Lake Pend Oreille

We rented a house on Lake Pend Oreille (“Ponderay”) for four five days to have some time with Gay’s dad and aunts, but the aunts couldn’t make it. We stopped in Spokane to pick up Gay’s dad — she drove his truck to the house near Sandpoint, ID — and we arrived at the house at 6:30pm, early enough for the kids to play in the water. Hudson brought his fishing pole and immediately went to the end of the dock to fish, and got up early Sunday morning to start fishing.

On Sunday, Gay’s mom and stepdad, Jim, brother and wife, Trina and his kids, Danica and Dalton, came over from Spokane for the day, which included lunch and dinner and playing in the water.

The house

When Gay was little, she and her dad boated on this lake often. So we rented a boat for a couple days too. It was supposed to be delivered Monday (Labor Day) but a significant windstorm with 60mph winds hit Idaho and knocked out power to thousands, including us, and the water was so rough that it made it impossible to deliver the boat. But the boat, a 23-foot Monterey 238SS, was delivered on Tuesday conveniently to the dock at the house.

I couldn’t get Bob to drive the boat, but all the kids wanted to drive it. Havana and Hudson took us all the way from Sandpoint to Hope. And they loved learning how the techniques to “make fast” a line to a cleat so they were quick to attach the fenders and then jump off the boat to help me dock by tying it to cleats on the dock.

The boat made it possible to get out farther so Hudson could fish. Eva then learned to fish and I took them both out in the evening and early morning, before online school, to go fishing. Hudson caught one fish and got it on the boat for a photo but it was too heavy for the line and it escaped back into the water.

After their morning online school each day, we took the boat out for the afternoon for tubing and swimming around the bays near the house and could not tire the kids out. After dinners, Hudson and I watched the Tour de France on my iPad until bedtime. We originally planned to leave Thursday but we were having so much fun and the house was available for an extra day so we extended the trip for one more day, with the boat too.

Bob, Barley & Eva

Barley really loved the boat, he wanted to get on it and didn’t want to get off. That surprised me. He normally hates not having all four feet firmly on the ground but didn’t seem to mind the rocking of the boat at all, he could even fall asleep while we were cruising at 30mph.

Havana at the helm
Hudson at the helm

Laughing Dog Brewing is just minutes from the house in Ponderay. Gay and I used to drink their then-flagship IPA because it had a picture of a dog on the label that looked exactly like Illy and we’d never been to the brewery so we couldn’t resist stopping in.

Laughing Dog Brewing
Havana feeding a goose from a kayak at sunset
Eva, Havana, Hudson & Gay on the “inner tube”

We got home to a very smoky Seattle thanks to the forest fires in California, Oregon and Washington. Air Quality Index is over 200, “Very Unhealthy”, and is expected to be that high until at least Monday. We should have stayed in Idaho through the weekend!

Sep 13 Update: eastern Washington and Sandpoint, Idaho had twice as high AQI numbers since we returned. It’s good we left when we did!

Being ground zero for Covid-19, the CHOP debacle and now this, 2020 has not been very good to Seattle.

I90 near North Bend

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