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Events in Northern Idaho

Welcome one and all.  Here is a list of events happening in and around Sandpoint in December.

 

In December: Holidays in Sandpoint. Santa Claus will be at the North Pole every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market through Dec. 22.

 

Tuesday nights Trivia Tuesday. at MickDuff's weekly trivia night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at 312 N. First

 

Friday, Dec. 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Men's Night Shopping happens at various downtown businesses on

Saturday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Family Day Shopping on  Sponsored by Downtown Sandpoint.

208-255-1876

 

Monday 12-3  Night Blues Jam. The Blues Jam, hosted by Truck Mills, has been an ongoing Sandpoint music

 

 

 

 

Ave. Play solo or with a team. 208-255-4351

 

12-5 Art Opening Reception. Dulce at the Sand Creek Grill, 105 S. First Ave., hosts an opening night

 

reception for "Reflections of the Human Spirit" featuring the works of artist Dianna Shuppel, with Brian

 

Hibbard on the marimba from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. 208-255-5736

 

12-5 Open Mic Night. This weekly open mic for poets, songwriters, comics and performers of all kinds at

 

Downtown Crossing starts around 9 p.m. each Wednesday. 208-265-5080

 

12-5 KPND Ski & Board Party. The rockin' rhythm n' blues station hosts a series of ever-popular parties with music and thousands of dollars' worth of prizes; 5 p.m. at Cedar Street Bridge. 208-263-1685

 

12-6 Sip 'n' Shop. Community Cancer Services hosts a fundraising event from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Pend Oreille Winery, 220 Cedar St. Event includes a raffle for a complete ski package. 10% percent of all proceeds from the evening will be donated to Community Cancer Services. 208-265-8545

 

12-6 Childbloom Guitar Recital. The Sandpoint Waldorf School hosts an informal recital by the students of the Sandpoint Childbloom Guitar program at 7 p.m. Event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. 208-290-2632

 

12-6 Music Lab. Downtown Crossing, 206 N. First Ave., hosts this weekly open jam session for musicians

 

Starting at 8 p.m. every Thursday. All musical styles and instruments welcome. 208-265-5080

 

12-6 Open Deejay Nite. Spin tunes at Synergy during Open Deejay Nite every Thursday. Bring and play

 

anything you please, beginning at 8 p.m. Any music mediums accepted. Live beat matching not required.

 

Open to those 21 and older. No cover charge. 208-255-4412

 

12-6 Holiday Open House. Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. First Ave., hosts a Holiday Open House with Melanie

 

Grace and JFM Jewelry Designs to showcase their new designs and fashions from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 208-265-8116

 

6-7 Cellar Music. John Kelley plays live jazz and blues from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night at Stage Right

 

Cellars, 302 N. First Ave. No cover charge. 208-265-8116

 

6-8 Into the Wild. In this Global Cinema Cafe movie, Sean Penn directs the film adaptation of Jon

 

Krakauer's best-selling book "Into the Wild," based on a true story about a young man who takes a life-altering journey to the Alaskan wilderness. Shows at 7:30 p.m. each night at the Panida Theater; tickets $6 adults, $5 students and seniors.

 

12-7 Art Works Holiday Reception. Art Works Gallery, 214 N. 1st Ave., hosts its 4th annual Holiday

 

Reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with entertainment, appetizers and beverages. This fundraising event for Kaleidoscope is free and open to the public. 208-263-2642

 

12-7 Meet the Maker. Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. First Ave., hosts a "Five-Five-Five" event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring five flights of wine for $5 and hosted by TimberRock Cellars of Post Falls. 208-265-8116

 

7-8 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music with the

 

Pend Oreille Jazz Quartet from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. 208-265-0230

 

8 Schweitzer Holiday Kick-Off. Schweitzer Mountain Resort hosts its annual Christmas lighting, with

 

Carolers, cookies, hot cocoa and a bonfire starting at 5 p.m. in front of the Selkirk Lodge. See

 

12-8 Holiday Gift Fair and Silent Auction. The Sandpoint Hope Team sponsors a craft fair from 9 a.m. to 4

 

p.m. at the Sandpoint Assembly of God Church, 423 North Lincoln. The event offers a free gift, door prizes every 30 minutes, free babysitting and features a silent auction of more than 25 gift baskets, live music and beverages and appetizers. Free admission; event is a fundraiser to help send a mission team back to Uganda, Africa to help those in need. Visit 4thekingdom.net for more information.

208-255-6858 or 208-290-0440

 

12-8 Clark Fork Christmas Bazaar. The women of the LDS, Lutheran and Methodist Churches of Clark Fork

 

Host the annual bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fellowship Hall Methodist Church in Clark Fork, with Homemade foods and crafts and second-time around items suitable for gift giving. All revenue from this popular annual event goes to Christmas Baskets for the Needy and other worthy causes. Admission is free. 208-266-1234

 

12-8 Boys Gymnastic Meet. Funtastics, Inc., 31827 Hwy 200 in Kootenai, hosts the 2007 Shock and Awe Boys Gymnastic Meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

12-8 The Little Christmas Fairy Reading. The Gardenia Center hosts a free story telling of Marilyn

 

Chambers' "The Little Christmas Fairy" by Larry Keith at 2 p.m. 208-263-5915

 

12-9 Holiday Tour of Homes. Bonner General Hospital sponsors the annual tour of homes decorated for the holidays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. all around Sandpoint. Tickets $15, available at Sharon's Hallmark, Eve's

 

Leaves and the Bonner General Hospital switchboard. The Christmas tradition benefits the Healing Garden.

