Mountain Man

Encounter with a Rugged Individualist

Story and Photos by Lorie Palmer Russell

On a Tuesday last September, I got a call from Eldene Wasem in Grangeville. She thought I might be interested in writing a story on a man whom her nephew, Monty Spears of Harpster, had discovered setting up camp near their family cabins at McComas Meadows east of Grangeville in the Nez Perce National Forest.

Working as a reporter at the Idaho County Free Press for going on twenty years, I listen when Eldene calls. In her eighties, she is an active go-getter who knows the history of Idaho County like, well, the back of her hand.

Although I couldn’t make it up the mountain the day she called, I got hold of Monty, who, along with his wife, Brenda, owns an RV park, store, and bar at Harpster, which is thirteen miles northeast of Grangeville. I made arrangements to meet him at the store the next day. It was a rainy morning when I piled in with Monty and he drove me eight miles up the mountain outside Harpster to the old Adams Camp area of McComas Meadows. Monty knows the place well, his parents having met at Adams Camp. Years later, he and Brenda were married there.

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4 Responses to Mountain Man

  1. Pamela Hallam - Reply

    September 11, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Lorie-

    John Hallam is my son! His youth is not as portrayed – maybe to protect his family’s identity – he was an advantaged kid. I have not heard from him since his father died in Dec 2005. He is a very kind person and intellectually in the top 80% but is a non-conformist – I need to find him.

    • Aryana - Reply

      January 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Pamela,

      Have you found him yet?

      Aryana

  2. shirley fuller - Reply

    April 21, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    john hallam living as a woman in Cambridge Idaho..yes its the right john hallam

  3. shirley fuller - Reply

    April 21, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    john is living as jane hallam Cambridge Idaho

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