Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Iverson Road

this picture is looking north along Iverson Road,  north of Notus, Idaho.    this is from yesterday 12-23-13   11 mile walk between Lon Davis/Market Road intersection and highway 20/26 in Notus.     

Payette to Notus map

Payette to Notus

since my last blog post, I have been working my way south from the town of Payette, Idaho  to  yesterday's new tag point in Notus, Idaho.     

This is roughly a 28 mile stretch, which I walked in sections.    I used Elmore Road which roughly parallels highway 95, walked that road north and west into Fruitland.   Then I had to road walk highway 95 to get across the Payette River and to my previous tag point in the town of Payette.

From Echo Ave. and Elmore Road intersection, I walked Elmore Road (x2) to the south to where it Tees into Pearl Road.   This section crosses a lot of farm and cattle land and had a lot of ups and down from the rolling hills.  

A short jaunt on Pearl Road took me to the top of Lon Davis Road.  This road is paved further south, but the 4.25 mile section across a huge section of hills was all dirt road.    I had to first scout it with my car in order to find where Lon Davis Road connected in to Pearl Road.   It is not marked with a sign.   it's just one of many dirt roads that exit onto Pearl Road.   

I went out on a bitterly cold day and walked the section (x2) of Lon Davis Road, there and back through the crunchy snow.  

Yesterday 12/23/13  I walked a 5.6 mile section (x2)   from Market Road to Iverson Road, down Iverson to Purple Sage Road, over to Notus Road.    Then I followed Notus Road a short way into the town of Notus, to highway 20/26, and crossed the highway and the railroad tracks.

this is my newest "tag point" and is where I will take up again in the new year on my continuing trek south to the Snake River.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weiser to Payette

via Cove Road and Hill Road and part of highway 95 through Payette

see attachment

Weiser to Payette

yesterday's walk started in the town of Weiser, Idaho, at the Weiser River Trail kiosk.   Darla was spending the day with her sister, so she dropped me off to begin the walk.   I walked 16 miles south to the town of Payette, following some back country roads which roughly parallel highway 95.   

the attached map shows the route of Hill Road in green.   this was my intended route.   however, in tried-and-true "Doofus and Lark" fashion  (except with only Doofus, not Lark)   the orange line shows an unintended detour I took.    

A few miles along, I came to a fork in the road which was not signed.  The branch to the left did not look as well travelled, while the branch to the right looked like the main road.   After some distance travelled along the right fork, it became apparent that it was taking me straight back to highway 95.   Just before reaching the highway, there was a dirt road that cut back to the east.   I figured this would take me back to Hill Road.....which, it did.   however, there was an irrigation ditch intervening between the dirt road and the pavement of Hill Road.   and there was no bridge across.   I started to continue along the irrigation road, but it started heading back to the west again, and passed behind a fence line that was posted No Trespassing.


i didn't want to wind up on private property.   I backtracked to the nearest point between the irrigation road and Hill Road. 

well....here goes nothing.   Let's get it over with.   I took off my boots and socks and rolled up my pants over my knees.  The water in the ditch only looked about knee deep.    I found out that it was hip deep.  Then I got over to the other bank and found it to be slimy mud.   My hiking pole sank halfway.   Oh, great, I'm going to get stuck in quicksand.   I had to angle my way up the bank by digging a foot hold with my left foot, stepping up, and then digging another foothold with my right foot.  All the way, I was clawing at the muddy bank with my free hand.    

I scrambled up the bank and out across the pavement with half my clothes and body drenched and muddy.    At least my boots and socks were dry, because I had cast them over to the other side.   My wallet was wet.  Fortunately I had stowed my cell phone and mp3 player in my shirt pocket.    I finished the remaining 9 miles of the walk in wet pants, although by the end of the walk they were mostly dried out.   

I rejoined highway 95 coming into the north side of Payette and walked another mile and a half south.   I finally called Darla for a pickup after almost 6 hours and 16 miles of solid walking.     