 

 

9 Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon. Di Luna's Cafe hosts the band, A Touch of Jazz, every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 208-263-0846

 

9 Dinner and a Story. Di Luna's Cafe, 207 Cedar St., and the Storytelling Company present "Dinner and a Story … or two … or three" with Sandy Compton and friends at 5:30 p.m call for reservations. 208-263-0846

 

9 African Children's Choir. First Baptist and New Song Bible Churches sponsor the African Children's

 

Choir at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 1230 Michigan Ave. The choir is selected annually from thousands of orphans and disadvantaged children in Africa and delivers a powerful blend of singing, dancing and storytelling. Concert is free, but tickets are necessary due to limited seating. Tickets are available at both church offices. 208-263-3625

 

10 The Art of Human Rights. In celebration of Human Rights Day, the Pend Oreille Arts Council and the Human Rights Task Force host the opening night exhibition for human rights-themed art and literature by Bonner County students in 7th through 12th grade at 5:30 p.m. in the Taylor Parker Motor Company Gallery.

 

Music will be provided by Sandpoint Middle School students. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. 208-255-4410

 

10 Monday Night Blues Jam. The Blues Jam, hosted by Truck Mills, has been an ongoing Sandpoint music tradition for more than 12 years. Weekly at Eichardt's, 212 Cedar Street. Starts at 8 p.m., no cover charge. 208-263-4005

 

 

11-13 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music with Bill Reid on piano from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night. 208-265-0230

 

 

12 Sip 'n' Shop. Community Cancer Services hosts a fundraising event and a silent auction from 4 p.m. to

 

7 p.m. at the Pend d'Oreille Winery, 220 Cedar St. 10% percent of all proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Panida Theater. 208-265-8545

 

12 Charter School Performance. Students from the Sandpoint Charter School put on the holiday variety show "Commotia" at 7 p.m. in the Panida Theater. Tickets $5, general admission. Proceeds to benefit the Charter School. 208-255-7771 or 208-263-9191

 

13 Mitten Tree Party. Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. First Ave., hosts a fundraiser for Kinderhaven from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Event will feature holiday treats, hot spiced wine and holiday music. Bring new mittens to hang on the tree for Kinderhaven and non-perishable food to donate to the Food Bank. 208-265-8116

 

13 Josh Hedlund. Local singer-songwriter Josh Hedlund peforms at Dulce in the Sand Creek Grill, 105 S. First Ave., from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. No cover charge. 208-255-5736

 

13 Music Lab. Downtown Crossing, 206 N. First Ave., hosts this weekly open jam session for musicians starting at 8 p.m. every Thursday. All musical styles and instruments welcome. 208-265-5080

 

 

14 A Day for Heather. Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers $10 lift tickets in honor of Heather Gibson. 100% of proceeds donated to Community Cancer Services of Sandpoint. Click here or see Schweitzer.com for more details. 208-263-9555

 

14 Handel's Messiah. The Pend Oreille Chorale and Chamber Orchestra perform inspirational and well-loved classical Christmas music in a 7 p.m. concert at First Baptist Church, 1230 Michigan off Division. Event is free and open to the public. 208-263-0199

 

14 Local Authors Book Signing. The Bonner County Historical Society and Museum, 611 South Ella Ave., hosts an open house and book signing event with a host of local authors from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Authors include Marianne Love, Jack Nisbet, Sandy Compton, Paul Rechnitzer, Nancy Owens-Barnes, Bob Hamilton,

 

Virginia Overland and mapmaker Sylvie White. Refreshments will be served. The Century Communities Photo Exhibit will also be on display. 208-263-2344

 

14 Jazz Northwest Christmas Concert. The Panida Theater hosts the Jazz Northwest Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Benefits the Angels Over Sandpoint. 208-263-9191

 

14-15 Cellar Music. John Kelley plays live jazz and blues from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. First Ave. No cover charge. 208-265-8116

 

14-15 Chris Webster Dinner Concert. Di Luna's Cafe, 207 Cedar St., hosts singer-songwriter Chris Webster in concert at 7:30 p.m. each night, with dinner served before the show. Beth Pederson and Bruce Bishop

 

join the Mumbo Gumbo lead singer onstage. Tickets $20 in advance and $24 at the door. For more about this artist visit ChrisWebsterMusic.com. 208-263-0846

 

14-15 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music with the Pend Oreille Jazz Quartet from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. 208-265-023015 Art 4 Peace Closing Party. Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. First Ave., hosts a closing party  from 4:30

 

p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the Art 4 Peace exhibit featuring the art of John Kelley, Karen Silva, Rob Goldworm and Megan Riffe. 208-265-8116

 

15 The Jazzy Nutcracker. Studio One Dance Academy performs the Jazzy Nutcracker in a 7 p.m. show at the Panida Theater. 208-263-9191

 

16 Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon. Di Luna's Cafe hosts the band, A Touch of Jazz, every Sunday from 2 p.m.

