Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sandpoint, Idaho and Lake Pend Oreille

Our last destination in Idaho was the little town of Sandpoint that was named "The Most Beautiful Small Town in America" by Rand McNally and USA Today.  It is a preppy little town on a huge lake with a funny name.  Go ahead try to pronounce “Pend Oreille.”  My first attempt had me using my best French accent to see if the name would roll off my tongue…and then I heard someone say “Pondoray.”  Say what?

The town of some 7,000 people proudly boasts that it is a 4-season destination with tons to do.  With ski slopes, water sports, hiking, biking, music festivals, food events, and more you will not get bored.

Sandpoint was always on our list of towns to see but when we found a RV park associated with a repair shop and next to a brewery, we were there.  Remember, we still had the banging steps to fix which luckily was a quick fix and got crossed off our work list thus freeing up time to explore.

Lake Pend Oreille
City Beach and marina, downtown Sandpoint
Downtown is very pedestrian friendly and has some cute shops that range from boutiques, gourmet foods, local artisans, to galleries.  A quick stroll around town on the way to the farmers market was a nice way to spend the morning.

We certainly had good intentions to see the local museums, put the kayaks in for a paddle and wet a line (a.k.a., go fishing).  But we became engrossed in hiking the densely wooded trails that wrapped along the lake providing great views and a serene nature experience.  Ya gotta love the National Forests and the recreation opportunities they provide.

After hiking in the morning we enjoyed some lazy afternoons sitting outside the coach until we felt it was an appropriate time in the afternoon to mosey on over to the local brewery that was 50 yards from the motorhomes' doorstep.  That is a total score when you are camped next to a brewery and your dog is allowed in and to be off-leash.  Dog-haters - stay away!  The Laughing Dog Brewery started in 2005 and prides themselves on hand crafted ales that include over 15 different varieties like Huckleberry Ale, Winter Ale and award-winning IPA's and Stouts.  Gotta love a brewery whose motto is to brew "Fetchingly Good Beer" and serves snacks in dog bowls and samplers in a bone!

One night we found ourselves at the “Sandpoint Sampler” - an annual festival that has the
town’s restaurants offering their best tasty tidbits to festival goers.  The event is set in a quaint downtown park and we enjoyed the many tastes on a warm summer night.  No doubt we left stuffed as we tried nibbles from almost every booth.

This was pulled pork with jicama slaw on a pretzel roll.  Yum.
Oh look, the local winery was there.
And a cooking contest sponsored by Litehouse (known for their salad dressing and blue cheese).  
Sandpoint was a great stop with a really nice town feel in a beautiful location.  We were lured by the beautiful lake that is the 5th deepest lake in North America diving to depths of over 1,100 feet.  The town is flanked by the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountains and the dense green National Forest land enhances the beauty.

A few more pictures from a pretty town with a funny name.

This was our backyard

Does this big green mossy tree make me look fat?


  1. Don't feel bad. Two years of high school French and I couldn't pronounce the name right, either... ;c)

    Great little town, though, despite the tongue twisting name. I could see me easily exceeding my motor home's CCC by staying there too long... :cD

  2. Great post--I had trouble with that name too but Michael set me straight, dang natives! Hope you guys are having a wonderful summer.

  3. Brought back some beautiful memories of my 30 plus years in Northern Idaho, many friends in Sandpoint. It used to be just a small town when I moved to the area in 1972, but before I left in 2002 the preppy thing was growing fast. So incredibly beautiful there, but so much more crowded than it used to be. Thanks for a lovely posting.

    1. Thanks Sue! We are looking forward to coming to your neck of the woods (Oregon) in a few months. So many beautiful places to see.


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