea what it took to make a film, and we were proud to take an idea and bring it to a finished product.” That finished product was “Sandpoint Punchline,” a film described as “North Idaho backwoods meets ‘Laugh-In’ or ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ” Petermann said. “Punchline” was screened at the Boise International Film Festival in September. Sandpoint Films provided all the volunteer support for IPIFF and will do the same for Lakedance. One contact the group made at IPIFF was Los Angeles filmmaker Allie Raye, whose short film, “A Perfect Life,” was screened there. Raye is raising funds to produce a feature-length film whose set includes a frozen lake, Fullerton said, and while here for IPIFF Raye looked at Round Lake as a possible location. “We want to help facilitate filmmaking in this area,” he said, “and we’re always accepting submissions of good, character-driven story ideas that could become film projects.” Board Chairman Pat Ficek stresses that the filmmaking is an educational experience and open to all. “Experience isn’t necessary, but anyone who has experience can step up and work with others who are experienced, too,” he said. Eventually, he added, Sandpoint Films would like to work with the school system, offering filmmaking education as part of a curriculum for interested students. The group needs sponsors as well as volunteers to serve on committees to organize weekend workshops and raise funds. For more information, contact Sandpoint Films at (208) 290-0597 or visit www.sandpoint –Terri Casey



Scott Johnson from Punchline

Thrift Shopping

Striking it rich at thrift shops

This isn’t your grandma’s bargain basement By Terri Casey


Nancy Rinaldi, a school secretary in Sandpoint, searches for bargains for her college-student daughter at the Friends of the Shelter.

Bellingham, Wash., friend who has a similar store there. Butterflies also has strollers, playpens, bouncers and other baby gear. While consignment-store shopping saves money, thrift-store shopping actually recycles a portion of the money shoppers spend back into the community, because typically the stores are fund-raising vehicles for nonprofits involved in social services, animal rescue and adoption, and other beneficial causes. The granddaddy of Sandpoint thrift stores, the Sandpoint Senior Thrift, operated for decades at its Lake Street location before closing in August when rent was increased by a new landlord, and managers couldn’t find suitable space elsewhere. Donations that used to go to that store are now finding their way to other thrifts in town. One store receiving increased dona-



f the crowds at weekend yard sales are any indication, people in Sandpoint love a bargain. It should come as no surprise, then, that at the many thrift and consignment stores in Sandpoint, Ponderay and Sagle, business is booming. Jill Stuart, who moved to Sandpoint from Minnesota in 2001, bought Once Again, the women’s clothing consignment store in Pioneer Square on Highway 2, in September from Mona Bennett, who had operated it at that location for 11 years. Stuart takes in 40 to 80 pieces a day, and the content of the store – clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry – rotates every eight weeks. On a back-room sale rack, pieces in the store for six weeks go to half-price for two weeks before being donated to charity. Butterflies and Bullfrogs, at 1607 Highway 2, has been open for over a year – buying, selling, trading and consigning children’s clothing sizes infant to 14 as well as maternity wear. Owner Eve Bradburn gets her inventory locally and also from a

tions is Friends of the Shelter, at Oak and Fifth, which opened 15 years ago to raise funds for the Panhandle Animal Shelter. In 2005, the store took in $160,000; half of that paid the store rent, utilities and employee salaries, and the other half covered about a quarter of the cost of operating the no-kill shelter. “Shoppers are often surprised at the rare find they come across in the store,” said manager Karleen Angel, who has 15 regular volunteers – some of whom have been there for 15 years – who sort, repair and tag donations. “We get a lot of antiques – just recently we had a 1906 steamer trunk and a dresser from the late 1800s.” A second thrift store in Sandpoint supports an animal shelter: Sanctuary Seconds, at Fifth and Cedar, takes in about $200 a day that, after store rent, pays for food and vet expenses and upkeep of shelters for a 200-cat sanctuary on four acres of store owner Michael Sowders’ property in Careywood. Volunteer Susie Yeager shopped at the store for two years before deciding a few months ago to work there six hours a week, while her son practices soccer. “You can get amazing deals here – someone just bought a set of brand new towels for $3, and we have a beautiful sofa for $20,” she said. “Since we don’t have a lot of room, big things go cheaply, and whenever inventory gets high, we have a halfprice sale.” Sandpoint’s Goodwill store opened in 1994, the same year that Goodwill Industries began to provide services here for people with disabilities and disadvantages, such as workforce re-


Thrift Shopping Volunteers Joyce Spiller, left, and Cindy Chenault manage Bizarre Bazaar Upscale Resale, the new store opened by Community Assistance League.

entry counseling and job placement, said Diane Galloway, Goodwill’s public relations manager in Spokane. At 4,000 square feet, Goodwill is the largest area thrift store, with 30 paid staff ranging from managers to drivers. “Out of every dollar we take in at the Sandpoint store, 85 cents supports our

Sandpoint program,” Galloway said. While Goodwill depends on donations just like the other thrift stores, it has access to donations from the entire Inland Northwest, so it might stock the Sandpoint store with winter sports equipment donated in Spokane, for example. Goodwill also has agree-

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ments with big-box chain stores that donate new merchandise, so “shoppers have access to more than what came in the door yesterday,” Galloway said. Goodwill is reintroducing two annual promotions it had suspended for a few years: The Spectacular sale, featuring Halloween merchandise, happened in October, and the Holiday Gift and Decorations sale is Nov. 11. “We collect all year for that holiday sale, and people line up for it,” Galloway said. Locals are buzzing about the new kid on the block, Bizarre Bazaar Upscale Resale, operated by the Community Assistance League (CAL) in Ponderay on Vermeer Drive, off Kootenai Cutoff Road near Highway 200. (The store’s phone number, 2633400, is listed under Community Assistance League in the phone book.) Helen Williams-Baker, the president of the CAL board of directors, said the store, which opened in March 2006, evolved from the Bizarre Bazaar oneday sale that CAL did every year at the Sandpoint Community Hall. “Some women who come from Montana to shop here call it ‘the Nordstrom of North Idaho,’ ” Williams-Baker said. “There’s been no shortage of contributions, even new things from businesses like Kandy’s Fashion 2000. The merchandise is so nice, even I shop here.” The Bizarre Bazaar also runs silent auctions on special merchandise, such as a chandelier, and has put specialty items, such as paintings, on eBay. CAL supports projects, organizations and individuals in Bonner County through grants and scholarships, which in 2005 totaled $40,000. Williams-Baker said the resale store, supported by 80 volunteers, is taking in about $400 a day. “So far the proceeds look great,” Williams-Baker said. “We should be able to do a lot more for the community this year.”


The Selkirk Crest traverse Embarking on a 50-mile backcountry tour from one couple’s backyard

o some, the winter season means finding adventure by taking a stroll down the block in the freshly fallen snow, making snowmen or going sledding, but for others it means setting out on a 50mile backcountry ski touring and winter camping expedition from their backyard. Backyard? Why, yes! “The most rewarding part of the trip was experiencing the Selkirk Mountains and all in our backyard,” said Lizbeth Zimmerman, wife of Chris Park, who lives close to the summit of Bald Mountain, which is part of the Selkirk Crest west of Sandpoint.





Park is the owner of Misty Mountain Furniture and grew up skiing in Colorado, where he was active in the Junior Colorado Mountain Club. He came up with the idea for the trip in the Selkirk Mountains. The route was red lined on detailed, laminated topographic maps, but the Selkirks would throw a few curve balls at him and the adventurous individuals that joined him on the expedition. “As it turned out, we did vary off of the route some. The topo maps can make something look easy, but when you get there on the ground, it is a cliff,” said Park.

Stopped short by avalanches After several logistical meetings, recon trips earlier in the winter to inspect potential routes and hiding a food stash near Harrison Lake, Park, Zimmerman, John Edwards and Woods Wheatcroft set out from Schweitzer Mountain on Feb. 29, 2004, intent on making it to the headwaters of Bog Creek, just south of the U.S.-Canada International Border. The journey would take them 62 miles northward through some of the most rugged terrain in the United States.

THE SELKIRK CREST Lizbeth Zimmerman crosses McCormick Ridge on the south end of the Chimney Rock drainage on what became the last day of the first leg of the trip. The group had to retreat to Upper Pack River when a storm blew in later that day.

Story by Brent Clark Photos by Woods Wheatcroft The group was equipped with the lightest of shelters (a floorless, pyramidshaped tent), freeze-dried foods, alpine touring ski equipment, climbing skins and lightweight stoves. They expected to make between 7 and 10 miles a day. “We had pretty good traveling conditions the first day,” said Park. It was snowing and deposited three more inches onto the base. “At that time, we started to notice right away that there was a lot of instability in the snowpack. We were triggering small, 4- to 6-inch deep little slides on test slopes on the north and northeast faces.” On their first day, they made it past Blue Mountain, Keokee Mountain, Mount Casey and eventually to their first camp on the slopes below Flat Top Mountain. The next day, the group skirted to the west of Jeru Peak to save some time. A highlight was seeing wolverine tracks, but Park noted he was amazed at the amount of use the area was getting from snowmobiles. Two more miles northward, they made it into the upper headwaters of McCormick Creek and their second night high up in the Selkirks just to the east of Hunt Peak, at 7,058 feet. On day three, they would find a crux in their trip, McCormick Ridge, that presented cliffs on the ridges on the east and west sides of the crest, in addition to the cliffs on the crest. “This was one of the toughest sections of the trip just to get through here. It is pretty much impossible to truly stick to the ridge between Gunsight Peak and Silver Dollar Peak.

It is just too cliffy,” Park said. At a pass at about 6,000 feet on McCormick Ridge, the entourage of four tried to find their way northward. “We started making our way through this notch – very carefully and very slowly – and we got this ‘whumph,’ and the whole slope beneath us had taken off. We watched this avalanche wash up against the trees.” After they sidestepped a little, trying to find a way from the predicament, another big chunk of snow took off like a rocket. Ironically, Zimmerman said many members in the group had just called their relatives and family members to tell them they were having a great time and that the trip was going well. “It goes to show you, your whole

world can change in the blink of an eye,” she said. After self-reflection on proceeding, the group decided to ski out to the Pack River, in hopes of making it around McCormick Ridge and continuing on the next day by skiing up the road to Harrison Lake. But that night, Mother Nature showed up with snow, snow and more snow. Knowing what they did about the avalanche conditions and wanting to adhere to their goal of staying on the ridge, the group decided to ski down the Pack River and come back when snow conditions were safer. “Our mistake was starting out a little early in the year,” Park said. He recommended anyone wanting to follow in his ski tracks to try the trip later in the year around late March and early April, depending on the snowpack.

Continuing the adventure: Leg 2

Lizbeth Zimmerman checks the route map.

With hopes of finishing the route from where he left off after the first departure date, Park returned with Travis Harmon – a Midwest transplant who also has a passion for the ’kirks, backcountry skiing and finding powder stashes – for the second leg of the trip on March 21. They climbed to the flanks of Silver Dollar Peak and camped at over 6,800 feet. “We had some exposed rock and dead trees, it was fairly warm out, and we had a campfire that night up on the ridge. It was truly a special night,” said Park. The two adventurers set out the





The group stops for lunch on the north end of Flat Top with Jeru Peak in the background on the second day of the first leg.

next day and barely had to use their climbing skins. “You could contour and skate this section,” Park said. After a bit of route-finding through several cliff bands, the two of them made it to Harrison Lake on this two-day phase of the trip. Park hoped to return with Edwards, who was in the original




group of four, and continue on.

Almost home free: Leg 3 After taking a break while being shuttled into Harrison Lake with a snowmobile on April 5, Edwards came to the realization that he had forgot-

ten his climbing skins. But with some creative use of ropes, he and Park improvised by making some rope skins. Edwards trudged on for the next four days past Myrtle Peak, next to mountain goat tracks near The Lion’s Head, north on the ridge to Abandon Mountain and eventually to West Fork Mountain. Loaded up with provisions from their stash at Harrison Lake, which included chocolates and makings for after-dinner drinks, they skied into the Two Mouth Lakes basin. After six nights of venturing farther away from their backyards and making Camp 6 east of The Lion’s Head, Park said, “I thought we were home free.”


Park and Edwards made it through several icy sections near Abandon Mountain but ended up making a “famous last words” shortcut to Smith Creek. “The bushwacking was hellacious,” he said. But after an 11-hour, funfilled day of skiing dangerous terrain, battling brush and slogging out down the road in sloppy snow, the two made it to the vehicle Park’s wife was waiting in on Smith Creek. The trip was cut short by 12 miles, but last summer Park was in the planning stages to finish the trip north to the Canadian border this winter season. And possibly in the future, after making his way through the Canadian Port of Entry legally, he will continue on northward in the Canadian Selkirks. The one thing he wanted to pass

on to other potential Selkirk Crest route followers is to “maximize your fun” by being efficient with light equipment but also taking enough amenities to be comfortable. “I haven’t done a tremendous amount of winter camping, but I definitely intend to do a lot more. It is so amazing, so few people do it, the scenery is amazing and it is so cool having that feeling of self-sufficiency by staying warm and toasty in the elements and beating the odds.”

Chris Park leads Lizbeth Zimmerman on the southeast aspect of McCormick Ridge on day three of the first leg.

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here is an allure to going into the backcountry to be at one with nature as you slide across the snow. These moments of solitude and self-preservation will be quite memorable, especially if you survive. There are inherent dangers in the surrounding Selkirk, Purcell and Cabinet Mountains, including unmarked obstacles, 6-foot deep tree wells created by wind blowing around trees, steep drop-offs and ice fall. The most significant life-changing event could be an avalanche that could cut your ski run and life short. First, skiers and boarders should pencil in the calendar for a time later in the winter season when the snowpack becomes more stable after warming and freezing cycles. A prerequisite is that everyone in your group should attend an avalanche awareness course and purchase portable shovels that can handle the solidified snow found

in an avalanche, collapsible probes for finding an avalanche victim, and an avalanche beacon/transceiver. Not only will everyone need these items, but they should also practice with them as a unit to develop their skills in finding a buried beacon on the ski hill or even at a downtown park.

you are expected back. Remember to notify them when you do arrive back. • Check your local avalanche report before heading out. For the Sandpoint area, an extensive report can be found on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest Web site for various areas: ditions/backcountry. Avalanche awareness classes are also listed here. • For information on Avalanche Awareness, visit the National Snow and Ice Data Center and avalanche awareness section at The site offers some excellent tips for avalanche survival, such as loosening your pack before heading across a suspect slope, using swimming motions upward to stay near the surface of the snow, and the steps to take when rescuing a victim. These are just the basic safety tips. Arm yourself with the knowledge and the gear needed to help save a friend’s life. –Brent Clark


• Ski/board in a group. Trade off on breaking trail with a boot or climbing skin track. Continue to assess snowpack conditions. Dig snow pits and kick snow off on test slopes to see what happens. • Bring extra supplies. Extra water and a water filter will quench the thirst at the summit. Bring enough food so that you could survive if someone has to leave to get help, or if you get lost and have to spend the night. • Ski under control and safely. • Check out with someone to tell them where you are going, your route and when

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If you are looking for a way to search out your own untracked, powder-filled slope far away from the crowds on the ski hill, you will definitely want to do your homework before setting out on such an adventure. But there is one option for which no homework is required. The Selkirk Powder Company offers backcountry ski adventures on the west side of the Selkirk Crest – the back side of Schweitzer Mountain Resort. The service offers a safety net of mountain guides, radio communication, and a safety and support team. For more details, call toll-free 1-866-464-3246 or check out

from Sandpoint on Highway 95 and turn west at Mirror Lake Golf Course on County Road No. 2. Follow it to County Road No. 13. After about 2 miles, turn west again on Snow Creek Road No. 402. Follow it to Ruby Pass and the slopes surrounding Roman Nose and its three lakes.

groomed trail, that takes you to Road No. 207, which will take you skyward to Sundance Mountain.



Features: Varying degrees of slopes/difficulty that have been opened up from the 1967 fire. North-facing basin has steep-asyou-want-it terrain and considerable cliff band. If snow conditions are right and you get a shuttle to the top, you could potentially ski all the way back to Coolin, almost 3,800 feet of vertical. Directions: Travel west on Highway 2 from Sandpoint to Priest River; go north on Highway 57 to Coolin, and drive/snowmobile approximately one mile east to State Road No. 19 and continue west to the fork that takes you north on State Road No. 2, a


Features: Varying terrain from expert to intermediate, a historic lookout and scenic views. Accessible by snowmobile for most of the season. Directions: Drive north to Bonners Ferry

Features: Close proximity to Sandpoint, fresh powder or great spring base on westfacing slope that provides for corn snow later in the day. Variety of difficulty levels from intermediate to expert. Access is safe; non-exposed climbing route to basin. Directions: Drive 13 miles north of Sandpoint on Highway 95 to Pack River Road No. 231. Travel about 19 miles to Beehive Creek and the trailhead for Trail No. 279. Shut down the sled or take off a layer if you’ve been hiking, and climb the westfacing slope to Beehive Lakes Basin. –Brent Clark

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Ice Skating

Gliding on ice When water freezes over, it’s a whole ’nother playground Stor y by Keith Kinnaird Photos by Doug Marshall

Margaret Williams skates on Oden Bay early one morning in December 2005, when the weather had made conditions ideal.

