Sandpoint Magazine Winter 2014

Page 1




and Schweitzer never looked so good

Skiing Schweitzer’s first season, 1963-64


Interview with Former Spy and Bank Robber Christopher Boyce, Sages of Sandpoint, Remembering Patrick Orton, New Hand at the Panida, Bakken Oil Field Commuters, Blogger Allie Brosh, Whale Warrior Katie Adams, Calendars, Dining, Real Estate … and yes, even more!

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Anytime Info

For recorded information or to speak to the listing agent, call 208.449.0071 and use the 5-digit property code.

Peaceful, Private, Timeless Home. Beautiful extensive masonry of native rock, and massive log accents throughout the home. Breathtaking views. Set in mature trees, lush lawn and gardens that invite you to the level pebble beach with pristine waterfront. Includes a charming guest cottage, and 4 car garage. #14111 Carrie LaGrace 208.290.1965

Private Custom Log Home with 150’ FRONTAGE Pend Oreille River. Gentle slope to level waterfront with sandy beach. Spectacular views. Gorgeous hard wood floors, and floor to ceiling rock fireplace. Dock with space for two boats. 2 Car detached garage. Room for RV Parking. #10421 Carrie LaGrace 208.290.1965

Rare Waterfront Opportunity! Custom log waterfront home on 836 feet of level private sandy shoreline backed by 25+ acres of trees and fenced/cross-fenced pasture. Long dock for boats & water toys. Shop/garage for RV, equipment & boat/toys. Barn w/hay storage. Adjacent 22 acres avail. #12201 Bill Schaudt 208.255.6172

Newer 3 Bedroom Condo. Fully furnished, well appointed, with 2.5 bathrooms plus a spacious bonus room. Light and open floor plan with comfortable living spaces. Covered deck/BBQ area, twocar garage, big windows in every room, gorgeous mountain views. This condo sleeps 10! #11591 Call Alison Murphy 208.290.4567

Peak View Estate – 80 Acres – 4 Ensuite bedrooms – Private 4 acre pond and creek – Movie theater – Elevator – 5 Fireplaces – 4 Car garage – #10171 Cheri Hiatt 208.290.3719

100’ on Lake Pend Oreille – 3 Bed 2.5 Bath – Pebble beach – Security system – Artist studio and wood shop – 3 Car garage – Dock and boat rail – #15801 Cheri Hiatt 208.290.3719 – The Ranch of Your Dreams – Quality Custom Dovetail Log Home – Two Barns – Two Shops – Creeks/Springs – Open pastures – Big Timber – 157 Acres – Surrounded by USFS – Abundant Wildlife #11261 Karen Battenschlag 208.610.4299

Schweitzer Mountain Living! Like New! Townhome Style Condo Quality Finishes – Custom Kitchen – Granite and tile – Fireplace – Open floor plan with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths – Double Garage-Shop area – Heated Driveway #13361 Karen Battenschlag 208.610.4299 Remodeled 5,472 SF home on private 10+ acres with 850’ of Pack River frontage. Territorial views. Gourmet kitchen, multiple entertaining and gathering rooms, spacious office, main level master suite, wine cellar, expansive outdoor living areas! $749,000 #15551 Cindy Bond 208.255.8360

Quality Turnbull Home on Bottle Bay with lake & mountain views. End of the road privacy. 5 ac/w access to boat slip, tennis court, boat launch & Recreation Island. 3,400+ SF home, SS appliances & huge rock fireplace. Main floor master suite. 900 SF guest studio over 3-car garage. $720,000 #15701 Call Susan Moon 208.290.5037

Holiday Shores Waterfront Condo. Newly remodeled upper floor condo on Lake Pend Oreille in Hope. 2 bed, 2 bath, + loft. Granite, specialty lighting and SS appliances in kitchen. Gas fireplace. 1-car detached garage. Gorgeous views. Community dock, swimming area. $410,000 #15821 Call Susan Moon 208.290.5037

Beautiful Lake Pend Oreille and Cabinet Mountain views from 5-ac parcel at Ravenwood. Just minutes to downtown Sandpoint. Fire suppression tanks, well and septic are installed. Natural gas, power and phone are in the street. View easement and CCR’s apply. $238,000 #11721 Call Susan Moon 208.290.5037

© MMVII Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Claude Monet’s “Red Boats at Argenteuil,” used with permission. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a licensed trademark to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated, Except Offices Owned And Operated By NRT Incorporated. Sandpoint office: 208-263-5101, 200 Main Street, Sandpoint, ID 83864.

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Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

waterfront views, live Music, full bar ...

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W I N TE R 2 0 1 4 , Vo l . 2 4 , N o . 1


FEATURES 66 Cover Story: Schweitzer’s First 50 Years

When Schweitzer opened in 1963, it was “the biggest thing to ever happen” to Sandpoint. PLUS: First-person vignettes and the mountain’s future


Evolution of the Panida


Making the Town Tick


Winter Glamping at Snyder Guard Station


It’s Hyperbole and a Little More


She’s Going to War for the Whales

The historic theater’s renaissance continues under new leadership Behind the scenes with Kathy Chambers, volunteer extraordinaire Cold weather means a better chance of reserving this popular rental Allie Brosh off to an amazing start as a comedic writer-illustrator Katie Adams crews for the Sea Shepherd Society, showdowns and all

47 53 57 61 72

Deep in the Bakken Locals sacrifice for North Dakota pay dirt Wintering Eagles Baldies soar shorelines year-round Unleashing an Artist Patti Ragone releases pent-up creativity Sages of Sandpoint Four remarkable men in their 90s Chasing the Light Adventure photographer Patrick Orton made the most of his 24 years


Almanac Who, What and Why in Greater Sandpoint Calendar With Hot Picks and POAC Performance Series Interview Christopher Boyce, Cold War-era Soviet Spy Real Estate

10 21 25 80

Staking Out Their Own Private Idaho: Living away from it all Unwinding the Curve: City devising alternative Highway 2 plan Dreams in Clay: City’s first straw bale homes going up at Larch Marketwatch: Real estate enters ‘new normalcy,’ with market trends

80 84 87 90

Natives and Newcomers Winter Guide Lodging Eats & Drinks Dining Guide Pictured in History

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93 98 102 105 116 122

On the cover: “Early Stiles” is the classic Ross Hall photograph of Austrian ski instructor Werner Beck, who established a junior racing program at Schweitzer in its first season, 1963-64. He was captured descending the run named after Dr. Merritt Stiles, a prominent promoter of the fledgling resort. See “Schweitzer’s First 50 Years,” page 66. Above: Elliott Bernhagen summits Scotchman Peak in this image by the late Patrick Orton. Read about that day and the remarkable life of this young photographer, page 72.

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publisher’s note There’s a backstory to our interview with former Soviet spy and bank robber Christopher Boyce. In 1980 until May 1981, I was editor of the Bonners Ferry Herald – just as Boyce was hiding out at Gloria White’s cabin up on Katka Mountain. Around midnight every Tuesday, after putting our weekly newspaper to bed, my reporter and pal Barry Espenson and I would venture across the street to one of the local watering holes, usually Mr. C’s or sometimes the Mint Club. Boyce says he was often in the town pubs too. It’s likely Boyce – the focus of an intense global manhunt by the FBI and U.S. Marshals – was sitting a few stools down on at least a few occasions. For a young journalist, it was a heck of a story in waiting. Of course, it’s one I missed. Boyce finally got arrested in Port Angeles four months after I left the Herald. And I’ve always had this nagging idea that, really now, shouldn’t I have gotten that story? So when we learned that Boyce, after two decades in prison, had written a book, I saw the chance for a little journalistic redemption. Admittedly, I got the story about 30 years late – but those who know me will testify I tend to run a little behind. I expect the interview will bring us complaints – “It will be interesting to see how you will play a story about a major Judas, a Soviet spy, in the very positive Sandpoint Magazine,” was one friend’s comment. But the Boyce story is fascinating and has many threads besides the question of treason. See what you think, and let us know; we invite feedback via Facebook and at –C.B. Sandpoint Magazine is published twice yearly, in May and November, by Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc., 405 Church St., Sandpoint, ID 83864. Phone: 208-263-3573 E-mail: Publisher Chris Bessler Editor Billie Jean Gerke Assistant Editor Beth Hawkins Advertising Director Clint Nicholson



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Skinning to Scotchman Peak



Sandy Compton, who wrote “Wintering Eagles,” page 53, has been watching for his favorite eagle perched

in the eagle’s favorite tree for the past several years on his commute. He has also been skiing at Schweitzer for lo, these many years, though not quite the 50 he covers in “Schweitzer’s First 50 Years,” page 66. When he’s not writing for Sandpoint Magazine, he might be found working for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, hiking in wilderness or writing yet another riveting novel.

Cate Huisman has lived in Sandpoint since

the turn of the millennium and has been writing for Sandpoint Magazine since 2006. For the current issue, she revisited several topics: amazing senior citizens like Dr. Forrest Bird (page 61), the Panida Theater (page 33) and city planning issues (page 84). The huntress, however, was an entirely new topic for her; she enjoyed writing it because she believes hunters are non-vegetarians who truly face the realities of the food they eat (page 10).

Megan Michelson, a Tahoe City, Calif.,-based freelance writer, never had a chance to meet Patrick Orton in person. But as the freeskiing editor for, she had purchased Orton’s ski photography before and was struck by his talent and potential. In reporting “Chasing the Light,” page 72, a story about Orton’s life, work and tragic death, Michelson spoke with many of his friends and family. “I hope to live my own life with the same passion and love that Patrick seemed to have for his,” she says.

Teresa Pesce

is the founder of Sandpoint Onstage and frequently works with actor/producer Ron Ragone. He and his wife, Patti, are wonderfully hospitable people, and at one of their gatherings, Patti gave Teresa a tour of her in-home studio. “I was astounded by the variety of mediums, her talent and her utter humility,” said Teresa. “I thought Sandpoint would enjoy knowing more about her. And since she’s not one to tell her own story – I did!” See “Unleashing an Artist,” page 57. Art Director Laura Wahl Ad Design/Production Jackie Palmer, Katie Kosaya Office Manager Beth Acker Contributors Dusty Aunan, Sandy Compton, Erica Curless, Trish Gannon, Christine Grant, Cate Huisman, Jennifer Lamont Leo, Marianne Love, Megan Michelson, Teresa Pesce, Eric Plummer, Laura Roady, Aaron Theisen and Pam Webb

©2014 by Keokee Co. Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Subscriptions: $12 per year, payable in advance. Send address changes to the address above. Visit our web magazine published at Printed in USA by Century Publishing, Post Falls, Idaho.


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Local Artemis an Extreme Huntress finalist Amanda Lowrey competes in Texas as one of four Extreme Huntress finalists. COURTESY PHOTO


andpoint mom Amanda Lowrey, 25, is just the kind of hunter the TV program Eye of the Hunter was looking for with its Extreme Huntress competition. She has been hunting with her family since she was a child, and her two daughters – Maya, 5, and Joanna, 4 – join her at elk camp in the fall along with their dad and grandparents. She came across the Extreme Huntress Facebook page by accident less than a week before the deadline to enter. “I liked the idea that it wasn’t just a popularity contest; you had to hunt and know skills,” said Lowrey. “Their mission is to get moms off hunting, and this is our personal family mission also – to encourage families to go together.” Lowrey wrote an essay and provided some photos to enter; then she waited to hear whether she had been selected as one of the top 10 entrants by celebrity hunters Larry Weishuhn and Olivia Opre. Lowrey made that cut and then rose to the final four in online voting. Next, she had to prove her skills. Lowrey headed to the 777 Ranch in Hondo, Texas, last summer to join the other three finalists for four days of competition in tracking, target shooting and speed shooting, as well

as actual hunting, which was Lowrey’s favorite event. She was introduced to game animals she had never seen before – blackbuck antelope, axis deer, aoudad and red sheep – and she had to figure out how to pursue them: “We got to look at a map for a minute and otherwise had no guidance,” she said. Back home in Idaho, Lowrey hunts deer, bear and elk. Having used a rifle for years, she has come to prefer a compound bow, because it requires her to get closer to her prey. “Being that close to such magnificent animals is exhilarating, kind of a heart-pounding experience,” she said. In addition to providing a challenge and a chance for time together, hunting feeds her family. The game they shoot each fall provides their meat for the year. See episodes and support Lowrey by voting at www.extreme Online voting accounts for 30 percent of the judging and continues through 2013. –Cate Huisman

Teaming up to target early education


arly education is key

READY! for Kindergarten, and parents

play with their kids in ways that develop

to children starting

and their children are seeing benefits.

language, math and social skills.

ahead and staying ahead

gram, and his kindergarten readiness

since its inception in 2008, more than

that’s the focus of READY!

skills tested so highly they moved him

200 children from the program have

for Kindergarten, a nation-

directly from pre-school into kindergar-

entered kindergarten. More than 90

ally recognized program

ten at age 4,” said Larry Hoover.

percent of those test at or above readi-

Oreille School District. The district and Panhandle Alliance for Education teamed up to offer



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READY! is making a difference;

in school, studies find, and

available in the Lake Pend Larry Hoover with son Easton

“My son went through the pro-

Three times a year READY! provides free classes, books and toys for parents of children from birth to 5 years. The goal is to coach parents how to read and

ness, compared with just 66 percent of kids from non-READY! homes. –Pam Webb


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Hollan endures epic ride, wolf chase for charity


ho’s afraid of the big, bad wolf? Apparently not Mac Hollan, 35, a Sandpoint student teacher who completed an epic 2,775-mile fundraising bicycle tour from Sandpoint to Alaska last summer. Hollan was in the midst of his adventure to help raise funds for the Sandpoint Backpack Program when he was chased along a remote stretch of Alaskan highway by a hungry-looking wolf. The story and photos received front-page media coverage, but in hindsight Hollan shrugs off the incident: “It was 10 minutes of terror, and then the rest of the five and a half weeks was great!” Well, not all great. Turns out another headline-grabbing story – the June super storm that flooded many communities in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains – became the biggest challenge for Hollan and two companions. “We were wet for three weeks,” Hollan said. “Packing up wet camp, getting soaked, moldy and muddy. It was tough, because it was at the beginning.” The group used humor to cope. Hollan is proud of his achievement – finishing the bicycle ride at Prudhoe Bay in the Arctic Circle and raising $15,000 in donations. Administered by the Bonner Community Food Bank, the Backpack Program supplies Lake Pend Oreille School District students with food for the weekend. According to Hollan’s website,, the need is high, but the program has yet to make it to all of the local schools, including Farmin Stidwell Elementary where Hollan student-teaches. His experience in dealing with students who return Monday to school hungry

On a ride from Sandpoint to Alaska, Mac Hollan, above, pedaled furiously as a wolf, left, chased him, biting at his panniers. An RV eventually stopped and rescued Hollan

fueled his passion for the project. “Of all the things in Sandpoint, the Backpack Program is the one that resonates with me,” he said. His goal is to raise $20,000, so he says he isn’t done yet. He will create a movie from his GoPro helmet cam videos and pair it with a presentation. “The space, the light was amazing, and the sun never goes down that time of year,” he said. “I think the chase may have overshadowed the cause, but it definitely brought a ton of publicity!” Hollan said. –Beth Hawkins

ICL staff: Will work for wilderness


had always admired the Idaho

in 2006, Drumheller’s first accomplish-

issues: the Pend d’Oreille Bay

Conservation League as a reporter

ment was starting a Selkirks hiking

Trail, protection for caribou

because I thought they were a credible

series. “The hiking series gets people out

and roadless areas, and zon-

organization,” said Susan Drumheller,

to appreciate what we have in the great

ing code revisions in Bonner

50, a former Spokesman-Review

outdoors,” she said, adding that outings

County. ICL spearheads

reporter who now leads Sandpoint’s

also increase awareness.

the Earth Day Festival and

Idaho Conservation League (ICL) office. In its 40-year history, ICL’s most no-

Since then, the office added Brad

helped establish the City of

Smith, 33, to work on public lands, and

Sandpoint’s Drug Drop-off

table achievement in northern Idaho was

Nancy Dooley, 45, for outreach and


Long Canyon’s designation as proposed

development. Together they have been

wilderness. Opening the Sandpoint office

involved in a myriad of conservation WINTER 2014

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–Billie Jean Gerke

ICL’s Sandpoint staff, from left, Nancy Dooley, Susan Drumheller and Brad Smith



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First in Fashion

Family Van Tour hits musical benchmark


Visit us downtown and pamper yourself with unique, carefully chosen apparel collections and accessories to complement you and your contemporary lifestyle. 326 North First Avenue, Sandpoint 208.263.0712


n May 2013, five Sandpoint musicians and two of their The Family Van Tour children set off in a 1976 Winnebago Sportsman. It was included, from left, the start of The Family Van Tour. The five musicians Josh Hedlund, Erin comprise three acts: Holly McGarry, 20, Josh Hedlund, Brannigan, Holly 30, and Cedar & Boyer – whose core members are Jen McGarry, and Jen and Justin Landis, 32 and 34, and Erin Brannigan, 34. and Justin Landis They soon adjusted to life on the road, brushing their teeth in gas station bathrooms, etc. without a second thought. According to Justin Landis, success on the road boiled down to four tasks: “Don’t run out of gas, find some food (if hungry), get to the gig on time and find a relatively level place to park the RV.” For entertainment, the group would play games with the Landis kids, have soccer practice and serenade one another. One night Hedlund and Justin Landis played lullabies and other songs for the youngsters as they were falling asleep in the RV. “I think both of us were in tears at one point,” said Hedlund.

Artist recreates paper hammer

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ne decision can change the course of your life dramatically. For Denys

production of paper hammers was in 1956. With the help of her husband, Stan

Knight, it was taking a class in May 2012

Knight, who is also a retired artist, they cre-

on copper art. For the past 35 years, Knight

ated a paper hammer from scratch. That one

was a lettering artist, fine detail painter and

hammer led to inquiries from copper artist

instructor of calligraphic lettering. Then she

friends, and her business “The Accidental

became hooked on pounding copper.

Hammer” was born.

Knight began working with copper and a

Stan created a machine to produce the

new set of tools to create intricate pieces

tightly wrapped paper heads – up to 10 a

of art, from flowers to landscapes, just by

day. The hickory handles, chosen because

folding copper. The benefit of working with

hickory absorbs shock, are handmade at a

copper, she says, is that it can be softened

factory in Tennessee.

and redesigned. However, Knight couldn’t find a hammer that didn’t leave dents. Her copper art teacher told her about

The Knights assemble three different sizes of paper hammers at their home and studio in Bonners Ferry. They received an exclusive

paper hammers made during World War I

contract with Rio Grande, a retail jewelry

when leather was scarce. However, the last

company, last summer for the distribution of


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ALMANAC They played in bars, restaurants and coffee shops all over the Northwest and northern California. On the road for 15 days, the group had 14 nights of shows and a day off in San Francisco. That day they were able to visit the Daytrotter studio to record sessions. posts studio sessions from up-and-coming bands as well as legendary acts such as George Clinton and Neil Young. For a small monthly fee, Daytrotter members can stream and download the recordings. Being featured on Daytrotter is considered a holy grail of sorts for independent musicians and was both exciting and intimidating for The Family Van group. “I was incredibly nervous going into the Daytrotter session,” said McGarry, a 2012 Sandpoint High graduate who attends Berklee College of Music in Boston, “because in a lot of ways it seemed like the most important thing I’d been asked to do. All my heroes were on the site, and I felt a lot of pressure, mostly from myself, to perform better than I ever had.” Visit to check out the recordings; and see artist websites at and www.

the Season for baking snowflakes

Join the cookie dance!

–Dusty Aunan

Jan Welle, Kitchen Artist

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Sandpoint’s Complete Paint & Wallpaper Store 714 Pine Street Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)263-5032

Artist Denys Knight shapes copper with a paper hammer. PHOTO BY LAURA ROADY

their hammers. “I didn’t mean to do it,” said Denys Knight. “It was an accident and it’s been fun.” See

Harold & Liz Stephenson

–Laura Roady


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Paint’s and sundries Custom Framing Wall coverings



10/17/13 2:38 PM

ALMANAC Inspiring Grace founder Lindy Lewis, third from left, with supporters Georgia Shonk-Simmons, Lara Wohllaib and Trish Stockton at a fundraising concert. PHOTO BY LAURA WAHL

Inspiring Grace

gives students tools for life


ess is more” – that’s the mantra that Sandpoint resident Lindy Lewis, 45, learned to live by after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago. The progressive disease forced Lewis to put the brakes on a hectic lifestyle and professional career, and she took up yoga to counteract the chaos. Soon, Lewis became passionate about the soothing, healing qualities of yoga and started teaching after-school sessions at Sandpoint High School. Wanting to share her newfound sense of how to relieve the pressures of life, Lewis founded Inspiring Grace – a program meant just for middle school and high school students ( The goal is for youth to learn tools that can help them cope with the stresses of their teenage years, and promote kindness and compassion within themselves and in others. Inspiring Grace launched in 2011; Lewis said the response has been positive

from students and teachers alike. “When kids are nicer to themselves, they’re nicer to others,” she said. While the nonprofit is currently in a “launch and learn” mode, Lewis has assembled a team of 10 volunteers who go into the classrooms and lead the program. Inspiring Grace has two paid staffers supported by private donors. “Their passion for assisting teens to take better care of themselves is appreciated and valued,” said Sandpoint High School Principal Becky Meyer. “They have made a measurable difference in students’ lives.” Lewis hopes Inspiring Grace creates a ripple effect throughout the world. “When I’m old and these kids are running the country, everyone will be kinder and more compassionate,” Lewis said. –Beth Hawkins

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10/17/13 2:38 PM


Winter Ridge doing well by doing good


• Framed Prints

The expansion at Winter Ridge Natural Foods allows for sit-down dining at the popular market and café. PHOTO BY CHRISTINE GRANT

high-quality, healthy food on his customers’ plates: “We have so many stories about customers that were able to regain their health through dietary changes or supplements.” –Christine Grant

• Fine Leather • Candles • Lamps • Lotions •

Interior Consultation • Area Rugs

hen Gregg Prummer’s son was diagnosed with celiac disease, the subsequent challenges to find gluten-free foods inspired him to open a natural foods store. He took a gamble – quitting his job and taking out a home equity loan – to start the business on a hunch that there would be a growing demand for local, organic and sustainable food. He made a good bet. Winter Ridge Natural Foods opened in 1997 at a 1,200-square-foot space on Main Street. Sixteen years later Winter Ridge is a thriving operation with a staff of 28. “Business is the best it has ever been. More and more people are becoming aware of how their food choices impact both their health and the environment. Our customers want the option to buy food free of pesticides, hormones and GMOs,” said Prummer, 44. Thanks to a growing and loyal customer base, Prummer knew early in 2012 that it was time to expand the store’s current Lake Street location. “We wanted to offer more products and services but just ran out of space,” said Prummer. Construction started last July; the expansion brings Winter Ridge’s total square footage up to 9,900 square feet, more than eight times the size of the store’s first location. New amenities include an expanded organic produce department; a café complete with a sit-down menu and fireplace; a community room for cooking classes and presentations from nutritionists and other health specialists; and a butcher’s counter with fresh, local meat, including free-range, organic beef from Prummer’s father’s ranch. Prummer enjoys the simple pleasure of knowing that Winter Ridge helps put


208.255.2824 WINTER 2014

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10/17/13 2:38 PM


The Hive creates new nightlife vibe


andpoint has a new indoor music and events venue, The Hive. With a capacity of up to 600, the historic building at 207 N. First Ave., formerly The Dive, is designed for everything from art exhibitions and community fundraisers to teen dances and weddings. But, mainly, the musicloving owners – Jeff Grady, Rick Auletta and Shelby Rognstad – have a vision to draw national music talent and to foster a more robust music scene in Sandpoint. They’re off to a good start since opening in May 2013. “Attracting talent has been really easy. Artists are seeking us out,”

Fabulous flowers, unique plants & clever gifts

said Rognstad, 39. The Hive already boasts a commendable list of veteran performers, some who appeared at a series during the Festival at Sandpoint dubbed “The Aftival,” including: soul/ blues singer and former American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks; highly acclaimed bluegrass band, The Infamous Stringdusters; and Gaudi, a Londonbased electronica and world beat DJ. Appealing to a broad range of patrons by offering all genres of music is a core part of The Hive’s business and artistic philosophy, according to Rognstad. Drawing customers from Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and beyond will be

Lovable swim coach happiest around water Longtime area swim coach Mike Brosnahan is held up by the 2013 Sandpoint High School swim team. PHOTO BY ERIC PLUMMER


adult life. The passion for the water wasn’t innate but has blossomed over time and continues

W ber to: Am pho

Glanville Photogra phy

208-265-7900 888-391-3033



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fortable in water, training lifeguards

“I was one of those kids that was afraid of the water,” said Brosnahan, who

at City Beach or coaching stroke mechanics

conquered that fear at age 11. “I was teach-

to Olympics-caliber swimmers, Sandpoint’s

ing by the time I was 14 and I’ve never taken

Mike Brosnahan is happiest when he’s around

a break.”


120 W Cedar St • Sandpoint, ID 16

to thrive today. hether teaching babies to be com-

The energetic Brosnahan, who is married

The popular, eccentric and charismatic

with three children, has coached thousands of

50-year-old aquatics director at Sandpoint

swimmers on the Sandpoint High School and

West Athletic Club has been teaching people

Sandpoint Sharks swim teams over the past

of all skill levels how to swim for his entire

25 years.


10/17/13 4:53 PM

ALMANAC The Hive on First Avenue, the newest performance space in town, buzzes with a nighttime concert. PHOTO BY CHRISTINE GRANT

a financial necessity for The Hive, but Rognstad feels confident that Sandpoint-area residents will play a substantial role filling the venue. “There was a demand for The Hive. A lot of Sandpoint residents were driving to Seattle and Portland for concerts and nightlife. We wanted to bring it home so that people don’t have to travel so far for a fun night out,” he said. In a town where, up until now, most high-profile live music was only available during the Festival at Sandpoint and, on occasion, at the Panida Theater and Di Luna’s, many locals are happy to have a year-round, indoor nightlife venue that will help liven up the long northern Idaho winters. “Dancing is just so good for my soul. And The Hive has a really great vibe!” said Denise Alveari, a local patron. Look up The Sandpoint HIVE on for updates.

Like us on

606 N. 3rd Avenue, Suite 101, Sandpoint | (208) 263-1435

Family Health Center

Caring for you through all the stages of your life

–Christine Grant

“He’s really understanding and very personable. When you talk to him, you get the feeling you’re appreciated, which is nice,” says Sandpoint senior captain Shanna Crayne. “He may be flighty, but he always pays attention to you. Everybody loves Mike.” When he’s not around the water, he enjoys skiing, sailing and working on and collecting old Volkswagens, including his trusty, green, 1967 Westfalia van, still his primary mode of transport. He says a good swim instructor understands there is a lot of primal brain fear in the water, and while “fight or flight” might help on land, it works against you in the water. “I understand the fears of people learning to swim,” said Brosnahan, who is drawn to the positive energy in the pool. “It’s been brought up by my family and wife that I have to be around the water.” –Eric Plummer


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10/17/13 2:38 PM


Men bare emotions to the world in film


he world will learn the “meaning of being a man” thanks to a small group of Sandpoint guys who expose their raw, emotional struggles and feelings on film. The documentary “About Men” screens Jan. 31, 2014, at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint. The world premiere is in Denmark, home of filmmaker Maja Bugge, 28. “Who would not be curious what men are talking about when they are alone?” said Bugge, who traveled to Sandpoint in July 2012 to film the Sandpoint Men’s Group. “Everyone interested in empathy and human connection, relationships and gender will find this film important.” This kind of insight was elusive, especially for a female filmmaker. With no luck in New York City, she contacted Sandpoint’s Owen Marcus, who she heard talking on a radio show discussing how men need emotional support from

other men, yet most guys have few close friends to rely on. Soon after, Bugge was driving across the Long Bridge. The men she met were confident, curious and open, forgetting her gender and camera, even as strong emotions surfaced. Marcus sets up men’s groups across the country and recently published his book “Grow Up: A Man’s Danish filmmaker Maja Bugge, left, shoots video of Robert Guide to Masculine Emotional Myers for her documentary “About Men.” Photo by Chris Bessler Intelligence.” Men’s groups are about being real and supporting your brothers, he said. It’s not therapy standing of men and their need for and participants don’t sit in loincloths male-only spaces. or pound their chests. The grassroots “For the first time, a men’s group has movement is more than friends drinking opened their doors for a camera,” Bugge beer and watching football. said. “The film shows that everybody is The feature-length film focuses on capable of loving themselves and others four men within the larger group. Bugge if we dare express our vulnerability.” said the film makes people reflect See on their own personal relationships. –Erica F. Curless Women, she said, gain a better under-












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Charter school, NIC and partners go P-TECH


orrest Bird Charter School has teamed with North Idaho College, Idaho Distance Education Academy and area aerospace employers to land a $400,000 planning grant to create a whole new educational model for Idaho students statewide. It’s called the Idaho P-TECH Network, which stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. P-TECH combines academic and technical education for students, starting in ninth grade and segueing into a two-year degree, in the fields of health care, information technology and hightech manufacturing. The P-TECH Network is funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation; Executive Director Jamie MacMillan said Idaho ranks 47th in the number of high school graduates who go on to college. The P-TECH model was developed in New York and provides a path for students who otherwise would not make it to college. “It’s about blurring the lines between high school and college,” she said. Unlike proposals for multi-million-dollar tech centers, Sandpoint’s proposal, knit together by the Bonner County Communiversity, provided a vision for an online network to serve all Idaho students. “No one’s tried to deliver this kind of training via a network in a rural state,” said Alan Millar, former charter school principal who has taken the job as

Alan Millar looks in on Forrest Bird Charter School students as they attend a live video conferencing class, IT Essentials. PHOTO BY BILLIE JEAN GERKE

P-TECH executive director. Key in the P-TECH model is collaboration with industry. Aerospace firms Quest Aircraft, Tamarack Aerospace Group and Cygnus, along with others in Priest River and Coeur d’Alene, will work with NIC to provide training programs. Industry partners for health care and information technology will similarly be recruited. “Everyone is focused on how we can bring more higher education opportunities to our region,” said Jim Zuberbuhler, who sits on both communiversity and charter school boards.