...the adventure lives on....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Forty in 48

here is another video segment of my seven year adventure hiking the Idaho Centennial Trail.
titled "Forty in 48"
this dates back to August of 2006 in the panhandle of Idaho, north of Clark Fork.
fellow Idaho Outdoors list members Nick Abshire, Jerry (Frog) Finnegan were with me on this 40 mile section hike.
I had to use Jerry's pictures, because the disposable camera I used was misplaced and never seen again.
near Lunch Peak we met Chris Harrington shaggythehiker@aol.com from Nampa, Idaho.
Chris was within a few days of completing his ICT hike. He finished at Upper Priest Falls, a few days after we finished our hike.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Borah Peak

This was the SPOT Messenger update I sent out from my highest progress point on September 9th 2013 from just below the high point of Chicken Out Ridge.       

Borah Peak Sept 9th 2013

in sur MOUNT able

Borah Peak 12,662 feet
September 9, 2013

Idaho's highest point happens to be a mountain in the Lost River Range, called Borah Peak, named for an Idaho politician of the early 1900's.

Borah Peak is a 12K peak rising above a wide expansive valley. The valley stretches from the town of Arco at the south end all the way up to the town of Challis. It is bordered on the eastern side by the Lost River range; on the west by the Pioneers, the White Clouds, and the Sawtooths.

Borah Peak is a scenic magnet for the eyes, and also a magnet for hikers and climbers who travel from out of state to check it off their list of high points in the bag.

For me, Borah has long been a far off afterthought. During a decade of pursuing many hiking trails across the state of Idaho, Borah had remained on the fringes of my thought.

I have climbed to 9,200 feet near Ross Peak,which is the highest point on the Idaho Centennial Trail. I have climbed to 10,600 feet on North Inlet Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. However, due to my asthma and "the Governor," I have always considered mountains in the 11K to 14K range out of my reach as a hiker. I have been to top of Pikes Peak twice, once by car and once by cog train. Walking around on top of the mountain above 14,000 feet didn't seem to bother me, but then I had not climbed there under my own power.
So the thought of trying to hike to the top of Borah Peak, while a nice dream, remained *out there* in the realm of the implausible and impossible.

I was talking with a co-worker friend, Ahmet, about hiking and mountains. I believe he lit the spark when he asked what was the highest point in Idaho? A quick Google search produced many links for Borah Peak. As we looked at the pictures online, Ahmet surprised me by suggesting that we should go climb it. We had done a 5 mile hike on the Idaho Centennial Trail together, but this was an entirely different venture. I did the hard sell routine on him to assess how serious he was about going to Borah. The more we talked about it, the more I warmed up to the idea. I knew that my climbing limitations would be a factor, and Ahmet had never done much hiking at altitude. But with my quest to finish the Idaho Centennial Trail completed two years ago, I was looking for new challenges. My search had been turning to the eastern portion of Idaho, and a summer trip to Yellowstone National Park was forthcoming in July.

One of the challenges was when to go to Borah? We discussed it on and off during the course of the summer. Finally we settled on going in September, the weekend after Labor Day weekend.

Sunday, September 8th finally arrived. Ahmet had to work a half overtime shift before we could leave. We drove the four hours to the Borah Peak trailhead and set up camp for the night. There were only 5 campsites available, and they were already full, so we had to pitch our tents in the "overflow" section, but at least it was free. No campfire for us, just dinner from the cooler and a short stroll up the trail for about a half mile just to get warmed up for the next day. The trailhead is at 7,700 feet elevation and the top of Borah is about 5,000 feet vertical above it along a 3 1/2 mile trail. We retired to our respective tents for an early night so that we could start about 4 the next morning.

We left from the trailhead at 4:25 am Monday morning. Another solo hiker, who slept in his car near the trailhead, left about 5 minutes after we did. It didn't take him long to overtake and pass us. We ascended at a slow steady pace in the darkness, our headlamps making bobbing circles of light on the path ahead. We each left a bottle of water stashed in a tree for the trip down. Another solo hiker, Roxanne from Seattle, came up from behind and passed us. Then two other groups passed us.

