Saturday, December 09, 2023

A tale of two very different years

| June 22, 2022 1:00 AM

A look back to the merry month of June 2021 offers quite the comparison weather-wise to the sixth month of this year. Our first 90+ degree day happened June 2 last year; this year, we’ve been lucky to have a high temperature above 60 degrees. Raise your hand if you’ve had a fire in the fireplace and/or turned on the furnace in June 2022 while still wearing socks.

Last June, the average temperature was well into the 80s, and our second 90 degree day was exactly one year ago today. The mercury steadily rose reaching 100 degrees on June 27 when Mother Nature said, “here, hold my beer …” and gave us 100, 106, 106, and 104 on the last days of June 2021.

Fast forward to June 2022 and we’re so excited to possibly enjoy our first 80-plus degree day of the year this weekend. Somewhere between our unseasonably cold and wet June of this year and the unprecedented extended heat wave of last year is a normal and beautiful North Idaho summer season.

FYI: the water temperature of Lake Coeur d’Alene is just under 60 degrees, and the Spokane River is running high, fast and cold, the spill gates at the Avista dam in Post Falls are still wide open. Be patient, be safe and be smart when rushing the summer splashing.

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Since 2003, when Ironman first came to Coeur d’Alene, I embraced the experience. Never as a competitor but as a volunteer and enthusiastic spectator. In the early years, the bike portion was routed through Post Falls, including around the track at the Greyhound Park and across an active railroad trestle which was converted to a bike path and taken down in record time by the Post Falls Lions Club. The routes for all except the swim portion have changed through the years but the inspiration of the athletes never varied. I’ve met athletes and their families and fans from all over the country and the world.

I’ve been behind the scenes with media credentials and been out on the lake at the crack of dawn to watch the swimmers. I’ve volunteered at runner’s aid stations for local charities, as a pointer in the bike segment, body marker, sunscreen-applicator, as a Doping Control escort for the pro racers and as a finish line catcher, always choosing the last shift before the race cut-off where the inspiration of seeing regular people who had set a goal finally, blessedly crossing the finish line before the stroke of midnight to become Ironmen.

If you’ve never volunteered, believe me, it’s incredibly rewarding to be in the company of people who are achieving at the highest level, people who might not consider themselves athletes in their regular life. Maybe they’ll never do another Ironman again but June 26 there will be people who will amaze themselves with what they’ve accomplished.

There are volunteer openings for this Sunday’s Coeur d’Alene Ironman 70.3 in a variety of areas. Go to for information.

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Happy birthday today to Joe Butler, Nathan Walker, Lynne Hamm, Camille Lang, Ronda House, Jamie Johnson, Scott Shepperd, Mike Saunders, Bianca Olson and Caitlin Parmentier. Tomorrow Dawn Forest, Nancy Nick, Lynne Hammond and Carly Cline whoop it up. On Friday Jim Reynolds, Kathy Bush, Kimi Coles, Rhonda Ellis, Ian Sadler, John Phelps, Sara Wegner and Laura Lahr put on their party hats. Saturday celebrants are Joann Hildebrant, Bill Reagan, Mikki Stevens, Patty Vogt, Addison Johnson, Jim Guy, Jan Olsen, Angela Mort, Connie McGee, Kylie Gibson, Shanda Johnson, Sally Mackin and Megan Ownbey. Sam Davis, Rick Rasmussen, Alecia Warren, Shannon Fish, Chloe Hutter, Ben Wolfinger, Karen Hanson, Cathleen O’Connor, Sheryl Snyder and Ernie Hunt blow out the birthday candles on Sunday. June 27 birthdays belong to Trigger Weddle, Todd Banducci, Gayle Bolton, Leslie White, Scott Hamilton, Terri Mercer, Cherry Jones, Nathan Gubbe and John Goodlander. On Tuesday Gene Tillman, Connie Gridley, Dave Stutzke, Janet Smith, Cherry Jones, Jack Danelson, and Sheryl Sipe put on their party hats.

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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 Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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