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The Idaho Bucket list – summiting Mt. Borah

There are many amazing adventures to be had in Idaho.  This includes hiking Mt. Borah, Idaho’s tallest peak at an elevation of 12,662 feet. It is located near Mackay, Idaho in the Lost River Range. In 1983, it had the largest earthquake ever recorded in Idaho, measuring 6.9. This hike is not an easy hike, as you climb you gain 5,000 + feet from trailhead to the summit, or top.

My friend Hannah and I had been discussing a hike up to the top of Mt. Borah all summer. Finally, yesterday we almost made it happen. We were looking great and had been climbing easily, we even got past an area called chicken out ridge, where many people turn around.

We came across a section that was a bit challenging. The ground was frozen and the small rocks over the ground were loose. Hannah had set her backpack down for a second, but she placed it in a tricky spot. Instantly, the backpack slid, then tumbled, for what felt like forever, and finally rested far, far below on the edge of the cliff. There was no rescuing that pack.

The event surprised Hannah, and without food, water, her phone and her favorite fleece, we decided it was probably best to turn around. On the way back, it was my turn to fumble; I had led us past our trekking poles that were stashed on chicken out ridge!  I turned around and climbed up the steepest section of the trail, for the second time that day, retrieved the poles, and we were on our way.

We laughed about our attempt. On the way down, we caught up with two firefighters from Pocatello. They told us we had made it past the toughest past of the trail and the place where we had decided to turn around was only about 20 minutes from the summit. Oh well, Mt. Borah, I guess you got the best of us this time, but we’ll be back!

Hannah in route (with backpack)

Hannah in route (with backpack)


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An earthquake before harvest

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On August 24th at about 3:30 a.m. I was awoken by a rattling of clay roof shingles, the crashing of glass, and the shaking of walls. I had just arrived earlier that evening to Napa Valley after spending the week relaxing in Lake Tahoe, California. What an unusual welcome, a 6.0 earthquake! I had been in one earthquake before, but this one you could really feel. It was an unique experience since the last earthquake in Northern California as strong as this one occurred 25 years ago in 1989 during the World Series (measuring at 6.9). Scientists use a machine called a seismograph to measure the earth’s vibrations and use a scale called the moment magnitude scale. Earthquakes happen somewhere in the world everyday. On Tuesday, the grape harvest began. I hope the grapes were able to stay on their vines.