The sky was getting lighter as we approached the 10,000 foot level. It was around this level that the trees began to thin and give way to broken rock scree. The trail was still well defined. We began a very steep ascent up the long slope that led to the base of Chicken Out Ridge. My progress became slower after the 10,000 foot level. Not only was I sucking wind, but my fingers were becoming cold and stiff. The early morning temperature and windy conditions made it very cold. We longed for the sun to make its appearance over the high ridges ahead.

It took me 6 1/2 hours to climb almost 4,000 vertical feet, to a point just below the high point of Chicken Out Ridge. That was about as high as I felt my asthma was going to let me go. Ahmet went on ahead and summitted.

I waited about 3 1/2 hours for him to get back down. I felt a bit nauseated at the 11,000 foot level. After I took a Dramamine, and some Pepto tablets, I started feeling better and was able to eat and drink. It also helped that I had a lot of time to rest while waiting on Ahmet to get to the summit and back down. During this time, I met a lot of people both on their way up and coming back down.

This year is actually a good year to do the high peaks because snow is negligible. There was no snow in the "snow bridge" for the present.

It looked like everyone was taking the top of the ridge, from high point to high point and then down to the snow bridge.

Ahmet found Roxanne from Seattle sitting down near the top of Chicken Out Ridge. She told him that this was her 49th of the 50 highest peaks in the states.  However, she was afraid to go across C.O.R. and he had to help her coming and going. He said that she appeared to be quite un-nerved by the steep exposed slopes.

She reported to another guy that this was the hardest un-roped climb she has ever done.

I watched from below as one group traversed an avalanche chute! I couldn't believe it. The penalty for a slip in their exposed location would have been a non-stop trip into the big bowl several thousand feet down on the western side of the mountain. Fortunately, they all crossed the chute safely, then they traversed a rock section then went up and over and then came down the south side of Chicken Out Ridge.

Another group of people had rope and wore climbing helmets. They said their previous experience at C.O.R. was not fun and they preferred now to go with a rope. I thought it looked like a good idea when they descended toward me.

Ahmet said he thought Chicken Out Ridge was very intimidating. Even though I didn't summit, I know that I did my very best this day. I believe I made the right decision, to not try to spend another 3 to 4 hours to summit, but save my strength to get back down. I set a personal best for altitude. We finished just before 5 pm. It only took me about 2 1/2 hours to walk back down to the trailhead from my high point.

Ahmet didn't seem to suffer any ill effects from going up 5,000 and down 5,000 all in the same day.

I already have a plan to *hopefully* go back next September and give it another shot.

I believe that if I go part way up and camp overnight around the 10,000 foot level that I will have a better shot at going for the summit.

Time will tell.....


Friday, August 30, 2013

Anderson Butte

this is an Idaho Centennial Trail adventure from July of 2008.

it was a 40 mile hike from the Selway River to Anderson Butte and down to French Gulch.

the video is in 2 parts.

part A (from Selway River to Meadow Creek guard station)


part B (climb to Anderson Butte, then exit at French Gulch)


Monday, April 22, 2013

Ross Peak ICT playlist

The only thing better than finishing the Idaho Centennial Trail, is helping a friend finish it.
In September of 2009, I joined my friend Jerry Finnegan for his last segment of the ICT through the Sawtooth Mountains.   Jerry and friends (Scott and Bev Pressman, Colleen Back)  started at Grandjean trailhead.   I caught a plane ride to the backcountry airstrip at Atlanta, Idaho, and hiked in a few miles to meet the group at Mattingly Creek.  From there, we hiked up Mattingly Divide, crossed through the north and south drainages of Ross Fork Creek, and climbed to the highest point on the ICT.  The pass near Ross Peak is 9,200 feet elevation.  From there we descended 11 miles along Willow Creek, and to the grand finale' for Jerry at the bridge over the South Fork of the Boise River.   A group of friends and family were waiting to celebrate Jerry's completion of the ICT.    
I was privileged to be a part of this group and to see Jerry's completion of his 6 year long quest to hike the ICT.   Jerry became a friend and hiking mentor and was of great assistance to me in my own completion of the ICT in 2011.   
I tried to make it all one video, however, when trying to download it to the YouTube Video Editor, the file sizes are so huge that it hangs up during playback with YouTube.
so, I had to compromise and make 59 videos into a "Playlist" on YouTube.
each video will play individually, or in sequence through the Playlist.
the entire playlist is 47 minutes.
These videos were taken with my Kodak Zi6 HD video camcorder. 
here then, is the Ross Peak ICT playlist

thank you for watching

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hell's Canyon 040513

Pittsburgh Landing, at the trailhead to Snake River Recreation Trail 102.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hell's Canyon spring 2013

my annual first weekend of April pilgrimage to Hell's Canyon

to set the stage for my trip report, here is an actual text conversation between me and a friend, as I was driving north to Riggins....

