White water, white knuckles

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For the past several years my husband and I have taken annual mini-vacations doing something we’ve not done before. Last year we went whale watching in the San Juan Islands and the year before took a flight over Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. A jet boat day trip in Hells Canyon was fun but doing that in August, I’d not recommend.

There’s a reason it’s called Hells Canyon.

So this year we took our first white water raft trip, rafting on the Clark Fork River in the Alberton Gorge out of Superior, Mont., with ROW Adventures. I love water and being in and on water, but the thought of crashing through rapids in a raft had me somewhat unnerved. I’m more a “leisurely float down the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River” kind of gal.

We met our fellow rafters and the guides at base camp in the morning for a very comprehensive orientation and safety presentation. It was like reading the small print list of possible side affects on a medication bottle. Sometimes ignorance is bliss but I also understood that knowing what could go sideways and being prepared was a good thing.

There were about two dozen people and three rafts with guides in our group. The guides, Liz Racer, Tyler Ashmore and Katie Scott are all college students with what has to be the best summer job ever. Their knowledge of the river and joyfulness in doing something they love enhanced the experience for all.

Our raftmates, John and Diana Daum and Steve Lamb, were from Coeur d’Alene although we’d not met before. Liz was our guide and made the day enjoyable. Especially when she said her goal was to keep everyone in the raft and deliver the same number of people to the bus at the end of our trip as she started with. The several hours we spent on the river on a 100-degree day, stopping for a picnic lunch on shore along the way, was quite fun. Bert and his oar were in the bow and I sat behind him. We both got wet but he definitely took the full force of the spray.

I considered it a success simply by not tumbling out of the raft over any of the rapids, although I was wearing a bright orange shirt under my life jacket to aid in rescuers spotting me if I went bobbing down the river at some point.

Once again I discovered that facing fear and getting outside the comfort zone is exhilarating. I’m not sure what next summer’s adventure will be — ziplining and parasailing are on the short list, though.

• • •

The first Coeur d’Alene Tribal Julyamsh powwow in 1998 and all of the years since have been a generous gift of shared culture and sacred traditions of dance, drums and prayer. Powwows are celebrations, social gatherings and friendly dance competitions surrounded by ceremonial traditions and teachings.

If you have never attended, please make a point to experience the horse parade and grand entry, when all of the dancers enter the arena with the centerpiece of the warriors color guard. The sights, sounds and traditions are unique to these native peoples gatherings, a singularly impactful experience for all who attend.

• • •

Highlights of summer fun:

Thursday through Saturday, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Julyamsh Pow Wow at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. Info: www.julyamsh.com

Thursday from 4-7 p.m., visit North Idaho College’s annual Summer Splash at Sunspot on NIC beach. Also on Thursday, from 5:30 -8 p.m., the Riverstone Summer Concert Series will also include the fourth annual CDA 2030 celebration and free ice cream!

Friday is the third annual PFPD K9 Golf Tournament at Prairie Falls Golf Course, tee-off at 1 p.m. Info: www.postfallspolice.com

Relay for Life cancer fundraiser hosted by Relay for Life Kootenai County takes place Saturday from noon to midnight at McEuen Park.

On Sunday, Heart of the City Church hosts its tenth annual Blessing of the Bikes (motorcycles), 1:30 p.m. at 772 W. Kathleen in Coeur d’Alene, followed by a group ride to Schweitzer Mountain Resort for a late lunch. Open to all.

Also on Sunday at 7 p.m. the fourth annual Teen Cabaret showcasing young performers at the Kroc Center. Info: (208) 660-2958, www.cdasummertheatre.com

• • •

Visiting with my friend Stephanie Gravelle Davenport and congratulating her on the birth of new great granddaughter (see the newest member of the Main Street Birthday Club below) she told me she was grateful to have so much of her family living here. Stephanie and her husband Randy were both born and raised in Post Falls, all of their children live here, all eight of their grandchildren live here and now two great grandkids call Post Falls home. And there’s a bonus — Stephanie’s beautiful mother Maurine Gravelle makes for five generations within the same ZIP code!

• • •

Welcome to the newest member of the Main Street Birthday Club: dainty 6 lbs 4 oz Isabella Grace Williams, arrived on 7/17/17. Miss Isabella’s parents are Tori and Louis Williams. Grandparents are Marissa and Chad Davenport and Shelly and Jason Williams. Great-grandparents are Randy and Stephanie Davenport, Bob and Lisa Santos and Joan and Star Kelso. Great-great-grandmother is Maurine Gravelle.

• • •

Happy birthday today to David Kilmer, Maria Dawson, Vic Grilli, Bill Noordam, Hillary Main, Sherri Dust and Micheala Cocoran.

The same tomorrow to Duffy Smock, Linda Litalien and Kymber Baker.

Friday birthdays will be marked by Jim Lien, Cathy Meeks (60!), David Miller, Todd Jenicek, Zofia Schell, Janet Allen, Shane Bell and Matt Gardner.

On Saturday Joe Malloy, Jim Coleman, Debbie Brown, Jennifer Schmidt, Tina Vandenheuvel and Sam Paul blow out the candles.

Katie Brodie, Jeremy Epstein, Marilee Wallace, Bill Singleton, Chris Olson-Wood, Carolyn Kreager, Ginger Harmala, Cassie Ohlig, Anne Kulinsky, Jessica McLean, Darin Hayes, Steve McCabe and Brett Surplus will celebrate sunny Sunday birthdays.

Marie Price, Tom Taggart, Karen Youman, Mark Hunsaker, Karen Prosser, Doug Miller, Shelby Stone, Anthony “A-Train” King and Srinivas Gundari share July 24 birthdays.

On Tuesday Mary Lou Dion (90!), Larry Schwenke (70!), Robin Schlotthauer, Alenna Blakeslee, Rich Nicolson and Karen King take another trip around the sun.

• • •

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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