Sandpoint Magazine Winter 2015

Page 1


the Other dances with


WINTER WINTER Interview with Chief filmmaker Iditarod TedVeterinarian Parvin, History Stuart of Sandpoint Nelson, Winter in 10 Objects, Weekends Ultimate by Amtrak, Frisbee, CedarCatherine Artist Street Bridge Earle, at Kirk 30, Entrepreneurs Miller Captures ofthe Sandpoint, Sunrise, Camping In the Wake OurofLake, Coldwater A Carpe Creek, Diem Photo Essay,Lifties, Schweitzer Calendars, Modern Dining, Sawmills, Real Estate Winter… Guide, and aCalendars, whole packDining, more Real Estate … and more


SANDPOINT Anytime Info

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

450 ACRE BANE CREEK RANCH One of a kind “Legacy” ranch consists of organic hay meadows, expansive mountain vistas, creeks, timbered hills & draws. Abundant trophy wildlife. Serene property offering peaceful seclusion & great access. #20142965 $1,790,000 Brian Harvey 208.290.2486

INCREDIBLE IN-TOWN LAKEFRONT PROPERTY Features: Main House: 4,400 SF 4 bed/3.5 bath w/2 kitchens & 2,000 SF of decking/patios. Guest house:1,000 SF 1 bed/1 bath w/media room. Almost an acre of land. Deep water low bank frontage w/boat dock. $949,000. Brian Harvey 208.290.2486

GORGEOUS LAKE PEND OREILLE VIEWS Sagle Custom home. 5 wooded acres. Sourdough amenities, boat slip, boat launch, recreation island & tennis court. 3,400 SF, 3 bdrms 2.5 baths, main level master, gourmet kitchen, lg. rock fireplace. 3-car. #20142112 $865,900 AT #15701 Susan Moon 208.290.5037

LAKE PEND OREILLE WATERFRONT Spectacular views of mtns & islands at Hope. 100’ WF building site w/seawall installed, level building site, buyer to drill well. Includes 2nd buildable lot across the street, w/ drainfield sites in place. #20142381 $865,000 AT#12661 Susan Moon 208.290.5037

COUNTRY ELEGANCE Custom 4,600 SF 4 bdrm 3.5 bath, home on 8 acres w/Lake Pend Oreille views. Gourmet kitchen, formal dining, 3 fireplaces, master suite, den, family room. 3 Stall Barn w/camera system. 1-mile of public lake access. #20133138 $499,500 AT#13151 Susan Moon 208.290.5037

1100’ PACK RIVER FRONTAGE 22 acre parcel. Nicely treed, good building sites, power & phone. Buyer to install well & septic. Great property for the outdoorsmen, good fishing & wildlife galore. #20140635 $185,000 AT#14381 Susan Moon 208.290.5037 Luxury 6,904 SF home w/4 Bedrooms & 6 Baths has panoramic views of water & the Monarch Mountain range. Distinctive features throughout including a Great Room w/custom fireplace, gourmet Kitchen, Wine Cellar, Theater, Guest House, deluxe Dock & boat garage w/rails to the water. $2,395,000 #13221 Cindy Bond 208.255.8360

www. Enjoy panoramic views from this custom-built Lakeshore Waterfront Custom Home, 3,717 SF w/ 4 Bedrooms & 4 Baths, Great Room w/exposed timber beams, rock fireplace, gourmet Kitchen, main floor Master Suite, Theater, wet bar, covered deck, patio & Dock –Minutes to downtown Sandpoint. $1,050,000 #14981 Cindy Bond 208.255-8360 Prime Ski In/Ski Out location at Schweitzer! - Beautiful custom Home, 2,200 SF w/3 bedrooms & 3.5 bath, timber framed vaulted ceilings & ecofriendly features such as bamboo floors, geothermal heating & cooling. Over-sized 1-car heated garage w/storage. $875,000 #15201 Cindy Bond 208.255.8360 Pend Oreille riverfront custom home offers 3,322 SF of luxurious finishes throughout, including extensive use of natural stones & hardwoods, multilevel entertaining areas, a large dock & impressive custom rock work. $849,000 #13591 Cindy Bond 208.255.8360 Enjoy the best of winter at Schweitzer. Well-maintained ski-in/out home on .31 acres features 5 Bedrooms & 3.5 Baths, Great Room w/gas fireplace, cozy Family Room, hot tub, 2 car garage & ample storage spaces for recreational gear plus easy year-round access. $799,900 #15181 Cindy Bond 208.255.8360 The most luxurious private residence at Seasons, custom-designed corner, DOUBLE PENTHOUSE features 4,255 SF with professionally appointed & extraordinary custom amenities throughout. 2 boat slips & 4 enclosed parking spaces! $1,750,000 #11701 Cindy Bond 208.255.8360

© 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. Coeur d’Alene office: 208-667-1551, 221 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814. Sandpoint office: 208-263-5101, 200 Main St., Sandpoint, ID 83864.

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Cover: Winter Dance

The SSTD (stupid stuff to do) in winter besides the obvious stuff, from snow biking to skijoring 33

The Follies


Sages of the Skies


Lower Lake Levels Stir Up Contention


Joie de Vivre


Pursuing the Dream

This show is racy, ridiculous, raunchy – and a resounding success Longtime aviators Ted Farmin and Charlie Brown and their planes

W I N TE R 2 0 1 5 , Vo l . 2 5 , N o . 1

Almanac Calendar Interview Stuart Nelson Photo Essay Winter Wildlife Real Estate

10 23 27 86 92

The Hive and First Avenue Changes 92 Retirement Living Options 96 Marketwatch: News and Market Trends 100

Natives and Newcomers Winter Guide Lodging Eats & Drinks Dining Guide Sandpoint of View

103 108 111 113 124 130

New group Lake Pend Oreille Alliance wants a consistent summer pool French-American artist Catherine Earle celebrates creativity and nature Lifties live for powder and sunrises. PLUS: Schweitzer this season


Nonprofits at Every Step


Pictured in History


A Sawmill Revolution


Aftermath of Coldwater Creek


A Photographic Odyssey



12:01 PM

Greater Sandpoint nonprofits and their volunteers touch our lives daily Nell Shipman and her movie company made big waves on Priest Lake Today’s mills are high-tech wonders. PLUS: The industry and a history book Loss reverberates in the economy. PLUS: Where “Creekers” landed Kirk Miller and his quest to photograph Lake Pend Oreille’s every sunrise

One Train, Two Trips Dual trip logs detail winter weekend getaways via Amtrak

On the cover: Fiona Hicks’ friends were doing “the boot dance” on the ice on Lake Pend Oreille when she took the close-up that appears on the cover. A fulllength image, above, shows boot wearers Oliver Pratt, who learned the dance from Schweitzer lifties, and wife Kelly Kietzman, plus Molana Oei. This and other activities fall under the category of SSTD (stupid stuff to do) in winter, the focus of our cover story, page 78. On this page: Sandii Mellen, an intrepid adventurer, captured Jane Hoover ascending Scotchman Peak on snowshoes during an annual Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness winter hike.

Marv Chapman brings a load of logs into Idaho Forest Group’s mill at Laclede. SEE STORY, PAGE 63. PHOTO BY FIONA HICKS

CONTRIBUTORS Sandy Compton put on a hard hat and orange

editor’s note Mills were ubiquitous in Bonner County when I grew up here in the 1970s-’80s and even through the 1990s. Louisiana-Pacific had a plant at Boyer and Larch, where Super 1 is now. W-I and Sand Creek Wood Products were in Colburn. The Dover Mill occupied prime real estate where Dover Bay has sprung up. Ceda-Pine was churning out veneer across the highway from where the Samuels Store now sits ... and so on. Most of the mills are gone now, along with all the men I interviewed for the “Timber Town” cover story in the Summer 1994 issue. However, a sawmill still operates here, in Laclede, as well as several other forest products businesses; and the timber industry is still a major contributor to the local economy. See Sandy Compton’s feature, page 63. I have to admit I’m a little sad to see fewer sawmills and logging trucks around town. I’m also sad to see the emptiness of the Coldwater Creek campus, as the last of its workers departed in September. See a package of stories on the aftereffects, including how the closure spawned entrepreneurs and propelled other business through the talent Coldwater Creek brought to town. The moral of the story is nothing ever stays the same, but we adapt and go on.


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



vest and put in earplugs for his piece on modern sawmills, “A Sawmill Revolution,” in this issue (page 63), but all he had to do for the cover story “Winter Dance” (page 78) was talk to his friends

about some of the stupid – and not-so-stupid – “stuff” they do in the winter. Compton, author and publisher at Blue Creek Press, will release his second book for children, “Elisba’s Search For Water,” in December.

Stephen and Susan Drinkard

have been writing for Sandpoint Magazine almost since its inception 24 years ago. For “Aftermath: Loss of Coldwater Creek” (page 71), Stephen focused on research given his background in grant writing for the City of Sandpoint. Susan worked for three newspapers, including the Daily Bee in the 1980s, winning awards as a feature writer. She did most of the interviewing of former “Creekers” and the Stuart Nelson Feature Interview (page 27).

Fiona Hicks

was led to Sandpoint last year by her love for all things wild. Raised all over the world, Hicks studied photography and interned in the Netherlands. Our cover photographer is excited to be in a place where she can balance the three things she loves best: raising her three girls, having outdoor adventures and capturing people’s essence with her camera. Photographing a sawmill (page 63) was a fascinating way to experience another aspect of Sandpoint life.

Elaine K. Howley

is a freelance writer with a day job as associate editor at U.S. Masters Swimming where she writes and edits SWIMMER magazine. An avid marathon and ice swimmer, she was invited to write about her experience making the first solo swim of Lake Pend Oreille in July 2014 (page 130). The historic 32.3-mile swim captured the attention of many Sandpoint residents and earned Howley a nomination for the World Open Water Swimming Association’s Woman of the Year award. Art Director Laura Wahl Ad Design/Production Jackie Palmer, Pamela Morrow Office Manager Beth Acker Contributors Sandy Compton, Cassandra Cridland, Stephen Drinkard, Susan Drinkard, Elaine Howley, Cate Huisman, Oriana Korol, Jennifer Lamont Leo, Laura Roady, Carrie Scozzaro and Aaron Theisen


©2015 by Keokee Co. Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in 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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Vietnam helicopter pilot recounts the war Vietnam veteran Bill Collier poses in his derelict H-34 helicopter, the same model he flew in the war – and the subject of his new book. PHOTO BY CARLA KEEFER



s a self-proclaimed “helicopter gypsy,” Bill Collier, 71, spent much of his career unemployed and broke. That was a repercussion of how his career started – as a combat pilot in Vietnam. In his new book, “The Adventures of a Helicopter Pilot: Flying the H-34 Helicopter in Vietnam for the United States Marine Corps,” Collier chronicles his wartime experiences and recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “I actually started writing in ’90, but then in continuing to write and putting it down and organizing, it was very therapeutic, and it brought up stuff I had totally forgotten about,” Collier said. As would be expected, the book includes some hair-raising tales. As a helicopter pilot, the author thrived on adrenaline rushes and that became an addiction: “I was amazed that in 750 hours of flying in Vietnam, I made 9,000 landings.” Nearly every one was at maximum power. The H-34 was migrating to civilian life about the same time he was getting out of the military. “I got two jobs because I saw those fly by, and I followed them home,” Collier said. He ended his 32-year career with roughly 7,000 flying hours. The best part of his career followed his discharge from the Marine Corps. He got a telegram from Washington, D.C., and it led to a job for Air America, which was known as the air force of the CIA. “So I went back to the war doing the same thing in the same machine … but it was a lot safer,” Collier said. “It was a grand adventure, about one-tenth of the risk and five times the pay in Vietnam, so I called it a ‘50-times-better job.’ ” His 2.5-year stint with Air America will be the subject of his next book, tentatively titled “More Adventures of a Helicopter Pilot.”



Meantime, he hopes his first book will move other veterans to get help for PTSD: “If it would help one veteran, it would be worth it.” At age 65, Collier retired to Sandpoint with his wife, Carla Keefer. It was his love for that motiwoman that moti vated him to start counseling. “In 1994 I discovered I had a ‘little case’ of post-traumatic stress from Vietnam,” said Collier. When he became aware of the problem, he took inventory of changes he had made in the past 27 years: 80 jobs, eight colleges, 50 moves, one marriage and divorce, and countless short-term relationships. He looked at the list and thought that many changes might not be normal. Healing from the trauma of war is a continuous process, and he attends a group meeting monthly. He recruits fellow veterans and raises awareness through the derelict H-34 he rescued. See it next to Pend Oreille Mechanical on Highway 2 or in Independence Day parades and at other events. Find his book at or in local bookstores. –Billie Jean Gerke


Boundary County celebrates centennial


chool children marched down Main Street; the Bonners Ferry band played selections; and Company E of the National Guard of Idaho led a procession, conducted a brief drill and fired a salute on the cold afternoon of Jan. 25, 1915. The impromptu celebration on the corner of Main and Kootenai in Bonners Ferry honored the establishment of Boundary County. Late on Saturday, Jan. 23, 1915, House Bill No. 1 was signed and the northern portion of Bonner County became Boundary County, with an estimated population of 4,278 people. One hundred years later, the Boundary County Historical Society is planning on re-creating the celebration as closely as possible, even singing the song sung by the school children, “Long Way from Bonners Ferry.” Similar to the original celebration, the centennial festivities may not fall exactly on Jan. 23, 2015, but will be as close as possible. As the date nears, details will be posted on the museum’s website, www.bonnersferry Also to commemorate Boundary County’s centennial, the Bonners Ferry Herald, in conjunction with the Boundary County Historical Society and the Boundary County Museum, compiled “100 Years of Boundary County.” The book features a pictorial history of the area from 1864 with the ferryboat owned by E.L. Bonner through the county’s inaugural celebration in 1915, along with a few photographs of significant events afterwards. The book can be purchased at the Boundary County Museum and

Celebration of the creation of Boundary County in 1915 at the corner of Main and Kootenai, looking north down Main Street. PHOTO COURTESY OF BOUNDARY COUNTY MUSEUM

the Bonners Ferry Herald office, both located on Main Street. Proceeds from the book benefit the Boundary County Museum. –Laura Roady

From postal inspector to prolific author


s a retired U.S. postal inspector, Howard Petschel could write a book or two about dumb criminals. Wait, he’s written four of them, going on five. The 72-year-old has always been interested in crime and stamps, so it was natural for him to spend a 25-year career in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and become an expert on stamp counterfeiting. That fascination led to his first book after retirement, “Spurious Stamps,” published in 1995 by the American Philatelic Society. Then he decided to become a self-publisher and produced “Stamp Counterfeiting: The Evolution of an Unrecognized Crime” and “More Stamp Counterfeiting: The Perfect Crime” in 2011 and 2014, respectively. In addition, he compiled illustrations into the book

“Inked Print: United States Postal Counterfeits Illustrated.” Another title will be released as an e-book, “The Rondout Train Robbery,” about a 1924 U.S. mail heist. He first started writing on stamp counterfeiting in the 1970s and was published in every stamp publication in existence during his career with the U.S. Postal Service. Petschel was assigned to a stamp case in Chicago, where he realized he was dealing with organized crime. The 13-cent JFK was a great case involving the Over the Hill Gang – old mafiosi such as Virgil Ratuli, who was Al Capone’s driver in his day. WINTER 2015

“They were characters,” he said. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service butted heads over investigations with the U.S. Secret Service, which led Petschel to go through their training program and spend a year in diplomatic protection for the Israeli ambassador. “It was fun dealing with the Secret Service. I have a lot of respect for what those people do,” he said. Petschel moved from St. Paul, Minn., to Sandpoint in 1996. Today he travels to stamp shows and gives talks on counterfeiting. Find his latest books online at –Billie Jean Gerke SANDPOINT MAGAZINE



Idaho native takes helm at historic Panida

P The Panida’s new executive director, Patricia Walker White, hails from southern Idaho.

atricia Walker White was born and grew up in Idaho, but her first trip into the northern reaches of the panhandle was last spring, when she came to interview for the position of executive director at the Panida Theater. She was impressed by the community spirit and range of activities she saw around her. Sandpoint had figured out how to keep its downtown vibrant, with the Panida in the midst of it. “The Panida was a gorgeous mixture of preserving the past and staying relevant to the future in a unique way that had the potential to continue building future arts audiences,” Walker White said. As it turned out, the Panida’s board liked Walker White as well as she liked the Panida. They hired her, and she began in her new post Aug. 4. Walker White has many years of experience working with nonprofits and volunteers, serving on boards and writing grants, as well as in managing the business of the arts. In the positions she held at the Nampa Civic Center and the Center for Arts Education in Caldwell, she booked arts series, developed contacts with artists and agents, and produced arts camps and events. The Panida’s fans can look forward to the continuation of programs they already like: “I anticipate enhancing what’s already happening, and as I get to know the community and as revenues increase, we will expand programming,” said Walker White, adding that strong community partners will be vital in developing additional revenue sources and completing the theater’s restoration. –Cate Huisman


Ben Stein waxes poetic on Sandpoint


ack in 1998, Sandpoint Magazine ran a profile of actor, speaker, author and commentator Ben Stein, then a frequent vacationer in Sandpoint. He had discovered

Seen frequently around town, actor Ben Stein often poses for photos, such as with Jon Proctor at City Beach, above. COURTESY PHOTO



the town a few years before and was extraordinarily fond of it. In the 16 years since then, Stein became a second-home owner here and his affection for all things Sandpoint has only increased. He tends to speak in superlatives, and “love” is his operative word in frequent essays published in The Spectator and even a segment aired on CBS Sunday Morning. He regularly names favorite restaurants and businesses: “I love love love love love my favorite place in Sandpoint, Sandpoint Super Drug, the best store in the world. If they would move a recliner in there, I would just stay there.” He even loves going to the post office and waiting in line. Stein, 69, tries to spend seven or eight weeks a year here, and he particularly enjoys going out on the lake. His


own writing in The Spectator describes it perfectly: “What a feeling it is to travel at speed across open water in the dark, racing towards the lights of my dock. Boating is exhilarating at any time. Boating under countless stars on a clear late August night with the wind whipping into my face is close to nirvana.” Eloquent as this is, even Stein is sometimes at a loss for words about his part-time home: “I can’t quite describe to you the feeling we have for Sandpoint,” he says. ”I don’t think there’s a better place in the world.” Find a collection of Ben Stein’s commentary on http://www.sandpoint under “National Press.” –Cate Huisman


sip: pend d’oreille winery: Tasting Room and live music weekly.

dine: the Bistro rouge: Regional-Seasonal cuisine.

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From a doggone clever idea came EzyDog


ttach a water ski rope D handle to a bungee cord and a barrel clip. What do you get? Prototype for the EzyDog Cujo, the go-to, shock-reducing leash for many dog owners and trainers for a decade. Thus was born EzyDog, an international company based in Ponderay, Idaho, and Elanora, Queensland, Australia. John and Alana Hatcher, who live in Laclede, and two Australian brothers, Luke and Phil Hatcher, began EzyDog in 2003 to market Luke’s leash and the EzyDog Chestplate Harness. 14




Farm • Home & Hardware EzyDog’s John and Alana Hatcher with their dogs, Stone and Chloe. COURTESY PHOTO

Seattle when they both worked for water ski manufacturer HO Sports. “I swore I would never date anyone I worked with, so I had to marry him to get out of my own clause,” she said. Alana works as a recruiter for Amazon but is very involved in EzyDog. “She calls herself our not-so-silent partner,” John said with a laugh. In a decade, the EzyDog line has grown to 25 distinct products. EzyDog won Pet Product News Editor’s Choice Award for 2011 for the Zero-Shock leash. In 2012, the Track and Train leash won the same award. EzyDog is online at www.ezydog. com.

Our most popular livestock feed and for good reason. Elenbaas is local to the northwest, innovative, and produces consistently quality feed.

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John Hatcher and the Australians are unrelated except by passion. “We think about stuff we want to put on our dogs,” he said. “My dog Stone (a boxerLeopard dog mix) loves water, but he sinks like a rock, so … ” He holds up an EzyDog DFD-Standard. “DFD” stands for “Dog Flotation Device.” John and Alana Hatcher have lived here since 2001. EzyDog North America has four employees in addition to themselves who supply domestic Internet retail customers out of a small warehouse in Ponderay, as well as small orders from 1,200 wholesale customers nationwide. Large orders from retailers and international distributors are shipped directly from Asia, which is really John’s bailiwick. “I’ve sourced product from and consulted on Asia for many years,” he said. EzyDog now takes up his time, as well as the time of the Australian Hatchers. Alana, who grew up in Clarkston, Wash., met West Coast-born John in


Locally owned with a proven track record for excellent customer service and competitive pricing.

208.263.6820 The author’s dog, Laddie, wears an EzyDog backpack on a hike (top), and a company photo shows the flotation device. PHOTO BY SANDY COMPTON


125 Tibbetts L ane Ponderay, ID SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


ALMANAC The band We as Human (Adam Osborne, far left, Justin Cordle, center). PHOTO BY ROLLS REID

Hard rock, humble hearts


think you should work with this band,” John Cooper of Skillet told his manager upon hearing We As Human’s EP. Soon thereafter Atlantic Records released the band’s self-titled debut album. True story. But We As Human’s lead singer/songwriter Justin Cordle attested that plenty of sweat and sacrifice went into that “overnight” success. On a 2014 national tour, the band played the Spokane Arena in January and the Knitting Factory in May. In August they received dual nominations for the big-deal 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards: Rock Song of the Year for “Zombie” and Rock Album of the Year for “We As Human.” The original band members grew up together in Sandpoint and played music together as teens. Eventually they became more serious, playing small venues like Eichardt’s and the Battle of the Bands before expanding their reach. Today only Cordle and Adam Osborne, the drummer, hail from Sandpoint. Justin Forshaw is from Seattle, Jake Jones from New Mexico and Dave Dragoo from Spokane. They range in age from 26 to 32.




We As Human draws inspiration for their songs from their own lives. Cordle wrote “Sever” after his nephew, Tyler Cordle, died from cancer at age 3. Another song, “Take the Bullets Away,” tackles domestic violence. “We genuinely love our listeners,” Cordle said. “My band and I make music for everyone, and every song tells a story. Life is tough, and we hope people will feel encouraged by our music.” Their listeners love them back. Pete Slippy of Sandpoint said, “The punchy, progressive sound of We As Human has been fun to watch evolve from a garage band with one EP to a new player in the rock industry.” Today the band’s home is Nashville, Tenn. Cordle likes the ethnic and cultural diversity and ease of travel, but he misses Sandpoint, too. “The Long Bridge. The lake. Schweitzer.” His voice turned wistful. “Tell Sandpoint we’re sending everyone a big, Southern greeting.” –Jennifer Lamont Leo


He’s a tinkerer for adaptive skiers


ark Greene’s friend Vince Bertolucci lost his leg at age 10 and became his motivational test pilot as he developed adaptive products. As the two grew up together, Greene would help his friend participate in their favorite sports, from motocross racing to downhill skiing, with his inventions. What came from helping his friend was a patented snow ski outrigger, followed by crutches and a number of other inventions for people with disabilities. At one time, he had an 8,000-square-foot production facility in Sacramento, Calif., for Ski Doctor Designs Inc. and MGT Healthcare Products. “This has been a passion of mine. I’ve always been a tinkerer. I’ve always loved to design stuff. That’s when I’m in my happiest zone,” Greene said. When his business was at its peak 14 years ago, he and his wife, Corrie,

had their son and soon moved to Idaho. After building a successful landscaping business and working part-time at the Alpine Shop, Greene is getting back into production of his adaptive skiing and health products. He would also like to work with Schweitzer to promote an adaptive ski program. “This is something I really want to get back into,” he said. His snow ski outriggers and forearm crutches feature shock-absorbing technology that reduces impact and strain and anodized aluminum that prevents icing up. The outriggers also have a retractable ski tip that allows users to push or pull themselves. Over the years, Greene has worked with every type of skier from a former Olympic gold medalist to a disabled Vietnam veteran, but the most satisfaction he found was working with children. It all goes back to his childhood friend, who today is still one of the best skiers

Mark Greene fine-tunes an outrigger he invented for skiers with disabilities. PHOTO BY BILLIE JEAN GERKE

you’ve ever seen, according to Greene. “Vince is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met,” Greene said. –Billie Jean Gerke

A historic renovation, executed with care and artistry, is now available for community assembly and events. Book your next important event with us.

The former Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church is a 1908 landmark in Sandpoint.

The Heart of the Community

call 208.263.8699 • WINTER 2015





Preserving the past, one tractor at a time


ennis Hamann isn’t quite sure how many antique tractors he owns, or even how he got them all. They overflow an outbuilding he calls the “toy shed” on his land near Kootenai Bay, just up the hill from the house where he was born. Although he’s always bought and repaired “used stuff,” Hamann has had more time for the tractors since 2000, when he retired from his job in charge of services at Bonner General Hospital. The fruits of his redirected energy are evident in the condition of the collection: Although by his definition an antique tractor has to be at least 50 years old, his all look brand-new. “I try to keep everything original,” he said. “These were taken down to the last bolt and nut, and all sandblasted and repainted.”

Hamann, 74, is perhaps the paragon of the Panhandle Antique Tractor and Engine Club, a group of 60 individuals, about 10 of whom actually own antique tractors; the rest help out with polishing and preparation and reminiscing. He and several other owners plan to donate their tractors to the Bonner County Historical Society, which is currently raising money for an exhibit on its land in Kootenai. The site, off Highway 200 between Sprague and Hope streets, was donated to the society some years ago. “Our current plan is to create an exhibit hall for historic agricultural equipment with an attached workshop,” said Olivia Luther, the museum’s director. –Cate Huisman

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o serve a community of entrepreneurs, self-educators and go-getters, the East Bonner County Library District offers more than just books. Online resources, digital magazines, financial literacy sessions, tutoring programs and a seed library are some of its offerings. In fact, more than 40 programs take place every month at the Sandpoint Branch Library. The library even ordered a 3-D printer for the new Makerspace, a pilot project geared toward teens and preteens that provides a space for designing, prototyping and creating manufactured works. “I’ve been a user of libraries for years,” said Fred Petteruto, a volunteer in the tutoring program at the library. “Of many different library systems, the Sandpoint library is the nicest. We were pleasantly surprised when we moved from Southern California.” Petteruto has been reading with Shane Parsons for many years. “(Parsons) loves getting together once a week,” Petteruto said. “Meeting with Shane has been a real blessing for me; I consider him a friend.” More than 1,000 visitors walk through Sandpoint Branch Library’s doors on an average day. That’s a huge number considering the size of Bonner County. The New York Public Library, that famous library with lions out front that serves more than 1.6 million people in Manhattan, gets an average of 3,800 visitors a day. “Libraries are changing a lot,” said Ann Nichols, director of the East Bonner

Volunteer Fred Petteruto tutors Shane Parsons at the Sandpoint branch. (PHOTO BY BILLIE JEAN GERKE)

County Library District. “Books are so readily available, we’re reaching out to become more of a community space.” From encouraging gardeners with the seed library to expanding the computer literacy of all ages, the library is gracefully riding the information wave. With its bookmobile, it will even bring the books, DVDs, videos or whatever to you. –Oriana Korol

Love to Smile. 2025 West Pine Street Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 208.265.4558 Like us on f WINTER 2015




First in Fashion

KRFY Morning Show hosts, from left, Jack Peterson, Jim Healy and Suzy Prez prepare for a show

A listener’s guide to talk radio 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





re you wondering what everyone in Sandpoint is talking about? Do you want to be “in the know” regarding upcoming and current events, or politics? Then turn on your radio and tune in the dial. The KRFY Morning Show broadcasts live on Panhandle Community Radio (88.5 FM) at 8 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. The show’s hosts, Jim Healey, Jack Peterson, Suzy Prez and Chris Bessler, offer a combination of interviews, events, news, trivia and music with an emphasis placed on promoting local nonprofits. According to Station Manager Prez, “We started (the Morning Show) in January of 2014 with the idea that we wanted to bring news, information and views that would help inform and inspire our community.” She described the station, which is in its fourth year of broadcasting, as, “volunteer-driven, listener-supported, commercial-free, public, community radio.” In addition to the Morning Show, KRFY provides a mix of music and programs throughout the day. Learn more, and listen to podcasts or live streaming, at Want to ask a question of an upcoming guest, become a volunteer, a guest, or show your support? Contact the station by phone at 265-2992 or by e-mail at Face-To-Face, with hosts Bob Wynhausen and Dan McDonald, is Sandpoint talk with a political slant. The show airs during the Friday noon hour on KSPT-Talk Radio (1400 AM). The live show is an unplanned WINTER 2015

debate between Wynhausen (liberal) and McDonald (conservative) as they parse out the issues from their opposite perspectives. At the bottom of the hour (12:30), people are invited to callin (265-8255) and join the conversation. Wynhausen said: “The show gives the audience an opportunity to hear from the ‘Left,’ which seems to be missing from other local talk radio or even at a national level. We try to provide a view of both sides of the issue.” Wynhausen has been enjoying the political confrontation the show sparks since its inception in 2007 with original cohost Bill Litsinger. “We think we’re providing the community with … a discussion starter. The things we talk about are issues that ought to make people think,” he added. Wynhausen and McDonald welcome questions and can be reached by e-mail at either bob@wynhausen. com or Also on KSPT, Sandpoint Business Improvement District Manager Kim Queen and Greater Sandpoint Chamber Executive Director Kate McAlister host Downtown Dialogue and the Chamber Chatter Hour together the third Monday of the month from noon to 1 p.m. News and views, or information and inspiration – you’ll find it all on Sandpoint radio. Or, as KRFY’s Prez sums up, “Talk radio is in the moment, spontaneous, and alive.” That means we should all be listening in. –Cassandra Cridland



Where are they now?