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Ca l e n d a r


See even more events in the big, fat calendars at


2 Sandpoint Film Festival. Local filmmak-

ers’ works at the Panida Theater. Film blocks begin at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. 290-0597

8 Annual Harvest Dinner. Memorial

Community Center in Hope plans traditional harvest feast at 5:30 p.m. to benefit Christmas Giving Program. 264-5481 8 Teton Gravity Ski Films. Annual ski flicks

at the Panida Theater, 8 p.m. 263-9191

9 The Fat Tones. The Panida Theater hosts a

concert featuring the rhythm and blues band The Fat Tones, 7:30 p.m. 263-9191

14 Jason Farnham. See POAC calendar. 15 “A Fierce Green Fire.” Idaho

Conservation League presents film exploring the environmental movement, at 7 p.m. in the Panida. 263-9191

16 Patrick Ball Celtic Harp Concert. Celtic

harpist and storyteller performs at the Panida, 7:30 p.m. 263-9191

21-Dec. 24 Santa at the Mall. Bonner Mall in Ponderay welcomes Santa every weekend, through Dec. 24, along with live local entertainment. 263-4272 22 Backcountry Film Festival. Presented by Winter Wildlands Alliance and Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education, 7 p.m. in the Panida. 263-9191 23 Turkey Bingo. Bonner Mall fundraiser

benefitting Toys for Tots; 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 263-4272

23 Holly Eve. Annual gala fundraiser featur-

ing hors d’oeuvres, auctions and entertainment including a fast-paced fashion show, at 6 p.m. in the Panida Theater. 208-263-8956


Coming home. Gobble up a festive treat as Sandpoint natives Katelyn and Laurie Shook of the Shook Twins - perform two Home for the Holidays

concerts over the Thanksgiving weekend. ‘Tis the perfect culmination of a cross-country fall tour for the Portland-based duo, who exclaim, “There’s nothing like coming home where everybody knows your name!” The twins perform Friday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pearl Theater, Bonners Ferry (tickets are $15 advance at Bonners Books and Mad Mike’s; $18 at the door), and Saturday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Panida Theater ($12 advance at Eichardt’s and Pedro’s; $15 at the door). At both concerts, the Shook Twins will donate a percentage of merchandise sales to the Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry food banks. Bonus: Bring five non-perishable food items, and get a specialedition signed poster! Here’s to a halfcentury of skiing! This year, Schweitzer Mountain Resort celebrates its 50th anniversary with special events planned throughout

the 2013-2014 season. For starters, they’ll begin the festivities with a very special Founders Day, Saturday, Dec. 14. Lift tickets for the day will be priced at $19.63 – the year Schweitzer was founded – plus there will be après-ski party in Taps Lounge (located in the Lakeview Lodge) where a 25-year-old time capsule will be opened. Don’t miss this great event! Learn more at See page 66. 255-3081

40 years of wintry fun. Fact of the matter is, Sandpoint really knows how to do winter! And that’s no more apparent than at the jam-packed 40th annual Sandpoint Winter Carnival, happening Feb. 14-23 at locations throughout town and up at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Old-timers recall the early years of the carnival, when ice sculptures graced downtown locales and townsfolk would burn Christmas trees at a City Beach bonfire. Nowadays, the calendar’s filled with Skijoring competitions at the fairgrounds, a downtown rail jam, fireworks during the Schweitzer Extravaganza, Taste of Sandpoint, the K-9 Keg Pull and more! See Sponsored by downtown Sandpoint, the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, and Schweitzer Mountain Resort. 263-2161

6 Classical Christmas Concert. Hope’s

23-27, 29-Dec. 1 K&K Thanksgiving Fishing Derby. Lake Pend Oreille Idaho

Memorial Community Center brings pianist Del Parkinson at 6 p.m. 264-5481

Sandpoint Events Center; proceeds help fund The Luke Commission, a medical outreach in Swaziland. 263-9311

29-Jan. 1 Holidays in Sandpoint.

6 “Into the Mind.” Sherpa’s Cinema event featuring ski and board film at the Panida Theater, 7 p.m. 263-9191

13-15 Holiday Arts and Crafts Show.

Club’s annual fall fishing contest. 264-5796 Traditional tree-lighting ceremony, caroling and Santa with cookies and cider Nov. 29 at Jeff Jones Town Square kicks off Sandpoint’s special events. 263-2161 29-30 Home for the Holidays with the Shook Twins. See Hot Picks.


5-7 Festival of Trees. Sandpoint Business and Events Center hosts three-day event including Family Night for the community Dec. 5 with decorated trees, music, cookies and Santa; Holiday Luncheon Dec. 6 with silent auction; Gala Dec. 7. Proceeds benefit Kinderhaven. 610-2208

7 Christmas Fair. Bonner County Fairgrounds hosts festive shopping event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring local craftspeople, food vendors, live entertainment and a visit from Santa. 263-8414 7 “Harvey’s Place.” Premiere of Ted Parvin

film screens at the Panida Theater, 7:30 p.m. 263-9191

8 The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater.

Matinee performance at 3 p.m. in the Panida features comedy and juggling with Gregory Popovich and the talents of his pets. 263-9191 8 Christmas for Africa. 6th annual fun-

draiser with dinner and auction in the WW I NIT NETRE R2 021041 4

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Annual shopping event at the Bonner Mall in Ponderay. 263-4272 14 Founders Day at Schweitzer. See Hot


14 ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Allegro Dance Studio’s Christmas recital, 7 p.m. in the Panida Theater. 263-9191 16 “The Nutcracker.” See POAC calendar. 18-19 The Jazzy Nutcracker. Studio One

hosts two performances of its Christmas concert at 6:30 p.m. in the Panida Theater. 263-9191

20 Danceworks Christmas Show. Annual holiday dance recital at the Panida Theater, 7 p.m. 263-9191 S ASN AN DD PP OO IN I NTT M MAAG GA Z I N NEE

21 21

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CALENDAR Sandpoint’s Complete Family Fitness Center 25 Meter Pool Personal Training Hot Tub & Sauna Group Exercise Classes Racquetball Nursery Massage Therapy

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24 Ski with Santa. Schweitzer Mountain

Resort hosts Santa as he hits the slopes with Mrs. Claus, and then leads a Balloon Parade to the village. Follow him to the Selkirk Lodge for cookies and last-minute Christmas wishes. 255-3081

28 Jon Brownell’s SHS Alumni Choir Concert. Sandpoint High School choir alumni

gather for a special concert under the direction of Jon Brownell, 7 p.m. in the Panida. 263-9191

31 New Year’s Eve Parties at Schweitzer.

Parties for all ages at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, including the rockin’ concert in Taps. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 in the Activity Center. 255-3081


3-24 Starlight Junior Race Series. Local

race series at Schweitzer takes place on Friday nights in January. Sponsored by the Independence Race League. 255-3081

and short term membership available


31 “About Men.” Documentary filmed in

Sandpoint by Danish filmmaker screens at the Panida. See page 18. 263-9191


1-2 Stomp Games. Banked slalom and slopestyle competitions for all ages at Schweitzer. 255-3081

8 “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.”

See POAC calendar.

14-23 Sandpoint Winter Carnival. 40th

annual celebration. See Hot Picks.

15 LaserHits! Enjoy a laser show projected

onto the J.R. ski run at Schweitzer, followed by a party in Taps. 255-3081

5 Cougar Gulch Cross-Country Race.

22 Let It Glow! Schweitzer’s Winter Carnival finale features fireworks, a torchlight parade, and a Taps black light party. 255-3081

11 Winter Trails Day. Schweitzer hosts

MARCH 2014

Schweitzer hosts Nordic event. 255-3081

1905 Pine St.

23-25 Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Panida Theater hosts three-day screening event of world’s best mountain and culture films. Proceeds benefit Satipo Kids Project. 263-4283

complimentary Nordic event for beginners. 255-3081

1 “The Secret Garden.” See POAC calendar.

18 Northern Lights at Schweitzer.

raunchy, rude, all-out crazy variety show at the Panida Theater raises money for local nonprofits. Tickets always sell out, so get ‘em early (on sale Groundhog Day).

Fireworks and torchlight parade at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, followed by live music in Taps. 255-3081

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World-class entertainment arrives at the Panida’s door with the 30th season of the annual Pend Oreille Arts Council (POAC) Performance Series. To purchase tickets with a credit or debit card, head to the POAC office downtown at 302 N. First Ave., call 208-263-6139 or go to Other ticket outlets in Sandpoint accept cash or checks only: Eve’s Leaves, 326 N. First Ave., Eichardt’s Pub, 212 Cedar St., and Winter Ridge Natural Foods, 703 Lake St. All performances are in the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., and are ADA accessible. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance.

We offer an amazing selection of Gifts, Jewelry, Clothing, Art & More

Jason Farnham, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. An Evening of Contemporary Piano with Jason Farnham delights audiences around the United States, again and again. Fans have affectionately dubbed him ”Schroeder” from Peanuts because of his toy piano, his witty Victor Borge-style piano comedy antics, and the clever way he interacts with the audience. Enjoy contemporary romantic piano, jazz, bossa nova, blues, stride piano, and classical with a modern twist! POAC members, $12; adults, $16; youth, $8. Eugene Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” Monday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. POAC’s holiday tradition at the Panida continues with talented young dancers from the Sandpoint region. Enjoy Clara’s journey – with spirited party children, mischievous mice, elegant skaters and dancers from around the globe – in the dazzling fantasy world of the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Everyone loves this imaginative story line, colorful sets, dazzling costumes and spectacular dancing. This one sells out – get your tickets early! POAC members, $20; adults $25; youth, $10. “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life Original, “Incidents in the Life of the Slave Girl” is a verbatim stage adaptation of author Harriet Jacobs’ powerful book. First premiered in 2006 by The New York Historical Society, this stage adaptation culminates in Jacobs’ experiences during the seven years she spent hiding in a crawl space in her grandmother’s attic. To increase public awareness, the performance is scheduled during February: Black History Month. POAC members, $14; adults, $18; youth, $8. Missoula Children’s Theatre’s “The Secret Garden,” Saturday, March 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. MCT returns for another splendid production including many talented young local actors guided by two professional actors trained to teach and inspire. The children in the community make this children’s classic tale come to life and are the stars in these performances. It’s fun from start to finish. This year’s production, “The Secret Garden,” will delight the cast and the audience with valuable life lessons and heart-warming friendships. Adults, $10; youth $5. Maria in the Shower, Thursday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. Described as “part Vaudeville, part cabaret, part punk and part folk,” Maria in the Shower’s musical approach is a simple yet potent alchemy, marrying traditional folk and jazz with lyrics that explore fundamental human questions, and deliver it all with pure fun and energy. Simultaneously humorous and apocalyptic, these four young performers have the entertaining power of a traveling circus, with the musical prowess to back it up in spades. POAC members, $12; adults, $16; youth, $8. 21-22 24 Hours of Schweitzer. All-day, all-

night ski relay to benefit cystinosis research, at Schweitzer. 255-3081

APRIL 2014

5-6 Tropical Daze. Season-ending weekend fun at Schweitzer Mountain Resort includes the Downhill Dummy Race, pond skimming and more! 255-3081 17 Maria in the Shower. See POAC


MAY 2014

3 Health and Safety Fair. Sandpoint

Chamber and Bonner General Hospital host this 6th annual event at Bonner County Fairgrounds. Meet with vendors plus participate in affordable screenings. 263-2161

15-18 Lost in the ‘50s. Annual retro celebration includes a downtown car parade and show, music events at the Panida and the fairgrounds, fun run, car rally and more. 265-5678


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Located at

226 N. 1st Avenue Sandpoint, ID 83864 208-255-2522



10/17/13 4:11 PM

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10/17/13 2:39 PM


Christopher Boyce Cold War-era Soviet spy, bank robber and author, with Vince Font and Cait Boyce


is is a story ripped from the headlines of the Cold War and captured in the true-crime book and Hollywood movie, “The Falcon and the Snowman” – a tale that wound its way to northern Idaho more than 30 years ago and then to federal prison for two decades. It now has a new chapter with themes echoing current debates over government abuse, national security and treason. Christopher Boyce was born Feb. 16, 1953, to a large, prosperous family in Southern California; he grew up in a tumultuous era for the country, marked by the Vietnam War, civil rights struggles, nation-shaking assassinations, and then, Watergate. But Boyce had a comfortable upbringing. He was a bright student who tested with a near-genius IQ, served as an altar boy in church and, as a teenager, developed a passion for falconry. In 1974, at the age of 21, Boyce was hired by the aerospace firm TRW for a position that entailed handling top-secret documents about the nation’s spy satellite programs. As related in “The Falcon and the Snowman,” Boyce became disaffected when he began to see documents revealing National Security Agency and CIA efforts to undermine the government of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam – a U.S. ally.

Boyce began passing on secret documents about the U.S. spy satellite program to the Soviet Union. He recruited a childhood friend and cocaine dealer, Andrew Daulton Lee, to carry microfilm of secret documents to the Soviet embassy in Mexico City. For nearly a year and a half, Boyce and Lee shipped documents to the Soviets for payments that eventually totaled about $76,000, most of which went to Lee. It all came to a halt early in 1977 when Lee was arrested by Mexican police, then Boyce was arrested in California. On May 15, 1977, “the falcon” Boyce was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 40 years in prison; Lee, “the snowman,” landed a life sentence. The story captured national headlines for months and became the best-selling book by journalist Robert Lindsey and subsequently the movie with Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn in the title roles. But the story was just warming up – and headed to northern Idaho. In January 1980 Boyce escaped from the federal maximum-security prison in Lompoc, Calif. After more than a month evading a massive manhunt in Southern California, Boyce made his way to a safe haven outside of Bonners Ferry, a secluded cabin owned by Gloria White. For the next year and a half, while the CIA and U.S. Marshals Service conducted a global


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By Chris Bessler



10/17/13 2:39 PM


From left, Boyce mugshots taken after arrest for spying, 1977, and photo used at trial for bank robbery in Idaho, 1982. COURTESY PHOTOS

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manhunt following false leads from Costa Rica to South Africa, America’s most wanted man was hiding out in Bonners Ferry. He worked at local tree farms but then turned to a more lucrative vocation: bank robbery. During the next year, Boyce ranged to towns around the Northwest to carry off at least 16 robberies, from Tacoma to Lewiston to Idaho Falls and Missoula, often returning to White’s Katka cabin to lay low. Boyce followed a disciplined modus operandi for his robberies; he would don a disguise, enter a bank or savings and loan, and brandish a .357 pistol to force tellers to empty their cash drawers. He wouldn’t wait for money to be taken from the vault, instead satisfied to net from several hundred to several thousand dollars while getting in and out within just a few minutes. He launched his robbery career solo but gained accomplices with Bonners Ferry brothers Brett, James and Joseph Pratt. As reported by journalist Lindsey in his sequel, “The Flight of the Falcon,” in early 1981 Boyce bought a salmon fishing trawler in Port Angeles and began to spend time on the Olympic peninsula; Boyce also began to take flying lessons to become a pilot. But his plans came to a second abrupt halt after Joseph Pratt turned informant. On Aug. 21, 1981, a phalanx of U.S. Marshals surrounded Boyce as he ate a hamburger in a Port Angeles drive-in. Convicted this time for his escape and bank robberies, he received an additional 28-year sentence. With sentences likely to keep him in

prison for life, that could have been the end of the Christopher Boyce story. But a third chapter began when a young paralegal named Cait Mills took up Lee’s case and began a two-decade effort to win parole for Lee, and subsequently Boyce. She succeeded with Lee in 1998, then won parole for Boyce in September 2002 – and after a romance developed during the long legal effort, Boyce and Mills married shortly after his release. The couple moved to Bend, Ore., shunning publicity. But this year, motivated as they say, to tell “what happened next,” they joined with writer Vince Font to write their own book. “The Falcon and the Snowman: American Sons” was released as an e-book Aug. 20. The new book tells of Boyce’s 24 years behind bars – surviving attempts on his life by prison gangs and more than six years in solitary confinement – and Mills’ long effort to negotiate the legal system and win his parole, even after she herself began a fight against cancer. The release of their book coincides with national headlines again focused on government abuse, secret surveillance programs and questions of what constitutes treason in the prominent cases of national security leakers Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. This interview came two weeks after the new book’s release, conducted by phone with all three co-authors. It has been edited for space; read the longer version at Chris, let’s get in the way-back machine, to January 1980. You’ve escaped from prison. How did you


10/17/13 2:39 PM

Interview decide to head to North Idaho?

Boyce: Well, before I left the prison, my friend, Calvin Robinson, who got parole about a month prior to my escape, told me, “You stay (nearby) in the woods for a month until all the heat goes down, and then you make your way to my place up south of San Francisco.” Which I did, and he provided me with ID and a bus ticket and a place to go, way up there on Katka Mountain. It was about the farthest place from the FBI and all the authorities that I could think of. I had come out of a horrible prison where people were being murdered all around me. People in the cell next to me were killed. I was literally having to step through puddles of blood to get to and from my cell. It was just a horrible existence. And then to have achieved utter freedom, where I’m up in the high Rockies, listening to the elk bugle, watching the ruffed grouse, fly fishing in the Kootenai and hunting for deer. I just felt like I had been saved from something almost as bad as death. You were taken in by Gloria White. She died a couple years ago but has been described in the media as a modern-day Ma Barker. How would you describe her?

Boyce: I’d describe her as a really good friend who I could be completely honest with and tell her my situation. The first thing that woman did was, she and I went and bought a pack mule and we loaded that mule up with about 200 pounds of supplies, and she handed me a .308 rifle and gave me a map and told me where to go up to a trapper’s cabin way, way up on the back side of Katka Mountain, and she just buried me up there. I would go up into those mountains a month at a time until I ran out of supplies. And I would come back down, and Gloria would load me back up with provisions. I felt like I was some fur trapper. But it was just a total change from where I had been, and I owe that woman a great debt. Were you in Bonners Ferry often? Reports are that you were a regular

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Interview in the Mint Club and Mr. C’s, right downtown.

Boyce: I used to sit down at the little cafe there, and sometimes I would sit down next to the county sheriff. I’d have the county sheriff on one side and the Bonners Ferry police chief on the other side, and we’d all be sitting there eating fried eggs for breakfast. But of course they had no idea who I was. Although honestly, there were probably 20 people in Bonners Ferry that knew exactly who I was, but they all kept their mouths shut for the most part.

So, you were just taking the FBI’s advice?

Why were you revealing your identity to the local folks? You were the most wanted man in the country and that seems pretty risky.

Boyce: Doesn’t it? (laughs) You know, I really wasn’t a professional criminal. Everybody was just so friendly and I just became good pals with people. … They would get me, and we’d hunt with hounds, you know, bluetick and redbones, and we would go out to hunt bear. And it was just experiences that I

had never gone through as a young fellow. Just a whole new world, and it was like stepping back to the 1830s almost. Cait Boyce: Well, they didn’t care who you were. Boyce: They really didn’t care. J. Edgar Hoover once said that if you were a fugitive and you really wanted to go hide, go to Lincoln County, Montana, which is right over the border from Bonners Ferry.

Boyce: Yeah. You were this close to Canada. It must have occurred to you to go there.

Boyce: Well, I did go up in Canada several times. I would go fishing for cutthroat trout, and I would just follow the creek up into Canada ... but why didn’t I go to Canada? Because I was an American and I fit in better in Idaho than in Canada. In Canada I was a foreigner. I talked different, slightly different. I just blended in more in Idaho. And

the other thing was that I had friends in Idaho. With the FBI and the marshals after you, when it seems you should have been lying low, you went in to the bank-robbing business. Why did you start robbing banks?

Boyce: Well, I guess Willie Sutton said, “That’s where the money is.” Despite the fact that I was spending a lot of time way off in the backwoods, I still moved around a lot. And you know, being a fugitive isn’t cheap. That sounds really cold-hearted, but it costs a lot of money to be a fugitive. And that part of my life, doing that, is what I am most ashamed of, of all the crimes I committed. Looking back on it, when I was sentenced in Idaho … I told the judge that I had never hurt anybody. And he said “Oh yes, you did. That scared people.” And he was right. That’s scary for people, and the fact that I did that is what I regret most about my life. From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to apologize to those people. I’m sorry for

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any harm that I caused them. Considering that you are carrying a gun and there’s a high risk something could go wrong in one of these robberies: Were you willing to shoot things out if it came down to it?

Boyce: I was willing to, if confronted, to pop off caps not directly at people but, you know … (pauses). People who work at banks are trained not to oppose a bank robber. But the police, of course, aren’t. I have to be honest with you, that I did not intend to ever go back to prison. … No, it’s hard to say, because it’s conjecture. I was never confronted at a bank, although I was chased away from a bank and I did take out that .357 and when I did that, everybody dived for cover and I was able to back away and leave. But … no, you’re right, you know. Bad things could have happened and I’m just very grateful nothing ever did. You began splitting your time between Bonners Ferry and the Olympic Peninsula, where you bought a fishing

boat. And then you took flying lessons. Were you planning to get out of the country or go to Russia?

Boyce: No, I wasn’t. … (Author Robert) Lindsey speculated that I was going to fly over the Bering Strait in a Cessna, which sounds like the craziest thing I ever heard of. That might have been conjecture of other people but, no, I had no intention. If I was going to go to Russia I could have very easily gone down to Mexico, booked a flight to Havana and went to Russia. Actually it would have been fairly simple to do that. So why the flying lessons?

Boyce: I was taking flying lessons because I ultimately wanted to take helicopter lessons. The reason I wanted to get the ability to fly a helicopter was because I wanted to take Daulton Lee out of a federal penitentiary. But I was arrested before that particular plan had developed to the point where it could be pulled off or even attempted. And to be honest with you, I didn’t even know if Daulton wanted to be snatched out

of the penitentiary he was in. But I was going to give him that option. You got caught in Port Angeles, got another 28 years tacked on to your sentence, and were sent back to prison. By this time you are famous from media coverage. How much extra grief did being a high-profile prisoner bring you in prison?

Boyce: Well, I was interviewed by Australian 60 Minutes in Leavenworth (prison). I had only been there a couple of days. Prior to my seeing these people, the head of the guard called me into his office and tried to bully me out of doing the interview, and I basically told him to stuff it. And I pretty much enraged the fellow. And, you know, just a brief while, 20 or 30 minutes after this Australian 60 Minutes interview (aired), a bunch of the captain’s bullyboys jumped me and I still have TMJ from my jaw, where they were kicking me in the side of the head. And I really thought I was being murdered at that time and I kept waiting for the knife. But I wasn’t. I was being stomped at the


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Interview behest of the captain. And so then they used that as an excuse. They said that, “Well, inmates were attacking you and to save you we have to put you in solitary confinement.” Which really is worse than being attacked. You know, once you’ve sat for, I don’t know, how long was I in there? Six years in solitary confinement straight. I mean, they just take your brain apart, you know, brain cell by brain cell. You go mad. It was a hard time. There’s nothing worse than solitary confinement, and that went on for years. Cait, as you relate in your book, by 1981, you’d already been working on gaining parole for Daulton Lee. How did you come to work on Lee’s case?

Cait Boyce: I was asked by a friend. It was one of those deals where a bunch of people are sitting around, and the lawyers are kind of about the news, and somebody said wow, these people got really stuck – talking about Boyce and Lee. And the more I started reading about it, the more it really worked on my last nerve. I would wake up in the middle of the night, and it just bothered me so badly. And even though I didn’t have the knowledge to pull this off, I was willing to gain that knowledge and to see what I could do to help. Because I didn’t see that anybody else on the planet was going to help. And in 1998 you finally got Lee out.

Cait Boyce: Right. When did you decide to take up Chris’ case?

Cait Boyce: Chris and I had been friends, and we communicated both via

Co-authors Cait Boyce, Vince Font and Christopher Boyce, 2013. Inset, their e-book, available at COURTESY PHOTOS

mail and phone calls. He knew I was working on Daulton’s case. As time passed, I realized that if I could get Daulton Lee out of prison, that I would eventually be able to get Chris out. It took nearly 20 years. And you are married now. At what point along the way did it turn into romance?

Cait Boyce: God, are we married? Yeah, I guess we are. … I didn’t intend to get married, I can tell you that. I was a happy single girl. I think that you need to ask Chris that question. Boyce: We just became closer and closer as the process went forward. We wrote more and more. We spoke more and more on the phone, and … Cait Boyce: He assumed that we were getting married at some point. He didn’t actually ask. I’m still waiting after all these years for him to ask me to

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Boyce: Well … Cait Boyce: Because he was dumb. Boyce: Because I decided that my enemy and the enemy of everybody was the American intelligence community. I was just full of myself and I thought that I ought to do the worst possible thing to the intelligence community that I could. Now, I couldn’t think of anything that would cause greater consternation than to get the NSA’s security codes


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Chris, to go back to the original actions, I want to ask the main question about your decision to sell national secrets to the Soviets: Why did you?

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marry him. He never did. Boyce: I remember when Cait first came to visit me. I remember one of the guards coming in after the visit. He said, “You know, I don’t think you’re supposed to be kissing your lawyer.”

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Interview to the Russians, despite the fact that I was only giving them half and they couldn’t use them. The other half was controlled by the other part of NSA. I had seen a number of things that I was appalled at in regards to the Australian government that the NSA and CIA was doing. … (pauses) But I suppose that wasn’t the real reason. The real reason was that I was tilting at windmills like Don Quixote, I guess. I just wanted to make a statement to do the most insulting thing that I could do to the CIA. And that’s what I did. In hindsight how could anybody do anything quite so stupid as that? It ended up costing me 25 years of my life. What do we have that

is more precious than our lives? And I threw a large part of mine away. But I still believe the present drift of the federal government toward a surveillance state is a huge danger for civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. I personally don’t like having all my e-mail recorded and all the metadata on my telephones collected. I think that it is out of control. There are current events, of course, that raise these questions. The cases of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden seem to have the country pretty well split as to whether they are traitors or whistleblowers.

Boyce: I think they have both acted


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in defense of civil liberties. I’m glad they did. The other day I sat down with an elderly Republican gal who’s voted Republican all her life, and I sat down to listen to her say how much she admires Snowden and she’s glad that he did what he did. And I agree with her. I think if Thomas Jefferson were still alive today, the present direction of the federal government, the growth of the surveillance state, would have old Thomas spinning in his grave. I just think it’s evil, and I think it should be curbed. I doubt it ever will. The American people themselves are not organized. The surveillance state is utterly organized. I’m glad Snowden did what he did. I’m just



10/17/13 2:39 PM

Interview sorry that he went to Russia. Because I think that distracts from the message that it has for everyone, (by) going to our traditional bogeyman, the Russians. Do you love your country?

Boyce: I do. I love my country’s history. I love the Constitution. I love the Bill of Rights. I love those struggles that the country went through during Civil War, the sacrifice. But I just cannot stomach where we’re headed now. Chris, do you still fly falcons?

Boyce: I do. As soon as we hang up, I’m going out to fly a male gyrfalcon out here on the grassland. … The gyrfalcon is the fastest animal in the world in horizontal flight. It can fly 55 miles an hour for five miles. Chris and Cait and Vince, given that your book is co-authored by the three of you, tell a little bit about the process: How did it come about?

Font: Well I’d been approached by Cait back in around February of

last year, 2012. She asked if I thought there would be interest in a book about essentially everything that happened after the events of “The Falcon and the Snowman,” with her efforts to get Daulton Lee and Chris out of prison. And I said, “Well, yeah.” I’d be the first person to stand in line to buy it, having been a follower of the story for some 28 years. It took a year and a half really to finish the book. I think that I would explain my part in the whole book as sort of getting to know them and their voices well enough so that I could help convey them on paper. Chris, given that you’ve been famous, and infamous, were you afraid of waking the beast again by getting back in the spotlight?

Boyce: Well, all this is … kind of painful for me, and I’ve repressed a lot of it and tried not to remember it for years. But the way I look at it is, that I’ve been a little weary of other people defining me and this was an opportunity for me to define myself. I see this book as the tale

of two escapes. I escaped from prison myself, and, in my view at the time, was saving my life. And then I went back, was taken back there, and eventually my wife Cait organized another escape 20 years later. So to me it is the tale of two almost impossible escapes. And, you know, while she was doing it, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. While she was working on saving my life, she was also struggling to save her life and many times she would skip her chemo to go to the hearings to free me. And that just always pained me that she would do that. That’s a very strong thread in your book. Cait, how are you doing now?

Cait Boyce: For the first time in 17 years, I can actually say that I have been in remission. In May it was a year that I’ve been in remission. It’s a oneday-at-a-time thing. So, today I’m in remission. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but today is pretty damn wonderful. One more question. Chris, after your experiences, how you define freedom?

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Boyce: Freedom? Cait Boyce: Yeah. Define that. Boyce: Well … for so long there was just none of it. There were times when I wouldn’t even be let out of the cell until I was cuffed up, you know, and had shackles on my feet. … It’s just the ability to go where you want during the day, to make your own decisions about your life and not be controlled. And I went from utter lack of freedom from where now, you know, I can look at the mountains. I can fly fish. Cait and I can go to Mexico. We can have what we want for dinner. … I never thought, when I was in those solitary confinement cells, that I would ever get my life back. To me, freedom is getting my life back.