 

to 4 p.m. 208-263-0846

 

16 Handel's Messiah. The Pend Oreille Chorale and Chamber Orchestra perform inspirational and well-loved

 

classical Christmas music in a 3 p.m. concert at First Lutheran Church, 526 S. Olive Ave. Event is free and open to the public. 208-263-0199

 

17 Monday Night Blues Jam. The Blues Jam, hosted by Truck Mills, has been an ongoing Sandpoint music tradition for more than 12 years. Weekly at Eichardt's, 212 Cedar Street. Starts at 8 p.m., no cover charge. 208-263-4005

 

18 Trivia Tuesday. Test your knowledge and win prizes at MickDuff's weekly trivia night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at 312 N. First Ave. Play solo or with a team. 208-255-4351

 

18 Danceworks Christmas Show. Danceworks performers put on their annual Christmas Show; 7 p.m. at the Panida Theater. 208-263-9191

 

18-20 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music with Bill Reid on piano from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night. 208-265-0230

 

19 Five Minutes of Fame. Join other blossoming or seasoned poets, musicians and songbirds for monthly open mic night at Cafe Bodega in Foster's Crossing, with this month's event followed by special "Potluck

 

Dessert Party." Attendees are encouraged to bring a dessert to share after the readings. Sign up to perform from 6:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Show begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. No cover charge and open to all ages. Five Minutes of Fame happens the third Wednesday of each month. 208-263-5911

 

19 KPND Ski & Board Party. The rockin' rhythm n' blues station hosts a series of ever-popular parties with music and thousands of dollars' worth of prizes; 5 p.m. at Craggy Range Bar & Grill. 208-265-3551

 

19 Comedy Night. Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. 1st Ave., hosts comedian Morgan Preston in an 8 p.m. show. Preston has headlined in Las Vegas, Seattle, L.A. and music festivals in New York, is one of the producers and performers in "The Kings of Vegas" and is the host for The Bite of Seattle. Cost $10 per person; reservations required. 208-265-8116

 

20 Brian Hibbard. Local musician Brian Hibbard performs on piano at the Sand Creek Grill, 105 S. First Ave., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. No cover charge. 208-255-5736

 

20 Music Lab. Downtown Crossing, 206 N. First Ave., hosts this weekly open jam session for musicians starting at 8 p.m. every Thursday. All musical styles and instruments welcome. 208-265-5080

 

20 Open DeeJay Nite. Spin tunes at Synergy during Open DeeJay Nite every Thursday. Bring and play anything you please, beginning at 8 p.m. Any music mediums accepted. Live beat matching not required. Open to those 21 and older. No cover charge. 208-255-4412

 

21 Art Reception. Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. 1st Ave., hosts an opening night art reception for photographer Do Verdier from her series "Alleys of Sandpoint" from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Click here for more details. 208-265-8116

 

21 Cellar Music. Mike Strain plays live fun and folksy tunes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. First Ave. No cover charge. 208-265-8116

 

21 Shot in the Dark Rail Jam #1. The first in a series of three nighttime rail jams right in Schweitzer Village. Skiers and snowboarders test their skills on custom rails. See Schweitzer.com. 208-263-9555

 

21-22 Miracle on 34th Street. The Panida Theater's next Global Cinema Cafe features a showing of the 1947 classic holiday film about a man who claims to be the real Santa Claus. Shows at 7 p.m. both nights; tickets $6 adults, $5 students and seniors. Sponsored in part by Schweitzer Lakedance International Film Festival. See the Movies page for reviews and ratings. 208-263-9191

 

21-22 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music with the Pend Oreille Jazz Quartet from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. 208-265-0230

 

22 Deck the Halls Party. Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. First Ave., hosts a wine and cheese party with designers Martin and Christopher from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to pick their brains for decorating ideas. 208-265-8116

 

23 Christmas Musical Celebration. The Gardenia Center hosts a special Christmas concert with local musicians starting at 10 a.m. followed by a potluck. Volunteers needed; sign-up sheets on the bulletin

board downstairs. 208-265-4450

 

23 Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon. Di Luna's Cafe hosts the band, A Touch of Jazz, every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 208-263-0846

 

24 Santa's Traditional Schweitzer Visit. Santa hits the slopes at Schweitzer Mountain Resort and then stops off at the Selkirk Lodge in the afternoon to make sure all the wish lists are in. See Schweitzer.com. 208-263-9555

 

24 Kurt Kondratko. Kurt Kondratko plays piano from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. during a special Christmas Eve Dinner at the Sand Creek Grill, 105 S. First Ave. No cover charge. 208-255-5736

 

 

26-27 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music with Bill Reid on piano from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night. 208-265-0230

 

27 Music Lab. Downtown Crossing, 206 N. First Ave., hosts this weekly open jam session for musicians starting at 8 p.m. every Thursday. All musical styles and instruments welcome. 208-265-5080

 

 

28 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music with Maria Larson and A Touch Of Jazz from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. 208-265-0230

 

29 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music with the

 

Pend Oreille Jazz Quartet from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. 208-265-0230

 