Following stories from our last issue


n March, Bonners Ferry’s Molly Rivkin was serving in the Peace Corps in Ukraine when Russian incursions began and she was evacuated and returned home. Meantime, she moved to London to start a graduate course in creative writing. The village in Central Ukraine where she lived during her Peace Corps service continues on in its normal agricultural fashion. Life goes on, war or no war. About 3,200 people have died in the conflict. Webcam watchers of the Memorial Field ospreys were thrilled to see the raptors return, rebuild the nest, and hatch out three chicks. Alas, two succumbed to a respiratory fungus called aspergillosis; the third chick thrived and fledged in early August. That classic cruiser Hiawatha bike restored by Carrie Nylund, Dave Parkins and Charles Mortensen fetched $1,000 for the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail and Idaho Conservation League. Feature interview subject singer/ songwriter Charley Packard spent the summer in treatment for cancer and returned home in August with a positive prognosis. Welcome home! Ethan Schlussler, he of the bicycle-powered treehouse elevator, spent the summer building two more treehouses on commission; he was also contracted for a Discovery Channel reality show called “Tree People.” Filming has yet to start. Finally, Clint Campbell, a lifelong Sandpoint resident, corrected us on the location of the Selle photo that Dorothea Lange took in 1938. Campbell grew up in the Selle Valley until age 12 and well remembers walking a mile and a half to reach their mailbox (third from left in the photo) at the corner of Selle and East Shingle Mill roads – not Jacobson and Hickey as we reported. WINTER 2015



Ca l e n d a r


See complete, up-tothe-minute calendars at


1 Sandpoint Film Festival. Local filmmakers’ works at the Panida Theater. Film blocks begin at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. 290-0597 7 Teton Gravity Research Film. “Almost Ablaze” screens at Panida Theater. 263-9191 11 Southern Soul Assembly. KPND presents artist-in-the-round performance in the Panida with JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson. 263-9191 13 Greg Brown in Concert. Panida Theater hosts acoustic folk musician. 263-9191 14 Annual Harvest Dinner. Memorial

Community Center in Hope plans traditional harvest feast at 5:30 p.m. to benefit the Christmas Giving Program. 264-5481

15 Dancing With OUR Stars. See POAC


21-22 Turkey Bingo. Bonner Mall fundraiser benefitting Toys for Tots; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 21, noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 22. 263-4272 22 Holly Eve. Holiday fashion show and gala benefit for the Panida and Festival at Sandpoint with champagne, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment. 263-9191 22-30 K&K Thanksgiving Fishing Derby.

Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club’s annual fall fishing contest. 448-1365

23 MCS Fall Serenade. Music Conservatory

of Sandpoint concert and dinner at First Presbyterian Church. 265-4444

28-Jan. 1 Holidays in Sandpoint.

Traditional tree-lighting ceremony, caroling and Santa with cookies and cider Nov. 28 at Jeff Jones Town Square kicks off Sandpoint’s special events. 263-2161 29 Home for the Holidays with the Shook Twins. Panida Theater hosts Thanksgiving weekend concert with Shook Twins and special guest John Craigie. 263-9191

DECEMBER 2014 4-6 Festival of Trees. Sandpoint Business and Events Center hosts three-day event including Family Night for the community Dec. 4 with decorated trees, music, cookies and Santa; Holiday Luncheon Dec. 5 with silent auction; Gala Dec. 6. Proceeds benefit Kinderhaven. 610-2208


Indoor films = Outdoor youth! Immersing local kids in outdoor education is what SOLE (Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education) is all about. So the Backcountry Film Festival is always a natural fit – and this year’s 10th annual event, Friday, Dec. 5 in the Panida, features award-winning winter backcountry films that celebrate the humanpowered experience. Plus there’s a great silent auction and raffle, updates from key stakeholders, and good ol’ community fun! Proceeds help fund the developing SnowSchool Experience program at Schweitzer. Tickets available online at SoleExperiences. org, Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, Eichardt’s and the Alpine Shop. www.panida. org. 263-9191 Deliciously seductive. A steamy, sultry February in Sandpoint? Believe it. In collaboration with American Laboratory Theatre, Sandpoint Onstage presents the Tony Award-winning play “Venus in Fur,” by David Ives Feb. 13-14 and 20-21 in the Panida Little Theater. International theatrical phenom Jesús Quintero will star opposite his wife, Carolina Amaral De Sa, in Ives’ highly seductive adaptation of the 1870 novel “Venus in Furs” by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher Masoch. A smash hit on Broadway, “Venus in Fur” is a steamy struggle that will leave audiences wondering who is really in charge. For mature audiences only. from Santa. 263-8414 6 Classical Christmas Concert. Hope’s


5 Backcountry Film Festival. See Hot

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

6 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

7 TLC Christmas Celebration. Sandpoint Events Center hosts the seventh annual Luke Commission gathering starting at 3:30 p.m.; open to the public, and includes dessert,

WSI U NM T EMRE 2 R 021051 4 263-9191 See Schweitzer in a whole new light. President’s Day Weekend is the kickoff to Sandpoint’s Winter Carnival, and one of the favorite events of the entire week is the Schweitzer Laser Light Show! Join the fun up on the mountain Sunday, Feb. 15 and watch the spectacular laser light show in the village projected directly onto the slopes. To fully enjoy the experience, dress warmly and bring a chair to sit outside by the firepits or next to the snow bar. The first year’s theme was Laser Floyd; last year, the party was rocking with Laser Hits. And this year? You’ll just have to wait and see! www. 263-9555 Winter is fun! At least, it is in Sandpoint. That’s because, with four decades of throwing the Sandpoint Winter Carnival, our little town knows a thing or two about having a good time in the snow. The 41st annual celebration takes place Feb. 13-22, and includes a great lineup of favorite events including the downtown Parade of Lights Feb. 13, Sandpoint Skijoring competitions at the fairgrounds Feb. 14-15, the Taste of Sandpoint gourmet food and drink event Feb. 19, the K-9 Keg Pull featuring dogs big and small Feb. 22, plus an entire week’s worth of events at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. 263-2161

Swazi store, and presentation by directors Dr. Harry and Echo VanderWal. 263-9311 12-14 Holiday Arts and Crafts Show.

Annual shopping event at the Bonner Mall in Ponderay. 263-4272 12 and 14 Pend Oreille Orchestra and Chorale Classical Concert. Haydn’s Lord

Nelson Mass and other classical pieces at S ASNADNPDOPIO NITN T MA MGAAGZAI Z NIEN E

23 23




World-class entertainment arrives in Sandpoint with the 31st season of the annual Pend Oreille Arts Council (POAC) Performance Series. Four of the performances are held in the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., except the March 10 event in the Heartwood Center, 615 Oak St. Tickets are available in the POAC office, 302 N. First Ave., or go to www. Other ticket outlets accept cash and checks only: Eve’s Leaves, 326 N. First Ave., Eichardt’s Pub, 212 Cedar St., and Winter Ridge, 703 Lake St. All performances are ADA accessible; doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance. Dancing With OUR Stars, Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The Utah Ballroom Dance Company presents Dancing with OUR Stars, in which six Sandpointarea members are paired up with a professional to learn a ballroom dance routine over one week. Cheer on our local stars! This interactive production is so much fun – you will laugh, cheer and sing! Adults, $20; POAC members, $15; youth, $10. Eugene Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Monday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. 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. This performance is always a sellout – get your tickets early! Adults, $25; POAC members, $20; youth, $10. Missoula Children’s Theatre’s “The Princess and the Pea,” Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Missoula Children’s Theatre is back for another splendid production including many talented young local actors, guided by two professional actors. Add together two crazy kingdoms, leprechauns, a prince, a princess, a real-live pea, plus a cast of characters and you get Missoula Children’s Theater’s rendition of “The Princess and the Pea” that is definitely not what you’re expecting! Adults, $10; youth, $5. “The Kite Runner,” Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. This Literature to Life award winner mirrors the original short story written by the author and utilizes original Afghani music as a backdrop for the performance. Through the eyes of the young protagonist, Amir, the actor takes us on a heartbreaking journey of friendship and betrayal in a society of severe class division. We meet upwards of eight characters, each fully realized by this virtuosic performer. Surrounded by a pre- and post-show interactive discussion, the audience will explore themes including redemption and class systems. $16 adults; $12 POAC members; $5 youth. Moira Smiley and VOCO, Sunday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. Moira Smiley and VOCO is a visionary blend of voices – redefining harmony singing with the power and physicality of folk songs; the avant-garde fearlessness of Béla Bartók; and delicious, vaudevillian accompaniment of cello, banjo, ukulele, accordion and body percussion. Smiley’s award-winning original music and spellbinding American and East European folk songs light up the stage. Named No. 1 a cappella group in the United States in 2007, Moira Smiley and VOCO is the energy of street singing and the elegance of a string quartet. Expect magnificent, hair-raising performances – music that mourns and dances at the same time. $16 adults; $12 POAC members; $10, youth. 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Free and open to the public. 263-0199 15 Eugene Ballet’s The Nutcracker. See

POAC calendar. 24


31 New Year’s Eve Parties at Schweitzer.

Parties for all ages at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, including the rockin’ party at Taps. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 in the Activity Center. 255-3081 WINTER 2015

9-30 Starlight Junior Race Series. Local race series at Schweitzer takes place on Friday nights in January. Sponsored by the Independence Race League. 255-3081 10 Winter Trails Day. Schweitzer hosts cross-country and skate ski lessons. 255-3081 17 Northern Lights at Schweitzer.

Fireworks and torchlight parade at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, followed by a party in Taps. 255-3081 22-24 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 24-25 Stomp Games. Banked slalom and slopestyle competitions for all ages at Schweitzer. 255-3081


13-22 Sandpoint Winter Carnival. See Hot


14-16 Schweitzer President’s Weekend Celebration. Sunday night skiing and Laser

Light Show (see Hot Picks) highlight the holiday weekend. 255-3081

13-14 “Venus in Fur.” See Hot Picks. 20-21 “Venus in Fur.” See Hot Picks. 28 “The Princess and the Pea.” See POAC


MARCH 2015

6-7 The Follies. Angels Over Sandpoint’s

raunchy, rude, all-out crazy variety show at the Panida Theater raises money for its charitable efforts. Tickets always sell out, so get ‘em early (on sale Groundhog Day). www. See story, page 33. 290-5895

10 “The Kite Runner.” See POAC calendar. 20-21 24 Hours of Schweitzer. All-day, all-

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

APRIL 2015

Closing Weekend at Schweitzer - Tropical Daze. Season-ending weekend fun at

Schweitzer Mountain Resort includes the Downhill Dummy Race, pond skimming and more! 255-3081

19 Moira Smiley and VOCO. See POAC


May 2015

14-17 Lost in the ’50s. Annual retro celebration includes a downtown car parade and show, music events at the Panida and fairgrounds, fun run, car rally and more. 265-5678




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Stuart Nelson, Iditarod chief veterinarian


tuart Nelson is a mild-mannered veterinarian when he cares for pets at Bonner Animal Hospital in Sandpoint, where he has worked with Dr. John Moody for 30 years. But if you saw the photos in magazines that have told his survival story, you would see the mettle and the Cherokee Indian heritage in his face. His composure, along with skills and knowledge, has contributed to Nelson’s success as the chief veterinarian of the world’s foremost sled dog race – the Iditarod – a job he has held for 19 years. During his tenure, he has implemented strong educational components for the vets and the mushers in order to safeguard the health of every dog on the brutal course. The 1,000-mile race from Anchorage to Nome features every imaginable inhospitable weather condition for more than a week while traversing jagged mountain ranges, long stretches of tundra and windswept coastal regions. Nelson, 61, is also a modern-day Alexander Mackenzie of sorts, an explorer of remote wilderness rivers in Canada. Every year, since 1983, he takes a three-week, 400-mile solo trip to tributaries of the Peel River that flows into the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories – places requiring a daring sense of adventure and essential survival skills. He is flown to a remote lake on the Continental Divide of the Yukon Territories where he portages for a couple days with his 41-pound inflatable kayak on his back, along with his gear and food, before finding the outflow with enough water to float his kayak. He tries not to spook the grizzlies

by making noise. “I’ve developed a pretty good coyote yip to let them know someone else is out there.” Still, a grizzly once charged him and on another trip his kayak was nearly destroyed by a moose that stomped on it. His survival skills were particularly put to the test in 2010 when he was caught under a wicked strainer, or logjam, on Canada’s Little Wind River that swept away his kayak along with his food, shelter and satellite phone. Using the contents of his pockets, he survived for 13 days by eating rose hips and raw fish he caught with fishing lures and line in miserably cold and wet weather until his eventual rescue by a group of Swiss canoeists. The full story can be found at: http://blue He has never considered going on a survival show because, he says, he’s into wilderness travel, not exhibition, and besides, he doesn’t have television. Stuart Nelson Jr., DVM, is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine where his father, also a veterinarian, was on the faculty. His love of the North and the outdoors, his passion for exploration via waterways, the excitement of working with sled dogs, and his research on the animal athlete, have made for a life perfectly suited for this veterinarian who calls northern Idaho home. How did you find Sandpoint?

I was leasing a small animal practice in Pennsylvania and took a drive out West … ultimately took a job in Coeur d’Alene, but as an employee I wanted more freedom. Dr. Moody was





How did you land the job as chief veterinarian of the Iditarod?

Back in 1963 my family went on a car trip from Missouri to Alaska, and I saw those big rivers and big country and it just grabbed me. My first river trip in the Yukon Territory was in 1979. … I was a practicing veterinarian by that time. I had worked with race horses back East – trotters and pacers – so I was interested in the animal athlete. In 1985 I saw an ad in one of the veterinary publications seeking volunteer trail vets on the Iditarod. I was a volunteer trail vet for nine years. In 1995, the chief vet was preparing to step down, and he approached me about taking over his position. The Iditarod position is a paid one?

It is. It’s nothing to brag about pay wise, but I do receive an income for my efforts. Most of my work is actually done by e-mail and phone after I’m done at



the clinic. I tell people it’s my full-time part-time job. So you are also an educator for the vets as well as for the mushers?

Absolutely. That is one of my main purposes. The animal rights people can be pretty tough on us at times, but the point is that I have been proactive promoting research studies addressing the major health concerns and as a result of what we have learned, we have been able to attain years where we have not lost any dogs, which is tremendous. If you take an average year where there are 65 teams and 16 dogs on a team – that is over 1,000 dogs. That’s a lot of dogs to go 1,000 miles and get home safely. My goal is to bring my veterinary staff and the mushers up to the current level of knowledge and awareness of caring for the dogs so we know what to look for – abnormalities and the protocols for dealing with abnormalities. Wouldn’t they know that already?

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Stuart Nelson checks Vern Halter’s dogs at the Takotna checkpoint in the 2005 Iditarod. PHOTO BY JEFF SCHULTZ

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Shown at the beginning of his 2010 solo Yukon expedition, left, and after he was rescued, right, Stuart Nelson survived for 13 days with what little gear he had in his life preserver pockets and foods he foraged – rose hips, wild currants, blueberries and raw fish. COURTESY PHOTOS

(mushers) who are pretty darn sharp. They have been around dogs their whole lives and know a lot, but if you take someone who is very wealthy but not a dog person per se, it takes an effort to get them up to speed. They have to complete a certain number of qualifying races prior to signing up. And we give a report card to evaluate

the mushers; this goes to the qualifying review board as part of the process to determine if they are really capable of participating safely in the Iditarod. What is the primary health concern for the dogs on the trail?

Hydration is what we are evaluating for; body weight is a big thing. I have

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an acronym: HAW/L. It stands for heart and hydration, appetite and attitude, weight, and lungs. In a performance environment, things can happen faster. Everything is magnified and you have to be tuned into subtle changes. A vet might say a dog’s heart rate is too high, or there is too much dehydration. Even though they are eating up to 10,000

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calories a day, body weight can be an issue. These are marathon athletes and they don’t have a lot of fat reserves to begin with, but they have to maintain a certain amount for the latter part of the race where there are high windstorms. If a team has to shut down and weather it out, then that could put the dogs at risk. How would you describe the mushers?

More people have successfully climbed Mount Everest than have completed the Iditarod. You have to be pretty sharp mentally to deal with all the changes on the trail, and to come up with a strategic plan to try to win the race. You have to be tough physically and gutsy to be out there in different conditions. There are people who spend every nickel they have and devote every minute they have to running their dogs after their day job. Do the top mushers come in with all their dogs?

No, statistically 10 dogs is the optimal number to finish with. There are a lot of reasons to drop dogs. Every dog requires feeding and booties put on, and all that takes time, so if you can go just as fast with fewer dogs, it’s more efficient and a time advantage. A musher can drop a dog for any reason. 30



Stuart Nelson with office dog Inga at Bonner Animal Hospital in Sandpoint, where he practices veterinary medicine with John Moody. PHOTO BY MARIE-DOMINIQUE VERDIER

That isn’t to say that teams don’t finish with all 16, but I don’t know that anyone could win it with all 16. We can’t neglect your survival story – 13 days in the Yukon wilds when everything barreled downstream without you. What was the most difficult thing about that experience?

The weather. You have to keep a fire going 24-7 to avoid hypothermia. I had constructed a windbreak out of brush and driftwood, but the third night it poured down rain, threatening my safety. Fortunately it stopped raining before it became totally dark and I could see to keep it going. So you kept busy utilizing survival skills with the small items in your pockets?

Yes, I had a routine. I needed to stay by the river from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., to keep an eye out for river travelers and planes. I did my wood gathering far from “camp” before and after that so I could easily find wood closer if I weakened. I picked 200 rose hips each day,

Interview worked on spelling out SOS and HELP with rocks and sticks on a big sandbar, tried to break out roots around stumps because that wood is long burning, used my mirror to attempt to reflect signals into the air, and it took a couple hours each day to catch a fish with the line and lures I had in my pockets – fish I ate raw to avoid attracting grizzlies.

Three Years at the Top.

Where do you live in North Idaho?

I live north of Bonners Ferry right up against a national forest. I can go out my back door and run up logging roads. I am three miles as the crow flies from the Canadian border. I have a cabin in Alaska too, but it is totally off the grid. I have heard you don’t have a hot water heater. Isn’t that a difficult way to live?

I have a hot water heater, but I just don’t turn it on unless I have guests. I just heat up my water using a milk jug and it works well. I am pretty frugal and I don’t like to waste stuff. How would you characterize yourself spiritually?

I am a Christian with conservative values related to individual responsibility and freedom. Do you attend a church?

Yes, I do. Creston Baptist Church. It’s just over the border. Were you a Boy Scout?

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Yeah, but I was into camping and playing capture the flag, not merit badges. What is your favorite thing about living here?

I love the access to the National Forest, the beauty, the peace and the creation that God has given us to enjoy. But certainly, if you want to experience a good meal or quality social experience, the opportunity is there. I’ve had many opportunities to reside in Alaska, but I’ve chosen to keep my home down here because it is still a special area.

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The Follies It’s racy, ridiculous, raunchy – and a resounding success

“It’s not for the easily offended!” hat’s the bottom line about the Follies, a popular R-rated comedy and variety show staged annually by the Angels Over Sandpoint. “It’s a night where the regular rules don’t apply,” said Deb McShane, a retired teacher and theater performer who was one of the show’s founding mothers. Suspending the rules has been a success. From the outset, the show has been a sellout; tickets go on sale on Groundhog Day and disappear shortly thereafter. “We added the second night after our first year, because the tickets sold out so fast,” said Kathy Follies performers and revelers pose outside the Panida Theater at the 10th anniversary show in 2012. The show Andruzak, another founder and is the largest, most successful fundraiser put on by Angels Over Sandpoint. PHOTO BY WOODS WHEATCROFT acknowledged queen of ticket sales. Now, coming up on its 13th annual set of performances in 2015, the Follies is the Angels’ biggest and most successful fundraiser. second year and has performed BY CATE Angels Over Sandpoint was formed in 1997 after the death of Kathy yearly ever since. HUISMAN Pelland, a de facto Sandpoint angel killed by a drunk driver on the Long A committee of Angels selects Bridge. Her willingness and ability to help out community members in the acts from among the audineed was legendary, so her saddened friends decided to memorialize her tions, weeding out those that are by following her example. Their initial projects ranged from helping out too far over the top and working with rent or medical payments in a family emergency to arranging a bedto create a copacetic whole that is side wedding for a woman with cancer. After a few years, as the group perhaps half risqué and half humor became better known, they received more requests for help, and they and musical talent. The show runs were casting about for a way to provide more of it. about two-and-a-half hours, with Based on a fundraiser she had worked on when she lived in Durango, 10 acts before and 10 acts after a Colo., Gail Fendley, a Sandpoint radio personality known otherwise as 15-minute intermission. Velma, Queen of Fun, suggested mounting a bawdy show featuring All the actors are responsible locals that people in the audience would know. for rehearsing and perfecting their “It’s fun to see that guy you never thought had a sense of humor get acts and providing their own cosup there and sing in his underwear,” she said. Fendley ended up becom- tumes and props. “After all these ing the show’s first producer. The Angels put out a call for auditions and years we haven’t had any act not were delighted to find not only that Sandpoint is rife with talent but that perform well,” said McAlister. the talent is willing to risk being a bit risqué. “We’ve set a pretty high standard “Everybody wants to be in the Follies,” said Kate McAlister, president so the expectations are every act of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, who auditioned in the will be ready to go.”





COMMUNITY A perennial humor act for many years was the Snews, a SaturdayNight-Live-style newscast performed by Trish Gannon, editor and publisher of The River Journal. Along with a varying troupe of fellow newscasters, she sat behind a desk on stage and did her best to skewer persons and issues from a variety of political persuasions with equal perspicacity. As it turned out, this was often when the easily offended discovered the Follies wasn’t for them.

“You can do almost anything you want as far as sex goes, just don’t touch the politics,” said Gannon, “and of course I always did touch the politics.” So it was often during the Snews that a few patrons walked out. “If we don’t have at least one or two people that walk out, we haven’t done our job,” said Fendley. Between acts, scantily clad “Follies boys and girls” – a selection from among the many Sandpointers who

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have honed an attractively healthy physique – prance onstage and gyrate off, ostensibly to set large cards with the name of each act on a stand on stage. Their little performances buy time for a busy backstage crew that manages the transitions between acts. “(That) can be quite tricky,” said Nicole French, who has served as stage manager since 2011. With performers on their own to hone their acts before opening night, there are only two rehearsals with the whole cast together. “You always need to be on your best game,” said French of the backstage crew. “Anything can go wrong at any time.” Originally scheduled around the city’s celebration of Mardi Gras, the Follies are now held regularly in early March; it’s a little morale boost just when locals are up to their hubcaps in mud and wishing emphatically that the cold, dark part of the year was behind them. But the show’s not just for locals: “There’s a tremendous (number) of people from out of town; we fill hotels,” said McAlister. “There are people who plan their ski trips from Nashville to come when the Follies is on,” added Fendley. The show isn’t the Angels’ only fundraiser. “For those with delicate sensibilities, we do a high tea the first Saturday in May,” McAlister said, and they also hold a golf tournament and Sandpoint Style, a brand-new event, in the fall. The group has raised and given away $1 million in the past 17 years and now has regular projects, including a back-to-school program that provides backpacks with school supplies for students each September; a toy chest for children undergoing treatment at Bonner General Health; college scholarships for graduating high school students; and ongoing help with rent, utilities, and health care costs to county residents going through difficult times. “It’s not just about being up there and being dirty; everyone understands how important it is to the Bonner County community,” said Fendley. And that may be the key to its success. As McAlister said, “It’s much more heart than dirt.”

Sages of the skies and their planes STORY AND PHOTOS BY BILLIE JEAN GERKE


ed Farmin and Charlie Brown have at least a couple things in common: a deep love of aviation and surviving a light airplane crash together in 1979. The photo in the Dec. 10, 1979, edition of the Sandpoint Daily Bee showed it well: The plane had plunged nose first into the ground, the tail with its N number standing vertically against a backdrop of trees. Brown, 74, says he remembers lying where he had been thrown from the fuselage: “The fuel caps had popped. Gas was everywhere, and some guy was standing there with a cigarette.” The friends met through aviation in 1968, when Brown came to Sandpoint Marina looking to get help from Farmin on welding a Baby Ace, the first plane he built.