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By Cate Huisman

Evolution of the Panida Renaissance under new management


arly last summer, Barry Bonifas was enjoying the freedom of semi-retirement after more than 40 years of work in theater and event management. He was traveling the West alone, sleeping out under the stars more often than not. “Traveling was wonderful,” said Bonifas, “but I really missed being part of a community, being involved, making things happen.” Then his sister, a Sandpoint summer resident, told him she had heard about an opening at the Panida Theater. Its longtime director, Karen Bowers, was retiring after 26 years. Was this the kind of community undertaking Bonifas wanted to be involved in? It turns out that it was. Late summer found Bonifas, 70, newly arrived in Sandpoint. “He was looking for one last project to do,” said Steve Garvan, Panida board interim chair. The continued renaissance of Sandpoint’s historic theater was a perfect fit. Many aspects of the Panida were appealing to Bonifas. He was impressed with the work accomplished by Bowers and her associate, Technical Director Bill Lewis. During the past quarter century,

they oversaw numerous repairs and upgrades and took steps toward financial stability for the theater, including the retirement of the building’s mortgage (in a memorable celebration during which the mortgage was burned onstage), improvements to dressing rooms and restrooms, installation of a modern heating and cooling system, and purchasing the adjoining space that became The Little Theater. The major draw was the theater’s importance to the town: “I think the biggest asset of this theater is the love the community has for it,” Bonifas said. Both Bowers and Garvan feel fortunate to have attracted Bonifas to the theater. “I wanted to be sure she’s going to be taken care of in the way I took care of her,” said Bowers. “Because of his background and qualifications, I think Barry will take the Panida to the next level of her life, through restoration and performance.” “Finding a new director after 26 years was a challenge and an opportunity,” Garvan adds. The job notice described a position that requires keeping a lot of balls in the air at once: managing the building’s ongoing restoration, booking WINTER 2014

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New Panida Executive Director Barry Bonifas inside the historic theater. PHOTO BY BILLIE JEAN GERKE

and scheduling all events (there were 153 in 2012), overseeing the budget, working with the board on fundraising, and staying abreast of goings-on in the wider arts world. None of these tasks is new to Bonifas, who has, among other things, directed numerous public events, worked as a theater agent, managed a dance company, and run a music festival. He’s even overseen the renovation of two other historic theaters – the Mt. Baker Theater in Bellingham, Wash., and the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings, Mont. “I’ve been involved with about 4,000 public events,” he said, of his career. Given this long perspective, Bonifas can appreciate both the historical significance and the potential of the Panida Theater. He can simultaneously appreciate all the progress that has been made and recognize all that is left to be done. “The Panida has a lot of architectural interest. The building is sound, although it needs work. The décor is wonderful, but it needs cleaning and some repair as well,” he said. The ceiling needs attention, a modern sprinkler system is needed, and the stage needs to be renovated and to have a SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


10/17/13 2:56 PM


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modern rigging system installed over it. Many of the structure and infrastructure issues will be addressed by a grant the Panida received from the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Association (SURA) in 2011; it provided for $450,000 to be awarded over five years. “A lot of the SURA money is going to be for stuff you can’t see,” said Bonifas. “It will bring us to a really good point of having stabilized the building and get us prepared for the restoration and renovation of the stage.” He’s confident that the community’s proven support will position the theater well to go after regional and national grants for this purpose. Bonifas is also thinking about expanding the Panida’s programming. Right now, the theater itself sponsors only films; other performances are staged by community organizations or traveling companies. “I certainly don’t want to compete with what already exists,” said Bonifas. Instead, he anticipates identifying programs that round out what is already available and having the theater sponsor those. “This is the community’s theater. We want to work with the community to program the things the community wants to see.” As the director’s position was transitioning this fall, the Panida’s board was changing as well. With several members resigning or moving out of town, and a six-year limit on board membership being instituted, many new faces appeared in the boardroom, including new chairman Phillip Ronniger. New bylaws created new board committees,

Karen Bowers, shown with former board member Erik Daarstad, retired after 26 years with the theater. PHOTO BY MARIE-DOMINIQUE VERDIER

including an overall development committee that will oversee continued fundraising to usher the Panida further along a path of renewal. They will be working with a man who has a clear idea of the demands of such an undertaking. Bonifas tells a favorite story about two impresarios who were asked by a reporter what it was like working in the theater business. “Oh it’s wonderful; it’s so glamorous with all the wonderful art, and all the people in their finery, and all the champagne,” they told the reporter. But then they added, “Of course you’ve got to be ready to put your hand down the toilet at any time.” “That’s the nature of the work,” said Bonifas. “I’m ready for anything.”


10/17/13 2:56 PM


Making the town tick

Kathy Chambers, volunteer and Kinderhaven board member

CHAMBERS DATASHEET • Kinderhaven board member since 2009; volunteer coordinator, social media coordinator and publicity committee • Women Honoring Women Committee member since 2003; chairwoman since 2008


athy Chambers can’t stand to see anything suffer. That’s her main motivation for serving on the board of Kinderhaven, a group foster home in Sandpoint, as well as volunteering for many other causes. Chambers, 47, wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but after her first year at Florida State University, she decided college wasn’t for her. Two years later, she married Chris Chambers and moved from Florida to her husband’s hometown of Sandpoint. “For me, it’s the perfect place. I grew up in a small town that wasn’t a small town when I left. I watched this explosion of an orange grove town turn into a metropolis,” Chambers said. “I knew I wanted to raise my kids in a small town in a safe environment. This town has given me everything I ever wanted, and I’m really grateful for that. I just want to give this town what it’s given me.” An owner/instructor at Sandpoint Zumba since 2010, Chambers has lived in Sandpoint for 22 years and has spent most of those years volunteering and fundraising. Most recently, she chaired

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“Cash for Ash” to benefit a local college student, Ashley Halliday, who was fighting cancer. One of her mentors is neighbor Bobbie Huguenin. A Sandpoint native who has worked on numerous boards and contributed much to the community, Huguenin told Chambers that you have to have one of these attributes – wealth, work or wisdom – to serve on a board. She and Huguenin share a work habit: making lists. “I’m real task-oriented, and I just knock ’em off my list,” Chambers said. “The key to being effective in anything that you do, but especially in this, is you have to be really smart with your time.” Over the years, Chambers has been touched by life-changing experiences through her work on the Women Honoring Women Committee; for example, how being named a “Woman of Wisdom” gave one 80-year-old the courage to travel alone to Italy for a month. She’s also inspired when a child develops meaningful relationships for the first time when being fostered at Kinderhaven. “When what you do affects somebody’s life for the better … those are the best moments,” WINTER 2014

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since 2011 • Chaired “Cash for Ash” fundraiser, raising more than $30,000 for Ashley Halliday in February 2013 • Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Month, March 2013 • Lake Pend Oreille School Board member, 2001 to 2004 • SHS Grad Nite fundraising chair, 2011 and 2012 • Coordinates Zumbathon fundraiser to benefit Community Cancer Services, since 2010 • Northside Elementary PTO president from 1999 to 2006 • Member of Beta Sigma Phi from 1992 to 2001; served as treasurer for two years

Chambers said. “It’s all little success stories that validate to me that the way I’m spending my time is spent wisely.” That time adds up to an average of 25 hours a month as a volunteer. The rest is spent with family and friends, dancing, Pilates, cooking, bicycling, music and walking with her dog, Bella. With children Katie, 20, and Buddy, 19, grown and gone, Chambers and her husband are hosting two foreign exchange students this year. Her bubbly personality and good energy comes through in every facet of her life. Florida’s loss was truly Sandpoint’s gain.

Story and photo by Billie Jean Gerke



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Winter glamping at Snyder Guard Station


he employee at the Bonners Ferry Ranger Station seemed skeptical. “You want to stay there this month? … Have I talked to you before? … The only problem is, there’s about 10 inches of snow on the ground. So you won’t be able to hang out outside. … And, you know there’s no running water, correct? … And the heat is provided by a pellet stove that heats only the dining room and maybe one other room.” I had to imagine she asked the same questions of any guest wanting to stay at the Snyder Guard Station during the winter. Get cold feet – literally or figuratively – in the middle of the night, and it’s a long drive back. The first U.S. Forest Service rangers in the Western states often had to build their own backcountry ranger stations that served double duty as living quarters. The advent of modern, centrally located ranger stations did away with the need for these remote outposts, but many have taken on a second life, as inexpensive recreation rentals. While the accommodations are usually more spartan than commercial full-service lodges – think outhouses and bring-your-own

bedding – the views and recreational opportunities are not, thanks to their prime locations in National Forest lands. Built in 1908 to house the ranger on the nascent Pend Oreille National Forest (now a part of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest), the Snyder Guard Station, just eight miles south of the Canadian border on the Moyie River, was used as a ranger’s headquarters until 1937, when the Forest Service combined three districts to form the Bonners Ferry Ranger District. Then the guard station housed trail crews and firefighters until the early 1980s. Today, the site is perhaps the most popular Forest Service guest rental property in the Idaho WINTER 2014

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Competition is stiff in summertime, but off-season reservations come easy for the Snyder Guard Station, a popular Forest Service vacation rental on the Moyie River

Panhandle. The site, which can ably hold up to 110 people between the ranger house, bunkhouses and campsites, hosts weddings, family reunions and group get-togethers seven days a week from mid-May to mid-October. As a part of the federal recreation reservation system (www., Snyder can be booked online up to 180 days out. Reserving a high-summer weekend can be like trying to score Rolling Stones tickets – plan on furiously refreshing your web browser at midnight six months before your

Story and photos by Aaron Theisen



10/17/13 2:57 PM

Volunteers work to restore cabin In an era of declining Forest Service budgets and recreational site closures, it’s all the more remarkable that Snyder Guard Station has

station into the national rental system. It was an immediate hit. “I’m not sure where the money went – it sure didn’t come back to

been restored. The secret? A deep reservoir of volunteer labor. Pat Hart, the Bonners Ferry Ranger District trails and recreation program leader, coordinates volunteer efforts on the guard station

us – but it gave us encouragement,” said Hart, laughing. Grants allowed the ranger district to upgrade the water system and build an outhouse and host house for the volunteer hosts.

site. The oldest surviving building in Forest Service Region 1, which

Don Jordan, a local architect, volunteered his services to design a

encompasses northern Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, northwest-

pavilion and the host house. A local woodworker even built all the

ern South Dakota and northeastern Washington, the Snyder Guard

furniture in the ranger house.

Station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in

“We realized if we were going to do this, we would need someone out there full-time,” said Hart. Now, a volunteer host maintains the

1982. When Bonners Ferry Ranger District staff decided to try to restore

site – cleaning the guard station between guests, mowing lawns, pulling weeds.

the site, they encountered some doubt. “People were reluctant because they thought it would cost so much money,” said Hart. “But we took a chance and said ‘OK, let’s try it for a couple years’ and see

Hart says she is humbled by what people are willing to do for this place. “Folks are really generous if you give them a chance,” said Hart.

what happens. “Because for years it had been a work station, there were actu-

“The key is to give them something specific. You’ve got to say ‘I need

ally folks still living in the area who had been stationed at Snyder.

X. Can you do that?’ And usually people say ‘Oh hell yeah, I can do

We called some of these old Forest Service folks to help. My gosh,

that!’ ”

the stories: ‘We used to have dances there. We used to tap into the

Hart is even able to coax more out of her volunteers than they might think they’re capable of.

phone lines and have party lines!’ ” Still-strong memories of their tenures at Snyder spurred these for-

“During one work project, I looked around and said, ‘Now, which

mer Forest Service employees to pitch in for the initial restoration of

one of you has done concrete work?’ One guy raised his hand, and

desired dates. But in late fall, winter and early spring, the federal reservation system shuts down, and so does the throng of guests. Pat Hart, the Bonners Ferry Ranger District trails and recreation program leader, said: “The winter season is the time that you can just pick up the phone to see if the guard station is available. Most people aren’t interested in booking the guard station during the cold months, so you have a better


the guard house. The Idaho Panhandle National Forest put the guard


033-060_SMW14-lw.indd 38

chance of getting it.” In the off-season, the running water gets shut down, and you have to bring your own pellets to feed the pellet stove. While the stove can’t keep the cold at bay from the far corners of the house – incidentally, where the three bedrooms are – a small fleet of space heaters helps. “Because the guard station is on the National Register of Historic Places, there’s not a lot we can do to mod-

ernize,” said Hart. “So we found we couldn’t, for example, insulate because we couldn’t put the vapor barrier in the walls. We tell people staying at the guard station is just like winter camping.” Snyder Guard Station has an impressive history of dedicated volunteer work, both restoring and hosting the property (see sidebar). Winter is their off-season, too, so calling ahead to book the site ensures that the volunteer hosts are available. Calling ahead also gives the Forest Service the chance to ensure that the guard station is accessible. Our call-ahead reservation confirmed, my family and I arrived at the guard station well after dark, but a porch light greeted us, illuminating the white clapboard siding of the porch and white picket fence. And inside, space heaters whirring in every room greeted us, courtesy of the volunteer host. Jay Lightner, from Seattle, who was host for two years, looks forward to the quiet hum of winter. “Occasionally there would be curios-


10/17/13 2:57 PM

OUTDOORS I said, ‘OK, you’re on it.’ He said ‘Pat, I was only 18 when I did it!’ “We now have probably two generations of kids around Bonners Ferry who’ve helped out at the guard station, scraping paint, working on the buildings,” said Hart. “Literally hundreds of people have helped restore and maintain Snyder Guard Station for nothing.” As successful as the restoration has been, Hart says the Forest Service has even more ambitious plans for the guard station, including restoring the old dispatch building for use as an interpretive center. 1930s-era furniture and photos will tell the story of the early Forest Service in the upper Panhandle. “Each of the buildings at the site has a story. It’s truly a remarkable place to have in this area,” Hart said. “What I’m hoping is that one day when you go out there you truly get the feeling of what it was like to be an old-time Forest Service employee.”

The Moyie River, a stone’s throw away from Snyder Guard Station, glistens in late winter

ity seekers who would park at the gate and walk in, full of questions, which I happily answered,” said Lightner. Otherwise, the guard station lies dormant in winter; when we stayed in late March, Lightner told us we were his first guests since November. “What’s nice about the winter season

is that you’re there when the woods are

waking up,” said Hart. “The snow stays in the valley quite awhile because it’s in a little snowbelt. It’s very peaceful.” The spacious guard station grounds provide room for sledding and crosscountry skiing, and the recently constructed covered pavilion, with its massive stone fireplace, begs for coldweather cookouts. Cold-weather averse

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(208) 263-4140 • 334 N. 1st Ave. Suite WINTER 2014

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Sandpoint Business

& Events Center

The perfect venue for weddings, receptions, banquets, seminars, music performances, theatre, business meetings and events. Plus a commercial kitchen

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The perfect venue for weddings, receptions, banquets, seminars, music performances, theatre, business meetings and events. Plus a commercial kitchen

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Sandpoint’s Premier Event Venue Nearby Copper Falls plunges 80 feet

guests can huddle up by the pellet stove at the dining room table, which is big enough to spread out one of the station’s well-loved board games. In the morning, we wandered the grounds, admiring the rusted hulk of the cable car across the cedar-shaded Moyie River, whose name derives from the appellation given the river by French-Canadian fur trappers who denoted the area’s wet conditions. Later, we made the short drive to walk the 0.8-mile interpretive trail to Copper Falls, which plunges 80 feet out of a rock notch into a cool forest just this side of the Canadian border. As with the rest of the Moyie River Valley, we felt like we had it all to ourselves this chilly late-winter day. That night, we listened to trains periodically rumbling down the valley. Overhead, a full complement of stars shone in the cold, clear night sky – latewinter constellations that only a very few guests see every year. It was worth the risk of cold feet. 40


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It’s hyperbole, and a little more Allie Brosh off to an amazing start as a comedic writer-illustrator


f you were a blogger with 376,000-plus “likes” on Facebook and 116,000 or so followers on Twitter, you would likely do what Sandpoint home girl Allie Brosh just did: write a book. And not just any book. By late September – a full month before its Oct. 29 release date – presales of Brosh’s new book had already pushed it high into the bestseller rankings for several comedy categories on Meantime, Ad Age magazine had named her one of the “50 most influential creative figures in the world,” and a USA Today reviewer had pronounced her “hilarious,” with the warning that a visit to her blog will “cost ya hours of your life as you laugh out loud while reading.” Brosh’s new book is titled “Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened.” It’s kind of an illustrated riff on her life,

Allie Brosh, “Hyperbole and a Half” author

much of it drawn from the samenamed Hyperbole and a Half blog she started in 2009 while a student at the University of Montana. Her blog is a combination of funny storytelling paired with curiously simplistic drawings, with subject matter ranging from childhood adventures to dealing with depression to, frequently, her beloved but rather strangely behaved dogs. Brosh, 28, is a 2004 graduate of Sandpoint High, and much of the material for her blog, and the

subsequent book, has come from her growing-up experiences in Sandpoint with parents John and Donna Brosh and sister Katie. A state champion cross-country runner in high school, she attended Montana on a running scholarship and pursued a degree in biology. But, she says, somewhere along the way, instead of becoming a scientist she decided “I should write and draw things on the Internet!” “This was a horrible idea for too many reasons to count, but the decision wasn’t really based on logic,” said Brosh. “Things sort of spiraled from there.” In a virtual world populated by thousands of bloggers who labor to draw a handful of readers, what happened next is a funny story in itself. The Internet discovered Hyperbole and a Half, and Brosh’s blog went viral. PC World named

By Chris Bessler

From This Is Why I’ll Never Be an Adult:

“A few times a year, I spontaneously

decide that I’m ready to be a real adult ... it always ends terribly for me.

Slumped and haggard, I contemplate the seemingly endless tasks ahead of me.” WINTER 2014

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CAREERS From Depression Part Two: “I

could no longer connect to my toys in a way that allowed me

to participate in the experience.”

From Dogs Don’t

Understand Basic Concepts Like

Moving: “Packing all your belongings

into a U-Haul and then transporting

them across several states is nearly as it one of the funniest sites on the Web, and it won a 2011 Bloggie Award for most humorous Weblog and best writing. Kudos rained in from prestigious websites including, Slate. com, and others. Pretty soon, Touchstone Press, an imprint of the literary giant Simon & Schuster, signed Brosh up to write and illustrate her new book. Brosh attended Sandpoint Waldorf School prior to high school, and she credits the Waldorf emphasis on sto-

rytelling, art and hands-on learning as an influence. She also studied “how humor works,” she says. “I had always wanted to be funny, but I didn’t know

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stressful and futile as trying to run

away from lava in swim fins. But

as harrowing as

the move was for

us, it was nothing compared to the confusion and

insecurity our two

dogs had to endure.”

how,” she said. “So I watched a lot of funny people be funny and gradually pieced together an understanding of how humor works. It isn’t a formula you can memorize, but there are patterns and rhythms to it that you can internalize and experiment with.” Brosh now lives in Bend, Ore., with her new husband, Duncan, her two dogs and seven pet rats. As of October she was preparing to embark on an East Coast book tour, with an interview set for the Today Show in New York as well as Mother Jones News, among others. Following her muse as a humorist has proved both remarkably successful – and fulfilling, she says. “Writing a book was a great experience for me,” said Brosh. “I do somehow have fond memories of stringing together 18-hour days of writing and drawing. Maybe it’s a Stockholm Syndrome type thing? I’d like to write another.” Though not without a little anxiety. “I’m always worried that I’m going to run out of ideas,” she added. “But then I remember that I’ve thought, This is the last good idea I’ll ever have after every story I’ve written for the last three years, and I feel better. So, five years from now, I’ll probably still be writing stories and thinking This is the last good idea I’ll ever have after each one.” For an extended question-and-answer interview with Allie Brosh, go to www.

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She’s going to war for the whales

By Chris Bessler


t an age when many former classmates from her Sandpoint High class of 2007 are starting careers or families, Katie Adams, 25, is pursuing a different passion. It’s one that includes no money but plenty of tense showdowns at sea with angry Japanese whalers off Antarctica. For the past 18 months Adams has been a volunteer crew member on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s direct-action ship, the MV Bob Barker, with the mission to intercept the Japanese whalers and insert their ship – and lives, potentially – between the whalers and the whales. For the past five seasons, the Sea Shepherds’ fight to save whales has been featured in the “Whale Wars” series on Animal Planet. Adams, an honor student during her SHS days as well as state champion hurdler and soccer player, grew up with a menagerie of dogs, cats, ferrets and horses and developed a special love for animals; she became a vegetarian while still in middle grades at Sandpoint Waldorf School. After high school, she studied architecture, first at the University of Oregon and then at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego. But in spring 2012, after going back to study at Oregon, she decided to follow her real passion for animal welfare.

Katie Adams crews on the Sea Shepherd’s MV Bob Barker, above, in last season’s showdown with Japanese whalers

She became an on-shore volunteer with a new Sea Shepherd campaign at the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River to save sea lions that were being culled to prevent depredations on salmon. After helping launch that campaign, she got the call she really wanted – the chance to join the Bob Barker, sailing out of Australia to join three more Sea Shepherd ships in an effort to confront the giant Japanese factory whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, in the whaling grounds off Antarctica. Last November, after weeks of sailing maneuvers to locate the whalers, the Sea Shepherd fleet finally zeroed in on the Nisshin Maru – as well as a refueling ship, the Sun Laurel. But despite the shepherds’ efforts, one of the Maru’s three harpoon vessels managed to slip by to kill a minke whale. The Sea Shepherd captains turned their tactics to prevent the Sun Laurel from reaching the Nisshin Maru. “We hoped we could stop them from refueling and send them home early,” said Adams. “There were nine ships and it was like a battlefield.” Her captain gathered the crew to say they would be


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Japanese whalers slipped by the MV Bob Barker to kill a minke whale, as they fish illegally under the guise of scientific research

placing the much smaller Bob Barker between the two giant Japanese ships. “He said, ‘We’re positive they will ram us, and there is a good chance we could lose the ship. So if any of you don’t feel comfortable, we can move you to another ship.’ ” None of the crew took the offer. The following day brought calm waters needed for refueling, and the showdown began. As the Bob Barker nosed in between the two larger ships, the Japanese initiated a series of collisions, ramming the Barker and forcing it to heel over so sharply it nearly capsized. Meanwhile the Japanese trained

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3rd & Pine • Sandpoint, ID MEYER’S New • Used • Rentals their water cannons on the Barker, attempting to flood her smokestack and damage her engines. But the shepherds refused to back down, and after some tense hours, the ships separated. In fact, said Adams, in these direct actions the Sea Shepherd pledge is to never back down, even if it means sacrificing a ship. “The whalers have to know we’ll never back down,” she said. “Never.” With the whaling season waning, five days later the Japanese attempted another refueling, and the Bob Barker again interposed and suffered more damage in violent collisions – but again prevailed. “After that they gave up,” said Adams, and the Sea Shepherd fleet tailed the whalers until they were well north. Adams said she has argued with Americans who say the whale advocates should leave the whalers alone; however, she firmly contends the Japanese are flagrantly breaking international treaties governing whaling with a so-called “scientific research” harvest of endangered humpback and fin whales, along with the minke whales. At the same time, a rising awareness among Japanese of the plight of whales is diminishing demand for their meat. “Every year the Japanese fleet gets weaker,” she said. “We are being effective.” Adams was back on the Bob Barker, anticipating a November departure for the whaling grounds. As a deck hand, she puts in long days, and this year she is also a donation coordinator, helping to maintain the Bob Barker’s active Facebook page. And how long will she continue in the whale wars? “It’s the only thing I want to do,” she said. “It’s exactly what I want to do. I just want to continue.”

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Learn more at or connect to the MV Bob Barker via Facebook at SeaShepherdBob.“Whale Wars” Season Six is tentatively scheduled to air in December.




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Deep in the Bakken Locals sacrifice for North Dakota pay dirt

You can count on expenses being 30 percent higher ... The wind blows all the time ... Tearyeyed roughnecks thinking of home ... No place for a family man – hookers and all kinds of crime


oe Jensen started a beard in North Dakota. As his stubble grew and his countdown turned from three weeks to days, Jensen, 34, could sense the sweet taste of home. “I haven’t shaven since I left Sandpoint,” he posted on Facebook from Williston, N.D., Aug. 21 while working on a crew with Northwest Grading, Inc. of Dalton Gardens. “I’m about as shaggy as I’ve ever been now!” Eventually, Jensen began the 14-hour drive home. “It’s only hours. I can smell the barn already!” Jensen, a part-time horse trainer, wrote. “Oh, I just can’t wait to get on the road again! Let’s get this party started!” At 2 a.m. Aug. 30, after three weeks on the North Dakota job, Jensen arrived home for an eight-day break. He wore a partially shaved beard and hoped to find a barber. “I plan on doing some camping, fishing, playing with horses,” he said, “and a whole lot of relaxing.” Hours after Jensen arrived home, Sandpoint native Bob Puckett, 63, was packing his bags in preparation for boarding the 2:30 a.m. eastbound Amtrak from Sandpoint to Williston. He works as a mechanic for White Mountain Operating, a surface-drilling outfit based out of Pinedale, Wyo. So it goes with northern Idahoans commuting to North Dakota in droves to reap benefits from the giant oil boom. Motives vary from buying a home to simply paying monthly bills and keeping up with mortgages. Some hope for a better life and adventure, while others envision a step closer to retirement. One ultimate reward remains consistent: returning to Sandpoint to enjoy time at home with family and friends. Workers in Williston and surrounding areas put in long days in the Bakken. Often clocking up to 80 hours per week, truck drivers haul to work sites, heavy equipment operators prepare land for development, WINTER 2014

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Sam Moon, who commutes to North Dakota for work in equipment maintenance, says he prayed for a job like this



10/17/13 2:57 PM

sales reps draft contracts and chefs feed up to 400 hungry workers in man camps. Still others manage shops, repair or rent equipment, hammer nails, practice veterinary medicine or even caretake property. A few years back, as 49 other states dealt with tanking economies, North Dakota experienced a dramatic economic boom, thanks to “fracking,” a process to extract black gold and other gases through pressurized liquids from rock in the oil-rich Bakken. Named for North Dakota farmer Henry Bakken, the 200,000-squaremile expanse underlying North Dakota, Montana, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, opened the door to opportunity – and problems – associated with boomtowns. North Dakotans and their melting pot of migratory workers are experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly. Sandpoint workers come home for R & R with money in their pockets and tales about the “Wild West” environment. Here are the stories of four.

Sam Moon, 26, equipment maintenance/troubleshooter “I prayed for a job like this,” Sam Moon, a married father of two, said. “Bills were piling up at the door. My precious job wasn’t paying them.” Two years ago, after thorough consideration and discussion with his wife, Mairenn, Moon began his first assignment with National Oilwell Vorco (NOV). His duty was “dewatering.” “Basically I pumped water down the hole to break apart the soil and lubricate the drill bit (which weighs approximately 150 pounds),” Moon said. “This water also has to carry all of the rocks, clay, coal, sand, et cetera to the surface. “After separating the large solids from the liquids, I pumped the water, along with hydrochloric acid and a high density polymer, through a centrifuge. This process pulls the suspended particles away from the water and dumps them out as a solid mass that looks similar to a 4-foot-high pile of hamburger.

All solids are then scooped up with a backhoe and dumped into a reserve pit to be buried.” Nowadays, Moon travels to different rigs, servicing equipment and troubleshooting. “Working out here is a challenge all times of the year,” he said, “but never more so than in the winter. It can get as low as minus 50 degrees with wind chill, and with the minimal infrastructure of a state not quite prepared for a major oil boom, roads become sheets of ice buried under 12 inches of snow.” Moon spends more on laundry supplies than any other item. “It’s a dirty job, but it’s a good one,” he said. “My job isn’t the messiest one since part of it involves not making a mess. ... Numerous laws and regulations discourage companies from spilling drilling fluids on the ground.” He also witnesses the personal toll of working away from home. “The girls are getting older and understand that I’m leaving again. They don’t

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N O R T H D A K O TA know when they’re going to see me again – don’t even know if they’ll ever see me again,” he said. “It breaks my heart every time they tell me not to go.” He added, “Low moments come and go; some are lower than others.” Moon knows workers who have gone through divorces and others who cling to any tangible reminder of home. “I knew a guy who would not sleep on any other pillow than his own that his wife sprayed with her perfume,” he said. “Another would pull out his phone every day and go through the same string of pictures, showing anyone who looked even half-interested.”

