Campbell’s Ferry Expedition, Episode 2, Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho

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After taking a few minutes to recover from our flight and setting our gear in at the cabin, we were off into the wilderness to begin our work project. See John’s full trip report here: Also, I wanted to recommend to all my readers to check out the Tims book on Campbell’s Ferry. It is quite a nice rundown on the history of the ranch and the region.

We were soon up on the steep walls of the Salmon River Canyon. Lots of flowers and since we were in following a week of rain, everything was very green.

We worked our way up one of the ridges, gradually finding bits and pieces of the historic trail.

Doug, River’s owner, has trained her to find morel mushrooms. Art, John and I had hoped we could train her to find ancient trails too!

In all, we climbed about 4000 feet above the river, gradually heading up this ridge.

We found this artifact stuck in a tree. It’s an old rusted buck saw right along the route of the old trail. Was it from the original trail days or from a fire fighting crew that came in years later? John and Art are so excited to put data into their GPS devices that they look like millennials texting their friends. River just can’t figure out why we stopped! By the way, no cell service here or anywhere near here!

John is standing on this rock outcropping, studying route options. In the background, you can see afternoon moisture rolling in.

This image is looking down river with Campbell’s Ferry way down below. the ridge we hiked up is on the right coming up from the river.

I was waiting for a moment for John and Art to regroup with me lower down the ridge. I spotted a mother bear and her cub and ended up watching them for about 45 minutes. Can you spot them down below?

Well probably not in that image! I had been using my 14mm wide angle lens all day and since my longer lens was back at the cabin, I had almost no chance to shoot them. However, this is an extreme digital zoom of the same image… the two dots under the tree are the bears. Why was my longer lens at the cabin? Well, did I mention the 4000 vertical feet, that and the fact that there were no water sources on the ridge? On this hot day, all extra weight allocation was meant used for carrying lots of water.

A couple more flower pictures on the way down.

As we approached the cabin late in the afternoon, we ended up getting sprinkled on but avoided any downpours.

Stay tuned for Episode 3!

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