May 26, 1995 in Idaho

Throngs Seek Call Of The Mild Memorial Day Weather Will Be Nice To Campers

Mike Prager Staff Staff writer
 
Tags:holiday

The weatherman is calling for something different for Memorial Day weekend in the Inland Northwest - nice weather.

For the first time since 1992, mostly clear skies and warm temperatures are forecast.

“Saturday and Sunday are expected to be very nice, not outstanding, but very nice,” said meterologist Milt Maas.

As a result, big crowds are expected on the highways and at popular recreation spots. State troopers said they will be watching the roads for speeders and drunks.

The rush to nature already has started. Campgrounds are filling up, and many will be full by tonight, rangers said.

There are so many places to camp that people arriving late shouldn’t worry about finding a spot, said Cindy Reichelt, public information officer for the Colville National Forest.

“You can camp literally anywhere in the (national) forest, wherever you think it’s pretty,” she said.

For example, the Little Pend Oreille chain of lakes east of Colville is home to several campgrounds, Reichelt said, and Sullivan Lake near Metaline Falls has a new overflow area for latecomers.

She suggested campers check in at ranger stations for help finding spots and getting ideas for fun.

In North Idaho, weekend travelers looking for a motel may have to keep driving. Hotels in Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene have been booked for months.

The reason is a huge regional youth soccer tournament that will flood the town with jerseyed kids.

The 1995 Idaho Youth Soccer Association State Cup Tournament will put 1,800 players in town through Monday. It’s the first time the tournament has been held outside Boise.

Usually hotels fill up around Memorial Day with travelers from afar, and some from Spokane, said Dick Scheets, the general manager at the Shilo Inn on Appleway in Coeur d’Alene.

Some popular summer tourism outlets in North Idaho open this weekend. Silverwood Theme Park on Highway 95 will open its gates, as will Wild Waters waterslide park on Government Way in Coeur d’Alene.

The Spokane Valley’s SplashDown waterslide park also will open Saturday.

Campers going to Priest Lake may have a hard time squeezing in. The Osprey Campground at the southwest end of the Priest Lake is closed temporarily until crews clear downed timber.

The most popular state parks in Washington are already full. Steamboat Rock State Park in the Columbia Basin was booked in January.

Some campsites were still reported available on Thursday at Sun Lakes State Park south of Coulee City. Closer to home, it doesn’t look like a lot of people plan to stick around and finish putting in their gardens.

Martha McNally at the Plant Farm nursery in the Spokane Valley said the rush for vegetable starts and bedding plants has slowed down since Mother’s Day.

For those planning to work in their yard, the weather won’t be too hot.

The forecast calls for highs in the 70s throughout the region, maybe as high as 80 west of Spokane.

The weather may remain a little unsettled until a high pressure ridge moves onshore Saturday afternoon and Sunday, Maas said. Sunday should be the best day of the three.

By Monday afternoon, there is a chance of thundershowers moving up from the south.

Maas said this weekend’s weather should make last year’s Memorial Day a bad memory. Last year, the high in Spokane was only 65 degrees on Memorial Day, and that came after two days of cool, showery weather.

MEMO: SPOKANE HEADLINE: Fair enough: Outlook good for holiday

This sidebar appeared with the story: GONE FISHIN’ The following offices and services will be affected by the observance of Memorial Day on Monday: Garbage pickup in Coeur d’Alene will be a day late next week. City and county offices will be closed. Post offices will be closed. Liquor stores will be closed. Public schools will be closed. Banks will be closed.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Mike Prager Staff writer Staff writer Eric Torbenson contributed to this report.

SPOKANE HEADLINE: Fair enough: Outlook good for holiday

This sidebar appeared with the story: GONE FISHIN’ The following offices and services will be affected by the observance of Memorial Day on Monday: Garbage pickup in Coeur d’Alene will be a day late next week. City and county offices will be closed. Post offices will be closed. Liquor stores will be closed. Public schools will be closed. Banks will be closed.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Mike Prager Staff writer Staff writer Eric Torbenson contributed to this report.


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