Woman in White

A Solo Anniversary

By Kris Millgate

It’s my fifteenth wedding anniversary. I lay my fly line on the East Fork of the Salmon River at sunset. I help cook dinner on my truck’s tailgate-turned-table. I mingle with every man in camp, but not my husband. He’s not even here. I’m on the road, heading into the White Clouds. It’s not exactly the anniversary I had in mind, but it will do.

The White Clouds are Idaho’s newest wilderness. President Obama declared the area to be worthy of that status in 2015, along with the Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness and the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness. Decades of debate went into what should become of the coveted 431 square miles in central Idaho. There was more talk than walk. By that I mean, many people have heard talk of the White Clouds, but most haven’t walked its ridges. Few know what the prominent peaks look like through their own eyes. That’s why I’m giving up my anniversary. It’s my job to capture photos and video of Idaho’s newest wilderness, so other Idahoans can see what all the fuss is about.

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