Tuff Cones

The Making of an Explorer

Story and Photos by Josh Packer

I guess you could say I’ve never been much of an explorer, at least in the traditional sense of the word. I do like to explore new experiences on my own, such as creating a home network, troubleshooting IT issues, or developing new photography techniques through watching YouTube videos and then practicing.

But sadly, even though I’ve lived in Idaho pretty much my entire life, I never really got into being outdoors. Don’t get me wrong—I love the smell of a campfire, or the aroma in the woods after a rainstorm. It’s just that hiking was never fun to me. Before I took up photographing Idaho as a hobby, I actually dreaded hikes, which struck me as tedious. But now I enjoy capturing the beauty of, say, a hike in the Driggs area, or a climb up Menan Buttes. Lately, I’ve come to regard each new outing as another opportunity to explore my home state.

I decided to set out on such an adventure with my brother David after we explored Fall Creek Falls recently [see “Even a Tent,” IDAHO magazine, December 2014] and I realized the beauty of the area surrounding me in southeast Idaho. But my personal history as a non-explorer made it hard to figure out where to go next. What’s more, in the past couple of years, I had spent my free time at school, getting a Master’s degree at Idaho State University and becoming a certified public accountant. The workload, especially during tax season, not only prevented me from exploring, but even kept me from spending much time with my wife and two children.

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Josh Packer

About Josh Packer

Josh Packer is a CPA by day and a photographer at sunrise and sunset. He has “a beautiful wife, Sarah,” and two boys, Caleb and William. They live in Ammon, where Josh loves to spend time with his family and explore Idaho. See more of his photography at facebook.com/joshpackerphotography.

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