Rock over and bite.


The obvious liability of inviting people to play on a breakable surface suspended over hypothermia-inducing water is also a factor in the city’s decision to focus on other programs, Woodruff admits. But there are still plenty of unofficial spots to carve on natural ice. Moreover, it’s as safe as artificially cooled ice if you know what to look for. The shallow depths of Oden Bay reliably form ice that stretches east toward the tip of the Sunnyside peninsula, which has good public access. “That area is usually pretty good,” Williams says of Sunnyside. “With a good freeze you can skate.” Skaters can also be seen on parts of Sand Creek in downtown Sandpoint when the ice is good. Payne has found that the Pend Oreille River between the city park at the end of Third Avenue and Condo del Sol is a solid place to skate in winter. The bands of ice that grow on the north side of the river can sometimes stretch miles westward. “Once it’s frozen, it’s an almost limitless space. You can go and go. You can skate to Dover. You really can; people do,” Payne says. Another in-town skating area people have picked up on is the stormwater runoff pond that forms up against the railroad track embankment behind Travers Park. Payne says that surface is sometimes ample enough to support impromptu hockey games. At least 4 inches of ice and a lot of common sense are the official recommendations the Idaho Department of Fish & WINTER 2007


hose simple actions propel ice skaters on a thin film of water on the surface of a frozen lake or pond, producing the graceful curvilinear flow the sport is famous for. That gliding sensation pulls people onto the ice every winter in northern Idaho. “It’s fun rippin’ across the ice,” says Margaret Williams, who has been skating for years with her family on the ice that forms on Lake Pend Oreille’s Oden Bay. Many outdoor enthusiasts here head to the hills for their winter thrills, but Williams says they can be easily found on the lake. Better yet, those thrills come without crowds amid scenery that’s as striking as anything you would see from a mountain. “Being down on the lake in wintertime is nice,” says Williams. “It’s quiet. There’s rarely anyone else out there.” Sandpoint ice skater Jim Payne also answers the call of northern Idaho’s natural ice. “It’s so much better than a rink. It’s like swimming in the lake as opposed to swimming in a pool. It’s a glorious experience,” Payne says. Sandpoint currently has no official outdoor skating areas, though the city has attempted to establish them in years past. The Parks & Recreation Department tried to maintain a spot at City Beach when water collected between two sandbars in front of the Edgewater Resort. Fluctuating weather conditions made keeping the ice in good shape a constant struggle, according to Kim Woodruff, the department’s director. “It’s quite a labor-intensive exercise,” says Woodruff.


Ice Skating Margaret Williams and daughter Hadley employ different means of ripping on the ice.

Game issues to anglers who venture onto frozen lakes and ponds in search of perch and trout. “Clear, hard ice that’s 4 to 5 inches thick is probably going to be OK,” says Chip Corsi, Idaho Fish & Game’s Panhandle region director. Corsi advises people traversing ice to mind any gaps, pressure fissures and the tiny ridges that betray fault lines. Places where water gurgles through the ice surface are to be avoided, says Corsi, who admits that his barometer for ice safety is often the presence of other people. Skaters experienced in reading ice sometimes skate on far fewer than 4 inches, though. Payne says some skaters are comfortable with as little as an inch or two, but he has gotten by on less than that with a good, hard freeze. “I’ve skated on ice that’s only say three-quarters of an inch and it’s cracking like mad. But it does not break,” says Payne, who has learned to interpret the quality and tolerances of natural ice over decades of outdoor skating. If skating with children, Williams recommends parents evaluate the thickness and integrity of the ice, and establish boundaries they are forbidden to cross. “We never push it too far because there’s always ice closer in,” she says. There is the added bonus of having kids in tow if the ice needs brushing off or shoveling. “Kids: The human Zamboni,” Williams says, referring to the hulking ice resurfacing machines that plod around rinks of artificial ice. Payne recommends seeking areas where slack water would be and avoiding areas where water movement could

be present. Places where currents are prevalent or where water enters or leaves a basin have a tendency to form a sheet of ice that is deceptively thin and unsafe, he says. Those still getting acquainted with outdoor skating might want to consider visiting Round Lake State Park, which offers ice skating on its 58-acre namesake. The park is located on West Dufort Road, about 10 miles south of Sandpoint via U.S. Highway 95. Both Williams and Payne say outdoor skating in the Panhandle involves some measure of patience and persistence. Weather conditions can turn on a dime, which means good ice skating conditions can evaporate or become buried under piles of snow. “When the weather cooperates, it’s pretty nice,” says Williams. Payne logged 25 days on the ice last season, which he attributes to a seize-the-day approach to skating. “That’s the moral of ice skating around here. Don’t say, ‘Well, maybe next weekend I’ll go see what it’s like.’ You have to go down that morning, that afternoon, the next morning and check it out,” he says. Both Williams and Payne have also discovered the outdoor skating nirvana of plate-glass conditions, where the ice is a smoothly polished, clear lens. “When it’s plate glass you can really see everything that’s underneath. You have this feeling like you’re flying because the water and ice don’t exist. You’re seeing the bottom; you’re seeing the weeds, old tires and sometimes fish,” says Payne.

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Ice Skating Freeze over, and they will come Hockey rocks when the conditions are right ockey was born on frozen lakes and rivers, so it’s only natural the sport lives a relatively happy life in Sandpoint. There are no indoor ice arenas or officially maintained, outdoor ice-skating areas, but there is still a dedicated community of players who juke those shortcomings by merely clearing off natural ice and dropping a puck. “When time or ice permits, we play quite a bit,” says Sandpoint native Clint Eberley, who plays impromptu games as well as semiorganized ones with the Sandpoint Hockey Association. Though ice is at the mercy of the Panhandle’s sometimes-fickle weather patterns, good playing surfaces form, and word of it spreads like bird flu in the hockey community. Push brooms, shovels and the occasional snow blower are pressed into service, and games break out at places like the pond behind Travers Park. The Pend Oreille River off Sandpoint and shallow bays on Lake Pend Oreille are known for fairly reliable ice, which draws skaters of all stripes, including hockey enthusiasts. Hard freezes with little humidity and consistently cold temperatures are a good barometer of viable ice hockey conditions. Getting involved can be as easy as showing up with a friendly smile, a pair of skates and a stick to handle the puck with, according to Eberley. Hockey always has its die-hard adherents, but dilettantes shouldn’t be discouraged. “There’s room for people to play who don’t want to get abused,” Eberley says. If you’re interested in a bit more structure and competition, consider looking up the Sandpoint Hockey Association ( The Web site has links and contacts



Locals get together for an impromptu game near the Third Street Pier on Lake Pend Oreille during a cold spell in December 2005.

allowing people to get acquainted with Sandpoint’s devoted ice hockey following. Those who haven’t gleefully charged into a corner to dig out (or bury) a black rubber disc weighing 7 ounces to 9 ounces have been known to snicker at the notion of hockey in Sandpoint. Spontaneous skirmishes, organized brinksmanship and scratched-up ice prove otherwise. “That, to me, is pretty amazing,” says Eberley. –Keith Kinnaird







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he U.S. Figure Skating Championships is a lutz, salchow and axel away from breaking another attendance record when it lands in Spokane, Wash., in January 2007. The current attendance record, set in Los Angeles in 2002, stands at 125,345, according to U.S. Figure Skating. Organizers of the 2007 championships say they had no less than 90,000 ticket holders as of August 2006. The weeklong figure skating championships begin on Jan. 21. Anticipated to compete are 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen and 2006 World Champion Kimmie Meissner. Three-time U.S. Champion Johnny Weir and two-time world bronze medalist Evan Lysacek are also penciled in. Main events are being held at the Spokane Arena, and the Spokane Convention Center is serving as secondstage, both of which are smaller venues than those found in previous host cities. Event organizers say Spokane’s venues make for an intimate spectator experience. But that intimacy means limited seating. The champions’ exhibition on Jan. 28 is already sold out, but there should be some “Big 4” ticket packages left, which grants entry into the championships’ four most popular events – the pairs’ free-skating and ice-dancing finals on Jan. 26, and the men’s and women’s free-skate finals on Jan. 27. Big 4 packages cost $298. The allevent ticket package costs $495, but it won’t get you into the champions’ exhibition. Seats are assigned based on the date of the ticket order. Tickets for individual events don’t go on sale until a few months before the championships. The Big 4 contests are also slated for broadcast on ABC and ESPN2. More information about the championships can be found at Tickets can be purchased by calling 1 (866) USA-2007 and are also available online at www.tick Tickets can also be purchased at the Spokane Arena box office. –Keith Kinnaird




Family Business They’ve got business in their blood The generations of Sandpoint businesses: Part IV


ike a comfortable pair of old shoes, many Sandpoint businesses have continued to be a good fit for the community. Sandpoint Magazine has already spotlighted several longtime, family-owned enterprises. This segment marks the fourth and final in the series – that is, until more businesses reach “elder entrepreneurial” status.

From left, Marcia, Greg and Tom Vanderford

Vanderfords (1978):

an area he loves. Vanderford and his wife, Marcia, a University of Idaho graduate and Sandpoint native, opened their store at 201 Cedar in 1978 after purchasing Selkirk Stationery from Gary and Carol Pietsch. “When this business came up for sale, it seemed like a good opportunity,” says Marcia, daughter of retired educators, Dick and Claire Sodorff, “so we made a very quick decision to go for it.” “We began to expand the book department,” she said. The store now features more office products and services, art products and cellular phones. “As authorized Verizon Wireless phone dealers, we have a great selection of phones and experienced staff who can help customers,” Marcia said. “We have the largest selection of maps in the area – USGS, local, county and state maps and atlases, including a brand-new map of Lake Pend Oreille which is spectacular.” Vanderford’s opened a second bookstore when Bonner Mall opened in 1986. The store did well for 16 years but closed due to a mall business decision. Tom and Marcia also purchased and still own Marcy’s Hallmark in the Bonner Mall. The couple is proud to have middle son, Greg, another Idaho graduate, on staff. “He’s a great salesman,” Tom Vanderford said. “All of our accounts have increased.” They’ve also appreciated longtime employees like store manager Michelle Finley and technician Mike Myers (now retired).

he said. As Vanderford’s Books and Office Products owner, he has enjoyed more control over his time while living and rearing his family in



or 28 years, Tom Vanderford has preferred filling bookcases to his brief stint of arguing legal cases before Idaho’s Supreme Court. After all, when a business sponsors midnight Harry Potter parties or author events for famous names like Patrick F. McManus, Ben Stein or Mark Fuhrman, and hundreds show up, satisfaction’s guaranteed. With a University of Idaho law degree, Vanderford started his career with the Idaho Attorney General’s office in Boise, arguing eight cases before the state’s top court. He quickly learned that those stress-filled assignments didn’t quite match what he had envisioned as a career. “The court owns your schedule,”

Marianne Love





Family Business

Mulbargers (1979): n 1978, Pete and Paula Mulbarger passed through Sandpoint en route to Glacier Park. They fell in love with the place that rivaled Tahoe in beauty and recreational opportunities but surpassed their former home with the key ingredient important for rearing their family: sense of community. A year later, the young couple and their son, Matt, were Sandpoint residents. Twenty-eight years later, the Mulbargers own a thriving jewelry business, The Sunshine Goldmine, and still feel the joy they experienced on that first Sandpoint visit. “We’re in a happy business,” Pete said. “Jewelry marks some of the dearest moments and memories of people’s lives. We get to be a part of that. What could be better?” Their son Matt has also taken up the craft and daughter Cassie has helped with the business, extending to three generations the family’s jewelry involvement. “Paula’s family had 15 jewelry stores throughout Northern California,” Pete said. “Paula gained knowledge of retail business working in her mother’s store and growing up in the jewelry trade.” The jewelry craft rubbed off on Pete, who had aspired to follow his family of engineers. Math got in the way, so high school art courses introduced him to jewelry. Working in The Jewelry Factory in downtown Sacramento and attending the Gemological Institute of America





Top, Pete and Paula Mulbarger pose outside the modern-day store and, above, inside the store in this photo taken sometime in the mid-1980s.

sealed his career. “I moved to South Lake Tahoe … and went to work for Simpson’s Jewelers (Paula’s father’s store),” Pete said. “I honed my jewelry-making skills, designing and creating custom jewelry for casino entertainers and celebrities like Elvis, Sammy Davis and Liberace.” The Mulbargers opened their first business in 1977. “Lake Tahoe was getting too crowded for us,” he said. Moving to Sandpoint, they opened a repair and custom order service, Mulbarger and Associates Fine Jewelry Manufacturing. Their first retail store opened in 1981 on Second and Cedar. Five years later, they purchased their present store at 110 South First Ave. The building came from the Humbird Mill site.

“This was the perfect permanent home for us,” Pete says. “The building looked well-established, which in the jewelry business is everything. People don’t want to hand over their jewelry to just anyone. They want someone who’s been around awhile.” The Mulbargers promise excellent quality “whether it’s a $10 bracelet or a $10,000 diamond engagement ring. “People can always find cheap, but quality is not by accident,” Pete said. “We (also) try to have something for everyone. We like to say, ‘From funky to fine, you’ll find it at the mine.’ ”

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Illinois native Russ Sayers bought Zeniers Jewelers on First Avenue in 1950. Through three subsequent owners, Sayers Jewelers remains a Sandpoint icon. Sayers, a watchmaker, came to Sandpoint from Yakima, where he had owned another store. The Sayers era touted Keepsake diamonds, Bulova watches and Noritaki china. Sayers also created pendants for each member of the Miss Sandpoint court. In 1975, he sold to Laura Marquez, now of Yakima, Wash. Marquez retained the name “Sayers.” She expanded to three stores, including the present Bonner Mall site and a Bonners Ferry shop but eventually sold the downtown and Bonners Ferry stores. Present co-owner and jeweler Gus Bohmann worked with Marquez and subsequent owners, Clarence and Lois Davis. Like Marquez, Bohmann advocates known entities. “The most amazing thing has been the Internet,” Bohmann said. “People buy jewelry, diamonds and gems and know nothing about the treatment … to stones: laser drilling, filling of holes, cracks, fissures, color enhancement, heat treatments, or radiation treatments. All of these affect the value and




Family Business

Brothers Gus, left, and Karl Bohmann have been the jewelers behind the name “Sayers” for more than two decades.

real worth of a gem. Most people pay way too much for gems of very little worth … know your jeweler!” Bohmann and brother Karl partnered with the Davises in 1985, becoming sole owners in 1990. Lois had worked in the store with clerks, Pat Brown and JoAnn Brown. Marquez appreciated staff with long-

time Sandpoint history. “I often put in my ads: Ask the girls at Sayers. They know what all the women want,” she recalls. When Marquez decided to start traveling, the Davises had sold their Sagle Korner Store and “were too young to retire.” So, they bought part interest, relying on the Bohmann

brothers for jewelry expertise. “It’s important to have a jeweler available every day,” Lois said. Gus considers his Sayers clerks, Betty Wood and Cheryl Shaw, the true gems as they show customers the jewelry, gifts and unique pieces crafted from the Bohmann brothers’ talents. Sayers services span from the mundane to the unusual. “We were asked to set a diamond in a gold tooth, so it would shine when the man smiled,” Gus said. “And, we were once asked to pierce a cat’s ears.”

