Idaho Oregon Eagle Cap Wilderness
I am not writing the trip report. "Tooth" (Sawtooth) and "Teet" (Tetons) myIdaho backpacking companions were tasked with that responsibility. They arelate and as a result have both been issued demerits by Lobo. (Monikersbestowed by El Lobo)They will eventually get around to writing it. Last year's River of NoReturn trip report came six months later. When it does arrive, El Loboexpects to get massacred in the Men Behaving Badly Section.I will provide some preliminary information.On the way to Oregon I met the boy's cousins in Idaho at every stop alongthe way. They were all named Cletus or Jethro. Their neck's were all ashade of red.The concept of backpacking light has apparently not yet reached Idaho. Theboys started out from the West Eagle trailhead carrying sidearms, 2 sixpacks of tecate, as well as bottles of tequila, rum and brandy. To ensurethat they had enough nourishment they packed close to five pounds ofshelled peanuts and kit kat bars. Each pack weighed at least 70 lbs, justright for a 3000' climb over 55 switchbacks to Echo and Traverse Lakes.The Eagle Cap is Oregon's largest Wilderness, an area of alpine lakes andmeadows, steep glaciered valleys. I found it topographically similar to theDesolation Wilderness in Northern California.After one night's stay in hail and rain flurries, Traverse Lake wasabandoned in favor of warmer weather. We packed out and headed for thedeepest gorge in North America-Hell's Canyon.This also gave us theopportunity to pick up more beer and tequila.In the Hell's Canyon Wilderness we did a fifteen mile loop that involvedCanyoneering down Mcgraw Creek. Wildlife appeared everywhere. At one pointa prairie rattler scooted over El Lobo's boot. We saw numerous othersnakes and a plethora of bear scat.That evening in camp we celebrated our Hell's Canyon survival with a feastof junk food and straight shots of tequila. With a quarter of the bottleleft, one of the party drained it, let out an Apache war scream andshamelessly tossed it into the Snake River. Later, while sleeping,(passedout) a skunk came into camp and got into the garbage that was not hung up.This gives you the flavor of the trip. It was great fun and very badbehavior. A detailed report will be forwarded at a later date.SequelTonight Gerry and I attended a lecture given by Robert Kennedy Jr. at ASUas part of the Jonathan & Maxine Marshall distinguished lecture series. Youmay have heard of the John Marshall Wilderness in Montana.RFK Jr. has been a resolute defender of the environment and was quiteimpressive.My kind of guy!He is responsible for a litany of successful legal actions, includingprosecuting governments and companies for polluting the Hudson River andLong Island Sound.He has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assistedseveral indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in negotiatingtreaties protecting their traditional homelands He also is credited withleading the fight to protect New York City's water supply. He establishedthe "River Keepers" and has provided legal representation for poorfishermen, against the nation's most notorious corporate polluters. Heappears to be much like his father, always fighting for the down trodden.During the lecture El Lobo reflected on the ugly tequila bottle incidentand hung his head.