My 1,000+Mile Photographing Idaho Walkabout
This summer, I’m embarking on a 1,000+mile walkabout. I’ll be photographing the wild and remote places of Idaho.
I’ve been planning this trip for a couple years. I’ve been reading, buying light-weight backpacking materials, experimenting with foods, getting lightweight but excellent photo equipment, and working on my physical endurance. I’ve been poring over maps and talking to those who have experience backpacking in Idaho.
The trip begins with short excursions to some of Idaho’s most fascinating natural wonders. I’ll hike Hells Canyon in April. This canyon is regarded as the deepest in North America, given that it winds through high mountain ranges. It is also known for an abundance of rattlesnakes.
In May, I’ll visit key sites in southern Idaho. Those include Craters of the Moon, Henry’s Lake, Owyhee Canyonlands, City of Rocks, petroglyph sites along the Snake River, and more. I’ll drive to the sites, hike around, spend the night, and drive to another.
I’ll be taking a group of NNU students for a week of backpacking in the remote Owyhee Mountains. This is part of a course I’ve put together called, “Theology and Nature.” We’ll end our hike in the Owyhees at Idaho’s historic Silver City.
In June, I’ll drive to the Idaho-Nevada border. The border begins my 900-mile hike on the Idaho Centennial Trail. The trail moves through the entire length of Idaho – 900 miles! – finishing at the Canadian border near Priest Lake.
Only a handful of people have hiked the Idaho Centennial Trail in one shot. The trip takes me through scenic deserts, mountain ranges, along rivers, deep canyons, and above beautiful lakes. Very few towns and supply points exist near the trail, so I’m strategizing how best to hike light.
My family has agreed to help me on this walkabout. My three daughters will hike short sections with me. I’m looking forward to that one-on-one trail time with them. My wife will help with some of the resupply points and give general oversight to things.
After the Hike
In addition to the walking this adventure requires, I’ll be taking numerous photos. This means adding more weight to my pack than most backpackers do. I’m taking my Canon 5D-Mark II camera, lenses, filters, other accessories, and tripod. I hope to shoot panoramas, landscapes, time-sequence series, and more. I’m really hoping to get a picture of a mountain lion!
Because I expect this to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I’m planning to do some things after the trip to report on my adventure. I’ve been working with magazines and newspapers, and they’ve shown interest in publishing stories and photos. I’m also planning to give some talks and show photos to various groups – nature clubs, church groups, etc.
If you have any advice or ideas you think might be useful, please let me know. And if you have some ideas about publishing photos or stories or talking to groups, I’d love to hear that too.