Tanned, Rested, and Ready! I’m Back…

I’m back and ready to tell of my travels.  This will be done in two parts, because there is simply too much to tell in just one post.  Tomorrow I will put together a post of my trip to Laughing Dog Brewery, but today I’m just going to let you all know where I was and what I did on my summer vacation.

Well, as you can tell from the picture the capstone of our trip was a day at Silverwood Theme Park.  Strangely enough it is the only theme park in the Pacific Northwest.  Weird that it is in Northern Idaho instead of Seattle or Portland, but I suppose it is just too rainy in those places.  Well it looked by a quick scan of the parking lot that half of Washington and Oregon made the trek to the theme park the day we were there.

But there is so much more to tell about that happened before we finished up with roller coasters and log flumes.  We began our vacation by getting up at 2:30 am (yeah that’s in the morning) to make the 9 hour drive to Spokane and Gonzaga University where my son and his friend had a 4 day basketball camp.  Check in was at 11:00 am so we got there at about 10:30 am local time (Thank God for a one hour time change).

Got the two older boys checked in and in their dorm rooms.  Yes we dropped them off in an 80 degree dorm room with no air conditioning and then made our way to the hotel in Coeur d’Alene where we stayed for the next 5 days…

That night we went out to a pizza place and I got my first local brew. Wallace Brewing’s Dirty Blonde Pale Ale was on tap and I partook.  It was a lighter brew, with good flavor.  Little did I know that it was only 3.4% ABV.  Pretty good for a very sessionalble pale ale.   It is from a new Brewery located in Historic Wallace, Idaho.  This is a town right out of the 1890s.  Nothing much changes in Wallace, and that is ok, it is fine the way it is, and makes for an interesting stop.  Unfortunately the day we were in town the Wallace Brewery was closed, Sunday and all, but no matter it was interesting nonetheless.  A quick look at their web site and they are another all session beer brewery.  Their highest ABV brew is their RockHead Pilsner at 4.4%.  I’m hoping to see more from these guys since I didn’t get the chance to sample their entire lineup.

The next day was filled with tourist activity.  We rode the world’s longest gondola in Kellogg, Idaho, and took a tour of a gold mine too.  Then to the hotel for swimming, etc.

This part of Idaho is full of lakes so the next day we went and visited a couple.  Just outside Sandpoint, Idaho we made a special stop at the Laughning Dog Brewery where I had some of their freshly tapped Cream Ale.  I also sampled their freshly brewed summer seasonal Huckleberry Cream Ale.  That too was a very good beer, one my Brother would love since he likes the fruit beers!  It was like drinking a huckleberry pie but was better because it was beer!  More on this tomorrow.

We picked up the boys from their camp on Sunday after another trip to Wallace.  We then did Silverwood.  This is a nice little theme park.  Only about 40 acres, but they pack a lot into it including a full water park and theme park with 6 roller coasters and a ton of fun.  Their newest is Aftershock!  

I can’t believe it, but my 11 year old went on this thing!  He is far more daring than I.  I couldn’t stomach it or any other rollercoaster, unless you count the raft ride we all went on.  He did them all.  Way to go Sammy!

Well that was it.  We had a great time and a lot of fun.  So now I’m back and I promise to keep up with my posts.  That is until my next vacation!

-Don

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8 Comments on “Tanned, Rested, and Ready! I’m Back…”

  1. August 4, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Love Wallace. It’s like a time machine. Largely because it was a Superfund site. Tons of contamination from the silver mines. Until the clean up was totally completed not too long ago, you could hardly give away a home up there. And what homes. Lots of old silver money paid for those. And then they just sat there because no one wanted a front yard full of heavy metals.

    Glad you had fun, Don. And I hope you didn’t consume too much lead! ;^)

    • Don
      August 4, 2010 at 11:56 am #

      I was actually wondering about water issues with the Wallace Brewing. It might just give their brews that Special something you can’t find anywhere else! Yes we heard all about the superfund clean up. And it isn’t complete. They are going into subsequent phases and probably will for the next 100 years!

      • August 5, 2010 at 11:24 am #

        Wow. A hundred years. There still cleaning up in Wallace proper? It seems I heard the mayor talking a year or so ago that the bulk of clean up there had been completed. But maybe he was just talking about homes only. If I recall, something like 7 feet of dirt had to be removed from every yard of every home there and replaced.

        How long has Wallace Brewing been there? I passed through their about 5 years ago and don’t recall a brewery there. But just this past year a coworker brought a growler back from Wallace Brewing and I was surprised to see it. A pale ale I think. It was pretty good. Even if it did have a hint of arsenic in it. ;^)

        • Don
          August 5, 2010 at 11:41 am #

          Wallace Brewing just got off the ground in January of 2009. So it wouldn’t have been there when you were through last. The clean up is still going on in Burke Canyon, and the south fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. This will be the focus for EPA in the coming years. They used to dump tailings in the lake at the mouth of the river, so they will be dredging this next. They also have a Notice of Proposed Rule Making out for 45 day comment right now that would increase the area of their environmental focus from established superfund sites to an area that goes from the Montana Border to Coeur d’Alene south to Plummer and St. Maries. This would allow for a more holistic approach to clean up and remediation. I think 100 years is conservative.

  2. August 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Maybe all the lead and silver in the water kills the yeast and makes it so they can ONLY brew session beers! Did you have the Paint Chip Pale Ale? I hear it keeps you drunk for the rest of your life.

    Good to have you back, Bro. Now get to work!!

    • Don
      August 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

      No I stayed away from the Paint Chip Pale, but I understand their cyanide Saison is to die for…No really.

  3. August 5, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by. Next time give me a call and I will come down and open up for you. We now have the Vindicator IPA 7.5 ABV. The water here is fine the EPA made us put in a kick ass filteration plant. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay in Wallace we have a lot of fun here, hope to meet you on your next trip.
    Cheers

    • Don
      August 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

      Hey Chase, thanks for the comment. Are you planning on bottling any of your brews? Maybe I could get some here in Boise? Glad you have the filtration system! Good call! I’d love to try the Vindicator IPA. I had the Blonde at the MacKenzie River Pizza Co in Coeur d’Alene. It was the best part of my meal! If only I had known you would have come down, I certainly would have called ahead. Thanks, and I will take you up on your hospitality next time I’m through. You can count on that!

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