30 Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon. Di Luna's Cafe hosts the band, A Touch of Jazz, every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 208-263-0846

 

31 Monday Night Blues Jam. The Blues Jam, hosted by Truck Mills, has been an ongoing Sandpoint music tradition for more than 12 years. Weekly at Eichardt's, 212 Cedar Street. Starts at 8 p.m., no cover charge. 208-263-4005

 

31 New Year's Eve. Schweitzer hosts parties to usher in the New Year at Taps and the Chimney Rock Grill. See Schweitzer.com. In town, the Angels Over Sandpoint bring back their New Year's Bash "The Semi Normal Semi-Formal" at the Cedar Street Bridge, with music by Carl Rey and the Blue Gators, a silent auction, a dessert bar, refreshments and more. Tickets $25; doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. 208-263-9555 or 208-266-0503

 

31 Jazz Club Music. Three Glasses Wine Bar and Restraurant, 202 1/2 First St., hosts live music on New Year's Eve with Larry Mooney on jazz guitar from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Pend Oreille Jazz Quartet featuring vocalist Joni Dirks and Ron Keiper on alto saxophone from 8 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. 208-265-0230

 

Map of Lake Pend Oreille

Map of Lake Pend Oreille

Sandpoint Idaho

Sandpoint is located on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille, and is blessed with a true four season climate. Usually, there are only a few sub-zero days each winter while summer has equally few days on which the temperature rises above 90 degrees. The fall colors rival New England and the summers are perfect for getting out doors and enjoying all that this scenic area has to offer. Many people define Sandpoint as an artists town because of the high number of very talented people who call this home. Paintings, artwork, fine wood carvings, log furniture, antler chandeliers, makers, musicians, jewelry designers are just a few treats in store for you right here in Sandpoint.

Sandpoint Realty

New mls listings for Sandpoint can be found at

Sandpoint Real Estate Listings

August in Sandpoint

26-August 23 Painting With Watercolors. Sandpoint Parks and Recreation hosts the class Painting with Watercolors for all levels age 16 and above at Sandpoint Community Hall each Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The classes taught by Julie Hutslar, a professional watercolor artist, will cover specific methods, painting out-of-doors, using still life as subject matter and painting from 2D. All supplies are included. Class fee $64; city residents receive a $5 discount. Register by Monday, July 23 at 3 p.m. For more information call 208-263-3613.

26-August 7 Artists in Residence Workshop. The Outskirts Gallery in Hope presents the Artists in Residence Summer Workshop Series in the Hope Circle Classroom behind the Hope Market Café. Anjel Luna and Glenn Grishkoff lead the lecture and class “Ceramics and Raku: Exlpore the Figure” from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from July 26-29. Students return August 6-7 for glazing and special Raku firing from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Class fee $250, lab fee $75. Call to register; University of Idaho credit available. 208-264-5696

2-24 Artists in Residence Workshop. The Outskirts Gallery in Hope presents the Artists in Residence Summer Workshop Series in the Hope Circle Classroom behind the Hope Market Café. Anjel Luna and Glenn Grishkoff lead the lecture and class “Ceramics and Raku: Exlpore the Figure” from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from August 2-5. Students return August 23-24 for glazing and special Raku firing from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Class fee $250, lab fee $75. Call to register; University of Idaho credit available. 208-264-5696

4 Art Workshop. The Arts Alliance holds a one-day workshop on Stained Glass Beveled Sun Catcher led by instructor Sara McEvily at Skeleton Key Art Glass, 1223 Michigan St. Suite B, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Fee $55. Visit ArtsAlliance.info for more information or to register for a class. 208-255-5273

4 Salad Luncheon. Clark Fork Methodist Church hosts its annual salad luncheon in Fellowship Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Event offers all-you-can-eat salad, homemade pie and beverages for $6. Bazaar and Rummage Room open at 9 a.m. 208-266-1234

6-10 Schweitzer Adventure Day Camp Session 5. Every week Schweitzer day camps offer a different adventure theme from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, for kids entering grades 1st to 5th. Cost per week $175, with $15 off for Season Pass holders; includes transportation from the bottom of the mountain to the village and back to the bottom each day, snacks and souvenirs. For this week’s theme “Eyes in the Sky” campers look to the skies to identify birds and planes, and fly kites. 208-263-9555

10-12 Dog Days Writing Workshops. Lost Horse Press proudly presents the Dog Days Poetry and Prose Writing Workshops featuring Melissa Kwasny (poetry) and EWU Professor Emeritus, John Keeble (fiction and nonfiction) at Lost Horse Press, 105 Lost Horse Lane. Workshop fee is $150. Classes are limited to 12 students and early registration is recommended. For additional information or to register, click here or visit Losthorsepress.org. 208-255-4410

11 Art Workshop. The Arts Alliance holds a one-day workshop on Stained Glass Night Lights led by instructor Sara McEvily at Skeleton Key Art Glass, 1223 Michigan St. Suite B, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Fee $45. Visit ArtsAlliance.info for more information or to register for a class. 208-255-5273

11 Art Workshop. The Arts Alliance holds a one-day workshop on Mosaic Stepping Stones led by instructor Lynn Guier at The Studio, 518 Oak St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fee $50 adults; $45 youth ages 10 and up. Visit ArtsAlliance.info for more information or to register for a class. 208-255-5273

