Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day nine: Sandpoint, Idaho

I'm sitting in the Monarch Mountain Coffeehouse after Dean and his friend, Gwen, and I did a tour of the Sandpoint Farmer's Market this morning.  Dean has gone off to work so I have the afternoon to kill. Coffee = free WiFi = killing time = relaxation, i.e. not driving.
Yesterday, day eight, Dean and I did a mountain hike from 4,600 feet up to > 6,000 feet and did not make it to the summit to an alpine lake we had hoped to see.  We were almost there, but we lost the trail in deep, deep snow and had to give up our quest.  I have never hiked in snow wearing shorts and T-shirt.  It was great.  The snow was soft with many areas having an undercurrent of fast running water and this required some caution in spots.
The bright sun on the bright white snow and the contrast of the conifer trees gives this area startling beauty.
We took Dean's roommate's dog, Mei, along with us.  If you are one not to like boxers, you should meet this dog.  
Dean Schillinger.  

We didn't make it to the summit, but we took a rest anyway.  I was afraid our footsteps in the snow would melt and we would lose our way back.  I should not have worried.  In the three years that Dean has lived in Idaho, he has become quite the outdoorsman.  He is really at home in the mountains and fits right in.  
Deep snow, and many times we were up to our hips in it after falling through - a very strange feeling when wearing shorts and T-shirt.

Following our hike, we went to a bar/restaurant called Slates to watch the Redwings-Penguins in the Stanley Cup final game.  The Wings had plenty of supporters in this northwestern town, but I feel certain that I was the only one in the bar from Detroit watching the game.  Wings lost.  I was glad I was out here when they lost and not in Detroit.  I figured that it was the Wings series to either win or lose and they lost.  
This morning we met Dean's friend, Gwen, at the Sandpoint Farmer's Market.  I bought Dean some Sweet Woodruff to plant in a shady part of his yard.  
Sweet Woodruff seller.
This is Francesca Dees and her friend, Shah Sean, selling organic herbal soaps and oils made from her own garden herbs.  Her market stall is called Land of Peace.  Am I out west in a mountain town or what?  She was acquainted with Dean from him having done some gardening work for her.  Anyway, to be polite, I purchased one of her bars of soap for way too much money and then joked with Dean about if afterwards.
Land of Peace healing soap ... ookkaayy!
The market's morning trumpet player also happens to be Dean's acupuncturist.  Again, is this a western mountain town or what? Sometimes it's great to be from Detroit.

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