1) Take care of your soul
2) Take care of your body
3) Take care of your ministry
Of these three items, the one that stood out to me the most was taking care of your body. Over the last month I have become increasingly aware of the lack of exercise and movement in my daily routine. I get up, drive to work, sit at a desk all day, drive back home, eat and sit around the living room – with the occasional sprint around the house chasing my boy with the dog in tow!
Luckily the new owners of my day-job (we were brought out last fall) have a program where they will pay half of one’s monthly gym membership. As such, I am in the process of locating a gym and recruiting a workout buddy. Hopefully things will fall into place this month and I will be able to get back in shape before backpacking season. 😀
While on the trail, I came up with lots of cool sounding titles for this post… most of which were not that good seeing that I was in a lot of pain (my knee decided to go on vacation halfway through the loop) and that the names “Hells Canyon” and “Seven Devils” make unpolite words polite.
“Fighting Seven Devils In Hell”
“Going Through Hells (Canyon)”
“Trying to Find Heaven in Hells” – this only works if know that ‘Horse Heaven’ is the name of the half way point on the loop…
“Overcoming the Devils”
(did I mention I was in pain?)
yeah… it was brutal 30 miles….
Tons of deadfalls (i.e. large dead trees laying on top of the trail making one either climb over, under or around – not easy when you are on a narrow cliff side trail), creeks running through the trail, rocks (lots and lots of rocks!!! I mean, it was the HELLS Canyon Wilderness after all), snow drifts (more on that later) and, well, everything else you would think to find in the middle of the wilderness.
It a nutshell (hmm…how many megabits could you fit into an acorn shell?) we should have given ourselves four to five days to complete the Seven Devils loop instead of just three days (note to self, 10 mile a day walks with a 40-lb backpack is NOT a good idea!).
But, on the good side, I got some great pictures! (238 of them in fact..) 😛
I finally decided on a trail for next weekend’s backpacking trip: Seven Devils Loop.
It is a 26.7 mile trail around the Seven Devils Mountain near Hells Canyon (west central Idaho). At 9,393 feet, He Devil Mountain is the highest point in the area….only thing is that the mountain plunges 8,043 to the Snake River at the bottom of Hells Canyon – making it the deepest river gorge in North America.
I called the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area folks and they said the trail is fairly clear – granted, there is some snow drifts and ice on the western slopes of the mountains…oh, and there is some deadfall on the trail….but it should be doable.
The temperature in the mountains ranges from the high 60s in the daytime to 30s at night (thank the Lord for mummy bags and silk underwear!).
When it comes to wildlife, there is a good chance of seeing elk, deer, bear, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, cougars, bobcats, golden eagles, hawks, falcons and a variety of other birds and reptiles (not to mention the occasional wolf).
To some it may sound crazy, but to me it sounds like a perfect weekend. 🙂
Not one to sit still too long, I'm off to the Frank Church Wilderness for a three day 22-mile loop through the Solider, Cut-Troat and Helldiver Lakes (all of which should have lots of trout…we shall if I catch any…)
If we are lucky, we might even have time to hike to the top of Big Solider Mountain to an old lookout tower.
Here is a sightly larger view of the area – you can see the area we are hiking in circled in red.
Not one to give up too easy, I tried my hand a fishing the South Fork of the Payette River Wednesday morning near Grandjean. This was after the 20 mile hike – so I was pretty tired, but since I was having a hard time sleeping, I decided to try my luck.
[@[email protected]]Unfortunately, I didn’t catch a thing – shoot, I didn’t even get a nimble or see a fin.
However, I must say that it was a peaceful way to greet the morning sun…
It may sound crazy – but I carried my fly pole with me on the hike across the Sawtooth Mountains. Some folks had told me that there were fish in there hills – and I aimed to find a few.
The first lake I tried was Alpine Lake (see pervious post for picture) – but the wind was too strong to really cast a fly line. So we packed up after lunch and headed up and over the pass to the Barren Lakes.
That evening I caught a small brook trout at the main Barren Lake (there are three of them). The picture to the right was taken from our camp site the next morning – but it shows the place where I was fishing – near the log dam on the main lake (at about middle point in the below picture)
[@[email protected]]Early the next morning, I rolled out of my sleeping bag and tried to find some more of those trout – preferable some big ones as I was hungry.
I spend all morning working around the north side of the lake trying to find some fish. At one spot I found a lot of fish – but none of them would bite. Shoot, I stood there for a few hours watching them play with my fly hook, but not takers…
After I made it half way across the lake, I turned back towards the campsite. As I past the spot where the fish had been taunting me early that morning, I decided to cast my hook one more time…. That was it. I caught one!!!
Granted, it wasn’t that big. But boy did it taste good!!
As promised, here are a few pictures from my latest adventure – a 20 mile walk from Redfish Lake to Grandjean over the Sawtooth Mountains.
Even though I'm posting this picture first, it was actually taken at the end of the trip…[@[email protected]]
We left on our adventure right after church on Sunday and drove to Redfish Lake, where we caught the boat over to the trail head. From there, we hiked three miles into the backcountry before setting up camp for the night.
The next day we started our climb from 6,200 ft to a peak of 9,200 ft at the mountain pass. This picture shows some of the views on this climb.
Here we are at the top of the pass – or actually a tad higher as we dropped our packs and climbed around a bit. You will noticed that there are only two of us – that is because our group dropped from six people to three over the course of the week. The third person turned back after the three mile hike the night before – which was good as I don't think he could of made the trip.
We visited several beautiful lakes along the journey – this is Alpine lake at around 7,400 ft attitude.
This is the country we hike through on the last day of the trip. Grandjean is located near the end of the valley. We hiked five miles the second day and 12 miles the third as we wanted to join the rest of the crew at Grandjean (where they had set up a base camp)
I have tons of other pictures to share concerning this trip and as such, I will be posting them up occasionally along with some more stories. Blessings.
By the time you read this, I will be about 10 miles into the backcountry of the Sawtooth Wilderness.
The crazy thing is that I will also have about 10 more miles of trail ahead of me before the return to civilization. Yelp – I’m attempting a 20 mile backpacking trip across the Sawtooth Mountains.
I have pasted a map below that shows my route – please come find me if I don’t come out. Nah – I’ll be alright – plus I’m taking three other folks with me on this adventure: two gals from England and a friend from Boise.
Em will be sitting high on a hog at base camp (ie. at the end of the trail) with her mom and the gals’ parents. Shoot – they might even be on a trail ride this very minute!!
Well – that’s about it – see you guys when I return.
You have to have danger in order to have an adventure. If you don't…then it's just a walk in the park (granted, not Central Park as that can be dangerous).
Of course, some would say that going backpacking in the Sawtooth wilderness is not dangerous. Well… we didn't have a map? ok… we did get one before we entered the wilderness due to the enticing aroma of a pizza place near a hiking outfitter.
This is Idaho. We like our pizza joints near the great outdoors…about seven miles
Moving on to the "adventure" – we climbed a mountain and saw some pretties; took some pictures (below) and went home. All and all, I think I can live one more day in this crazy world for at least there's one place on earth that is calm.
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"Adventure with all its requisite danger and wildness…"
Goat Lake, Sawtooth Wilderness: deep, blue and bone chilling cold