Thursday, August 6, 2009

Couer d'Alene

Our last full day in Couer d’Alene was spent exploring the town. We started with a quick stop at Bear Paw Quilting to find the four fat quarters to represent Idaho. We’ve just seen a sliver of this state, but I think these fabrics represent it well. While I was shopping Paul scouted a geocache just off the parking lot. So, we grabbed our quilt fabrics and first Idaho cache in one very efficient stop.

We wandered into town to see what there was to see. The highlight, of course, is Lake Couer d’Alene. It’s beautiful!

Couer d’Alene is also home to Mudgy Moose. Being moose fans, we had to check him out. There’s a trail that runs through town and features five of these sculptures and chronicles the children’s story Mudgy & Millie, by Coeur d’Alene author Susan Nipp. We didn’t exactly follow the trail, but we ran into at least three of these guys during our visit. Paul met up with this Mudgy while he was looking for a nearby geocache.

We picked up a handful of caches in town. One cache required a hike up and down Tubbs Hill. We didn’t find that particular cache, but the spectacular views of the lake made the hike worthwhile.

Our friend Jenny told us yesterday that we absolutely, positively must have lunch at Hudson’s Hamburgers. This place has been serving burger purists since 1907. Since we have one such purist in our party, we followed Jenny’s advice. We had passed by the place during the noon hour and saw quite a line. So, we postponed our lunch until mid-afternoon. When we returned around 2 PM, each of the 17 seats inside was occupied with happy diners, and the line to place a to-go order was about 20 minutes. (Yep, this place is that popular!)

We made the wait and placed our order for one cheeseburger and one double cheeseburger, two Pepsi’s and that was it. That’s the way Hudson’s has been doing things for over a century: Just burgers - singles and doubles with and without cheese - and soft drinks. No fries. No shakes. And, oh yeah, chocolate creme pie. Like many generations of Hudsons before him, one cook stands over a gas grill, scoops and flattens out fresh ground beef and skillfully slices pickles and onions with masterful strokes. When it’s all cooked to perfection he pulls the beef onto fresh white buns and wraps the juicy gem in white paper.

Artistry in motion!

With our “huddieburgers” in hand, we headed outside and found an empty bench to enjoy our tasty lunch on a sunny day in beautiful Couer d’Alene. If you find yourself passing this way, we recommend that you follow Jenny’s advice, too, and make Hudson’s a “must stop”.

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