Today, 35 years later, the aviators are still flying and helping each other build and restore airplanes. “We’ve been too busy to be enemies,” Brown said. Farmin, 73, pulls out a money clip Brown gave him 35 years ago – around the time they wrecked the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog owned by Brown. Farmin was flying the plane when it stalled. “I had never flown one before. I should have had some instruction. I got too low and too slow,” said Farmin. While both of them have flown as a hobby and bought and sold airplanes, their interests diverged when it came to the type of planes they flew. Farmin became interested in homebuilt airplanes and bought his first kit in the mid1970s, a Sonerai II that he built from scratch. Brown, meantime, got into antiques with his 1946 Fairchild F-24-R, which took six years for him to rebuild from a pile of junk on a trailer. “I like the history that goes with them,” Brown said, of antique airplanes. WINTER 2015

Farmin’s interest in aviation started shortly after World War II, when his father took flying lessons on the GI Bill. He tagged along during the lessons, and they built a model airplane together. His dad bought a plane, put it on floats and kept it at the marina. Farmin learned the basics from him and started flying that plane pretty efficiently by age 13. Sadly, his father died in an auto accident when he was 15 and the plane was sold. The seeds his father planted became fertile, though, and Farmin

Ted Farmin and Charlie Brown, top, show off their airplanes, from left, a Taylorcraft, RV-4 and Fairchild. Brown keeps his airplanes in a hangar at Bonners Ferry, above. The two have been pilots and friends since the 1960s



PEOPLE started flying again at age 23. He became partners on an Aeronca Chief for $500 apiece with Pat Gooby and Stan Meserve in 1964. Each of them earned their pilot’s license in that. Later, Farmin earned his helicopter rating with some help from Dr. Forrest Bird, a renowned aviator and inventor who lives near Sandpoint at Glengary Bay. Brown’s interest in aviation came by way of the U.S. Navy. He was part of a fighter squadron commanded by Capt. James Stockdale from 1957 to 1961, but he never saw combat as a tail gunner. He earned his private pilot’s license on his own and then used the GI Bill to get his ratings. His first airplane was also an Aeronca Chief, which he picked up for $375 by paying someone’s tie-down fees. The Baby Ace that he met Farmin through was the first airplane he built from plans. Later he bought a Piper Clipper wrecked at an airport for $250 and got it flying for less than $1,000. Most of the planes he buys are dinged up or wrecked; he fixes them up and sells them. Brown has owned 22 or so planes in his lifetime and restored 26.



EAA an outlet for aircraft enthusiasts Charlie Brown and Ted Farmin used to travel all the way to Spokane, Wash., to attend meetings of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), but it became too much of a social club, they said. Luckily, fellow aviators formed a Sandpoint chapter of the group in 2006, which has now grown to 78 family memberships, according to Jan Lee, cofounder and president. They meet on the third Wednesday of the month at Lee’s hangar at the Sandpoint Airport; a potluck dinner is followed by a business meeting and a presentation or “hangar hopping.” Guest speakers range from a specialist in survival to a pilot who flew for a missionary program in Guatemala. The program last July featuring Pam Bird and Tonya Rutan on their cross-country trip in the Air Race Classic was a huge hit with 70 in attendance, according to Lee. Sandpoint Chapter 1441 hosts an annual fly-in every August, sponsors Young Eagles and raises money for various projects and flight scholarships. One member who benefited, Zach Ward, earned his private pilot license and is now a load master on a cargo plane in the U.S. Air Force. Another, Anna Filce, earned her private license and is now attending commercial pilot school. A recent project was fixing airport fencing, which saved the county $25,000 in labor. Lee says everyone in the group looks up to Brown and Farmin. “They’re hard-core, dyed-inthe-wool aviators. They’ve been friends for a very long time, and they’ve been through a lot together,” he said. “They’re kind of gurus and they’re prolific when it comes to restoring and building. Their craftsmanship is incredible. They can fabricate things that look factory built.” Members don’t have to be pilots, but they all share a love for aviation. Moreover, EAA encompasses general aviation, not just experimental aircraft, such as the RV-4 Farmin flies. “It’s pilots, it’s aviation, it’s the whole thing,” Lee said. Learn more about the Sandpoint Chapter at or call 255-9954.



He says he has never lost money on any airplane he owned. Farmin has been partners in or owned less than 10 airplanes. “I probably lost money on all of mine,” he said. “I’m not a wheeler-dealer like Charlie.” Both men were badly hurt in that 1979 accident near the Bronx Road north of Ponderay, and Farmin even lost a leg from being pinned in the wreckage. He landed on the instrument panel and the engine did a somersault and fell


in his lap. He suffered cuts to his face, a broken hip and right leg. The toggle switch embedded itself in his knee. “It was like pulling crunched peanut shells out of my knee,” he said, adding it was too badly damaged to save. Brown hit so hard that he pulled the seat belt and doorpost out as he was thrown from the wreckage. Everything on his right side was broken: arm, hip, leg and fingers. He had a cut on his head and a severe concussion.


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Farmin and Brown still help each other build and restore airplanes. Farmin’s next kit airplane, an RV-12, is in progress at his shop in Sagle, left, while Brown works on his planes in Bonners Ferry

Luckily, they were flying the plane without a battery, so the plane didn’t ignite. Since there was only one ambulance in town, an old station wagon driven by Fred Hartmann, Brown had


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Building this model airplane, left, with his father marked the beginning of Ted Farmin’s love for aviation. Charlie Brown, right, flies over the Kootenai River in his Stearman biplane. (COURTESY PHOTOS)

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to wait on the ground for more than an hour while Farmin was cut out of the wreckage with a chisel gun. “I still have the propeller at home,” Brown said. “It looks like a pretzel.” Despite such a traumatic accident, both of them were piloting airplanes again within a year and claim they didn’t have any nervous jitters. Over the years they’ve had lots of close calls, including one that predates the 1979 accident. They were flying

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Marvin Spear’s Piper J-5 Cub to La Grande, Ore., when they got lost in the Snake River Canyon. They ran low on gas and landed in a farmer’s field. They filled up with car gas, took off, hit a dip in the field and smacked a fence. Suddenly, they faced a big tree and a barn, and Brown had to fly sideways between them. After they got steady again, Brown noticed the left wheel on the broken landing gear staring him in the face, so they decided to try to get back to Sandpoint. They were getting low on gas again but kept flying. When they got to Sandpoint, Brown landed on one wheel and didn’t even get grass on the wing as he did a 180 with it. They started repairing the Cub immediately because they didn’t want Spear to know about it, since they had used it without permission. They welded the landing gear and quickly repainted it. When they drained the tank, they discovered they only had one quart of gas left. “That’s when we were young and immortal,” Farmin said. Years later and after more close calls, Brown flies the Fairchild or 1943 Taylorcraft L2M he restored, while Farmin flies the RV-4 he and his son, Tim, built together. Farmin is building another kit, an RV-12, in the light sport category. Brown’s latest restoration was a 1928 Stearman biplane that took five years; it’s up for sale. He is now restoring a 1952 crew car called a speeder that travels on train tracks. Although they feel less young and immortal these days, these two sages of the skies just keep flying.


Lower lake levels stir up contention

New group wants consistent summer pool



anagement of water levels in Lake Pend Oreille is nothing if not con-

tentious. Back in 2000, the Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club sued to keep water levels up to protect kokanee and threatened bull trout. Then, in 2011, a proposal for “flexible winter operations” at Albeni Falls Dam alarmed waterfront landowners and brought a suit from the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) over the adequacy of the environmental assessment. Within the past year, word came of the Kalispel MOA – a memorandum of agreement – that included the possibility that the lake would be drawn down as much as 4.5 feet in mid-August. On top of that was the realization that it was time to reconsider the Columbia River Treaty – another agreement that might affect water levels on the lake. Piling up on one another, these issues have driven the formation of a new organization to address them: the Lake Pend Oreille

Alliance (LPA). Lifelong Sandpoint-area resident and Dover Bay developer Ralph Sletager introduced the new organization at a meeting of the “Lakes Commission” (officially, the Lake Pend Oreille, Pend Oreille River, Priest Lake and Priest River Commission) in May. He described the group as “a broad-based stakeholder group including business and property owners, municipalities, chamber of commerce representatives, anglers and more.” The Lakes Commission is an advisory board charged with studying, investigating, and selecting ways and means of controlling the water quality and water quantity for the communities’ interests and the interests of the State of Idaho and for the survival of the native species fish. Lake Pend Oreille is a natural lake, but its water level has been controlled, since 1955, by Albeni Falls Dam, 30 miles downstream from Sandpoint on the Pend Oreille River. Before the dam was built, the lake filled to its present summer level (or even higher) each April to June as snow melted out WINTER 2015

of the mountains; then it drained down the river to a much lower level by midsummer. One of the advantages of the dam is that it keeps the lake level higher longer, adding value to waterfront land and providing for a consistent summer recreation season. The level that has most recently been called “summer pool,” 2062.5 feet above sea level, is essential to the Sandpoint area’s summer tourist economy. How long the water is maintained at that level is at the heart of the LPA’s concerns, as there are competing uses for the water, including power generation and management of fisheries. The alliance has more than 500 members and has put up a website, It posted an online petition in July that garnered 3,348 signatures and hundreds of comments during a six-week period on www.Change. org and in print. The petition is simple: “Leave Idaho’s water alone! No more BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) and COE (Corps of Engineers) drawdowns of Lake Pend Oreille beyond flood control purposes as mandated in





Senate Doc. #9.” Senate Document No. 9, created in 1949 and entitled, “Improvement at Albeni Falls on Pend Oreille River, Idaho,” is what the LPA calls “the deal” between the public, the state, and the federal government around the construction of Albeni Falls dam. It is posted on the LPA’s website, and it forms the foundation for the alliance’s argument that there is a legal precedent to keep the lake level higher longer. This document refers to 2062.5 feet as “normal pool level” and makes no mention of summer or winter pool levels, the LPA points out. It suggests that the lake will be held at this level for about six months a year. But in the six decades since the dam began operations, 2062.5 feet has come to represent “summer pool level,” and the lake is at this level only two months a year – roughly from July 4 through Labor Day. The LPA’s website has links to a wealth of other documents to sup-



Docks freeze to the bottom during winter drawdown events and then are damaged as the water rises again, as shown in this photo at Sandpoint Marina

port its contentions. Two significant ones are Idaho state laws, 67.4304 and 67.4305, both passed in 1927, that protect uses of the lake for the people of Idaho. According to the website: “It is clear that these laws were an attempt to protect all Idahoans’ rights to enjoy the lake. These rights include fishing, recreation, navigation, (and) scenic beauty.” The alliance’s position is that these laws, along with Senate Document No. 9, govern how the lake water should be managed. “Changing spring, summer and fall flow levels at the Albeni Falls Dam specifically contradicts the purpose


the dam was built for under Idaho state law,” Sletager said at the June 2014 meeting of the Lakes Commission, when the proposed changes were outlined. Another document is a joint statement signed by six Northwest governors in 1950 indicating the dam was to revert back to local and state control once it was paid for. The payoff date was 1962, according to LPA. Three specific concerns exist. First is the proposal for flexible winter operations, where rising and falling ice on the water’s surface may cause damage to docks and other structures along


the lake. ICL’s lawsuit addresses the environmental effects of this proposal, which may include shoreline erosion and the spread of invasive species. Arguments were presented this fall in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a decision is expected next year. Brad Smith, ICL’s northern Idaho conservation associate, explained, “We are concerned about the fact that the BPA is making decisions about the management of the lake without mitigating for the environmental impacts that our community has to bear.” Second is the MOA calling for a study of whether lowering the lake level in late summer or early autumn would cool water in the river downstream, making it a better habitat for threatened bull trout. An added benefit would be additional power generation at peak periods, and this has some LPA members suspecting the real reason for the study is to justify that. The most extreme of these would lower the

lake 4.5 feet starting August 15, leaving waterfront docks with little water to float the boats that are still tied to them. Third is renewal of the Columbia River Treaty, an agreement made 50 years ago between the United States and Canada that covers how water is to be managed in the Columbia River system, of which Lake Pend Oreille is a part. Documentation to propose changes to that treaty was being drafted this past fall. “Our alliance is asking questions such as, ‘Does this treaty have supremacy over state and federal laws?’ ” Sletager said. “We want to know if it will change the operational purposes of dams like Albeni Falls away from their original intent.” James D. Barton, chief of the Columbia Basin Water Management Division of the Corps of Engineers, and one of those to whom the LPA’s petition was specifically addressed, responded reassuringly where the peti-

tion was posted online, indicating that there were no plans to begin drawdowns until after Labor Day, and that treaty negotiations would not affect the level of the lake. He also wrote, “The current operation of Albeni Falls Dam is in full compliance with the project’s original authorizing legislation, all subsequent legislation related to operations at the project, as well as the associated Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinions.” With LPA believing that the dam is not operated in substantial compliance with the documents it believes govern lake levels, and with a complex set of sometimes competing needs for the use of Lake Pend Oreille’s water, it’s doubtful this will be the end of the issue. “Our main goal for the alliance is to defend what water rights we believe Idaho has,” Sletager said. “We believe the dam’s current operational plan violates the intent, principle and substance of both federal and Idaho law.”

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Joie de vivre Catherine Earle celebrates creativity and nature



rtist Catherine Earle exalts life in all its forms. Her subject matter has evolved from pieces reminiscent of cellular organisms to increasingly complex compositions involving birds, insects and mammals.

“I think someday I’m going to make people,” said Earle, 46, jokingly. Her first exhibition in Sandpoint – in 2002 at the home of her former father-in-law Dan Earle and his wife Jackie Henrion – was a series of vibrant watercolors on heavy paper with titles like “Lotus Molecules” and “Energy Flow.”




“When I first met Catherine in Southern France,” says Dan Earle, “her passion and desire to follow her childhood dream of becoming an artist could be seen in everything she did, from the cosmetic make-up sessions for actors and models to the silk paintings of bull fights she sold at street fairs; even her arranging flowers signaled her artistic insights.” Catherine Earle moved from watercolor to encaustics, which yielded similar abstractions but also paintings of more recognizable plants and even insects. When she returned to watercolor, the cellular shapes became ringlets and ribbons of color swirling in tight compositions involving birds and flowers against an ambiguous background. Eventually the birds grew in number, range and stature – swallows, doves, ravens, egrets, owls – barely contained by the edges of the canvas as Earle embraced painting with acrylic. That resulted in both a 2013 solo exhibition at Coeur d’Alene’s The


Art Spirit Gallery and her inclusion in the “Birds in Art” exhibition at Spokane’s Chase Gallery. “Catherine’s best paintings draw you in for a closer look,” says The Art Spirit Gallery’s Steve Gibbs. “Viewers really respond to her use of color and her ability to balance decorative, dramatic and narrative elements.” Her most recent work features a menagerie of life forms, like the majestic stag whose antlers are strewn with voluptuous pink flowers published on the cover of The Art Spirit Gallery invitation to Earle’s summer 2014 solo show there (her next Art Spirit exhibition is July 2015). Entitled “Trust in the Self,” the painting could be considered a benchmark for how Earle has evolved both personally and professionally. “Her evolution as an artist has never been in doubt,” says Dan Earle, also an artist. “And as she has evolved I can still see her earlier works peeking through revealing a continuity of unique insight into and interpretation of nature.

Her work speaks a language we can all understand and love.” “I don’t try to analyze what I do,” said Earle, who rarely sketches out ideas ahead of time. Instead, she relies on a combination of studio ritual, intuitive process, thoughtful reference images and inspirational music. When the buck kept reasserting itself, says Earle, she welcomed the new creature onto her canvas. Earle dedicates time nearly every day to be in her garageturned-studio, describing the ritual of creating her own canvases as a way of creating a space for images to emerge. Although she used to have Hen’s Tooth Gallery owner Ward Tollbom frame her earliest pieces, which sat under glass, Earle now builds, stretches, gessoes, sands and finesses her own canvasses, which are stacked neatly against one wall awaiting her brush. Longtime partner and fellow artist Carver Kearney helped equip her with power tools and the know-how. She may consult one of many WINTER 2015

Clockwise from opposite left: Catherine Earle in her studio (PHOTO BY MARIE-DOMINIQUE VERDIER); “Self Memories,” one of her early watercolor paintings from 2007; and more recent acrylics “Harmonious Expressions” and “Trust in the Self.”



ART source books. Indeed, one can see the correlation between Earle’s paintings and John James Audubon’s 19th century bird illustrations, Ernst Haeckel’s “Art Forms from the Ocean,” and Taschen’s “Garden of Eden,” a compilation of botanical illustrations from the 6th through 20th century. Other books – on Tibetan symbols and motifs, Gustave Moreau’s symbolist narratives, Cezanne’s landscapes, Michelangelo’s figures – provide direction for color, pat2015_Ski_and_Board_Party.FINAL.pdf



2:00 PM

tern, handling of light and form, etc. Another inspiration for Earle is music. She prefers Latin American music to get her moving, or the ebb and flow of movie soundtracks like Harry Potter or the dramatic score to “The Painted Veil” about the ill-fated love story between two Somerset Maugham characters in 1920s Shanghai. Once she’s dialed into a painting, says Earle, she usually finishes it over the course of a few days. Then she’ll










Your Adventure Starts Here





take it into her home and “live” with it for a bit, reworking areas as needed, trying to make sure it’s what it’s supposed to be. “An artist is someone who is trying to balance,” said Earle. For Earle, that means looking for the “connectedness in things,” including in her personal life tracing back to her upbringing in France. Her parents created the foundation for many things Earle – née Lemaitre – would later incorporate into her artwork. French, but living in Morocco, they idealized the ’50s and ’60s Hollywood version of America. After relocating to Nimes, in Southern France, they ran a farm, which they still operate along with Earle’s older brother and twin sisters, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Those early experiences manifest in Earle’s lifelong fascination with plants and animals, as well as art. At 17, she attended Ecolé des Beaux-Arts, where she studied art history, sculpture, drawing and art theory that, at the time, focused on the conceptual approaches of French-American artist Marcel Duchamp. After graduation, Earle went to school for floral arts and then for makeup, after which she spent a year in Paris doing mostly theatrical makeup. That’s where she met Tim Earle, a makeup model. Earle joined Tim in Los Angeles, where she took up art and modeled for a nearby art school. “The space and the nature was so big,” said Earle of her first impressions of Southern California. Although she felt an opening of possibilities in her life and her artwork, she was still intimidated by Americans’ cultural boldness and she spoke only a smidgen of English. The couple moved to northern Idaho in 1990, departing soon after to marry in France and spend a year abroad. They visited Thailand, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. In India, says Earle, she finally learned to speak English. They returned to northern Idaho in 1997 when Earle became pregnant with her first daughter, Gabrielle, now 17 and a senior at Sandpoint High School. Living in Bonners Ferry, Earle ventured into a painting class with Zoltan Szabo,

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discovering an affinity for watercolor. Daughter Alexandra was born in 2000. They moved to Sandpoint in 2002. That was around the time Alexandra was diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that severely impacts and generally limits a person’s ability to speak, move and even breathe. Earle and Tim later divorced. Although she struggled with Alexandra’s diagnosis early on, Earle credits both her daughters with inspiring her to be more creative, including doing crafts, playing and reading stories to them as youngsters. And, says Earle, because caring for Alexandra is so demanding, she has to “stretch and step up.” “The girls, for me, have always been a creative force,” said Earle, who writes in her artist statement that she “aspires to provide a vehicle for perceiving our microscopic and infinite world with a deeper vision, where life expresses itself in a triumphant beauty.” WINTER 2015

Top: “True Courage” Above: Catherine Earle gives an art demonstration at The Art Spirit Gallery. PHOTO BY CARVER KEARNEY


Pursuing the dream Schweitzer’s lifties live for powder and sunrises


They don’t do it for the money or the fame. They do it for the pow. fter a seven-year adventure teaching English in China, saving a girlfriend from the harsh Chinese healthcare system, and appearing on such TV shows as China’s version of Oprah and China’s Got Talent, Colin Pemp returned to Sandpoint to become a lift operator at Schweitzer Mountain. “Deep down,” he said, “I would rather be no other place in the world than the mountain. I am a ski bum at heart.” On snowy days, Pemp, 32, leaves his house in Bonners Ferry at 4 a.m. For an hour, he pushes and spins his tires on roads that have no chance of being plowed until sunrise, some four hours later. “It’s always an adventure of its own in my little, two-wheel-drive Honda Civic,” he said, laughing. Good thing he likes snowy adventures, because once he arrives at work, if everyone’s lucky, there’s more snow. Lift operators, otherwise known as “lifties,” are responsible for starting and operating the chairlifts. They’re first to the mountain, last from the bar. They shovel up to 3 or 4 feet of snow during cold, dark mornings, which can take up to two hours before the lifts even open. “You have to love being outside,” said Jessica Parker, lift operations manager. “The conditions can really be harsh sometimes. It can be 30 below with the wind chill or snowing so hard you have to rake the snow off your ramp every 10 minutes, or hailing sideways so it feels like your cheeks are being sandpapered off.” The lifties who brave these environments often do so, to begin with, for Idaho’s minimum wage, recently raised to $7.25 per hour. They also get a free season pass, which is more than a perk; it’s why they do it. “There’s nothin’ like the feeling of floating on some pow through the trees with that extra ‘steeze’ that pow provides, with no care in the world of how big the rock you are going to bail off is, due to the soft landing,” said Pemp. Every lifty gets glassy-eyed when talking about riding. Parker, who started as a local hire and moved up into her management position five years ago, knows the beauty and challenges of the mountain perhaps bet-



From top: Colin Pemp of the Lakeview Triple chairlift sports the trusty tools of every lifty, a rake and a shovel; Leif Fuller gets a face full of powder; Jessica Parker, the lift operations manager of five years, says the three rules of being a lifty are safety, smile and mean it, and work hard. PHOTOS BY JESSICA PARKER SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


ter than anyone. She loves the space and peace Schweitzer Mountain provides. “The sun is filtering through the trees, but the snow is falling softly too and there’s not a soul around,” she said of a perfect run. “I’m just flying through the trees and the powder is flying up into my face in sparkles and the joy is almost overwhelming. I literally can’t wipe the smile off my face; I’m in heaven. It’s those moments that keep me coming back for more.” Even when the snow is crappy or the morning is freezing, many lifties describe just being on the mountain as Zen-like and beautiful. “Words cannot describe how beautiful that sunrise is,” said Jake Christman, 25, a lifty of six years. While some lifties start because they love the sport and some come from competitive skiing and snowboarding backgrounds, some learn to ride during their first season. “My first year, I had no idea how to snowboard,” said Christman. “My friend

Ron, he brought me up to the T-bar.” The T-bar is only open on weekends and holidays and takes people to the farthest backside peak, where intermediate and advanced runs drop 2,440 feet in elevation to the base. “It’s the hardest part of the mountain, so if you can make it there you can make it anywhere.” Christman now flies down the backside on his board, a playful, 6-foot-tall daredevil weaving in between trees, around people, finding jumps wherever he can. “It’s pretty wild. I kept my head and had perseverance,” he said of his learning curve. It was an odd-sounding comment coming from such a jovial trickster. Yet, it’s easy to imagine his dedication as he greets guests with genuine sociability and excitement, and even though it’s not in the job description, he always keeps a watchful eye on the outof-bounds area beyond the T-bar. Parker, who learned to ski when she was 3 and has snowboarded since she was 14, tries to hire people that

have an intermediate level of skiing or snowboarding. “For me it boils down to safety and an understanding of what our guests are looking for,” she commented. “That being said, if someone has the right attitude and work ethic, the training and the learning to ski can be the easy part.” Pemp feels that once someone becomes a lifty, they will get good at the sport just because of how much time they will spend on their board or skis. He, like Christman, soars down the mountain on his snowboard. His long dreads drift behind, tracing a trail of where he’s just been. “The comfort and ability allows you to reach a higher level of boarding or skiing,” Pemp said, “which when you reach, feels pretty dang amazing, comparable with sex.” At least 80,000 people ride Schweitzer Mountain every winter, and every time they get picked up by a lift, they’re greeted by a lifty. According to Tom Chasse, the CEO and president

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Keeping it cool: Schweitzer plays the long game Tom Chasse, the CEO and president of Schweitzer Mountain Resort, is excited about this season. “Every winter is like homecoming,” he said. “It’s a sad time in April when everybody leaves.” According to Chasse, Schweitzer’s 2,900 skiable acres make it the 15th largest ski mountain in the United States. It still maintains a small-mountain vibe. With 80,000 unique visits every winter, skiers and snowboarders accumulate 500,000 individual days of riding over the season. Dedicated riders count their days; some get up to 40 days in a winter, some more. Other mountains with comparable skiable acres often get more than a million guests in a season. So Chasse and other employees actually have time to spend time with guests. Chasse often shares a meal with tour groups and rides the lifts with visitors. “We have a real strong culture within our company organization,” he said. “It helps the feeling, our vibe is friendly, down to earth.” “It’s the people up there that make the difference,” said Doug McGarry, “and the management encourages that.” After spending a year working for a mountain in Colorado, McGarry, 53, moved here to

try out Schweitzer. As he puts it, he got the lake as a bonus. His only requirement when he applied for a job with lift operations was that he didn’t want to work in an office. He got his wish and worked 10 years as a lift operator. mainteLast year he switched over to building mainte nance, which he likes just as much. “We get to help people have fun,” he said, “and that’s really cool.” “A lot of people are here because of the havrecreational opportunities,” said Chasse, hav ing moved here himself seven years ago from New Hampshire. “They’re as excited about the change of season as we are.” This winter, plans are under way to expand the mountaintop rest areas. The logistics for water and septic for a summit lodge at the top of Great Escape are being laid out, bids for contractors being put forward. refer“It’s a bit of a challenge,” McGarry said, refer ring to the unique construction procedures that building on top of a mountain requires. “It will have an additional restaurant and a nice area for ski patrol, something we haven’t had before.” The water for the resorts, the snowmaking equipment and all of the mountain’s housing comes from natural run-off or wells.


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Schweitzer is just taking the melting water and putting it back on the slopes. Chasse expressed the desire to continue to grow as a ski resort and as a business. “In reality, though, we have an overabundance of existing terrain,” he said. Until business grows, the mountain will keep serving the communities that are already hooked, including the Idaho Panhandle, Spokane and the Tri-Cities. “There’s no magic bullet,” Chasse said, of growing as a business. “It’s a slow, methodical growth process.” No one’s complaining, though. It’s the small, oldtimey feel that both guests and employees love. “We’ve been really fortunate,” McGarry said. “Along with the improvements and the growing numbers ... we’re kind of old school in some ways. We try hard to maintain that.” This winter you’ll find Chasse skiing Big Timber, his favorite run due to its consistent fall line, the trees and its long vertical length. He added, “And it doesn’t get skied a lot.” McGarry will be up there, too, enjoying his work a little too much. “You don’t find too many offices that have the view that we have,” he said. –Oriana Korol

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From left: No one plays in the snow more than lifties, as Thomas Kenny and Dan Greene of the Lakeview Triple lift demonstrate; pirate lifties show their affinity for the lifty logo, a skull with a patch, shovel and rake; Jake Christman says customer interaction is a huge part of being a lifty

of the mountain, the lifties’ energy is contagious: Happy lifties mean more excited guests. “Customer interaction is a huge part of working the lifts,” said Christman. “No matter how much snow, you’re going to have to serve chairs, smile and have a good attitude.” Lifties make many sacrifices to work on the mountain in the winter.

They give up the security and financial reward of permanent, year-round jobs. “Most (lifties) are not rich,” Pemp said. “Most will never buy a new car and will only be able – but still not be able – to afford Pabst a lot, and will probably live with a roommate and eat beans a lot because it is the only viable

way possible to ‘live the dream.’ ” But they are happy if they are getting to ride. “The thing most lifties fear is losing ride breaks,” said Pemp. Built into the day is time for each Schweitzer employee to “sample the product,” as Chasse calls skiing or boarding on the

SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN FACTS 2014-15 ACREAGE: 2,900, 92 designated runs, two open bowls, 1,400+ acres of tree skiing, three terrain parks, and 32 kilometers of Nordic trails

HOURS OF OPERATION: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. TWILIGHT SKIING: Fridays, Saturdays and holidays from Dec.

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

26, 2014, through Feb. 28, 2015, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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SEASON: Late November or early December 2014 to April 2015,

LONGEST RUN: Little Blue Ridge Run, 2.1 miles VERTICAL DROP: 2,400 feet TOP ELEVATION: 6,400 feet. LOWEST ELEVATION: 4,000 feet AVERAGE ANNUAL SNOWFALL: 300 inches LIFTS: Nine total – Three high-speed chairs, the six-pack Stella,

subject to conditions

quads Great Escape and Basin Express; one triple, Lakeview; three double chairlifts; Idyle Our T-bar; and a beginner’s Musical Carpet

TOTAL UPHILL CAPACITY: 12,500 per hour 52


LIFT TICKETS: Adult $72; junior 7-17, $50; children 6 and under, free with adult; college, military or seniors 65 and over, $10 discount. Beginner’s chair only, $25. Musical Carpet only, free. Night rates, $15 all ages. Cross-country, $12 adult, $10 junior or senior. Snowshoe, $6.

