North Idaho Lifestyles, Sandpoint Idaho - Endless Summer
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When the winds are from the north and east, I head to Sandpoint‘s Lake Pend Oreille. Here you’ll find not only a huge expanse of water, but a beautiful city beach to sail from. When you’re ready for a lunch break, a short walk up into town will reveal streets lined with fantastic restaurants; or, just stay at the park and bring your own lunch, maybe complimenting it with a soda or an ice cream for dessert from the concession stand.

North Idaho Lifestyles
Endless Summer 

 I’m not sure how cold it was outside, but sitting in my truck watching the hail hit the windshield, I’ll admit I was having second thoughts about my decision. Leaving the warmth of my truck to slip on a wetsuit and brave the wind
and the 40 degree water (not to mention the wind chill) seemed like fool’s play.

  The guy in the ad said he was happy with this wetsuit, said it was “awesome.” He said it handled this type of situation, and even worse. Was I naive for believing him? Was I crazy? Who would go windsurfing in weather like this? Would anyone? Really? Pessimistic thoughts were creeping into my head when, suddenly, coming out of the old van parked in front of me were two scuba divers, all suited up and ready to go. At least they’re not scared by the cold, I thought to myself. After talking with them shortly about how our wetsuits were similar and I should be fine, apprehension turned to adrenaline; and, the next thing I knew, I had suited up, rigged my board and sail and was shooting across the lake hooting and hollering to myself, leaving the divers far behind.

  The next two hours were spent on a solo mission. Nature assaulted me with wind, rain and hail, while I carved, slashed, jumped and basically fought back with everything I had. As I was making my way upwind, I became aware that I was being watched. I may have been alone on the water, but a crowd of spectators was growing on shore, each individually framed by their picture windows, cozy in their homes and unaffected by the weather.

  Then I saw one person braving the elements; walking down her steps toward the water and excitedly waving her hands. I was curious why she was reacting like this, so I sailed over to investigate. To my surprise, it was Jackie, a friend who used to take me sailing on her catamaran from the beach at North Idaho College (NIC).

  “What are you doing, are you crazy?” she cried out, a sentiment I had shared myself a bit earlier.

  “Come in for a cup of coffee and warm up,” she said.

  Her invitation seemed more like a order, so I figured, “What the heck, it’s a good time for a break; and, besides, I haven’t had a chance to see her new house on the lake.” As I sat sipping coffee and conversing with Jackie in some spare dry clothes she offered, we enjoyed the view of the lake; white caps on the water and trees swaying heavily in the wind. After a while we realized the wind was dying, so I hurried off to catch the last gusts back to my truck.

  On the way home, thinking about the day, I realized how unique windsurfing in North Idaho is; wherever I sail I find pristine locations, un-crowded waters and warm, friendly people with “that small town vibe.”

Take a summer vacation on the Pend Oreille Lakes in Sandpoint or Coeur d' Alen Idaho and go windsurfing,weather,scuba diving and sailing. Visit North Idaho College

 
  While it’s true you can windsurf on just about any waterway, you’re best served to chase the wind a bit if you want to maximize you’re sailing time. You have to educate yourself on which lake will be hit by which direction of wind best. The two most popular local destinations are Coeur d’Alene, and Pend Orielle lakes.

  When the winds are from the north and east, I head to Sandpoint‘s Lake Pend Oreille. Here you’ll find not only a huge expanse of water, but a beautiful city beach to sail from. When you’re ready for a lunch break, a short walk up into town will reveal streets lined with fantastic restaurants; or, just stay at the park and bring your own lunch, maybe complimenting it with a soda or an ice cream for dessert from the concession stand.

  Coeur d’Alene is the place for me on the south to west winds. Relaxing on NIC’s beach all day, sailing occasionally and people watching. It reminds me of one of those old surf movies where people just hang out together telling surfing tales and time seems irrelevant.

  When I’m really feeling that old school vibe, I’ll take my lunch break and ride my long skateboard over to the Shred Shed, the local skate board shop on North West Boulevard, just above the skate park. There I’ll hang out with Tom, the owner, and a good friend of mine. When you stop by the shed, it feels like summer vacation, even if it’s cold and gray outside. While there, you’re sure to run into some of the talented locals, checking out the latest in skateboard gear; and, after a while, you’re bound to hear some of the tales we all tell, since there’s always spare time in the summer.

windsurfing,weather,scuba divers,sailing,North Idaho College,lake,North Idaho,Coeur d’Alene,Pend Orielle lakes,summer vacation,skateboard gear
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