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Young author’s first novel is Beat Generation-style saga Ben Olson writes ‘Wanderlost’ based on rail travels By Terri Casey


sense of meaning through travel. “The novel’s 98 percent true, as preposterous as it all sounds,” Olson said. “Wanderlost” will be released in paperback in January. The hardcover novel is available locally at Vanderford’s and Common Knowledge bookstores, at Hastings in Coeur d’Alene, and at for $28.95. The following excerpt was selected from the first three pages of chapter one and the first two pages of the last chapter with input from Olson and printed with permission from the publisher. ••• The 419, according to my friend Flannigan, is like “an opium den with cowboys instead of Chinamen.” It’s a dingy red brick bar wedged in between real estate offices in downtown Northsaint. A dented metal door underneath a neon martini glass brought you inside, where natural light never shined and the handful of songs playing on the jukebox kept time frozen and hazy. Decades-old Christmas lights hung from old, dusty wagon wheels, tables with cattle brands burned under yellowed laminate, and thousands of burn stains from neglected butts fallen from ashtrays. Leather high-back chairs line around a worn bar to the “Smut Corner” by the front door. Photos of old patrons in various poses of drunkenness at the bar, all of them clutching either a cigarette, a beer mug, or (more usually) both – most missing teeth and all the men wearing grimy caps. The air always smelled foul with cigarette smoke, mixed with dried whiskey on leather jackets. North Idaho characters lining the bar; aging 30s white trash



ove over, Jack Kerouac, Sandpoint has its own beatnik-style writer whose first novel, an account of dropping out and riding the rails to discover himself, was published last summer. Native Sandpointer Ben Olson, 25, has divided his time between here and Los Angeles for the last three years. He goes to L.A. to work as a freelance film-production assistant; most recently, he was on the crew of “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore’s documentary about global warming. When in Sandpoint, Olson writes for the Sandpoint Reader. Last January, Olson was feeling stagnant and bored and wasn’t writing well, he says. He decided to buy a 30-day Amtrak pass and travel the circumference of America. En route, Olson wrote a four-part series called “Notes from the Rails” for the Reader, and he later sent that material to book publishers. “I’ve sent out hundreds of manuscripts and queries to publishers, literary agents, magazines and newspapers over the last few years and received nothing but bland rejection letters,” he said, “so I was quite surprised when ALPHAR Publishing sent a contract for my novel.” The semi-autobiographical “Wanderlost” is a coming-ofage tale that follows 25-year-old Max Manchester, languishing in poverty, struggling to make it as a writer, and suffering from the disenchantment of post-collegiate life. Max feels his life spinning out of control, his nights spent in a drunken blur of barroom philosophy, half-felt sexual encounters, and stunted attempts at making art. Finally he dons a backpack, buys a USA Rail Pass, and rediscovers a



women smoking Misty 120s and cackling next to bearded loggers in greasy jeans drinking Budweiser from the bottle, young college kids back on winter break pounding mugs of PBR and high-fiving each other constantly, booths full of middle-twenties locals; ski bums, construction workers, small business owners. And the Corner Booth – a giant circular nerve center of cracked leather seats that stretch from one corner of the rectangular room to the other, always filled with 10, 15, sometimes 20 shouting figures piled on top of one another, grouped around in chairs, guys with their arms around two blond girls, empties lining the tables, dirty ashtrays overflowing despite the cocktail waitress’ efforts to change them, notebooks out on the table with all different handwriting, like a common tablet that gets passed from one hand to the next without any word of instruction or explanation – the unsaid rule was to read the last line of the writer before you and go from there – but it didn’t matter, just write whatever you wanted and pass it on. Flannigan kept all these notebooks in great stacks under his bed, and I had no idea if anyone ever read them once they ended up there. The Corner Booth, where grand adventures were hatched and quickly forgotten, where road trips were planned, gossip was spread, and stories were told over the crashing din of the night. It was a meeting ground for the young, agitated youth fed up with the mediocre world that raised them.

-/.!2#( -!2",% '2!.)4%

We were a Non-Generation, caught in the amber of the curious transformation from post-college to adulthood, raised in a soulless era of crass pop culture exploding like a mist over everything, brought up in a world of spin and catch phrases, morally bankrupt politicians, and restlessness for something real, something more, something pure. We were the Others; the writers and musicians and painters and poets. The ones who didn’t fit into the order of society and success. We’d all graduated from high school and went off to out-ofstate colleges to seek institutional wisdom, then gradually trickled back into Northsaint to take jobs serving booze, and staying up all night, riding old beach cruisers around town with backpacks, sitting around big bonfires on the beach with guitars and bottle rockets. But Northsaint wasn’t the same town we’d left those many years ago. Once a small community of loggers and hillbillies and hippies escaped from suburban sprawl, now just another “destination resort” like Aspen or Vail, Durango, Lake Tahoe, Jackson Hole. Each town exactly the same as the last. Land developers “discovered” Northsaint and bought up all the lakefront real estate. They built giant, soulless housing complexes on sacred Native American land and the population boomed to around 10,000. Soon the box stores moved in, putting local merchants out of business. The tiny airport expanded to accommodate direct flights from larger cities around the west. Old pickups with

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dogs in the beds gave way to shiny black Hummers clogging the downtown streets. The virus of Progress hit Northsaint like a bomb, and the only jobs left to those not willing to sell out for the dollar were in the service industry – slanging booze at the many downtown bars, operating chairlifts at the local ski resort, waiting tables, and selling wine to foo-foo tourists and amenity migrants. We yearned for a voice. We read poetry at open mic nights, wrote long articles in the independent weekly newspaper, attended underground warehouse parties with drugs and deejays and house dogs sniffing for scraps of leftover food. We argued about small town politics at coffee houses, read old Beat Generation novels on grassy lawns with Bob Dylan in our ears, organized art festivals and farmer’s markets, and listened to local young musicians at hippie bars until closing time. People came and went from town, like I did, in search of adventures away from the shroud of acceptance in Northsaint. But they always drifted back. I’d first moved back after a three-year stint working in the film business in Los Angeles. After dropping out of college my sophomore year, I moved down to Hollywood to become “rich and famous” like all the rest, but finally had to flee when I felt myself turning into a cow-eyed lemming; chasing after a soap opera version of success that would only come at too great a cost.

I rented a small cabin across the lake from town and began a strange lifestyle of bohemian bliss that lasted several months at a time before drifting back to L.A. to work for quick bursts of cash to pay the rent. I got used to this lifestyle, rambling back and forth from Idaho to California, escaping one extreme for the other. I never lasted long in either place. I was addicted to the space between; the open road, where I was neither here nor there – always seeking something I could not define, but knew was out there somewhere. ••• Oh and yes yes yes, back on the train, back on the rails, back on this slipstream track across the country – a four-day journey at my feet and nothing to do now but wait and watch and read and write and listen to Mason Jennings in my headphones while the New Yorker guy behind me talks to his apparently hard of hearing mother back in the city – describing his journey in every detail. “I saw an owl, ma … an owl! I saw an owl, ma! You know, the boid.” We’re moving now, pulling out of the old sun-faded walls of these nondescript buildings in Tampa, past the “bad part of town,” where all the hoodlums are wandering around looking for rape victims. A good song playing in my ears, bright sunshine out that old windowpane, and 3,500 miles to go … heading home. Heading continued on page 116




the triumph and humility y of wilderness travel From Ross Creek to Clark Fork

Stor y and photos by Kevin Davis narled and frosted, crystalline trees pierce into an icy blue, cloudless winter sky. This is a picture stuck on my fridge revealing the high country on the edge of Idaho and Montana. This place of few trails, and fewer roads, is a jumble of rugged peaks that makes up the landscape of the proposed Scotchman Peaks wilderness. The flanks of Scotchman Peak descend gradually from the summit and disappear into a black canyon, seemingly deeper than the mountains are high. I took this picture years ago on one of my first skiing trips into these wilds. On other winter trips since, I have tried to penetrate the implacable fortress, only to be denied. But this past winter, good fortune allowed me and a longtime ski partner, Brian Lojek, to tread right through the heart of its virgin wilderness. Actually, we embarked on the trip in April, which is not technically winter, but it’s quite winter-like up in the Cabinet Mountains backcountry. Once we hit snow on the road into the Ross Creek Cedars in Montana, I dropped the tailgate on the pickup





and threw all of our gear out onto the ground; skis, ski boots, packs, stoves, food. Brian and I carefully, yet hastily, shoved gear into our packs and set off down the road. It felt good to be striding with long easy glides, putting the faith in the ol’ planks again. As evening approached, the sun was glinting into the canopy like long slanting rays beaming into the depths of Lake Pend Oreille. We looked for a place to set camp, preferably a level spot, by a stream amongst a grand cathedral of towering trees. Well, we ventured a little too long, enticed ever deeper into the forest, until we found ourselves setting up camp under a light drizzle in the dark. The next morning the sun was up but the canopy overhead grabbed the light. Under the cedars we made our way toward Idaho, like ants in the grass. Looking ahead the view was the same, endless trunks of trees towering to the sky. It was inspiring, yet mind-boggling and maddening. Using a map to navigate was nearly impossible since there were no landscape features or trails to reference. One thing was obvious: If we wanted out we would have to go straight up.

Wilderness Adventure Brian Lojek calls his family on the third day of the backcountry journey, the first time they had cell phone service. He and author Kevin Davis were on the top of a nameless peak just above the couloir they skied down, shown in the photo below.

us that we were not just wandering aimlessly. Passing the terminus of an avalanche that happened only earlier in the day reminded us that this is no place to be uncertain. As we found a place to camp we were welcomed with more avalanche activity when weakening ice chunks fell off the steep cliffs and battered and sprayed into a misty, frozen waterfall. After the quiet seclusion of the cedar forest, these foreboding mountaintops commanded our attention, in particular, the highest peak to the west that just swallowed the sun. The route home and the crux of our trip lay on the other side. I had an idea of what lay ahead, but Brian had not seen the picture. If he had, he would have noticed it, too. Brian is an inveterate skier and seeker of the fresh. Amidst the ridgelines and jumbled peaks is a couloir that descends from the top of a mountain into the abyss of the West Fork of Blue Creek. The question you ask yourself upon noticing this incredible formation is, Where does it go? One summer day I set out to answer that question by hiking up the canyon from the bottom. Somewhere up past countless cascades, I found a large gully that seemed to descend from the heights above, but it was hard to be sure. Two things became apparent that day: I would have to ski the couloir to find out, and I would have to commit to traversing the wilderness to do it. The sun rose early at 6,000 feet, and we gulped our coffee and packed some jerky for the trail to get an early start.

The wilderness has a way of suppressing feelings of triumph and turning them into humility. That is the spirit of the

wilderness ...

Brian Lojek drops into the couloir – territory in which there was no turning back.



As the slope became too steep for skins, we reluctantly elected to bootpack. Normally I rank boot-packing, more affectionately known as postholing, right up there with face plants or putting on tire chains as one of my all-time, favorite winter activities. But with Brian kicking masterful steps up front, I couldn’t complain. At long last we got the bird’s-eye view I thought we might never see. From north and south long ridges descended into a cleft in the terrain that was Ross Creek. From here, travel through the chasm didn’t look possible. Miraculously we had escaped the chasm. The high country was coming into view, and it felt like we were venturing into the unknown. We didn’t know if we were on our mapped route. We trudged ahead looking for something that would indicate to

We had to climb 1,000 feet up to the ridgeline before the sun hit it. More ice fall was coming off the steep cliffs to the south. Racing on caffeine and adrenaline, we attained the ridge. After another hour we were at the top and feeling enormously rewarded for all the hard work. We could see all the familiar places of home from the summit of this officially nameless peak – Lake Pend Oreille, the Clark Fork River, the Bull River Valley, the Selkirk Mountains – but it only made our desolation seem greater. Our feeling of isolation influenced a strong sense of integration with something much larger than “Monday Night Football” or monster trucks; we were immersed in the landscape. Mountain peaks ramble off in all directions making the recognizable intrusion of civilization seem insignificant. At the moment it is, with all our belongings on our backs, a 2,500-foot


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Wilderness Adventure

FINDING THE TRAILHEAD AND THE MYSTERIOUS ROUTE BETWEEN ROSS CREEK CEDARS AND CLARK FORK To reach the Ross Creek trailhead, from Clark Fork, Idaho, drive on Highway 200 to Highway 56 at Bull River Junction in Montana. Go north on Highway 56 to the turnoff to the Ross Creek Cedars. Drive about 4 miles to the trailhead to the cedars. Our approximate route from there is shown hand-drawn in blue ink on the map above (marks in black ink were for previous, unsuccessful attempts). That route took us from the Ross Creek Cedars up Ross Creek, up a nameless tributary to a nameless peak. From the nameless peak we descended into the West Fork of Blue Creek, then climbed up to Scotchman Peak and skied down to the Scotchman trailhead where our shuttle vehicle was waiting. To find that trailhead, go to Clark Fork, turn north onto Main and drive 2.6 miles. At the junction of Road No. 2294, take a right and go 1.1 miles to Road 2294A, then left for another 0.4 miles and then left again for 1.2 miles to the trailhead. –Kevin Davis

Brian and I finished off the whiskey to celebrate our return to Idaho, and it helped to quell the dull pain in our thighs. To the east, the landscape in the picture I took 10 years ago lay under a crimson and indigo sky. A successful trip was traced by the melting ski tracks in the snow. Looking beyond, I imagined more tracks tracing incredible descents, and I realized that is all there should be in this place, animals making tracks and people imagining their own. WINTER 2007


deep canyon to traverse and no certain path home. With a picture in my mind, we wrap around the summit and, behold, the great gash. It is so big that we are unsure that this is the couloir we are hunting for. But it has to be. Standing at the top, skis edged out over the lip, Brian and I were a little, well, edgy. What we were about to commit to was 2,500 feet of no turning back. What if it didn’t go well? We didn’t think about that. The conditions wouldn’t allow us to climb out and start over. Dropping in, the slope was steep and the snow was firm; the bite of my skis on the snow was tenuous. But as we descended and the peaks rose around us, we gained confidence and our cadence became steady. Into the unknown we glided, almost effortlessly, unable to stop ourselves. Turn after turn, the terrain kept coming; easing for a while, then steepening; widening into a grand bowl and then narrowing. Nearing the bottom, Brian threw his hands up over his head in front of me, and I knew we had made it. By the rushing waters of the West Fork of Blue Creek, we celebrated our descent. Like so many things that happen and go unnoticed in the wilderness, our epic descent was done. Now we were at the bottom of another canyon with yet another mountain to climb. The wilderness has a way of suppressing feelings of triumph and turning them into humility. That is the spirit of the wilderness, a mountain ever enticing but never relenting. The urge to get back to our families propelled us out of the canyon to a ridge near the summit of Scotchman Peak. We crawled into camp just as the sun set over Pend Oreille.


a quiet force in local real estate market PHOTO BY BILLIE JEAN PLASTER

Real Estate


By Terri Casey

espite a slowdown in the red-hot real estate market of the last few years (sales in the first half of 2006 were down 36 percent from the first half of 2005, and inventory remains high), buyers of various stripes are still purchasing homes and property in Bonner County. The July 24, 2006, issue of Business Week that named Sandpoint as a retirement paradise and the Sept. 8, 2006 New York Times that gave a glowing report about Sandpoint as a sporting paradise are more in a stream of national media exposure for the town. Retirees and vacation-home buyers probably continue to comprise the bulk of the current market. But a younger and less obvious type of buyer is alive and well here, too. Reid Treadaway, agent with Century 21 on the Lake and previously with Tomlinson-Black, notes that many 30-somethings – couples with or without children – are relocating to Sandpoint from other resort areas such as Telluride, Colo., and Park City, Utah. These folks, he notes, are after recreational opportunities better than the ones they left and are drawn to the community feel of Sandpoint. “In many other ski areas, the fresh powder is quickly skied up because so many people are there,” Treadaway said. “What’s more, those places don’t have water. A ski resort and a lake are an attractive combination, and there are just not many places like Sandpoint. When you add to that the opportunities to meet and connect with people here – at the Farmer’s Market, the Festival, the Panida, City Beach, the coffeehouses – Sandpoint becomes a pretty irresistible package.”





Nicole French and Kirk Johnson are happy to have purchased their first home in 2005, but it’s a “happy sacrifice” as they both work six days a week to make the mortgage payments.

But Treadaway and other agents have worked with local 30-somethings who have lived in the area and are getting creative with their approach to real estate. Stormy Petersen, 30, originally from Missoula, Mont., visited Sandpoint 10 years ago, met her now-husband, Scott, 33, and decided to move here. She went to work in customer service for Coldwater Creek and has advanced to the role of senior product developer for the company. Scott works in installation and repair for Verizon. Last winter, working with Treadaway and his business partner Molly McLaughlin, the couple sold their home in the Northshore subdivision, moved into a rental home, and in July bought a small, older home to fix up and use as a rental. “We’re young, we don’t know if we’ll live here the rest of our lives, and we question spending $700,000 to buy property and build a new home here right now,” Stormy said. “So our strategy is to buy a few, little, older homes and fix them up, then either use them as rentals or sell them. The potential return on investment seems greater.” It pencils out for the Petersens to pay rent themselves while investing in fixer-uppers, she says, because they do much of the remodel work and have friends with remodeling skills as well. They found a good deal on the home they purchased, Stormy said, by being in daily contact with their agents, who scoured the market for homes that fit their criteria.