TUBING: $15 or $10 for children 6 and under. WEBSITE: PHONE: 263-9555, 877-487-4643 ACTIVITY CENTER: 255-3081



“There have been rumors that (ride breaks) could come to an end, possibly saving money for the resort,” Pemp said. “If this happens it will kill lifty culture.” Chasse laughed when he was asked about the ride break rumors. “We’re not going to take that away,” he said. “It fuels the passion. It would be stupid to take that away.” Parker had a different but perhaps more realistic fear. “Climate change is a huge concern in the industry these days,” she said. “I wonder if the future holds a Schweitzer with no snow. It sounds terrible.” The lifties work hard before dawn, party until they pass out, and sometimes even get first tracks. “The race for first tracks is always kind of intense,” said Pemp. “First tracks is usually rewarded to the hardcore who wake the earliest.” Skiing or boarding on unbroken snow, with only trees and mountains in view, not worrying about skiing over or through someone else’s tracks, that is every powder enthusiast’s dream. The

day Pemp and his crew got to ride the fresh Face for what seemed like an hour went down in his book as one of the most epic mornings of his lifty career. “(We) made a few die-hard customers a bit unhappy to say the least,” Pemp said. “The thing was … we got permission to take some runs before opening, (and) we got really greedy and ripped The Face to pieces. It was hard to hold back. ... When the customers arrived, they were a little perplexed on just how they were first chair but not first tracks. ... It should have been called employee appreciation day.” The lifties are a tight-knit department that makes newcomers to the mountain and to Sandpoint feel right at home. “There’s not a lot of turnover in the lift crew,” said Chasse. Pemp put it another way: “The lifty tradition is shoveling your butt off, keeping your ramp safe and dialed in, artistic and different, and riding your butt off, and when not riding, having fun getting together and getting down with our bad selves. (I’m) proud to be part of the lifty family.”






Nonprofits at every step Touching our lives daily


ood for the hungry; shelter for unwanted pets; non-commercial radio for listeners; concerts for music lovers … the list of services provided by Greater Sandpoint nonprofits (more than 200 strong!) goes on and on. Whether residents are aware of it or not, nonprofits play a daily role in our lives and create an impact on our community that oftentimes goes unnoticed. “Nonprofits touch all facets of our lives,” said Bob Over, director of the Professional Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program through the University of Idaho. “They support a quality of life – a quality that would otherwise not be there.” He mentions, for instance, the Festival at Sandpoint – a nonprofit that provides our rural area with a stellar arts venue, bringing us the likes of Alison Krauss and Nickel Creek, and countless other worldclass performers. SOLE (Selkirk Outdoor Leadership Experiences) aims to immerse youth and others in outdoor programs. For medical attention, there’s Bonner General Health – a not-for-profit hospital. “Nonprofits offer services that for-profits can’t do,” Over said. He

stresses the fact that everyone uses a nonprofit every single day – schools, the library, the museum. “Not many people understand that,” he said. “We all take it for granted.” Consider the impact of the Panhandle Animal Shelter (PAS) on the community. Just about every resident has walked through the doors of the shelter facility, whether to pick out a new pet in the dog kennel or cat room, or shop in the PAS Thrift Store. And yet, the shelter’s imprint (or paw print, as the case may be!) on the community extends far beyond the care and adoption of animals. Area youth are the enthusiastic recipients of a strong shelter program. “We hold a reading dog program at the library (PAWS to Read), and we also provide funding for all Lake Pend Oreille School District first-graders to come tour the shelter,” said Mandy Evans, executive director of PAS. She explains that the first-graders’ trips are often a child’s “first touch on humane education of animals.” For older students, PAS partners with the Forrest M. Bird Charter High School for classes that cover such topics as dog training. WINTER 2015

Beyond those outreach programs, PAS also serves as an animal food bank for low-income pet owners, as well as reduced-price spay and neuter programs. “We are trying to make a difference,” said Evans, who said the PAS Thrift Store fulfills requests by area teachers for clothing donations to needy students. “We do whatever we can to support our community.” It’s that same feel-good aspect

Clockwise from top: The first-ever Dover Bay 5K-9 benefited the Panhandle Animal Shelter; volunteers make events like the Festival at Sandpoint possible; and the Idaho Panhandle Leadership Retreat focused on nonprofits





that keeps Suzy Prez, station manager at Panhandle Community Radio KRFY 88.5 FM, enthusiastic about the nonprofit’s role in Sandpoint. “We’re an information resource for the community,” Prez said. The nonprofit, located in downtown Sandpoint, started up in 2010 as a commercial-free station providing local news and views via the airwaves. A fairly new Morning Show, cohosted by Prez, features a wide variety of topics – and oftentimes includes interviews with leaders of local nonprofits about their goals and upcoming events. “I see KRFY as an umbrella for area nonprofits,” she said. “We keep the pulse on civic activities.” The beauty of nonprofits is just that – their primary focus is on providing a

ing. “It’s a struggle,” she said. The food bank is also reaching out through social media and the Internet to further build their community presence. Wallace said the food bank stays active on Facebook and just launched a redesign of its website. Plus, there’s a blog that keeps readers informed on useful food bank news, such as which items are running low on the shelves. Building a nonprofit’s brand, online and in the community, can be a successful way to build exposure. Evans leverages PAS’s huge marketing power – the shelter’s Facebook page boasts more than 5,700 followers – with area businesses who, in turn for partnering on promotional events and publicity, make

his agenda with an ambitious array of workshops, programs and retreats. Over led similar nonprofit development programs in Colorado before moving to the Sandpoint area after finding the “house of his dreams” in Bottle Bay. Once he was settled in Idaho, Over started working with the University of Idaho to develop a Nonprofit Leadership Program for communities in northern Idaho and launched it in Coeur d’Alene. It includes a wide array of educational classes as well as a Professional Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program, which requires 50 hours of classroom time. Being a resident of Sandpoint, he wanted to bring it up here, as well.

service, not making money for owners or shareholders. Nonprofits do have to keep their doors open, but there is a plethora of funding options available such as grants, in-kind donations, volunteer hours and business sponsorships. Alice Wallace, director of the Bonner Community Food Bank, relies on the goodwill of local grocers, businesses, volunteers and a strong board of directors to keep the nonprofit up and running. “We couldn’t live without our volunteers,” Wallace said. She also credits the generous nature of Sandpoint’s residents: “When I put the call out to the community for help, they’re always there.” Even larger-sized requests – an architect’s services to repurpose the entrance’s small waiting room, or adding gravel to a muddy parking lot – garner quick responses. But despite all the help, Wallace still devotes a good chunk of her day to applying for grants, since the food bank does not operate on government fund-

donations to PAS. The successful Yappy Hour events, where businesses host a social gathering for pets and their owners, have been a big hit with businesses. So much so, businesses are waiting in line to host a Yappy Hour. Evans says it’s all about partnering with local for-profits so that everyone benefits. Likewise, Prez is utilizing KRFY’s airwaves to impact not only the nonprofit’s funding goals but other nonprofits as well. “We already promote other nonprofits, but now we’re working on ways to actually be there such as live broadcasts.” While she admits there are “limited dollars” for nonprofits, Evans has a positive outlook on the future. “We have the same challenges as larger cities and limited dollars,” she said, “but Sandpoint is amazing. Innovation is in the water here!” To enrich the understanding of nonprofits in our community and to further advance their reach, Over has put educational support for leaders, staff and volunteers of nonprofits at the top of

From left: A volunteer loads food collected for the Bonner Community Food Bank; Model United Nations students learn about diplomacy; Jacey’s Race participants raise money for children with illnesses; and Alice Wallace, director of the Bonner Community Food Bank



“There’s a pent-up need here for nonprofits for educational help,” Over said. “I thought, How cool to give back to this community.” He’s also not shy about why he personally wants to see the Sandpoint area’s nonprofits thrive: “Call it selfish, I want a high quality of life.” To test the waters, he brought a Nonprofit Leadership Program to the area in 2013 and had 38 attendees. “People in the class said, ‘We want more,’ so we did a retreat in July (2014) – the first of its kind in Idaho,” Over said. The Idaho Panhandle Leadership Retreat, held on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, brought together more than 100 attendees from Bonner and

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Boundary county nonprofits for a day of networking, education and fellowship. “Feedback from the retreat was incredible. I heard ‘Let’s do it again,’ ” he said. Over also utilized the area’s natural amenity, Lake Pend Oreille, and loaded up attendees on four pontoon boats to help develop networking channels. “When you’re out on the lake for an hour and a half, you get to know one another.” Attendees worked on skill building, networking, economic development, board development (“probably our most popular class”), and many other important topics. “The biggest problem for local nonprofits is lack of education and support,” he said. “We need to impart more skills and opportunities for growth.” KRFY’s Prez attended the July nonprofit retreat and learned valuable information in some of the classes about topics such as underwriting. More than that, it was a chance to see and be seen. “To be there with all the nonprofits, it was an opportunity to say ‘Here’s KRFY.’ It’s the first time bringing all the nonprofits together; it was great.” The food bank’s Wallace attended one of Over’s programs in Coeur d’Alene and made some valuable connections. After hearing from one of the event’s speakers, a director at one of the local thrift stores, Wallace found herself inspired by new ideas and action points – and she was able to come back to Sandpoint and convey those thoughts to the board. “They just went with it,” Wallace said. “We have a good board.” Given the success of July’s retreat, Over is considering a two-day nonprofit retreat for 2015. “We want to demonstrate to our community and to Sandpoint, that there are a lot of people willing to give back. We’re also trying to role-model for others, because we all have things we can share.” 604 N. 5th Ave. Sandpoint

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Nell Shipman Productions, circa 1922 from left: Daddy Duffle, Dorothy Winslow, Bert Van Tuyle, Nell Shipman, Bobby Newhard, Cliff Maupin and Barry Shipman (kneeling). PHOTO COURTESY BONNER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Pictured in history

Nell Shipman at Lionhead Lodge


n the early days of Hollywood, Nell Shipman was a force to be reckoned with. She had launched her career as a silent-screen actress in her native Canada. By the early 1920s her star had risen in Hollywood, where in addition to acting she had also started producing, directing and writing screenplays. Drawn to the peaceful Northwest, she founded a studio, Nell Shipman Productions, in Spokane Valley’s Minnehaha Park. A nature lover at heart, Shipman preferred to shoot outdoors on location instead of within the studio. She found in northern Idaho the rugged scenery that suited her melodramatic adventure stories, in which plucky heroines triumphed over adversity in treacherous wilderness settings. In 1922 Shipman and her personal and professional partner, Bert Van Tuyle, packed up the company and headed to Priest Lake. Lloyd Peters, who at age 19 worked for Shipman as an actor/carpenter/jackof-all-trades, remembered the group’s arrival at Priest Lake. “In a little while a full moon came up,” he wrote in his memoir, “and I could see the lake was as smooth as glass. The little steamboat chugged along, passing beautiful islands and dreamy bays. We saw the

mountains on either side of the lake, and could pick out the jagged peaks in the moonlight. … Now I knew why Nell picked this land for her movie camp.” Shipman wrote in her autobiography: “Did you ever come to a place and instantly recognize it as … the one spot in all God’s world where you belonged, where your roots could go deep into soil which would forever nourish you, where inspiration and spiritual blessing welled up from the earth to top the tallest tamarack, spread to the encasing bowl of sky, (and) return on every waterway to feed you everlastingly? Such a spot, so it seemed to me, was Priest Lake, in Idaho.” The isolated population around Priest Lake must have wondered what hit them, not having encountered the likes of Nell Shipman before. Beautiful and brash, she flouted convention at every turn but was also reputed to be friendly and kindhearted to animals and people alike. Her company included Nell’s young son Barry, the crew and cameramen and cook, but also a vast menagerie of animals common and exotic, from bears and mountain lions to raccoons, beavers and sled dogs. The first priority upon arrival at Lionhead Lodge was to build appropriate pens for the animals. Eventually the property, at the north end of Priest Lake in the area WINTER 2015


now called Lionhead Campground, also held a main lodge and several smaller log cabins, outbuildings and docks. Several movies were made at Lionhead, including outdoor scenes in “The Grub Stake,” “Trail of the Northwind,” “The Light on Lookout” and “White Water.” Filming on location involved hiking over rough terrain with heavy camera equipment, costumes, props and animal cages. Over time, some crew members quit, fed up with the rough and isolated conditions. Financial problems forced the closure of Lionhead Lodge late in 1924, and the remaining animals were donated to the San Diego Zoo. Shipman and Van Tuyle went their separate ways. Shipman continued writing, but she never again returned to Priest Lake or starred in a movie. Still, her memory lives on. “Nell Shipman was an independent woman in a day that didn’t honor management ability in a female,” said Diane Newcomer of Clark Fork, who has researched Shipman for the Bonner County Historical Society. “We need to remember her struggles to see how far we have come, and how far we have to go.” In 1977 the site of Lionhead Lodge, now Priest Lake State Park, was renamed Shipman Point. Nell’s son Barry was present at the dedication. SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


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A sawmill revolution

High-tech wonders, they’re not your father’s sawmills



n another century, my dad and I worked swing shift one winter on opposite ends of a sawmill. I pushed raw logs out of the dark waters of the millpond and into the mill. He pulled “green” boards into orderly piles on the stacker. Between him and me was a clanging, banging, rattling, whining, unheated, crowded, dangerous construction of sheet metal, electric motors, drive belts, chain conveyors, whirling saws, hydraulic rams, galvanized roofing, I-beams, concrete and wood that would never pass safety inspection today. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was a new idea and “enviros” were getting traction in the woods. Sawmilling traditions of the first three-quarters of the century were fraying around the edges.




Bob Boeh, a 44-year timber industry veteran, walks through the Idaho Forest Group mill at Laclede. Inset: The A.C. White sawmill operated at Laclede from 1909 to 1922, when it burned. PHOTO COURTESY BONNER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


INDUSTRY The plant we worked in was specialized and newfangled. Boards that proceeded to the stacker were 2 inches thick by 4 inches wide by 8 feet, 3 inches long. Finished stacks were hauled via forklift to the dry kiln and ultimately to the planer, where each board was smoothed and trimmed to 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches by 8 feet, standard framing lumber of the day. Stuffed between my dad and me was an assortment of machines – cutoff saw, debarker, head-rig, slab edger, double resaw, gang saw, single resaw, trim saws – connected to each other by open conveyors moving ever-reducing-sized pieces of wood – very quickly – toward the stacker. On the periphery was a new device called a “chipper” and a huge tepee burner, receiving as much as 30 percent of what went into the mill. Two of us worked the millpond. One sorted logs – dumped en masse into the pond by a Cat loader – into an orderly row and pulled them toward the other, who used a pike pole to lever logs onto a conveyor chain that dragged them to

IFG Forester Doug Bradetich says they use 100 percent of the timber that comes into the mills

the cutoff saw. We took turns. The first was hard, somewhat hazardous work – I managed to fall into the pond my first night – and the second was boring and uncomfortable. The burner stood like a lighthouse 150 feet off the starboard beam of a man pushing logs into the mill. In winter, one corner cooked while the other froze over. I did not stay on the millpond long enough to find out what summer might be like.

Craft is the new Green

Four decades later Today, no burners spew sparks into the night. The Environmental Protection Act closed the door on that, but it was as much about economics as it was environment. Fiber became valuable enough to view as something other than waste. “We use 100 percent of whatever comes in,” Idaho Forest Group (IFG) forester Doug Bradetich tells me as

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Wood industry proves money grows on trees Whoever says, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” isn’t in the tree business. Besides lumber, we depend on wood for an incredible array of things. Ken Tucker, CEO of Kootenai-based Lignetics, a company turning “waste” into products marketed nationwide, ticks off a list: “Toilet paper. Paper towels. Kleenex. Newsprint.” Add Wood Pellet Fuel and Pres-to-Logs that Lignetics manufactures and the list gets longer. “We started our company to fill a need in the Silver Valley mining industry,” Tucker said, “but when we opened the plant in 1980, Bunker Hill closed, and we had to look elsewhere for a market.” Lignetics – which now also has two plants in the East – found their market in the demand to replace coal as industrial and commercial fuel. When the pellet stove came out in 1984, they were the first company to package pellets in 40-pound bags. They also acquired the Pres-to-Log name in 1994, and began making the iconic fire logs. Lignetics is one of many value-added wood businesses around Sandpoint. Next-door neighbor Alpine Cedar – owned by Ernie Brandt – has 40 employees and sells cedar grilling planks around the world, manufactured primarily from local boards. “Cedar is what we do mostly,” said Taylor Bradish, who has a variety of jobs at Alpine, including material acquisition. “Ninety percent of our Western red cedar comes from local sources – companies like Idaho Forest Group and manufacturers like Timberland Wood Products in Bonners Ferry.” Bradish is also pleased to point out that Alpine employees make more than the

we walk across the log yard at IFG’s Laclede mill, a state-of-the-art plant cutting all local species to many specifications. He points to a pile of bark shed from logs as they are sorted into species-specific piles. “A loader uses a log to ‘sweep up.’ The piles go to our ‘hog fuel’ burner, which makes steam for the dry-kiln.” In some ways, a beginning of keeping the yard clean is also the end of the story of how sawmills have changed in the past century. The efficiencies

average local wage. Bob Deck doesn’t have employees, but his Shingle Mill Moulding is part of the value-added curve in Bonner County. “I design and make rustic interiors, floorings, doors, mouldings, stair parts. I try to work with local or reclaimed woods.” Shingle Mill has been in business for 23 years and does large custom projects, one at a time. Deck gets his favorite wood from a small, local mill owned by longtime logger Larry Neu. It might be a surprise to some, but wood products are still the largest economic driver here. A 2010 study by the Journal of Extension showed timber contributing 35 percent of $2.9 billion of economic output in the northern region of Idaho, and 20 percent of the jobs. Perhaps more telling are multipliers associated with these figures. Timber production’s output multiplier is 2.25. Every dollar sold to final demand of timber generates an additional $1.25 of sales in other sectors of the economy. The employment multiplier is 2.36. For every job directly related to timber, 1.36 jobs are generated indirectly. A good example of this is Lignetics’ use of contract truckers to bring materials to and ship product from the Sandpoint plant, on top of its $1.7 million payroll. In addition, Lignetics pays about $3 million annually for raw materials. By contrast, lodging and food has a sales multiplier of 1.83, and an employment multiplier of 1.17. So money does grow on trees, after all – or at least in them. –Sandy Compton

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INDUSTRY achieved – particularly in the past 40 years – are remarkable.

A model of safety The biggest revolution of the 20th century in the mill itself is arguably moving from steam-driven machines to electric. This made mills safer by reducing chances of being scalded or killed by a boiler explosion or burst steam pipe. But a sawmiller with all his fingers was very lucky, very careful, or hadn’t worked in mills very long. Today, employee safety is top priority. We donned hard hats, safety glasses, an orange vest each and screwed foam earplugs in for the tour. “Concern for employee safety is the biggest change I’ve seen in our industry,” Bradetich told me. “Years ago, if someone noticed a hazard – or got hurt – the problem got solved at the end of the shift – or at the end of the week. Today, if someone – anyone – sees a safety problem, we shut

down and solve it now.”

That’s billion, with a ‘b’ IFG operates five mills arrayed down the Idaho Panhandle – Moyie Springs, Laclede, Chilco, Grangeville and Lewiston. The company is the result of a merger of Bennett Forest Industries with Riley Creek Lumber, which Chairman Marc Brinkmeyer, President Scott Atkison and partners used as the kernel from which to build IFG. Bob Boeh, vice president of governmental affairs for IFG, has worked 44 years in the industry. He began with Riley Creek in 1997, came to IFG with the merger, and became vice president of resource procurement for all IFG mills. Now, he says, “My job isn’t as results oriented as the other, but still one that needs doing.” Boeh is a tireless advocate for the industry, seeing it as a sustainable and vital part of the economy for years to

‘A Glorious Field for Sawmills’ New book chronicles Humbird Lumber Company, 1900-1948 “Oh! beautiful grove of large cedar – then Hemlock … Pine … then Tamarack again – nice for ties. What a glorious field here for saw mills.” (W. Milnor Roberts, Northern Pacific Railroad Survey, Lake Pend Oreille, July 1869) Sandpoint, Idaho, and Humbird Lumber Company grew up together, their stories intertwined like the roots of a towering cedar. Gone for nearly 85 years, the company still lingers in the collective memory of the many local families that can claim an ancestor (or several) who worked there. Now a new book chronicles this important chapter in local history. “A Glorious Field for Sawmills: Humbird Lumber Company, 1900-1948” traces the story of Humbird Lumber Company from the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad (which facilitated shipment of finished lumber to faraway markets); through the 1881 Wisconsin lumber partnership between John Humbird and Frederick Weyerhaeuser; the establishment of the Sandpoint company by son T.J. Humbird in 1900; Humbird’s contributions to the community, from banks and bungalows to bunkhouses and baseball; and finally its closure during the Great Depression. Along the way there were 66


fires, a strike, two World Wars, good years and lean years. The story concludes with the disposal of various Humbird structures, and what traces remain today. “The origins of this book stretch back 15 years,” said author Nancy Renk, a professional historian. “It started in 1998 when Virginia Humbird Dickey, daughter of John and Hedvig Humbird, offered to donate her father’s collection of photographs and writings to the Bonner County Historical Society Museum. She lived in Medford, Oregon, and wanted someone to pick up the collection in person.” Through the effort of Tom Sandberg, archaeologist for the Sandpoint District, Idaho Panhandle National Forests, the Forest Service funded Renk to travel to Oregon to interview Virginia Dickey and transport her collection back to Sandpoint. “I soon became hooked on the history of Humbird Lumber Company,” Renk said, “and Mrs. Dickey’s collection provided the foundation for my subsequent research.” In 2005 Renk visited the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul to study the business records of Humbird Lumber Company, as well as many Weyerhaeuser family papers. WINTER 2015

“And then there’s the Northern Pacific collection, which I hardly scratched,” she said. “I’d love an excuse to return.” Funding for the book project was provided by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), through a contract with SWCA Environmental Consultants, as part of the Sand Creek Byway Project’s program to mitigate adverse effects to cultural resources. “A Glorious Field for Sawmills,” filled with historical photographs, maps, and documents, may be purchased at the Bonner County Historical Museum, Vanderford’s, Common Knowledge Bookstore, The Corner Bookstore, Bonners Books, and other local retailers. –Jennifer Lamont Leo


come. “The capital investment we’ve made over time is our commitment to the future. We’ve built efficient, worldclass mills, and we hope to attract young employees to work in them. We have an aging work force, and we’re looking for quality people to work in a vibrant industry using modern techniques. There’s a future for people who go into this business.” When Boeh filled me in on employee numbers and production at IFG mills, I had to ask him to repeat himself. “Excuse me,” I asked, “billion, with a ‘b?’ ” He laughed, “Yes, billion, with a ‘b.’ ” With 850 employees, IFG produces 1 billion board feet of lumber annually. That’s 548,000 board feet per mill, per day, seven days a week. Let’s put that another way: 1.176 million board feet per employee, from mill to office worker. The most productive mill, Chilco, cuts everything from 2-by-4s to 2-by12s, and makes about 30 percent of IFG production. It’s also a model modern sawmill. A recently installed yard crane, visible as any tepee burner, has an overall reach of 12 acres and feeds

truckloads of debarked logs into the stacked conveyors bringing logs to two “head-rigs.” Logs cut to length by computerized cutoff saws are sorted by diameter. Big logs go left. Smaller logs go right. And let the fun begin.

The sawmill ‘knows’ Sawmills are fascinating to watch at work, at least for me. They are still jam-packed with an amazing variety of machines, conveyors and motors, still noisy, still even smell the same, but they aren’t my father’s sawmill. The present-day mill is part of a larger process, centerpiece of an ondemand system with foresters, trees and loggers on one end and markets and transportation on the other. It is a pull system. “Our sawmill ‘knows’ what to make,” said Bradetich. “If we have an order for 45 by 75 cm by 5 meter Doug fir for the Japanese market, every phase of production knows, clear out into the yard. We concentrate on milling Doug fir of a certain quality until that order is filled.” Other species and specs may be in the mill at the same time, but the entire mill – machines and humans included WINTER 2015

Machinery and workers at Laclede work seamlessly in an on-demand system to fulfill orders. Quality-control Manager Steve Spletstoser visits with Forester Doug Bradetich, center

– is “looking” for appropriate logs to make into certain-sized lumber to fill a specific market demand. How does it know? Steve Spletstoser, quality-control manager at Laclede, credits what he sees as the biggest change in sawmills in his 34 years on the job. “Computer technology. We follow timber from the woods to the store. Each piece, in one way or another, is scanned 50 to 60 times. Not only do we know what we’re making, we know what quality we are making.” “We used to make as much lumber as we could,” said eight-year employee Aaron Sands, “but we’ve slowed down to make the best lumber we can.” Sands is an optimizer technician who keeps an eye on several machines from a monitor-filled booth in the heart of the mill. “We make appearance-grade lumber. The guy who goes to Home Depot to buy a couple of 2-by-6s for a Saturday project isn’t going home with a board with wane or a twist. And the Japanese SANDPOINT MAGAZINE



are all about quality. They want pretty boards.”

Making pretty boards At Laclede, logs are debarked, go to the cutoff saw and are cut to optimal length. Then, they go through a metal detector. If metal is found, the log is kicked into a bin to be humaninspected. If possible, the offending chunk is removed without ruining marketable boards hidden within, and the log returns to the production line. If not possible, the metal is removed and the remains are fed to the chipper. “About 30 percent of our wood goes to the chipper,” said Bradetich, “to be used in paper or chipboard, depending on species. Chips might go to Pend Oreille Newsprint or to Millwood, near Spokane. Shavings from the planer go to chipboard. Sawdust might go to particle board or to Lignetics (in Kootenai) to be turned into pellets.” All that might have gone to the burner



in the old days is a resource today. In modern mills, whether it’s IFG or Stimson, which has a mill at Priest River and a very high-tech small log mill at Plummer, scanning technology sends the next machine in line a computerized model of whatever piece of wood is headed its way, whether it’s a whole log, a slab from the first pass through the head-rig, or the cant resulting from cutting the slabs off. The head-rig “sees” a log and decides not only how thick a cant to make of it, but which way to hold it in relation to any sweep it might have, a decision that had to be made again and again by head-rig operators of old. Slab edgers “see” the board in each slab and cut it accordingly. In a climate-controlled booth, operators work in comfort and relative quiet, although one can still feel logs moving through the mill. Joe Boyle keeps an eye on the head-rig and the Optimil, a relatively new and remarkable machine. “What I do,” Boyle said, “is watch for a train wreck. If something goes wrong, I


Optimizer Technician Aaron Sands, left, helps ensure Laclede’s mill makes appearance-grade lumber. One of few women in production, June Ferguson works in packaging, above

shut everything down before real damage is done.” Boyle has been at the Laclede mill for 37 years. Even so, to him the Optimil is amazing. This gang saw – it can cut multiple boards at a time – “looks” at a cant and not only determines the number of boards to be cut out of it, but maximizes yield by following the curvature of the log. It actually cuts boards that are arched, or even subtly S-shaped by adjusting saw angle as the cant proceeds through the saw. “By following the grain through a cant, we increase yield and the strength of the board,” said Bradetich. “We stack ‘bent’ boards, weigh them down to straighten them and dry ’em in the kiln. They come out better, straighter boards.” Pieces that a few years ago would have gone to the chipper, now go to Lowe’s. As the mill has become increasingly more efficient, so have timber operations and the kiln and planer. “On the land,” Boeh said, “it’s become more mechanized, safer and more productive. We log more selectively, and we utilize everything.” Which brings to mind that pile of bark out in the yard headed for the hog fuel burner. Laclede – or any modern mill – is not my father’s sawmill, but, like his son, he would find it fascinating.

