The lake has a floating boardwalk which surrounds the pleasure boat moorings. Some of these moorings are under cover - there was a few million dollars worth of boats there - and the boardwalk ensures that the water inside remains fairly calm. It is really very well done and makes the whole place seem more accessible to those of us who cannot afford enormous stink boats. Outside you have the usual water sports going on as well as a sea plane that lands right where people are on jet skis and only a few hundred metres from swimmers. It all seems quite normal. We did think about going for another boat tour but that was of very short duration.
So that meant it was back on the interstate towards Seattle. This was 5 hours or so of rather boring driving although Irene did see a car on fire and I saw a water bomber helicopter drop water on a brush fire that was in the middle of a wind farm. There were also some cows sunning themselves on a beach next to a lake on a farm - it was definitely not a dam. The speed limit is 70 to 75 mph but some people go way faster than that - you rarely see a cop car on the interstate and when you do they just go flying past all the cars that are going faster than the speed limit anywayCow.
Finally we arrived in somewhere early enough for it to still be light and late enough to miss the worse of the rush hour traffic. I had checked out the directions to our hotel on my iPhone and it was perfect so we had an early dinner at the local diner (a huge t-bone steak, beer and salad) and had an early night hoping that the planes we could see from our hotel room window would not wake us up.
Coeur d'Alene was always just going to be a rest stop on our way to Seattle but it is quite a nice looking place. Apparently the lake was voted one of the top five lakes by National Geographic - like many of the places we have been it was full of summer holiday makers. We did take a couple of hours to check out the main touristy area but it was really hot so we did not stay long. The 'beach' was packed. One guy sitting on a low chair, practically in the water, had his toddler daughter in a small rubber dinghy and was pulling her in and letting her drift out again. I have been surprised at the lack of hats on the youngsters - they just smother them in sun screen and that is all. Another woman was in a lilo seat in the water with a can of something and was reading a book. It was rather peaceful watching them (I was sitting on the grass in the shade) until a big family came to sit in the shade and then spent the next 20 minutes or so discussing what and where they were going to eat. Sometimes the loudness of several people talking over each other really begins to grate...