Valerie Hester, 57, business consultant Valerie Hester, a business consultant from Sagle, headed to North Dakota early in 2012, eager for opportunity and with eyes wide open. “I had heard the incredible stories about North Dakota – all the money you could make, that the life was harsh and definitely not the place for a woman,” Hester, a grandmother, said. “I heard lots of warnings about rapes, murders, no places to live, harsh working and living environments.” Selling her business in Republic, Wash., Hester, once a member of a commerce delegation to Korea for Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, returned to Idaho and looked for jobs, only to be told she was overqualified. After researching North Dakota possibilities, she teamed up with a girlfriend from Washington and set up camp with her 26-foot trailer near Sydney, Mont., in a “dry, dusty, rough, barren farmer’s field, converted to a campsite for oil workers.” Hester spent the next five months embracing the culture and moving her trailer from job to job – including consulting, dispatching, helping with events at a golf course and even feeding cats while caretaking a ranch house overlooking North Dakota’s badlands. With personal safety always a concern, Hester carried a gun, seldom going anywhere alone, not even to Walmart. “Always, with at least one

Valerie Hester: Yes, I carried a Ruger 9mm, loaded and ready other person, more is better,” she said. “I did go to some events in town on my own, but there were always lots of people around.” She also dealt with weather challenges. On one job, her trailer sat near her work site and all the dust and mud. “When it rains, the mud turns to this sticky, glue-like substance – literally pulls your boots off,” she said. “So you wore rubber farm boots to work and changed into shoes in the office. Some days when the wind was blowing so hard you couldn’t stand up, I drove across the parking lot to get to the front door.” Hester enjoyed the golf course experience. “I got to meet people from all over the country and hear their stories about how they came to North Dakota and their dreams of getting back home,” she said. “That was the theme of most conversations.” Because of her mother’s health issues, Hester returned to Idaho in August 2012. “I made good money and met wonderful people along the way,” she said. “If need be, I would return.” WINTER 2014

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Craig Harris, 62, sales representative Sandpoint native Craig Harris at first declined when his employer at Spokane’s Huntwood Cabinets asked if he would consider starting up a North Dakota clientele base. Harris changed his mind. Two years later, he has mixed feelings but no regrets. Huntwood’s mission has been wildly successful as Harris has developed a substantial client base in Minot and Bismarck. “There’s so much business there, it’s unbelievable,” Harris said. “I work seven days a week. I have to work every waking minute I’m there. It’s crazy. If you have some type of skill, you can go to work there in a heartbeat.” Harris was traveling about 1,500 miles per week in the Minot area, not always appreciating the scenery. “It’s a mess,” he said. “They were building so many apartments, duplexes, et cetera with no power. The infrastructure was not there to handle what’s going on – no paving, no curbs, SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


10/17/13 2:57 PM

N O R T H D A K O TA houses a month old, finally getting hooked up.” He added: “The whole northern corridor to North Dakota is an ugly, nasty oil field. Housing was real low-end, poorly built, cheap, cheap. That was not what I like doing.” Harris moved to Bismarck a year ago, where work involves substantially less travel and better living conditions. He baches in his 23-foot travel trailer while wife Deanna stays in Sandpoint and manages Sharon’s Hallmark. He pays $700 a month to park at a “nice” KOA campground. He intends to keep at it for a couple of years: “I’m glad I did it. The experience of working in a different area was really interesting. I realized that money is not everything. It made me appreciate our area like I never had before.”

Bob Puckett: It never gets easy

Bob Puckett, 63, master mechanic Bob and Susie Puckett of Sagle know the “Bye, see you in two weeks” drill well. His career has meant monthly separations for nearly 40 years. In 1975, Bob Puckett first worked in Alaska as a truck mechanic for the state’s largest trucking company and then as a heavy equipment master mechanic/shop foreman on the Alaskan pipeline, retiring in 2002 and moving on to Peak Paving in Sandpoint. “Susie copes well with my being gone. She let me know a long time ago when I began working in Alaska,” Bob Puckett said. “It’s an adjustment. It never gets easy, but we spend more real time together than most people do when they are working/living at home. When I’m home on R & R, I’m uninhibited. I get to do whatever I want to do and have the capital to do it.” The Pucketts’ lifestyle works, thanks to advanced planning. “Every two weeks when he is gone, I fill in my calendar with all I want to accomplish during that time,” said Susie Puckett, a former elementary teacher and dental assistant. “The two weeks he’s home, I leave the calendar open, unless we have talked about some activity or event happening dur50


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ing that time. We keep it open for family time and projects he needs to attend to around the house.” On this job, Bob Puckett deals with more stress and responsibility than with past positions he has held. “When a rig is down, depending on what is wrong, it could mean a onefourth to half a million dollars in equipment riding on one’s performance,” he said. “All the pressure is on the mechanic. You better be able to ‘pull a rabbit out of your hat.’ ” White Mountain furnishes his housing. “The residence is comprised of eight to 10 small cubicles (for one) with bed, mini refrigerator, microwave and freezer,” Puckett said. The facility includes laundry facilities, TV, kitchen and computer area. He supplies his food and does most of his cooking, going to town occasionally for dinner.

“I like a good steak or burger once in a while,” he said. Bob Puckett appreciates his working conditions. “I provide my own tools. The company provides me with a nice mechanic’s truck,” he said. “The yard/shop area is not paved, which, depending on the weather, can get muddy or dusty pretty fast. Nice bunch of people. Most of the crew is young guys, with me being the oldest.” Bob Puckett views the North Dakota job as his career finale. “I just wasn’t through yet,” he said. “It’s one, last time and because I can still do it. Twist its tail one last time, the last big project of this magnitude, and I can be a part of it.” Visit for full interviews of those featured here and others who shared their experiences working in the Bakken.


10/17/13 2:58 PM

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Wintering eagles soar shorelines year-round

A magnificent bald eagle hovers above the lake before diving for dinner. PHOTO BY JERRY FERRARA

By Sandy Compton


aliaeetus leucocephalus loves fish. Big fish. Little fish. Live fish. Dead fish. Trout. Salmon. Suckers. Bass. Perch. Any fish close enough to the surface to catch – or lying dead on the beach – is fine with a bald eagle. Somewhat migratory, bald eagles follow the food and open water north and south. They hang out in our neighborhoods on a regular basis. We have fish here, after all. According to Linda Bernhardt, Forest Service wildlife technician with the Sandpoint Ranger District, some eagles stay year-round in Bonner County, in places with lots of open water – rivers, larger streams and Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake. With a nesting season that lasts seven to eight months from construction in January to young birds leaving in late August, and the fall spawn beginning in September, there is not much time for them to go elsewhere. Those that do, “vacation” in southern Oregon or northern California. Eagles build huge nests, often in cottonwood trees overlooking watery food sources. Outside the nest, one might frequent the same branch in the same tree for weeks on end, from which it can swoop down and catch an unsuspecting fish. Bald eagles’ scientific moniker Haliaeetus leucocephalus is roughly translated sea eagle with a white head. Two subspecies are recognized: H. l. leucocephalus, the southern nominate subspecies, and H. l. washingtoniensis, the northern subspecies. The separation of these subspecies in the western United States is at about the 38th parallel (think San Francisco). The northern, “our” eagle, whose range extends into Canada and Alaska, is the larger, growing up to 40 inches tall WINTER 2014

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with wingspans of up to 8 feet. As big as they are, they are also lightweight. Females, 25 percent bigger than males on average, weigh up to 14 pounds. Males top out at 9 or 10. Bald eagles mate for life – a survivor will take a new mate if its partner dies – and cooperate in nest building, incubating, feeding and fledging one to four eaglets in a successful breeding season. Rich Del Carlo, record keeper for Sandpoint’s Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, said: “The local count extends five miles in every direction from the center of Sandpoint, so we are not counting every eagle on the lake. Typically we see around 20 eagles during the count, but in 2010 we saw 75.” 2001 was also a big year, with 71 “baldies” reported in the count. The count is part of a nationwide Audubon Society event that began in 1900. Eagles are sensitive to human activity around their nests. Their home range is a circle about five miles across centered on the nest site, the most critical of which is SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


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An immature bald eagle takes flight in a snowstorm. PHOTO BY STEVE JAMSA Inset: An eagle dines on fish caught in Lake Pend Oreille. PHOTO BY JOHN CHAPLIN

within a quarter mile of the nest. If there is excess disturbance within the core, they will abandon unhatched eggs, or less commonly, unfledged eaglets. Opportunistic eaters, or scavengers, they will swoop down to feed on winteror road-killed deer. Winter sightings are often of one sitting possessively on a dead whitetail staring grimly at ravens, which keep a respectful distance. Another favorite eagle winter treat is a “coot-cicle,” unfortunate water birds that sometimes freeze into the lake ice to become eagle fodder. Local eagles seem to love kokanee salmon best, though, which explains why so many of the big birds are seen along our shorelines in late fall and early winter. They are “cleaning up” after the spawn. Mary Franzel of Clark Fork has helped Idaho Fish and Game (IFG) with the annual “fish squeeze” at the Sullivan Springs spawning facility on

the east side of Lake Pend Oreille. IFG personnel and volunteers like Franzel gather eggs and fertilize them for the hatchery at Cabinet Gorge by trapping and then “stripping” by hand both male and female fish. The fish are released into Granite Creek to do what fish do after they have spawned – die. Cue Haliaeetus leucocephalus. “You might see 30 eagles hanging out downstream along the creek and at the mouth after a day of milking the spawners,” said Franzel, “and this goes on for a month or so.” “I monitor Granite Creek twice a year,” said Bernhardt, “and have yet to locate a nest, even though it’s wonderful habitat.” Bernhardt monitors eagles as part of her job. “I’ve counted anywhere from 10 to 17 nesting pairs, but that’s only a part of the population. Idaho Fish and Game has another suite of sites that they look after.” The bald eagle 40 years ago tottered

at the edge of extinction, primarily due to the prevalence of the pesticide DDT in their food sources, which caused eggs to fail before maturation. They were listed as an endangered species in 1967, and still, by 1979, there were only 11 known nesting sites in all of Idaho. They have made an incredible comeback. In 2007, when the eagle was delisted, there were 234 cataloged nesting sites in Idaho. Mary Terra-Berns, IFG environmental staff biologist in Coeur d’Alene, notes that in 2007, her department was monitoring 26 sites on the Clark Fork and Pend Oreille rivers and Lake Pend Oreille, more than twice as many as there were in all of Idaho in 1967. Bald eagles, easily spotted along our waterways, are incredibly fun to observe sitting, flying and especially swooping for a fish. Imitate the ravens though, and keep a respectful distance.

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Unleashing an artist Patti Ragone releases a lifetime of pent-up creativity

By Teresa Pesce


popular book entitled, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” was true for local artist Patricia “Patti” Ragone, 72. At a parent-teacher meeting, a kindergarten teacher told Ragone’s mother that her daughter was artistic. The proof? Ragone drew the usual childish stick figures with tapered arms and legs. That remained in Patti’s mind long after her mother had forgotten it. True, her father and uncle were ink sketch artists, her father pursued the art of photography, and her mother was a concert pianist, but the high school aptitude test decreed that Ragone was destined to be an architect! This conclusion was echoed years later when her children were older and she resumed college, where another test indicated a medical degree was in her future. “I didn’t want to be 50 when I graduated,” she said, so she chose to follow the left-brained prophecies as an operations analyst with a degree in information systems management. True, she filled every elective with art classes, but they were indulgences rather than goals because, “You couldn’t make a living at art.” So the years slipped past until retirement made time for the deep streams of creativity to bubble up. “A friend invited me to paint with fellow local artists, and I fell in love with watercolors,” said Ragone. That was the unstoppable force that finally dislodged Ragone’s practicality. “Watercolors are magic! Just put them on, and look and see what happens!” What happens for most people is a sodden blur of best artistic intentions, but for Ragone, wonders occur. “I started painting, then doing shows, then branching out into things like note

In only six years, Patti Ragone has excelled in art, illustrating books and exhibiting in New York City. PHOTO BY DION NIZZI

cards,” she said. She honed her craft via a merit scholarship to Scottsdale Art School. “Anyone can paint – they just need to be taught,” she said. The note cards became her ticket to an art show in New York. “I sent some of the cards to a friend in New York as a thank you for being invited to her party, and she said, ‘I’d like to sponsor you to display your art in the National Arts Club,’ ” said Ragone. The venerable and prestigious club has art exhibits in several galleries, upstairs and down. “I told her I’m just a little old grandma from North Idaho who paints – WINTER 2014

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I’m not ready for New York!” But her friend replied, “If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never be ready.” Remembering the joy and angst of the moment, Ragone said, “So we did it!” The “we” refers to her husband, Ron Ragone, a leading Sandpoint presence on stage and in film production, and CEO of 7B Productions. “He is very supportive,” said Patti Ragone. “He drove all the way to New York and back to transport over 30 pieces of my art.” Because the weekend of her show was in November 2009 during Hunger & Homeless Awareness SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


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From far left, samples of Patti Ragone’s paintings include “Invisible Citizen #2,” watercolor on cardboard; “Silent Vigil,” oil on wood; “Umbria,” alcohol ink on ceramic tile; and “Yippee!” watercolor on watercolor gallery wrapped canvas

Week, and because Ragone is able to produce astonishing works on a moment’s notice (unaware that this is phenomenal), she e-mailed Denmark photographer Jacob Holt, whose subjects are homeless people all over the world. She asked him if she could incorporate his photos into her art. “He said ‘Go for it!’ ” Her composites surrounding these studies in humanity were rapidly purchased.

“The whole experience was serendipitous,” she said, recalling the gift of an empty parking space in New York, twice – in front of the National Arts Club for her to unload for the show and when they pulled up to their rented apartment in the Tudor district. Not only was the universe bestowing free parking spaces, Patti Ragone found she and her husband standing beside a charming Italian art dealer named Fausto Ricci as they all

waited for a taxi. Ron gave Ricci a ticket to Patti’s art show. Ricci attended and bought his daughter a painting, and then did one more thing: He urged Patti to branch out. He promised to send her his easel but admonished, “You have to paint oils on it!” In giving her this legacy gift, the elderly gentleman changed Patti Ragone’s creative life. “I found painting with oils to be like

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painting with toothpaste – sticky and stiff, and it takes forever to dry! So I decided to take the step in between watercolor and oil, which is acrylics,” she said. Acrylics bridged her onto a path that led to many artistic avenues, transforming her into a prolific artist without boundaries. Her studio is a garden of creativ-

ity, with each section blooming a single aspect: watercolors, oils, acrylic, pottery, pen and ink, stained glass, furniture, all in their Sagle residence, surrounded by walls of windows overlooking lawns sloping to a river. She gives a circular tour of the work stations with a child’s delight, lingering at one devoted to alcohol ink, where two koi insinuate themselves in yin-yang balance. “You can put alcohol ink on ceramic tiles, glass, metal and wood,” she said, as creative ideas popcorn into the air around her. She explains her idea for frameable coasters, customized as gifts. The tour takes in personalized mailboxes, wooden furniture and game tables, painted with imaginative designs and scripted in encouraging words and phrases. During the past six years, as pentup creativity flowed like a swift, wide river, Ragone became an established local and not-so-local presence. She had a juried booth at the POAC Arts

& Crafts Fair and participated in the exhibit “Expose Yourself to Art” at the Bonner County Fair. She is a member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, and the American Watercolor Society has asked her to start a chapter in northern Idaho. She qualified as a featured artist at Art in the Park in Boulder City, Nev., and the piece that earned her the honor was “Yippee!” – a rooster cavorting in pink tennis shoes – that Ragone painted in celebration of a friend who beat breast cancer. Her credits include exhibits in juried art shows such as the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture Exhibit in Spokane and the Scottsdale, Ariz., ArtFest. Her works have been featured in Artworks Gallery and Artists’ Studio at Schweitzer and online at Six years are obviously not enough to decant all the creativity within artist Patti Ragone.

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SAGES OF SANDPOINT Sandpoint is full of remarkable individuals, but the following four sages, all men in their 90s, are special not only because they are doing remarkable things but because they’ve been doing them for a remarkably long time, and they continue to make significant contributions.

By Cate Huisman Photos by Jesse Hart


Forrest Bird, 92, aviator, inventor and biomedical engineer

patients with lung problems. The first Bird Universal Medical Respirator, later known as the Bird Mark 7, went into production in 1958. The more recent models, now known as Percussionators, ventilate “kinda like a dog pants, very rapidly,” as he puts it. Ironically, Mary contracted pulmonary emphysema. Using her in his research, Dr. Bird perfected his Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilator, extending her life for 10 years before she died in 1986. He is most proud of his ventilator for infants, nicknamed the “Babybird,” which has saved more lives than anything else he has invented. It gives newborns with respiratory problems a chance to survive until their lungs are ready to support them. Introduced in 1970, it reduced respiratoryrelated infant mortality from 70 percent to 10 percent. Despite the fame of his inventions, Bird kept a relatively low profile in Sandpoint until he and current wife, Pam, opened the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center in 2007. The entire town of Sandpoint was invited to his 90th birthday party there in 2011, at which, to his surprise, he was awarded another of his numerous awards, the American Association of Pediatricians Neonatal Pioneer Award for his contribution to the care of newborns through the Babybird. Other accolades include the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, awarded by the second President Bush, and the National Medal of Technology & Innovation from President Obama. In 1995 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Local appreciation for him is more tangible; readers might recognize his name from the Forrest Bird Charter School.

Encouraged by his father, a World War I aviator, Dr. Forrest Bird learned to fly when both he and aviation were quite young. He completed his first solo flight at the age of 14, nearly 80 years ago, and by 16, he was working toward earning major flight authorizations. In 1937, he witnessed aviation history twice. Around noon on May 6, he flew his father’s 1927 Waco next to the doomed Hindenburg airship as it passed near his Massachusetts home; it exploded in flames just hours later. That fall, on a trip to the Cleveland Air Races, he met Orville Wright. “I looked up to him because I loved aviation, and he started it,” said Bird. By the time he entered the Army Air Corps in 1941, Bird already had so many hours of flying time that he was able to advance quickly, piloting nearly every aircraft in service. During and after World War II, he worked on breathing devices for flying at extreme altitudes, and this led to an interest in making breathing apparatus for medical uses. He tested his respirator by traveling in his own airplanes to medical schools and asking doctors for their most ill patients. He married a Sandpoint girl, Mary Moran, and built his business and home on 300 acres in the woods south of Sandpoint, at the end of the road on Glengary Bay. Although he has more than 200 patents to his credit, Bird is most famous for having developed respirators for


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PAUL RECHNITZER Paul Rechnitzer, 95, historian and author “If you’re going to move to a new place, it behooves you to get acquainted with where you are, and learn to like it and become a part of the community,” said Paul Rechnitzer. Because Rechnitzer is good at following his own advice, pieces of northern Idaho’s past have come alive for local residents. His books will ensure this history is not forgotten again. Rechnitzer discovered northern Idaho during his travels in a career as a salesman with Phillips Petroleum. When he retired in 1977, he settled on a 70-acre parcel south of the Pend Oreille River at Seneacquoteen. He soon discovered that for countless centuries, native people and later European explorers had crossed the river near his home, and when he realized the house across the river was the historic residence of a ferryman, he started asking around. What began as an article about the ferry for the local paper turned into “Always on the Other Side,” a book about 14 different ferries that once served travelers along the river. Soon to follow were “Take the Train to Town” and “Corbin’s Road,” two histories of the rail lines that still dominate “the funnel,” as Sandpoint is known among railfans. The current railroads are far less colorful than the historic ones Rechnitzer discovered: “The financial shenanigans now are nothing compared to what it was in those days,” he said of the railroad men who routinely issued, manipulated,

sold and reissued stock in their companies. “We’re all just Sunday school boys compared to those guys.” Rechnitzer frequently makes presentations about the ferries and the trains. He has an engineer’s cap from each of the historic railroad lines, and he changes caps as he talks about each one. He likes to point out that he doesn’t have a PowerPoint presentation: “I have a hat presentation.” A model train that passes through a model of Sandpoint fills a building behind Rechnitzer’s current home in Sagle, conveniently located near actual railroad tracks. In honor of Armistice Day in 2009, Rechnitzer created a World War I exhibit featuring model aircraft displayed at the Sandpoint Library. Recently he has turned his modeling skills to a set of soldiers to represent the African-American outfit he commanded in World War II. “I’m constantly irritated by the fact that these guys never got any recognition,” he said. His hand-painted soldiers, each man 3 inches tall, attracted the attention of the Army Quartermaster Foundation in Fort Lee, Va., and they awarded Rechnitzer the Order of Saint Martin for his efforts. The soldiers, however, remain on patrol near the trains; he’s yet to find a permanent home for them. Rechnitzer’s advice for those younger than he reflects a particular trait that has made him successful as both a salesman and a historian: “The best conversationalists are those who listen. I listen as much as I can; hopefully I’ll learn something.”


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CHARLIE GLOCK Charlie Glock, 94, sociologist, tinkerer and deep thinker Charlie Glock has never been one to shy away from life’s biggest questions. During an academic career spanning more than three decades at Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley, he published numerous books and articles in the fields of social research and the sociology of religion, with a particular focus on religious belief and prejudice. Based on surveys he and a colleague conducted among parishioners of various Christian churches, he coauthored “Christian Beliefs and Anti-Semitism,” published in 1966. His work was discussed at Vatican II, an international council of Catholic leaders, and he traveled the United States meeting with Protestant congregations to discuss the issue. The AntiDefamation League identified this work as having helped improve interfaith relations. Anyone who was around Berkeley in the 1960s will recall that it was not a calm and peaceful place, and addressing anti-Semitism could not have been a restful pursuit either. Glock started woodworking to take a break from a sometimes stressful academic life. When he retired to northern Idaho in 1979, his interest in woodworking came with him, and his Sandpoint garage turned into a workshop. Here he has created a locally famous collection of kinetic sculptures that share a basement room with his furnace and 64


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shelves of books from his days in academia. Made of wood and small electric motors, the sculptures drop marbles, spin disks or move arrows in a variety of intriguing patterns. Glock enjoys pointing out that, in contrast to his academic work, the sculptures accomplish nothing at all, although they do require a great deal of thought and experimentation. “It is extremely difficult to describe how these things work,” he said. (Search “Charlie Glock’s kinetics” on to see a series of six videos on them.) Other retirement pursuits have included singing baritone in the Pend Oreille Chorale and creating a “4-H” group for members of his generation to exercise together: the Healthy Hale Hearty Hellions. They had matching T-shirts made with their 4-H club name, and the members worked out at Sandpoint West Athletic Club. Glock credits this habit with having had a significant effect on his health and longevity. Meanwhile, Glock hasn’t abandoned the big questions. He has been running a weekly “scholars” discussion group at the library for 15 years that would keep anybody mentally fit: “We’ve been dealing recently with the subject of creativity,” he said. Having completed his memoirs and a novel, he’s working on a new book, “The Ways the World Works: Free Will and Determinism in Everyday Life.” It addresses the question: How do we decide whether we are in control or are in the control of someone else? “The book will be hard to finish because the question is hard to answer,” Glock said.


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JOSEPH HENRY WYTHE Joseph Henry Wythe, 93, architect Joseph Henry Wythe was studying architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, after World War II when a field trip to the navy’s Seabee base at Camp Parks changed his life. There he saw the work of Bruce Goff, who had designed a series of imaginative buildings using the limited resources and materials available during wartime. After that, Wythe realized he had no interest in the architecture he was then being taught. “There was a big turnaround in my designs and everything else,” said Wythe. “It was a completely different world I entered into.” He left Berkeley to join Goff at the University of Oklahoma, where he finished his degree and joined the architecture faculty. Wythe and Goff’s approach to building is based on the concept of “organic architecture,” a term coined by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, a close friend of Goff and a figure that Wythe is proud to have met. “Upon encountering a work of organic architecture, most people are delighted with the experience,” writes Wythe on his website, It represents a style of building that draws one in and is in harmony with its natural surroundings. “Wright said all schools of architecture ought to be shut down, and he’s correct,” said Wythe. “They’ll teach you

technology, but they don’t teach the art.” Wythe’s students were required to study art before they studied architecture; only then could they be trusted to begin to design. Once they had studied art, he asked them to draw what he calls “archidoodles” – bits of line and curve. These can eventually be incorporated into an overall building design that appeals to the human senses. In 1951, Wythe moved back to California and set up shop. His buildings are scattered around the country; many can be found on the Monterey Peninsula where he lived, and several are in the Idaho panhandle. He and his wife, Lois, moved to northern Idaho in 1977 and bought land on Lower Pack River, where they built, in pleasing curves, a home called Unicorn Farm. It’s at the end of a driveway that arcs through the woods, and two of its curves come to a point overlooking a woodland pond. “The last project I’ve worked on is always my favorite,” said Wythe, but Unicorn Farm is perhaps the one of which he is most proud. “I wanted to do at least one project where everything came out right. On other projects, owners always want to change something.” Wythe’s current efforts are focused on preparing an introductory text, “Organic Architecture,” for high school students who are thinking of going into design and construction. It is important for them to learn about this approach before they get to college, he said, because it’s still not taught in most schools of architecture.


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Schweitzer’s first 50 years ‘The biggest thing to ever happen’

By Sandy Compton


kiing is about personal relationships with topography. The longer the relationship lasts, the more a skier knows about topography. The topography can’t really know a skier, but it can be “adjusted,” if you will, to meet the skier’s desire. Let’s say “enhanced,” even though the word has a connotation of improvement, and before the bull-wheel on Chair 1 cranked once five decades ago, Schweitzer Basin was a great place to ski. Fifty years of enhancements, though, have made the skiing better, more accessible. And a lot safer. Here’s the legend: Dentist Jack Fowler, son Tom and architect Grant Groesbeck, all of Spokane, backpacked into the basin – in ski boots – and skied in the South Bowl on Memorial Day 1960. Their dream of a shack and a Chevypowered rope tow, Fowler admits in “Looking Back on Schweitzer,” got out of hand. But, it began a relationship between mountain and people that’s lasted ever since between the Fowlers and a thousand other families and individuals and what is now Schweitzer Mountain Resort. These relationships are multigenerational. Parents, children, grandchildren and, now, great grandchildren have 66


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ties to the big, glaciated granite bowl where Fowler and Groesbeck played 53 years ago, and to the next bowl to the north, dubbed variously as the North Bowl, Colburn Basin, the Outback Bowl or simply “the backside.” Names: The quick and the dead are sifted together here. Sam Wormington. Bob Cox. Shirley Hammacker. Bud Moon. Brownie Ballison. Wayne Parenteau. The Pucci family. The Helen Thompson family. The Ross Hall family. Jim and Jean Brown. Dr. Merritt Stiles. Bobbie and Pierre Huguenin. Werner Beck. Al Voltz. Jim and Margaret Toomey. Terry Merwin. Jim Parsons Sr. and Jr. Bill Haskins. Scotty Castle. Bob and Linda Aavedal. Floyd Gray. Bill Ballard. Bud Palmer. Russ Oliver. The Baysinger Family, all 11 of them. A first wave, completely incomplete – thousands more are unlisted. Dec. 4, 1963, was a formative day for a new generation living in Sandpoint. Dann Hall and dozens of other local kids were there the day Schweitzer Basin opened. Manager Sam Wormington made lessons for kids free and boots, poles and skis $1 a day, but that didn’t make things easy. “I’d only skied a few times,” Hall said. “I went to Midway anyway. It took me two hours to get down.”


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Schweitzer ’s first 50 years

Above: Skier Tammy Dix makes the first run after the first ride on Chair 1 Nov. 11 1963, just weeks before Schweitzer opened. PHOTO BY JIM PARSONS JR. Opposite: The original day lodge, circa 1970. PHOTO BY ROSS HALL

Chris Thompson had a similar experience: “I skied to where NASTAR is now and then crashed and burned all the way down.” Hall, Thompson, Gary Johnson and Doug Abromeit went to work in Jim Parsons Jr.’s ski rental shop in the day lodge. “Johnson dragged me all over Sandpoint looking for Jim,” Thompson said. “We found him at Rogers’ Thrift (where Winter Ridge Natural Foods is now), and Jim hired me.” For Thompson, a ski coach and adviser to Schweitzer Alpine Racing School, this was a life changer. “The Canadian National Team accepted Sam’s invitation to train at Schweitzer that first season,” he said. “They took us under their wing, and we learned to ski.” “That season was a line of demarcation for Sandpoint kids,” Hall said. “Those older than us didn’t learn to ski and didn’t come back as often as we who did. Schweitzer was the biggest thing to ever happen to quality of life in Sandpoint.”

Anticipation Since those initial runs on mushy snow in May 1960, thousands of skiers have come over “the pass,” as Jack Fowler called the present-day roundabout, in anticipation of continuing – or beginning – a relationship with that ridge rising into view. Melissa Compton’s first encounter was a trip from Montana in 1991 with Trout Creek Elementary School. “I struggled down the bunny hill once, zoomed down it a second time, and then a friend took me to No Joke. I have no idea how I survived that run,” she said. After that she could never sleep on a night before skiing. “It was like Christmas Eve.” Compton’s first run terminated at the bottom of Chair 2. Many have traveled up slope by other means, to slide – in a controlled manner, it was hoped – back to the bottom. Fowler, Groesbeck, et al, in the initial days of promotion, rode in “Old Yellow,” a military “Weasel” converted to use in Bud Moon’s yard by committee. This tracked vehicle was capable of oversnow travel – and getting miserably stuck. Later – over the course of a dozen years – came Chair 1 in 1963; Chairs 2, 3 and 4 in 1967; Chairs 5 and 6 in 1971; WINTER 2014

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From top: Picking the location of Chair 1 at Schweitzer are Jack Fowler, Dick Parsons and Corky Erickson from Riblet Tramway in spring 1963. PHOTO BY JIM PARSONS JR.

