2016 Jim Schmid bicycles 24-mile North Idaho Centennial Trail

I drove to Coeur d’Alene, ID to bike the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes and Route of the Hiawatha. Boy, was I surprised to learn at the Visitor Center that the Route of the Hiawatha doesn’t open until May 28. Who knew that you could close a rail-trail. Trail is on National Forest but managed by a concessionaire. Earlier today while on the freeway when I crossed the WA/ID stateline I could see a paved trail off to the south. Found out it’s the 24-mile North Idaho Centennial Trail and much of it’s on abandoned railbed. Not to be confused with the 900-mile Idaho Centennial Trail which is a north south trail the length of Idaho. I came back the next day to bike it. Parked at the Huetter Rest Stop on the freeway which is 10 miles from WA/ID stateline. Off I went biking to the west to the stateline . At  Stateline Park I met Simon Parker a British travel writer and journalist who had started his cross-country bike trip the week before in Seattle, WA. We biked together back to the Rest Stop. On the way we stopped at a local bike shop so he could fabricate a new pin for his BOB trailer. In a box by the door I saw an old Skid Lid II helmet. They were manufactured in San Diego where I grew up and it was my first bike helmet back in early 1980s. So I bought it for $10 to hang on my wall when I get back home. At the Rest Stop after talking about the high pass he would have to bike over the next day to get to Missoula, MT I made the offer to take some of his gear and drop it off at Adventure Cycling Association office in Missoula. At 2 pm I left on the 160 mile drive to Missoula. Got to the Aventure Cycling Association office at 4:30, plenty of time to leave off Simon’s box (amazing how heavy it was, hope it helps him out by having it here). Was surprised to find the door locked. I called them and found out they are open from 8 to 5 pm Mountain Time. I was still on Pacific Time. Ended up dropping the box off the next day. Took a tour of the office. It’s like a bicycle history museum and the staff is very friendly and welcoming. I’m Lifemember #20 and it’s been more than 20 years since I’ve been here.

Since I only biked 10 miles of the Trail  on April 28 I came back in May to bike the other half. Here’s pictures of the western half of the trail.

After taking Simon’s box to Missoula, MT I decided to head south to find a little warmer weather and to bike the Historic Union Pacific Rail-Trail in Park City, UT. Had clear cold weather to bike. While headed back to northern Idaho I stopped off in Ketchum, Boise, and Moscow to bike their rail-trails. Got back to Coeur d’Alene, ID on May 10 and biked the eastern half of the North Idaho Centennial Trail on May 11.

jamesfschmid@gmail.com