Bustling Then, Still a Beauty

By Gina Hill

Winding, wooded Highway 97 hugs the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene and drops steeply into the tiny town of Harrison. The lake glitters brightly through the trees, looking like a sea of sparkling gems floating on a warm summer day. A delightful surprise awaits my husband Smiley and me as we drive past the “Welcome to Harrison” sign and slip back in time to small-town America. This is our first of many visits. We cruise slowly through town and I point to a creamery with crisp red-and-white striped awnings.

“I hear the ice cream here is to die for,” I say.

“Twist my arm,” Smiley says, “but first let’s check out the waterfront, since that’s why we’re on this adventure. The grandkids will be here before we know it . . . have to be sure it’s the perfect spot for the gang.”

He turns left and creeps down the hill to the Harrison Marina, weaving through throngs of summer visitors spilling into the street.

“Look, there’s a shady park with a swing set.” I point out my window. “Plus a sandy beach for the swimming area. Perfect! I’d say our mission today has been accomplished.”

We park and climb out of the car. He puffs his chest up, inhaling deeply. “Ah, the smell of water. A person could live on this.”

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