The Canadian National Ski Team trained at Schweitzer the first season and inspired locals like Dann Hall to learn how to ski. PHOTO BY JIM PARSONS JR. Dr. Merritt Stiles, right, was president of the U.S. Ski Association and a Schweitzer promoter from Spokane. PHOTO BY ROSS HALL Al Wise, Mike Thompson, Gary Johnson and Chris Thompson near Headwall in 1967 looking back toward Chair 4’s present position SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


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From left: Bud Moon barbecues on Memorial Day 1963 at Schweitzer as Dick Parsons looks on. Before the mountain was developed, Jack Fowler and friends would explore the basin. PHOTO BY JIM PARSONS JR. “Schweitzer Sam.” PHOTO BY ROSS HALL.. T-bar added south of Chair 1, 1964-65 season. PHOTO BY JIM PARSONS JR.

and Chair 7 in 1974, all double Riblets. A continually moving clutch of T-bars – four in all – populated at various times the Caboose region at the end of The Great Divide; a line from Stiles Saddle to the top of Schweitzer Peak, the Great Escape unload; a line between No Joke and Revenge; another obscured line just west of that; the bottom of the eastern South Bowl chutes; and what’s now Musical Chairs. “It didn’t cost a lot,” Thompson said, “and Sam was always experimenting with new alignments. When Browns took over, that stopped.” Thompson, Jim Olson, Alpine Shop founder Bob Aavedal, former patroller Bill Currie, and a host of other Schweitzer regulars surveyed many of the chair and T-bar alignments and also designed the runs. John Pucci, patrol head in winter for most of five decades, poured cement in summer. “Paul Norum (former ski school director) designed Kaniksu when 6 finally moved to the top of the mountain,” Thompson said. Of seven chairs installed by Wormington, remaining are Chair 2, moved in 1990 from its original location near the South Bowl chutes to replace the beginner’s T-bar and still doing business as Musical Chairs; Chair 4, d/b/a Sunnyside; and Chair 6, also known, though not quite as well, as Snow

Arlene Cook, 52

Schweitzer Ski Patrol Director itzer C


y Life





days. We’re the first ones on the mountain

under John Pucci

and the last ones off.

for 17 years.

Before the mountain added mountain

Two seasons

biking, I used to work for the Forest Service

of my life, since 1980.

ago, when John

in summer working in timber stand improve-

Schweitzer’s gone through a lot of

retired, I applied

ment. Then I blew my knee out skiing on

changes and so have I in that

for patrol direc-

Valentine’s Day 2006 and couldn’t work for

tor and got it.

the Forest Service that summer. That’s when

I met my

Schweitzer invited me to work on mountain


time. I didn’t realize I would make a career out of it, but it’s a pretty fun place to work

husband, Ted,

bike patrol. Summer operations have been

mountain attracts people who are fun, outgo-

through one

growing and growing since then.

ing and work really well together. You develop

of the guys I was a lift operator with. We

a really tight bond with everybody you work

got married young, at age 23, and we have

stay in my hometown. I feel very fortunate

with. I started as a lift operator the first year,

worked together at Schweitzer since then. We

that I was born and raised here. I pretty much

but all I wanted to do was ski. I started part-

took an EMT class together and eventually

work year-round at Schweitzer now, and it

time on Ski Patrol in 1981. The next year, I

both got on Ski Patrol. We work really well

allows me to stay fit. I feel very lucky to be

was on Ski Patrol full-time and served as the

together. We’re lucky that way. We have long

able to do it.

and have that be my office. It’s a lifestyle. The


assistant director

’ ve worked at Schweitzer most

How Sc

Ghost. Chair 4 stands where it was built. Chair 6, which once boasted “a view of the best skiing you can’t get to,” unloaded at the bottom of Siberia, before being moved in 1987-88 to access that same skiing. Some hate it for its 13-minute ride. The rest will cry when they pull the towers down, just as when Chair 1 was dismantled in 2007 to make way for the Basin Express quad and Lakeview Triple. For those beginning a relationship with the mountain, though, the demise of Chair 1 – and its daunting Midway unload – was a blessing. “We were missing a big segment of the market: the low-end skier,” said Schweitzer CEO and President Tom Chasse. “They’d have an initial good experience, but we’d lose them. Folks would learn to ski on Chair 2, think they were doing pretty well, and then have to hike up to the Chair 1 load and try to survive Midway.” Nobody cried when Stella replaced Chair 5 and its 16-minute ride on the backside. Stella, a detachable, six-person chair, opened in January 2001 with a theme-park entrance designed by former Disney “Imagineer” Geoff Puckett. The lifting power of Stella greatly enhanced – there’s that word again – the family-friendly terrain it serves and takes skiers to the top in 5.5 minutes.


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Working at Schweitzer has allowed me to


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Schweitzer ’s first 50 years

From left: The three-story, original day lodge stood for 27 years. PHOTO BY ROSS HALL. Jean Brown, Jim Brown’s widow, cuts the ribbon for the Great Escape quad in 1990. COURTESY OF SCHWEITZER. Midway on Chair 1 was a daunting experience for novices who unloaded there. COURTESY OF SCHWEITZER

The dedication of Stella was visited by “Phineas Schweitzer,” fictional nephew of the man the basin is named for. Schweitzer wasn’t his name but a moniker stuck on him by neighbors. He was a Swiss recluse living near the basin who paid too much attention to Ella Mae Farmin, one of Sandpoint’s founding mothers. For this and his propensity for roasting cats, he spent his last days in an asylum.

Schweitzer redux Between the installation of Chair 1 and the present, Schweitzer has reinvented itself several times. It began as a community-owned resort, after kids saved quarters, dimes and nickels to buy a single $10 share. Then, in 1983, Jim Brown and Pack River Management Company bought all outstanding stock at $15 a share. Pack River had been loaning money to Schweitzer for all of its existence and used that debt, plus ownership of more than 50 percent of the ski area’s land base, as leverage to acquire the resort. Brandon Moon has skied Schweitzer since 1972 and worked as a patroller for 10 years. He thinks one important event at Schweitzer was the purchase of real groomers by Pack River. “Wayne Parenteau built two homemade ‘groomers’

Dan Nylund, 35 Schweitzer freestyle terrain manager and Summer Slopes crew member How Sc






y Life


ver the past 30 years,

Schweitzer hasn’t changed my life so much as it has shaped virtually every aspect of



it in one way or another. It’s amazing what you can learn in a lifetime spent with ski bums. Growing up on the mountain was kind of like having a 600-person family, and the feeling remains to this day. Faces change, people come and go, but the beginning of each season feels like a family reunion with a few hundred long-lost cousins showing up.

that towed behind Thiokols,” he said. “One was a piece of corrugated culvert – for creating ‘corduroy’ – and the other was a ‘deep powder groomer,’ a tube made of expanded metal that produced spectacular ‘chicken heads.’ ” Under the Browns, the heady 1990-91 season began a 10-year expansion plan with a detachable Yan quad, the 80-room Green Gables Hotel and massive Headquarters daylodge. (The original Groesbeck-designed lodge was so well put together, they had to burn it rather than tear it down.) The focus was on building a destination resort, with an eye toward real estate development.

The best-laid plans … Jim Brown died in 1989, just as the 10-year plan was going into action. Development depended on real estate sales that didn’t come about. In 1995, a disaster at Whistler bankrupted the company that built Yan lifts and demanded the rebuild of Schweitzer’s Great Escape Quad. Exit several million dollars. This seemed like the final straw. By 1997, Schweitzer was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. New Year’s Eve 1998, Harbor Properties, a Seattle firm with ski areas in Washington state, purchased the assets.

Schweitzer has been my home for 29 of my 35 years. It’s provided me with a livelihood, an identity and a passion. I’ve made lifelong friends and met my wife at the mountain. And although working in the ski industry has required some sacrifices over the years, the lifestyle is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. I get to snowboard 100 plus days a season, work with my best friends and live in paradise. Growing up, I spent weekends living out of a camper and snowboarding 13 hours a day. It shaped who I am. Today I manage Schweitzer’s terrain parks in the winter

be a part of Schweitzer’s success. I feel very

and work on the Summer Slopes crew in

lucky to have grown up with a 3,000-acre

the summer. I’m going into my 20th season

backyard, and I’m happy to continue to call

working at the mountain, and I’m proud to

this place home.


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10/17/13 3:17 PM


From left: Carriage barn housing Stella, the high-speed, six-passenger lift built in 2000. COURTESY OF SCHWEITZER. Schweitzer Village as it appears with the White Pine Lodge, built in 2002. PHOTO BY CHRIS GUIBERT. Schweitzer visionaries Sam Wormington and Jack Fowler pose with Tom Chasse before taking the last ride on Chair 1 in 2007. The mountain’s original chair was replaced by the Basin Express and Lakeview Triple. COURTESY OF SCHWEITZER

Harbor installed Stella in the 2000-01 season and the Idyle Our T-bar in 2005 – opening hundreds of new acres to liftassisted skiing – and created extensive new glade skiing, earning the resort high marks in several national publications. In 2006, though, it relinquished its interest in Schweitzer to the McCaw family trust, which hired Chasse and launched the current era at Schweitzer. Tom Chasse loves his job, and Schweitzer benefits from that relationship. On any given Sunday, you might find him helping in the “corral” that defines the ticket line. What does he think is the biggest change implemented at Schweitzer since he arrived? He laughed and said, “We try to underpromise and overdeliver.” Schweitzer in the McCaw era has also introduced highangle grooming, more extensive pre-opening Ski Patrol work and functional snow-making – something that fell off the table during the 10-year plan. And there are the “little things.” “One of the most important things recently,” Moon said, “is all that’s been done that nobody sees, the infrastructure that sometimes got ignored in the past.”

Matt Gillis, 29

involved with

Yoke’s Outrageous Air Shows since I was 14,

Owner of Make a Difference (MAD) Screen Printing How Sc

ski area man-

and now paying it forward with 24 Hours for

agement had

Hank fundraising events. It has been a great

always allowed

outlet for me to give back using my skiing

me to live

abilities to raise just under $100,000 for


cystinosis research in its first five years with

close to great

support from the Sandpoint community and

skiing, but

Schweitzer Mountain.






y Life


y first trip to Sandpoint and Schweitzer Mountain was when I was just a little kid

coming here for ski racing. I



remember crossing the Long Bridge, seeing this beautiful lake and ski resort and thinking to myself, This place is amazing! Six years later when I moved here, it was déjà vu when we drove across the Long Bridge. I instantly felt at home. Schweitzer brought me to this area as my dad, Peter Gillis, was hired by Harbor Properties as the general manager. We lived right on the mountain. Having a family


Hall and Thompson, who both opened December 1963 by falling down Midway, are still in a relationship with that same topography. “I bought new skis this year,” Hall said, “and I took a lesson.” After skiing all over the world, he thought it was time to get out of that feet-together style he learned in 1963 from the Canadian Ski Team. Thompson returned to Schweitzer in 1989 after working 25 years at other resorts. “I’ll never quit,” he said. He loves the sport and he loves the place where he learned. “The biggest historical event I’ve seen at Schweitzer – and the hardest – was the bankruptcy, what it did to the Brown family and what it did to the community,” Thompson said. But his relationship has survived and so has the community’s and that of thousands of others who love Schweitzer and learn more about its terrain with each visit, each ride to the top of a mountain, and each glide – or stutter step – back to the bottom. It’s still about the same thing, that personal relationship with topography, and also still about what Dann Hall said of that day in December of 1963: “the biggest thing to ever happen to quality of life in Sandpoint.”


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growing up in

I met my wife in college. Her family had

Sandpoint and so close to Schweitzer was

made a yearly trip to Schweitzer. She was

unlike anywhere else. My life was centered

thrilled to come back and call Schweitzer her

around the mountain – coaching the Freeride

hometown mountain. Shan and I make it a

Team, involving myself in the growth of the

routine to have our ski days together. Our baby

terrain park, racing with SARS. Now my new-

girl, Avalon, turns 1 in December, and I would

est passion is skiing in the backcountry.

love to have her on skis for her birthday.

Schweitzer has facilitated everything in my ski life, ranging from Bob Legasa and the

What Sandpoint has to offer is simply and truly unmatchable!


10/17/13 3:17 PM

The future

What could the next 20 years hold for Schweitzer?


ast forward 10 years. Arrive at the paved Red Barn parking lot, order a coffee inside the base lodge and browse the gift shop while you wait for a shuttle to Schweitzer Village. Disembark at the top and gaze up at the new 100-room hotel and conference center as you walk toward the Great Escape Quad for the first run of the day. Getting off the chairlift, check lunch specials at the restaurant at the top of the quad on your way to Lakeview Chutes. Head down to the chairlift that replaced the upper section of Snow Ghost and ride it to the top of Kaniksu. It’s such a good powder day, you head to the new lift that goes to the top of Little Blue. When it’s time for a mid-morning break, you ski to the bottom and enter the newly remodeled, expanded Outback Inn for hot chocolate with two scoops of miniature marshmallows. Heard enough already? Fast forward 20 years. You’re at Priest Lake for a long weekend and it dumps overnight. You head to the chairlift that whisks you up the west side of Schweitzer and into the mountain’s newest terrain, thousands of acres facing Priest Lake. That afternoon you head to the Outback Bowl and take the new lift to the top of Big Blue and more new terrain. Later, you stop for lunch at the restaurant just

west of the top of Stella. President and CEO Tom Chasse, 57, who took Schweitzer’s helm in 2006, hopes to oversee the first phase of Outback Bowl improvements in his tenure. “Our vision is to take Chair 6 and replace it with two lifts,” said Chasse. “We might go from the Outback to where the mid-station is on Chair 6 now. We don’t want to lose access to the mid-station because that provides access to some blue terrain.” Further improvements could be a lift from somewhere in the North Bowl to the top of Little Blue. “It might be a fixed-rib double, but it would service Siberia, Wayne’s Woods – all that terrain that’s in there,” Chasse said. “Obviously as we do lift upgrades in the North Bowl, we need to enhance the Outback Inn, so there would be an addition or remodel of the Outback.” The next five years could see improvements on the top of the Great Escape Quad in the form of a restaurant that would even stay open for dinner, while also providing amenities for skiing guests and weddings. As for the village, besides an addition to the White Pine Lodge, Schweitzer may build a hotel and conference center, ideally offering 10,000 square feet of conference space. “That would be a huge win for the whole community,” Chasse said. If the hotel and conference center comes to fruition, the displaced parking would be made up by the addition of a multi-level parking garage tied into the

Above Schweitzer Village. PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL

Lakeview Lodge. Beyond infrastructure and amenities, what Chasse would really like to see become reality is a school program. At a time when the ski industry is stagnant and its base population is aging, Chasse wants to combat that trend. He would like to see Schweitzer offer free skiing for elementary school children after school on Wednesdays – otherwise known as early release day – and keep lifts running until 6 p.m. especially for them. Now that’s visionary. –Billie Jean Gerke

SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN FACTS 2013-14 Acreage: 2,900, 92 designated runs, two open bowls, 1,400+ acres

Hours of Operation: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

of tree skiing, three terrain parks, and 32 kilometers of Nordic trails

Twilight Skiing: Fridays, Saturdays and holidays from Dec. 26,

Terrain: 10% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 35% Advanced,

2013, through March 1, 2014, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

15% Expert

Season: Late November or early December 2013 to April 2014,

Longest Run: Little Blue Ridge Run, 2.1 miles

subject to conditions

Vertical Drop: 2,400 feet

Lift Tickets: Adult $71; junior 7-17, $50; children 6 and under, free

Top Elevation: 6,400 feet. Lowest Elevation: 4,000 feet

with adult; college, military or seniors 65 and over, $61. Beginner’s

Average Annual Snowfall: 300 inches

chair only, $25. Musical Carpet only, free. Night rates, $15 all ages.

Lifts: 9 total – Three high-speed chairs, the six-pack Stella, quads

Cross-country, $12 adult, $10 junior or senior. Snowshoe, $6.

Great Escape and Basin Express; one triple, Lakeview; three double

Tubing: $15 or $10 for children 6 and under. Zip Line: $12

chairlifts; Idyle Our T-bar; and a beginner’s Musical Carpet


Total Uphill Capacity: 12,500 per hour

Phone: 263-9555, 877-487-4643. Activity Center: 255-3081 WINTER 2014

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Chasing the light Area native and adventure photographer Patrick Orton only got 24 years on this Earth. He spent those years determined to ‘live life to the fullest’ Story by Megan Michelson. Photos by Patrick Orton


he four young men woke at 2 a.m. It was all about getting good light. They left Sandpoint in a shroud of darkness and drove an hour and a half to Mosquito Creek Road in the Cabinet Mountains, where they parked their truck and unloaded snowmobiles. It was a Wednesday last January, cold and frosty. A milky layer of clouds hovered in the sky, but stars shone above, promising a clear, sunny day. Earlier, they had done a reconnaissance mission and scouted their route, so this morning, they moved with the



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swiftness of men on a mission. They sledded in for two miles, then ditched their snowmobiles and began to skin uphill on skis toward the summit of 7,009-foot Scotchman Peak, the highest point in Bonner County. They climbed for four miles and 3,500 vertical feet uphill. When they reached the summit several hours later, the rising sun was barely cresting the horizon. The light shined rose-tinted and flawless, just how photographer Patrick Orton intended it. As they skied boot-deep powder down neighboring Goat


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Matt Stott skis off the front side of Scotchman Peak, at the end of an allday shooting adventure with photographer Patrick Orton and two other friends in January 2013. Inset: Self-portrait Orton took while waiting for his friends to summit Goat Peak

Mountain, then climbed back up and skied Scotchman Peak, Patrick snapped photo after photo of his friends against a backdrop of Lake Pend Oreille, the Clark Fork River and a bursting raspberry sky. Toward the end of the day, they built a jump on the bottom flank of the mountain. Orton’s three friends – snowboarder Elliot Bernhagen, the photographer’s travel partner for the last five winters, and Montana-based skiers Matt Stott and Carl Arnatt – hit the jump repeatedly, while Orton positioned himself behind the lens. Orton, a Sandpoint area native, wouldn’t give up until he captured it just right. Eventually the sun began to set, glowing orange and hazy. “I’ve been traveling to Colorado and British Columbia and Utah and Montana and never even realized the potential of my own backyard,” Patrick said last summer. “There’s so much potential and it’s right here. It’s mind blowing.” That night, they didn’t get home until 7:30 p.m., 17 and a half hours after they had left. It was the kind of day Orton lived for.

The photos he snapped that day don’t just capture a moment in time; through their movement, energy, and blazing, earthly colors, they embody a life in the making. They also symbolize a life cut tragically short. On Friday, July 19, Orton, 24, was out late with friends, enjoying a few drinks during a summer night in Sandpoint. Walking toward City Beach at 2 a.m. to go hang out under the stars, Orton decided to jump into Sand Creek from the Bridge Street Bridge, something he had done countless times before. But this time, something went horribly wrong. Orton stood on top of the bridge’s railing, 17 feet above the water, took off his shirt, and front flipped into the creek, a soaring leap of faith into the darkness. He never came up for air.


atrick Ryan Orton was born at home in Hayden Lake, Idaho, on Oct. 16, 1988, the second son of George and Kristina Orton. A year later, the Ortons, including eldest son, Liam, moved to Sagle, where they purchased 20 acres of land at the base of Gold Mountain. They built a garden and started constructing their family home from scratch. As a kid, Patrick was a wanderer. His mother, Kristina, had been raised on Great Britain’s Isle of Man and had been given great freedom as a child, so she afforded her boys the same. “Patrick would go hiking with his brother and they’d just take off through the hills,” Kristina said. “Whenever I felt like I was lost on the trails near our house, Patrick would always say, ‘I know where we are, Mom.’ ” Patrick went on to play traditional sports like soccer, baseball and tennis, besides the family tradition of ping-pong, but it was in the mountains that he felt the most at home. A Boy Scout in his youth, he took avalanche safety and backcountry first-aid courses as a teenager, and he was on Shep Snow’s Independence Race Team at Schweitzer.


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He was hitchhiking to Schweitzer as a teenager when Montana native Matt Stott, who was in his mid-20s at the time, picked him up. The two became friends and ski partners, and Stott started teaching Patrick how to backcountry ski. He was a quick learner and skiing unbridled terrain soon became an obsession for him. “Skiing is one of the most liberating and creative things I have ever done,” Patrick once wrote. When Patrick was 16, Kristina asked Sandpoint photographer Chris Guibert to shoot a picture of her son skiing, and it triggered an interest in Patrick. He started assisting Guibert, and he got his own camera gear and began shooting his friends on the mountain. Patrick was never destined to have an ordinary desk job, and everyone around him could sense that. “Since a very young age I have felt a deep, indescribable drive to be outside playing in nature,” Patrick once wrote. “This quickly led me to the conclusion that I wanted to spend my life exploring this giant playground we call Earth.” His parents say he was always curious and hungry for knowledge but not in a bookish sense. “Life’s for living and not for sitting around reading books,” Patrick would say. Whatever skill Patrick attempted, he mastered it quickly. At age 15, his mom gave him a didgeridoo for Christmas. He had no idea how to play the Australian wind instrument, but soon after, he was at a festival in Seattle and he met a man selling didgeridoos who taught him circular breathing. He played the instrument for friends out on the lake constantly after that. Much of his time growing up was spent helping his family maintain their property. He and his dad, George, would 74


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Above: Matt Stott skins near the top of Scotchman Peak as sunrise light crests over the Cabinet Mountains. Opposite: Elliott Bernhagen rides through a snow ghost forest midday on the front side of Scotchman

spend long days cutting timber and building frames for their barn, and eventually, a handsome log cabin on their land. “He worked right with me,” George said. “Patrick was very strong, very capable and he always had a vision. He just enjoyed creating and making beautiful things.” At 16, Patrick used the family’s Bobcat to construct a 10-foot tower of rocks on the driveway leading up to their house. Building rock cairns became a trademark for him after that; he would stack up piles of stones on hikes, and he built a 4-foot cairn at the top of the downhill mountain bike course he constructed on Gold Mountain. His rock sculpture on the driveway still remains today, nearly a decade later. Over the years, it has stood tall and strong, unwavering in the face of wind, rain and snow.


fter graduating from Sandpoint High with high honors in 2007, Patrick moved to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where he enrolled in the photography program at Colorado Mountain College, the same program that his mentor Chris Guibert had gone through. It was there that he met his friend Elliot Bernhagen. For the next five years, they bounced around Colorado, Montana, Canada, Idaho, Alaska and beyond in wintertime. Three years ago, the two of them bought a pop-up Palomino camper for $1,000 for the back of Bernhagen’s Ford F-150. On social media, they called their travels in that tiny, mobile space


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#twodudesonecamper. Patrick got his degree in two years and soon after, his photography career started to take off. Magazines like Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Powder, Freeskier, Rock and Ice, and others published his photos, and he got hired for commercial shoots with clients in the ski and outdoor industry. He shot surfing in Indonesia, rock climbing and BASE jumping in Thailand, skiing in Revelstoke, wakeboarding in Idaho, and once, a sailing company flew him to Panama to shoot some gorgeous girl on a giant yacht. “He had that blind ambition that I recognized in myself before I was humbled,” said pro skier Lynsey Dyer, who met Patrick while skiing Mount Shasta last spring. “He was the first one to jump off the bridge after our big ski mission, he was the first to get out on sleds in Haines even though conditions were tricky. He was wildly ambitious.” During the Salt Lake City Shootout in 2012, a ski photo contest, Patrick was paired with pro skier Nat Segal and a few others. They met at Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon at 4 a.m. so they could hike up in time to shoot Mount Superior at sunrise. “Patrick was an incredibly hard worker,” said Segal. “We were firing out back-to-back shots, hiking nonstop until the sun had cleared the horizon. I had never worked so hard for a photo in my life, but it seemed like a normal day for Pat.” He was admittedly a perfectionist when it came to his photos. Once, at a waterfall in Oregon, Patrick was behind the lens while a friend jumped an 80-foot cliff into the water.

Patrick missed the shot. “Can you do it again?” he asked his friend. He ended up making the guy jump three times in order to nail the shot. This past winter, Patrick and Bernhagen spent January exploring Idaho, plus a week in Jackson and several days at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. February took them to British Columbia to explore the backcountry around Revelstoke. March 1, they drove north to Alaska, covering thousands of miles and blowing an alternator just south of the Yukon. For the next three months, they plugged their camper in behind a lodge called the Funny Farm, 33 miles from the heli-ski mecca of Haines. Four pro skier girls from Europe, including filmmaker and skier Sandra Lahnsteiner, rented a cabin at the Funny Farm. They were there to film a women’s ski movie. When they met Patrick and heard he was a published photographer, Lahnsteiner said: “We have an empty seat in the heli. Wanna come?” He spent six days shooting from a helicopter with some of the world’s best female skiers. That was simply the kind of thing that happened to Patrick. In a recent issue of The Ski Journal, which arrived in mailboxes less than a month after Patrick died, there’s a photo of Bernhagen, taken in Haines in late April. Bernhagen is looking up at the sky, arms wide open like wings, as a monsoon of snowflakes float down from above. It’s Patrick’s photo, of course, and it’s strikingly beautiful, the kind of image that makes you stop flipping pages and just stare. “After all the guests had left and the heli season was over,


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I awoke to a blizzard,” Patrick writes about the photo. “With no one else around, (we) laughed as we watched massive flakes plummet from the sky, knowing that we were getting one last reset.” One night in Haines, the northern lights appeared in the midnight sky. “We were in the camper asleep and Patrick went outside and there were northern lights,” said Bernhagen. “Patrick starts screaming and wakes up the whole lot to see the lights. He described that week as the best week of his life.” At the end of the winter, Patrick had hundreds of images that he put together into a portfolio, all from one season. This summer, he and a friend road tripped through Southern California, stopping at the Powder magazine office to meet Powder’s longtime photo editor, Dave Reddick, and show him his portfolio. A couple of months later, after hearing about Patrick’s death, Reddick went back through Patrick’s images. “Damn, if he doesn’t have a couple of real gallery-worthy shots and maybe a photo annual one, too,” Reddick said. “He really was arriving at a higher level with his work and coming into his own photographically.” It was all part of the big picture for Patrick, a life plan he had been scheming for years. “Patrick’s goal was to become the best adventure photographer in the world,” said his high school friend Nate Bessler. “He was already breaking onto that scene, and he was only 24.”



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Back home in Sandpoint this summer, Patrick worked and played for ridiculously long hours, seemingly never sleeping. He would load up his truck with firewood for a bonfire and kayaks and head to the lake, telling his mom, “I’m off to work.” “You call that work?!” she would joke. He also helped out aspiring young photographers, including 16-year-old Savannah Pitts, in the same way Chris Guibert had done for him. One of his former mentees was Jasper Gibson, a fellow Sandpoint native four years younger than Patrick. Patrick taught Gibson the foundations of photography, about composition and framing a shot. “He wanted to inspire people with his images,” Gibson said. “He’d paint a picture in his mind and then he’d set it up just how he wanted it.” Patrick once wrote, “I now cannot help but see the beauty of the world in details, composition and light.” His camera became an extension of himself. “The images I create are a window for others to view my world,” Patrick wrote. “They allow me to show people a unique perspective on how I choose to live my life.” “He loved how the light would transform a setting,” said his dad, George, pausing and then adding, “Patrick was the light of our lives.” Below: Matt Stott throws a flat 3 as the sun sets over Lake Pend Oreille Opposite: Elliott Bernhagen rides down Scotchman at day’s end


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or the past two summers, Patrick lived with his parents in Sagle. He would tell them stories of jumping Char Falls, a 40-foot cliff, into a 10-foot wide pocket, and his mother, worried, would say, “Why do you have to do that?” “I’d rather live life full-on than do anything halfway,” he would respond. “Everything he did in his life was so intense,” said his childhood friend Jonathon Compton, who recently named his newborn daughter after Patrick. “He packed 100 years’ worth of life into his 24 years. He was like a can of frozen orange juice without any water. His life was highly concentrated.” Five days before he died, Patrick was out rock climbing with friends above Lake Pend Oreille. Kristina and George paddled their kayaks out to watch them. Patrick got to the top of a climb, the pinnacle of a jagged rock face, and did a front flip into the water. He tumbled with the grace of a gymnast. “What’d you think of that, Mom?” he asked her about the jump. “The mother in me wants to say, ‘Patrick, don’t do things like that,’ ” Kristina said. “But it’s also really beautiful.” “I thought that he really pushed the limits,” said George. “He would look at something, and say, ‘I could do that,’ while I’d look at it and say, ‘That’s dangerous.’ But he was very skilled and it’s amazing all the things he did.” The day he died, Patrick was up early editing photos at home. Midmorning, he sat with his mom on the deck outside for a cup of tea. She asked him what his schedule was like and when they could all get together as a family. “I can’t do anything at night – the light is too beautiful,” he said.

So they agreed to have lunch, when the midday light was at its harshest and not ideal for taking photos, the following Monday. Patrick left the house soon after, and that was the last time Kristina saw her son full of life. At the memorial service for Patrick, held at Sagle’s Stillwater Ranch on a Sunday a couple of weeks after he died, more than 500 people came from as far as Alaska, Texas and California. Recorded music of Patrick playing the didgeridoo opened the service, and an audio recording that was found on Patrick’s iPhone, where he described this past winter as the best in his life, echoed over the crowd. “It’s like a dream I never even realized could turn into something so great,” Patrick said in the recording. “My initial intention was to live a life that was full of fun … and now I’m living the life that I wanted. I have so much gratitude and appreciation. I feel like I’ve lived 100 lives. I could die a happy person.” At the end of the memorial, everyone gathered in a huge circle to hold hands and recite a few long oms together, to create good energy and give a nod to an Orton family tradition. As people were leaving, gusts of wind rustled in the treetops, dime-size raindrops started to fall from the sky, and a double rainbow formed overhead. Hummingbirds flittered through the flowers at the altar and an osprey soared above. The light, with misty hues of pink and yellow, shined luminous and perfect. A memorial fund in Patrick’s memory called the Patrick Orton Live Your Dreams Scholarship has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank in Sandpoint to help others fulfill their life goals.