13-17 Schweitzer Adventure Day Camp Session 6. Every week Schweitzer day camps offer a different adventure theme from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, for kids entering grades 1st to 5th. Cost per week $175, with $15 off for Season Pass holders; includes transportation from the bottom of the mountain to the village and back to the bottom each day, snacks and souvenirs. For this week’s theme “Wet ‘n Wild” campers will learn about how important water is (then learn how much fun water is). 208-263-9555

15 Art Workshop. The Arts Alliance holds a one-day workshop on Knotless Netting Necklaces led by instructor Eileen Marcotte at The Studio, 518 Oak St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit ArtsAlliance.info for more information or to register for a class. 208-255-5273

20-24 Schweitzer Adventure Day Camp Session 7. Every week Schweitzer day camps offer a different adventure theme from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, for kids entering grades 1st to 5th. Cost per week $175, with $15 off for Season Pass holders; includes transportation from the bottom of the mountain to the village and back to the bottom each day, snacks and souvenirs. For this week’s theme “The Wacky World of Silly Sports” campers have water balloon volleyball, potato sack races, bubble gum contests, rally races and more. 208-263-9555

23 Monday Night Blues Jam. The Blues Jam, hosted by Truck Mills, has been an ongoing Sandpoint music tradition for more than 12 years. Weekly at Eichardt’s, 212 Cedar Street. Starts at 8 p.m., no cover charge. 208-263-4005

24 Trivia Tuesday. Test your knowledge and win prizes at MickDuff’s weekly trivia night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at 312 N. First Ave. Play solo or with a team. 208-255-4351

25 Open Mic Night. This weekly open mic for poets, songwriters, comics and performers of all kinds at Downtown Crossing starts around 9 p.m. 208-265-5080

26 Music Lab. Downtown Crossing, 206 N. First Ave., hosts this weekly open jam session for musicians starting at 8 p.m. All musical styles and instruments welcome. 208-265-5080

26 Open DeeJay Nite. Spin tunes at Synergy during Open DeeJay Nite every Thursday. Bring and play anything you please, beginning at 8 p.m. Any music mediums accepted. Live beat matching not required. Open to those 21 and older. No cover charge. 208-255-4412

26-27 Artist Coffee Talk. The Outskirts Gallery in Hope presents an Artist Coffee Talk at 10 a.m. each day with Anjel Luna and Glenn Grishkoff at the Hope Market Cafe. This event is free and open to the public. 208-264-5696

27 The Unknown Blueprint. The Panida Theater presents the documentary film “The Unknown Blueprint” about local automated design artist KC (formerly Laura Crawford) at 7:30 p.m. 208-263-9191

27 Cellar Music. David Lane Walsh performs live music from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. 1st Ave. No cover charge. 208-265-8116

27-29 Artists’ Studio Tour. Visit 40 artists and 28 locations in the 5th annual free, self-guided driving tour with special events planned for July 20-22 and July 27-29. Many studios open June 1-Sept. 4. Visit ArtTourDrive.org for more information. 208-597-6394

28 Crazy Days. Lots of deals in this giant sidewalk sale by downtown merchants, sponsored by Downtown Sandpoint Business Association. 208-255-1876

28 Cellar Music. Justin King performs live music from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Stage Right Cellars, 302 N. 1st Ave. No cover charge. 208-265-8116

29 Music on the Lawn. Schweitzer Mountain Resort hosts an afternoon of free music on the lawn from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Schweitzer Village. Latin fusion group Sol’Jibe performs. 208-263-9555

28 The Road to Diddily Squat. Center Stage of Spokane presents “The Road to Diddily Squat,” a premiere of the revised play at the Panida Theater in an 8 p.m. showing. 208-263-9191

28 Summer Sounds at Park Place. POAC hosts this free concert series at Park Place stage, corner of First and Cedar, from noon to 2 p.m. every Saturday through Labor Day Weekend. Backstreet Dixie performs at 10 a.m. and Carl Rey and the Blues Gators play at noon. See ArtinSandpoint.org for more information. 208-263-6139

29 Dover Community Picnic. Dover Community Hall hosts a potluck picnic starting at noon, followed by a 2 p.m. history presentation by Vern Eskridge. Sponsored by the Bonner County Historical Society. 208-263-2344

29 Sunday Concerts on the Lawn. The POAC hosts this free live concert series featuring regional musicians on the lawn in front of Edgewater Resort at City Beach from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Sunday. The Swing Street Big Band performs with Kristen Oliver. See ArtinSandpoint.org for more information. 208-263-6139

29 Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon. Di Luna’s Cafe hosts the band, A Touch of Jazz, every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 208-263-0846

30 Monday Night Blues Jam. The Blues Jam, hosted by Truck Mills, has been an ongoing Sandpoint music tradition for more than 12 years. Weekly at Eichardt’s, 212 Cedar Street. Starts at 8 p.m., no cover charge. 208-263-4005

31 Trivia Tuesday. Test your knowledge and win prizes at MickDuff’s weekly trivia night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at 312 N. First Ave. Play solo or with a team. 208-255-4351

