Not your usual shore wash-up

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  • Reader Mark Sales shared this photo he took Saturday of the giant die that washed ashore near Independence Point.

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    Courtesy photo A giant die floats in Lake Coeur d’Alene Friday.

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    LOREN BENOIT/PressWater from Lake Coeur d'Alene floods over the bridge to Coeur d'Alene Parasail Monday afternoon.

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    LOREN BENOIT/PressWater from Lake Coeur d'Alene floods into the Independence Point parking lot Monday afternoon.

  • Reader Mark Sales shared this photo he took Saturday of the giant die that washed ashore near Independence Point.

  • 1

    Courtesy photo A giant die floats in Lake Coeur d’Alene Friday.

  • 2

    LOREN BENOIT/PressWater from Lake Coeur d'Alene floods over the bridge to Coeur d'Alene Parasail Monday afternoon.

  • 3

    LOREN BENOIT/PressWater from Lake Coeur d'Alene floods into the Independence Point parking lot Monday afternoon.

COEUR d’ALENE — Either God rolled a one or rising flood waters cast a giant die into Lake Coeur d'Alene last week.

The latter was confirmed after the heavy steel object was recovered by Coeur d'Alene city workers Monday morning.

Its "snake eye" facing upward, the die washed ashore between The Resort and Independence Point over the weekend.

After photos of the mysterious die began to surface on social media, intrigue immediately followed.

Readers reached out to The Press, inquiring about the dotted square that could be seen floating on the lake, but a popular website thread perhaps gave it the most attention.

Reddit, a social news aggregation site, had a thread labeled "A giant metal die just washed up on shore where I live," featuring a photo and more than 400 comments.

"And you got a 1! Bad sign," user hockey_metal_signal commented.

"I think God is telling you to go and gamble," commented FunkySpaceCowboy1.

One reader, in an email to The Press, went as far as to say he was worried about the object.

"Why is it not being reported on? Or at least the public being informed. whats up with it??? Some people are actually worried," the email read.

This wasn't the first time Sam Gridley, a man who splits his time between Hawaii and Coeur d'Alene, has seen the sizable object.

Gridley says it's an old storage tank that washed up near his Driftwood Bay property in 2008 and stuck around.

One year, he said, someone put circles on the tank to give it the appearance of a die. He believes the recent flooding was enough to wash it back into the lake.

"One morning I looked outside and there were dots on it," Gridley said with a laugh. "The water pushed it so far up the beach. It was on a pile of wood and logs. That's why they call the area Driftwood Bay, because of all of the wood that is drifting out there."

Driftwood Bay isn't the only area hit with debris right now, though.

Because of the high water levels, a lot of lake property owners are dealing with things floating near their shores, especially Boardwalk Lane Beach near Rockford Bay.

Nine property owners on Boardwalk Lane are dealing with debris, according to Chris Allen.

Allen, who said the debris is coming from East Point, is seeing much more than logs and tree roots, too. An assortment of garbage including old tires and beach chairs is also floating near her dock.

"I've never seen debris like this," Allen said. "We've seen high water, but nothing like this. It's mind-boggling. Even the geese are confused.

"When the water goes down, we're going to have a big mess to clean up."

Lake Coeur d'Alene reached 2,134.58 feet Monday afternoon, per the National Weather Service, one-and-a-half feet above the lake's average flood stage of 2,133. The lake is 6 feet above the normal summer level. 

Roberta Larsen is seeing the water inch its way to her lakefront Cougar Bay home. By Monday afternoon, the water was about 25 feet from Larsen's front door — a little too close for comfort.

She has already spoken to a moving company to take out couches and carpet in case the water continues to make its way toward her home, something she's done before.

In 1997, Larsen said, the flooding reached the living room.

"We've had to go through all that and rebuild," she said. "But that's OK. Last year, we had a tree that went through the house so we had to rebuild then, too.

“I think we're all due for a little sunshine right now."

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