“When you’ve grown up here, you ski and you go boating, you live in this clean and healthy environment, and you think that’s how it is everywhere ...” realize you should go back. But from an income standpoint, you have to figure out how to make it work.” Bianco Johnston and her husband, Jared, 39, both worked for a time at Coldwater Creek. Meyla then went to work half-time as a licensed real-estate assistant for Tomlinson-Black, began writing product descriptions for the Lillian Vernon online catalog, and took on other freelance projects. Jared started his own graphic-design business and has expanded into Web design. Working with Ron Hanson of Tomlinson-Black, last year the couple traded up from an older home in town they had remodeled to one on acreage in the Selle Valley. Nicole French, 34, and Kirk Johnson, 35, both grew up in Colorado and moved in 1996 to Sandpoint, where they met. French worked as an administrative assistant at Thorne Research before buying Petal Talk, on Cedar Street, in 2000. Johnson, who holds a landscape-design degree from the University of Idaho, has worked multiple jobs – at the

Alpine Shop at Schweitzer, as a cook at Eichardt’s, at Northland Nursery in Post Falls, and now as the grounds supervisor at Schweitzer – while building his landscapedesign business, Terrascapes. In 2004, the couple began to look for a place to rent together and experienced sticker-shock. “We thought, it’s ridiculous to throw this much money away on rent every month,” French said. “We knew we were going to get married and were ready to buy a home together, so for a half-year we did what everybody does – got the real-estate magazines and spent our weekends driving around Bonner County, talking and dreaming.” They approached their parents for help with financing and continued to save as much money as possible, Johnson juggling two jobs and French housesitting for extra money. They enlisted the help of Hanson, of Tomlinson-Black, one of French’s corporate clients. The outcome was the purchase in May 2005 of “a lovely little home on 5 acres on Rapid Lightning Road, exactly 17 miles from my flower shop,” French said. “The house was a repo that a friend’s family had bought cheaply, redone the inside of, and intended to ‘flip’ for a profit. Through our network we heard about the house two days before it was to be listed, and we jumped on it. “Because we had a personal connection to the seller and the broker, they both accommodated us in various ways, which is very Sandpoint,” French said. “We’ve been here for 12 years, and we were lucky that we had ties to so many of the people involved with this house. It’s definitely a story of small-town love.” It’s also a story of happy sacrifice for French and Johnson, who both work six days a week to make the mortgage payments. “It’s a struggle, and it will be that way for a while, but it’s better than paying rent because everything we work for is ours.”

Real Estate

Meyla Bianco Johnston, 34, grew up in Sandpoint, lived for a time in Tucson and Los Angeles, then returned to Sandpoint. “When you’ve grown up here, you ski and you go boating, you live in this clean and healthy environment, and you think that’s how it is everywhere,” she said. “Then you go away and come to appreciate what you had, and you



he U.S. Department of Agriculture has a Rural Development Program that helps people in low-income brackets to purchase homes. Rural Housing Direct Loans are low-interest, long-term loans directly funded by the government to applicants; mortgage payments are based on the household’s adjusted income. Most of the loans made under the Direct Loan Program are to families with income below 80 percent of the median income level in the communities where they live; according to the program website,, for Bonner County the adjusted median income for a two-person household is $38,200. The program’s loan limit for Bonner County is $172,600 – a price point that barely exists here anymore. “In our community, we have this complexity that works against itself,” said Penny Kyllo, branch manager of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Sandpoint. “We have the lower incomes but property values that limit our opportunity to use

these programs.” Wells Fargo and other lenders offer programs that provide 100 percent financing, but Kyllo said she does a lot of counseling with young couples eager to buy their first home. “It’s possible to use 45 to 50 percent of a couple’s monthly gross income to determine their mortgage payment, but this may not be a comfortable position for some borrowers,” she said. “I want to help people become successful homeowners, not feel like it was the biggest mistake of their lives, which it can be if they’ve overextended themselves.” In addition to the USDA’s program, the Idaho Housing and Finance Association offers some assistance for eligible prospective buyers via grants for down payment and closing costs. Visit for more information. –Terri Casey WINTER 2007



Real Estate

C O U N T Y, S T A T E T A C K L I N G P R O P E R T Y - T A X R E F O R M


n one thing virtually all Bonner County residents concur: Property-tax assessments have risen fast and furiously. 2006 saw a record number of assessment appeals – nearly 15 percent of all residential parcels in the county – that led to a special session of the Idaho Legislature in August to address the problem. The property-tax assessment process in Idaho is governed by state law, says Judie Conlan, Bonner County assessor, and requires all properties to be valued at 100 percent of market value each year. The county’s residential staff appraisers visit 20 percent of all homes here each year, covering 100 percent over five years. Structures are valued by replacement cost minus depreciation that is observable, such as a roof that needs to be replaced. The office sorts and stratifies all collected data, looking for patterns. Ultimately, a computer program generates home values, and those are adjusted by appraisers to the local market. Thousands of people objected to their revaluations this year. Conlan said people were astonished by their high values, although many values her office reviewed were at or below market value. “Our goal is to value homes at what they’re worth – that’s the only way Idaho’s system works – but the bottom line is that values must be supportable by last year’s sales figures,” she said. County commissioners act as the local board of equalization and hear property-tax assessment appeals. “When we saw that 62 percent of appeals were receiving downward adjustments, we realized we’d end up with a tax base that would be lowered for appellants but not for their neighbors who didn’t appeal,” Commissioner Karl Dye said. “We need to guarantee accuracy and uniformity, so we canceled the assessment, rolled back to 2005 values and ordered a new assessment.” In August, Dye went to Boise to convince state tax officials of the commissioners’ position, and while officials struck down the rollback, they allowed a lower tax-to-market-value ratio for the county and pledged to oversee a new assessment.

The current property-tax system has been in place since 1890, when the state constitution was written, Dye said, with no major reform since then. “States that have grown quickly in population, such as California and Oregon, have capped valuation increases because people who’ve lived there a long time could not afford to buy homes today for what their property is worth,” he said. “That’s our situation now, too: It’s not fair to tax people on what someone else might pay for their property.” State Rep. George Eskridge, Sen. Shawn Keough and Rep. Eric Anderson – all locals representing District 1 – have been involved in trying to find solutions to property-tax issues for several years. In a special session in late August, the Idaho Legislature passed a bill that removed the school maintenance and operation portion of county property taxes and added it the state’s plate. Statewide, according to Eskridge, that will cost $260 million; $210 million of that will be generated by a 1 percent increase in the state sales tax, and the remainder will be taken from state excess revenues. Additionally, $100 million from excess revenues will be put into a “school stabilization fund” designed to address concerns about economic fluctuations. Eskridge says the northern Idaho legislators will continue to pursue other property-tax measures. “We’ve provided some relief but didn’t solve the problem: Unless a person sells their house, they have nothing to show for its increased value but must still pay higher taxes. This is especially hard for people on fixed incomes,” he said. “More and more, property is no longer an indication of wealth.” -Terri Casey

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Real Estate

Story by Cate Huisman Photos by Billie Jean Plaster

As Sandpoint’s

resort real estate market booms,

can workers find affordable housing?


s Sandpoint housing unaffordable? There are no easy answers to this question, but it has residents concerned. More than one business owner has noticed that it’s difficult to attract new employees when they discover what it will cost them to buy a home and compare that with what businesses can pay them. It’s not just that people at the bottom end of the income spectrum can’t find housing; even those with average incomes are having difficulty. Sandpoint is not alone in experiencing this phenomenon. Home prices throughout the country have risen rapidly in the past several years, doubling in many markets and even tripling in some. Sandpoint’s median home sales price – $245,000 at the end of last August – is lower than in many markets, often by several hundred thousand dollars. From this perspective, a home here seems to be a bargain. But Sandpoint doesn’t seem so affordable when housing prices are compared with local wages. Numbers for such a comparison are hard to nail down, because they may include income from part-time jobs or seasonal jobs, and they may be figured for individuals, households or families. But a reasonable estimate is available in the figure for total annual average wages per job in Bonner County from Idaho’s Department of Commerce and Labor. This figure was $28,492 in 2005, and a reasonable assumption is that it might have risen 5 percent since then, to $29,916.




According to Debbie Dezell, a Sandpoint mortgage broker, this income would enable an individual who had no other debt to buy a house costing $123,000 – but less than a dozen homes sold for this amount or less in the first eight months of 2006. However, a couple, each earning the average wage and having no other debt, could afford a $246,000 home, and half of all homes sold for $245,000 or less in the same period. Unfortunately, it’s very rare for homebuyers at any level of income to have no other debt – most people have loans for cars or schooling or have credit card debt. With $500 in monthly payments on other debt, a couple both making the average annual wage might qualify to buy only a $200,000 house. Thus, this theoretical dual-income couple can still afford only some of those homes in the lower half of all homes sold. Two average annual wages combined cannot buy an average house. Until four or five years ago, there were many more houses they were qualified to buy. And this scenario based on two average wage-earner incomes is rosier than the reality for many families. The U.S. Census Bureau reports the 2003 median household income for Bonner County to be $34,284 – indicating most households don’t have two wage earners knocking down average incomes. What has caused this change? Part of the answer is in ris-

Real Estate

Schissler Meadows, the Habitat for Humanity site in Kootenai, provides affordable housing for families who participate in the organization.

Steve Lockwood’s new Smart Growth award-winning apartments, Park Cottages, are in-town rentals that are economical and conservation-minded.

ing prices in other markets. People in those markets, where housing costs even more, are attracted to Sandpoint, bringing in outside money to contribute to rising prices in a market where local incomes alone are not sufficient to make them rise. Transportation and heating fuel costs figure significantly into whether a family can afford a home as well, and rising oil prices drive up the cost of both, as well as the cost of building new homes. Other local factors also affect costs, such as minimum lot sizes, the cost and difficulty of drilling wells and creating septic systems or the availability of city water and sewer systems, and the costs of putting in roads and phone lines. Minimum lot sizes and increasing development costs drive up prices even of small homes. Some developers see this housing crunch as an opportunity and have made specific efforts to build homes that local working people can afford. In general, they don’t see themselves as making sacrifices to do this, although they agree that their margins might be greater if they built large homes with more amenities. Their choice of what to build, however, has been a business decision: They have seen a market niche, and they are attempting to fill it. Kent Compton, for example, is developing the historic townsite of Elmira, 13 miles north of Sandpoint. Taking advantage of the cost savings in using a site that is already platted and subdivided, he is building comfortable but not luxurious homes, ranging from $153,000 to $217,000, on the site where homes were meant to be built 100 years ago. Kent Wick and partners Sean Hefley and Jim Hann are developing the Seven Sisters project in Kootenai, just outside of Sandpoint. Zoning allows them to build three or four homes per acre. Sandpoint City Councilman Steve Lockwood is taking a different approach in developing part of a block right in the city of Sandpoint. He wants people who work in Sandpoint to be able to live right in town, and his motives are environmental as well as economic. His Park Cottages units are relatively small rentals – 465 to 800-plus square feet – built specifically to conserve heat and to take advantage of south light. Lockwood is assuming that occupants living in town

will choose to minimize their use of cars, so their potential transportation savings add to the affordability of this housing. Business and government groups are also at work considering what else the community can do to provide different housing options. Local groups cannot affect prices in other markets or costs of fuel, but they can address local issues that affect the cost of housing. These include requirements that maximize the use of what has become expensive land. Will Herrington, Sandpoint’s planning director and city

“Housing for everyone,” as Lockwood likes to call it, may mean that we want everyone to be able to have what we and our colleagues were able to get up until just four or five years ago. attorney, has been investigating planning approaches that have been used successfully elsewhere and that might be replicated in Sandpoint. Among these are “granny flats” – small units added to the back of larger homes or perhaps above garages. These provide relatively low-cost homes for renters as well as income to homeowners that they can use to pay onerous mortgages. Another possibility is preapproved house plans for use in designated areas – because the plans would be pre-approved, builders would save the time and cost of the planning and approval process for each home. Herrington has been forwarding these ideas to a group of citizens who will identify a consultant to work with the City of Sandpoint to develop a comprehensive plan. The Bonner County Economic Development Corporation has also addressed this issue. It convened a subcommittee early in 2006 that educated itself about the




Real Estate 114

issues and the options, concluding that they needed more community input. They combined their resources with those of the city, the county and the Idaho Housing and Finance Administration to fund a study by BBC Research that, as this magazine went to press, was in the process of collecting more definitive data on income levels and housing costs, quantifying more accurately what potential home purchasers earn and how much they might be able to spend on housing. When the fact-finding is complete, citizens will be called upon to contribute to the study by identifying how they envision the Sandpoint of the future. The options for the future may prove a challenge for some. Many may want Sandpoint to stay as it was when they arrived or as they imagine it to have been for a long time. “Housing for everyone,” as Lockwood likes to call it, may mean that we want everyone to be able to have what we and our colleagues were able to get up until just four or five years ago: a roomy, single-family house on a large lot in town or just outside. Although we may be able to come to the conclusion that other housing options are just as good, the loss of what we’re accustomed to contributes to a related fear that



Part of the Seven Sisters housing project, this field in Kootenai will soon grow houses billed as affordable housing for working families.

the social values and dynamics of the community will change as well. But “having it be the town that it was in the ’50s (or even the) ’90s is not an option. We might as well recognize that and deal with it,” said Lockwood. Our past can help us identify the values we most want to carry into that future, but it cannot serve as a model. The work being conducted by BBC Research and the City of Sandpoint gives citizens an opportunity to consider a variety of options and to choose the alternatives that they think will work best. Just because housing for everyone is a problem in other parts of the country does not mean that it has to be one here. Resolving this issue will require that citizens work together and make difficult decisions, and they have demonstrated an ability to do this in numerous other community projects. They might then create a future Sandpoint that combines the best aspects of their past with their hopes for the future.

Real Estate



he real estate market in Idaho’s far north is now being called a buyer’s market, quite a switch from a year ago when some properties were receiving multiple bids even before they were listed. Inventory has climbed significantly since the first of the year: Only 633 residential properties were for sale in January, but by the end of August there were 1,127. Days on the market climbed as well in most areas, up by as much as 58 percent. Although average list prices remain up slightly from a year ago, they are down from their peak near the first of the year. “We did not have enough inventory last year. It was crazy,” says Jeanne Jackson-Heim, executive director of the Selkirk Association of Realtors. “The lower-end stuff, especially, would not even get into the system before we had an offer … or multiple offers. This year we have more of a balance … and I think it’s been that way most of 2006.” Despite the larger inventory, actual home sales in Sandpoint dropped from 422 in the first eight months of 2005 to 280 in the first eight months of 2006. The median sales price, however, rose another 11 percent as sales fell, from $221,000 to $245,000. Sales of vacant land followed this trend, with closings dropping by nearly half as the median price rose 23 percent. Only sales of waterfront

homes remained constant, even as their price climbed 44 percent. Commercial inventories and prices also increased during this eightmonth period, though at a slower rate than residential properties. Homes in several new luxury developments came on the market during 2006, contributing to an average sales price of $323,473 that was significantly above the median. These planned communities include considerable areas of open space and private access to docks, beaches and other amenities, including a Jack Nicklaus golf course at The Idaho Club and community facilities for horses at Iron Horse Ranch. As the greater Sandpoint market has cooled off, prospective buyers have begun looking in neighboring areas. In Boundary County, just to the north, the median home price is nearly $50,000 lower than in Bonner County, and the number of days on the market bucked the rising trend for vacant land, dropping from 195 to 112. Bonners Ferry, its main town, “has taken off,” says Jackson-Heim. “They’re going to catch up to our area before too long.” In addition, she thinks that property in Priest River, a small timber town 20 miles west down the scenic Pend Oreille River from Sandpoint, now represents a good value. –Cate Huisman

BEN OLSON continued from page 103 back to my old Northsaint sitting there waiting for me … man, what a feeling. I think I’m going to make it fine. Of course, when I arrive I’ll be in another heap of trouble with no money to my name and an overdrawn account and rent due and phone bill due, but no matter … that’s in the future. Now I just gotta let this ride for four more days – this gulf stream train, the Silver Streak they call it, and all I can do is gaze out the window with my fist in my chin and sigh. Lonely chain link fence sagging in a field of hurricane swept foliage, pebbly litter-strewn ditches on the side of the railway, cars smashed into neat cubes stacked in junkyards with trucks in waiting to haul them away, wherever smashed cars in neat cubes end up in this old world. Truck yard with ghost boxcars, a little outdoor patio in the weeds with two plastic chairs and a milk crate table, empty beer cans glinting and sparkling. Cement factory, causeway bridges over canals leading out to the Gulf with crystal blue water rolling underneath – big rusty BBQ smokers outside a small tenement building. These scenes that pass by unnoticed by most, but not I. I watch them and take something away – every second. Every blink a refreshed image, every breath a new thought. Soak it up, old boy … soon you will be stagnant and crazy back in the night streets of Northsaint, drinking and whooping into the wee hours of the morning, or driving through mad




traffic of L.A., or sleeping in rest areas in Oregon, or whatever comes next. Melancholy … woebegone miles ticking down the track … is this really the end. Can’t I go a little further? A little longer? Can’t I live a little more? Ah, but everything ends and then begins again, fresh and new … nothing to do but accept it and move on, move on into the next. Agh, but I don’t want it to end … I don’t want anything to end … I want to keeping living in this suspended animation where I’m not quite here, I’m not quite there, but somewhere, gloriously somewhere in between it all where the real juice and pit and marrow lives … the space between it all, the gap, the void, the unconscious fury and joy and kicks of moving through the miles and feeling the weight of the motion again … truly nomadic with the roots trailing behind me reckless and fantastically distended. That’s where it is … wanderlost. I’ve never known a drug or a high or a woman or anything else that can make me feel as I do now, this day, 25 years, one month and 11 days old … right smack dab in my prime with nothing to show for it but my long face gaping into the Dali horizon, waiting, yearning, hoping for something to come along and show me where to go next. How can I be so lost and so found? Does a tear shed at 60 miles per hour make any difference to this crazy mixed up world?

