We wrapped up our smokey North Idaho vacation with four days in Coeur d’Alene. Grandpa Mustache and Grandma White Wine took the kids for two days while Kristine and I got some overdue alone time. We also hung out with our friends, Jim and Kristy Womble, who took me on an 18-mile bike ride on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. On Saturday, we had a BBQ with the rest of the Fry siblings, who spent some time on the washers court, while Henry and Ruby turned into prunes in the pool. A great vacation with family and friends.
The Fry Family Quartet is spending some quality time in North Idaho this week. We’ve spent the first part of our trip at beautiful Priest Lake in the northern panhandle, where brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Alicia, have hosted us. This place brings back so many wonderful memories, and it’s been fun to watch Henry and Ruby experience many of the same things that I did as a little boy. They have spent half their time here in the water – swimming, floating and frolicking. Henry put to use his newly acquired kayaking skills when he and I circumnavigated Four Mile Island, which sits in front of Mike and Alicia’s house. Ruby has fearlessly taken to jumping off the dock and swimming to new depths. Last night Carl and Kaye arrived, followed by sister Kelley today.
Today we took a long boat ride to Upper Priest Lake, which is connected to the bigger Priest Lake by a narrow, two-mile-long channel. What a beautiful tour of this pristine country. Once at our destination, we had a picnic followed by a swim in amazingly clear water.
To remind us just how fragile paradise is, there has been a constant smoky haze hanging over the lake since we arrived, caused by multiple forest fires in the surrounding area, the closest of which is not yet contained. The fire is on the west side of the lake. We are on the east side. Though there is talk of evacuating the west side of Priest, we are in no danger. Scary nevertheless.
Four Mile Island in front of Fry Lodge Priest Lake
We were on the road as soon as we opened our eyes this morning. The drive along the Columbia River was breathtaking as we made our way through the farm land of central Washington. We got to Lake Coeur d’Alene by 11am to spend the day with the entire Fry Family. Henry and Ruby had a blast hanging out with their first cousins once removed, and I even got to see Jim and Kirsty Womble one last time before heading east. Good times. Tomorrow: Bozeman, Montana.
The Fry Family Quartet split into Two Duos this past weekend. And I’m thinking our experiences couldn’t have been more different: Team Ruby/Kristine focused on shopping and ice cream in Seattle, while Team Sharkbait/Fryman focused on swimming and not showering in North Idaho (Fry side reunion). As much as we missed having the entire band together, it was good for all involved to work on our solo projects.
Today was Henry’s very first fishing trip, thanks to Grandpa Fry, who provided poles, fishing license, boat, experience, net, and – unfortunately – no fish. Didn’t matter, though, Henry loved it, and it was a beautiful day on the water. Thanks, Grandpa!