Campbell’s Ferry Expedition, Episode 1, Frank Church Wilderness Area, Idaho

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I spent the last three days working on a volunteer project for the ITA (Idaho Trails Association). It required an hour long backcountry flight into a remote air strip on the Salmon River. The purpose of our expedition was to search for a historic mining trail that was used around 1900. It was used for about 5 years then rerouted so it hasn’t seen activity for about 120 years. We were working with the ITA to find clues of its route and record evidence with a Garmin and with photography. Art, John, and I loaded our gear at the McCall airport and headed out!

Along the way, we passed some of our favorite McCall Peaks. We flew right off the shoulder of Storm Peak. See my blog post from two years ago when we climbed it: https://davefaitlemonde.com/2018/07/17/strom-peak-storm-dome-and-twentymile-lakes-payette-national-forest/. Also, I believe that is Lost Art Peak on the right side of the image in the background. By way of chance, the peak’s namesake was on our expedition! Notice that it is still winter in the high country!

Then we landed in this remote airstrip at Campbell’s Ferry.

It was a beautiful morning but when the plane (lower right corner) takes off and flys into the distance, its always an uneasy feeling…… did I forget something? My boots? My food? Water Filter? The canyon quickly grows quiet and boom, wilderness! No roads, no cars, no anything!

Our Gracious hosts , The Tims, provided these wonderful accommodations which is a historic cabin here on the ranch. The Tims are the owners and caretakers of this historic ranch within the wilderness.

To celebrate the start of our expedition, we took a moment and brewed up a pot of coffee. It was after all, only 8:30 in the morning! Note that my couple months of self quarantine in the mountains is starting to show with my mountain man hair.

This crystal clear stream flowed right in front of our cabin providing a wonderful babbling brook sound and all the drinking water you could ever want.

A random shot of the ranch.

This is River. Since Ruby could not make the trip with us, the Tims let River hike with us. Of course I quickly worked on training her to be my model!

Soon it was time to go to work. The two Bickersons fiddled with their Garmin tracking units and we were off on our first day of the expedition!

Stay tuned for more episodes, coming soon!

2 Replies to “Campbell’s Ferry Expedition, Episode 1, Frank Church Wilderness Area, Idaho”

  1. Well after hearing Jim Larkin talk about landing in there I have always wanted to so now even if I never do it in person I will have done it by proxy. thanks, Bev

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    1. Bev, for about $250 you can ride the mail plane in there, it is well worth it. I can get you the information if you want to give it a try. The Tims are wonderful people and I could introduce you as well. Dave

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