25 Art Workshop. The Arts Alliance holds a one-day workshop on Stained Glass Spinning Hearts led by instructor Sara McEvily at Skeleton Key Art Glass, 1223 Michigan St. Suite B, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cutting and soldering experience preferred; Fee $50. Visit ArtsAlliance.info for more information or to register for a class. 208-255-5273

25-26 Artists in Residence Workshop. The Outskirts Gallery in Hope presents the Artists in Residence Summer Workshop Series in the Hope Circle Classroom behind the Hope Market Café. Glenn Grishkoff leads the lecture and class “Handmade Brushes: Make Your Mark” from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Class fee $95, lab fee $30. Call to register; University of Idaho credit available. 208-264-5696

Clark Fork Idaho

When coming in from Montana, Clark Fork Idaho is the port of entry to the Selkirk Loop via the gorgeous Pend Oreille Scenic Byway along Highway 200.
Established when the Northern Pacific pushed its main line through Northern Idaho in the 1880s. Located at the northeast end of Lake Pend Oreille on the Clark Fork River, this small but active community hosts a full range of outdoor activities, along with gift shops, restaurants, and lodging. In the background are the Cabinet range of the Rocky Mountains. The Cabinet Gorge dam is just upstream and supplies power to the area. Also upstream is the Cabinet Gorge fish hatchery, designed to handle 20 million Kokanee salmon annually. Clark Fork was named in honor of William Clark who along with Meriweather Lewis headed the expedition to the west in 1804.
Great fishing, wildlife and bird watching, Mountain Biking, Miles of National Forest Service Trails. As most of you know this is where I decided to make my home. I bought some of the most beautiful acreage

Sagle Idaho

How Sagle Idaho, got it’s name. When the village first got a Post Office, the postmaster submitted the name Eagle, Idaho, to the Postal Department. Eagle was already taken so he merely replaced the “E” with an “S” and Sagle was born.

Located just five miles South of Sandpoint, Sagle is the gateway to the communities of Bottle Bay and Garfield Bay. With its tree lined roads and beautiful scenery Sagle has become one of the areas prime locations to reside. Sagle school has been a long time favorite for the community and remains a centerpiece for family and community activities.

Hope Idaho

Picture perfect sunsets and expansive lake views dotted with islands, is how most people remember Hope. Just 12 miles from Sandpoint, n the North shore of Lake Pend Oreille. Hope was once a bustling railroad hub, which has since settled into two unique cities, Hope and East Hope and let not forget Beyond Hope on the David Thompson Game preserve on the Hope peninsula. Also found on the peninsula is the Sam Owen Campground, a highly prized area to camp. With over 80 campsites, a wonderful beach, and boat ramp, Sam Owen ranks as one of North Idaho’s finest settingsYou will always see herds of whitetail deer grazing. In the fall and winter Bald Eagles can often be seen resting in the trees along the shoreline.

Schweitzer Ski Resort

Schweitzer is a pristine jewel situated in the Selkirk Mountains in the Idaho Panhandle. Overlooking the town of Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille, Schweitzer Mountain has long been famous for its massive bows and breathtaking views. . This mountain boasts 2,500 acres of the most beautiful, breathtaking scenery imaginable, with views of Canada and two states. There are 2350 acres of skiable terrain, an average of 300 inches of snow.

New York Times, July 2007, Idaho: The Last Wilderness.

The last wilderness

CURIOUS it may be, but there is not a single national park in Idaho, a state with more public forest land, more wilderness, more white water than any other in the country outside of the superlative-trumping asterisk of Alaska. It has two dozen sites as part of a national historical park dedicated to the Nez Perce Indians, but nothing on the order of a velvet-roped shank of mega scenery.

So when people decide to go “Out West” for a visit, a phrase that always sounds quaint to a Westerner’s ear, they usually head for the canyon lands of southern Utah, or the fly-fishing streams of Montana or the aged chasms of Arizona. They fashion their trips around Yellowstone (to be fair, a mostly overlooked sliver is in Idaho), Zion or Grand Canyon ­- the iconic national parks, all worth a visit of course.

But just as there are good pastrami sandwiches to be had outside of the Carnegie Deli, there is so much to see, float, hike and absorb in what may be the most overlooked part of the West — the Big Empty of north-central Idaho.

I drove once until there was no more road, and then hiked, with two of my brothers, until there was no more trail. Like leprechauns at rainbow’s end, we found a deep pool at the base of a waterfall, hard by a grove of ancient cedars. We caught fish until our arms were tired, and then watched the night sky theatrics. There was river music, white noise for sleep. And I promised never to tell the exact location. This was in the upper reaches of the St. Joe River — that’s all I’m able to say.

But, there are other moments, other waterfalls, other pools of gin-clear trout water in the grip of the Idaho Panhandle. In many parts, the land is as wild today as it was 200 years ago, full of jumpy rivers kicking out of the Bitterroot Mountains and exotic surprises like the Turkish cook who serves lamb tahini deep in the folds of high country. Though much of this area is roadless, there are numerous landing strips for small planes inside the wilderness, and hundreds of trailheads and river put-ins for outbackers on horse or foot, and rafters or kayakers.