Civilization Is Nearby.




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Friends, visitors and neighbors have experienced the magic of Sandpoint’s War Memorial Field for decades. From the stands of Barlow Stadium, we’ve celebrated our Bulldog teams and graduates, cheered our world class entertainment, and honored our veterans. Today, more than 70 years since the stands were first opened, it’s time to reimagine our legacy and rebuild for the future.

Seating capacity

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Loss of Coldwater Creek reverberates in economy


hat happens when one of a town’s biggest and best employers goes out of business? With the loss earlier this year of giant women’s apparel retailer Coldwater Creek (CWC), Sandpoint is in the process of finding that out. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, by September Coldwater Creek had ceased business, sold its assets, and laid off virtually all its 339 local employees. It did not come as a total surprise. The past two years the community had watched with grim foreboding as Coldwater’s stock prices inexorably degraded to less than a dollar. For the town, the loss of all those jobs will reverberate for some time to come. Alivia Metts, analyst for Idaho Department of Labor, said the job loss represents close to $33 million in annual payroll – but the economic impact is actually bigger. Statistically, another 359 jobs are lost indirectly, or another $10 million, in the “secondary sectors” such as professional services, retail and restaurants. Although it is still early to assess the closure’s impact in hard figures, Metts said Coldwater’s closing is expected to raise local unemployment about two points,

Jennifer Pratt stayed in Sandpoint after being laid off from Coldwater Creek, opening a mobile flower market, Fresh Sunshine

from 6.5 to 8.5 percent. Moreover, the lost jobs were good ones. Although $32,000 is Bonner County’s average wage, 60 percent – more than 200 – of Coldwater Creek employees made more than $50,000, with 20 percent likely making more than $100,000. Coldwater Creek’s closing has certainly been felt in the schools. Lake Pend Oreille School District enrolled 86 fewer students to start

the 2014-15 school year, said district CFO Lisa Hals, who attributed 80 percent of the drop to CWC families who moved away. Hals estimated the district will lose about $400,000 in state funds this year due to the enrollment drop. The Creek and its individual employees have also been major supporters through volunteering and donations to nonprofit organizations. There’s no formal estimate,


In the Creek’s wake, a wave of entrepreneurs Dozens of former Coldwater Creek employees have moved on to other companies around the country, but many of these creative and resourceful individuals are restarting with business plans they hope will enable them to stay in Sandpoint - and they’ve set off an entrepreneurial wave here. Jennifer Pratt, 34, was a longtime Coldwater Creek employee who worked for the

company in Oklahoma City and Chicago before taking the position of visual manager of windows and store presentation in the Sandpoint home office in 2004. Pratt saw many of her friends move across the country for new jobs – Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Portland, Madison, San Francisco – but she decided to stay. “The closure forced me to make a decision about what I thought was most important in WINTER 2015

my life. Did I want to continue to focus on my career and move away and work for another company, or did I want to stay in Sandpoint and try something new with my life? I chose Sandpoint,” she said. Pratt has opened a mobile flower market called Fresh Sunshine, and her delivery truck named Mabel (shown in the photo above) is a standout for its colorful flowers on a white SANDPOINT MAGAZINE




What about the housing rental market? Ned Brandenberger of Sandpoint Property Management said in the past when CWC laid off people, they saw a downturn in applications. “We see 35 percent fewer applications in 2014 than in 2013. One could attribute that to the closing of Coldwater Creek. Even so, the rental market is still strong,” he said. One factor in the town’s favor: Bonner County has had significant job creation in the past five years just as the nation has slowly rebounded from the Great Recession. While Idaho lost 26 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010, manufacturing jobs in Bonner County rose 27 percent. “Time will tell, but I think things are better than many thought they would be after a significant blow such as Coldwater’s shutdown,” Haynes said.

but anecdotally hundreds of annual volunteer hours and many thousands of dollars in corporate support are gone. Robin Hanson, a former Coldwater Creek employee who worked in store operations, said many employees here came from other parts of the country. In the retail industry, positions are transferrable, and she knows many former employees who were able to find jobs quickly around the country. Those determined to stay have had a harder time, but Hanson said, “Fortunately, our community has been able to provide jobs to many of those who want to stay in the area.” Despite the flood of workers released to compete for local jobs – Hanson said one job she applied for at the charter school had 80 applicants – Hanson got a job with Bonner General Health. The impact to the real estate market

is still unclear. Jim Haynes, president of the Selkirk Association of Realtors, said: “Looking at home sales based on a time period before the shutdown and afterwards, one could conclude that prices are down, but the number of houses sold in Bonner County is up. This could be the result of more (CWC) homes hitting the market and selling under their value, but statistically I’m not so sure. … Despite (CWC) closing, our market and local economy are still good. Maybe it’s the timing, as the shutdown happened going into our prime real estate season.” Other evidence is anecdotal. John Moody, a longtime local veterinarian, lost at least two clients who left the area. Seth Samuels, formerly in business intelligence for Coldwater, said goodbye to at least seven friends who left for Boise, Seattle, Spokane, Florida and Texas.

background. When she parks Mabel at the Granary District downtown, it is hard to miss. Mike Peck was on the application development team at CWC for 10 years; colleague Matt Williams was head of e-commerce. The two joined to launch an ambitious new business – Makerpoint Studios, a workshop co-op at 1424 N. Boyer. With 3,200 square feet, they have a full wood shop with upholstery capabilities, a full metal fabrication shop for building custom metal products, and the latest in 3-D software. They’re riding a trend in “makerspaces,” which provide shared equipment and education for individuals to design and create manufactured works they would not otherwise have the resources to produce. Find out more at Jacob Styer, 36, joined the team at Williams & Parsons, PC as staff accountant after more than 10 years as tax manager at Coldwater Creek. He and Brad Williams are both bicycling enthusiasts, so they had a connection. “While there are a lot of people leaving town, I have been very pleasantly surprised with the amount of talent that has either found work here or (has branched) out into their own new ventures,” Styer said. Kayo Hayashi and partner Kevin Knight opened Industry Coffee in the giant coffee cup on North Boyer after Hayashi’s nine-year stint with Coldwater as a graphic designer. Hayashi

assurance and finally in advertising. Longden had wanted to pursue the coffee business is now employed as manager of Pend Oreille anyway, so the timing was right to start. Pet Lodge but has launched a business called Andrew Sorg, 37, a 14-year Creeker, was Boomer’s Barley Biscuits, using spent barley working as a senior web analyst. “My experifrom MickDuff’s Brewery. Longden’s German ences since the closure give me perspective on shepherd mix is her muse, she said. Boomer’s what many people in North Idaho are going Barley Biscuits may be purchased at Carter through,” he said. “It feels like I am starting Country or at at square one again. … The big problem is Robin Hanson, 39, was controls coordinator that much of our workforce was specialized in for store operations. She has a large family women’s retail, and there is no other company like that here.” He’s turned to politics, as a can- in Sandpoint. Her mother and aunt and uncle have downtown Sandpoint businesses on both didate for the state House of Representatives. sides of CWC’s now empty retail store – and Tina Ward, 41, loved her job as senior she’s happily taken a job just down the street, merchant for non-apparel at Coldwater Creek, having worked for the company 20 years. Tina, with husband Markus, is rolling her merchandising skills into their own venture; they purchased the downtown kitchen store, Fritz’s Frypan, and have renamed it Weekends and Company. Jenn Markwardt, 30, moved to Sandpoint with husband Kenny from Santa Barbara, Calif., two years ago and opened CrossFit Sandpoint before she took a job at the Creek as creative manager for factory stores and spas. She’s since started Boxed Real Food, 100 percent paleo-friendly lunches and dinners delivered twice a week. Check her venture at Brittany Longden, 34, worked at Coldwater Tina Ward bought Fritz’s Frypan and renamed the downtown kitchen store Weekends and Company Creek fully half her life - a 17-year veteran, she worked in merchandising, buying, quality




Digital talent invigorates Rush-on, Kochava


ittle-known Sandpoint fact: We’re an official Google eCity. Last year, Sandpoint won Google’s designation as Idaho’s strongest community of online businesses, based on AdWords penetration relative to population and business scoring criteria. Each state had one eCity named. Coldwater Creek contributed significantly to Sandpoint’s award. In the 1990s it brought in a fiber optic cable to its Ponderay campus, hired tech-savvy urbanites and, now with its demise, has funneled former employees into local high-tech startups. Two companies benefiting from the CWC legacy are start-ups Kochava and Rush-On. Kochava was originally PlayXpert,

in community development at Bonner General Health. Six other “Creekers” were also hired at the hospital. “BGH is growing in many directions, and my new job encompasses more of my skills set as well as my experience with nonprofits, and my interest in being involved in our community,” Hanson said. Brooke Deccio, who worked in merchandising with Coldwater Creek, has started Azalea Handpicked Style, a women’s consignment store. She sells some of her clothes each Friday inside Botanica behind LaQuinta, as well as at Foster’s Crossing. She also sells through Facebook and hopes to have a space downtown soon. Amie Wolf, 39, was working as a proofreader and copywriter when she was released in April. “I didn’t know how I was going to make the same kind of living in such a small town, knowing relocation was not an option for me,” Wolf said, “but fortunately I had extra help from my exhusband while I figured out the next step. “One has to be creative to make a living in a small resort town with few career opportunities ... learning of all the new businesses that have popped up since the closure of CWC inspired me to start my own business,” Wolf said. Her new venture is a mobile restaurant. Look for it at the Oak Street Food Court in April 2015.

a gaming company that started up in Sandpoint in the mid 2000s. Founders Charles and Kimberly Manning left Washington, D.C., to live a “better, outdoor life” in a town where they could walk to work. PlayXpert was an in-game overlay technology platform for PC games, but when new opportunities arose with mobile devices it morphed into Kochava, with a product that lets companies track advertisements that lead users to download their apps onto smart phones. Customers include Disney, Netflix, Yahoo and CBS. When Coldwater folded, Kochava hired nine of its top people. One of those is Seth Samuels, 42, who moved to Sandpoint about nine years ago, working as its deputy vice president of business intelligence. His last day at Coldwater was in September, but neither he nor wife, Kathi, considered moving elsewhere. He is excited about his future here. “The timing could not have worked out better,” he said. “I consider the move to Kochava a lateral move, but the opportunity here has so much more potential due to the severe growth that Kochava has been experiencing.” Also propelled into launch mode is WINTER 2015

Rush-On CEO Devin Dufenhorst, center, propelled his start-up with talent from Coldwater Creek, Kara Berlin, left, and Carlo Pati

Rush-On, a web-based venture that CEO Devin Dufenhorst calls “the ultimate adventure marketplace,” where sport enthusiasts connect to adventures offered by companies around the country. Dufenhorst, a native Idahoan, worked in pharmaceuticals for most of his professional life but with Rush-On he is following his passions – which include ski jumper, helicopter skier, and other adventure sports. As did Manning, Dufenhorst harvested talent from Coldwater Creek. He hired a pair of Creekers, including Carlo Pati, 49, a web developer at Coldwater Creek, and Kara Berlin, 23, a marketing coordinator at Coldwater. Pati sees nothing but blue sky at his new job. “I consider my position as a move up in my career as I have a greater responsibility and a greater stake in the business,” he said. And Dufenhorst was able to raise capital because he hired Pati: “His panache brought us money,” said Dufenhorst. Check it at SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


From A-Z, you can find it in Sandpoint’s B.I.D.

Sandpoint’S Bid haS Some really cool Stuff – retail, reStaurantS, lodging, artS and entertainment, healthcare, profeSSional ServiceS, educational opportunitieS and So much more.

Sandpoint Business Improvement District (BID) Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce | PO Box 928 | Sandpoint, ID 83864 | (208) 263-2161, ext. 205


A photographic odyssey Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail keeps Kirk Miller from photographing Lake Pend Oreille’s every sunrise



his past Aug. 10 was a bittersweet day for Kirk Miller. It was the fouryear anniversary of his layoff from Quest Aircraft Company as well as the beginning of his odyssey to photograph the sunrise on Lake Pend Oreille every morning. In all this time, despite the weather, illness or anything else going on in his life, he hasn’t missed a day. He missed one sunrise because of a job interview in Oregon, but he got back to Sandpoint in time to photograph the sunset. “If you can’t tell by my work, I’m certainly in love with this lake. It started in 1989 when I drove across the Long Bridge. Everyone’s got that story. For the first five years that I was here – I was raised on the beach in California – whenever I needed to ground myself or I had a problem, I would go to the beach and listen to the waves. I get my inner peace from the water,” Miller said. Miller, 60, studied art in high school and used to be a painter. He went to the lake that day in 2010 for solace and to gather material for painting, but he got hung up on the camera instead.

His 3,000-plus friends on Facebook are happy he did. Since posting his first photo, back when he had 50 friends, the response has been tremendous. Friends of friends can see the images he posts, and some garner more than 1,000 likes. Somewhere along the way, he started writing, even though he says writing is like pulling teeth for him. “I just sit down and draw something out every day. It’s not good writing. It’s just off the cuff, whatever I’m thinking. When I’m upbeat … I get much more response than WINTER 2015

when I’m ranting,” Miller said. “That’s a good lesson learned.” He finds it rewarding when Facebook friends from out of town, whom he doesn’t know personally, come to Sandpoint to meet him, such as some people from Ohio last summer who had come west to visit Glacier National Park. “And then my granddaughters (in Indiana) read it, and that’s really special to me,” he said. He is passing family lessons on to relatives spread all over the country. Photographing the lake every morning has also become a duty.

For four years running, Kirk Miller photographs sunrise on Lake Pend Oreille and shares an image on Facebook daily. Top: Taken Dec. 21, 2010, at 7:24 a.m., from Hawkins Point in the Sunnyside area. PORTRAIT ABOVE BY MARIE-DOMINIQUE VERDIER




“Now it’s more a responsibility to all those people waiting for my shot … all those people who write me and say, first thing in the morning I look at your shot and have my coffee. It’s like the Today show,” Miller said. “If I’m not feeling good, and I just want to crawl back into bed, those people get me out.” His work has progressed over the years, and he says he’s not as “bold and brassy” as he used to be. He used to push the limits, but now he’s more into working within the boundaries of his digital camera’s program to achieve more natural colors. He has also learned a lot about light. He may have to return 20 or 30 different days to one location because the light just wasn’t right. “I just save them. I’ve still got 50 places out there that I have saved that the light hasn’t been right yet. It’s all about light,” he said. To capture that light, Miller is out by 3 a.m. in the summertime and by 6 a.m. in the wintertime and spends about an hour shooting. “There’s sunrise and there’s also pre-sunrise. There’s actually a blue period and a gold period when the sun’s at a certain azimuth,” he said. “Depending on the day and the clouds between you and the sun depends on when the colors will come. It can come up to an hour before the sun comes over the mountains, or it can come in five minutes.” In summer, he shoots often at City Beach or from the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail. In winter, he often drives to Sunnyside, Ponder Point, Hope or as far as Clark Fork, because the sun comes 76


up south of the Cabinet Mountains. If it’s overcast, he drives up to Schweitzer. He says he can get a good shot no matter the weather. Because the sun moves with the seasons, he can capture different feelings from the same spot depending on the time of the year. Miller takes on average 25 to 100 shots per morning and invests at least four hours a day to capture and edit the image he posts. His wife, Natalie, works at Eichardt’s and is supportive of his work. In the winter months, if she is up, she will go through photos with him and debate about which one to post. How long can he keep this photographic project up? Some days he feels burned out; it can be a drag. In winter, when he is bundled up at the edge of the lake for an hour and the wind’s blowing, “It becomes a lesson in insanity. I get back in the car and I can’t feel my fingers. You wonder why you do it, but you get the shot,” he said. “No one’s out there when I am. I’m the only crazy one that’s out there every day.” He has some sweet spots though. Sunnyside, for example, between Fisherman’s Island and Hawkins Point, probably has 20 places where he can pull up close to the water and take a photo from the window. He said it was harder last winter because of the drawdown. “I’m really against the drawdown,” he said. He finds himself having to walk out on the mud flats to reach a shooting location. At some point, people started inquiring about buying his work. He WINTER 2015

Kirk Miller may photograph the sunrise every day, but he also captures rare sky events, such as the northern lights: Aug. 27, 2104, at 2:42 a.m. from the jetty at City Beach, above. Opposite, first row: April 6, 2014 at 5:54 a.m. and June 6, 2013, at 4:42 a.m., both Sandpoint City Beach; second row, July 12, 2014, at 4:35 a.m., Sunnyside, and Sept. 21, 2014, at 6:42 a.m., Schweitzer Mountain Road; third row, Sept. 17, 2014 at 6:15 a.m., Sandpoint City Beach and Aug. 27, 2012, at 6:18 a.m., Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail; fourth row, June 26, 2014, at 4:48 a.m., Sandpoint City Beach and Feb. 8. 2012, at 7 a.m. from Ponder Point

now publishes choice shots for sale at, such as two from Aug. 27, 2014, of the northern lights (see above). He also has pieces for sale at Earth Rhythms in Ponderay and Toad Alley in Sandpoint. He sells his work to commercial accounts, too, and for now photography is sustaining him. He knew early on that painting wouldn’t support him and his family, so instead he was a workaholic owner of a roofing company and a developer, among other careers, for nearly 40 years. Today, he finds satisfaction in being able to express his artistic self where the subject is a lake that he loves. “It’s been love at first sight. This is my place in the universe,” Miller said. “I’ve traveled all over the world, and this is where I want to be.” See more of Kirk Miller’s work at www. or kirk.miller.754





Winter Dance






[Stupid Stuff To Do] BY SANDY COMPTON

winter dance the SSTD

Eric Grace, left, and Andrew Klaus near the summit of Scotchman Peak May 4, 2013, as part of a Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness hike. Inset: A bunch of crazies whoop it up on a gourmet hike on Star Peak Trail in the Scotchman Peaks area March 8, 2014. PHOTOS BY JIM MELLEN


ach year, in late winter, Jim and Sandii Mellen and an assemblage of friends strap on snowshoes and climb Scotchman Peak, Bonner County’s highest. Some might consider this the first hike of the season, but for the Mellens, it

is the last.

This Scotchman jaunt is the final of a series of annual winter incursions into the West Cabinets led by Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness volunteers. These winter hikes range from a few moderate miles for a seventh-grade science project, to Eric and Celeste Grace’s Gourmet Hike ’n’ Ski, a costumed affair with hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages, to daylong trudges to gnarly spots in search of wolverines. “It’s always fun,” said Jim Mellen, “just sometimes more fun than others.” It takes a special hardiness to haul 30 pounds of bait, camera and gear necessary to survive and set up a wolverine watch station 12 miles across snow and ice and call it fun, but Mellen and “the Jakes” – fellow adventur-

ers Jacob Styer and Jake Ostman – consider it so. Of course, these guys also keep an Excel spreadsheet entitled “SSTD list,” which stands for “Stupid, uh, Stuff To Do.” Not all things to do in winter around Sandpoint are stupid. “Many of our hikes allow snowshoers and cross-country skiers to enjoy winter without going to extremes,” said FSPW Executive Director Phil Hough, “and enjoy the special quiet scenes the season has to offer.” Our neighborhood, which has an abundance of winter, also has an abundance of things to keep an outdoor person outdoors, entertained and exercised, and not all are about adrenaline, endorphins and endurance.

You don’t have to climb to 7,000 feet to have fun Low-elevation cross-country skiing and snowshoeing offer recreation to a huge, intergenerational demographic. These sports can be done by nearly anyone and only take a few hours to learn. Both have overlapping and numerous venues. Along the shore north of Sandpoint is Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail, which is often too boot- and paw-packed to ski on, but the winter level of Lake Pend Oreille provides a swath of skiing along the gently sloping shore. Similar opportunities await at Third Avenue Pier in south Sandpoint and other places along the lake. Access is sometimes tricky – be careful not to trespass – but below summer high water line is public property. Round Lake and Farragut state parks have well-developed snowshoe and ski trails. Round Lake manager Chuck Gross said: “Round Lake’s Trapper’s Trail, closest to the lake, is more suitable for boots than skis or snowshoes, but the Stewardship Trail, which runs outside Trapper’s, is a great ski and snow-

winter dance the SSTD

shoe trail. You can either make a 5-kilometer loop or go 10 to 15k on the back side of the lake.” Farragut uses a groomer to create a 10-kilometer loop with several alternative returns. “This creates 20k of groomed trail,” Gross said, “with lots of little hills and downhill runs.” Tauber Angus Farms on Gold Creek, as well as Western Pleasure Ranch just up the hill, also offer groomed ski trails. Between the two areas, there are more than 20k of groomed trails on varying terrain from flat to rolling hills, some with track set, and much of it available for skate skiing. Tauber offers equipment rentals for use on their farm and at Western Pleasure, as well as day passes and season passes. Kids 6 and under ski free at Tauber Angus Farms. If you’re feeling a bit sedentary after a hard morning of skiing, Western Pleasure offers the nostalgic pleasure of sleigh rides throughout the winter.

Higher may be better Donna Parrish is a cross-country skier who confesses that she doesn’t ski as much as she would like, but when she does, she heads for the groomed trails at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Of the 32 kilometers of groomed trails at Schweitzer – all above 4,000 feet – 22 generally have track set for classic cross-country and still offer plenty of room for skate skiers to get their endorphin levels up. Parrish is not a skate skier. “My favorite is Cloud Walker,” she said, “which is sometimes a challenge to 80


get to, but once I’m there, I love it.” What Parrish most loves about skiing is “being out there alone,” a grand benefit of any winter recreation.

Making (big) tracks Jon Hagadone’s favorite winter activity is a walk out of his back yard on snowshoes. “It’s quiet, it’s good for you and it’s easy to find somewhere to go,” Hagadone said. Around Sandpoint, every level of snowshoe exercise and expertise is available, from a flat, riverside walk at Ginter Wildlife Management Area along Pack River to a heart-pounding pump up the fall line to Star Peak lookout just across the state line in Montana. All of Schweitzer’s Nordic trails are also open to snowshoes, and a snowshoe-only trail runs through Hermit’s Hollow before hooking into Overland for a walk out to Picnic Point. If you wonder where to go beside the ones mentioned, a National Forest map will give you plenty of ideas. For the chance to experience the hushed and beautiful difference of winter, snowshoeing offers that more than any other single activity.

Roads less traveled The mountains around Sandpoint have hundreds of miles of Forest Service and Idaho Department of Lands roads to ski and snowshoe on, some of which are groomed regularly for snowmobiles – notably the Trestle/Lightning Creek road complex in the West Cabinets and miles of trails on the east side of Priest Lake in the Selkirks. These routes work WINTER 2015

wonderfully for skiing with a couple of fresh inches of snow on top of the grooming. To reduce the chance of being disturbed by motors, remember that midweek motorized recreation is minimal in many places. It’s a live-andlet-live experience. Also, snowmobilecompacted routes can be a great place to ride your bike.

Umm. Bike? Fatbikes are coming on strong in both private and resort use. “Brian Anderson of Greasy Fingers bike shop brought the first ones to Sandpoint, and we began a snow bike program two seasons ago,” said Kirk Johnson, manager of The Source at Schweitzer. “It’s getting more popular all the time.” In addition to traditional snow gear, Schweitzer rents snow bikes for rides on their groomed Nordic trails. Tires on these specially designed machines are 3 to 5 inches wide, and tire pressures are super low, 6 to 9 pounds per square inch. “These perform great with 2 or 3 inches of fresh on firm groomers,” Johnson said. Depending on conditions, fatbikes may be confined to certain trails at Schweitzer to avoid rutting, which is hard on cross-country skiers and skate skiers, alike. “But there is always a trail open for bike use,” Johnson said.

Skating depends on weather Good ice-skating is rare around Sandpoint, but when it is good, it is very, very good. A stretch of calm, cold weather can put a glaze on the Pend

winter dance the SSTD Clockwise from far left: Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness volunteers cross-country ski up Grouse Creek Road to set up a bait site for the mustelid study in 2013. PHOTO BY SANDII MELLEN Brian Anderson and Ammi Midstokke explore the backroads of the Ginter Wildlife Management Area on their fatbikes. Made specifically for the snow, fatbikes are experiencing monumental growth. PHOTO BY ALAN LEMIRE Lily Waldrup ice skates on Pend Oreille off Third Avenue Pier. WOODS WHEATCROFT A skijoring team starts a run through a course of gates and jumps at Bonner County Fairgrounds. PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL

Oreille River and other local water bodies to die for. But not literally. Always be careful on the ice. It takes from several days to a week of temps in the teens or lower to build a layer that will safely hold skaters. But, when it’s ready, the river accessible from Third Avenue Pier, the boat launch at Lakeview Park and Condo Del Sol can be an ice dancer’s delight. Sand Creek freezes, also, as does Chuck’s Slough on the north side of Pine Street where it is backed up by the railroad fill. When, if and as long as weather cooperates, skaters glide on these natural rinks and plenty of pickup hockey is played, maybe even a bit of curling. Local skaters have their favorite spots, particularly along the river as it proceeds toward Priest River.

Spectator sports Jill and Bob Wilson own Dashing Kennel in Rathdrum, Idaho. Each year, they participate in the U.S. Pacific Coast Championship Sled Dog Races, part of the Inland Empire Sled Dog Association race series and one of the oldest dog sled races in the country. Held since 1966, it’s scheduled on the first full weekend of February (Feb. 7-8 this winter) and is a unique opportunity for spectators. “Some races, all you see is the first 100 yards,” Jill says, “but our first mile is visible from Priest Lake Airport, where the race is held. We have multiple classes, including one for juniors. There’s even a smart phone app that allows you to track teams with

a GPS device aboard the sled.” Also in February (Feb. 14-15 this winter) is a newish Sandpoint Winter Carnival event held at Bonner County Fairgrounds, a combination of horse and rider with skier and rope that’s been around Scandinavia for centuries: skijoring. This version adds a course of gates and jumps that teams attempt to run as quickly as possible. Matt Smart of Mountain Horse Adventures, event director since it began in 2010, says the contest has steadily grown. “Last year we had 28 teams in amateur and pro classes,”

Smart said. “Each team takes one run per day for two days. The fastest accumulative time wins the class.” The course is 750 feet long and U-shaped, laid out in the fairgrounds’ outdoor arena, and times can be quick. “We have speeds of up to 30 miles per hour at the finish,” said Smart. “Pro times are in the mid-teens.”

If you want to get out there Human-powered backcountry skiing and snowboarding are not for the weak of heart, but they are mighty good for the heart, physically and mentally.

winter dance the SSTD

There is nothing quite like “earning your turns.” There are any number of permutations of this sort of endeavor, from “sidecountry” routes available from Schweitzer (one of the few areas in the nation providing gates that allow skiers access to areas outside the liftserved boundaries) to days-long travails along the Selkirk Crest or through the Scotchmans with a full pack and aboveaverage abilities. A middle ground is a trip to the Caribou Mountain Lodge, where comforts of home are surrounded by the rewards and commensurate risks of skiing where there is no avalanche control, grooming, lifts or ski patrol. This is as different from resort skiing as a ferris wheel is from a mechanical bull.

