Tuesday, December 23, 2014


"The best laid plans of mice and men....." What happens when one of the shuttle vehicles goes out of commision?

This was a planned 40 mile hike on the Idaho Centennial Trail in August of 2008. My 93 Aerostar minivan died at the takeout trailhead, which was Five Mile Pond on the Crooked River Road. Our plans for a one way hike together were busted. Using Jerry's vehicle I drove him around to the other end at Rocky Bluff Campground, on Slate Creek. He would now hike solo across the 40 mile stretch, going roughly Counter Clockwise around the western and northern edges of the Gospel Hump Wilderness.

While my van was being towed and repaired, I would camp at Five Mile Pond on the other end, and wait for Jerry. I had 3 days of time to kill.

Inspiration came to "improvise" a new hike while I waited for him. I needed to make a connection between Five Mile Pond on one end, and French Gulch on the other end. 19 miles going, 18 miles coming back. Since Jerry had problems with the ICT section in between on his previous hike, I planned a long road walk around, using an existing network of Forest Service and discontinued roads.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mt. Heinen

exploring Bald Mountain Road, south of Idaho City. 12-10-14
6,396 foot Mt. Heinen is in the background.  
1st pic is Tyler my son-in-law.     2nd pic is me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dutch Creek

the view from the hillside at Dutch Creek, where we placed our "Dutch Army" geocache.      This view is looking to the south towards Arrowrock Reservoir.  

First Geocache

Tyler (my son-in-law)   and I made our first geocache location today! 

if you go to co-ordinates N 43 deg 36' 17.08" W 115 deg 53' 05.52" you can find our cache at Dutch Creek. 

We named it "Dutch Army"

the reason for the name?   the cache is a small ammunition box, with a plastic container inside filled with plastic army men.   One of the traditions of the geocache, although not always required, is that there are small items inside.   Finders can trade a small item, such as a coin, pen, business card, belly button lint, etc.  for one of the items inside.   We put our email addresses in the logbook, asking finders to send us an email telling us where the "Dutch army" has travelled.   

The cache is placed at Dutch Creek, hence the name "Dutch Army."

it should appear soon on the www.geocaching.com website.

see image below

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Today I made about a 4 1/2 mile loop up and back in the Boise foothills.   

I don't know the name of this hill, but it is the hill where the hang glider folks launch from. 

It is in east Boise, up near Hammer Flats.  

Today I did some exploring up there.   The road is very steep going up to the ridge, but the view is very rewarding.   It was awesome.   There is quite a view of the valley.  The trees are just about peak color now.

It is easy to see, from the ridge, why the hill is popular for hang gliding.   The ridge itself is about 10 feet wide, relatively flat with a trail, with both sides gradually sloping down to a precipitous drop off.   The curvature is ideal for someone to make a running start with their hang glider, going downhill, and launching from the edge out over an expansive valley.    

I continued on up the ridge, and took a side trail, which was really just a terrace contoured along the hill.   It might have been an old fire break line.  The single track was fairly well defined and easy to follow.   I could trace the contour ahead for at least 2 or 3 miles around the steadily rising ridge.  

When I got around on the back side of the ridge, it was SO quiet!    It always amazes me how such vast distances can be so silent and peaceful.   I took a beeline up the hill and connected to the road/path along the top of the ridge and followed it back to the hang glider launching section.   From there I came back down the same path to the car, parked near Diversion Dam.

I would like to continue on up the ridge and make the connection to Highland Valley Road, and then continue on up to the summit of Lucky Peak.   

The climb was a good test of my injured ankle.   It did really well, with my neoprene compression sock.  

see the attached map for my path today....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall down go BOOM!

video taken by Jerry Finnegan. August 31st, 2014 on the Idaho Centennial Trail, East alternate section. we had climbed 5 miles on the Alturas-Mattingly trail starting at Alturas Lake. we reached the ICT trail going to Ross Fork, then turned on the Johnson Creek trail.

Only a mile or so down this new trail, I took a sudden spill. My ankle rolled and I went rolling down the hill. I did a complete somersault and landed on my back with my feet facing downhill.

Jerry was ahead of me on the trail. He took the video about 30 seconds after I fell.

Fortunately my ankle was only a strain instead of a sprain. I still had to backpack another 11 miles out on rugged trails to get to a road where we could make contact with home.


