Harrison, ID and St Joe River Cruise

Yesterday afternoon we packed up the pontoon boat and headed out for another beautiful day on the water.  It was a bit busier than it has been, since it’s the weekend (much to my confusion until Tim was able to convince me that it was indeed Saturday by showing me the date on the morning paper).  It’s a sure sign of a good vacation when you can’t even remember what day of the week it is.  And we still have one week left!

I’m including a map of the lake, since I didn’t grow up here and keep getting turned around.  For Saturday’s journey, we headed about 7 miles south from Rockford Bay (as the salmon swims) to the town of Harrison.  Harrison started as a mining town, but now that the mining’s gone it’s more of a folksy and approachable small town stop for local tourists who arrive by boat, motorcycle, RV and bicycle along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes (more about that later).  Before this trip I’d only been to the Harrison gas dock for gas and beer before trips down the river.  So I was surprised to find such a charming little town in North Idaho.  Harrison is a destination frequented by local families, and has a great small town charm to it. 


The beach was overrun with tanned, screaming children.  There was a great country band playing in the park, where locals had set up picnic tables covered with crockpots for some kind of potluck and a stand selling locally made beef jerky.  They even had bouncy castles for the kids. 

Harrison Marina Yep, that says it all Daddy and Henry play in the park in Harrison 2

We’re entertaining the idea of moving to Harrison permanently and buying One Shot Charlie’s (it’s for sale!)  We had lunch at the adjoining cafe, where we ate a taco pizza to rival the one I used to get at Godfather’s Pizza growing up.  We had to get a picture in front of the bar, that somehow towed the line between biker dive bar and family restaurant.  Only in NFI!  Henry’s charm spans across all social and political boundaries, so naturally he flirted with the biker chicks smoking on the deck and they let him ride their Harleys.  You can see the progression of events in this series of photos.

The Boys pose in Front of One Shot Charlie's  Henry notices some cute biker chicks Biker Chicks notice Henry

Harley Henry 2 There's a helmet law in NFI- you gotta be kidding me The Frys with bear in Harrison

Eager for even more of the North Idaho experience, and since they can huckleberry anything in the Idaho panhandle, I demanded huckleberry ice cream.  And Henry demanded a picture with the bear so he could practice his favourite animal sound – "ROAR!"  With our bellies full and Henry’s legs sufficiently stretched, we headed back onto the boat.

Since Henry fell almost immediately asleep, we continued heading south for a brief cruise of the St Joe River.  We enjoyed the scenery, spotted dozens of Osprey nests, and checked out the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes where it crosses the river.

Kristine gets sun while Henry naps Osprey on the St Joe Trail of the CdA Bridge across St Joe 4

The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is a bike trail that covers over old railroad tracks and spans the entire distance of the Idaho panhandle (72 miles) from Washington to Montana.  Tim would love for someone to bike this trail with him, and I’m not up for it.  So anyone interested, let him know.  http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/trailofthecoeurdalenes.aspx

About Tim Fry

Tim is a global communications consultant. He has a background in storytelling, opinion research, brand campaigns and product launches for clients big and small. He has been recognized with several industry awards, including Ad Age’s “40 under 40” and PR News' "15 to Watch." Tim has a bachelor of science degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. When he's not helping people tell their best stories, you're likely to find him riding his bike, kayaking or catching Dungeness Crab on Lopez Island, WA. He can be reached at tim_fry@hotmail.com.
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