06-Oct-2002 -- We drove five hours from McCall Idaho, through Grangeville, past the Red River Ranger Station, and up roughly 40 miles of dirt road to the Elk Mountain trailhead. We parked at the trailhead at 6900 feet and spent the night. The next morning we ventured up the trail in a thick blanket of low clouds, which limited visibility to about 30 feet. As we hiked into the afternoon the clouds lifted revealing the immense landscape of the Selway Bitteroot Wilderness, which engulfed us. After 10 miles of trail and 2500 vertical feet of up and down we arrived at our camp at 6700 feet. We set up camp and walked the remaining 2 miles to the heavily forested confluence at 6500 feet. After the obligatory scenery shots we returned to camp and feasted on Top Ramen. The next morning we returned to the truck under blue bird skies, surrounded by the raw, rugged, and humbling beauty of Idaho backcountry. Back at the truck we agreed that of our three recent Idaho confluence visits this was the most rewarding.
"Why do we bring gummy worms along? Well gummy worms just don't get around that well on their own. Without our help they may never have been able to see the Idaho Wilderness. No, I don't feel guilty about eating the gummy worms after showing them around, because I think they feel honored just to have been a part of the confluence project. They are pushing the envelope of gummy worm... no make that all gummy creature exploration." - Caleb Zurstadt 10/8/2002.