Ron:   On our way to hells canyon

Ken:   Bye-bye boys!  Have fun storming the canyon!

Ron:   It may storm on us tonight  : ) 

Ken:   That's what it's all about, right?!!

Ron:    It may rain all weekend   : ) 

Ken:    Ewww...  Turn back!

Ron:    I would be disappointed with any thing else  : )

Talk about prophetic!

I knew it was forecast to rain "off and on" all weekend.  

the weather did not disappoint.   And it was more "on" than "off" 

you received the SPOT messenger updates.   our camp Friday night was at Kirkwood Ranch.   We finished the last 2 miles in on headlamps, and set up camp by headlamps.  
After our dinner, we turned in for the night.   It rained about half the night.  

Tyler went back Saturday morning, he was there for 1 night only.   I wanted to see how far south from Kirkwood I could get.   Originally, I wanted to go as far as McGaffee Cabin or Granite Creek.  But I was hauling a 30 pound load.   

I walked 9 miles to Sheep Creek Ranch, which was the second SPOT update position.   After 2-3 hours of resting, filtering water, eating, taking pictures, I decided to not push further south.   I retreated 2 miles to the north, to Pine Bar, where Tyler and I camped last year.  This would put me in position to hike 13 miles on Sunday back to the car.  

The rain had been off and on all day Saturday.   Now as I approached Pine Bar in the waning daylight, I could see dark grey storm clouds building to the south.   I had just got my tent set up and the rain started coming.   I hurriedly got everything inside or under the vestibule and zipped it shut.   

It rained all night.  At times it was pouring!   Occasionally, I could hear some big fish flopping around with a big splash out in the river.   Silly silly sturgeons....

on Sunday morning, my first thoughts of getting up were put on pause by another wave of heavy rain.   I slept a while longer and awoke with a little better light.   There was a lull in the rain and I went ahead and packed up.   Just as I was almost finished packing, here it came again.   I got my rain poncho on in the blustery winds, and wrestled it up and over my backpack and got the side snaps fixed.  

Time to hike....

The rain came in waves all day, sometimes with strong cold winds from the north.   One wave brought ice and snow BB's.   The poncho not only helped with the rain, but also served as a wind breaker to keep me warm from the cold winds.  

I carried on straight through to Kirkwood Ranch, where I made a lunch and water filtering stop.  The sun came out for a while, even as drops of rain were falling.   I then made the steep climb out of Kirkwood and hiked the last 6 miles back to the trailhead and the waiting Saturn escape vehicle....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Through the Inside Desert

For this week's videos, we go to the opposite end of Idaho, way down south....

This is the beginning of the Idaho Centennial Trail, at the Nevada border.   This 51 mile section hike is a part of my seven year hike across Idaho on the ICT.   in March of 2005 I hiked this section through the Inside Desert, with Jerry Finnegan and Scott Pressman who mountain biked in the opposite direction.   We camped at the trailhead on Friday night, and started early on Saturday morning with the 4 mile round trip walk to the NV border marker.   Then we hiked on Day 1 = (4) + 14 miles    Day 2 = 13.5 miles   Day 3 = 15 miles    Day 4 = 7 miles     Water was a very critical item on this hike.   We could have used another couple of water drops along the way.    
 Although this wasn't my first hike on the ICT, it was at the time the longest section I had ever attempted.    The successful completion of this hike became a foundation for everything else that was to come later on.   

"Through the Inside Desert"

part A

part B

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

With Bells on

more Movie Maker madness...

