Falling Trees, Flashes And Howls; An Idaho Campout Not Forgotten
Camping in Idaho at any time of the year can come with its share of surprises. In the summer of 2009, a group of us went camping in an area of the Sawtooth Mountains known by many as "Leaning Tree," and we had a night unlike any I've ever had outdoors.
Camping in the mountains of central and southern Idaho is something I've done many times in my life. A group of us have been routinely spending weekends in the mountains together annually for more than 15 years. Off-grid stays in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho have become somewhat of a tradition, and when the weather unexpectedly turns, it can make for an interesting evening.
I recently came across some photographs I took during a 2009 camping trip that ended up being the hairiest of all. On the second night, a powerful storm cell rolled through the area. The group of us went from playing horseshoes and beer-in-hand badminton under the warm, July sun, to heavy downpours, lightning strikes, falling trees, field mice scurrying under our tents, and a pack of wolves strolling through our campsite.
I remember at one point poking my head out of the tent as the rain pounded the nylon roof above me, and a massive flash of electricity lit what appeared to be the face of a wolf standing near our smoldering campfire. For what felt like at least an hour in the darkness, the rain didn't let up, the howls from wolves echoed through the campsite, and numerous trees snapped and crashed to the forest floor from lightning strikes.
We sat around at breakfast the next morning and talked about our experiences. It was, by far, the craziest camping trip ever. It wasn't as terrifying as a recent true documentary I saw called Missing 411: The Hunted, but it was pretty darn close.
What's the most terrifying thing you've experienced while camping in Idaho?