On the map, it is bounded roughly by the St. Joe to the north and the Middle Fork of the Salmon to the south. The names suggest wild mood swings, and a chance for some sublime risk-taking. You can camp at Heavens Gate, not far from Hells Canyon, and wonder about the cartographic argument. What, no Purgatory Flats? You can float without directions on the Big Lost River. Or eat a fine meal near Colt Killed Creek, the place where members of the Lewis and Clark expedition nearly starved. (And yes, they had to dine on one of their young transports.)

The crown jewel is the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, at 2.3 million acres the largest single protected wilderness area in the 48 states. River of No Return is what the natives told the American gold-seekers who headed upstream on the Salmon, and their name for the big river, 425 miles of twisty mountain water. But it may have been an inducement as well. Frank Church was the Idaho boy who loved the outdoors, and became that rarest of 20th-century politicians — a liberal Democratic senator from the Gem State.

One of the offbeat little towns in the middle of all this wild country, Orofino, still has a high school mascot, the Maniacs, which is, according to lore, named for residents of the neighboring state mental hospital. Call them crazy and insensitive, and they say, well, our boys played like maniacs long ago and the name stuck. The mental hospital came later. Sure. No problem. Cool T-shirt, though.

This part of Idaho, if known at all, used to have a reputation as a hideout for neo-Nazis and others of the far-right fringe. When it was black helicopter country in the mid-1990s, I sometimes thought the scariest part of any backcountry trip was in town, mixing it up with the locals. O.K., so tell me again how Hillary Clinton put the transmitter in your back molar? But now, the white separatists have been run out of their compound well to the north, and there’s a winery not far from where another extremist had a standoff with the federal government.

It may be safe to say that the wilds of the Idaho Panhandle, like much of the West, are deep into a new chapter — the microbrews and mountain bike phase. It has its hook-and-bullet enthusiasts, yes, and count me among those who get more excited chasing cutthroat trout with a dry fly than listening to Broadway show tunes.

But I no longer hear the soundtrack from “Deliverance” while floating its rivers. Actually, I stumbled upon a camp of fiddlers from Virginia while floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon not long ago; except for the occasional John Denver tune, it made for a wonderful evening.

When you expect nothing is when you find something.

The narrative of this land is built around timber, water and native people. The timber was western white pine, a legendary species that drew lumber barons who bought big tracks of forestland and tried to cut it all. What they couldn’t remove, disease did. Today, big, old-growth white pine forests in Idaho are almost as hard to find as those Democrats who used to vote for Frank Church. But the national forestland, largely a legacy of Teddy Roosevelt, is intact, and it has become one of the West’s biggest playgrounds.

In all there are 11 national forests in Idaho — more than 20 million acres. The peaks are not Matterhorn-craggy or even buff skyscrapers like the sentinels of the Sierra. The North Cascades, in Washington, are a small fraction of the size of Idaho’s mountain acreage, but have more glaciers and jaw-dropping vertical flanks.

What this part of the overlooked West has in abundance is a rich variety of forested river country. The big rivers are the St. Joe, the three forks of the Clearwater, the Lochsa, the Selway, the three forks of the Salmon and a half-dozen or so feeder streams, any one of which would be a national attraction if it were in, say, Texas. These rivers drain an amazing swath of real estate, owned by every American — a public land inheritance unseen by most of its owners.

Rare as it is to find an undammed river in the West, the Idaho Panhandle has a surfeit of free-flowing — indeed anarchic — waterways. The best white water, when the rivers are at full froth, tends to be in the spring through early July, as most of the snow melts.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon is a paradise float, through thick-waisted cedars, firs and pines, and open prairie turns, a Class III or better set of bumps almost every hour, sometimes more. But it’s no beer-swilling joy ride. At times, the river will back up with downed timber, requiring a portage around the new hazards.

On our summer trip a few years ago, midday temperatures were well into the 90s, with only a slight breeze. At night, we had a thunderstorm preceded by near-hurricane force winds. It knocked down trees and an outhouse held by guy wires. Our tent walls were flapping like flags on top of Everest. Overnight, the bears had their way with our coolers, even though we had lashed and secured them. That pesto chicken, apparently, had something over roots and berries.

At the other extreme are the natural showers, courtesy of hot-spring waterfalls along the way. Of course you can soak in deep-pocket boulders — nature’s hot tubs. But there is nothing like standing next to polished basalt under a cascade of 105-degree water at the end of a day.

By car, an easy way to see this wild country is along United States Route 12, which crosses the Panhandle. The road passes by the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, an area bigger than the state of Delaware, and follows or intersects three wondrous rivers: the Lochsa, the Selway and the river formed when those two streams merge — the Middle Fork of the Clearwater.

The three rivers in the Route 12 corridor are designated Wild and Scenic, a federal protection, and they live up to the name. The Lochsa, which means Rough Water in the Nez Perce language, is ferocious and explosive white water, for hard-core rafters. The major stretch has more than 40 significant rapids. By that I mean, bumps with names, bumps that are the focus of many a rafter’s dreams. One night in May over dinner at a river rat hangout, a couple of guides showed me photos from a busy day on the Lochsa. Every frame was solid froth, with a bouncing raft in the middle of it.