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REMEMBERING PATRICK Clockwise from above: Self-portrait with the 10-foot rock cairn he built on his parents’ driveway; Taking flight at Char Falls July 6, 2013. PHOTO BY CHRIS BESSLER; Playing his didgeridoo, a gift from his mom at age 15. PHOTO BY CHRIS GUIBERT; A mourner releases a sky lantern at Patrick Orton’s memorial, Aug. 4, 2013. PHOTO BY CHRIS BESSLER; A double rainbow appears after a circle formed at the memorial. PHOTO BY CHRIS GUIBERT; As a teen skiing at Schweitzer in 2006, photographed by Chris Guibert, who became Patrick Orton’s mentor

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Mourners release one of many candle lanterns at Orton’s memorial. PHOTO BY CHRIS GUIBERT

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10/17/13 3:17 PM

Real Estate

R _ E

Staking out their own private Idaho Story by Beth Hawkins Photos by Doug Marshall


he lure of northern Idaho, with its charming small towns, abundance of natural beauty, and relatively small population, certainly attracts a diverse group of people. You’ve got your “in-town” folks who prefer the convenience of living close to it all. You’ve got your “outskirts” residents, who like a little bit of land but also don’t want to stray too far from the nest. And then you’ve got a whole other class of folks here who live “out in the boonies.” You’ve seen these remote dwellers around town: Their cars are the muddiest ones in the parking lot, they’re extremely handy with a chainsaw, and their kids actually wait for the WALK sign before crossing a downtown street. 80


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Bonner County’s 1.1 million acres are a natural draw for homeowners who seek privacy. In fact, more people than not actually live out of town: 72 percent of all Bonner County residents are classified as living in a rural setting, according to 2012 Census Bureau statistics. Traveling to the outskirts of the county’s 699 miles of roads reveals an intriguing snapshot about those who are truly living a remote lifestyle. Miles from town with neighbors few and far between, their happiness can almost be measured by the number of miles from the nearest paved road. These remote-rural homeowners prefer the peace and quiet of a country lifestyle; however, many remain very much involved in their commu-


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Real Estate Living out in the boonies suits the McKibben family just fine. Todd and Monica McKibben and their boys, Torrin and Mahone, spend most of their time outdoors on their rural, wooded acreage

nities, churches and organizations, and still value time spent with friends and family. In the end, they appreciate a sense of living in a “place” that’s all theirs. With an excessive number of “out-there” roads in Bonner County, just traveling to homes that are off the beaten path can be an adventurous journey. Once there, it’s easy to discover why many families and residents in our area enjoy the freedom of relaxing and seeking comfort in their surroundings. It was eight years ago when Todd and Monica McKibben – both adventure guides who were on their way to Alaska at the time – made a stop in Sandpoint. Then and there, they decided to put the brakes on those plans and make northern Idaho their new home. They purchased 12 scenic, birch-wooded acres off Samuels Road. Two children later, they’ve never looked back. “It’s about living,” said Todd McKibben, 37, about the decision to make their home out in the country on a remote parcel of land. He grew up in the Midwest – “in the city where I could ride my bike to Dairy Queen” – but was drawn to a life in the mountains where he could enjoy his own space and show sons Torrin, 8, and Mahone, 5, a more active lifestyle. “We chop firewood, and the boys have to stack it. Living out here, it makes my kids stronger and keeps us involved in their lives. We’re always outside.” The McKibbens’ spacious acreage is a giant playground, of sorts, with lots of hand-built features for the entire fam-

ily. Todd built a deluxe tree house for the boys with a steep wooden slide that hosts ski tricks during the snowy months, and skateboard stunts in warmer months. Also on the property is a wood-fired hot tub, a guest yurt, a large shop that’s still under construction to hold all of the family’s outdoor toys, and the family’s main residence: a 720-square-foot yurt that includes a wrap-around deck and year-round outdoor shower. The yurt is relatively small but provides an open-room feel that’s plenty big for the family of four. There’s no indoor bathroom (“We have two and a half outhouses,” Monica, 36, said, cheerfully), but they do enjoy other modern conveniences such as a washer and dryer and standard kitchen appliances. Artisan touches throughout the yurt, mostly handcrafted by Todd, utilize nearly every inch of space for either storage or living. The parents’ loft is situated above the boys’ room, and there’s even a walk-in dressing room. While living in a yurt might not be for everyone, the McKibbens are thrilled with their decision. Not only did the yurt help the family financially (the McKibbens don’t have a mortgage), it also forces everyone to spend much of their time outdoors. Monica, who runs a small massage therapy business out of the guest yurt, loves the fact that she can homeschool their boys. The freedom of not being tied to a school schedule, or payments, allows the family to spend more of their time together – whether it’s skiing at Schweitzer, playing on the


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Real Estate

R _ E Natural beauty and peaceful quiet is a winning combination for remote dwellers Jim Akers, shown at left, and wife Nancy Gerth, who revel in self-sufficiency

property, or occasionally traveling with Todd. As a wilderness adventure guide, he goes to some fascinating locales. The couple agrees that there are small sacrifices that must be made when living out in the country. “As your kids get older, you’re running to town more often,” Todd said. The McKibbens are happy to be living their version of the American Dream and say that their 12 acres represents “a plot of life to grow up on.” Monica says the challenges of residing in the country make her feel alive. “It’s all of the experiences that come along with it, like hauling in groceries on a sled in the winter or baking cookies inside the cozy yurt during a winter snowstorm. This is the best place to raise our family. It’s what’s kept us here.” Living away from it all is a growing trend among folks who are moving to Greater Sandpoint, according to Realtor Alison Murphy, 39, with Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty. “They are looking for a self-sustaining lifestyle, where you can grow a large garden, have chickens, and do the mini-farm,” Murphy said. “I have worked with more people in the past two to three years who are searching for properties that have their own fresh, natural water.” Murphy cites the 82


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recent trend in “preppers” – those who are preparing for a perceived future change of their environment – who prefer living away from town on their own piece of property. Murphy said she also meets families who are “pushing back” from the dayto-day grind of city stress and want to live a more rural lifestyle. As a Realtor, she realizes Bonner County has the attributes to fit the bill. “Isn’t that the draw here? We have the opportunities, we have the recreation, the private property rights,” she said. Murphy can relate to newcomers who are attracted to a back-to-nature mentality. A Sandpoint native, she was born and raised “way up Pack River” in a home that was off the grid, with no electricity and no running water. “My childhood was the happiest I could imagine,” she said. “It was really simple, it was a calmer way of living.” Murphy moved away from Sandpoint only to return again to raise her 7-yearold son so that he could also enjoy a connection to nature. “Growing up, our quality of life definitely shaped my entire life,” Murphy said of her rural upbringing. “It was difficult during the winter, but I have a real appreciation for this area. Sharing those opportunities with my son is very important to me.”

On the far opposite side of Bonner County, in a three-story home high above the heart of Lake Pend Oreille and located a number of miles down a gravel road off Sagle Road – about a 45 minutes’ drive to town – Nancy Gerth and husband Jim Akers lead busy professional lives. From their remote home via media connections, Gerth is a “back-of-the-book” indexer, and Akers is a semi-retired “geezer geek” who worked in the Silicon Valley and still dabbles in computer consulting. Away from the electronic screens, however, Gerth and Akers – both in their 60s – stay busy with all of the projects and activities that can be enjoyed by living in a rural locale. They built their 2,500-square-foot, pentagon-shaped home to take advantage of the breathtaking views across Lake Pend Oreille, and there are small decks scattered about so that capturing an outside glimpse of paradise is but a door away. Situated on 40 acres that adjoins National Forest land, the couple makes the most of their natural surroundings. “I can go snowshoeing at the drop of a hat,” Gerth said. At 2,800 feet in elevation, the property often receives snow when it’s otherwise raining in town. They also enjoy sightings of the wide variety of wildlife that meander near their home, including moose, elk, even a cougar. The idea of self-sufficiency has become a hobby for Gerth and Akers. They raise their own chickens, selling the eggs during the summer at the Sandpoint Farmers Market, and butchering and filling the freezer for winter. They tend to an expansive garden that includes 11 raised beds, and they fill a large shed to the rafters with split firewood – the couples’ main source of heat. Living off the power grid, Akers


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Real Estate

On 40 remote acres off the grid, Jim Akers manages the home’s alternative energy system, tends a large garden, raises chickens and maintains a long private driveway – besides working as a computer consultant

spends a lot of time perfecting the home’s elaborate alternative-energy system that involves solar panels, a cadre of special batteries and more. For Akers, who revels in the ins and outs of maximizing the system’s efficiencies, not plugging into the grid is more about sharing the message of selfsustenance than saving money. “It’s important to show that you can live on alternative energy,” he said. “You have to lead the way.” Like the McKibben family, Gerth and Akers enjoy in the chores that come along with country life – even keeping their miles-long, narrow, private road that traverses the mountainside cleared of snow during the winters. “Jim loves to run the tractor,” Gerth said. “The slightest bit of snow, and he’s out there plowing!” Despite having one of the most spectacular views in Bonner County – one that includes the Selle Valley and the

northern section of the Selkirk Mountain Range – Gerth said it’s important for her to get out of the house, even in the middle of winter, and socialize with people. “I need to have contacts,” she said. Gerth drives in to Sandpoint West Athletic Club three times each week, and sometimes spends the night with friends or at her sister’s house in the Sunnyside area. She also likes to entertain at home: “Neighbors have become part of the family.” She credits the modern convenience of electronic media for making a life in the country that much more enjoyable. “I can text my girlfriends during the day just like they are here,” she said. In the end, it’s the natural beauty and peacefulness that wins out. “I love the quiet here,” she said. “Living in town, there were always issues. People just like to live the way they want to, especially in North Idaho.”

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Unwinding The Curve City devising alternative Highway 2 plan

The Fifth Avenue corridor may prove adequate to carry all of U.S. Highway 2’s lanes through the City of Sandpoint. PHOTO BY JERRY LUTHER


fter years of planning, public workshops, and special efforts from delegates to the state Legislature, “The Curve” is unwinding. Named for a bend in U.S. Highway 2 as it heads out of town from Fifth Avenue, The Curve was a longawaited fix to several traffic problems. The eastbound lanes of the highway make a 270-degree loop down Pine Street and along First to Cedar before coming back to Fifth Avenue, creating a slow and frustrating detour for drivers who just want to head east to Montana. The road’s diagonal passage through the square street grid of south Sandpoint creates a couple of dangerous multidirectional crossings where it overlaps the intersections of neighborhood streets. To the extent that Sandpoint has rush hour traffic problems, Highway 2 helps create them. The Curve was supposed to fix all that. Public workshops held in the spring and summer of 2011 helped the city and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) reach consensus on


By Cate Huisman


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a concept, and the area’s state legislators, Shawn Keough and George Eskridge, expended some political capital to get $7 million in state highway funds earmarked for the project. But somewhere between the public workshops and ITD’s subsequent concept drawings, something went sideways. “There was a huge translation disconnect between the concept plan and what came back from ITD,” said City Councilwoman Carrie Logan. The council had several concerns about the design, but the breaking point, says Logan, was the width of the pavement where Highway 2 crossed Boyer Avenue: 92 feet. That’s 17 feet wider than the Fifth Avenue portion of the highway, where there have been two pedestrian deaths in the last seven years. “Both parties agreed that this wasn’t the right concept for right now,” said Logan. State Rep. Eskridge said: “It was a little bit of an embarrassment in terms of credibility. I thought we had gotten plenty of public input; I thought the compromise that came out of (the

workshops) was a good compromise.” State Sen. Keough echoed his thoughts, adding that the loss of jobs the construction project would have brought is frustrating as well: “Seven million dollars is a lot of money,” she said. Nevertheless, the senator says she understands the city’s perspective. “I’ve had several conversations with ITD board members and leadership, and I think they also recognize that circumstances change, and sometimes they can’t come to an agreement on how to merge state and city needs, and they too are trying to move forward,” she added. Forward would mean the city could “get its streets back,” that is get highway traffic out of downtown, a move long assumed to depend on construction of The Curve. Despite The Curve’s demise, that goal appears to be within reach. Right now, Fifth Avenue has a three-block section where vehicles travel only one way, while traffic going the other way makes that loop through downtown. All those lanes were necessary when U.S. Highway 95 ran along Fifth Avenue, but it carries much less traffic now that Highway 95 traffic has moved to the Sand Creek Byway. The city is currently seeking local funds for a traffic analysis to determine whether Fifth Avenue is adequate to carry all lanes of Highway 2. If that proves to be true, a relatively simple construction project – involving signs, traffic lights and pavement stripes – would give Sandpoint control of its downtown streets. Logan is “very hopeful” this will be the case. “I think the paint will be on the ground next summer,” she said.


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3:39 PM

Dreams in clay City’s first straw bale homes going up Story by Trish Gannon Photos by Billie Jean Gerke


t’s simply a more sustainable way to build houses,” said Ali Scott Azizi, referring to straw bale homes he is developing at Larch Street Courtyard. Located on the north side of Sandpoint just a few blocks from Farmin Stidwell Elementary School, these straw bale homes are not new to Bonner County, but they are the first to be built within the city limits under the new building codes. The Larch Street Courtyard is a project of the Village Home Foundation (, which argues, “Where we live is important. How we live is vital,” and offers a simple philosophy: home as community. That philosophy carries over into Azizi and wife Elizabeth Garrison’s international work with Blue Skies Development (, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that focuses on education and rural development in Asia and Africa. Azizi, a world traveler and keen observer of design philosophy, worked with architect Pete Keller to plan the Larch Street Courtyard as an example of community-driven home building. Manifested in a striking Europeanflavored design, the way the homes are being built is even more striking: bracket-style, timber frame, clay plaster homes on gabion foundations built around straw bales, a process that’s not just energy efficient, but fire- and rodent-proof as well. Azizi believes it’s an ideal way to build super efficient, crafted homes while also using sustainable materials. If straw bale construction sounds a little impermanent for buildings, bear

Shown at Larch Street Courtyard’s first straw bale home are, above from left, listing agent Hill Mannan, owner Ali Scott Azizi, and clay carpenters Sam Matthews and Richie Withycombe. Left: Architectural rendering

in mind that Çatalhöyük, considered by many historians to be the world’s oldest discovered city and built almost 10,000 years ago, was constructed in just such a way, with traces remaining to this day. Today, the ancient construction method is still commonly used around the world and is gaining popularity in the United States. The wall system, built with straw from Mennonite farms in Bonners Ferry, is covered with red clay from Worley, Idaho. “The clay strengthens the walls, is fire and rodent proof, and also allows the walls to ‘breathe,’ ” said Hill Mannan, the project’s listing agent with Mark Hall Real Estate. “Not only are WINTER 2014

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these homes functional and sustainable, they also have so much character and are pieces of art.” Timbers used for the frames were milled from dead and downed trees in Montana, providing structural support while adding beauty to the living spaces. “Good living goes beyond the walls,” said Azizi, 30, who spent an unseasonably hot summer enjoying the first home’s cool comfort. A water feature, outdoor gas fireplace, plants, trees and pathways will highlight the inner courtyard. The homes encircle this landscaped, shared courtyard and are set up for outdoor livSANDPOINT MAGAZINE

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The home at Larch Street Courtyard is bathed in natural light that plays off the wood and earth-toned clay floors and walls. The great room opens up to what will be a private patio. All six homes will benefit from a shared courtyard

ing; each also features a large, private deck. Numerous cherry trees, maple trees and more than 80 shrubs, including edible plants, will provide a colorful landscape. The structural strength of the construction allows the buildings to support a 106-pound-per-foot snow load – almost twice the strength required for residences – while triple-glazed windows and gas heat add to the energy-

efficient aspects of each home. Handplastering ensures that the homes carry a crafted flavor, along with a timeless feeling of solidity. The outer walls alone are 22 inches thick! The first house is warm and welcoming, with an inviting interplay of earth-toned clay, abundant natural light, warm wood, and human-sized, livable spaces open to the shared courtyard. Both shared and private spaces will be

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The home’s 22-inch-thick walls are breathable as well as fire and rodent proof. Developer Ali Scott Azizi believes it’s an ideal way to build efficient homes using sustainable materials

maintained under a homeowner association agreement. Azizi hopes that Larch Street Courtyard will be a place that families and individuals will enjoy for generations to come. “I envision that the people who live here will love this community, their neighbors and their homes. We’re trying to resurrect an urban environment that is centered on community and sustainability,” he said. Built on approximately one-third acre, Larch Street Courtyard will offer six separate housing units: two, twostory duplexes offering upper and lower level one-bedroom units, along with two single-family homes featuring 3-bedroom/2-bath traditional housing. Despite the small size of the lot, off-street parking for nine vehicles is included. The project benefits from the City of Sandpoint’s new comp plan that allows for higher-density housing in certain zones. “Density does work if you do it right,” said Keller, and the right way to do it will be on display in Sandpoint next summer, when the courtyard goes on the market. “This project is advancing the conversation around housing, and how to balance our need for privacy with our need for community,” Keller said. Perhaps in 10,000 years, archaeologists will be looking at Larch Street and translating that conversation.

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10/17/13 3:22 PM

Real Estate

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Marketwatch: Real estate market enters ‘new normalcy’


ike a wild ride on a Silverwood roller coaster, Greater Sandpoint’s real estate market has endured shaky ups and downs over the last several years. Skyrocketing prices, buying sprees, then massive drops in values and foreclosures – it was enough to send even the most daring developers scampering.

absorbed,” said Cindy Bond, president of

part of the larger economic picture involv-

the Multiple Listing Service for the Selkirk

ing lack of inventory, lending restrictions

Association of Realtors (SAR). “There are

and a more cautious consumer. “It’s the

some very good buys out there, and the

playing out of a larger trend towards a ‘new

homes on the market that are priced logi-

normalcy,’ ” he said.

cally will sell.”

Bond adds that challenges still exist.

Bond notes that homes priced in the

“Financing is very difficult right now, with

Luckily, the brake appears to have been

$300,000 to $500,000 price range are do-

a thorough screening process,” she said. In

pulled, and the area’s market is emerging in

ing well: “That’s the segment in the market

addition, interest rates are working their

a new sense of normalcy.

that’s been stagnant for years.”

way higher and appraisals are still coming

Looking at comparable year-over-year

Raphael Barta, president of SAR, agrees

in low.

sales from 2012 to 2013, sales are increasing

that the market has settled down but adds

at a modest – yet seemingly healthy – pace.

that many people are still underestimat-

gest selling feature; many folks who come

Residential real estate sales increased 2 per-

ing the effects of the financial meltdown,

to Sandpoint do so for a lifestyle change.

cent in Greater Sandpoint, from 384 last year

and a correction process is still under way.

Bond praises the national publicity that

to 391. Prices are inching up – just enough

“Sellers who expect a return to the pricing

continues to draw people to the area, and

to encourage potential sellers to enter the

days of 2006 will be greatly disappointed.

she loves introducing clients to the oppor-

market. The average days that a property

We are seeing many listings priced ahead of

tunities here.

spends on the market has dropped a bit.

themselves,” he said.

Nothing ground shaking, but all indicators are looking up. “The distressed sales have been

Barta says the 2013 summer real estate market was “less dramatic” than expected in terms of activity and pricing, but it’s all

The area’s appeal continues to be its big-

“It’s interesting how many people are coming here for the first time,” said Bond. “We’re still a little bit of a secret.” –Beth Hawkins


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Selkirk Multiple Listing Service Real Estate Market Trends All Areas

Schweitzer 2012


% Inc/Decr



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% Inc/Decr



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% Inc/Decr



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Sandpoint City

Priest River / Priest Lake

Sandpoint Area

Real Estate

Residential Sales By Area

Bonner County Vacant Land

Based on information from the Selkirk MLSŠ for the period of April 21, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2013, versus the same time period in 2012 – Real Estate Stats for Bonner & Boundary counties. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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10/17/13 3:22 PM


By Billie Jean Gerke Photos by Marie-Dominique Verdier This ever-popular department contrasts and compares the thoughts of two native residents and two relative newcomers. While one newcomer is a native Idahoan, the other hails from Switzerland. Both natives have roots in the timber industry; in fact, both of their grandfathers were Sandpoint businessmen who owned lumber mills. We invite you to consider their perspectives on life in Sandpoint.

NATIVES Ed Brisboy

A retired welder, Ed Brisboy, 77, spent 34 years working at McFarland Cascade Pole Co. He learned his trade in the U.S. Navy, serving from 1955 to 1958. He was in the first class that graduated from the new Sandpoint High School on Division Avenue (now Sandpoint Middle School), in 1954. The son of Joe and Bernice, Brisboy was born at a midwife’s house on Lignite Road and raised his family on a farm

just a few miles away on Sagle Road. He raised quarter horses for 22 years, and he and his wife, Zelma, still have horses, chicken and goats. His grandfather Fred Lane owned one of the first cedar pole yards in Sandpoint. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate the quality of life here? Why?

When I’ve spent 75 of the 77 years right here, I must think it’s pretty good, so that’s a 10. You’ve got the hunting and fishing. I love all that. The employment thing is really bad. When I was coming up, if you wanted a job, you

could find one. I was always a family person, and we made the best out of all our winters. I literally love ice fishing. We hunt. I’ve got a tag for bull elk. For years and years, our vacation was two weeks elk hunting.

Real Estate

Natives and Newcomers

If you only had one day left in Sandpoint, how would you spend it?

It would be at The Bridge, where the old folks are, talking to my buddies. How would you like to see Sandpoint change in the next 10 years?

I would definitely like to see way more employment, where whoever’s here could make a living. Make it affordable for more of the younger ones coming up. What could be done to improve Sandpoint’s economy?

There has to be something to make jobs, like the Hawkinses with salad dressing (Litehouse). As far as the wood industry, forget it. At one time after the war, there were five pole yards. And look at the sawmills that were around. Then there was those that worked in the woods. That was the majority of it. Now there’s that one outfit at Dover, that pill place (Thorne Research). Bill Watt, Encoder, he did the community good there. We’ve just got to keep trying to get something like that in. Any advice for people who want to move to Sandpoint?

Good luck. (laughs) Don’t try to change anything because we’re stubborn. It’s all what you want to make it to be. If you’re looking for employment, be sure and do your homework. What’s your favorite memory from growing up here?

The big family gatherings at my grandparents on holiday and even Sundays. We played as much as we could. PHOTO BY BILLIE JEAN GERKE


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NATIVES AND NEWCOMERS state championships in volleyball, basketball and track and has been inducted into the Sandpoint High School Athletic Hall of Fame; her champion volleyball team and Coach Irene Matlock were inducted into the Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Bobbie Huguenin, and grandfather Jim Brown Jr., Huguenin earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Gonzaga University. Later she earned a master’s degree in expressive arts from Tamalpa Institute. Married to Carlo Pati, she home schools their son Dario, 9. She loves art, nature, boating on the lake, cooking and dancing.

Danièle Huguenin Danièle Huguenin grew up with five siblings skiing at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, which her family owned and managed, and spending summers at Kootenai Point. Huguenin, 46, earned

On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate the quality of life here? Why?

Eight. Sandpoint has all kinds of wonderful people and four distinct seasons, but sometimes I miss going into the city to dance and eat exceptional food. I love Sandpoint’s natural beauty, amazing nature and lake, unusual amount of

arts, good medical community, safety, and altruistic support in charity. I also appreciate having my family and lifetime friends here. If you only had one day left in Sandpoint, how would you spend it?

On a boat, sunny day, skinny-dipping. I would go to Beyond Hope for dinner, and then I would slowly cruise back under the stars and the northern lights. How would you like to see Sandpoint change in the next 10 years?

I would like to see more amazing businesses come here and create a thriving economy that’s creative and positive. I’d like to see some part of the city’s infrastructure become self-sustaining, like water and sewer plants that create energy instead of cost so much money. What could be done to improve Sandpoint’s economy?

Make a Sandpoint economy website with flashing icons when jobs become available. We could have a “We Love Canadians” weeklong festival. Nelson, British Columbia, is our sister city, and we should invite all those towns that are within reach. Any advice for people who want to move to Sandpoint?

Plan a trip someplace warm in February, and make sure your money comes from someplace else. (laughs) Know where your income will come from before you move here, because it’s sometimes challenging. You will love it here, but there will be times when you need to get a city fix or go south and get some sunshine.

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What’s your favorite memory from growing up here?

Living out at Kootenai Point all summer and having excellent family and friends to share my life with. There was no electricity. Even when I worked (during college), I would take the boat into town early and work at the cut shop. I would cut wood until 2:30 p.m. and then I was out on the lake and happy.


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NATIVES AND NEWCOMERS Then I would grab my dirt bike and take it out in the woods and go off-roading. Then being so tired and sweaty, I would need to cool off, so I would take a tube or canoe and float down the Pack River, then go all the way down to the lake and jump on our boat, then go cruise around and end up in one of the restaurants on the lake and have a nice dinner at sunset. How would you like to see Sandpoint change in the next 10 years?


I don’t want to see the town get more modern. I’m more old-fashioned. I don’t want Sandpoint to change more. I would say, “Please not too many more big stores.” I would like to see less vacancy signs on the windows downtown. It would be great seeing more mom-and-pop shops again.

Michèle Secor

What could be done to improve Sandpoint’s economy?

A native of Switzerland, Michèle Secor, 29, is a former elementary school teacher who is now a stay-at-home mom of 2-year-old Sheena and 1-yearold Tyce. She helps her husband, Derek, with his dental lab business, however. She married the Florida native in 2009 and lived in his home state briefly, until her brother, who lives in Spokane, suggested Coeur d’Alene. They moved to Sandpoint instead, in 2010 for about 18 months, until Michèle got homesick for Switzerland after the birth of their first child. Two years later in July 2013, the couple returned to Sandpoint to resume raising their family here. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate the quality of life here? Why?

I almost gave it a nine, but because of the rainy season in spring, I gave it an 8 and a half. It’s a perfect little town for a family or anybody. There’s a long list of good things: the lake and how we have access to it; you can do so many outdoor things; the summers are amazing; and the downtown is cute. If you only had one day left in Sandpoint, how would you spend it?

I would take my family out for breakfast in one of the cute, local restaurants.

We would hope, as much as possible, for people to support the small, local busi-

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NATIVES AND NEWCOMERS nesses so they don’t have to close up. Many people from Canada are coming down, and those are the hockey guys. Why not open up a hockey rink here? They would need a hotel and go eat out and buy stuff. All year-round you can play hockey. How does Sandpoint compare to other places you’ve lived?

In Florida, the temperature and humidity was killing us. Compared to Switzerland, it’s obvious everything is different – the culture, the buildings. If you look at the countryside and seasons, it’s really similar, but we don’t have that much rain. Then the public transportation, you don’t need a car in Switzerland. What’s great here in America is the possibilities. For me it’s a land of freedom. You can do so many things. In Switzerland, there’s rules and rules. Because it’s so small, every square foot is planned out. If you want to be outside of town, you have to be a farmer and have permissions. Here you can live anywhere. What surprised

me is I can bike and walk anywhere here, just like in Switzerland, and the cars stop for you. When I was pregnant, everybody here was asking questions and so excited. In Switzerland, nobody cares. Nobody would ever ask about the kids, about being pregnant. They’re so private there. Here, you’re way more open and everyone wants to help. How did you adjust to living here?

I didn’t do enough to be a part of Sandpoint last time, and that’s why I got homesick. Just walking, biking and having kids makes it easier. I want to go to all the events. Being a part of it makes it really easy to adjust.

Andra Nelson

A lawyer at Berg & McLaughlin, Andra Nelson, 28, moved here from her hometown of Soda Springs, a town of 3,300 in southeastern Idaho, when she accepted her job in March 2013. She had ambitions to become a politician; instead, she followed in her father’s footsteps, as did her sister, and became a lawyer.


Professional Movers/Licensed Contractor 96


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Nelson grew up skiing in Utah and spending time at her family’s cabin on the Salmon River, which led to her love of the outdoors. She enjoys kayaking, downhill skiing, golf, hiking and riding her bike everywhere. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate the quality of life here? Why?

I rate it a 9, and the reason why I wouldn’t rate it a 10 is because of the winters. I anticipate the winters

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1326 Baldy Mt. Rd. • Sandpoint, ID 83864 WINTER 2014

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NATIVES AND NEWCOMERS are going to be bad. The reason I give it a 9 is because I’ve never been in a town that has so much access to physical activities. I can ride my bike anywhere. And also being able to kayak right out my front door, and swim whenever I want and being able to hike the most ridiculously beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on. Then during the winter, you can ski whenever and go snowshoeing. Besides that the community is incredible. If you only had one day left in Sandpoint, how would you spend it?

I would have to wake up early, and it would have to be a day when the festival was opening. First I would have brunch at Trinity. Then one of my friends would take me out on a boat and go to Green Bay or Whiskey Rock and maybe tube for a bit. Come back, go to lunch at Joel’s and then go to the festival on my bike. How would you like to see Sandpoint change in the next 10 years?

I don’t necessary want it to grow, but I would like to see our economy grow. The best ways to do that is what Litehouse and Coldwater Creek and Unicep and Lead-Lok did – those small companies that grew into great enterprises. Recreation-wise, I would like to see more places to go on a boat. I think Schweitzer needs to make their passes cheaper for people who live here. And more golf courses.

so much access that’s immediate. We have this natural lake that’s so gorgeous, and in my hometown we have reservoirs. People here are genuinely nice, and I think it’s because they’re relatively happy here. In Soda, people are not that nice. I think it’s because it’s so small and everyone knows your business. In Portland, it’s nice, but everyone has to be on-guard because it’s a big city.

What could be done to improve Sandpoint’s economy?

How did you adjust to living here?

It’s so important to make sure that people who are from here go to college and learn trades and come back and start businesses or grow an existing one. Also if the service industries could offer benefits for their employees. How does Sandpoint compare to other places you’ve lived?

I’ve never been in a place in Idaho that’s more beautiful, and I’ve been everywhere. Sandpoint encompasses everything I like in scenery and has

Everyone in my firm was incredible and tried to get me out in the community and told me everything that’s going on. And I was like, How is there all this stuff going on all the time? I got on the board of Community Cancer Services and head the Fundraising Committee. Getting involved helped me adjust and meet more incredible people, and then getting on the golf league and meeting all the fun ladies and camaraderie. Getting involved is the best way to adjust anywhere.

