Backcountry Dispatch: Wet 'n' Wild in Idaho and Montana


The crew’s all smiles. We’re in Idaho. We just burned 12 hours’ worth of premium gas overnighting it from San Francisco to Idaho in a ’97 Toyota Land Cruiser that gets 10mpg. Almost ran out of gas in Oregon. We love it. We’re basically high already.


We’re fresh off a monster brunch at Stanley Café, deliberating about which hike to set out on. All having gotten (maybe) one hour of sleep in the car, we make the wise decision in our delirious states to pick the harder one – to an alpine lake, of course.



Just schlepped through five of the zig-zaggiest, weed-whackiest miles on an unmaintained trail in the Sawtooth Wilderness. We’re exhausted.



Jake steps on a less-than sturdy, rotten log and sprains his ankle with a two-mile trek through an icy boulder field ahead – great.


We’re losing light. Jake’s in rough shape. The troops’ burning thighs trading off carrying Jake’s 40lb bag full of god-knows-what up and down aforementioned ice/boulder field in orchestrated rotations (no photos of this because we were all dying) 


We make it.

Nate (legend) had already claimed a site, started boiling water for a Mountain House special – and Jake plunges his leg into the glacial lake for a proper ice bath to numb the pain away.

Long story short — we didn’t have to call up a chopper, we made it out the next day relatively unscathed, and proceeded on our merry way to Montana via a pit-stop at Goldbug Hot Springs.

Oh yeah, Montana was nice:

The rest of the journey wasn’t nearly as intense as our first day, but it sure makes you appreciate the “way more casual” 3am dawn patrols to glacial lakes in the Glacier National Park.

The mid-day hammock naps after gettin’ after it early.

The 3pm local craft brews at the campsite (special shout-out to Great Northern Brewing’s Wild Huckleberry Lager – a must-drink when you’re in Montana).

The kayak hauls down to the lake for sunset cruises.

The schlepping around. That’s the good stuff.

As an adventurer, creator, whatever – you embrace the struggle. You love it. You remember it. You rinse off, wipe yourself down, and get after the next mission.

Tales of some premium “schleppers” – thanks for tuning in.