There’s ice fishing. “We have two to five folks every weekday at Round Lake and up to 15 on weekends,” said Gross. “They’re after a mix of bass, stocked trout, crappy, bluegill, sunfish, bullhead and channel cats.” The ice on Cocolalla Lake, just upstream from Round Lake, is often dotted with fishing shacks, as is the bay in front of Condo Del Sol on Sandpoint’s southwest side. Mirror, Gamlin and Shepherd lakes all offer ice fishing possibilities. Check fishing regulations before you sit down on your bucket and begin to turn to ice yourself.

Get a little farther out there

It’s the go-to winter sport that anyone can have fun either doing or watching. Pick a hill that’s slick and within

Other winter sports of the knowbefore-you-go sort, the kind that Jim Mellen and the Jakes have on their SSTD lists, are backcountry trips into the West Fork Cabin or the Caribou Hut (not to be confused with the lodge) in the Selkirks, or snow-cave camping in the West Cabinets. Ice climbing can be done on frozen waterfalls – if and only when the weather is perfect. Winter ascents of the vertical west face of Scotchman Peak are much safer, climber Christian Thompson finds, when everything is frozen up. You can always push winter further. But remember, it can push back. The first “S” in SSTD does not stand for “safe.” 82

Clockwise from left: Chris Park backcountry skis above West Fork Cabin (PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL); Forest Graham ice fishes for perch at Dawson Lake (PHOTO BY STEVE JAMSA); Hadley Marshall goes mach-schnell on her favorite sledding hill. (PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL)


If you just want to sit around

Last but not least is sledding


your comfort level for steepness. Pull your sled to the top. Get on the sled. Slide to the bottom. Pretty simple, and there are lots of things to use for a sled, from a Flexible Flyer to a saucer to a garbage bag. If you prefer not to walk up the hill, check out Hermits Hollow Tubing at Schweitzer, which even lets you ride your tube back up the hill. Winter outdoor activities don’t have to be as, um, adventurous as those on the SSTD list. “Fun” and “winter” combined can be interpreted in many ways. Options abound, and many – maybe even most – offer a reduced chance of being accused of being mentally imbalanced. Be careful, dress warmly, tell someone where you are going and enjoy winter on your own terms.


One train, two trips:

Amtrak winter weekend Whitefish, Mont.

Essex, Mont.



t all started with a Groupon offer in my inbox: two nights at Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Mont., for $99. From there, it grew into a story idea. I roped in one of my freelancers, Aaron Theisen. It wasn’t hard to convince him to join me on Amtrak for a winter weekend getaway last February, with him going to Whitefish during its famous winter carnival and me visiting Essex, a Nordic skiing mecca on the edge of Glacier National Park. Sandpoint is Amtrak’s only stop in Idaho, and soon its historic railroad depot will reopen after a major renovation. While Whitefish and Essex totally take advantage of their positions on Amtrak’s Empire Builder Route, Sandpoint has yet to come up to speed on this aspect of tourism. Amtrak is ideal for taking weekend trips west to the big cities of Seattle or Portland, or east, such as we did, to Whitefish or Essex. Take some ideas from our dual trip logs, and then book tickets on

Friday AT, 6:47 a.m. The upside of a delayed train? The opportunity to see the upper Kootenai Valley in the wan midwinter morning light. The Selkirks, sprawling farms at their feet, stretch past the tracks. Although lack of sleep and the lolling rhythm of the train recommend otherwise, I stay awake for the scenery. BJG: After a brief meeting in the observation car, Theisen returns to his seat while I stay in the observation car for the entire trip to Essex, Mont. Like Theisen, I’m glad the train was almost five hours late, because now we get to see scenery along the Kootenai River that would have otherwise been in the dark. AT, 10:31 a.m. The train trundles past Whitefish Lake and eases up to the historic Whitefish depot, the fifth-most popular stop on the 2,200-mile Empire Builder line. A lakeside town of artists and athletes at the feet of a world-class ski resort,

Clockwise from above left: At the foot of Big Mountain, Whitefish’s downtown streets are decked out for the annual Winter Carnival; the GN X215 Caboose, a luxury railcar, is the latest addition to Izaak Walton Inn’s railcar accommodations; one of the writers, Billie Jean Gerke, rides in an Amtrak observation car on the way to Essex, Mont.

Whitefish bears a striking resemblance to Sandpoint – and over the course of my trip, many Whitefish residents will tell me they enjoy visiting Sandpoint because it feels like home. AT, 11:08 a.m. Luggage and ski bag in hand, I catch the free SNOWBus shuttle to Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain. Financed by the Big Mountain Commercial Association, the SNOWBus shuttles skiers and snowboarders to and from the resort all winter. (One tip: do not bother with the wooden ski racks on the outside of the bus; locals bring their gear inside the shuttle with them.) Coupled with the Amtrak’s location on the edge of a compact, walker-friendly downtown, the SNOWBus facilitates easy car-free travel, a boon in western Montana’s wild winters. BJG: While Theisen is schussing at Whitefish Mountain Resort, my friend and I arrive at the remote outpost that used to serve Great Northern Railway workers. Izaak Walton Inn has vans





waiting to transport us the 200 yards between Amtrak’s stop in Essex and the historic lodge. It’s hard not to notice rows of Nordic skis on the porch and their Lycra-clad owners traversing the lobby. Bleary-eyed from staying up all night to catch the train, we retreat to our room – no TVs, no phones! – for a long nap. AT, 2:15 p.m. From the Summit House, I sidehill down the steep drop-in to Moe-Mentum, my ski instructor yelling pointers. Big Mountain is, well, big, but not intimidatingly so. However, novice or not, skiers can benefit from a guided lesson

for beginners that departs Sunday morning. Turns out, only one guest has signed up, so instructor Mark Ambre is happy to have a couple more guests tag along for tomorrow’s tour. Score! By the way, Essex has no cell service, but the inn has Wi-Fi. AT, 12:10 p.m. I watch a man belly-flop into a 4-footdeep pool cut in Whitefish Lake, like ice fishing in reverse. Temperatures that flirted with the minus sign did not deter nearly 200 revelers – with costumes ranging from Mardi Gras masquerade ball to superhero – from participating in the



A man belly-flops at the Penguin Plunge, part of Whitefish Winter Carnival. It’s considered one of the country’s best winter carnivals

Missoulian Shauna Dutton and Chef Eduardo Leon listen intently to the sommelier during a six-course wine pairing dinner at the Izaak Walton Inn

simply to orient themselves to the resort’s vast landscape. BJG: In Essex you have one choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and that’s The Dining Car at the inn. A friendly server brings frosty beers and buffalo T-bones in the warm light. We overhear another diner regaling fellow guests with tales from backcountry ski touring in Glacier National Park earlier that day. That plants a seed in my head. I wonder if I could finagle a backcountry ski tour. The day is capped off by some time in the outdoor hot tub surrounded by towering larch trees behind the inn.

Penguin Plunge as part of the Whitefish Winter Carnival. Scuba divers assist the participants out of the plunge pool and into waiting towels, but only adrenaline – and perhaps a little liquid courage – keeps these hardy souls warm. BJG: It’s already afternoon by the time we don our snowshoes and hit the inn’s Nordic trail system (33 km worth) on the other side of the tracks. Ambre suggested a route that would afford great views into Glacier National Park. The day is crisp, the skies are blue, and we quickly warm up on our four-mile snowshoe hike. Nary a Nordic skier is to be found. AT, 3:24 p.m. Swiveling their jump suit-clad hips and windmill-strumming air guitars through a cloud of red capes, a troupe of Vegas-era Elvis impersonators hand out candy during Whitefish’s Grand Parade. Grand Marshal Wayne Newton completes the Vegas theme. For an hour or so, the climate in downtown Whitefish feels downright desert-like. AT, 8:05 p.m. Back at the mountain, a group of youth skiers carve big, swooping turns down the Big Ravine, lights aloft, for the Torch Light Parade. The bracing cold – and the free-flowing beer – keep the spectators in the bar, but the sight is impressive nonetheless. BJG: While Theisen is carousing downtown Whitefish, we’re

Saturday AT, 8:41 a.m. Sitting in front of the metal moose grille-work of the Hidden Moose Lodge’s vast stone fireplace, I strike up a conversation with fellow guests. These lodge regulars are northern Idaho residents, and, as it turns out, the parents of an acquaintance. This exchange typifies my experience in Whitefish: Everyone has a connection to, or at least an affinity for, Sandpoint, its spiritual ski-town kin. BJG: After devouring The Dining Car Omelet with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese, I muster the courage to ask manager David Gatton if we can join a backcountry ski tour 84




in the midst of a six-course, wine-pairing dinner with a South American theme created by Chef Eduardo Leon. The elegant evening begins at 6 p.m. with a surprise extra course in The Flagstop Bar. Our sommelier is a most enthusiastic and informative gentleman who begins each course with a discourse on the wine choice. From the beef heart skewers with roasted garlic and lime glaze to the last course of coconut rice pudding, we enjoy a delightful and delicious evening. My friend purchases some of the featured wines and squirrels them away in his luggage.

By the time we return to the van, we’ve trekked about six miles. AT, 3:20 p.m. After a morning spent on the north side of Big Mountain, where long, loping runs access treed powder stashes far from the masses, I point my tips down Inspiration, No. 20 on CNN’s list of top 100 ski runs in the world. From the Summit House the blue run appears to plunge into Whitefish Lake some 4,000 feet below – a familiar view for Schweitzer skiers. AT, 4:30 p.m. I sip a drink in the Bierstube in the Upper Village as I wait for the day’s-end SNOWBus to ferry me back


Whitefish Whitefish skier Nikki Kruse carves the backside of Whitefish Mountain Resort on a below-zero bluebird day

With temps hovering around zero, Nordic guru Mark Ambre guides BJG and the rest of the group through aspen forests inside Glacier National Park


to town. Locally known as “The ’Stube,” the nearly half-centuryold bar has been named one of the top 10 places for après-ski nightlife by USA Today. Every Wednesday the bar presents the “Frabert, Clod of the Week” Award for the most boneheaded maneuvers by a resort employee or guest. Fortunately my ski follies escaped notice. There are worse places to miss the bus than the ’Stube, the most popular après-ski spot in Whitefish. BJG: Amtrak is running three hours late. We tour two of the cabooses, including one of the luxury railcars, GN X215, to take photos. We hang out in The Flagstop Bar and visit the hot tub and sauna one last time. My tired bones collapse on a couch in the game room downstairs, until I’m gently woken up with news of the train’s impending arrival. About 10 p.m., Amtrak glides into Essex and carries us home in the darkness. AT, 10:13 p.m. As a light snow falls on the silent streets of Whitefish, the Amtrak station alone is alight with activity. The train is delayed – the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota has snarled train traffic along the Empire Builder line – but the passengers seem unruffled. Perhaps they’re too exhausted from a weekend of skiing, sub-zero swimming and parade tailgating. Or perhaps it’s because they’re in no rush to end this Whitefish winter dream.

AT, 8:47 a.m. Hitchhiking from the Hidden Moose Lodge after I’ve missed the SNOWBus, a friendly Canadian version of a “snowbird” – he travels as far south as Whitefish for the winter – picks me up in his truck. It’s amazing what a pair of skis and a popular resort can do to make ski buddies out of strangers. BJG: While Theisen’s on his second trip to Whitefish Mountain Resort, we’re with Ambre and fellow guest Marjorie Pammell, from Chicago, backcountry skiing in Glacier National Park. While it’s hard to beat last night’s dinner, the tour proves to be the highlight of the trip. It’s exactly 0 degrees when we step out of the van. As soon as we cross the tracks, we’re in the park. Because of the wind and bitter cold, Ambre chooses to lead us into an aspen forest where we’re protected from the weather. I race to keep up with Ambre, but he backtracks often to check on the stragglers. Ambre points out a spot where moose had bedded down, and not long after that, we spot one of the huge beasts. It quickly retreats. He leads us to an open spot where we get a good view of the Rocky Mountains, a bit obscured by whirling snow. We glide down a gladed forest, where some bumps catch me off-guard and send me sprawling.




Winter Wildlife ::

photo essay


inter is a fabulous time to observe wildlife. This Northern flicker was a regular guest looking for sustenance at a bird feeder in a Sandpoint back yard. The Canada geese were staking claim in midFebruary to a potential nest site in Sagle; the male was aggressively defending it. The cow elk were sparring over feeding rights in Clark Fork. The snowy owl was here in 2012 during an irruption of the species. Look through the following pages in this “Winter Wildlife� photo essay and let your imagination run wild.

Al Seger :: Got Suet?

Jerry Ferrara :: Looking to the Future Laura Roady :: Pine Marten Mischief



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‘First class stuff’:

Transformation turns The Hive into premier concert venue



andpoint’s live music scene is seriously buzzing. Ever since part-time Hope resident and entrepreneur Jeff Grady got his hands on the downtown building known as The Hive (known before that as The Dive, and before that, The Pastime Sports Shop and Café), concerts in Sandpoint as we have known them are a thing of the past.

Thanks to a top-notch renovation this past summer, the town is now home to one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier live music venues. It didn’t happen without a tremendous effort by a diverse group of busy worker-bees: architects, designers, construction workers, the City of Sandpoint, and many others were instrumental in fast-tracking this project to the finish line in time for the Aftival – an annual concert series held on the two Friday and Saturday nights of 92


the Festival at Sandpoint in August. Architect Jon Sayler helped orchestrate the gorgeous – but extremely fast-paced – transformation, and “point man” Eric Owens from Sayler’s firm was put in charge of the project. Demolition day was June 19, and opening day was Aug. 8 – less than two months. “We really had to divide and conquer on this one,” said Sayler, who added The Hive was the fastest project he’s ever worked on in his 33-year career. Sayler and Owens credit the City of Sandpoint for their swift permit and inspection pace; likewise, city officials are pleased with the project’s outcome. “The Hive is a real gift to the community,” said Aaron Qualls, the city’s senior planner. The bee “Hive” theme is integrated throughout the entire project, showcased by the custom metal-


remodeling includes a new façade featuring a metal cornice created by a sculptor in Cleveland, and translucent panels made of glass that are lit up by LED lights – in beehive fashion, of course. Overall, the project was a huge success. “It was close with the timing, but it all came together,” said Owens, who took a break from all the work and enjoyed a show at The Hive this past summer. “The Aftival was a blast, it turned out great.” The Hive’s owner, Jeff Grady, says he plans to book 15 to 20 concerts a year at The Hive. He discusses the project further:

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The Hive opened just in time to host its annual Aftival series of concerts in August. The space can accommodate up to 981 people and is designed for maximum energy efficiency, acoustic quality and sight lines for live performances. Inset: The Hive’s facade features a new marquis set off by glass panels lit by LED lights in a beehive pattern

For starters, how did you discover Sandpoint?

I grew up in Maryland and have lived in North Carolina and South Carolina most of my life. About 20 years ago, I was awarded a fellowship with the Department of Energy and was stationed at Hanford. While working there as a chemist, I took a weekend to go skiing at Schweitzer. And that is how I discovered Sandpoint. Where do you live while in Sandpoint? Are you a yearround resident?

We (me, my wife Darci and daughter Grace) live in Hope. We are part-time residents. We are there midDecember through March (we are avid skiers), and midJuly through September. The rest of the year we live in Charleston, S.C.

work on the front of the bars featuring bee cut-outs and the honeycomb-style entrance panels – beautiful decorative features in and of themselves. The main floor is just over 5,300 square feet, flanked by soundabsorbing acoustic panels along the walls and a centrally located stage beneath four enormous video screens. Whimsical photographs, taken by a friend of Grady’s, are a clever addition to the décor. The Hive’s tour de force, however, is the state-of-the-art sound system brought in from San Francisco. “This is first-class stuff,” said Sayler. Owens said the layout was intentionally designed so that all the audience members are in close proximity to the stage. Up on the second floor, a balcony holding four VIP booths adds another 2,300-plus square feet to the venue, and is serviced by a third bar. The exterior

What’s your business background? How did you get interested in music?

I am a serial entrepreneur. I have started and sold several businesses. The last company I started and sold was a company called DLO. It was the company that started the category of iPod/iPhone/iPad accessories. What inspired you to buy and renovate The Hive?

The opportunity to pick up where the Festival at Sandpoint leaves off at about 10 p.m. (Aftival) and the existing balcony that was in the building when I bought it.

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What’s been the feedback so far?

It’s been amazing. Sandpoint was really hungry for a live music venue, in particular, downtown. Downtown really needed a shot in the arm and The Hive has been one. Businesses and citizens alike have gone out of their way to thank me for making the investment down-




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R _ E town. Additionally, the city has been fantastic and easy to work with. They really helped facilitate our tight construction schedule and opening date.

just say that the Dead Heads in the area are going to be very excited. How much did the renovation cost?

Between $2 million and $3 million.

How did the idea for the Aftival come about?

I have been to many music festivals and concerts, and most are followed by some kind of after-party or show. It is amazing that we have a music festival that has run for over 30 years in Sandpoint, so there are music lovers around. That time slot from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. that is open after the Festival at Sandpoint ends just seemed like a no-brainer to me. After the Festival – Aftival. Will the Aftival continue to be an annual event?

Absolutely. We just had the second annual and are working on something very special for the third annual. Let me

What’s your favorite feature about The Hive?

I have three: the sound, the lights and the balcony. From the middle of the stage to the farthest part of the room is about 60 feet. It is a very intimate venue. Do you plan to renovate any other Sandpoint buildings?

I would love to see someone buy up the buildings across the street from The Hive and convert the space into a boutique hotel, but I am done with my Sandpoint renovation project.



ithout a doubt, the renovation of The Hive is an economic shot in the arm – not to mention a cultural coup – for downtown Sandpoint. It represents new energy and life for an area that’s the barometer for the town. Beyond The Hive, there’s a steady buzz of activity downtown on the radar for Kim Queen, manager of the Business Improvement District (BID). “There’s been a huge influx in investment downtown in the past 14 months,” Queen said. “There’s a lot of movement going on.” Another great First Avenue face-lift project was the 219 Lounge renovation, which was completed this past spring with an art deco façade and exterior improvements. And while the former Coldwater Creek retail store and wine bar space on First Avenue awaits new tenants, Queen wants to

make sure folks find the downtown area a pleasant and accessible place to dine, shop and spend time. “We hear from visitors all the time that they want shops to stay open longer,” she said. Queen is getting the message out to BID members that retailers should keep their doors open later. “There was a fear with the bypass that businesses would lose visitors, but that’s not happening,” Queen said. The bypass spurred a change in sign code regulations downtown to deal with Sandpoint’s new visibility from the bypass. The businesses facing Sand Creek are now “downtown’s new front porch,” said Aaron Qualls, senior planner with the City of Sandpoint. Qualls said the owners of A&Ps – a popular First Avenue bar that was destroyed by a fire last February – are

rebuilding and taking advantage of the new signage rules by adding a wall sign facing the highway. More change will be coming when Sandpoint implements a return to two-way streets. Queen said the BID members – the downtown business owners – want this change to take place, and Qualls said it’s an idea that’s been talked about since 2001. As part of the Downtown Streets Plan adopted in 2012, even more changes on First Avenue include angled parking – which allows 30 percent more parking. “It’s all about anticipating change,” Qualls said. “There’s a lot of investment downtown, and it’s been predicated by the Downtown Streets Plan.” Good things are happening on First Avenue and all of downtown Sandpoint! –Beth Hawkins

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Retirement living options Communities cater to senior population BY BETH HAWKINS

The Bridge at Sandpoint resident and “lucky” angler Katharina Schwager enjoys the bounty of a successful fishing trip – one of many active outings that residents of The Bridge enjoy. PHOTO BY ANGIE ALLER/THE BRIDGE AT SANDPOINT



etirees are drawn to Sandpoint for many reasons: a relaxed lifestyle, the area’s natural beauty, abundant outdoor opportunities, or just the desire to live closer to family. Our town hasn’t gone unnoticed on the national register for retirement havens: U.S. News & World Report named Sandpoint one of the nation’s top 10 retirement spots “that offer delightful surroundings and amenities but still are easy on the wallet” in a 2007 cover story. The article brought light to a well-known fact amongst Sandpoint locals that our lakeside living is “far from the crowds.” So what are the housing options for Sandpoint-bound seniors who seek out our “lakeside living” lifestyle, whatever their circumstances may be? Beyond the typical scenario of buying or building a new home in the area, there are numerous other options available to our senior population, depending on the needs and levels of care and amenities desired. And whether it’s a situation that requires one or both spouses to seek care assistance at various levels, or a retiree who’s new to the area but has financial limitations, there are resources and housing options available to help guide the 55-plus population toward enjoying their golden years in northern Idaho. Paul Graves, founder and consultant for Elder Advocates, a nonprofit here in Sandpoint, makes it a point to help seniors and their families, oftentimes adult children, navigate the maze



of senior decision-making – including referrals for housing. “There’s a group of elders who are moving here to be with family,” Graves said. “As I talk with families, I ask them to connect with a local doctor and make an assessment.” Graves has extensive knowledge of Sandpoint and its inner workings, having served as the city’s mayor and also as a councilman. As a former pastor and social worker, his diverse background is tailor-made for helping direct folks toward the resources they need. Graves advises children of older parents to call around to the local retirement communities and schedule tours. “There are different levels of care,” he said, including independent living, assisted living and full-time nursing care. Making the transition into a new housing situation can be difficult – no matter what phase of life you’re in – and sometimes it’s easier to gradually introduce a change. Graves recalls one family’s situation where the older parent did not want to leave her home permanently, but was apprehensive about spending the winter alone. The family decided to temporarily move her to an

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apartment at Alpine Vista, an independent retirement living center, and give her the option to return back home in the spring. Alpine Vista residents maintain their own apartments but enjoy a community atmosphere with homecooked meals in the congregate dining room, and organized activities with other residents including card games, lunch outings and regional excursions. Fitting into the independent living category is Rena Dye, who moved to Sandpoint along with her husband Gene, in 2013 to be closer to their son, Karl, his wife, Tiffany, and grandchildren Hattie and Henry. While Gene’s health requires more attention and he now resides at the Life Care Center, Rena Dye is still active and involved in her family’s lives. She found a new, singlelevel apartment at Schweitzer Ranch, an independent 55-plus senior community located at the base of Schweitzer behind the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office off Boyer Avenue, and couldn’t be happier. Dye appreciates Schweitzer Ranch’s affordability – there are income requirements to qualify for a rental – and also enjoys its central location, which allows her to visit her husband at the Life Care Center several times a day. “This is the place!” Dye said. “I love the quietness here, but I also love the Rena Dye loves the fact that she was the first tenant at her home in the Schweitzer Ranch senior community. PHOTO BY BETH HAWKINS

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The Bridge at Sandpoint hosts parties every month, such as a fun get-together with the Sandpoint High School football team. They recently presented Elbert Gunter, who played Bulldog football in 1938-39, with a new jersey (far left). The Bridge also takes residents on trips, such as this one to the local yarn shop (left). PHOTOS BY ANGIE ALLER/THE BRIDGE AT SANDPOINT

sound of the train coming through – I was raised next to a train.” Dye was thrilled with the fact that she was the home’s first occupant, and everything was shiny and new. “I moved 28 times during my marriage, and this is the first place where I didn’t have to move in and start cleaning! I had to do nothing.” The two-bedroom apartment allows her the space to invite visiting grandchildren to spend the night, and her two dogs are allowed to be with her, as well. “They planned it well,” she added. Independent retirement communities, such as Schweitzer Ranch, Ponderay’s Woodland Crossing and Alpine Vista, represent the first level of housing options for seniors. Typically, residents are fully active and enjoying life without the hassles that come along with home maintenance, dealing with transportation issues and more. Seniors who require more assistance with daily living, but still would like to maintain a certain level of independence, will find a welcoming, home-like atmosphere at The Bridge at Sandpoint. The assisted living community – the second level of senior care, which is recommended with a doctor’s orders – allows residents to maintain their own apartments, complete with their own kitchens or kitchenettes and bathrooms, but without the day-to-day chores of house cleaning, cooking and laundry. The Bridge offers three restaurant-style meals daily and offers an impressive list of recreational activities along with transportation services and more. “The apartments are lovely,” said Gay Lynn James, general manager of The Bridge. “Sure, we play bingo, but 98


as we get more and more baby boomers moving in, we’re making changes such as Wi-Fi access for Nooks and Kindles. We have tai chi classes. Everyone’s as independent as they want to be, and we offer as much assistance as they need.” James said making the transition into an assisted living community may help adult children maintain their relationships with their parents, removing the label of “caregiver.” “People move to Sandpoint to be closer to their children, but their No. 1 concern is being a burden to them,” James said. At The Bridge, the parent or parents can have assistance and access to the things they need. “It allows you to maintain your role as a son or a daughter,” James said. Meals with family and friends are encouraged, residents enjoy socializing with one another, and The Bridge helps make connections to the larger Sandpoint community as a whole – whether it’s by holding a Relay for Life carnival, inviting the Sandpoint High School football team over to help serve a special dinner, or holding numerous festive holiday events. “It’s about engagement,” James said. “We’re all a part of this community.” Sandpoint’s Luther Park offers assisted living suites, as well as memory care suites for residents afflicted with Alzheimer’s and dementia. “The staff are trained to work with people with dementia,” Graves said. The area’s skilled nursing care facilities, including the Life Care Center and Valley Vista, represent the third level of care and provide seniors with full-time attention in comfortable environments. Aside from designated 55-plus comWINTER 2015

munities, there are housing developments in the area that have also created a buzz in the senior housing circles for their attractive amenities. One community that caters to the easy-living lifestyle of active seniors is Dover Bay. With its flat terrain and nine miles of walking trails, Dover Bay is a natural attraction for retirees, according to Sales and Marketing Manager Marie Garvey. “It’s low-maintenance living,” Garvey said. “We have single-level homes so everything’s on the ground floor.” She also cites the availability of options – everything from bungalows and condos to single-family homes. While Dover Bay is not a retirement-only community, some of the units were built to meet ADA handicap accessibility standards. Dover Bay handles snow removal and lawn maintenance, giving seniors a chance to enjoy the development’s amenities such as a year-round fitness center. “We have quite a few seniors here, and they’re always out on their bikes riding around,” Garvey said. “And it’s very pet-friendly.” The community SPOT bus is a big hit during the wintertime, when seniors can drive to the Dover post office and catch a free ride into town, or for shopping errands to Ponderay. “Our older residents definitely take advantage of that service,” Garvey said. For seniors who want to learn more about housing – and a host of other topics – Graves holds a bimonthly Geezer Forum, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, inside the Community Room at Panhandle State Bank. The topics vary greatly – from Medicare and taxes to mental health and local resource news. Graves said forum attendees tend to enjoy the gatherings as much for the social aspects as they do the information. Graves said, “It’s a great referral source for what’s here and what’s going on.”