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Winter Guide

Clark Fork

Map © TerraPen Geographics.| (208) 597-7717 | 98


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Winter Guide

Winter Guide 2014 OUTDOORS Cross-country Skiing. For nicely maintained trails and consistent snow, visit 32 km of 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 more than 7 km of groomed trails, 25 miles south of Sandpoint on Lake Pend Oreille. Groomed trails (15 km) are also maintained at Priest Lake Nordic Center (443-2525) and connect to Hannah Flats for more than 40 km of trails. Right downtown, ski or snowshoe the two miles of flat lake shoreline alongside the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail. It’s accessed north of City Beach just beyond Seasons at Sandpoint. Just a mile away, groomed trails may be found when conditions are favorable at the University of Idaho property on North Boyer Avenue. Two ranches in the Selle Valley now offer groomed trails: Tauber Angus Farms (263-6400) and Western Pleasure Guest Ranch (263-9066).

Backcountry and Snowshoeing. For terrain that’s pristine and un-

Frozen Lake Pend Oreille. PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL

groomed, nearly unlimited options exist on public lands surrounding Sandpoint up national forest roads: Roman Nose, accessed outside of Naples, about 22 miles north of Sandpoint; and up Trestle Creek, about 12 miles east off Highway 200. For info on those or other areas, call the Sandpoint Ranger District (263-5111) or the Bonners Ferry Ranger District (2675561) for maps and current conditions, including avalanche advisories. For a guided backcountry experience, take an excursion from Schweitzer via snowcat with Selkirk Powder (866-464-3246). For rental gear, try Schweitzer’s Ski &

Ride Center (255-3070); on the mountain and in downtown Sandpoint, the Alpine Shop at 213 Church (263-5157); or Outdoor Experience, 314 N. First Ave. (263-6028). More snowsports information online, at www.SandpointOnline. com/rec or Sleigh Rides. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, 16 miles northeast of Sandpoint on Upper Gold Creek Road, offers sleigh rides in a rural setting for groups and couples. www. (263-9066). Stillwater Ranch also provides sleigh rides in a country setting for groups and

DOWNHILL SKIING AND RIDING High in the Selkirk Mountains above Sandpoint, Schweitzer Mountain contains 2,900 acres of terrain beckoning skiers and snowboarders to ride 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 among the 92 named trails, two open bowls, treed glades and three terrain parks. Select slopes are lit for night skiing part of the season. Three highspeed chairs serve the mountain: “Stella,” Idaho’s only six-pack chair and quads Great Escape and Basin Express. The mountain also has one triple chair, three

double chairs, a T-bar, a beginner’s Musical Carpet, tubing, a zip line and snowshoe and cross-country trails. (800831-8810 or 263-9555). See story, page 66. Other downhill ski choices exist within a couple hours of Sandpoint. Serviced by a gondola, Silver Mountain Resort is in Kellogg, about 85 miles southeast of Sandpoint. Open ThursdayMonday and holidays, Silver features five chairs, one surface lift and tubing. Top elevation is 6,300 feet; vertical is 2,200 feet; and there’s 1,600 skiable acres with 73 named trails. About 98 miles northwest of Sandpoint sits 49 Degrees North,

outside of Chewelah, Wash., open Friday-Tuesday and holidays. The top elevation is 5,774 feet, with 1,851 vertical and 2,325 skiable acres. The mountain features 75 trails, six chairlifts, a surface lift and the brand-new Nordic Center. And finally, for an experience off the beaten path, there is Turner


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Mountain, 80 miles northeast of Sandpoint near Libby, Mont. Turner is a small, little-known ski area admired by many skiers for its steep runs. Open Friday-Sunday and holidays; top elevation is 5,952. The mountain has one surface lift and 25 runs, with 2,110 feet of vertical.



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Winter Guide

weddings, south of Sandpoint in Sagle on Dufort Road. (263-0077).

Snowmobiling. It’s one of the most popular and fun ways to reach the wondrous wintry backcountry. Snowcat trails around Sandpoint and Priest Lake in the Selkirk Mountains are renowned; for more information, contact Winter Riders, (263-7383) or Priest Lake Trails & Outdoor Recreation Association, (448-1135). For guided rides at Schweitzer, contact Selkirk Powder. (263-6959 or 888-Go-Idaho). State Parks. Three state parks are 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 12 miles south of Sandpoint just west of Highway 95 on West Dufort Road. Round Lake is a small, scenic lake; camping, fishing, sledding and cross-country skiing all available (263-3489). Priest Lake State Park is located north of Coolin alongside the clear waters of Priest Lake. Camping, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and snowmobiling available (4432200).

Walking. For a two-mile walk on cleared paths with dazzling views, the Pedestrian Long Bridge runs alongside Highway 95 over Lake Pend Oreille. You’ll also find paved, cleared paths along the new Sand Creek Byway, at Travers Park on West Pine Street; City Beach downtown; and the Dover Bike Path along Highway 2 west. Paths are also at Lakeview Park, through and around the Native Plant Society Arboretum, and overlooking Sand Creek at the Healing Garden next to Bonner General Hospital. Wildlife Refuge. Kootenai National

Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles north of Sandpoint near Bonners Ferry, has more than 2,000 acres and abundant wildlife including elk, deer, moose and bear, plus migrating birds. Hiking trails to a waterfall and around a 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).

Fishing. Dedicated fishermen don’t let a little cold weather stop them. When the water freezes, there’s great ice fishing on Lake Pend Oreille at the north end of the Long Bridge in front of Condo del Sol. Main prey is perch, though bass and trout also are caught. Ice fishing is also popular on smaller lakes: Cocolalla, Mirror, Gamlin, Shepherd, Round, Antelope and Priest. See story, page 122. Lake Pend Oreille’s deep waters rarely freeze and even in

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midwinter charter fishing boats pursue its trophy rainbow trout and mackinaw. Try Diamond Charters (265-2565), Eagle Charters (264-5274), Pend Oreille Charters (265-6781) or Seagull Charters (266-1861).

Ice Skating and Sledding. It takes several days of sustained below-freezing temperatures without too much snow, but when conditions are right, local ice skaters flock to Third Avenue Pier, where the street terminates at Lake Pend Oreille. Another favored skating spot is the Sandpoint City Beach or

INDOORS Art Galleries. Truly an arts town, Sandpoint has numerous galleries and artists’ studios in the area. Downtown take a walking tour; on First Avenue check Art Works, Hallans, Hen’s Tooth and the Cedar Street Bridge. Swing west to Sixth and Oak for Redtail Gallery and Sandpoint Center for the Arts. Art


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lovers may also visit revolving art exhibits in year-round gallery locations sponsored by the Pend Oreille Arts Council: AmericanWest Bank, 605 N. 5th Ave.; Mountain West Bank, 476655 Highway 95 in Ponderay; Northern Lights, 421 Chevy Street in Sagle; Panhandle State Bank, 414 Church St.; PSB Community Plaza, 231 N. 3rd Ave.; and STCU, 477181 Highway 95 in Ponderay. (263-6139). At Schweitzer, the Artists’ Studio in the White Pine Lodge features local artists who participate in the Artists’ Studio Tour (265-1776).

Winter Guide


Sand Creek below the Cedar Street Bridge. Or head out to Round Lake State Park, south of Sandpoint, where there is often a bonfire blazing. Park staff maintain both regular and speed-skating rinks. To get there, drive 10 miles south on Highway 95, then west two miles on Dufort Road (263-3489). If it’s sledding you want, Schweitzer maintains its Hermits Hollow Tubing Center; sessions last 1.5 hours and reservations are recommended (255-3081). A second fine sledding hill is at Round Lake State Park, with a 1,000-foot run to the lake.

Museums. Enjoy many fine displays depicting old-time Bonner County at the Bonner County Historical Museum. Open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturdays in summer only). Located in Lakeview Park, 611 S. Ella. (2632344). The Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center was founded by Dr. Forrest Bird, inventor of the medical respirator, and wife Pam in 2007. See



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Meeting Rooms



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No. of Units




Beautiful 3-bedroom, 2-bath waterfront condos on Lake Pend Oreille in Hope. Discount ski and golf tickets available. See ad, page 42.

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Downtown Sandpoint on the lake. Indoor pool, sauna, fitness room, hot tub. All rooms with lake view. Dine at Trinity at City Beach. Also 22-site RV park.

208-263-3194 or 800-635-2534 300







Whether you prefer rustic elegance or Manhattan chic, you’ll find a room that suits you along with a casino that boasts the area’s most machines, and the most winners. See ad, page 52.


Dover Bay Bungalows 208-263-3083







Waterfront bungalows at beautiful Dover Bay in Marina Village. Fully furnished with lake and mountain views. Fitness center, marina and hiking/biking trails. See ads, page 36.

GuestHouse Lodge



Free breakfast with waffles, 24-hour hot tub, free wireless Internet. Family suites. Schweitzer ski packages. At the base of Schweitzer Mountain, two miles from Lake Pend Oreille.


Holiday Inn Express





The newest hotel in Greater Sandpoint. 100 percent smoke-free. The Ponderay location is at the base of Schweitzer Mountain next to the new location of Sweet Lou’s, close to Walmart. See ad,

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page 101.

La Quinta Inn








208-263-9581 or 800-282-0660

Lodge at Sandpoint
















Great deals on exclusive Schweitzer ski-in/out condos and waterfront vacation cabins. Book your perfect Idaho vacation online 24/7. See ad, page 34.

877-667-8409 or 208-290-6847

Pend Oreille Shores Resort












Indoor pool and hot tub. Close to downtown Sandpoint. 5th Avenue Restaurant and Mitzy’s Lounge on property. Kids stay and eat free.

208-263-2111 or 866-519-7683

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Fully furnished condos and on-site athletic club on Lake Pend Oreille. Stay and play packages. See ad, page 38.


Sandpoint Quality Inn

Northern Quest Resort & Casino is the Inland Northwest’s only AAA-rated 4-Diamond casino resort. Complimentary Wi-Fi, and valet and overnight parking. See ad, page 56.


Northridge Vacation Rentals

Accommodations for weddings, retreats and banquets. Lakeside with swimming and docks. Views of lake and mountains for an unforgettable Idaho vacation.


Northern Quest Casino

Downtown location, high-speed Internet. Free breakfast, themed spa suites. Silverwood, ski and golf packages. Kids stay free. See ad, page 26.






75 luxury homes and condos in Sandpoint and on the lake. First-class properties at affordable rates. Plan your perfect vacation. Boat rentals, tee times. See ad, page 5.

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On beautiful Lakeshore Drive. Sleep’s Cabins consists of six log bungalows decorated with original furnishings and collectibles. See ad, page 34.

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Private cabins sleep 2-8. Lodge rooms with private baths, rec room, horseback riding and meals available. See ad, page 54.


White Pine Lodge

Beautiful Victorian home with unique rooms and antiques. Located in downtown Sandpoint. Within walking distance of many local shops and businesses. See ad, page 30.


Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Mountain accommodations, stay-and-play packages. Spectacular mountain and lake views. Outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. See ad, page 123.

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New accommodations, stay-and-play packages. Spectacular mountain and lake views. Outdoor hot tubs, access to heated pool. See ad, page 123.


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Because there’s more to life than bad news

The River Journal A news magazine worth wading through Because

life more to there’s

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INE Worth Wading



Because there’s more to life than


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A News MAGAZINE Worth Wading


Osprey l Remode See story 8 on page

Local News

an g • Veter m le • Hikin • Peop iverJou • Opinion www.R onment • Envir FREE |


Winter Guide

Downtown retailers are going all out in the Sandpoint Shopping District, where shoppers will discover a fine array of eclectic shops and galleries with clothing, art and gifts galore. www. Highlights include the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market with retailers such as Carousel Emporium and MeadowBrook Home & Gift, art, and food such as Cedar St. Bridge Café, all in a beautiful log structure spanning Sand Creek. (255-8270). Just down the street is Coldwater Creek in its flagship store at 311 N. First, with a wine bar upstairs and live music on Fridays and Saturdays. (263-2265). Antiques abound at Foster’s Crossing, a mini mall with lots of collectibles, on Fifth between Cedar and Oak streets (263-5911); and MarketPlace Antiques & Gifts, open daily, at Fifth and Church (263-4444). Just out of town, Bonner Mall in Ponderay has many stores large and small, and often hosts events; it’s on U.S. Highway 95 two miles north of Sandpoint (263-4272).

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their impressive collection paying homage to their love of aviation and innovation.Located in Sagle about 17 miles southeast of Sandpoint off Sagle Road on Bird Ranch Road. Open year-round Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from mid-May to midOctober. Admission is free (donations welcomed). www.birdaviationmuseum. com (255-4321).

Movies. The Bonner Mall Cinema is a six-plex theater inside the Bonner Mall on Highway 95, featuring new releases daily (263-7147). The historic Panida Theater downtown at 300 N. First shows foreign and independent films, plus film festivals often (263-9191). Check www. for movie listings.

200 in Ponderay (255-7010); 360FIT, 606 N. Fifth Ave. (263-7174); Xhale Pilates Studio, 225 Cedar St. (755-2687); and Zest Inspired Living, 100 N. First Ave. (290-3812). Yoga classes are also held at Gardenia Center, 400 Church St. (2554450) and Hope Memorial Center, 415 Wellington Pl. in Hope (264-5481). See

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Athletic Clubs and Yoga. Sandpoint West Athletic Club, 1905 W. Pine St., has a 25-meter indoor pool, courts, a weight room, group classes, and a sauna and spa. Open daily. www. (263-6633). Others include CrossFit Sandpoint, 219 S. Olive (610-2220); cor24fitness, 400 Schweitzer Plaza, Ste. 5, in Ponderay (290-4046); Curves, 110 Tibbetts Ln. in Ponderay (255-1661); Dover Bay Lake Club Fitness Center in Dover (263-5493); Downtown Yoga, 119 N. First Ave. (255-6177); Natural Fitness at 1103 Superior (263-0676); 2nd Wind Fitness, 1527 Baldy Park Dr. (290-2081); SoulTown Fitness, 30736 Highway



208-263-7276 32607 HWY 200 • Sandpoint, ID 83864

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Winter Guide


listings and links to local yoga studios at

Spas. Get pampered at The Spa at Seasons, in downtown Sandpoint, www. (263-5616); Wildflower Day Spa, www.thewild (263-1103); Su Geé Skin Care, 324 S. Florence Ave. (2636205); or Solstice Well Being Spa and Wellness Center at Schweitzer Mountain.


Brewery Tours. Take a tour and taste handcrafted ales at Laughing Dog Brewing in Ponderay, open MondaySaturday at 1109 Fontaine Dr. www. (263-9222). Downtown, see brewing in action at Sandpoint’s own craft brewpub, MickDuff’s, open daily at 312 N. First. (255-4351). Not a brewer but noted for its regional selection is Eichardt’s Pub, 212 Cedar St.

From Dover to Kootenai with stops in Sandpoint and Ponderay, the SPOT bus route serves residents and visitors who are commuting or enjoying a night out on the town. When ski season is under way, catch a connector to the Schweitzer bus. The bus circles its route hourly every day, 6:24 a.m. to 6:27 p.m. with one late run Sunday through Thursday, and three late runs Friday and Saturday. Stops are marked with the SPOT bus sign – many at or near motels in Sandpoint and Ponderay in order to provide rides for their guests. The best part: It’s free! Check schedules online. www.seespotroll. com. (597-7606).

FesTival aTsandpoinT Aug 7-17, 2014 The

Music Stars Lake! Under the

(263-4005). Sandpoint’s northern neighbor, Bonners Ferry, has its own brewery now, too: Kootenai River Brewing offers tours, a tap room and family dining at Riverside and First (267-4677).


on the

Winery & Wine Bars. The Pend d’Oreille Winery, Idaho’s Winery of the Year in 2003, features tours, wine tasting, a gift shop, live music Fridays, and Bistro Rouge menu daily, 220 Cedar St. (265-8545). Two more wine bars, all within easy walks downtown, are the Coldwater Creek Wine Bar, upstairs at 311 N. First Ave., also featuring live music and a great menu to complement wines (263-6971); and La Rosa Club, across the street from Ivano’s at 105 S. First Ave., has an approachable wine list as well as craft cocktails, martinis, and small plates and bites. (255-2100).

THE OLD CHURCH IN HOPE Events • Weddings • Reunions

Be there or be … Daddy O! Tickets & Info1-888-265-4554 104


098-122_SMW14[Eats-Drinks].indd 104 (208) 263-1224


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& Drinks With Beth Hawkins and photos by Katie Kosaya

Laketown lunch scene Busy professionals’ favorite spots


ven here in little ol’ Sandpoint, the weekday lunch scene is thriving as local restaurants cater to a growing pool of professional business people. Whether they’re taking a midday break with coworkers, or showing off Sandpoint’s finest attributes during a working lunch with out-oftown clients, business folks are happy to have a wide array of restaurants to choose from. George Anderson, lead IT analyst for local software developer EPIS, is a tried and true fan of MickDuff’s Brewing Co., 312 N. First Ave. During the business day, Anderson chooses the pub’s homemade root beer along with

the Black and Blue Burger – featuring blue cheese and a blackened premium ground chuck patty (diners can mix up the choices with American Kobe beef, chicken breast, vegetarian black bean, or grilled portabella cap). And occasionally, Anderson delves onto the appetizer menu for lunch as well: “Their gorgonzola cheese fries are awesome, and you can get them as a side.” Another top choice for Anderson is Trinity at City Beach, 58 Bridge St. Not only does the waterside restaurant serve up consistently good food, but it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the view across Lake Pend Oreille. Anderson’s top choice is a healthier option than the cheese fries: the Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad. “They give you a generous porWINTER 2014

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Jalapeño’s Luncheon Suiza with a side of grilled jalapeños, Charity Hagel’s favorite

tion of chicken with a maple, sweet dressing … the only thing that would make it better is Jalapeno Ranch from Litehouse.” Spoken like a true businessman! Speaking of Litehouse, the local salad dressing company’s director of finance, Charity Hagel, also manages to slip away from her busy business schedule on occasion to enjoy a downtown lunch. “I love Jalapeno’s,” (314 N. Second Ave.) Hagel said. “When I’m really starving, that’s where I want to go. I like having the chips and salsa until your SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


10/17/13 3:51 PM

& Drinks Eats

lunch arrives.” Her favorite menu choice is on the Lunch Specials list – the Luncheon Suiza. “It’s a chicken enchilada with green sauce, and it’s really good!” Hagel also orders up a side of grilled jalapenos – something that’s not on the menu – and dices them up and puts them on top. “They put a special seasoning on them and lime juice.”


g an dinin i l a t I in e


ocation L t a Gre


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Dinner served 7 nights a week Corner of First and Pine


105 S. First Ave.

The popular Colorado Burrito at Tango Café, where no table service means fast, convenient dining

When clients come to town, Hagel goes to the restaurants that show off Sandpoint’s best attributes – the lake, the mountains, the charming downtown. “A couple of the places that we frequent with people in town is Trinity, because of the view. We also go to the Coldwater Creek Wine Bar. Jalapeno’s is another favorite – it’s pretty quick, so when you don’t have a lot of time. And it’s a fun atmosphere.” Justin Dick, owner of Trinity at City Beach, said the views of Lake Pend Oreille and City Beach are probably the most attractive parts of conducting business during the lunch hour at Trinity. “We offer the ‘Sandpoint power lunch’: a place to showcase Sandpoint to clientele from outside of the area, close to downtown, and natural lighting that offers a great change of pace to the often-institutional, fluorescent bulb feel

of your typical office.” Business professionals are also drawn to Tango Café, inside the Panhandle State Bank building at 414 Church St., not only for its convenient location housed within the financial center but also the café’s speedy service and gourmet cuisine. According to owner Judy Colegrove, Tango’s a hot spot for the breakfast and lunch crowd. “The space itself is just great,” she said. “Because there’s no table service, it’s easy for people to meet up.” Tango accommodates busy schedules with to-go lunches and also serves breakfast all day. Good thing, because one of the café’s most popular items is the Colorado Burrito – stuffed with Southwest sausage, potatoes, onions and peppers, pepper jack cheese and served with refried beans. Lunch, anyone?

Great Mexican Food Awesome Atmosphere

314 N. Second Avenue, Sandpoint, ID Phone: 208-263-2995



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Local Beers on Tap!

Catch your Favorite Game on one of our 20 Flat Screen TVs.

w w w. s w e e t






208-263-1381 Sweet Lou says, “come hungry, stay late, eat well.” 098-122_SMW14[Eats-Drinks].indd 107

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Restaurateur Q&A with Jeff Nizzoli and Chad Foust


oth Jeff Nizzoli, 47, of Eichardt’s Pub, and Chad Foust, 34, of Sweet Lou’s Restaurant and Bar, arrived in Sandpoint from other states, chasing their dream of opening an eating establishment. Nizzoli, who grew up in California and went to college at Sacramento State, had always wanted to run a pub. Just 30 days after visiting Sandpoint on a scouting/ski trip, he opened Eichardt’s in 1994. “The rest is history,” he said. For Foust, who grew up in nearby Washington state and graduated with a degree in criminal justice from the University of Arizona, it took the birth of son Lou to turn his focus toward moving to northern Idaho and opening a restaurant with his wife Meggie. “He was the inspiration,” Foust said of 4-year-old Lou, the namesake of his restaurant. In addition to the yearround location in Ponderay, Foust operates a summer-season Sweet Lou’s in Hope. The challenges of running a restaurant are huge, but passion fuels both of these restaurateurs. –B.H.


& Drinks

Serving Sandpoint





What influenced you to get into the restaurant business?

I really enjoyed pubs and the camaraderie and openness of a pub compared to a bar. I traveled the world for a couple of years, and I liked how they were part of the community.

You can say it is in my blood. My father and stepmother are also in the restaurant business and that is where I got my start. My first job was working at Taco Bell for my stepmom washing dishes and working on the line during summer and winter vacation outside of Detroit. After Taco Bell, I went into casual dining and have been there ever since. I have worked and managed many different restaurants, from national chains like Macaroni Grill and Black Angus to smaller, regional concepts like Original Roadhouse Grill and Firecracker in Tucson.

How many hours per week do you work?

Probably 50 hours per week.

It depends on the season, but summer is our busiest time of the year with two locations open. I average 70-75 hours a week.

What’s the bestselling dish at the restaurant? What’s your favorite dish?

The Blackened Wild Salmon Caesar Salad, a great combination of spice with the blackened salmon, is our biggest seller. We’ve probably sold more of that dish than any other in the past 20 years. My favorite is the seafood rice bowl – calamari, salmon, shrimp, mahi-mahi, Creole cream sauce, it’s delicious.

Our best selling dish is our Manny’s beer-battered fish and chips. Wild Alaskan Cod is dipped in our homemade beer batter and served with fresh-cut French fries. In our first year in business out in Hope, 10 percent of our guests ordered the Fish and Chips. My favorite dish is the smoked St. Louis Ribs with our house barbecue sauce served with a side of Cajun rice. The ribs are very tender with a good, but not overpowering, smoke flavor.

Biggest challenge of running a restaurant?

The fact that you’re only as good as your last plate. You have to stay consistent and keep people happy.

Knowing that every season of the year is different and making sure you plan ahead for what lies around the corner. We keep detailed notes on a daily basis so we can refer back to the previous year.


I raise children, play soccer and ski.

My No. 1 hobby is spending time with my wife and son. After that, I enjoy golfing, working out, trying new and different foods, and watching the Seahawks.

What would you do if not running a restaurant?

The only thing that’s ever intrigued me is running a recreational facility; that, or a fly fishing camp.

I would have gone for a job with the U.S. Marshals. I interned with the Marshals Service in college for my criminal justice degree and I really enjoyed it. I respect what they and other law enforcement agencies go through on a daily basis.


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10/17/13 3:52 PM


Home baked happiness


hat’s the children’s story about the Little Red Hen? She does all the work to prepare a loaf of fresh bread – plants, harvests and grinds the wheat, kneads the dough, bakes the bread. Only when it’s all ready to eat do the other animals come scampering forward for a slice to eat. Well, that’s a lesson we can save for another day, because the good folks at Miller’s Country Store, 1326 Baldy Mountain Rd., actually enjoy baking up delicious goodies from scratch – all for us to enjoy! Just walk in the doors of the newly expanded eatery, and you’ll know you’ve come to the right place – the indulgent smell of fresh-baked breads, cinnamon rolls and scones are too delightful to resist! According to owner Nanette Miller, they are always baking up a storm – starting with three varieties of homebaked breads, seeded multi-grain, honey wheat, and sourdough. “These are soft, moist breads,” she said. The seeded multi-grain bread

Maria Corsini of Pine Street Bakery, where they carry an impressive selection of bread


includes pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds, and is a popular choice for the store’s made-to-order deli sandwiches. And the sourdough bread is made from legendary starter: “I have a document that it’s over 100 years old,” Miller said. In addition, there is a must-try garlic/ cheese sourdough version. Other top sellers at the store are cinnamon rolls with browned butter frosting, available on Tuesdays and Fridays. For other days of the week, customers can buy the pecan sticky buns right from the freezer. “Set it out before going to bed, pop it in the oven in the morning, and the entire house smells like cinnamon rolls,” Miller said. What a clever solution for the holidays! Flavorful scones, made with huckleberries, marionberries and more round out the home-baked menu. Another eatery where you’ll find home-baked goodness is Di Luna’s Café, 207 Cedar St. The cozy downWINTER 2014

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& Drinks

Where to find breads, rolls, more made from scratch

Sandpoint’s Best Thai Food • Peanut sauces made in-house • 6 different Thai curry • Gluten-free & Vegetarian • Wine and beer • Take-out available

Eat in or take out

208-265-4149 • 202 N. 2nd Ave.



10/17/13 3:52 PM

& Drinks Eats

town restaurant serves homemade rolls with its soups and salads, and owner Karen Forsythe said she’s been serving the same rolls for 30 years. “My baker adapted it from an old recipe, and customers love them. We hear about it if we run out!” Forsythe said. The café also bakes Asiago cheese rolls – “a rustic bread” – plus its own homemade bread for sandwiches and toast. Bread lovers will be impressed with the varied selection at Pine Street Bakery, 710 Pine St., where bins are filled with freshly made loaves including New York rye and ciabatta, plus a selection of homemade bagels. According to co-owner Maria Corsini, it’s difficult to predict which bread varieties will sell on a given day. “It goes in waves, depending on the day, and the mood that people are in,” she said. The ciabatta is the top seller; Corsini said it’s the “most versatile” bread that customers can take home and make into garlic bread,

Seeded multi-grain bread is a popular choice for made-to-order deli sandwiches at Miller’s Country Store. COURTESY PHOTO

French toast and so on. Corsini said a new addition is pizza, either by the slice at lunchtime, or order an entire pizza. It’s made with

homemade dough, which can also be purchased to make your own pizzas at home. –B.H.

NEWLY EXPANDED STORE & DINING AREA Breads Scones Pastries Cookies Pies Cinnamon Rolls Coffee Teas Canned Goods Spices Beans Rice Pasta Flour Nuts Dried Fruit Christian Books Housewares

Hours: M-F 8:30-5:30 Join us on


1326 Baldy Mt. Rd., Sandpoint, ID 83864 . 110


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Happy hour Monday – Thursday, 5-7 Live music every Friday and Saturday Gourmet appetizers every day

WINE BAR Mon-Thurs 11-9 Fri & Sat 11-11 208-263-6971

& Drinks

Wines by the glass & the best ambiance in town



Upstairs at 311 N. First Avenue, Sandpoint

Inventive appetizers


The Mediterranean Plate at Coldwater Creek Wine Bar, its most popular appetizer

ing-sized dinners and overstuffed desserts, who needs ’em? Appetizers are fast becoming the tastiest way to many diners’ hearts, as these sharable gems reclaim the front-of-the-menu recognition they deserve at restaurants and drinking establishments throughout Greater Sandpoint. Chefs and staff delve into their creative side when concocting the appetizer menu, as illustrated with a quick tour of local fare. First up is the Mediterranean Plate at the Coldwater Creek Wine Bar, 311 N. First Ave. Not only is this appetizer a plethora of colorful vegetables, dips and cheese that’s beautiful to the eye, the combination of flavor and texture goes wonderfully with the bar’s extensive wine collection. “It’s a wine-friendly appetizer,” said Dave Vermeer, manager of the Coldwater Creek Wine Bar. “The Mediterranean Plate is a combination of flavors and definitely our most popular.” The plate includes fresh goat cheese, olive tapenade and traditional hummus, served with fresh vegetables, along with roasted garlic and warm baguette. The bar also offers a gluten-free alternative. Order the appetizer for one, two or four. The most popular appetizer at Bangkok Cuisine, 202 N. Second Ave., is a simple choice: the Silver Bags, delectable fried dumplings filled with cream cheese. “They’re made from scratch,” said owner Sudarat “Pat” Chitlungsei. “The recipe is from New York when we had a restaurant there.” Besides the cream cheese filling, Bangkok adds salt and pepper, crab meat, and cilantro. The filling goes into wonton wrappers, which are then folded and refrigerated so they’re crispy when fried. Silver Bags are served with the restaurant’s homemade plum sauce, which is mixed with sweet vinegar for an extra zing. Since it gets dark early in the wintertime, head to La Rosa, 105 S. First Ave., between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. for $5 grilled flatbreads. The popular piadinas are made with Italian flour, sourdough yeast and tasty toppings such as smoked tomatoes and basil, or spinach and lamb. Of course, you can order tasty appetizers all evening (and week), as well, including the fried smashed potatoes with mango ketchup. And if you’re trying to impress your date, head to The Little Olive, 124 S. Second Ave., for saganaki. Using a hot skillet and olive oil, the server brings out a slice of pan-seared kasseri cheese, along with Greek kalamata olives, and pours brandy over the top to create a flame. “Opa!” is exclaimed in dramatic flair as the plate lands at the table. “It’s definitely our most popular appetizer,” said manager Wyatt Langley. “We see wide, surprised eyes when the dish is brought out.” Served with warm pita wedges, Langley said the cheesy result is simply “heavenly.” –B.H.

