Hell's Canyon-Devil's Wilderness

Hell's Canyon/& Devils Wilderness Hi Gang,Just returned from an outstanding wilderness adventure in Idaho.I met friend and companion, Eric Redmond in San Francisco and we flew intoBoise late Thursday evening. My old friend, Hillbilly Steve Otoole pickedusup at the airport and we finished charting our trip around 2:00 A.M.The drive to the Wilderness was really pretty follwing the Payette river agood portion of the way. Idaho is an undiscovered paradise and property isstill very reasonable.There isn't a lot of diversity in Idaho and we ran into quite a few guys bythe name of "Clem". but you can't have it all.The hiking book stated that the 7 Devils can create their own weather asstorms sweep off the Oregon side of Hells Canyon and recirculate over thepinnacled mountains. The devils ("He Devil, She Devil, Devils Tooth, TheOgre, The Goblin, Tower of Babel, Devil's Throne) were at work when westarted out. We battled a hail storm with dime size stones pelloting usgoinguphill in the wind. The loop chosen, had quite a bit of elevation gain andloss and we knw we were in for a fun day. We treked along with intermittantblasts of rain and Hail to Basin lake and hurriedly set up camp. The viewswere fantastic along the way in spite of the limited visibility. We ranintothree wild horses on a ridge and a very large Blue Grouse.Good weather held up long enough for us to get settled and eat before itstarted raining again. It rained heavily all night and the rain turned towetsnow the next morning. Fortunately everyone was prepared and had the rightgear and clothing and were able to keep somewhat dry. We did take some riskwith a 6 mile side trip to Dry Diggins lookout tower for a spectacularviewof Hell's Canyon.(8000 Foot drop) The Devils allowed sunshine to breakthrough so we could feast our eyes on the Canyon.The following day was dry most of the day and we fished one of the lakes.On the way out we ran into an ornery mule packer that ordered us off thetrail. El Lobo politely mentioned to this fellow that he should put hismuleswhere the sun don't shine. I think this guy was one of those Deliverancetypes.After this ugly incident a large rainbow covered the skyline and liftedourspirits as we trudged uphill and passed wind in the intermittant rain andsleet.Overall this trip is rated a solid 9.9. - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -The terrainisrugged but offers nice views and a lake or stream to camp at each night. Ireally enjoyed myself in spite of the weather adventure and spendingeveningsin a small tent with a foull smelling Idaho mountain man! This tells youhowgreat this area is.On the way back we stopped at McCall resort area and broke the world'srecordof Mexican food and margarita consumption.

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