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Natives & Newcomers

Natives and Newcomers Editor’s note: Natives and Newcomers is a new department beginning with this issue of Sandpoint Magazine. We thought it would be interesting to see the difference in perspectives between people who have lived here all or most of their lives and those who have moved here recently. We chose two sets of natives and newcomers and asked them nearly the same questions. Compare their thoughts in these short, easy-to-read interviews. By Dianna Winget

just loved it, and I still love it. I listen to weather forecasts all over and it’s always better here. What changes would you like to see made in Sandpoint?

I’m not happy about all the building that’s going on everywhere. Some of the first buildings that were here have been torn down and that makes me sad. ... This idea about putting a tunnel through Sandpoint (laughs), I shouldn’t say what I think about that. Besides it’s a flood plain. I’ve seen water running through the windows of homes on Second Avenue during the flood of 1948. What’s your favorite thing about Sandpoint?

The Natives

We have the lake and Schweitzer and all the nice people that are willing to help each other. Like they raised the money to repair the bleachers at Memorial Field in one day! Do you have a favorite local business?

It used to be Harold’s. It was so convenient for me. Now it would be between Super Drug and Merwin’s. Have you noticed a change in Sandpoint’s lifestyle over the years?

It seems like everybody’s in such a hurry anymore. ... It’s stressful to see so much new traffic. What do you foresee for Sandpoint in the next decade?

That’s a hard one, because the way it’s developing right now, the Sandpoint we’ve known will be gone. More traffic, more people, more crime. It’s hard to tell. ... But it’s still a wonderful place to live.

Barbara Blood

A resident of Sandpoint since 1939, Barbara Blood, age 83, worked at Bonner General Hospital for 28 years as a cook and food service supervisor. Now retired, she belongs to the Red Hat Rascals of Sandpoint and cooks chicken noodle soup every Thursday




Barbara Blood is shown at Merwin’s, one of her favorite local businesses.

night for the soup kitchen at the Methodist Church. What’s kept you here in Sandpoint?

When we came here in 1939 ... we

Doug Darling

A lifelong resident of Sandpoint, Doug Darling grew up at Bottle Bay and graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1970. At 55, he’s married, with three grown children, and serves as a mortician and general manager of Lakeview Funeral Home.

What do you foresee for Sandpoint in the next decade?

I see Sandpoint becoming another Vail, Colo., if growth is not restricted now. Only the wealthy will be able to afford to live here and the labor for service jobs will not be able to remain here. Doug Darling manages Lakeview Funeral Home.

What’s kept you here in Sandpoint?

What changes would you like to see in Sandpoint?

I would like to see, in my lifetime, the bypass. It would reduce the traffic congestion and promote the downtown business area and bring back the vitality and nightlife that used to flourish. I would also like to see less regulation and politics. ... There is nothing being done for the locals – jobs, affordable housing for low-income families – just overregulation and higher prices on everything.

The natural beauty of the area, endless recreational opportunities and the friendly people. Do you have a favorite local business?

Merwin’s Hardware has been in Sandpoint forever. It’s one of the last, locally owned, non-corporate, retail hardware stores still in business. Have you noticed a change in Sandpoint’s lifestyle over the years?

Sandpoint has gone from a slow-paced farming and timber community to a tourism town. ... This has driven the

What changes would you like to see in Sandpoint?

About the only change I’d like to see in Sandpoint is that they quit squabbling and put a road around, under, over, even through town that will get me from one side to the other in less than half an hour. (Also) Sandpoint has only one Wal-Mart. There should be another on the other side of town. That way I wouldn’t have to spend a half hour driving ... just to buy a cheap loaf of bread.

The Newcomers

My family has been here for 100 years, and growing up in a slower-paced community with unlimited recreational opportunities has been wonderful.

What’s your favorite thing about Sandpoint?

my sister and I came up (from California) to see if we could help; however, we found out he didn’t have long to live and, in fact, he was gone in less than three months. My wife and I ... decided to remain to be close to my mother.

Natives & Newcomers

cost of living here beyond what the local residents can afford. Sandpoint ... is becoming overgrown with outsiders not willing to blend with the residents, but changing it to the way they were accustomed to before they moved here.

What’s your favorite thing about Sandpoint?

(A small town) forces you to be nice to everyone because you’re bound to run in to them again and again. Do you have a favorite local business? Nic van Asch is a server at the Hydra.

Nic van Asch

A Bonner County resident since 2005, Nic van Asch spent his early years on the small island of Tonga. Born in Uganda, his birth certificate lists him as a citizen of a British Protectorate. In 1968 his mother saw a real estate ad on the back of TV Guide for land in Sandpoint. His father purchased 6 acres of land off Bottle Bay Road for $1,800 and later retired here in 1990. Van Asch, age 51, is married, with two young children. What brought you to Sandpoint?

Having been told my father was ill,

The Blue Dog Espresso kiosk in Sagle. Their lattes on cold days and smoothies on hot days have kept me going many a time. And they’re always good about splitting a 20-ounce cup ... for my two kids to share. How would you describe Sandpoint’s lifestyle?

The lifestyle in Sandpoint is a little odd. It is not surprising to find people working two, even three jobs. They say it’s worth it for the lifestyle. ... I find myself wondering, What lifestyle are you talking about if you’re working three jobs? What do you foresee for Sandpoint WINTER 2007



Natives & Newcomers



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in the next decade?

One long urban sprawl, like it is in Coeur d’Alene.

Debra Rawuka

Debra Rawuka, 44, moved to Sandpoint from Big Bear Lake, Calif., in June 2006. She and her family enjoy hiking, skiing and kayaking, and are currently restoring a 105-year-old farmhouse in Vay. The Adair Water Wheel on display outside the Bonner County Historical Society Museum came from their property. What brought you to Sandpoint?

All the outdoor activities ... and we love the town. It’s a walking town. You can get from one place to another so easily. ... And people here are so nice. It’s a great atmosphere. We wanted our kids to be raised around real (genuine) and nice people. What changes would you like to see in Sandpoint?

Wow, I don’t know that there would be any. Maybe changing the traffic somehow. The town itself is great. What’s your favorite thing about Sandpoint?

The great restaurants! There are so many great places to eat here. ... And




The Adair Water Wheel is a relic that came from the property Debra Rawuka bought in Vay.

the close proximity to everything, the ease with which you can do things. Do you have a favorite local business?

That would have to be my contractor, Miller Construction. They have been so helpful and friendly and reliable. They typify the way we see people as being here. How would you describe Sandpoint’s lifestyle?

A compendium, an interesting mix of people. It’s amazing the mix of people who live here harmoniously – hunters, vegetarians, (those interested in) politics and those who don’t care about politics. The whole personality of Sandpoint is very easygoing, and that’s nice. ... You don’t have to put on any pretenses. What do you foresee for Sandpoint in the next decade?

I see growth continuing and increasing (due to) the amount of retired baby boomers moving here. I hope that it will be good for the town, that they’ll bring positive vibes and not negative ones.

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COMMENTS At-home atmosphere, wireless internet, cable TV, gift shop. Free Continental breakfast with homemade sourdough waffles. See ad, page 88. Beautiful 3-bedroom, 2-bath waterfront condos on Lake Pend Oreille in Hope. Discount ski and golf tickets available. See ad, page 126. Downtown Sandpoint on the Lake. Indoor pool, sauna fitness room, hot tub. All rooms with lake view. Beach House Bar & Grill. 22-site RV park. Beautifully restored arts & crafts classic, period furnishings, queen-sized beds, private baths, scrumptious breakfasts. Walk to shops, restaurants, beach. Beautiful 1907 Victorian. Family apartment units available. Gourmet breakfast. One block to downtown, minutes to City Beach. Quiet downtown location close to restaurants and shopping. Lovely rooms from $49. Clean. Weekly rates. Jacuzzi. New deluxe rooms with private, river-view balconies, 3 casinos (1 non-smoking), 400 gaming machines, rec center and spa. See ad, page 96. Downtown location, high-speed Internet. Free breakfast, themed spa suites. Silverwood, ski & golf pkgs. Kids stay free. See ad, page 32. Superbly furnished throughout, featuring a fully equipped kitchen, 4 lovely bedrooms designed to accommodate up to 10 guests. Located on Scenic Byway Highway 200. Beautiful views, wildlife and bird watching, biking and more. See ad, page 49. Fully furnished condos and on-site athletic club on Lake Pend Oreille. Stay and play packages. See ad, page 75. Indoor pool and hot tub. Close to downtown Sandpoint. 5th Avenue Restaurant and Mitzy’s Lounge on property. Kids stay and eat free. Beautiful, furnished resort properties available for nightly, weekly, monthly stays on the lake, at the ski resort or in town. See ad, pg. 12. Mountain accommodations, stay and play packages. Spectacular mountain and lake views. Outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. See ad, page 139. On beautiful Lakeshore Drive. Sleep’s Cabins consists of 6 log bungalows decorated with original furnishings and collectibles. See ad, page 126. Free breakfast with waffles. 24-hour hot tub, free wireless Internet. Family suites. Schweitzer ski packages. At the base of Schweitzer Mountain, 2 miles from lake. Luxury lakeside homes, cozy mountain cabins and lovely condominiums at the heart of Sandpoint. See ad, page 74. Deluxe spa suites with private hot tub on deck, jetted tub for 2 in bath. Gas fireplace, AC, kitchenette, free wireless Internet. Private cabins sleep 2-8. Lodge rooms with private baths, rec room, horseback riding and meals available. See ad, page 126. New accommodations, stay and play packages. Spectacular mountain and lake views. Outdoor hot tubs, access to heated pool. See ad, page 139.


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Meriwether Inn, The


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White Pine Lodge WINTER 2007






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I I i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i I I I I I I




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Cedar Street Bridge

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within close range to Sandpoint – Farragut, Round Lake and Priest Lake. Farragut is located four miles east of Athol, with 4,000 scenic acres alongside the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille. Camping and groomed cross-country ski trails available (683-2425). Round Lake is located 11 miles south of Sandpoint just west of Highway 95 on West Dufort Road. Round Lake is a small, scenic lake; camping, fishing, sledding and crosscountry skiing are all available (263-3489). Priest Lake State Park is located on Coolin Road in Coolin alongside the clear waters of Priest Lake. Camping, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and snowmobiling are all available (443-2200).

Cross-Country Skiing. Kick and glide or skate on 30 km of scenic groomed trails at Schweitzer (263-9555); Round Lake State Park has 3 miles of various groomed trails for diagonal stride (2633489); Farragut State Park (683-2425) has 9.4 miles of groomed trails, 25 miles south of Sandpoint on Lake Pend Oreille. Groomed trails are also maintained at Priest Lake Golf Club and Nordic Center (443-2525) and connect to Hannah Flats for nearly 50 km of trails. StoneRidge Golf marks trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (437-4653). Or tour the backcountry on National Forest lands; Sandpoint Ranger District has maps and more information. (263-5111). See stories, page 86 and 104.

SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN RESORT. High atop the Selkirk Mountains above Sandpoint, Schweitzer’s 2,900 acres of terrain beckon skiers and snowboarders to shred 300 inches of powder, the average annual snowfall. The Inland Northwest’s largest ski resort, Schweitzer is a mere 11 miles from downtown. Uncrowded slopes offer 2,400 vertical feet of endless adventure and exploration among the 82 named trails, plus two open bowls, treed glades and two terrain parks. Two high-speed chairs serve the mountain, including “Stella,” Idaho’s only six-pack chair, plus four double chairs, a T-bar, and a beginner’s Musical Carpet and handle tow. Schweitzer also has Nordic trails, a tubing center, a snowshoe trail, and snowmobile and backcountry ski tours. (800-831-8810 or 263-9555). See story, page 56.

Sleigh Rides. Western Pleasure Ranch, 16 miles northeast of Sandpoint on Upper Gold Creek Road, offers sleigh rides in a rural setting for groups and couples. (263-9066). Stillwater Ranch also provides sleigh rides in a country setting, south of Sandpoint in Sagle on Dufort Road (263-0077).

drous wintry backcountry. Snowcat trails around Sandpoint and Priest Lake in the Selkirk Mountains are renowned; for more information, contact Winter Riders (263-5868) or Priest Lake Trails & Outdoor Recreation Association, (443-3309). For guided rides at Schweitzer, contact Selkirk Powder Company. (263-6959 or 888-Go-Idaho).

Walking. With dazzling views, the Pedestrian Long Bridge runs alongside Highway 95 over Lake Pend Oreille and continues to Sagle Road. Find paved paths at Travers Park on West Pine Street, City Beach downtown and along Highway 2 west to Dover. Paths also at Lakeview Park through and around the Native Plant Society Arboretum.

State Parks. Three state parks are

Wildlife Refuge. Kootenai National

Snowmobiling. It’s one of the most popular and fun ways to reach the wonSANDPOINT MAGAZINE



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Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles north of Sandpoint near Bonners Ferry, has more than 2,000 acres and an abundance of wildlife including elk, deer, moose and bear, plus migrating birds. Hiking trails to waterfall and around pond, auto tour routes. (267-3888). Sandpoint WaterLife Discovery Center. On Lakeshore Drive, the center offers interpretive trails and self-guided tours of fish habitat and an educational interpretive area on Pend Oreille River. (769-1414)


Art Galleries. Truly an arts town, Sandpoint has about two dozen galleries located in town and the surrounding area featuring art in numerous mediums. Art lovers can browse and often visit with artists in many locations. Art aficionados


THE INTERNATIONAL SELKIRK LOOP, a 280mile drive through the majestic Selkirk Mountains of Idaho, Washington and British Columbia, Canada. More than 55 lakes, including Lake Pend Oreille, are found along the tour. (888-823-2626). PEND OREILLE NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY, 33.4 miles of spectacular water views on Highway 200, meandering east to the Montana state line along the rocky shores of Lake Pend Oreille. WILD HORSE TRAIL SCENIC BYWAY, 48 miles on Highway 95 from Sandpoint north following the Kootenai Tribe’s historic path on the east side of the Selkirk Mountains all the way to Canada. HIGHWAY 2/41 PEND OREILLE RIVER SCENIC ROUTE, west on Highway 2 from Sandpoint through historic Priest River and Newport/Oldtown; then south on Highway 41 through the Blanchard Valley all the way to the Spokane River. Brochures mapping the way available at the Greater Sandpoint Chamber Visitor Center. WINTER 2007




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Winter Guide


On Lake Pend Oreille

Shopping. Downtown, discover a fine array of eclectic shops and galleries with clothing, art and gifts galore. Explore Coldwater Creek in its new flagship store at 311 N. First, with a wine bar upstairs. (263-2265). Visit the Cedar Street Bridge, reopening after a major renovation as the Cedar Street Public Market with world-class shopping in a beautiful log structure overlooking Sand Creek. Shop for antiques at Foster’s Crossing, a mini mall with lots of antiques, on Fifth between Cedar and Oak streets (263-5911); and MarketPlace Antiques & Gifts, Sandpoint’s newest antique market, open daily, at Fifth and Church (263-4444). Bonner Mall in Ponderay contains many stores plus a six-plex movie theater and frequent events, on Highway 95 two miles north of Sandpoint (263-4272). Movies. Bonner Mall Cinema is a six-plex theater inside the Bonner Mall on Highway 95 (263-7417). The Panida Theater is a historic venue at 300 N. First; the Global Cinema Café features foreign and independent films. (263-9191).