Sunday, September 28, 2014


Green Kryptonite was the bane of Superman, a substance that sapped his powers and made him a helpless weakling.

I took a picture of this plant on Sunday 9/28/14 along the Greenbelt, near the Boise River.   

I call it "Ron's Kryptonite."   other folks call it "Sagebrush."   this is what it looks like in full bloom.  

I am highly allergic to it.  

here in Idaho,  it blooms generally between the last week of August, through September, and up to the first couple of hard freezes in October.    

when we first moved here, I had to take a year of allergy shots. part of the serum was sagebrush pollen.    the immuno-therapy helped, for the most part, but this is the time of year when I rely heavily on Vitamin Z  (Zyrtec).  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

the Soggyway and the Bitter Pill

sometimes things just don't go your way.   this is a sad chapter in the story of my seven year hike across Idaho.   we were going to attempt to do one big knockout punch on the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.   we being myself, Kim Heintzman, and Nick Abshire.   we attempted a 95 mile hike.   an entire day of hiking in the rain and a non functioning satellite phone changed the plan.   Then we still had to walk 40 miles out to rescue ourselves.  

song credits go to

"Trial of Tears" by Dream Theater  (split into 2 parts)



"Minor Setback"

by Acaideus

Monday, September 22, 2014

Upper Priest Falls

the rain forest like environment of northern Idaho is a wonderful contrast to the high desert environment of southern Idaho.  

for this video segment of the Idaho Centennial Trail, I used a different approach. instead of a face-melting rock soundtrack, I chose a "jungle" theme. I had a lot of fun putting this one together. This is the next to the last segment of the trail, in the Idaho panhandle north of Priest Lake. July of 2011.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014


this is the bruising about four days after rolling the ankle.  

ICT East alternate route

it was planned as a 30+ mile section of the Idaho Centennial Trail, East alternate route, from near
Alturas Lake, through Johnson Creek, over to Emma Creek, up Emma Creek to Big Smoky Creek, then down FR215 to Highway 75 below Galena Summit.   Jerry and I planned it for Labor Day weekend.   We started on Sunday, August 31st, at the trailhead near Alturas Lake.   things went well for the first 6 miles or so.  We reached the Idaho Centennial Trail near Mattingly Divide, and were on the main ICT for just a half mile or so before reaching the junction with the ICT East trail going into the Johnson Creek drainage.   About a mile and half down this trail, my ankle suddenly gave way beneath me.   My momentum caused me to do a complete somersault, and I landed on my back with my feet facing down the slope.   Fortunately I didn't continue to roll.   The damage was done, however.   My ankle was severely strained though not broken.   Through the rest of the afternoon I hobbled on down the trail.   Our campsite was not the greatest (see previous post) and the next morning we continued on.   We had accepted that we would not get done by Tuesday and were trying to figure out how to get a message out to our wives.    As the day progressed, it became apparent that I was not going to get even to the half way point of the hike.   We decided to come off the trail at Emma Creek, where it meets the South Fork of the Boise road (NFD road 079).      We were helped by Roger and Mary Ann on their ATV.   They got us down the road to a Methodist church camp where we were able to send messages out by satellite internet.   Jerry's wife and son came to the rescue.    Sometimes it's better to live to hike another day......

pictures here....


Monday, September 8, 2014

Site selection

Sometimes home for the night is what you make of it. 

Not the most ideal sleeping spot. this person-sized depression up slope from a tree was where I made camp. 

Jerry's spot down the hill from me was only slightly better.

 I need to improve at taking "selfies", but this is the morning after I rolled my ankle and the pain is showing through. this shot shows the angle of the slope. Believe it or not this was the best camp location we could find in that stretch of trail

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Better than Television

This particular evening, the campfire is more for entertainment value than warmth......

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lick Creek Road

this is the start of another walking project 

on Saturday I drove up to McCall, then about 30 miles east on Lick Creek Road, as far as the Secesh River.    This is where the ICT crosses the road at Ponderosa Campground.   

