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The Nearly Endless Trail Book Project


The Nearly Endless Trail Book Project

The Nearly Endless Trail Book Project

In a zippered binder, bout 4 feet from where I am plunking on the keys on my piece of my junk laptop, sits a nice, neat stack of loose papers that are numbered 1-293.  Those pages are packed with stats, details, descriptions, maps, photos as well as many memories! 

Each of those pages reflect a journey to the stunningly beautiful mountains, dramatic desert canyons and magnificant alpine lakes that make up the glorious (and hill ridden) Idaho topography.  Those pages are slowly being woven into a new trail book for the Boise, Idaho area,

Boise Backcountry Adventures.

One afternoon in the summer of 2001, Boise rock climbing guidebook author, Sandy Epeldi, and I were discussing the boundless potential for trail running in Boise and came to the conclusion that a trail book was long overdue. Much of my paycheck each week went toward gear at an outdoor store.  That store had no Boise hiking/trail running books on its shelves as none existed - yet!  A week later we were at the Military Reserve trail system to begin the fieldwork for our book.  Since we were both trail runners dealing with some time contraints and some horrendously long trails to cover, we made a brave decision to run all the trails (except the canyoneering sections).  This seemed to throw in a little extra challenge to a duanting project. 

Over a thousand miles later and 11 years........a trail book is near completion.

smallest of the Warrior Lakes near Swanholm Peak (Idaho City area)

There have been many delays:  trail additions/subtractions, trail changes, kids being created, homes being purchased and remodeled, Dave moving to Alaska, other pressing projects........but Sandy, who has done the bulk of the work, has done an amazing job with incredible detail and accuracy.  I was a grime assistant, involved in the initial coverage of trails by 2 sets of running shoes.  Guess I was a partner in grime. 

Brown's Creek Canyon in the Owyhee's

Little did I realize that this project would slowly etch a mark on my life.  Within a couple summers we would cover mileage in Idaho's backcountry that the average Idaho Joe might have a difficult time covering in a lifetime. We saw amazing sights, ran nearly endless mountain climbs, waded through deep canyon pools, endured snow, ice, scalding heat, finished in eerie darkness, scrambled some challenging rock formations,and got lost (oops, I can't list that. We are guidebook authors!).  

Sandy Epeldi

The value of this piece of my rather unique life is coming into focus as the book nears.  Not just because of the actual product (book), but of the many opportunities that it offered.  In the gain category:

  • The memories pasted to the ceiling of my brain. 
  •  The value of being in good shape and almost being able to keep up with Sandy.  He may be a climbing guru but truth be told, the dude can run.
  • The experience of being involved in a publishing project and being a co-author
  • The diabetes element.  Not gonna let this disease stop me! I hope to encourage others through this slice of my life
  • The many invaluable pictures gathered en-route
  • The value of rising to the challenge of each day, no matter what the distance, elevation gain or what mother nature was chucking out direction
  • In the loss category:  weight.

  Sandy on the trail

 concentrating on non-runnable sections

Memories from the trail:

Favorite Trails:  Hart Creek Canyon, Red Mountain Lakes, Jump Creek Canyon, William Pogue National Recreation Trail, Jenny Lake

Most Difficult Trail:  Cottonwood Creek ( A rather rough day with the diabetes)

Time it took to nail a title for the book:  10+ years

When can you buy

Boise Backcountry Adventures?:  S

hould be this summer!

Favorite Area:  The Owyhee's.  The canyons are awesome!

a little canyoneering in the Owyhee's

wild horses in the Owyhee's (near Murphy, Idaho)