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may also visit revolving art exhibits in several year-round gallery locations, sponsored by the Pend Oreille Arts Council. Locations in Sandpoint include The Old Power House, the county commissioners’ office inside the Bonner County Courthouse, the mayor’s office at City Hall, University of Idaho Bonner County Extension office at the Fairgrounds, and US Bank at 201 Main St.; plus one location in Sagle, at Northern Lights, Inc. Bonner County Historical Museum. This delightful museum has many fine displays depicting old-time Bonner County, including a display featuring Native American artifacts and history from the geologic formation to present day. An extensive collection of Ross Hall photos are on exhibit, as well as a pioneer kitchen with memorabilia from a bygone era and a real caboose. Open Tuesday

through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at Lakeview Park. www.bonner (263-2344). Brewery Tours. Take a tour and taste handcrafted ales at Laughing Dog Brewing in Ponderay, and visit the gift shop open daily. www.laughingdogbrew (263-9222). Downtown, see brewing in action at the new brewpub, MickDuff’s at 312 N. First. www.mick (255-4351). Winery Tour. Pend d’Oreille Winery, Idaho’s Winery of the Year in 2003 and 2005 SBA Small Business of the Year, features award-winning wines, wine tasting, wine sales, tours of the winery and a gift shop open daily, 220 Cedar St., downtown Sandpoint. The wine bar features live music on Fridays and Saturdays. (265-8545).


D in i ng G ui d e Where you wanna eat? That’s a question with many answers in Sandpoint and environs, which – fortunately for people who like food – has more than 80 restaurants. And not just any restaurants; our town has more unique and eclectic restaurants than many cities twice the size. So let that belt out a notch and prepare for a dining adventure. Restaurant index by type of cuisine Locate alphabetically in listings

Café Bodega FC Weskil’s Hope Market Café Wily Widgeon Cafe

Regional or ethnic specialties

Café Trinity Ivano’s Ristoranté Pend Oreille Pasta & Wine

Eclectic or fine dining

Chimney Rock Grill Di Luna’s Downtown Crossing Sand Creek Grill Spuds Rotisserie & Grill

Handmade pizza

Old Ice House Pizzeria & Bakery Second Avenue Pizza


Eichardt’s Pub, Grill & Coffeehouse MickDuff’s Brewing Company Power House Grill & Sports Bar

Bakeries, coffee & desserts

Monarch Mountain Coffee Pie Hut Pine Street Bakery

Café Bodega 5th and Cedar at Foster’s Crossing Antique & Gift Market. Revitalize yourself at Café Bodega, Sandpoint’s cosmopolitan eatery (with wireless Internet access), featuring an assortment of international sandwiches, homemade soups, organic coffee, teas, beer, wine and Italian artisan gelato. You may also pick up an assortment of gourmet food items before heading home. Open Monday Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 263-5911. 116 N. First Ave., next to Starbucks in the Old Lantern

District. Enjoy the flavors of our Southern inspired food such as gumbo, étouffée, or Chef Gabriel’s signature Spunky Crawfish Chowder. We also feature fresh seafood and Tim’s Special Cut Meats. Whether you are having dinner on our wonderful deck overlooking Sand Creek or sitting at our dining bar and exhibition kitchen, you will enjoy a taste of the South in beautiful North Idaho. Serving lunch and dinner. Beer and wine available. 255-7558.

Chimney Rock Grill

In the Selkirk Lodge at Schweitzer. Enjoy breathtaking views while dining on the mountain. Northwest specialties include hand-cut steaks, fresh

Café Trinity

fish and daily specials plus a wide selection of wines and microbrews. A relaxing bar features happy hour. Open daily starting in November. Call 255-3071.

Di Luna’s 207 Cedar St. We’re an American bistro café offering hand-cut steaks, homemade soups and vegetarian cuisine. Everyone in your family will find their favorites here. Open for breakfast and lunch, Wednesday-Sunday. Serving breakfast all day. We also specialize in themed catering menus that can make any occasion, large or small, a success. Our catering staff will work with you to take the hassle out of your special event so you can enjoy the

Chimney Rock Grill WINTER 2007

Café Trinity

Café Bodega


Bistro-style cafes or delis



Dining in the

{Old Lantern District}

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Ivano’s Ristoranté & Caffé, 208.263.0211 | Sand Creek Grill, 208.255.5736 | Spuds Rotisserie & Grill, 208.265.4311 | Café Trinity, 208.255.7558 On First Avenue, Downtown Sandpoint

Downtown Crossing experience along with your guests. We love good music, so twice a month we have dinner concerts, bringing in the best acoustical musicians from around the country. Call 263-0846.

Downtown Crossing 206 N. First Ave. Welcome to Downtown Crossing, a unique restaurant and lounge in the heart of downtown Sandpoint. Enjoy fresh, made-from-scratch recipes mixing regional dishes and seasonal favorites with a twist of diverse ethnic influence. There’s an extensive martini and specialty cocktail menu, and a fine selection of wine and beer. Feel at home in the cozy lounge furniture, while being entertained nightly by the best conglomeration of local talent: bar-side piano, live bands, local artwork and nowfamous open mic night. Patio seating available. 265-5080.

Eichardt’s 212 Cedar St. Don’t miss this comfortable pub and grill. Located downtown in a charming, historic building. This relaxing pub mixes casual dining with seriously good food. With over a dozen beers on tap, good wines, a full coffee bar and live music, there’s something for everyone. Upstairs you’ll find a fireplace-warmed game room with a pool table, darts and shuffleboard. Eichardt’s offers smokeless dining seven days a week. Eichardt’s has been nation-


FC Weskil’s

ally recognized and locally supported since 1994. Open daily at 11:30 a.m. 263-4005.

FC Weskil’s 300 N. First Ave. Named after FC Weskil, the man whose vision became the Panida Theater, and located adjacent to the theater lobby in the heart of downtown Sandpoint is Sandpoint’s newest coffee bistro. The aroma from our oven will entice you with fresh baked goods to complement your morning coffee. For lunch or a light dinner, enjoy a daily variety of soups, salads and sandwiches. There are ready-togo selections if time is tight or the beautiful outdoors is calling your name. Light catering and box lunches also available. Ticket location for the Panida and local events. 263-6957.


D in i ng G ui d e

Hope Market Café tic bistro fare and superlative pizzas with the most complete selection of imported beer and West Coast wine for on- or off-premises. The Hope Market Café – serving and selling simply good food in Hope, and beyond. 264-0506.

Ivano’s Ristoranté & Caffé Located on the corner of First and Pine, Ivano’s has been serving the community for over 20 years. Italian dining accompanied by classic wines and gracious atmosphere add to the enjoyment of one of Sandpoint’s favorite restaurants. Patio seating available during the summer months. Pasta, fresh seafood, buffalo and beef, veal, chicken and vegetarian entrées round out the fare. Dinner served 7 nights a week starting at 4:30. Lunch served Mon-

Hope Market Café 620 Wellington Place, Hope. Simply put yet hard to believe is the extensive array of gourmet foods, fine wines, ales and artisan cheeses to be found at the Hope Market Café. The specialty foods market is complemented by a café serving real deli sandwiches, soups, salads and unbelievable desserts – pastries, cakes, cookies and chocolates – all made in-house. While the simplicity and warmth of the Hope Market Café may verge on indulgence, the actual experience is both over-the-top and down-to-earth. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving eclec-

Luna ’s


Home of the✴ Dinner Concert 207 Cedar Street


Live Entertainment, Piano Bar, Open Mic, Unique Cocktails, Great Food 206 N. First Ave. Sandpoint


✴ Di L ✴

Ivano’s Ristoranté & Caffé

265.5080 WINTER 2007



MickDuff’s Brewing Co.

Monarch Mountain Coffee

Fri at 11. An excellent bakery featuring organic coffee, fresh pastries and a deli-style lunch offering, Mon-Fri. Off-site catering available for weddings, family get-togethers and just plain large gatherings. Call 263-0211 for reservations.

MickDuff’s Brewing Company 312 N. First Ave. Come and enjoy our fine, handcrafted ales in a family dining atmosphere. We offer a variety of top-of-the-line beers ranging from fruity blondes to our seasonal porter. We also brew a unique-style root beer for those young in age or at heart. Our menu is packed full of flavor with tra-

~ Ei c hardt ’ s Se rv e s up t he Be st o f No rt hwe st Mi c ro bre ws, F o o d and L o c al L i v e Musi c ~ Full Lunch and Dinner Menu 16 Micros on Tap • Upstairs Game Room Open 7 Days From 11:30 am


Monarch Mountain Coffee 208 N. Fourth Ave. Monarch Mountain Coffee is Sandpoint’s hometown coffee roaster. This friendly coffeehouse and outdoor café is the hub for relaxing, meeting with friends, people watching or getting the latest scoop on happenings in town. Featuring a variety of drinks sure to satisfy your thirst. Fresh roasted coffee, espresso drinks and teas are complemented by an assortment of smoothies, chai and yerba maté. Also serving breakfast burritos, locally crafted baked goods, bagels and desserts. All coffee is roasted on-site in small batches and is available for purchase in our coffeehouse or by mail order. Take a taste of North Idaho home with you! Monarch Mountain Coffee is open daily. Located just next to the Post Office. Call for directions at 265-9382 or (800) 599-6702. Loitering strongly encouraged.

Old Ice House Pizzeria & Bakery Best wicked-good pizza west of the Hudson. When you’ve got a serious need for some real East Coaststyle pizza, and you’re all out of frequent flyer miles, there’s always Hope – Idaho, that is. The uber-funky Ice House Pizzeria on 140 W. Main St. in tiny Hope

Pend Oreille Pasta (pop. 80) has freshly baked focaccia bread, calzones and pizzas served whole or by the slice. You can also get sweet baked treats – plus hats, scarves, beads and all manner of accessories. But the pizza is the thing: thick, molten cheese; fragrant, lightly spiced tomato sauce; yeasty crust that’s not too thick, not too thin. This stuff is authentic enough to bring on a Boston accent. 264-5555.

Pend Oreille Pasta & Wine 476534 Hwy. 95, Ste. B (across from McDonald’s). Carry-out, fresh, homemade pasta, lasagna and sauces. Simply heat them up and dinner is ready. Dinner packages also include fresh green salads, dressing and freshly baked bread. John and Valerie love to help their customers select from their international selection of wines. Market food items include a variety of cheeses, ravioli, olives, oils, soups, pastas, dressings, sausages and more. Picnic supplies available. Beautiful custom gift baskets. Quality, full-scale catering services. 263-1352.

Pie Hut 502 Church St. Sandpoint’s little gourmet café, where the locals like to eat. One of those small-town treasure that makes Sandpoint so special. Pies and so much more! Homemade chicken pot pies and quiches, meat and vegetarian paninis, grilled and steamed sandwiches, bagels, hoagies piled high with

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ditional and updated pub fare. You will find toasted sandwiches, hearty soups, gourmet hamburgers and much more at our cozy brewpub located in downtown Sandpoint. 255-4351.

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Wine & Beer Bar Game Room Artisan Breads

Catering Delivery Seasonal Hours Outdoor seating



Find them online at Link up to local restaurants and nightclubs!

Pine Street Bakery

Pine Street Bakery

Power House Grill & Sports Bar 120 E. Lake St. Featuring modern American cuisine, the Power House Grill & Sports Bar is a one-of-akind restaurant and entertainment center in the his-

Roastery • Coffee House

Sand Creek Grill 105 S. First Ave. This restored 1906 Fidelity Trust Bank Building, situated on Sand Creek, provides a lovely backdrop for dining. Guests are warmed by fireplaces, burnished woods and exposed brick walls indoors in the winter, and are mesmerized by the view from the gardens and patios during the Sandpoint summer. The innovative menu features Inland Northwest cuisine with a distinct global influence. Beautiful presentation, carefully selected regional ingredients and the freshest seafood are all hallmarks of this establishment. The aged, corn-fed, Midwestern beef is a favorite among diners. The wine bar offers an extensive wine list along with sushi and special taste pairings in the recent expansion. Open each day from 4:30 p.m. Reservations recommended. Call 255-5736.

PIE HUT crusts l ked


ndm a's Gr a

710 Pine St. Welcome to Pine Street Bakery. Specializing in European pastries, breads and cakes. Also a complete line of coffees, espresso drinks and teas from Tazzina of Santa Cruz. All bakery products are made on the premises using fresh butter and cream, farm eggs, and fine chocolates. Custom order birthday, specialty and wedding cakes, fine French pastries and a complete line of tarts, cookies and bars. The bakers create more than 10 varieties of artisan breads every day, including whole grain organics and sourdoughs. Come in and let the products speak for themselves. Open Tue-Fri, 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Saturdays 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Located right next to The Paint Bucket. Plenty of parking and outdoor seating. Call 263-9012 and ask for Liz or Deirdre for custom orders and/or questions.

toric “Old Power House” building located at the Sandpoint Marina. Enjoy waterfront dining with panoramic views of Schweitzer and the city. Affordable, casual family dining featuring smokin’good Idaho-style steaks, ribs, smoked prime rib on weekends, seafood, pastas and Sandpoint’s Best Burgers. Outside dining is available. Full-service catering with a private banquet room is featured. Call for live entertainment schedules. Open 11 a.m. seven days a week. Walk, bicycle, drive or boat the entire family to an experience unparalleled! 265-2449.


meats and cheeses, pesto pasta, green salads, and daily homemade soups, all made from the freshest of ingredients. Plus more than 30 fruit and cream pies baked daily, including huckleberry! Or pick up a family-sized chicken pot pie and bake it yourself. Easy parking. Open 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tues-Fri, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat. Takeout orders, 265-2208.

Power House Grill

H o me ba

Pie Hut

502 Church St., 208-265-2208

476534 Hwy 95 Sandpoint • 208-263-1352 • beer • coffee • gift baskets • catering •

sausages • ravioli • gourmet sandwiches

complete carry-out fresh pasta dinners

International Wine Selection Artisan Cheeses & Breads Gourmet Deli

“Tastes as good as it looks!” Deirdre Hill Liz Evans

710 Pine Street • Sandpoint

208.263.9012 WINTER 2007


• Fresh baked breads • cheeses • olives •



Dining G ui de

Second Avenue Pizza

Second Avenue Pizza 215 S. Second Ave. Try the piled-high specialty pizzas at Second Avenue Pizza. They’re loaded with fresh ingredients. The Juke Box Special weighs 7 pounds – not your average pizza! Excellent calzones, salads and sandwiches, or try the garlic bread appetizer, an excellent hand-tossed pizza covered with cheese and garlic, served with pizza sauce. Free deliveries. 263-9321.

Spuds Rotisserie & Grill

We feature specials like your choice of grilled steaks, marinated tri-tip, rotisserie chicken, fresh seafood and Southwest specials. For a quintessential Sandpoint restaurant and dining experience, don’t miss Spuds. 265-4311. Check out our website!

Wily Widgeon Café 126 W. Main, Hope. As the locals will attest to, it’s worth the short drive to Hope to indulge in the offerings and the views at The Wily Widgeon Café. As one of the few, year-round, full-service dining options in Hope, The Wily Widgeon is sure to strengthen its niche with diners, with reasonably priced offerings including lobster benedict, huevos rancheros, and steak and eggs for the breakfast crowd, and Dijon parmesan chicken, knife and fork philly, and a warm brie and apple salad for the lunch bunch. And for the evenings, operations were expanded in the fall, offering food and drinks through our affiliated fullservice lounge. Call 264-5800.

Rice crusts & soy cheese now available

“Out of this

GRILL & PLASMA SPORTS BAR Steaks, Ribs, Burgers, Pastas, Seafood Smoked Prime Rib Fri. & Sat. Live Music & Entertainment 4 Hi-Definition Plasma TVs Sandpoint Original

• Delivery • Sandwiches • Calzones • Specialty Salads • Homemade Dough • Beer/Wine • Take & Bakes

215 S. 2nd Ave.


Wily Widgeon Café




ld” Wo

102 N. First Ave. Located on the beautiful Sand Creek waterfront in the heart of downtown Sandpoint, Spuds has earned its reputation as a North Idaho restaurant that’s truly “to die for.” For lunch, choose from our savory soup list, pick a loaded salad, one of our unique sandwich concoctions or the original Spuds potato. Stay with us for lunch or take it to go. Dinner is a casual event, with table service, candles and lovely Sand Creek just below the deck.

Spuds Rotisserie & Grill

The Mexican Pizza



Find them online at Link up to local restaurants and nightclubs!