I mapped out an 11 mile stretch of Lick Creek Road, starting from the ICT, to the west up to the summit of Lick Creek Road.    Elevation gain is about 2,400 feet.

walked 6 miles (3 x 2) Saturday evening, and found a free campsite with a fire ring!   the campfire was more for entertainment value than for warmth.   a campfire is way better than television any day!

on Sunday I walked the remaining 16 miles (8 x 2) up to the summit and back.   The road was not terribly steep, it was just a steady grade uphill.    I moved the car three times, each time walking up roughly an hour and then back.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Meal preparation

DIY dehydrated meals

here is my meal preparation for an upcoming hike.

there are 5 meals, and 5x2 = 10 grits packets for 5 breakfasts.

each meal has 2 cups each of the dehydrated soup + 1 cup of Minute Rice

the flavors are 1 Black Bean soup  1 Pilaf Chicken  2  Tortilla soup  1  White Bean & Pasta

the flavor packets are inside the bags. 

for a couple of them I added an extra half scoop of rice. 

they can be rehydrated directly in the ziploc bags, but from experience they are a pain to eat out of.   that's why I carry a "My Fair Share"  32 ounce Lexan cup.   

all I do is boil water and stir. 

season with salsa packets or Tabasco.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

somewhere in Idaho

Sawtooth flashback

I think this was our first day hike into the Sawtooth Wilderness.    This is from the summer of 2001.    We were camped at Stanley Lake.   sons Steven and Dan were 10 and 14 at the time.                                

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Moose on the loose

a moose encounter on the road up to Hoodoo Pass.    from August 2010.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


"I was down and sliding before I knew it...."    it's ironic that this close to the end of my 7 year quest to hike the Idaho Centennial Trail, that I almost bought the farm.    I almost didn't get to finish the ICT.      This is the final part of the ID-MT Stateline trail that I completed.   It is a 10 mile section between Cascade Pass at Cedar Creek Road,  and Dry Creek Road.    Hiking with me were Jerry "Frog" Finnegan, and my son-in-law Tyler Parrish.    We got separated from the trail near Frog Lake, and Tyler got the "good save award" for Navigation, by getting us back on the actual ICT with his GPS.   then a few miles later, Jerry got the "good save award" for Life Saving, that is my life was saved.   I took an unexpected slide down a snow slope near the western face of Eagle Cliff.    I tried to self-arrest, but my hiking pole merely bounced off the hard icy cupped snow surface.   Jerry leaned out and got a hand on me as I went by.   He grabbed the lanyard of my GPS hanging from my pocket.  This caused the GPS to rip out of my pocket, but the tug was enough to slow me down.    For a brief few seconds I honestly thought I was sliding to my death.    It shook me up a bit, but we carried on and finished the hike.      

Thursday, April 17, 2014


just posted 2 YouTube videos of a 2009 Idaho Centennial Trail hike.

Previously these videos existed as a Playlist consisting of 60 different videos.  Due to upload constraints I had to load them to YouTube individually.

presenting Ross Peak part A and part B.

ICT  Mattingly Divide to Ross Peak
through the Sawtooth Mountains
completing the hike at Willow Creek campground
and the bridge over the Middle Fork of the Boise River
September 2009

the only thing better than finishing the Idaho Centennial Trail, is to help 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 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 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.

at the end of  part A, Jerry climbed up to the 9,200 foot saddle near Ross Peak.   This is the high point of the ICT, and it was a very powerful experience for all of us to share in Jerry's triumph.

in part B,  we celebrate with Jerry at the saddle below Ross Peak.   Then we descend the ICT down the Willow Creek drainage.    Friends and family are waiting for Jerry at the trailhead to celebrate his completion of the ICT.

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)


ROSS PEAK 2009 part A

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stateline Trail part 4

Here is my latest hiking video.   this was  a part of my 7 year project to hike across Idaho on the Idaho Centennial Trail.      July of 2011.    

this section was 30 miles of the Stateline Trail, FR391, between Dry Creek Road, Little Joe Road, and Crittenden Peak.  

Day 1 was 10 miles, Day 2 was 20 miles.  both hikes were done with vehicle support.   with me on this trip were Jerry Finnegan and my son-in-law, Tyler Parrish.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Baja Road to Walter's Ferry

this week's big hike was 41.5 miles. on Sunday,  I started at the beginning of Baja Road at 1 pm. I walked 17.5 miles, stopping to pick up my water cache at mile 15. 