The Selway, which meets the Lochsa near the hamlet of Lowell, is a different character. Where the Lochsa is stirred and frenzied, the Selway is more meditative, deeper, moving at a much gentler pace for the most part. It is another one of the places here that reminds me of Alaska, mainly because of the wildlife. While hiking and fishing the Selway, I’ve seen moose, elk, black bears, every manner of raptor, and have come upon tracks of cougars, the most elusive of Rocky Mountain inhabitants.

The Selway has a couple of draws: Selway Falls, reached by a road that is paved for part of the way, and a little resort at the confluence of the three rivers, where Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton stayed, in cabin No. 4, in 1985. Hey, it’s the West: Washington or Jefferson never slept here.

I spent a night in a cabin downriver from the confluence, and was forced inside early by a storm. The morning was glorious, with eagles looking for chinook salmon in the swift Middle Fork of the Clearwater and the thinnest of mists holding to the trees.

A few words about the fishing: in the fall and winter months, this is steelhead country, drawing anglers from around the world trying to catch the most difficult of big trout. In the spring, there’s a brief season for salmon, the big kings, or chinooks, coming into the mountains from a long journey that began at sea.

The best trout fishing, in my experience, is on the St. Joe, reached by Interstate 90 from Missoula or Spokane, and then over the Bitterroots on gravel roads. I shouldn’t give this up; my two fishing brothers are going to kill me for this. But in sections of the St. Joe the trout are so easy to catch you want to give them pointers on dodging the cheap fly. They’re cutthroats, some as big as 18 inches. They don’t fight as much as rainbows, but they’re abundant, and rise on cue to any decently presented dry fly. Trout Unlimited called the St. Joe the best cutthroat trout fishery on the west side of the Rockies.

The Lochsa, Selway and Middle Fork of the Salmon are also great places for trout. My son caught a 17-inch cutthroat once when he wasn’t even fishing — his fly rod was dangling out the side of the raft, unattended, when a fish went for his Elk Hair Caddis.

The Clearwater, perhaps because the young salmon and steelhead take much of the food, is not as good for trout. But it’s the gateway to a land where people have lived for thousands of years. Following the main stem Clearwater and Route 12 west gets to the expansive heart of Nez Perce country. These natives impressed Lewis and Clark more than any other people they met along the way. Not only did the Nez Perce basically save the Virginia Men, as they were sometimes called, from starving, but they impressed them with what may be the finest breed of horse in the West — the appaloosa.

Unlike some tribes left with only a casino or a small reservation, the Nez Perce are not a mere passive presence in this part of the West. Their imprint is big.

There is the history, notably that surrounding Chief Joseph and his epic 1877 running battle that is commemorated at sites along the Nez Perce National Historic Park. And then the culture, through powwows and numerous festivals open to the public in reservation towns like Kooskia, Kamiah and Lapwai throughout the summer months.

For me, the most stirring of the Nez Perce sites is White Bird, along Route 95 south of the reservation. This is the Indian Gettysburg, where one of the few real pitched battles between natives and the American Army was fought. The army was routed at White Bird, while the Nez Perce did not lose a man. But it was bittersweet, as Chief Joseph’s people — about 750 men, women and children — were later chased more than 1,500 miles throughout the Rockies and finally gave up, hungry and cold, just short of the Canadian border.

It does not take much to look down into the canyon from the roadside historic site and imagine the battle unfolding, or to stare into the wilds of the Salmon River country, the mountains snagging wayward clouds, the River of No Return at its center, and see why they fought so hard to hold on to this place.

VISITOR INFORMATION

HOW TO GET THERE

It is not easy to get to north-central Idaho, but once you get there, transportation choices are numerous. Airlines, connected through Seattle or Salt Lake City, fly into Lewiston, Idaho, on the western end. Or you can approach from the east, through Missoula, which is also served by several airlines.

A good four-wheel-drive car is helpful, especially on national forest roads. But Route 12, the paved scenic route, can accommodate any vehicle.

If you want to float the Middle Fork of the Salmon, get in line, as permits are limited and are issued well in advance. But guided tours, out of gateway towns like Salmon or Riggins, are plentiful. Allow at least five days, and remember that the river runs through land that is mostly without roads.

There are small landing strips along the Middle Fork, but the planes won’t come unless contacted in advance.

WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

River Dance Lodge (208-765-0841; www.riverdancelodge.com), on Route 12, has new cabins with hot tubs and a chef who serves Turkish meals, among other offerings, on the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River. Cabin rates start at about $140.

Just up the road is the place where the Clintons stayed, Three Rivers Resort (208-926-4430; www.threeriversresort.com), with log cabins and motel, pool and Jacuzzi. It’s at the confluence of the Lochsa and the Selway. Motel rates begin at $69, and go up to $145 for the cabins.

In the backcountry of the St. Joe, via horseback or on foot, are rustic cabins and veteran fishing guides at St. Joe Outfitters and Guides (208-245-4002; www.stjoeoutfitters.com). Three nights in the cabins, with food and guiding, are about $1,500 a person.

Idaho is huckleberry country, and perhaps the best cobbler is at the Elk River Café, (208) 826-3398, in the hamlet of Elk River.

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