Pine Street Bakery

Pine Street Bakery

Power House Grill & Sports Bar 120 E. Lake St. Featuring modern American cuisine, the Power House Grill & Sports Bar is a one-of-akind restaurant and entertainment center in the his-

Roastery • Coffee House

Sand Creek Grill 105 S. First Ave. This restored 1906 Fidelity Trust Bank Building, situated on Sand Creek, provides a lovely backdrop for dining. Guests are warmed by fireplaces, burnished woods and exposed brick walls indoors in the winter, and are mesmerized by the view from the gardens and patios during the Sandpoint summer. The innovative menu features Inland Northwest cuisine with a distinct global influence. Beautiful presentation, carefully selected regional ingredients and the freshest seafood are all hallmarks of this establishment. The aged, corn-fed, Midwestern beef is a favorite among diners. The wine bar offers an extensive wine list along with sushi and special taste pairings in the recent expansion. Open each day from 4:30 p.m. Reservations recommended. Call 255-5736.

PIE HUT crusts l ked


ndm a's Gr a

710 Pine St. Welcome to Pine Street Bakery. Specializing in European pastries, breads and cakes. Also a complete line of coffees, espresso drinks and teas from Tazzina of Santa Cruz. All bakery products are made on the premises using fresh butter and cream, farm eggs, and fine chocolates. Custom order birthday, specialty and wedding cakes, fine French pastries and a complete line of tarts, cookies and bars. The bakers create more than 10 varieties of artisan breads every day, including whole grain organics and sourdoughs. Come in and let the products speak for themselves. Open Tue-Fri, 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Saturdays 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Located right next to The Paint Bucket. Plenty of parking and outdoor seating. Call 263-9012 and ask for Liz or Deirdre for custom orders and/or questions.

toric “Old Power House” building located at the Sandpoint Marina. Enjoy waterfront dining with panoramic views of Schweitzer and the city. Affordable, casual family dining featuring smokin’good Idaho-style steaks, ribs, smoked prime rib on weekends, seafood, pastas and Sandpoint’s Best Burgers. Outside dining is available. Full-service catering with a private banquet room is featured. Call for live entertainment schedules. Open 11 a.m. seven days a week. Walk, bicycle, drive or boat the entire family to an experience unparalleled! 265-2449.


meats and cheeses, pesto pasta, green salads, and daily homemade soups, all made from the freshest of ingredients. Plus more than 30 fruit and cream pies baked daily, including huckleberry! Or pick up a family-sized chicken pot pie and bake it yourself. Easy parking. Open 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tues-Fri, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat. Takeout orders, 265-2208.

Power House Grill

H o me ba

Pie Hut

502 Church St., 208-265-2208

476534 Hwy 95 Sandpoint • 208-263-1352 • beer • coffee • gift baskets • catering •

sausages • ravioli • gourmet sandwiches

complete carry-out fresh pasta dinners

International Wine Selection Artisan Cheeses & Breads Gourmet Deli

“Tastes as good as it looks!” Deirdre Hill Liz Evans

710 Pine Street • Sandpoint

208.263.9012 WINTER 2007


• Fresh baked breads • cheeses • olives •


Service Listings Fogg Electric

Monks Hydro-Geoscience

1187 Wooded Acres Dr., Sagle, 5971121 – Quality electrical construction, 125 years in the electrical business. Commercial, industrial and residential. Licensed/bonded/insured. Serving all of North Idaho. Free estimates. See ad, page 106.

Sandpoint, 263-1991 – A hydrogeological and environmental consulting company providing sciencebased, well-site location services, well-production testing, water-quality testing, and water-well video inspection and troubleshooting services. See ad, page 90.

Fred’s Appliance We carry all the major brands, including complete Viking dream kitchens. Come visit us in Coeur d’Alene or Spokane, or call us at 208-765-4202, 509-328-3824 or in the valley at 509-893-3581. See ad, page 85.

GII2 265-0247 – Large format specialists. B&W and color. Copying, printing and scanning of blueprints, maps, arts, etc. Survey supplies, marking paint, flagging. Instrument sales, rental and service. See ad, page 98.

Glahe & Associates 265-4474 – Professional Land Surveyors. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality product at the appropriate technical level in a timely manner and at a fair price. See ad, page 98.

Innovative Concrete Coatings 263-1522 – Specializing in resurfacing of concrete. Our coatings are stain-resistant, freeze/thaw resistant, easy to clean, heat-resistant and two times as strong as your existing concrete. Can be used on interior floors, countertops, and driveways/walkways. See ad, page 18. 263-5700, 877-913-5700 – For cabinet reconditioning, refacing or custom design, call Brian Potter for a free, in-home consultation. See ad, page 106.

Lightning Creek Log Works 499 Hidden Valley Rd., 263-2790 – Specializing in custom, handcrafted log homes. Home styles include full scribe, chink style, and dovetails. Also log staircases, entries, trusses, log and timber accents. See ad, page 50.

Monarch Marble & Granite 263-5777 – Specializing in custom fabrication of solid-surface, natural stone: granite, marble, travertine, limestone, soapstone and slate. Custom kitchen countertops, vanities, showers, tub decks, fireplace surrounds, desks, decorative inlays and more. Superior craftsmanship - stunning results! See ad, page 102.


714 Pine St., 263-5032 – Sandpoint’s complete paint and wallpaper store. Paint and sundries, window covering, wall covering, custom framing.

Panhandle Pump 500 Vermeer Drive, Ponderay, 2637867 – Serving the Idaho Panhandle with quality service and merchandise for over 20 years. The area’s leader in water purification and filtration plus complete water and sewer systems. Open Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.-noon.

Pend Oreille Mechanical 1207 Dover Hwy., 263-6163 – Service 24/7. Plumbing, cooling, heating, sheet metal, hydronic, refrigeration. See ad, page 48.

Studio of Sustainable Design 100 Jana Lane, 263-3815 – Bruce Millard, Architect. Personal, environmentally sensitive and healthy design, incorporating natural, recycled and durable materials including straw bale. Full services, or hourly consulting.

Sullivan Homes Idaho

Kitchen Tune-up


Paint Bucket, The

223 Cedar St., 263-6556 – Specializing in building beautiful, rustic cabins and custom homes. Come see the luxurious homes and cabins we are building at The Idaho Club, The Crossing at Willow Bay, and Festive Lane at Bottle Bay. See ad, page 45.

SunSpace Creations 263-4848 – Independent distributor of Lindal Additions & Sunrooms. See your home in a whole new light! See ad, page 88.

Terry Williams Construction 164 Sky Ranch Dr., 265-2936, 2905423 – Specializing in custom home construction, remodels and additions. Certified ARXX Insulated Concrete Form installer. See ad, page 106.

Timber Frames by Collin Beggs Sandpoint, 290-8120 – Handcrafted traditional timber frame homes. Wooden, draw-bored joinery. Handrived pegs. Hewn, hand-planed and


rough-sawn surfaces. See ad, page 106. Email:

Michigan Street

Vermont Timber Frames

Adele’s Sewing Center

40 Golden Pond Dr., Heron, Montana, 866-677-8860 – Timber framing is a centuries-old building system that utilizes mortise and tenon joinery. The result of this craft is a sturdy, spacious, organic home or building as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. See ad, page 96.

516 Oak St., 265-6190 – Meeting the sewing and quilting needs of the Sandpoint area for 20 years. Fabric, notions, and embellishments for the fabric artist. Each month we have classes to get you started quilting or brush up on your Serger skills. See ad, page 100.

Chambers of Commerce

Farm / Home

Priest Lake

The CO-OP Country Store

888-774-3785 – Idaho’s Crown Jewel, Priest Lake naturally provides adventures: distinctive lakeside resorts, restaurants, golfing, marina rentals, day use and overnight campgrounds, fishing, biking, hiking, creating family memories. See ad, page 69.

125 Tibbetts Lane, Ponderay, 2636820 – Farm, Home, Hardware. The CO-OP has just about everything for the farm and home. See ad, page 52.

Greater Sandpoint 800-800-8106 – Information on visiting or relocating to beautiful north Idaho. Sandpoint is an ideal year-round family, and/or adventure vacation destination. Sensational in all seasons, you will want to visit soon, and often.

Clothing Coldwater Creek 800-262-0040 or 263-2265 – Located on First Avenue in Sandpoint. Discover one of the most unique collections of women’s apparel and accessories. Perfect style for today’s busy woman. See ad, back cover.


Furniture Belwoods Furniture 301 Cedar St., 263-3189 – Featuring furniture, floor coverings and appliances. Family owned and operated for over 31 years. See ad, page 49.

Edmundson Fine Woodworking 1965 Samuels Rd., 265-8730, tollfree 866-877-1882 – Custom, handcrafted furniture and cabinets built with attention to detail. Carefully selected hardwoods, hand-cut dovetail drawers, curved surfaces and inlay are just a few details that contribute to pieces that invite your touch.

Misty Mountain Furniture

301 N. 1st Ave., 263-3622 – Unique selection of men’s and women’s outdoor and natural fiber clothing; woolens, fleece, cottons and silks. See ad, page 77.

502 Cedar St., 265-4190 – The home of rustic elegance since 1991. A unique variety of custom handcrafted furniture, cabinets, railings, accessories and the fine artwork of over 70 regional artisans. In-house design services available. See ad, page 13.


Northwest Handmade

Finan McDonald Clothing Co.

Sandpoint Computers 212 N. 1st Ave., #G103, 265-1608 – Offering advanced network services to businesses. Experienced in Linux, Novell, Macintosh and Windows. Internet / Intranet solutions. See ad, page 102.

Crafts & Toys A Child’s Dream Come True 1223 Michigan St., 255-1664 – Natural toys, dolls, baby gifts, art supplies, co-operative games, Ostheimer wood figures, play silks and dress-ups. Supplies and kits for toy-making, children’s handwork, felting, knitting, and the fiberarts. In the

308 N. 1st Ave., 255-1962, 877-8801962 – Featuring a variety of regional artists. Custom log furniture, wood carving, metal art, one-of-akind gifts. Located downtown. See ad, page 17.

Sandpoint Furniture Carpet One 401 Bonner Mall Way, Ponderay, 263-5138 – A full-service home furnishing store for over 60 years. Unique furniture, flooring and window covering packages. Luminesce Lighting Design offers full service lighting design. Free estimates. See ad, page 15.

Service Listings Gifts / Flowers MeadowBrook Home & Gift 205 Cedar St., 255-2824 – One of Sandpoint’s newest downtown additions. We offer a timeless selection of unique and affordable gifts, home decor and furnishings. Open 7 days a week. See ad, page 19.

Petal Talk 120 Cedar St., 265-7900 – Full-service floral and gift shop! Fresh flowers, bundled or custom designed. Indoor plants, green and blooming, as well as European plant baskets. Whimsical garden gifts. Special event and wedding services. Delivery available in or out of town See ad, page 76.

Sharon’s Hallmark 306 N. 1st Ave., 263-2811 – Special Gifts for Special People including Vera Bradley bags; Big Sky Carvers; Yankee, Tyler and BeanPod candles; souvenirs and balloon bouquets. We have a full selection of Hallmark cards, books, gift wrap and stationery.

Graphic Artists Keokee Creative Group 405 Church St. , 263-3573 – Complete graphics, design and editorial for any project. If you like Sandpoint Magazine, you’ll like what we can do for you.

Health Care Alternative Health Care 263-7889, 866-464-2344 – North Idaho’s most trusted provider of quality and affordable in-home care services for the elderly and disabled. We offer skilled nursing services, respite care, hospice care, housecleaning, companionship and personal care services in both Bonner and Boundary counties. See ad, page 10.

Ammara Medical

Bonner Physical Therapy 1327 Superior St., 263-5731 – In its 32nd year providing cutting edge technology and manual techniques to obtain the optimum result for pain control and recovery from an orthopedic condition or resolving symptoms from diabetic neuropathy. See ad, page 80.

Evolution Women’s Fitness 30736 Hwy. 200, Ste. 104, 255-

Eye Clinic of Sandpoint 307 S. 1st Ave., 263-8501 – Dedicated to offering the highest level of eye care and services to our patients. Our office includes a full-service optical shop to serve our patient’s needs. See ad, page 80.

Natoni & Lewis General Dentistry 2023 Pine St., 265-4558 – A familyoriented practice providing excellence in comprehensive, preventive and cosmetic treatment. We welcome new patients of all ages. See ad, page 80.

Rolfing 219 Cedar St., Ste. A, 265-8440 – Rolfing aligns the body’s structure by releasing old injuries, chronic stress and embedded tension to create an experience of vitality. 27 years experience.

Sandpoint Laser Skin Care 302 S. 1st Ave., 263-6201 – Free initial consultations. We treat acne, unwanted hair, wrinkles, leg veins and more. Gift certificates and packages, skin care products sold. See ad, page 81.

Sandpoint Super Drug 604 N. 5th Ave., 263-1408 – Familyowned pharmacy that has been serving Sandpoint for over 32 years. Four knowledgeable pharmacists on staff along with an extensive array of overthe-counter and home health care products. We also are providers for most insurance companies. See ad, page 81

insurance needs. The largest independent insurance agency in North Idaho, specializing in business, personal, life and health. See ad, page 78.

North Idaho Insurance 102 Superior St., 263-2194, fax 2638084 – A full-service, independent insurance agency serving the North Idaho area since 1978. Insurance for Business or Personal risks: property, liability, workers comp, bonding, home, auto, life and health.

Pacific Far West Insurance 120 E. Lake St., Ste. 311 (in The Old Power House building), 263-1426 – Serving Sandpoint and North Idaho for 24 years. Quotes on auto, home, business, life and group insurance. See ad, page 78.

Taylor Agency 1009 W. Superior St., 263-4000 or 208-773-6441 in Post Falls – Insurance and financial services for your personal and business needs. See ad, page 102.

Interior Design Amberleaf Designs 307 Church St., 255-4802 – Amberleaf Designs is an innovative interior design service company utilizing creative solutions to bring our client’s dream into reality. See ad, page 29.

Marti Kellogg ASID 265-0949 – Professional interior designer for 30 years, bringing clients vast trade knowledge and experience. I translate their wishes and objectives into an interior environment that creates their dreamt image and a little more. See ad, page 13.


Internet Services

Albertson Insurance Services

120 E. Lake St., 265-6406 – A true locally owned Independent Agency that specializes in health, life and disability insurance. For over 15 years assisting the people of our community in protecting their families and assets. See ad, page 78.

Dave Neely Agency 105 Pine St., Ste. 110, 263-3741 – Farmers Insurance Agency serving Sandpoint and the rest of North Idaho since 1997. We specialize in personal lines insurance at competitive rates. “Where clients become friends.” See ad, page 78.

Harris Dean Insurance 1205 Highway 2, 265-9690, fax 255-4946 – The resource for all your

405 Church St., 263-3573 – Get online with, our town’s community Web site. Complete online services include Web site design, hosting, search engine optimization.

Marinas Holiday Shores/E. Hope Marine 264-5515 – Full-service marina located 18 miles east of Sandpoint on Highway 200 East in Hope, Idaho. See ad, page 66.

Sandpoint Marina Located next to the Old Power House, 120 E. Lake St., 263-3083 – Accessible to downtown Sandpoint. See ad, page 66.

Marketing Keokee Creative Group 405 Church St., 263-3573 – We help your ideas take shape. Keokee can set your company apart by developing effective advertising, public relations and marketing campaigns. Talent. Experience. Professionalism.

Massage / Spa Peggy Richards Dreams in Beauty Day Spa 263-7270, 877-422-6240 – Located on W. Bronx Rd. 1/2 mile from Schweitzer Mtn. Rd. Offering message: The Rolf Method, Deep Tissue, Sports, Trager, Swedish, Reflexology, Pregnancy, Infants and Children. Facials, herbal wraps and mud wraps. Weekend appointments and out call also available.

Heaven at Seasons 424 Sandpoint Ave., third floor, 888263-5616 – Offering holistic, healing therapies and luxury skin care treatments. Visit Heaven at Seasons for plush spa accessories, the ultimate skin care products and aromatherapy gifts. A sanctuary for the soul. See ad, page 99.

Lake to Mountain Massage 611 N. Ella, 610-3591 – Suzanne Guibert, bachelor’s degree in exercise science and nationally certified massage therapist. Bodyworker since 1997 specializing in sports and accident related injuries. Flexible hours, outcalls available. See ad, page 80.

Media Artisan Northwest Magazine 360-825-8499 – We help promote the arts scene in the Northwest and provide a high-profile venue for artists and galleries through our quarterly magazine. See ad, page 82.

Bonner County Daily Bee 310 Church St., 263-9534 – Bonner County’s #1 daily newspaper. See ad, page 120.

