Taking a walk

Taking a walk in Bonners Ferry, Idaho

Sandpoint Waterfront Park

Sandpoint Waterfront Park

I spent a day in Sandpoint Idaho on the glacial Lake Pend Oreille, parking for the night at Bonner County Fairgrounds. It was a busy weekend but tons of room. Can’t help but compare to our Fairgounds  here in SB, we have top-rate facilities yet the attitude is harsh, last I was there I was chewed out in a very nasty way for training my dogs. In Sandpoint I found a welcome. Turned out the hosts relocated from Southern California, they informed me there were growing numbers of transplants, seeking a kinder, gentler, safer  but fun and enriching home town. In that vein I have a complaint about Sandpoint and that is that their downtown water area is closed to dogs, they don’t even offer a few early morning hours or off season times, nada, for folks to go for a nice jog with their pet. Yet over by the fence where there was an RV Park  I saw dog droppings no one had picked up in a long time. One of my highlights in SB is taking the dogs to Shoreline Park or the Harbor, so for this SB shines and it’s clean.

 

Sandpoint

Sandpoint

I’ve come to judge a town’s friendliness by their dog polices and RV parking. I’m well aware there are people that allow their pets to be out of control, dirty, noisy and destructive! I can only wonder what their kids are like.

The Bridge at Sandpoint, Idaho Waterfront

The Bridge at Sandpoint, Idaho Waterfront Park

Sandpoint is full of layers and walkways and interesting sounds. Reminded me of the game MYST.

Sandpoint is full of layers and walkways and interesting sounds. Reminded me of the game MYST.

Banning pets does not solve the problem. I propose a certificate for traveling pets desiring access to restricted locations, the humans and their pets would need to pass a rigorous test of skills and manners. Obtaining the certificate would not be easy and would entail insurance coverage for any potential damages, health certificates and appropriate behaviors. Maybe it’s a bit extreme but if you thereby wanted to take your dog hiking, or to a resort, or out to lunch or for a walk in a lovely park there would be a means of earning the right to visit. Offenders would be subject to fines and having their permissions revoked. Might this motivate thousands of travelers to better train their dogs and to be better citizens to earn the right of access to such locations? I’m putting it out there for cities and towns to consider. Open the doors to travelers (and residents) with pets and reward good behavior rather than treating them all as if they’re antisocial and while you’re at it start handing out toxic substance littering tickets to smokers tossing their butts on the ground and the lazy who cannot seem to put their waste into an appropriate container. At campgrounds how about fines for incessant shouting and screaming, outdoor entertainment systems, smoking campfires, blaring lights, trampling vegetation and stuff like that and yes, dogs out of control or tied up and destitute and people leaving poop piles, yep people …  I’ve never yet seen a dog pick up after itself! How about training your dog to use a doggy bathroom area, they don’t have to pee and poop on everything in sight, chase wildlife, be aggressive or out of control,  ….  who made that up? Isn’t it time to bring back manners, accountability and stewardship in place of the growing lists of menacing No Signs which have no effect on offenders or dogs! Folks, dogs don’t read, so stop blaming them! The type of people that allow their pets to be obnoxious are that way themselves. Leave a place better than you found it, all of you OK!  Well, I said this was a rant.

Downtown Sandpoint early in the morning.

Downtown Sandpoint early in the morning.

More layers of Sandpoint

More layers of Sandpoint

 

I spent the next night at Blackwell Island RV Park on the Spokane River in Coeur d’alene, where it junctions the lake; $42 with discount.  I don’t generally stay at one of these large RV Parks, but occasionally when I’m tired and finding something more primitive is too much work or too long a drive, I opt for them.  My spot was on the end, so tons of room and very quiet, no campfires, no noise with a partial view of the river.

Plenty of room here.

Plenty of room here. Blackwell Island RV Park

I spent more time there than I’d intended to as I was tired and didn’t feel like doing anything other than walk along the beach and trails. It went from sunny and warm to dropping huge soft pieces of rain, big clumps of rain, as if it’s wasn’t water but some other substance falling from the sky, this right after I asked the Park staff if there was any rain in the forecast and I was reassured that there would be none. Then there was some booming thunder followed by a more normal rain and then back to no rain. It was a nice park with a beach including a dog beach but the dog beach wasn’t separated from the non-dog beach so not sure how this was supposed to work.

 

The dog beach.

The dog beach.

Walking on the Pier from the beach at Blackwell RV Park

Walking on the Pier from the beach at Blackwell RV Park

The dog play area wouldn’t allow any play for the majority of dogs as it was nothing more than an unappealing gravel pen, sharp on feet and likely very hot when the sun comes out; getting there not so good either with stray weeds and stickers for your dog’s coat. I didn’t go into town until the next day.

I wouldn't want my dogs using this so was not surprised I didn't see any other dogs using it.

I wouldn’t want my dogs using this so was not surprised I didn’t see any other dogs using it.

This book would be useful to have. Nice that the Park had a copy.

This book would be useful to have. Nice that the Park had a copy.

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