"With Bells On" 

a 40 mile segment of the Idaho Centennial Trail in northern Idaho.   This is another piece of my seven year hike across Idaho on the Idaho Centennial Trail.   Together with Jerry Finnegan, in July of 2006, we begin at Indian Creek on the east side of Priest Lake, climb to Hunt Lake, then cross the Selkirk mountain range.  After descending to Pack River Road, we begin another climb to Dodge Peak.   From there it is supposed to be a few more miles down to our endpoint at McArthur Lake.   that's when we discover that conditions on the ground are not always the same as lines on a map......

Part A

Part B 

and the exciting conclusion in Part C

thanks for watching

Monday, February 18, 2013

Walking a Stateline part 01

Walking a State Line  part 01

after finishing parts 2 and 3, I finally finished the first part!   there will probably be 6 or 7 parts total when I am done.

this was one of the hardest videos I've done.  it has been in the hopper for a long time, but finally came together with a contribution of pictures from Jerry.  

this was my first hike on the Stateline Trail, with Jerry Finnegan.  he did 70 miles total, I did 40 miles total.   I met him after he had already gone 30 miles.   

musical soundtrack by Phil Keaggy, and Spock's Beard 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Illinois Peak ICT

section hike from my seven year project to hike the Idaho Centennial Trail

this section goes from Cascade Pass to Hoodoo Pass, both on the Idaho-Montana stateline.  

I wanted to make this all one video, but due to file size restrictions for my movie making software, had to break it up into 3 parts.

Part A
part B

part C


Dotting the "I" videos

I finally got all 3 segments completed for the Priest Lake to Canada section of my Idaho Centennial Trail hike. 

Dotting the "I"

part 01

part 02


part 03


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dotting the I part 02

new video:


another section of my seven year hike across Idaho on the Idaho Centennial Trail.  from July of 2011. 
this is part 02, part 01 is still a work-in-progress. part 03 is already on my YouTube channel. this was my next-to-last segment to finish the trail. up north of Priest Lake, only 1/4 mile from the U.S. Canadian border, Upper Priest Falls (or some call it American Falls) is the northern terminus of the ICT. the trail ends at the falls. it would take a very determined soul to scale the rocks to get all the way to the Canadian border. here a team of 3 makes an almost 11 mile hike. Basically we have to park a car at either end, hike up to the falls, then hike back down and continue on south to the trailhead out. John Kennedy, my friend from TEXAS, joins with Tyler Parrish and myself for this hike.

the pictures are a combination from my camera and John's (and his 2 videos of the falls).

Thursday, January 31, 2013

slow start to hiking 2013

what a different winter we are having here in Boise this year!   my total walking mileage last year in 2012 was 1,001 miles.   that is combined trails, snow shoe-ing, and pavement or Greenbelt walking.    for the month of January 2012, I already had 105 miles  (200 by the end of February).   we had a very mild winter during January and February last year.   by contrast, I only have 20 miles total for January 2013, due to the extreme cold we have had this month.    just to get some miles I went once to the mall and walked 3 miles, and once to my work which has miles of hallways and walked 3 miles.   I am hoping that February will allow me to get going again outside. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Clark Fork video 

Clark Fork

another section of my 7 year hike across Idaho.    the ICT goes right through the town of Clark Fork.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Stateline Trail video

another part of my 7 year Idaho Centennial Trail adventure. 

the Stateline Trail runs along the Idaho - Montana border for approx. 150 miles. 

this is a section of that trail, which I hiked solo in July of 2009. 

this video is actually Part II. Part I is still in the *production* phase. 

This segment is 22 miles between just south of Eighty Seven Mile Peak along the stateline to a point on Dry Creek Road.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gospel Hump part B

Gospel Hump part B

I completed another hiking video.  This is part B of the Gospel Hump Wilderness, one of the sections I hiked as part of my Idaho Centennial Trail experience.   in Part A which was titled Buffalo Hump, I hiked with my son Daniel in from the eastern side of the wilderness to Buffalo Hump.   in Part B, my oldest son John and  I hike in from the western side and go almost all the way across the wilderness and back.   from August of 2009