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Marketwatch: Coldwater’s impact still rippling Just like one of those crazy storms that hit the Sandpoint area last summer, our area economy was pummeled by the closure of Coldwater Creek. Yet, in the aftermath of losing one of Bonner County’s largest employers, it appears that one important economic barometer – the real estate market – appears to be escaping relatively unscathed. Home prices nudged downward slightly during the first three quarters of 2014, compared to 2013, but the number of home sales continues to rise. “What we might be seeing is the impact of Coldwater Creek’s closure forcing more sales at a lower price,” said Jim Haynes, president of Selkirk Association of Realtors (SAR). “Time will tell if we are through that inventory or not.” The company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2014, laying off 339 workers at its Sandpoint headquarters. The fear of a “ripple effect” panicked some in the local community, but Realtors credit the resiliency


of Bonner County’s housing market with overcoming this tremendous blow. “I’m not sure there was as much of an impact from Coldwater Creek as everybody was expecting,” said Forrest Schuck, president of the Multiple Listing Service for SAR. “The market, sales-wise, is steady with the occasional twitch – unsurprising, given the downward trend of prices and the low price of money.” With the number of distressed properties on the decline, it appears that the “deals and steals” in Bonner County could very well be a thing of the past. Haynes emphasizes that although prices are lower, it’s just a matter of time before the local real estate market recovers from the Coldwater Creek inventory issue and starts mirroring a national trend of continuing steady strengthening of housing prices. What about the issue of going forward without a strong local economy and jobs? How will this affect housing as a whole? Haynes points out that although the


absence of a healthy economy means less meaningful employment and fewer buyers, “A significant amount of our buyers are from out of the area.” That’s a concerning issue for Schuck: “Part of the problem is in the $220,000 region – it’s tough for people who live and work locally such as police, fire, educators, service workers – the bulk of the population who represent the future of our community,” he said. “It’s tough to finance and afford the home they want. The resort market and the second-homers from out of the area are good business, but it takes more than that to support a healthy community.” Schuck takes a positive approach toward the area’s real estate future, however, and believes next spring will be strong. “Remember, Coldwater essentially left once before (when they moved their warehouse operations to West Virginia) and the world didn’t end. I am optimistic.” –Beth Hawkins

Residential Sales By Area

All Areas

Residential Sales - Schweitzer 2013


% Inc/Decr



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Volume - Sold Listings




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Selkirk Multiple Listing Service Real Estate Market Trends

Residential Sales - Hope/Clark Fork

Sandpoint City 2013


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Residential Sales - All Lakefront

Sandpoint Area 2013


% Inc/Decr



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Volume - Sold Listings




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$215,000 $259,047 139


Based on information from the Selkirk MLS© for the period of April 21, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2103, versus the time period for April 21, 2014, to September 30, 2014. Real estate stats for Bonner and Boundary counties. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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Story 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. In this issue, we interview an eclectic group of natives and newcomers varying greatly in age, from 27 to 74, and in occupations, from a dentist to a disc jockey. We invite you to consider their different perspectives on life in Sandpoint.


Jim Lewis job shadowed Dr. Roger Schubert in high school and followed his footsteps by becoming a longtime Sandpoint dentist. This 1985 Sandpoint High graduate is the son of Jerry Lewis, who has practiced veterinary medicine in Sandpoint for 50 years, and his wife Pat. Jim Lewis, 47, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology from

Gonzaga University in 1989. He and his wife, Geraldine, have four children, including 22-year-old twin boys who were born while he was in dental school at Oregon Health Sciences in Portland. He moved back to Sandpoint in 1994 and started his career in dentistry. Besides golf, Lewis enjoys woodworking, skiing and the lake. What do you do to embrace winter?

Other than all the obvious winter activities – skiing, ice fishing, sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing – I have

developed some hobbies that get me through the winter, and one of them is woodworking. I have a little wood shop next to the house, and I can spend all of those cold days out there just creating. It’s low stress for me because I’m not having to be perfect. In my job, you have to be perfect.

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Natives and Newcomers

What would you like to see the community make happen?

We need some sort of a shelter system for people (who) are struggling here. If people lose their home or end up being homeless for some reason, this is a bad place to be homeless. What has gone unnoticed that Sandpoint should be recognized for?

Philanthropy. We have an amazing community that gives to every charity and fundraising event that they come up with. If you think about it, we have fundraisers every single week for something here. Any advice for people who want to move here?

Get involved in the community. There’s tons of things to do and amazing organizations. If you want to make Sandpoint your home, just get involved, whether it’s your church or a group like Habitat for Humanity. You’re going to meet terrific people and you’re going to find your avenue that suits you, and you’ll make tons of new friends. How has Sandpoint changed since your childhood?

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Other than the obvious – the growth of our community and the change from being a lumber and mill town when I was young to a vacation place – I think one of the biggest things that has changed is our educational opportunities here. We had elementary education, middle and high school when we were young. Now we have a charter school, a Waldorf School, a lot SUMMER 2014




of little private elementary schools and Christian schools. One of the greatest things is now kids can get an associate’s degree with North Idaho College being here. What are the greatest challenges facing Sandpoint?


Economic stability. We’ve just seen that with Coldwater Creek going down – they were such a huge supporter of our community in so many facets – somehow we’ve got to continue to make Sandpoint attractive to businesses.

Bonny Schellinger

Bonny Schellinger, 27, was born in Sandpoint in 1987 and graduated from Sandpoint High in 2005. She was orphaned around the time of her graduation, when her parents died five weeks apart. They were big music fans and shared their love of music with her, which led to her career as a professional disc jockey. She earned an associate’s degree in business from the University of Phoenix online and was the first per-

Morning Coffee…

son in the country to receive an electronic music scholarship at Pyramind in San Francisco. She spent a year in Park City, Utah, for a residency in deejaying before returning to Sandpoint in 2012. She works full-time as a teller at Wells Fargo and works Saturdays as DJ B. BREAKS at Downtown Crossing.

What has gone unnoticed that Sandpoint should be recognized for?

What do you do to embrace winter?

Any advice for people who want to move here?

I snowboard, and I spend all my time up on the mountain. I’ve spent a couple winters here not snowboarding, and it was really hard on me. What would you like to see the community make happen?

I know that a lot of the kids like to skateboard. I’d really like to see a bigger skate park for them. I think that would be really cool. Even an ice skating rink in winter would be awesome … and maybe a little community center of sorts.

We’re There. Perk up with informative articles on Sandpoint and the surrounding area. For home delivery call (208) 263-9534



I’ve heard that they’re working toward being green and getting in Solar Roadways. The fact that we’re actually moving toward a greener way to produce electricity and that we’re starting that here is pretty awesome.

If you’re driving a car here, you better have four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, because the winters, depending on where you’re coming from, can be a little brutal. Bring warm clothes for the wintertime. If you don’t ski or snowboard, then you should probably learn how, because the community at Schweitzer is awesome. Embrace winter. Play on the lake in summertime. Go on hikes. Get to see the area because it’s absolutely beautiful. Go pick some 208.255.4496


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huckleberries. Go ride the chairlift in summer so you can take a look at the town. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and make friends, because most people in Sandpoint are really friendly.

Josie Buckmiller

How has Sandpoint changed since your childhood?

We have lots more stoplights. We didn’t have a bypass. There was a train running through town, so … we would get stuck by the train. All the roads, they’ve started to double-wide them. It’s grown. I’m really happy with the bypass. There’s a lot more things for people to do. There’s a public transportation system now. What are the greatest challenges facing Sandpoint?

What do you do to embrace winter?

It’s going to be growth. This town is on the verge of blowing up. Once we do get more people, and they find out about this beautiful spot, it’s either going to be providing jobs for the people moving here or how are we going to deal with urban sprawl.

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Josie Buckmiller, 74, moved here in December 2012 from Wenatchee, Wash., where she retired from a lifelong career as a surgical nurse. She and her husband, Dennis, had been visiting Sandpoint often, since their son moved here 17 years ago. When they were looking for a place to retire, her grandson texted her, “Move to Sandpoint.” She enjoys walking, bicycling, stand up paddle boarding and art. She and her husband sell antiques at Marketplace Antiques and Foster’s Crossing, and Josie works occasionally at Le Chic Boutique.

We cross-country ski – we have skate skis – and we just like walking and snowshoeing. We like getting out in it. On the other hand, we can hunker in, too. I like to knit, and I have an art room upstairs so I like to do painting and collage and stamping and sewing. We don’t get bored ever, and if we want to

leave, we’ll leave for a couple weeks. What would you like to see the community make happen?

I like what’s here, and I’m not always one who goes in and says this needs to be changed or we need this or that. What has gone unnoticed that

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Any advice for people who want to move here?

Just do it (laughs). People will enjoy it. It’s wonderful. If they don’t like the cold, that would be the only drawback. It’s even beautiful then. If you have to, get away in the winter or have another home somewhere warm. How did you adjust to living here?

Easily. I like the small-town feel and the community togetherness. People are pedestrian friendly.

How does it compare to other places you’ve lived?

We also lived in Bishop, Calif., right at the base of the Sierra Nevadas, so it gets four seasons, but this is different. Living here, you’re not isolated. You have Canada, Montana, Spokane and Seattle not too far away. There you had to go to Reno or Los Angeles, and it was 250 miles either way. You had to go over the mountains to get to the West Coast. This feels like a closer-knit community. One thing we noticed, when we had the storm, we had a tree go down and we were leaving so we didn’t have time to deal with it. Some guy and a woman came with a chainsaw and got it out of the street and went on. Who would do that? I thought it was pretty cool. And then water activities, and we walk. We don’t use our car much unless we go to Elmira to see my mother or to see my son out on Upper Pack River Road. Everything’s close. I like that none of the box stores are right in town. We really like to shop local.

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Sandpoint should be recognized for?

Little, out-of-the-way restaurants that people don’t know about like The Blue Heron, Pack River Store and the Elmira Store. The lake is huge, and some might not know that it goes so far south, that it’s as big as it is, and that there’s a nice beach and swimming area. And also Sand Creek and how far it goes north and how nice and quiet it is. Bicycle paths, too. You can go so far out, like to Dover.

Graham McLaren Graham McLaren, 40, moved to Sandpoint in June 2013 after six years of commuting from Spokane to work with Twin Eagles Wilderness School, where he is now a lead instructor and program director. He is currently finishing his master’s degree in adventure education at Prescott College. McLaren loves creating stunts, which he films and posts on He and his wife, Cassie, have three children, including a baby daughter.

What do you do to embrace winter?

I go outside. I love ice-skating and skiing and snowball fights with my family. I do a lot of winter camping and practicing survival skills and tracking in the snow. I videotape stunts, and wintertime is a great time to come up with new stunts, especially when there’s lots of snow – less damage (laughs).

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NATIVES AND NEWCOMERS What would you like to see the community make happen?

I would love to see community-supported rites of passage, in particular for adolescents. There are so many challenges that teens face and opportunities, not all of which are healthy or helpful. What has gone unnoticed that Sandpoint should be recognized for?

Sandpoint has a lot of opportunities for personal development that encourage connecting more deeply with one’s self, developing strong community resources and fostering healthy relationships. Any advice for people who want to move here?

My suggestion is to join local organizations. Sandpoint is a relatively small town, and there’s so much going on. Local organizations are a great way to meet people and get connected.

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How did you adjust to living here?

By the time I moved here, it felt more like I was moving down the street than to another town or another state. I joined local organizations and also asked for help when I needed it. How does it compare to other places you’ve lived?


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It’s one of my favorite places in the world. When I first moved to Spokane from Bellingham, I moved for the sunshine, and I really missed the trees and the diversity of species. Sandpoint has it all. It’s got the trees, the diversity of species, the mountains, the water and the sunshine. I love the kindness of the people and the diversity of activities. SNOWBOARD AND SKI Boots • Skis • Boards • Rentals Ski/Snowboard Tuning Boot Fitting Located in Ponderay next to Taco Bell 476930 Hwy. 95 Bld. A Ste. 1 Ponderay, Idaho 83864/208-265-6163




Winter Guide

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OUTDOORS Downhill Skiing and Riding. Schweitzer Mountain Resort has 2,900 acres and 92 trails just 11 miles from downtown Sandpoint. Nine lifts serve two open bowls, treed glades and three terrain parks. (263-9555). See story, page 49.

Winter Guide

Winter Guide 2015

Cross-country Skiing. For maintained trails and consistent snow, visit 32k of groomed trails at Schweitzer (263-9555); 3 miles at Round Lake State Park (263-3489); or more than 7k at Farragut State Park (683-2425). Downtown, ski or snowshoe the two miles of flat lake shoreline alongside the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail just north of City Beach, or find groomed trails 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). See story, page 78.

Backcountry and Snowshoeing. Nearly unlimited options exist on public lands surrounding Sandpoint up National Forest roads such as Roman Nose and Trestle Creek. Call the

Skiing on the Nordic trails at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. PHOTO BY DON FISHER

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 (263-6959). www. or www.fs.fed. us/ipnf. See story, page 78.

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, www.priest (448-1135). For guided rides at Schweitzer, contact Selkirk Powder. (263-6959).

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).

State Parks. Three state parks are within close range to Sandpoint – Farragut (683-2425), Round Lake (2633489) and Priest Lake (443-2200) – with activities such as camping, cross-country skiing trails and snowmobiling available.

Snowmobiling. Snowcat trails


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 Street Bistro, all in a beautiful log structure spanning Sand Creek. (2558270). Just down the street are First Avenue retailers such as Finan McDonald Clothing Company, Pedro’s, Zany Zebra, Zero Point Crystals and Northwest Handmade. Antiques abound at Foster’s Crossing, a mini mall with lots of collectibles, on Fifth between Cedar and Oak streets (2635911); 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).

Walking. For cleared paths, try the Pedestrian Long Bridge alongside Highway 95 over Lake Pend Oreille; the new Sand Creek Byway; Travers Park on West Pine Street; City Beach downtown; Dover Bike Path along Highway 2 west; Lakeview Park, through and around the Native Plant Society Arboretum: and overlooking Sand Creek at the Healing Garden next to Bonner General Health. Wildlife Refuge. Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles north of Sandpoint near Bonners Ferry, has more than 2,000 acres and abundant wildlife and birds. Hiking trails to a waterfall and around a pond, auto tour routes. www. (267-3888). Sandpoint WaterLife Discovery





Winter Guide

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. 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 78. Lake Pend Oreille’s deep waters rarely freeze, and even in midwinter charter fishing boats pursue its trophy rainbow trout. Ice Skating and Sledding. It takes

out to Round Lake State Park, where park staff maintain both regular and speed-skating rinks (263-3489). For sledding Schweitzer maintains its Hermits Hollow Tubing Center (255-3081), and Round Lake State Park has a 1,000foot run to the lake. See story, page 78.



several days of sustained below-freezing temperatures without too much snow, INDOORS but when conditions are right, ice skaters flock to Third Avenue Pier, Sandpoint City Beach or Sand Creek Art Galleries. Truly an arts town, below the Cedar Street Bridge. Or head Sandpoint has numerous galleries and artists’ studios in the area. Downtown take a walking tour; on First Avenue check ArtWorks, Cedar Glen Gallery/ SHORT TERM Ferrara Wildlife Photography, & DAILY Hallans Gallery, Hen’s Tooth and RATES the Cedar Street Bridge. Art lovGROUP ers may also visit Pend Oreille Arts EXERCISE Council, 302 N. First Ave., and satelCLASSES lite gallery locations that host revolving PERSONAL art exhibits year-round: AmericanWest TRAINING Bank, 605 N. 5th Ave.; Mountain West Bank, 476655 Highway 95 in Ponderay; HOT T UB , Northern Lights, 421 Chevy Street in STEAM, Sagle; Panhandle State Bank, 414 Church & SAUNAS


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

THE SPOT BUS 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).

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St.; PSB Community Plaza, 231 N. 3rd Ave.; and STCU, 477181 Highway 95 in Ponderay. (2636139). At Schweitzer, the Artists’ Studio in the White Pine Lodge features local artists who participate in the Artists’ Studio Tour (265-1776).


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Archer Vacation Condos


Beautiful 3-bedroom, 2-bath waterfront condos on Lake Pend Oreille in Hope. Discount ski and golf tickets available. See ad, page 110.

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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 69.


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.


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Great deals on exclusive Schweitzer ski-in/out condos and waterfront vacation cabins. Book your perfect Idaho vacation online 24/7. See ad, page 46.

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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 30.

208-255-2122 or 866-302-2122

Sweet Magnolia Bed & Breakfast







Camping cabin; RV sites on Lake Pend Oreille and Selle Valley. Horse/dog friendly. More cabins and vacation rental homes coming Summer 2015.


Western Pleasure Guest Ranch





208-265-0257 or 800-831-8810

Private cabins sleep 2-8. Lodge rooms with private baths, rec room, horseback riding and meals available. See ad, page 65.


White Pine Lodge

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


Twin Cedars Camping

Mountain accommodations, stay-and-play packages. Spectacular mountain and lake views. Outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. See ad, page 131.

208-265-0257 or 800-831-8810

Sleep’s Cabins

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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Selkirk Lodge

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

Sandpoint Vacation Rentals

Fully furnished condos and on-site athletic club on Lake Pend Oreille. Stay and play packages. See ad, page 53.


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 88.


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 30.

208-263-9581 or 800-282-0660

Lodge at Sandpoint

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. See ad, page 36.

208-255-4500 / Fax 208-255-4502

La Quinta Inn

From 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 91.


Dover Bay Bungalows

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

Coeur d’Alene Casino

Lodging Guide









New accommodations, stay-and-play packages. Spectacular mountain and lake views. Outdoor hot tubs, access to heated pool. See ad, page 131.




Winter Guide



and Invention Center was founded by Dr. Forrest Bird, inventor of the medical respirator, and wife Pam in 2007. See 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 yearround Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from mid-May to mid-October. Admission is free (donations welcomed). (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 for movie listings.

Athletic Clubs and Yoga. Greater Sandpoint has a plethora of opportunities, but the most comprehensive is Sandpoint West Athletic Club, 1905 W. Pine St., with a 25-meter indoor pool, courts, a weight room, group classes, and a sauna and spa. Open daily. www.SandpointWest. com (263-6633). See more on the Super Directory at www. or

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Brewery Tours. Take a tour and taste handcrafted ales at Laughing Dog Brewing in Ponderay, open MondaySaturday at 1109 Fontaine Dr. www. LaughingDogBrewing. Making a toast at Laughing com (263-9222). Downtown, see Dog Brewing. COURTESY PHOTO brewing in action at MickDuff’s Beer Hall, the production and tasting room for those 21 and up, open daily at 220 Cedar St., or visit their family restaurant at 312 N. First. www.mickduffs. com (255-4351). See story, page 113.

Winery & Wine Bars. The Pend d’Oreille Winery, Idaho’s

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Spas. Get pampered at The Spa at Seasons, in downtown Sandpoint, (263-5616); Wildflower Day Spa, (2631103); or Solstice Well Being Spa and Wellness Center at Schweitzer Mountain. (263-2862).

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Winery of the Year in 2003, features tours, wine tasting, a gift shop, live music Fridays, and Bistro Rouge menu daily, 301 Cedar St. (265-8545). 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). See story, page 113.



& Drinks with Beth Hawkins

A sip of this, a guzzle of that … Thirsty doesn’t live in Sandpoint!


nwinding after an epic day on the slopes? Looking for a place to relax with out-of-town guests? Sandpoint’s simply brimming over with an inviting collection of beer and wine venues – all for the sole purpose of, well, imbibing. MickDuff’s Beer Hall, 220 Cedar St., opened its doors this past summer and serves as a tasting room and production facility for the brewing company’s popular lineup of handcrafted beers. Complementing its original restaurant location on First Avenue, the beer hall lets customers enjoy a game of pool or darts, sample the organic “free range” popcorn, and relax in an urban rustic

MickDuff’s Beer Hall is the latest addition to Sandpoint’s thriving beer and wine scene. PHOTO BY FIONA HICKS

vibe while sampling MickDuff’s impressive array of lagers, ales and porters. “We have 10 drafts on tap, with seven regular offerings and rotating seasonals,” said Duffy Mahoney, co-owner of MickDuff’s. “The beer that everyone looks forward to is the Imperial Bourbon Stout. We’ll have it by winter, so watch for it.” Down the road in Ponderay, Laughing Dog Brewing, 1109 Fontaine Dr., is geared up for beer-friendly events this fall and winter including KPND football parties on Thursday nights featuring live NFL action on the TV screens and prize giveaways; plus stay tuned for a big football bash during the 2015 Super Bowl that includes some super-sized giveaways such as a cusWINTER 2015

tom cruiser bike and big-screen TV. More events include the monthly “Firkin Friday” – held the first Friday of every month – when Laughing Dog hand-taps a special keg at 5 p.m. sharp for $3 a glass. “We always have 12 beers on tap, including our core beers, and we rotate through anything special,” Colby said. “We always try to keep The Dogfather on tap, and we also have a porter made with Evans Brothers Coffee called Anubis – it means Egyptian god of the dead.” So tempting! Laughing Dog is starting construction on a new production facility in Kootenai, which will then lead the way to a remodel of their current location into a new alehouse by summer 2015. SANDPOINT MAGAZINE


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Colby’s excited about the expansion, and the local beer industry as a whole. “Sandpoint’s breweries are world class; we make beer on par with everybody else,” he said. “And we’re getting some great national attention.” Try a taste of Laughing Dog’s 219er beer, an award-winning pilsner, at (where else?) The 219 Lounge, 219 First Ave., in downtown Sandpoint. Owner Mel Dick said the beer was created at the request of the bar, and The 219 offers it on tap and in cans. “It’s a lighter beer,” he said. “We sell a lot of it at The 219.” The beer is also sold at retail locations through Laughing Dog’s distributors. Beyond the signature brew, Dick said he’s been expanding the bar’s beer offerings. “When my wife bought the place, there was one beer on tap.” Now there are 20 beers on tap at the inside bar – most of which are craft beers – and another 10 beers on tap at the outside bar (which opens back up in May). Explore a diverse and very extensive selection of craft beers at Idaho Pour Authority (IPA), 203 Cedar St. The beer shop opened in May 2013 and is now a popular hangout for beer aficionados. “We have between 300 and 400 varieties of beer,” said owner Jon Hagadone. “The IPAs are our biggest sellers, but we also do well with the seasonal beers, such as the winter ales and the fresh hop and pumpkin beers.” In addition to offering a large selection of beers available for purchase, patrons enjoy live music several nights each week as well as nonprofit fundraisers – 15 have taken place to date. During the fundraiser, a particular brewery will do a “partial tap takeover” and oftentimes give out prizes for attendees. In return, IPA donates a portion of beer sales to the nonprofit. “I try to organize one or two each month,” said Hagadone. “We’ve already had a couple of returnees.” The good karma seems to go both ways, and Hagadone is happy with the shop’s success. “It’s amazing how we’ve picked up a local clientele,” he said. “The Sandpoint customers really WINTER 2015

drive our business. We would not be here without the locals.” Beyond the buzz-worthy beer scene, wine lovers are reveling in the beautiful new digs of Pend d’Oreille Winery. Both the wine bar and adjoining Bistro Rouge restaurant are now open in the beautifully refurbished Belwood Building at 301 Cedar St. General manager Jennifer

Locals gather for a birthday party inside Idaho Pour Authority, aka IPA, which carries 300 to 400 varieties of beer. PHOTO BY LAURA WAHL

Hackenbruch said wine bar patrons are enjoying the new space. “It’s great – people are staying longer, they’re hanging out,” she said. “It’s a warm, friendly environment.” The wine bar features live music every Friday, and Hackenbruch has plans to introduce jazz nights this winter. Every wine made by Pend d’Oreille Winery is available in the bar, including six whites, 11 reds and two sweets. Check out the featured Wine of the Month selection for pricing on wine by the glass, or the bottle. To accompany the wines, a light tapas menu from Bistro Rouge includes a weekly bruschetta featuring in-house bread, seasonal salads, plus cheese boards and charcuterie boards (cured meats) – served on slabs of wood repurposed from the original 100-plus year old building. Talk about aged to perfection! Always drink responsibly! For a safe ride home, Sandpoint’s Bonner Taxi Inc. is available 24/7 throughout Greater Sandpoint at 263-7626.



& Drinks






& Drinks

Corned Beef Hash at Di Luna’s appeals to the hearty appetites of skiers and boarders. PHOTO



Ski-day faves


f today is a ski day, there are delicious ways to start and finish the adventure right here in Sandpoint. For starters, perk up your senses with a stop at Evans Brothers Coffee, 524 Church St., where there’s always drip coffee freshly brewed for quick stops. Espresso offerings include the popular

Headwall Espresso Blend (a Schweitzer namesake), plus there’s a selection of locally baked pastries and breakfast burritos to get you on your way. For skiers who managed to get out the door at a decent hour and have time for a sit-down breakfast, try Di Luna’s Café, 207 Cedar St., where

owner Karen Forsythe appeals to the hearty appetites of skiers and boarders with the Corned Beef Hash – featuring slow-roasted corned beef with potatoes, onions and sweet peppers, along with two eggs and toast. An epic ski day followed by pizza is pure perfection – and Second Avenue Pizza, 215 S. Second Ave., aims to satisfy with its piled-high pizzas including the Schweitzer Ski Flake (topped with spinach, tomatoes, feta, garlic, mushrooms, black olives and asiago cheese). For meat lovers, the Juke Box Special weighs a whopping 7 pounds and is loaded up with pepperoni, salami, Italian sausage, mushrooms, olives and onions. Conveniently located at the bottom of Schweitzer, Sweet Lou’s, 477272 Highway 95 in Ponderay, fulfills a burgerlover’s appetite with a substantial list of hearty offerings. The Ultimate Onion Burger is a delicious reward at the end of a ski day. Starting with a ground steak patty, it’s topped with fried onions, pickled onions, and smoked onion ranch with jack cheese. Whew! If your ski posse has a variety of tastes, take the group to Shoga, 41 Lakeshore Dr. in Sagle. While the star of


Besides freshly brewed coffee, Evans Brothers Coffee carries pastries and breakfast burritos

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the menu is sushi, featuring signature rolls such as the Tarantula Roll with soft-shell crab, mayo, tobiko, avocado, cucumber and sprouts – there are also other menu options to choose from including the Blackened Salmon Salad or the Chicken Teriyaki. There’s even a kids’ menu, so everyone stays happy!


Restaurateur Q&A with Judy Colegrove and Heather Gross


amily influences helped shape the food industry careers of local restaurateurs and chefs Judy Colegrove, 30, of the Tango Café, and Heather Gross, 37, of The Pie Hut. Both women grew up in northern Idaho and discovered their love of food and cooking in unexpected ways. Colegrove spent lots of time cooking with family while growing up in Bonners Ferry and recalls being particularly enthralled with the beautiful photographs in a family friend’s Bon Appetit magazines. Colegrove started working at local restaurants at age 16 – beginning as a dishwasher and working her way up – before she came across the opportunity to take over Tango nearly five years ago. Gross was studying graphic design at the University of Washington in Seattle when she discovered her passion for food and cooking while working in a restaurant. After moving back home to Sandpoint, things fell nicely into place after her parents purchased The Pie Hut and decided to hand over the reins to their daughter after just six months. Gross recently celebrated 10 years at the helm of The Pie Hut. –B.H.


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Serving Sandpoint


How many hours per week do you work?

60 or so. I try not to count.

No more than the normal job, 40 hours. Except for holidays; those can get really busy.

What’s the bestselling dish at the restaurant?

The specials! Our Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocado is very popular; we use slow-roasted chicken. Also the Steak Sandwich.

Thanks to the movie “Chef,” our biggest seller right now is The Cuban. It’s a panini sandwich with slow-roasted pork and ham. The movie really boosted sales!

What’s your favorite dish?

To eat – I pretty much love food – but fried chicken is a favorite; to cook, everything on a Thanksgiving menu; and at Tango, definitely the Steak Sandwich – it’s simple and amazing!

It changes all the time; whatever I feel like eating is the special of the day! I do love soups, especially the Asian soups.

Biggest challenge of running a restaurant?

Paperwork! That, and keeping the customers happy.

Keeping good employees. Without them, I’d have to work way harder!


Cooking with family and friends, hiking, snowmobiling, dirt bikes, four wheeling, and my dogs. I love my dogs.

Woodworking, painting, costumes – I spend a lot of time on my Halloween costume.

