Friday, January 29, 2010

When Winter Was Winter

There was a time when almost every winter in North Idaho was winter.  Winter as in cold and snowy.  

It wasn't unusual to have lake families and students cross the ice to go shopping or to school.  It was a lot shorter than driving around the lake.  [And if you think Idaho roads are bad now, imagine them in the first two thirds of the 1900's.]  Remember that the lake was a main transportation route for decades, summer and winter.  Steamboats were constructed specifically to serve as icebreakers to keep the lake open in the winter.

The above photo was taken by Kyle Walker in the early 1950's.  Take a good look before you read the next line and see if you can tell where it was taken.  Got it?  Yup, right off City Beach in Coeur d'Alene.  The trees in City Park are the background and a couple of the great old classic homes on West Lakeshore Drive are clearly visible on the left.  

What a nice guy this was, taking his tractor out on frozen lake Coeur d'Alene to clear an ice skating area.  He had to be Mr. Popular by the looks of all the skaters.  This looks to be perhaps 100 feet from the shoreline.  No telling how much that John Deere weighed but we must assume the ice was thick enough to hold it.

When was the last time you remember lake Coeur d'Alene freezing over to this degree?  In my 54 years, I can only recall a few times it froze at all, let alone getting ice this thick.  Fernan freezing is one thing, but it has to be cold for a long time to close in Coeur d'Alene.

After two record breaking snow winters, this year is a cakewalk.  While I do worry about snow pack up high, I for one don't miss shoveling my driveway this year.  But, winter ain't over yet!



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.