North Idaho College

The power of the open mic and the mystery of the topless roller-blading man.

The sun, red like a Bloody Mary, squints across Lake Coeur d’Alene to lay bare the sins of the previous night. The just-21 riff-raff horde stumbles down Sherman Avenue. They’re the shambling undead, zombie breath still coughing poison fumes of vodka and chili cheese fries.

NIC’s Outdoor Pursuits organization provides a place to find local activities, meet outdoor enthusiasts and rent top-quality equipment. They rent kayaks, sailboats and camping gear, and organize outdoor adventures, including rock climbing, boating, snowshoeing and whitewater rafting.

NIC has no shortage of classes that somehow give you college credit. Some of our favorites: cooking around the world, nature photography, t'ai chi, wilderness backpacking, racquetball and, get this, mall walking.

As winter begins to freeze the lake’s edge, Coeur d’Alene’s coffee house culture provides refuge. Nearly every downtown block has at least one open-mic night. Play an instrument, tell jokes, read poetry — there are no rules here.

You’ll see him when the first warm day hits the city. Everyone knows him, but none know his name. This guy — who bears a resemblance to John C. Reilly — rides around downtown Coeur d’Alene every afternoon (Every. Single. Day.) clad in nothing but short jean shorts and a pair of rollerblades. We warned you

Sherman’s coffee shops and bars deliver hipsters and frat boys, but if you’re looking for an ironclad support system, join a club or sports team. Better yet, take an outdoors, theater or journalism class. For idealists, the Human Rights Education Institute next to campus offers more culture than the rest of Coeur d’Alene combined.

If you hit up Java on Sherman just before close, you might nab a day-old pastry for free. Moon Time (Coeur d’Alene’s best pub/restaurant) offers a different microbrew for $1 a pint every Thursday at 9 pm.

Try North Idaho’s fantastic new public library on Seventh and Front in Coeur d’Alene. By The Lake is one of the only quiet coffee shops in town. If you’re looking to walk off your stress, Tubbs Hill, Lakeside Drive and Rosenberry Drive are all perfect for good old-fashioned introspection.

Try Rosenberry Drive first. You’ll have to parallel park, but there’s almost always a spot. Or make your way to the northernmost side of campus near the health and sciences building. You’re sure to find something along its perimeter.

Newport Rodeo & Festival @ Newport Rodeo Grounds

Fri., June 25, 1-9 p.m. and Sat., June 26, 12-9 p.m.
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About The Author

Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...