Coyotes serenaded me with a desert symphony all night. I named it "Concerto in the Key of Yip"

Monday I rose early and started walking at 7:30 am. At the 22 mile mark I left the high desert plateau and descended several hundred feet into the Snake River canyon. after breakfast at Swan Falls, Dam, I continued west along the River Canyon Trail for 12 miles to Celebration Park. I was surprised to see Halverson Lake along the way.

at Celebration Park, I rested for 20 minutes, then continued west past the Duffy bridge on Laughlin Lane for the last 6 miles.

Tyler met me at Ferry Road near Walter's Ferry. I made it to my tag point of the sign at Highway 45 and Ferry Road at 6:40 pm.

11 hours and 10 minutes, 24 miles for Monday.

41.5 miles for the trip in two days.   

Sunday, February 23, 2014

ICT Brown's Creek

second time to walk the 15 mile section of Brown's Creek on the ICT   Sat 2-22-14

thanks to Tyler for the shuttle ride!  

my "second time" line of ICT now extends from the Nevada border to the town of Hammett on Interstate 84.     I will try to post a map of how much Idaho has been walked twice.....

if you scroll down a few blog entries, this ties in to the "tag point" from a few weeks ago when I walked from the intersection of Brown's Creek Road west on highway 78 to the bridge over the Snake River on highway 51. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Map Rock Road

yesterday (Monday 2/11) I walked 13 miles, starting from Ferry Road intersection on Highway 45. up 45 for less than a mile, then west on Map Rock Road to my last "tag point". thanks to another helpful shuttle ride from Darwin Clampitt.

the map says 12.5. it actually measured 12.8. I walked another tenth of a mile and back to my car to get it to 13. Yes, an OCD moment....

I am now ready for the long walk hopefully first week of March. 

This will connect the western and eastern portions. Then you will be able to see on the big map what I have been trying to do all these months....

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

highway 51 bridge to Baja Road

19 mile hike 1-27-14 

I began from my "tag point" of last week, the north end of the bridge over the Snake River. from there I walked 2.5 miles north on highway 51 to Air Base Gravel Pit Road. followed that for many miles. 

Only 2 miles out from my car, I ran into Private Property! I had to do some creative walking around, which upped my mileage from the planned 18 to 19.

I have now connected between the ICT at Brown's Creek jct with highway 78 over to the beginning of Baja Road.

I finished Phase I I of the "Snake River Sojourn" much more quickly than I anticipated, thanks to 2 consecutive weeks of shuttle rides from Darwin Clampitt.

on to phase I I I tying phase I and I I together.....

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

highway 78 west to highway 51 bridge

11 mile walk 1/20/14

This is beginning phase I I of the "Snake River Sojourn" 

the Idaho Centennial Trail intersects highway 78 near the town of Hammett. 

I began walking at Browns Creek road and walked west on highway 78 to the intersection with highway 51. 

the map says 10.5 miles, I went ahead and made it 11 miles by crossing over the Snake River bridge.

phase I I of the "Snake River Sojourn"

now that I have completed my walk from Weiser, Idaho, south to the Snake River and Map Rock Road, it's time to move east to the other end of the walk.    

the "other end" of the walk is at the point where the Idaho Centennial Trail intersects highway 78,  5 miles west of the town of Hammett.  

starting from this point, I will walk in a generally West direction until I reach the beginning of Baja Road on highway 67.    (that segment will begin phase III).   

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chicken Dinner Road

this is my latest "tag point"    intersection of Upper Ridge Road and Chicken Dinner Road

this view is looking south on Chicken Dinner Road.

13 miles straight down to Map Rock Road will be my next intended hike.

Notus to Chicken Dinner Road

this is the next segment I have completed of my "south to the Snake" journey.    my last "tag point" was at the highway crossing in Notus, Idaho.  

It took 2 days this week, Monday and Tuesday.   the weather was not optimal but at least it was not raining, sleeting, or snowing.    on Monday I went 10 miles (5.2 x 2) from Highway 19 (just east of Greenleaf, Idaho)   up to Notus and back.    on Tuesday I went 4 miles  (2 x 2)  from Highway 19  up to the beginning of Chicken Dinner Road.  

Chicken Dinner Road is my next "tag point."     I hope to do the whole 13 miles in one day in one direction, with the help of a friend so that I can have a getaway car at the end.    This should take me down to Map Rock Road by the Snake River.