Di Lu n a ’s CAFE

American Bistro Dining & Catering 208.263.0846 207 Cedar Street


Located on Historic Cedar Street Bridge 265-4396

~ Eichardt’s Serves up the Best of Northwest Microbrews, Food & Local Live Music ~ Full Lunch & Dinner Menu 16 Micros on Tap • Oak Cask Red Wines Upstairs Game Room Open Daily From 11:30 am 212 Cedar St. • Sandpoint • 263-4005

W i n t e r 2 0 1 4 SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


& Drinks

The Local Dish


News and events foodies need to know

Forty-One South is now open on Mondays, when it offers a half-price entrée with the purchase of an entrée this winter. PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL


omfort food – we know it well here in northern Idaho. Embrace it, savor it! And besides, you can always work on the physique next spring, right? Cozy up to the enormous fireplace at Forty-One South, 41 Lakeshore Dr. in Sagle, and enjoy the restaurant’s seasonal menu meant just for the colder months – comfort foods with a gourmet touch, such as the Buffalo Meatloaf, as well as more vegetarian options. Besides the welcoming ambiance and delicious food, Forty-One South hosts live music in the lounge every

Thursday, and Saturday dinner guests are treated to the soothing guitar sounds of Bruce Bishop. Owner Cassandra Cayson now keeps the restaurant open seven nights a week: “We want to give the option to people who want to go out on Mondays.” To kick off the switch to a nightly schedule, Cayson said FortyOne South will be offering a Buy One Entrée, Get One Half Off special on Mondays throughout the winter season. Next door at Shoga, also at 41 Lakeshore Dr. in Sagle, patrons are enjoying the restaurant’s non-sushi

items just as much as the sushi. “We have steaks, burgers, chicken teriyaki … that side of the menu has really taken off,” Cayson said. In fact, about half of the menu options are now nonsushi items. Of course, Shoga’s widely renowned for its excellent sushi and offers a special on Wednesdays: Buy one sushi roll, get one half off. Open five nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday. One last note: Schweitzer season pass holders enjoy special discounts, just ask! Speaking of Schweitzer, get cozy and warm at Monarch Mountain Coffee, 208 N. Fourth Ave., with one of the café’s top-selling hot beverages dubbed the Schweitzer. It’s a smooth, creamy white chocolate and white coffee delight that’s just right for an afternoon warm-up. Owner Sherrie Wilson also recommends the Mudslide Mocha, blended with Kahlua and Irish cream syrups plus chocolate, and the Hot Spiced Cider. This welcoming coffeehouse invites the community to attend Open Mic Night, held on the first Thursday of every month and hosted by Scott Reid. “Poetry, mime, music, we love it all,” Wilson said. The Northwest Film Institute also hosts film screenings, plus Monarch is offering beer and wine in addition to more in-house home-baked items and daily soups. One comfort food that just about everyone enjoys is pasta – and for

Open Daily at 6 A.M. 208 N. 4th Avenue • Sandpoint, ID



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International Wine Selection Artisan Cheeses & Breads Fresh Pasta Dinners To Go Gourmet Deli 476534 Hwy 95 Sandpoint • 208.263.1352

fresh baked breads • cheeses • olives

Espresso • Beer/Wine • WiFi

wine • beer • gift baskets • catering

sausages • ravioli • gourmet sandwiches

Complete carry-out fresh pasta dinners


10/17/13 3:52 PM



f you’re not a skier or boarder, it’s still worth the trip up to Schweitzer Mountain Resort for a visit to Chimney Rock Grill, 10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd., located right in the heart of Schweitzer Village. Known as the flagship restaurant on the mountain, Chimney Rock has certain menu items that customers clamor for year after year, according to general manager Kelley Kennedy. “We rotate things in and out, but there’s a bunch of stuff that’s not allowed to go anywhere if I change the menu!” she said. One of the most popular items is the New England Clam Chowder, according to Kennedy. “There are quite a few of us up (208) here who are from New 597-7499 England, and we’ve discovered that Idaho potatoes go really well in this,” 124 S. 2nd Ave, Sandpoint she added. Chimney Rock Grill has

developed quite a following for its savory soups; in fact, its soups were featured in the cookbook “Ski Town Soups” by Jennie Iverson. Another top pick at the restaurant is the fish and r ro ll s ee n 12 of ou be twhand-dipped oo se with chips, cod Ch w w e ro ll ! ow n- th at 's ho ur yo ll ro or and homemade tartar sauce. Chimney Rock Grill strives to make as much as possible Black bean and mushroom burger. SEAN MIRUS/COURTESY OF SCHWEITZER homemade and from scratch hearty and delicious. The salad bar – even the Hot Pastrami Sandwich has been a big hit, with just about features homemade kraut and mustard. every vegetable you can imagine, says “Our black bean and mushroom burger Kennedy. Another addition for those is made from scratch in-house, and I looking at health-conscious options have many customers who love the are the availability of gluten-free and sandwich,” Kennedy said. BIG TUNA Sushi wheat-free items. Customers can order Because the restaurant is situated 'just roll with it'... sushi your way NEXT DOOR TO LITTLE OLIVE just about any sandwich on the menu next to the slopes, Kennedy strives • (208) 597-7498 to be made on gluten-free bread. for service that’s fast – but food that’s

eat me

& Drinks

Schweitzer’s 50, and its flagship restaurant rocks

Big tuna sushi

r ro ll s e e n 12 o f o u Ch o o se be tw e ro ll ! th at 's ho w w nw o r u yo o r ro ll

eat me

(208) 597-7499 124 S. 2nd Ave, Sandpoint

'just roll with it'... sushi your way

NEXT DOOR TO LITTLE OLIVE • (208) 597-7498


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& Drinks Eats

The Local Dish News and events foodies need to know

Hoagies, Hamburgers, Fries Shakes, Fresh Salads & more 102 Church St. Sandpoint 263-1444

The Pie Hut

502 Church Street • Sandpoint, ID • 208-265-2208

Great Soups v Sandwiches v Pies

A Sandpoint tradition... Made fresh daily!

710 Pine Street • Sandpoint


those evenings when you want to eat at home, stop by Pend Oreille Pasta and Wine, 476534 Highway 95 in Ponderay and pick up a complete carry-out dinner which includes homemade fresh pasta, sauce, salad with dressing and bread. The store is also introducing more ravioli varieties, according to owner Kelly Roles. During the holidays, a popular idea is to order ahead and the store will have lasagnas ready to pick up. And if there’s a wine lover on your list, browse the substantial in-store selection. Folks have found that Joe’s Philly Cheesesteaks, 102 Church St., is a place where satisfying comfort food can be had at a reasonable price. And now, cheesesteak-loving customers can enjoy a beer or glass of wine to go along with their hearty meal now that the small downtown eatery is fully licensed. Along with the savory cheesesteaks, Joe’s also dishes up homemade soups, hot dogs, fries and more. They’re not afraid to take customers’ requests for creative menu alterations. “If it’s got meat, cheese, veggies and bread, we can do it,” said Pam Lueck, co-owner of Joe’s. Wash it all down with a creamy milkshake, offered year-round and available in seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin Pie. Mmmm ... And the much-anticipated expansion of Winter Ridge Natural Foods, 703 Lake St., (see story, page 15) has brought about some changes in the deli department. First and foremost,

Serving Dinner 7 nights a week

customers who enjoy Winter Ridge’s deli bar can now sit down and enjoy their meal. According to store manager Vicki Reich, more bakery offerings are in the works, and the deli has added an espresso machine to churn out lattes, frappuccinos and the like. Favorites at the deli bar include chicken thighs, baked in a variety of sauces such as teriyaki (the staff pick), cilantro-lime and more. Customers who are seeking out comfort foods this time of year rave about the popular Turkey Meatloaf and, for vegetarians, the Quinoa Cashew Loaf. Stop by the tasting room at Laughing Dog Brewing, 1109 Fontaine Dr. in Ponderay, for a taste of true local flavor. The dog-friendly taproom is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and, now, during the ski season on Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Laughing Dog Brewing’s legion of loyal fans are licking their chops in anticipation of the new Dogfather Imperial Stout, which has been aged in charred bourbon barrels and is making its debut in November 2013. Cheers to beer! Over at The Readery, 209 N. First Ave., a new fall and winter menu is rolling out and it’s filled with warm, wintry items such as a roasted beet salad, root vegetables and some new breakfast items. Fans of the current menu need not fret, as the new menu items are in addition to the restaurant’s regular items. Here’s a tip for those unfamiliar Free Delivery

Now Serving Beer & Wine!

208.265.2000 41 Lakeshore Drive Sagle 114


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116 N. First Ave • 208.263.8989


10/17/13 3:52 PM


& Drinks Rice crusts & soy cheese now available

with The Readery: If they’re serving the Sweet Potato Leek Soup, don’t miss it! This one’s a big hit with the regulars, and it really warms you up on a brisk day. The restaurant is open daily for both breakfast and lunch. Morning diners have a fond favorite with the Zucchini Bread French Toast, topped with maple syrup and served with breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit. Speaking of breakfast, it’s good to know that The Pita Pit, 116 N. First Ave., serves up breakfast pitas all day long in addition to their savory lunch pitas. Breakfast combinations such as eggs with hash browns and grilled onions and green peppers, or add in black forest ham and/or bacon, can be served on both white or wheat pitas – or forgo the pita and order it fork-style. If you’re in the mood for heaped-up toppings on pizza, skip the chains and visit Sandpoint’s very own Second Avenue Pizza, 215 S. Second Ave. Meat and vegetables portions are huge,



Colorado Burrito

“Out of this W orld”

Zucchini Bread French Toast at The Readery

and the hand-tossed pizza crusts send it over the top. If you have a big crowd, start with the generous-sized garlic bread appetizer – a hand-tossed pizza crust topped with garlic and cheese, and served with pizza sauce for dipping. It’s a great value, and gives everyone something to nibble on. –B.H.

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

The Carolyn

215 S. 2nd Ave.


Come Visit Our Newly Expanded Natural Foods Store • In-house deli, bakery, fresh juice bar, espresso • New meat department featuring local beef, bison, chicken and pork • Expanded organic produce section • Renowned supplements & health and beauty department • Extensive grocery items and bulk foods • Friendly, caring and knowledgeable staff 703 W Lake Street at Boyer St. Sandpoint, ID 208-265-8135 WINTER 2014

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Downtown Sandpoint DINING Map To Hope Clark Fork

Kootenai Cut-off Rd Elks Golf Course

Bonner Mall





Baldy Mountain Rd.



Pend dʼOreille Bay Trail





Fir Healing Garden


Bonner General Hospital




Cedar St.



First Ave.

Town Square

j p50

Bridge St.



City Beach

Pine St.


Lake St.

[ f


S. Second Ave.

S. Fourth Ave.

Division To Dover Priest River






Farmin Park

Third Ave. PARKING


Fourth Ave.


Cedar Street

1Bridge e ] d oPanida Theater Second Ave.



Sand Creek Byway

Visitor Center


098-122_SMW14[Eats-Drinks].indd 116


Schweitzer Cut-off Rd

To Schweitzer



To Bonners Ferry Canada

Map not to scale!

Fifth Ave.

Dining Guide

1 Cedar St. Bistro 2 Evans Brothers Coffee 3 Monarch Mountain Coffee 4 Pine Street Bakery 5 Joe’s Philly Cheesesteaks 6 Miller’s Country Store & Deli 7 Mojo Coyote 8 Pend Oreille Pasta & Wine 9 Pita Pit 0 The Readery - Tango Cafe = Winter Ridge Natural Foods q Chimney Rock Grill w Connie’s Café e Di Luna’s Café r Forty-One South t Pie Hut y Sweet Lou’s u Trinity at City Beach i Eichardt’s Pub & Grill o MickDuff’s Brewing Co. p Bangkok on Second [ Ivano’s Ristoranté & Caffè ] Jalapeño’s Restaurant \ The Little Olive/Big Tuna a Second Avenue Pizza s Shoga at Forty-One South d Coldwater Creek Wine Bar f La Rosa g Laughing Dog Brewing h Pend d’Oreille Winery j 219 Lounge



AMENITIES KEY Waterfront Dining Outdoor Dining Full Bar Serves Breakfast Open Late Night

rs To Sagle

Coeur d’Alene

Wi-Fi Available


10/17/13 3:52 PM

Dining Guide

DINING GUIDE Restaurant index by type of cuisine Locate by number on dining map


1 Cedar St. Bistro

6 Miller’s Country Store

European-style café in the heart of downtown Sandpoint on the Cedar Street Bridge. Exceptional coffee and tea drinks, premium gelato, delectable pastries, fine chocolates, and tasty panini. 265-4396.

& Deli

1326 Baldy Mountain Rd. Newly expanded store and dining area. Wholesome goodness with a selection of fine deli meats and cheeses, bulk food items, pie fillings, and delicious freshbaked pies and breads – plus soup and sandwiches to go or eat in. 263-9446.

2 Evans Brothers Coffee

7 Mojo Coyote at Schweitzer

3 Monarch Mountain Coffee

8 Pend Oreille Pasta & Wine

4 Pine Street Bakery 710 Pine St. European pastries, breads and cakes made using quality ingredients. Coffees, espresso drinks and Tazzina teas. Sit on the patio, or enjoy new seating upstairs. Open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 263-9012.

9 Pita Pit

524 Church St. Artisan coffee roaster in the center of the Granary Arts District. Connected to the roastery, Studio 524 Coffee Lounge serves coffees dripped to order on the brew bar, plus pastries and burritos. 265-5553.

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd. Enjoy a fresh Evans Brothers espresso and treat your sweet tooth to a warm scone. Fresh-baked pastries, breakfast burritos and lunch specials. Fine selection of beer and wine. 263-9555.

208 N. Fourth Ave. Open at 6 a.m. daily and roasting top-grade beans. Treat yourself to a classic or custom delight from the Espresso Bar, a cup of premium brewed coffee or tea, craft beer or wine. Baked goods, breakfast burritos, homemade soup and appetizer plates to share. 265-9382.

476534 Highway 95, Ponderay (one block south of Walmart). Fresh homemade pastas and sauces made on-site, including salad and artisan bread as part of a complete, take-home dinner package. Fine wines, artisan cheeses and gourmet groceries. 263-1352.

116 N. First Ave. Great-tasting food that’s healthy, fresh and served fast. Lean, savory meats grilled to perfection, a large choice of crisp, fresh veggies, and exotic toppings. Try a Gyro, Chicken Souvlaki, a vegetarian Falafel or one of the breakfast pitas. 263-8989.


0 The Readery 209 N. First Ave. Feed your mind, body and soul at Sandpoint’s favorite cafe and bookstore, featuring fresh, local and organic fare, coffee and espresso drinks, new and used books. Breakfasts, sandwiches, soups all made fresh. Open daily 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 597-7866.

5 Joe’s Philly Cheesesteaks 102 Church St. Authentic Philly cheesesteaks served with choice of cheese; also serving burgers, hot dogs, fries, BLTs, vegetarian options, smoothies, shakes and fresh-made salads. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 263-1444. AMENITIES KEY

Waterfront Dining

Outdoor Dining

Full Bar


098-122_SMW14[Eats-Drinks].indd 117

Serves Breakfast

Open Late Night

Wi-Fi Available



10/17/13 3:52 PM

Dining Guide


Waterfront Dining

Outdoor Dining

Full Bar

Serves Breakfast

Open Late Night

- Tango Cafe

r Forty-One South

= Winter Ridge

t Pie Hut

Wi-Fi Available

41 Lakeshore Dr., Sagle. South end of the Long Bridge. Waterfront dining in an elegant lodge setting; exquisite service paired with innovative cuisine make for one of North Idaho’s premier dining experiences. Open 7 nights a week, weekend brunch. 265-2000.

414 Church St. In the Panhandle State Bank atrium, Tango is a favorite among locals for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. Signature omelettes and lunch specials, fresh-baked goods, and a barista bar. Take-out dinner menu. 263-9514.

703 Lake St. Natural foods grocery store and a great place to pick up a quick meal at the Grab and Go Bar featuring dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner until 6 p.m. Open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 265-8135.

502 Church St. A gourmet café where the locals like to eat. Daily lunch specials include homemade soups, panini, pot pies, beef pasties, quiches and salads, plus fruit and cream pies. Open Tuesday through Saturday. 265-2208.


y Sweet Lou’s

q Chimney Rock at Schweitzer

477272 U.S. Highway 95 in Ponderay. Open every day, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Terrific traditional and regional fare. Serving hand-cut steaks, freshly ground burgers, wild salmon and smoked ribs. Family-friendly environment. Come hungry, stay late, eat well. 263-1381.

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd. Fireplaces, comfortable seating in the bar and a diverse selection of cuisine. Extensive menu includes high-quality steaks, hearty pasta, scrumptious salads and exquisite seafood. Open daily. 255-3071.

u Trinity at City Beach

58 Bridge St. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille. Waterfront dining with an outstanding view and menu featuring seafood, steaks, salads and appetizers; great selection of wines, beers and cocktails. Open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 255-7558.

w Connie’s Café 323 Cedar St. Historic hospitality!

Landmark Sandpoint restaurant is known as “a coffee shop with dinner house quality.” Serving made-fromscratch breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes of the highest quality. 255-2227.


e Di Luna’s Café

207 Cedar St. American bistro café offering hand-cut steaks, homemade soups and vegetarian cuisine. Farm to Table Dinners monthly and dinner concerts. Open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch. 263-0846.

i Eichardt’s Pub & Grill

212 Cedar St. Relaxing pub and grill mixes casual dining with seriously good food. More than a dozen beers on tap, good wines and live music. Upstairs game room with fireplace. Locally supported since 1994. Open daily at 11:30 a.m. 263-4005.

What’s Cooking Around Town?

Find Out»



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Waterfront Dining

Outdoor Dining

Full Bar

41 Lakeshore Dr., Sagle. Premier sushi restaurant adjacent to Forty-One South. Sushi bar and magnificent sunset views overlooking Lake Pend Oreille. Open for dinner seven nights a week, and lunch Monday through Friday. 2652001.


p Bangkok On Second

202 N. Second Ave. Authentic Thai food, including a wide variety of vegetarian and gluten free selections; fine selection of wine and beer, Thai tea, and coffee. Lunch Monday- Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 265-4149.

d Coldwater Creek Wine Bar

311 N. First Ave. An upscale wine bar with more than 35 wines by the glass, gourmet appetizers, lunch, desserts, full espresso bar, local and regional microbrews. Live music every Friday and Saturday night. 263-6971.

f La Rosa Club

[ Ivano’s Ristoranté & Caffè

102 S. First Ave. Italian dining accompanied by classic wines. Pasta, fresh seafood and steaks, veal, chicken, and vegetarian entrees. Gluten-free menu. Dinner served seven nights a week starting at 4:30 p.m. 263-0211.

105 S. First Ave. Casual gathering place featuring craft cocktails and martinis along with an innovative food menu with plates and bites. Fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. 255-2100.

] Jalapeño’s Restaurant

g Laughing Dog Brewing

314 N. Second Ave. Authentic Mexican food in a fun and friendly environment serving traditional and unusual southof-the-border specialties, plus even a few gringo dishes! Full cantina bar with traditional frosty margaritas. Banquet room and gluten-free menu. 263-2995.

1109 Fontaine Dr., Ponderay. Take a tour and taste handcrafted ales, IPAs, stouts, and the hoppiest beer anywhere. Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday during ski season, noon to 5 p.m. Come to Firkin Friday, first Friday of every month, for a special batch of beer. 263-9222.

\ The Little Olive and

h Pend d’Oreille Winery

Big Tuna

124 S. Second Ave. Serving lunch and dinner in a quaint setting. Mix of Greek-inspired dishes made with the freshest ingredients possible. Right next door is the Big Tuna - order a sushi roll. Extensive beer and wine menu. 597-7499.

a Second Avenue Pizza

215 S. Second Ave. Savor the piledhigh specialty pizzas, loaded with fresh ingredients on homemade dough, or calzones, specialty salads and sandwiches. Beer and wine, take-andbake pizzas available. Free delivery; open daily. 263-9321.


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Wi-Fi Available

s Shoga @ Forty-One South

312 N. First Ave. Handcrafted ales in a family-friendly downtown atmosphere, brewing top-of-the-line beers and root beer. Menu includes traditional and updated pub fare – toasted sandwiches, hearty soups and gourmet hamburgers. 255-4351.


Open Late Night

Dining Guide

o MickDuff’s Brewing Co.

Serves Breakfast

220 Cedar St. Quality and elegance in vinting at Idaho’s 2003 Winery of the Year. Local, award-winning wines. Tasting room and Bistro Rouge menu daily. Home and garden items. Frequent special events and live music Fridays. 265-8545.

j 219 Lounge

219 N. First Ave. A “locals” favorite proudly serving Sandpoint for more than 75 years, offering beer, wine and cocktails. Enjoy a “219er” by local brewery Laughing Dog. Open seven days a week, 365 days a year from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. 263-9934.



10/17/13 3:53 PM

Advertiser Index Affordable Home Care-Clay Williams


Home Sweet Home Consignment

Albertson / Barlow Insurance


All Seasons Garden & Floral


Jensen, Brian CPA

Alpine Shop


Karen Robinson Art

Anderson’s Autobody


Keokee Books

Archer Vacation Condos


Art Works Gallery


Barry Fisher Custom Homes


Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center 32

International Selkirk Loop


Sandpoint Business & Events Center


Sandpoint Furniture/Carpet One


Sandpoint Movers


Sandpoint Online

40 89 92, 96 121


Sandpoint Optometry

Koch, Dr. Paul E. - Walmart Vision Center


Sandpoint Orthopedics


KPND Radio


Sandpoint Property Management


La Quinta Inn


Sandpoint Sports


Laughing Dog Brewing


Sandpoint Storage


Bonner County Daily Bee


Lewis & Hawn Dentistry

Bonner General Hospital


Litehouse Foods

Bowers Construction


Little Olive Restaurant

Carousel Emporium


Local Pages, The


Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Century 21/Riverstone Company


Lyman Orthopedics


Selkirk Craftsman Furniture

CO-OP Country Store


MeadowBrook Home & Gift


Selle Valley Construction

Coeur d’Alene Casino


Meyer’s Sport Tees


22, 97

Sandpoint Super Drug


Sandpoint Vacation Rentals


Sandpoint Waldorf School


17 5 30 123 44 3, 92

Sleep’s Cabins



Miller’s Country Store


STCU (Spokane Teachers Credit Union)


Dana Construction


Northern Quest Casino


Steckler & Wynns Financial Group

Dan Fogarty Custom Builder


Northridge Vacation Rentals


Summit Insurance

Dover Bay


Northwest Handmade



DSS Custom Homes


Old Church In Hope

Evans Brothers Coffee


Pacific Construction Company


Sweet Magnolia Bed & Breakfast


Eve’s Leaves


Paint Bucket, The


Taylor Insurance


Coldwell Banker


Sweet Lou’s

Panhandle State Bank


Timber Frames by Collin Beggs


Pend Oreille Shores Resort


Tomlinson Sandpoint Sotheby’s

Family Health Center


Pend d’Oreille Winery


Trinity At City Beach

Festival at Sandpoint


Petal Talk


Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Evergreen Realty


Evergreen Realty-Charesse Moore

Fritz’s Frypan


Pucci Construction


Wildflower Day Spa

Hallans Gallery


ReStore Habitat For Humanity


Winter Ridge Natural Foods


River Journal, The

Hesstronics Holiday Inn Express



Sandpoint Building Supply


28 58-59 22 107

92 2, 124 4 54 48 115

Zany Zebra


Zero Point Crystals


Go Exploring with Keokee Guide Books 800-880-3573





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10/17/13 3:53 PM

Marketplace Your Buick, GMC truck dealer. New and used sales and leasing. Full service, parts and body shop. Highway 95 N., Ponderay, 263-2118, 1-800-430-5050. The best skin care Sandpoint has to offer! Extensive menu of facial and body treatments. Full-body waxing. Serene, relaxing environment. Geneé Jo Baker, certified esthetician., 324 S. Florence Ave., 263-6205. A marketing communications firm providing Web design and hosting, search engine optimization and marketing, graphic design, public relations, editorial and media consultation. 405 Church St., 263-3573, 800-880-3573.

Over 26 years of rental management experience. Tenant screening, rent collection, accounting, maintenance and marketing. Residential, commercial and mini storage. Friendly, prompt service. 204 E. Superior, 263-4033. Scandinavian countries represented in this specialty shop. Kitchen items, table tops, candles, electric candleholders, books, cards, rugs, pewter Vikings, mugs, Danish iron candleholders and year-round Christmas. 319 N. First Ave., 263-7722. Special gifts for special people. Vera Bradley bags, Big Sky Carvers, Baggallini, Tyler and BeanPod candles, souvenirs, balloon bouquets, Hallmark cards, books, gift wrap, stationery. 306 N. First Ave., 263-2811.

North Idaho Insurance A full-service, independent insurance agency serving northern Idaho since 1978. Business or personal risks: property, liability, workers comp, bonding, home, auto, life and health. 102 Superior St., 263-2194.

Offering the latest bestsellers, office supplies, machine supplies and free delivery in Sandpoint. Order online. 201 Cedar St., 263-2417.

Get in the Marketplace! To advertise here, call 263-3573 ext. 123 or e-mail

Property Management, LLC Protecting your real estate investments since 2003! We provide a wide range of property protection and vacation rental management services for seasonal residents and vacation home owners of North Idaho. Available 24/7 for Property Management, LLC emergencies! www. Jeremy 208-290-6847 or Mike 208-290-6531

Sandpoint FREE classified ads Got something to sell? Looking for a place to rent, a job ... or looking for love? Post for free, or browse hundreds of ads in Sandpoint’s own version of CraigsLIst. Go to

NEW! A delightful children’s book inspired by the late Hazel Hall

$12 • At bookstores

Portion of all sales donated to Kinderhaven

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remarkable community web site Events • Visitor Guide Movies • Lodging & Dining Recreation • Job Center FREE classified ads Weather & Travel Info • News Sandpoint Q&A Forums

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Click to WINTER 2014

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10/17/13 5:47 PM

Pictured in history

Frozen assets and other delights of ice fishing By Jennifer Lamont Leo


n 1914, Burt Davis and Art Boehm enjoyed a day of ice fishing on Bottle Bay, along with young L.G. “Pike” Moon, who snapped this photograph. Also present on the ice that day were Burt and Art’s wives, Kate and Mary, who were Pike’s sisters. The item to the left of the men is a portable stove mounted on a sled. A few years after this photo was taken Pike went to mortuary school; in the 1920s, he established both the Moon Mortuary and Pinecrest Cemetery. He also served as Bonner County coroner for 26 years and as mayor of Sandpoint for two terms during World War II. Bottle Bay, where the Moon family owned a home, has long been a popular spot for ice angling. So are Cocolalla, Round, Mirror and parts of Lake Pend Oreille, like the section near Condo del Sol visible from the Long Bridge. Which is the best local lake for ice fishing? “It depends on what kind of fish you want,” said Jim Cooper of Cocolalla. “Different lakes have different fish. Round Lake for trout, Spirit Lake for kokanee, Cocolalla and Pend Oreille for perch.”



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While Cooper did not commence ice fishing quite as long ago as Pike Moon, he has a good 65 years of experience under his tackle belt. From his Michigan boyhood through his move to northern Idaho in the 1970s and on to the present, he has seen many changes to the sport. In early days, anglers broke through the ice with handsaws, hatchets or tire irons, while today chainsaws and ice augurs are the cutters of choice. Old-time ice shanties were made out of whatever scrap material was available. “As kids we used cardboard,” he said. Today anglers can choose convenient pop-up shelters or well-built structures that can be towed onto the ice. Gear can range from a simple line and bait to sophisticated electronic equipment, plus a stool or overturned bucket to sit on, and maybe a portable heater on the coldest days. One piece of gear you never want to be without is a pair of ice cleats, as slipping on the ice can cause even worse injuries than falling through it. Speaking of falling through, how thick does the ice have to be to be safe to walk on? Four to six inches, accord-

ing to Idaho Fish and Game, thicker if you’re driving a vehicle or snowmobile onto the ice. As long as the ice is suitably thick, the season can run from December to March. But as winter wears on, Cooper advises, “It’s best to leave a day early, not a day late.” You don’t want that last catch of the season to leave you literally skating on thin ice. What other conditions make for good ice fishing? Comfortable temperatures, not bitter cold, not much wind. Vince Trinidad, who fishes Mirror Lake, favors sunny days but has been told that cloudy days are preferable. “Some say the fish can see your shadow on sunny days and stay away,” he said, smiling, clearly skeptical. For Trinidad, a big part of the fun of ice fishing is bringing along friends. Judging from Pike Moon’s photo that portrays ice fishing as family fun, he would have agreed. By contrast, Jim Cooper prefers to fish in peaceful solitude, alone with his thoughts. Either way, you can’t beat a bracing winter day, a couple of lines in the water and fresh perch sizzling in a pan come suppertime.


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Intriguing Some homes arouse curiosity. A sense of wonder overcomes one to know what lies beyond its doors and windows. It captivates with its fascinating and compelling qualities and draws you into a world that is at once vibrant and comforting.

Search for your own Intriguing at

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