Their Own Steps

Wilderness Lessons

Story and Photos by Kelly Poirier

We headed down the trail to Goose Creek off McCall’s Brundage Mountain Road, unsure of what we would encounter. Our initial steps filled me with curiosity and enthusiasm. In the first thirty minutes, I discovered bear tracks and scat on the trail, which I pointed out to my tween daughter, Brianna, and teen daughter, Kaitlyn. This caused Brianna to walk more closely by my side, but I said we were talking loudly and a bear would be looking for food, not friendly hikers. Kaitlyn preferred to show her toughness by continuing to stride along the path boldly, although a few minutes later she quietly confessed that she hoped the bear was far from our path. 

We were having a girls’ weekend, leaving behind my husband Mark, who was working in Boise. The autumn colors of the Treasure Valley were captivating, and I was eager for an opportunity to explore fall foliage in the mountains, where we could strengthen mother-daughter bonds. We had moved to Boise from San Antonio in the summer, and our previous hiking experiences in Alaska and in the Colorado Rockies had been amazing. Now was a chance to build new memories in the wilds of Idaho.

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Kelly Poirier

About Kelly Poirier

Kelly Poirier was born and raised in southern California and now lives with her family in Boise. She earned a B.A. in English from Santa Clara University and an MEd. from Cal State Fullerton, and has served as an educator and administrator throughout her career. She enjoys traveling, writing, reading, and outdoor adventures with her family.  

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