Highpointing the Forty-Four
A Quest to Reach the Tallest Peak in Each Idaho County
Story and Photos by Alice Schenk
Before the wind came whistling through the day and winter blanketed the landscape, I reached my high point number twelve. My goal is to summit the high point in each of Idaho’s forty-four counties. This time, I stood atop Deep Creek Peak in Power County, where it’s said on a clear day you can see across the Arco Desert, the Wasatch Range and Great Salt Lake in Utah, the Tetons in Wyoming, and Idaho’s Lost River Range.
My friend Cindy Singleton joined me for the hike. When two avid photographers hike together through brilliant autumn colors on a trail, it’s bound to take time, and we stopped often for photos. But our longest stop was when we got back to the pickup and it wouldn’t start, wouldn’t even turn over. Dark was descending and our cell phones were all but dead. We hiked to a hunter’s camp to see if they could jump the battery, but we didn’t find them. Walking back, we intercepted a guy who’d been cutting firewood down Bull Canyon Road. Could he jump the battery? He gave it a try, but the pickup still would not start. Cindy called the cavalry, enlisting friends to rescue us. We imagined being towed by rope nine miles down the mountain in the dark with no lights on the pickup. But then along came the hunters. They’d seen us through their scopes from the other side of the canyon as we were hiking down it. They had watched the other guy try to help and leave and saw our truck with the hood still up. They said to each other, “Well, it wasn’t the battery.”
I had seen them standing on the ledge across from us when we came down the mountain. After they arrived to help, they said they had thought we were getting a jump on them in scouting for deer, and they were pleased that wasn’t the case. And by golly, one of them was a mechanic. It wasn’t long before he fired up our vehicle. We were deep in the middle of pretty much nowhere, and I was so exuberant when our truck started that I hugged that stranger good.