What would you do if not running a restaurant?

Definitely cooking. I would love to work in a 5-star restaurant.

Have a bed and breakfast on the coast, because that’s where I go for vacations. I love the ocean.




& Drinks Eats

Drink your fruits and veggies


he smoothie craze has officially landed in Sandpoint with the opening of Tierra Madre – a café and juicer that whips up an appealing array made from fresh fruit and vegetables, along with a delicious and healthy vegetarian lunch menu. Tierra Madre is part of the new Pend


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.

Superior Sandwiches Salads & Soups Organic Espresso Specialty Teas Fresh Baked Goods 208.263.5911 Open 11 -4, 7 days 118


d’Oreille Winery building at 301 Cedar St. (the entrance actually faces Third Avenue), and according to manager Tess Howell, the juicery is making a splash with folks who enjoy the health benefits of freshly made juices and smoothies along with their delicious, easy-to-love taste. There’s even more to feel good about: Tierra Madre buys local produce such as kale, carrots and beets when possible from area farms. The most popular smoothie so far is the Cobra – a blend of pineapple, mango, banana, goji berries, chia seeds, yogurt and coconut water. “It’s sweeter and more tropical,” said Howell. “It’s popular with kids and people who haven’t done smoothies before.” For a real blast of green, Howell recommends a juice called the Mountain – a stout blend of kale, cucumber, parsley, spinach, celery, lime and apple. “It’s the greenest of the green,” Howell said. Smoothies and juices are served in 16-ounce glass jars (to-go orders require a refundable $1 deposit), in an attempt to not have disposable waste. Relax inside the café’s well-lit space and enjoy free Wi-Fi; during the warmer months, a lovely patio area out front is a welcome gathering space. Eat your veggies at Tierra Madre, as


Tierra Madre Cafe & Juicery serves up a tempting variety of smoothies, such as the Mountain (top), and lunch salads and wraps (above). PHOTOS BY BETH HAWKINS AND LAURA WAHL

well, with one of their savory, good-foryou, fresh-made lunch menu items such as the Southwest hummus wrap, filled with sun-dried tomato hummus and black bean salad, or the kale salad with chickpeas, avocado and sliced almonds. Tierra Madre opens every day at 9 a.m. Phone 255-1508. –B.H.





cheese and meat platters to accompany wine and beer. Tasting events are a common occurrence. In fact, during the regular ski season Gourmandie holds wine tastings every Saturday. It’s a great way to enjoy the resort’s après-ski scene while trying out a new wine. There are also selected beer tasting events, with a menu option that melds perfectly with the beer. A new addition to Gourmandie’s wine menu is vintages by Small House Winery – a Sandpoint company owned by wine aficionados Jon Harding, formerly the rental and retail manager for Schweitzer, and Patrick Werry, a Realtor for Century 21 RiverStone on the mountain. Gourmandie is open daily during

& Drinks


eeting up with friends for a wine tasting, making an escape from wintry weather, or just taking a break between ski runs – there are many reasons to discover the relaxed urban vibe at Gourmandie, a specialty foods market in the White Pine Lodge at Schweitzer Village that’s merged into more of a wine bar (minus the bar, mind you) with its updated layout and expanded seating area. Skiers and resort visitors who have discovered Gourmandie not only peruse the great selection of cheeses, cured meats, crackers, and artisan items available for sale, they also enjoy sitting down to a fabulous meal including homemade soups, healthy salads, gourmet sandwiches and more. In addition to a substantial lunch and light dinner menu that highlights the culinary craftsmanship of the Northwest, Gourmandie also offers


Schweitzer’s Gourmandie Fine wine, fabulous food

Schweitzer’s regular ski season. To check season dates or to view upcoming tasting events, visit www. –B.H.

a sports bar 16 tap h and 20+ HD TV les s

Ponderay, Idaho » Next to Holiday Inn Express 208. 263.1381

Hope, Idaho 46624 Hwy 200 » 208. 264.5999

Sweet Lou says, “come hungry, stay late, eat well.” WINTER 2015



News and events foodies need to know

Diners enjoy a meal and locally made wine at the new Bistro Rouge restaurant inside Pend d’Oreille Winery. PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL


& Drinks

The Local Dish

T “A Downtown Favorite” Located on the Historic Cedar St. Bridge in Sandpoint, Idaho

he locavore movement is a top trend in the restaurant world, and Sandpoint is no exception with the opening of the beautiful new Bistro Rouge, 301 Cedar St. Adjoining the Pend d’Oreille Winery’s Tasting Room, The Bistro Rouge’s New American fare is sourced from the upper Northwestern states. In fact, manager Gordon Holmes said the availability of local food helps guide the restaurant’s menu. “Everything’s fresh, and we use local purveyors such as Greentree Naturals, Rugged Roots and the Red Wheelbarrow,” Holmes said. “We’ll change our menu depending on the season.”

Winter will find more soups, sautéed squash and the like, to accompany meat, poultry and produce balanced with herbs and spices. Chef Stefhanie Meyers calls it “a delicious foodie affair with an artful design.” “There’s nothing frozen on our menu, everything’s fresh,” Holmes said. “And the only canned item in the kitchen is tomato paste – we even make our own ketchup!” Bistro Rouge is open for dinner, 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Taste a new wine every week in the most unlikely of places, Pine Street Bakery, 710 Pine St., during their Wine Wednesday event – which also happens on Thursdays and Fridays (one day a week is never enough!). According to co-owner Maria Corsini, a new wine is featured each week and poured into little cups for customers to sample. “It’s super casual, just come in and try something different.” Beyond the wine, patrons may be surprised to find that homemade pizza is available by the slice on a daily basis – a vegetarian option and a meat option are always on the menu, plus whole pizzas can be ordered with advance notice.


Di Lun a ’s CAFE

American Bistro Dining & Catering

A full line of huckleberry products on the Cedar St. Bridge in Sandpoint, Idaho 120


For delivery call

208.263.0846 207 Cedar Street WINTER 2015


Scones from Miller’s Country Store

the bill for wintry days, including the popular Thai Coconut Chicken or the Sausage Potato Chowder. Other filling options include panini sandwiches or the 9-inch, personal-sized artisan pizzas (which take about the same time as a sandwich). And you can’t go wrong with a delicious hot latte on a cold day: Cedar Street Bistro’s signature drinks are the hottest sellers during wintertime, including the Tiramisu Mocha and the Crème Brulee (also referred to as “dessert in a cup”). Also appeasing a sweet tooth are their homemade crepes, filled

with everything from huckleberries and cream cheese to apple strudel makin’s and more! More homemade goodness is in plentiful supply at Miller’s Country Store, 1326 Baldy Mountain Rd. … but where to start? There are delicious homemade scones (pumpkin cream cheese is the newest flavor), plus cinnamon rolls, pies, breads … and that’s just the baked good section! Miller’s also makes their own soups, and favorites among regular clientele include the Sausage Corn Chowder and White Chicken Chili. Owner Rod Miller reminds the breakfast and lunch crowd that Miller’s has a spacious new dining area, so meals can be enjoyed right at the store. Convenience attributes continue at Miller’s with their take-and-bake meals featuring dishes such as veggie lasagna, chicken enchiladas, and beef stroganoff. “They’ve really gained in popu-

& Drinks

Breads, bagels and delicious sweet bakery treats round out the home-baked fare, accompanied by a substantial coffee and latte menu. Corsini said one of the most popular drinks heading into winter is the eggnog latte, which is made with real eggnog. Cozy and delicious! More warm vibes are happening at Monarch Mountain Coffee, 208 N. Fourth Ave., where owner Sherrie Wilson and staff serve up a toasty Caramel Apple Cider. The temptingly sweet blend of Northwest apple cider, real caramel and secret spices is sure to cure even the coldest of winter blues. Besides a lineup of fabulous lattes and coffees, Wilson has added new offerings to the lunch menu including chicken Caesar wraps and bagel sandwiches, perfect accompaniments to the coffeehouse’s locally famous Hungarian mushroom soup (sold every day). If you’re looking for a way to ramp up for the weekend, check out Monarch Mountain Coffee most every Thursday of the month. Monarch hosts an Open Mic Night on the first Thursday of every month, a singer or songwriter performance on the third Thursday of every month, and Poetry Night on the fourth Thursday of every month. That’s a lot of Thursdays! Every day of the week, you’ll find comforting and delicious fare at the Cedar Street Bistro, 334 N. First Ave., inside the Cedar Street Bridge in downtown Sandpoint. Homemade soups fit


Dinner Wed–Sun EST. 1979

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Gorgeous Sunsets

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208.263.F ISH

Asian-Fusion Cuisine

41 Lakeshore Drive, Sagle, Idaho 83860


208 265 2001



& Drinks

The Local Dish News and events foodies need to know

Breakfast at Winter Ridge from the hot bar.



larity,” said Miller. And surely it’s made the happiness quotient among our local time-stressed parents skyrocket! Kelli West and Peter McDaniel are the new owners at Spuds Waterfront Grill, 102 N. First Ave., but customers are hardly noticing any difference. “We kept everything on the menu,” West said. “Why change something that’s so great?”

We Bring PHILLY To You! 102 Church St. Sandpoint

(208) 263-1444

West and McDaniel lived in Seattle and Yellowstone before deciding on Sandpoint to raise their family. “Sandpoint was the compromise between the two,” West said. Hearty soups are making their seasonal return to the menu, including a Roasted Butternut Squash soup that’s a big hit with customers along with a hearty Beef Stew. McDaniel is tinkering with the idea of offering up gourmet breakfast sandwiches (how does “frittata in a muffin tin” sound?), appealing to the “to-go”crowds that frequent a particular coffee chain next door. Also on the breakfast beat is Winter Ridge Natural Foods, 703 W. Lake St., where the deli’s popular hot bar is open earlier now – 7 a.m. – to appease the business-goers and early-risers. Eggs, tofu, sausage, breakfast burritos, a whole assortment of savory options are available to eat in or take to go. Popular finds for lunch and dinner at the hot bar include a new Chicken Enchilada dish and an Italian-baked Ziti; other foodie delights are equally enticing such as Chocolate Chili and Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs. So what do Schweitzer lifties know that you don’t know? That by making a call-ahead order results in hot, piping comfort food ready to go (or eat in)

at Joe’s Philly Cheesesteaks, 102 Church St. Co-owner Pam Lueck said the popular Philly cheesesteaks are a yummy, satisfying way to end a winter’s day in the great outdoors. “Lifties at Schweitzer will phone us on their way down the mountain,” said Lueck, who said the downtown eatery stays open until 6 p.m. every day except Sunday. “It’s a great way for skiers to grab something satisfying and hit the road.” The most popular Philly cheesesteak on the menu is made with provolone cheese and “the works” – onions, mushrooms, peppers. Of course, for authenticity’s sake only the true original Amorosa rolls from Philadelphia will do. Lueck said it’s the only roll that authentic Philly cheesesteak shops use. If all those savory onions and peppers are too much for picky kids, remember that there are great family-friendly options including hot dogs, grilled cheese and hamburgers. Family-friendly is also a familiar term at Jalapeño’s Restaurant, 314 N. Second Ave. “We take a lot of pride in having something for everyone in the family,” said co-owner Dave Vermeer. And that starts with the delicious chips and salsa, served up first thing at the Mexican restaurant. Hearty wintertime favorites include the Carne Asada featuring grilled top sirloin steak served fresh baked breads • cheeses • olives



102 Church St. Sandpoint

(208) 263-1444

ravioli • catering

Beer Hall and Brewery Tasting Room 220 Cedar St | 208-209-6700 Downtown Sandpoint

Espresso • Beer/Wine • WiFi

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


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

Complete carry-out fresh pasta dinners

wine • gourmet entrées

Family Friendly Brewpub 312 North First Ave. | 208-255-4351

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

alongside a cheese enchilada, beans and tortillas, and the must-try Fish Burrito filled with seasoned fish, rice, cabbage and salsa. In perfect accompaniment, Jalapeño’s has added 14 new tequilas to their bar. In fact, Jalapeño’s staff recently sat in on a tequila education class of sorts. “Now we can talk about tequila intelligently,” said Vermeer. “If there’s a high-end tequila you’re looking for, we’ve got it.” And an added bonus for sports fans: Catch your favorite game on one of the new highdefinition big-screen TVs. No matter how many times you visit Café Bodega inside Foster’s Crossing, 504 Oak St., it always feels like a special discovery. Maybe it’s because of the antique store next door, or the wood-burning stove that’s so welcoming. It could also be the fact that the menu is creative in a worldly kind of way. “We have all kinds of unusual sandwiches,” said owner Dave Luers.

The Carolyn

215 S. 2nd Ave.


& Drinks

“Out of this W orld”


Rice crusts & soy cheese now available

Chicken Fajitas from Jalapeño’s. PHOTO BY KATIE KOSAYA

“It’s a great place to be.” Soups are a hearty option on a winter’s day. Popular varieties include the Portuguese Kale featuring potatoes, kale and spices; also the Mulligatawny is a curry vegetable soup that’s locally famous. “Our soups are made fresh in small batches so that they’re special,” Luers said. Café Bodega also serves up espressos and lattes - time to warm up! The first-class lakeside location for Trinity at City Beach, 58 Bridge St., is a perfect accompaniment to the restaurant’s new seafood menu options. For lunch, try the Salmon Burger featuring a house-made fresh Atlantic Salmon patty with cream cheese and roasted red bell peppers on a toasted pretzel bun. And for dinner, a Bouillabaisse includes assorted fish and shellfish. And that’s a wrap! –B.H.

208-255-1508 Juices Smoothies Vegetarian Cuisine •

301 Cedar St Sandpoint, ID info @ Tierra

Serving Dinner 7 nights a week

The Pie Hut


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

41 Lakeshore Drive Sagle

Great Soups v Sandwiches v Pies WINTER 2015



Downtown Sandpoint DINING Map

To Schweitzer

To Hope Clark Fork u

Kootenai Cut-off Rd Elks Golf Course

Bonner Mall





Baldy Mountain Rd.



Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail







Healing Garden


Bonner General Health


jo w k ef 6 \




Lake St.

Cedar Street

2 Bridge pPanida


l [7

Bridge St.


i City Beach

y ] g S. Second Ave.

Division To Dover Priest River


Pine St. S. Fourth Ave.







Town Square

Third Ave. PARKING


Farmin Park

Second Ave.

Cedar St.


First Ave.



AMENITIES KEY Waterfront Dining Outdoor Dining Full Bar Serves Breakfast Open Late Night Wi-Fi Available



Sand Creek Byway

Visitor Center




Schweitzer Cut-off Rd

Fourth Ave.

Hall & Brewery k Pend d’Oreille Winery l 219 Lounge

To Bonners Ferry Canada

Map not to scale!

Fifth Ave.

Dining Guide

1 Café Bodega 2 Cedar St. Bistro 3 Evans Brothers Coffee 4 Monarch Mountain Coffee 5 Pine Street Bakery 6 Tierra Madre 7 Joe’s Philly Cheesesteaks 8 Miller’s Country Store & Deli 9 Mojo Coyote 0 Pend Oreille Pasta & Wine - 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 Spuds Waterfront Grill u Sweet Lou’s i Trinity at City Beach o Eichardt’s Pub & Grill p MickDuff’s Brewing Co. [ Bangkok on Second ] Ivano’s Ristoranté & Caffè \ Jalapeño’s Restaurant a Second Avenue Pizza s Shoga at Forty-One South d Flying Fish Company f Idaho Pour Authority g La Rosa Club h Laughing Dog Brewing j MickDuff’s Brewing Co. Beer

rs To Sagle

Coeur d’Alene

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



1 Café Bodega

6 Tierra Madre

2 Cedar St. Bistro

7 Joe’s Philly Cheesesteaks

3 Evans Brothers Coffee

8 Miller’s Country Store

301 Cedar Street, Suite 105. Tierra Madre takes great pride in offering freshly mixed juices and smoothies, as well as a variety of local, vegetarian and raw food choices. Loose leaf organic tea, coffee and desserts also available! An inviting atmosphere with indoor seating and an outdoor patio. 255-1508.

Fifth and Cedar inside Foster’s Crossing. Revitalize yourself at Café Bodega, featuring an assortment of international sandwiches, homemade soups, allorganic espresso bar, whole leaf tea and Italian artisan gelato. Café available for catered evening events. 263-5911

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, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 263-1444.

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.

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.

& 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.

4 Monarch Mountain Coffee

9 Mojo Coyote at Schweitzer

5 Pine Street Bakery

0 Pend Oreille Pasta & Wine

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.

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.

476534 Highway 95, Ponderay (next to Subway). Fresh entrées, homemade pastas and sauces made on-site, including salad and artisan bread as part of a complete, take-home dinner package. Fine wines and artisan cheeses. 263-1352.

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.


Waterfront Dining

Outdoor Dining

Dining Guide


Full Bar


Serves Breakfast

Open Late Night

Wi-Fi Available




Waterfront Dining

Outdoor Dining

Full Bar

Serves Breakfast

Wi-Fi Available

t Pie Hut

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.

- Tango Cafe

Dining Guide

Open Late Night

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.

y Spuds Waterfront Grill

= Winter Ridge

102 N. First Ave. On Sand Creek overlooking the marina. Spuds makes everything from scratch; from every dressing, sauce and soup, to elaborate baked potatoes, loaded salads, unique sandwiches and desserts. Stay in for lunch or take it to go. Spuds Waterfront Grill, a landmark restaurant in Sandpoint since 1995.

703 Lake St. A natural foods grocery store with in-house deli, bakery, meat department, organic produce department and hot take-out food bar. The store is open daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 265-8135.


u 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. Full bar. Come hungry, stay late, eat well. 263-1381.

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd. Fireplaces, comfortable seating in the bar and a diverse cuisine. Extensive menu includes high-quality steaks, hearty pasta, scrumptious salads and exquisite seafood. Open daily inside the Selkirk Lodge at Schweitzer. 2553071.

i Trinity at City Beach

w Connie’s Café

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.

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.

r Forty-One South

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. 265-2000.




o 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.

p MickDuff’s Brewing Co.

312 N. First Ave. Handcrafted ales in a family-friendly downtown atmosphere, brewing natural, Northwest ales and root beer. Menu includes traditional and updated pub fare – gourmet hamburgers, sandwiches and handcrafted soups. 255-4351.


Waterfront Dining

Outdoor Dining

Full Bar

Serves Breakfast

Wi-Fi Available

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.

[ 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.

s Shoga @ Forty-One South

] Ivano’s Ristoranté &

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.


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.

\ Jalapeño’s Restaurant

Dining Guide


Open Late Night


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.

d Flying Fish Company

620 N. Fifth Ave. Featuring the finest selection of fresh and frozen seafood in northern Idaho, brought in fresh from around the world twice each week, every Wednesday and Friday. 263-FISH.

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 . WINTER 2015



Dining Guide


j MickDuff’s Brewing Co.

f Idaho Pour Authority

Beer Hall & Brewery

203 Cedar St. Sandpoint’s premier craft beer store. Offering the best selection of bottled beer. Three rotating taps allow you to have a beer while you shop or take home a growler. Not into beer? Enjoy a great selection of fine cheese, cured meats, crackers and, to finish it all off, chocolate! 597-7096

220 Cedar St. 21 years and older brewery tasting room boasting 10 taps, local bar art, free popcorn and weekly entertainment. They are BYOF (bring your own food) friendly and have a beer for every taste. 209-6700.

g La Rosa Club

k Pend d’Oreille Winery

h Laughing Dog Brewing

l 219 Lounge

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 weekly. 265-8545.

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.

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 6 p.m. Come to Firkin Friday, first Friday of every month, for a special batch of beer. 263-9222.

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.

Advertiser Index All Seasons Garden & Floral 45 Alpine Shop 48 Anderson’s Autobody 68 Archer Vacation Condos 110 ArtWorks Gallery 45 BF Custom Homes Inc. 105 Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center 38 Bonner County Daily Bee 104 Bonner County Landscaping 102 Bonner General Health 22 Bowers Construction 102 Bridge at Sandpoint Assisted Living, The 99 Cedar St. Bistro 20 Century 21 Riverstone 57 Cleanlinez 102 Collin Beggs 64, 102 CO-OP Country Store 15 CO-OP Energy 41 Coeur d’Alene Casino 91 Coldwell Banker Resort Realty 9 Dana Construction Co. 101 Dan Fogarty Custom Builder 102 Dover Bay 69 DSS Custom Homes 95 Evans Brothers Coffee 115 128

Eve’s Leaves 20 Evergreen Realty 6 Charesse Moore 60-61 Ferrara Wildlife Photography 45 Festival at Sandpoint 107 Finan McDonald Clothing Co. 21 Forty-One South 123 Foster’s Crossing/Café Bodega 65 Friends of Memorial Field, The 70 Greasy Fingers Bikes n Repair 104 Hallans Gallery 45 Heartwood Center 17 Hive, The 25 Holiday Inn Express 36 Idaho Pour Authority 118 International Selkirk Loop 97 Ivano’s Ristorante/La Rosa Club 114 Jalapeño’s Restaurant 4 Jensen, Brian CPA 112 Keokee Books 128 KPND 95.3 44 La Quinta Inns & Suites 30 Larson’s 16 Laughing Dog Brewing 20 Lewis & Hawn Dentistry 19 Local Pages, The 53 Miller’s Country Store 112, 127


Mountain West Bank 31 Music Conservatory of Sandpoint 53 Northern Quest Resort & Casino 88 Northridge Vacation Rentals 46 Northwest Handmade 62 Old Church in Hope, The 106 Orthopaedic Associates of CdA 13 Paint Bucket, The 46 Pedro’s 18 Pend Oreille Shores Resort 107 Pend d’Oreille Winery 14 Petal Talk 25 ReStore Habitat For Humanity 31 Sandpoint Business Improvement District 74 Sandpoint Building Supply 100 Sandpoint Business & Events Center 25 Sandpoint Center, The 26 Sandpoint Movers 51, 112 Sandpoint Online 129 Sandpoint Optometry 112 Sandpoint Orthopedics 54 Sandpoint Property Management 34 Sandpoint Sports 107 Sandpoint Storage 106 Sandpoint Super Drug 58


Sandpoint Surgical Associates 28 Sandpoint Vacation Rentals 5 Sandpoint Waldorf School 104 Sandpoint West Athletic Club 110 Scherrhaven Studio 45 Schweitzer Mountain Resort 131 Selkirk Craftsman Furniture 94, 102 Selkirk Glass & Cabinets 97 Selle Valley Construction 3 7BTV 32 Shoga Sushi Bar 121 Skywalker Tree Care 38 Sleep’s Cabins 30 Sleep Solutions Northwest 50 Summit Insurance 40 Sweet Lou’s 119 Taylor Insurance 29 Tomlinson Sandpoint Sotheby’s 2, 132 Trinity at City Beach 4 Weekends and Company 37 Western Pleasure Guest Ranch 65 Williams & Parsons, PC 58 Winter Ridge Natural Foods 116 Zany Zebra 14 Zero Point Crystals 47

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. GeneĂŠ 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 candle holders, books, cards, rugs, pewter Vikings, mugs, Danish iron candle holders 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.NorthridgeProperty Jeremy 208-290-6847 or Mike 208-290-6531

SVR is a full-service property management company with 12 years of experience. Offering vacation rental properties and long-term rentals in Sandpoint and surrounding areas, including waterfront homes, lakefront condos, Schweitzer Mountain vacation rentals, homes at the Idaho Club, and many other rental properties. www.SandpointVacationRentals. com. 208-263-7570 or 866-263-7570

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 www.

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A stunning journey in pictures and words around the amazing International Selkirk Loop. $34 NOW IN STORES! Or online at ww WINTER 2015




A lap across Lake Pend Oreille From Buttonhook Bay to Sandpoint City Beach the hard way


aybe we should have postponed the swim a day or two, I thought as I stubbornly continued to slap the dark water above my head. The rush of liquid past my ears drowned out the silent calm that had settled in around mighty Lake Pend Oreille. I had arrived in Sandpoint three days earlier from my home in Boston without my voice, lost in a flurry of business travel, a persistent chest cold, and directing the annual 8-mile Boston Light Swim the day before flying to northern Idaho. I was taking a stab at marathon swimming history, and I was unwilling to let my dream of becoming the first person to swim the 32.3-mile length of the lake slip through my grasp just because of a spiteful summer cold. So I soldiered on, spending most of the 20-and-a-half hours of the swim coughing and spluttering as I swam across this untamed aquatic venue. Somewhere north of Granite Point but west of sunrise, I got into an especially nasty coughing jag. I hoped that with each shudder of my lungs, more of the infection would find its way out, leaving me stronger and more able to defeat the miles that stood between me and City Beach. I turned my head to the right to suck in more air to fuel the spasm, and that’s when all of the lights on the Seabiscuit – Val and Jackie Kaspar’s houseboat that had been guiding me since we left Buttonhook Bay



about 8 p.m. the night before – went dark. Oh, no, I thought, I’ve had an aneurism. I swam a moment more and realized I was, in fact, still alive, and it was simply a power cut that had dimmed the festive lights encircling the Seabiscuit. I swam on undeterred. My crew would no doubt have the boat fixed quickly and we would continue on as we had all night, making steady progress toward Sandpoint at about two miles per hour. Besides, I had Randy in the kayak next to me, and Andrew, the official observer for the swim, had joined me during the darkest and calmest piece of night just before sunrise. The spectacular profusion of stars spread across the night sky did little to illuminate our way; we aimed for a distant beacon with full faith that the rest of the crew would glide up alongside us presently. After what felt like 30 minutes but could have been five minutes or five hours, it occurred to me that the boat was having real difficulty – the sort of problem that could threaten the completion of the swim – and I paused to ask Randy what was happening. He wasn’t sure, so we carried on. Stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe. Stroke, stroke, stroke, cough. One arm in front of the other until we run out of water. It wouldn’t be a marathon swim, after all, if something didn’t go wrong. Finally, the Seabiscuit returned, just in time to escort me into the most WINTER 2015

By Elaine K. Howley

exquisite sunrise. The swim continued almost as though nothing had happened. The only thing left to worry about was my own will to finish. Stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe. Stroke, stroke, stroke, cough. “Keep your abs in, your back muscles activated. Drive from the hips,” I could hear my coach saying in my head. I swam on despite sore shoulders. The growing light slowly revealed the vast wonder of this corner of the world, a corner I surely would have missed if it weren’t for this whacky passion and a fortuitous conversation with Long Bridge Swim founder Eric Ridgway some three years earlier. In that magnificent moment of beauty, pain and gratitude for my crew and this opportunity, I went on doing what I’d come to Sandpoint to do: swim. One stroke at a time until we reached the other end. Twenty hours, 25 minutes and 55 seconds after we had begun this adventure in the stillness of Buttonhook Bay, we finally reached City Beach the afternoon of July 31 to the cheers of hundreds of onlookers. I swam to shore in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty to a hero’s welcome I’ll never forget. Above: The Seabiscuit and support crew follow Elaine Howley on her attempt to swim the length of Lake Pend Oreille. PHOTO BY BRUCE USHER Below: Howley finishes at City Beach after more than 20 hours in the water. PHOTO BY CLINT NICHOLSON

A magnificent collection of Ski in/Ski out homes strategically located above the village, offering a blend of convenience and amenities with open views of the lake and mountains. Copper Basin Construction has outdone itself combining a luxury experience with an affordable price. For more information:

Please contact Jeff Bond at 208.255.8270 | or Chris Chambers at 208.290.2500 | AnyTime Info available at 208.449.0071 property code: 1006

Each Office is Independently Owned And Operated Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty 200 Main Street Sandpoint Idaho 83864 800.282.6880

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