KPND FM - KSPT AM KIBR FM - KBFI AM KICR FM 327 Marion, 263-2179 – Blue Sky Broadcasting. Adult album alternative, news, talk, and real country. See ad, page 62. 106.7 The Point – North Idaho’s all-new rock station. See ad, page 76.

The Local Pages 888-249-6920 –The phone directory with the most. See ad, page 69.



30410 Hwy. 200, Ste. 102, Ponderay, 263-1345 – Ammara Medical is a complete family, women’s health and internal medicine practice with a full medical staff that can treat most everything. See ad, page 52.

7010 – New health club in Ponderay that focuses on giving women a comfortable, nurturing environment. Yoga, Pilates and Nia, skilled and licensed personal trainers. See ad, page 80.


Service Listings The River Journal 255-6957 – A twice-monthly publication of the news and events of our area. Get in touch with Sandpoint by reading our community paper. See ad, page 100.

Moving Handyman Services, Inc. Stop by and see our new location at 1606 Baldy Mountain Rd., 2655506 – For all your moving or handyman needs. Packing supplies available for sale. Heated storage. Residential and commercial. Your hometown movers since 1997, bonded and insured.

Optometry / Optical Paul E. Koch, O.D. Located inside Wal-Mart, Hwy. 95 N, 255-5513. – Full service optometry office. Call for an appointment, or just walk in. Same day fitting for most contact lens prescriptions. Treatment of minor eye infections. See ad, page 80.

Publishing / Printing Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. 405 Church St., 263-3573 – We publish Sandpoint Magazine, plus fine books about our region. Offering complete design, editorial and publishing services for books and all other publications.

Real Estate

Century 21 on the Lake


316 N. 2nd Ave., 255-2244 – Nationally known, locally trusted. Sandpoint’s premiere real estate firm. Any of our 22 professional agents can help you. See ad, page 115., Molly McLaughlin, Reid Treadaway and Nancy Dooley It’s as easy as 1-2-3. Three real estate agents, one team. 255-2244. See ad, page 75. Kim Hansen & Jennifer Leedy Waterfront specialists, 255-2244. See ads, pages 28, 51 and 114. Brenda Fletcher 255-8197 – For sales and service with your property! Search both Sandpoint and Cd’A areas: See ad, page 100. Donna Short 304-1080 – Lifelong resident and native of North Idaho, going back five generations. When you’re looking for more than just a strong work ethic, call me. See ad,


page 102. Shawn Taylor, Alex Wohllaib, Forrest Shuck, Tawny Lackaye For your all-access pass to Schweitzer Mountain properties, come see us in the Lazier building, located in the heart of the village. Shawn, 2902149; Alex , 610-1388; Forrest, 6106049; and Tawny, 610-4793. See ad, page 92. Chris Schreiber A commercial specialist offering you experience, education and professionalism. 263-0311. See ad, page 10.

C.M. Brewster & Co. Real Estate 211 Cedar, 263-3167, 800-338-9849 – C.M. Brewster & Co. Real Estate is a long-established team of Realtors working together to help you. Our community roots and home-town friendliness set us apart from the rest. See ad, page 48.

Coldwell Banker Resort Realty Sandpoint 263-6802, Schweitzer 263-9640 – If you’re looking for real estate in the Sandpoint area or at Schweitzer Ski Resort, we can help fill your needs. See ad, inside front cover. Rebecca Lockwood 304-9224 – Your California connection. 28 years in real estate, San Diego, Napa and Sandpoint. See ad, page 63. Michael White 290-8599 – B.S. in forestry and ecosystem management. See ad page 6. Art Lambert and Patrick Werry 255-9434, 290-2016 – Providing an exceptional real estate experience. We look forward to the opportunity to earn your trust. See ad, page 72.

Evergreen Realty 321 N. 1st, 263-6370, 800-829-6370 – For all your real estate needs in Idaho, Washington and Montana. Waterfront, Schweitzer Mountain and commercial properties. Search our virtual tours or the MLS listings. or See ad, page 4.

Evergreen Realty, Charesse Moore Charesse Moore, Sales Associate, 255-6060, 888-228-6060 – Hardworking professional. Sandpoint’s top producing agent in 2004 and 2005. See ads, pages 16, 61 and 137.


Exit Realty Sandpoint 107 N. 1st Ave., 255-4550, 888-331EXIT – “Your Safe Passage to all your real estate needs.” Find your dream home! Call today for a free market analysis. Located in downtown Sandpoint across from Starbucks. See ads, pages 46 and 99.

Four Seasons Real Estate 205 N. 1st Ave., 263-8521, 800-8018521 – Located in the heart of downtown Sandpoint. Nine professional agents with a combined total of more than 80 years of experience to serve all your real estate needs. See ad, page 110.

Lake Country Real Estate 226 N. 1st Ave., 263-5454 – Making Clients For Life. Search MLS online, see virtual tours and more. See ad, page 111. Sarah Mitchell and Natalie Leatherman 290-3402, 610-4785 – Your elements for success, embrace your element! See ad, page 53.

Lakeshore Mountain Properties 255-1446, 264-6505 – We service you from both of our locations! From the ski slopes to waterfront. Create, create, create. We help you fulfill your life’s aspirations. See ad, page 110.

Lana Kay Realty 105 Pine St., Ste. 103, 263-9546 – Serving your North Idaho and Western Montana real estate needs since 1963! See ad, page 65.

Matching people and property since 1992. Exceptional service is our focus. See ad, page 69.

Tomlinson Black Sandpoint Real Estate 200 Main St., 263-5101, 800-2826880 – No. 1 in sales and service, year after year! We’re the market leader for a reason. Offering top-notch service for residential, land, commercial land, waterfront properties. See ads, pages 33-38, or search all area listings at Also see our agents’ ads: • Jeff and Cindy Bond, page 33 • Susan and Brandon Moon, page 37 • Steve and Karen Battenschlag, page 36 • Sue Brooks, page 36 • Lauren Bisbee, PJ Nunley and Carrie LaGrace, page 38 • Shelley Healy, page 84

Windermere Idaho First Realty 1009 Hwy. 2, Ste. E, 263-8400 – Brett Gile, your high-end real estate specialist. Focusing on waterfront and vacation properties. See ad, page 94. See my listings at

Windermere Real Estate/ Resort Lifestyles, Inc. 470889 Hwy. 95 S in Sagle, 255-7800, and in the White Pine Lodge at Schweitzer, 255-2211 – 20 agents – two offices – One Goal ... helping clients find their perfect place in North Idaho from Cd’A to the Canadian border, and everywhere in between. See ad, page 20.

Mark Hall Real Estate

Real Estate Developments

409 Church St., 263-0507 – Friendly, professional, no pressure service for all your real estate needs.

Crossing at Willow Bay, The

R&L Property Management 204 E. Superior, 263-4033 – Over 25 years of rental management experience. Tenant screening, rent collection, accounting, maintenance and marketing. Residential, commercial and mini storage. Friendly, prompt service.

Sandpoint Property Management 314 N. 3rd Ave., 263-9233 – Since 1993, providing exceptional real estate management. Whether it’s showing property, screening tenants, collecting rent and more, we can take care of it all. See ad, page 18.

Tamarack Realty 101 N. 1st Ave., 263-9703 –

Sandpoint’s newest premier waterfront community featuring 82 luxury homesites on 180 wooded acres located on the Pend Oreille River. Adjacent is the Willow Bay Marina and Trinity at Willow Bay. Contact Kim Hansen at Century 21 On The Lake, 263-0639. See ad, pages 54-55.

Dover Bay 265-1597 – Dover Bay, a new waterfront community. Homesites, condominiums and cabins. Custom built homes. On the shores of beautiful Lake Pend Oreille, ideally located only 3.5 miles west of Sandpoint. See ad, page 30.

Hillwood Park at Blue Heron Lake 208-659-4327 – A new innovative community on 44 secluded acres with

Service Listings 10 forested homesites. Located just 7 miles from Sandpoint. See ad, page 48.

Idaho Club, The 800-323-7020 – A private, upscale waterfront community featuring Idaho’s first Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. Amenities include lakefront recreation, spa, marina, kid’s club. See ad, page 44.

Iron Horse Ranch 406-995-7806 – Iron Horse Ranch at Sandpoint, a 380-acre private gated community of 24 unique homesites ranging from 5 to 12 acres. Over 200 acres dedicated to open space. See ad, page 3.

Ridge at Sandpoint, The This special gated neighborhood is limited to only 10 view homesites on 6- to 12-acre parcels located less than 6 easy miles from downtown Sandpoint. See ad, page 23. Call 208946-1300 or check out our website at

Seasons at Sandpoint


Specialty Foods

Vacation Rentals

Kootenai River Inn Casino & Spa

Flying Fish Company

Lakeshore Mountain Management

Hwy. 95, Bonners Ferry, reservations 800-346-5668 – Stay, play and relax at the all-newly remodeled facility. Three casino rooms, 65 deluxe guest rooms, riverfront view, Springs Restaurant and new luxury spa. See ad, page 96.

620 N. 5th Ave., 255-5837 – The Flying Fish Company features the finest selection of fresh and frozen seafood in North Idaho. It is open Wednesdays and Fridays all year round. Everything we sell is guaranteed. See ad, page 90.

Sandpoint West Athletic Club

Litehouse Bleu Cheese Factory

1905 Pine St., 263-6633 – Full-service club with indoor pool, aerobics, racquetball and more. Daily rates, flexible/affordable memberships. See ad, page 74.

Resorts Pend Oreille Shores Resort 47390 Hwy. 200, Hope, 264-5828. Fully furnished condos on Lake Pend Oreille. Full-service athletic club with indoor pool, racquetball. Boat moorage. See ad, page 75.

313 N. 2nd Ave., 255-4420 – Luxury waterfront condominiums and townhomes. Experience the best of both worlds – lakefront in the heart of downtown. See ad, pages 70-71.


Village at Riverstone

Spa & Stove

South from I-90 on Northwest Blvd., 877-775-2005 – 1, 2 and 3-bedroom luxury condominium homes located on the river in Coeur d’Alene. A perfect balance between civilization and nature, community spirit and intimate privacy. See ad, page 11.

Just 11 miles from Sandpoint, 8002,500 skiable acres, 7 chairlifts, two slopeside lodges. Plus tubing, snowmobile rides and Nordic trails. See ad, inside back cover.

Mountain Spa & Stove 1225 Michigan, 263-0582 – Featuring spas and saunas, stoves and fireplaces, furnaces and boilers for your home, garage, shop or barn. See ad, page 91.

125 S. 2nd at Lake, 263-2030 – Fresh cheese curds, homemade bleu cheese, domestic and imported cheeses, local and Northwest food items, including everything huckleberry. See ad, page 125.

Winter Ridge Foods Market


703 W. Lake St., 265-8135 – Specializing in organic produce, natural and organic meats, and an organic coffee and juice bar. Deli, bulk foods, supplements, homeopathic medicines and literature. See ad, page 81.

Sporting Equipment Alpine Shop 213 Church, 263-5157 and at Schweitzer, 255-1660 – Ski and snowboard sales and rentals. Winter wear. Custom boot fitting. Boat sales and service. See ad, page 63.

Athlete’s Choice 102 Cedar, 263-8158 – We carry the newest lines of athletic shoes, sportsspecific shoes, casual shoes, athletic apparel and athletic equipment. See ad, page 90.

264-5300, 888-708-3300 – A full range of accommodations to suit every vacation need. From the shores of Lake Pend Oreille to the slopes of Schweitzer Mountain. New properties welcome.

Sandpoint Vacation Rentals 263-7570 or 866-263-7570 – Locally owned and operated. SVR offers a variety of fully furnished accommodations located in the Sandpoint area, up at Schweitzer Resort, and on beautiful Lake Pend Oreille. See ad, page 12.

Sleep’s Cabins Lakeshore Drive, 255-2122 – Six historic log and bungalow cabins on beautiful Lake Pend Oreille. Sleeps 412. See ad, page 126.

Vacationville 109B N. 1st Ave., 255-7074, 877-2557074 – Sandpoint’s oldest and largest vacation rental company. Specializing in vacation rentals on “the lake, the mountain and the city in between.” Open Mon.-Sat., 9-5; Sun. 11-3. See ad, page 74.

Wine Pend d’Oreille Winery 220 Cedar St., 265-8545 – Tastings, tours and retail sales of our awardwinning wines and others from world-class vineyards of the Northwest. Open 7 days. Expanded gift and wine shop in new location. See ad, page 125. or e-mail:

Sandpoint’s Top Producing Agent*

*Based on Selkirk MLS data for 2004, 2005 & YTD 2006

Waterfront Home on Over an Acre

Separate guest home and majestic lake & Schweitzer views. A protected bay with boat dock, mature trees, landscaped yard with fire pit, 3 BR, 3 BA, master suite, wood & log accents, hydronic heat, large decks, and an attached 2-car garage. 1 BR, 1 BA guest home with lake views. Desirable Hope location. An incredible showplace!

Website: 321 N. First Avenue, Sandpoint, ID 83864 E-mail: Cell: 208.255.6060 Toll Free 888.228.6060 WINTER 2007


“My strong work ethics, high energy level and dedication to helping buyers and sellers with their real estate needs are what have made my business a success. I enjoy what I do and look forward to helping clients attain their dream.”


Last Page The view from this rock enjoyed by the author, at left, on Bald Mountain looks like a postcard. Inset, a postcard of the Big Apple shows a preSept. 11 view.

swimming, other than in a pool, you can drive two hours to the Jersey shore. Or if you want to ski, you can drive three hours to Pennsylvania. There is no one central location. Of course NYC offers some of the most thrilling concerts with the biggest

Back home, in a small town paradise By Jesse A. Zirwes



light breeze brought in the crisp mountain air and the smell of freshly cut grass. After living in New York City for three months, breathing clean air is refreshing. No longer do I feel as if I’m being suffocated by a humidity-intensified, polluted city; I am home in the sweet little town of Sandpoint. I have lived in the magical city of Paris, the farmlands of Wisconsin, the bustling streets of NYC and the vacationer’s paradise of Sandpoint; and I must say, Sandpoint is an amazing place to live. As I stood on the edge of my dock on Lake Pend Oreille, I looked across to Sunnyside Mountain as an osprey flew overhead in the pale blue sky. It was peaceful to listen to the waves lap against the rocky shore and feel the warm sun beating down, versus the sound of a taxi honking at a slow-moving vehicle and the feeling of moist heat rising from a subway vent as water droplets land on your head from overused air conditioners. Even though Sandpoint is such a wonderful little town, it does not offer the same career opportunities or the exhilarating social life as NYC. If you want to be a stockbroker, you are most likely going to be more successful on SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


Wall Street as opposed to Pine Street. The same goes for life after 10 p.m. If you want to listen to jazz music, dance at a hopping club or sing along with a piano player, your best bet is to be in NYC. It all comes down to what is most important and what you are willing to give up: fresh air or nightlife? When I returned home from my venture in NYC, I took time to pause atop a large rock on Bald Mountain overlooking Sandpoint. What a perfect town, I thought, as I looked at the view. The lake is a clear, crisp blue; the trees are a brilliant shade of green; and soon snow will be falling onto the mountaintops. The panoramic view of the town, lake and river looks like a postcard. A photo of NYC laid next to a postcard of NYC makes you think you are looking at two different cities. When I told people in the Big Apple of our town of less than 9,000 residents, they couldn’t believe that one place could offer so much. In one town you can ski, snowboard, hike, swim, attend art fairs, watch a parade of vintage cars and listen to amazing concerts at an intimate outdoor festival. If you live in NYC, in order to go

names in the industry, but the atmosphere is not nearly as relaxed as that of the Festival at Sandpoint where you can walk around barefoot and have a picnic on a blanket while listening to fascinating music. Sandpoint may not have the history, the shopping or the nightlife of NYC, but if you want an outdoor mecca, Sandpoint is the place. Some may crave the bustling city where people are too impatient for the light to change but where the best restaurants can be found. I would have to use the old cliché and say the “city that never sleeps” is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there. But Sandpoint, it’s a nice place to visit, and it makes you want to live here – or return home, if ever you do leave. Jesse A. Zirwes is a senior in journalism and French at the University of Montana and spent the summer of 2006 interning at Forbes in New York City. She is a Sandpoint High School graduate.

unique clothes, looks & style The moment you step through our door, you’ll sense that you’ve discovered a very special place. Find a unique collection of colors, fabrics and textures for every occasion; versatility for busy lifestyles; and exciting ways to make them work beautifully together. Savor world-class wines and assorted cold and warm beverages in our unique Wine Bar. Pay us a visit! And experience shopping as it was truly meant to be.

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