In the Pioneer Mountains. Photo by Bob Jonas
This summer we’re shooting video for half a dozen programs, each of them a distinct slice of the Idaho story. Take, for example, our July 13 show, "Creative License." We’ll spend time with creative talents who connect to their art through nature. Casey Kristofferson loves to strum on one of his many guitars from his perch in the mountains of central Idaho. Alexandra Paliwoda pounds and forges iron into works of art from her blacksmith shop in the shadow of the Tetons near the Wyoming border. John Grade pursued his artistic vision by creating a 75-foot wooden sculpture of a lava tube at Craters of the Moon National Monument based on a digital scan of the interior. John Mills chases thunder clouds to capture digital images of stunning desert lightning storms in southern Idaho — he’s even been hit by lightning.
Our September show, “Jobs Without Walls,” involves a jet boat pilot in Hells Canyon, a soil scientist in eastern Idaho, a Life Flight helicopter pilot, a Christmas tree hunter, and a postal worker who delivers the mail by boat.
We’ll also be shooting footage for our November show, “Restoring Rivers.” The Portneuf and the Kootenai are two rivers where wonderful things are being done to make them more natural.
“Into the Pioneers” will take the Outdoor Idaho crew into a mountain range that most Idahoans know little about. In April we shot a winter segment at Pioneer Yurt. Other segments yet to shoot include a llama trek with Ketchum native Bob Jonas and his wife Sarah Michael; a mountain climbing segment; a bike race; a feature on pronghorns and sheep, mining and geology; and much more. This hour-long December show is already generating a lot of interest among the crew.
We’ll also be doing some shooting for a handful of 2018 shows, notably “Small Town Festivals,” “Grapes & Hops,” and “Off the Grid.”
So if you see us out and about this summer, be sure to say “Hi!” And if you have a story idea, that’s even better!
Kayaking on the Moyie River.
The prerequisite for inclusion in the program was some kind of Canadian connection, or at least a close proximity to our northern neighbor. As I researched the program I found what I thought were some good connections, and they started with rivers. All three of the primary rivers in the area flow into Idaho from Canada. The Upper Priest, the Moyie, and the Kootenai. And the Kootenai actually flows from Canada into Montana and Idaho and back into Canada. I thought that was particularly appropriate for our theme.
We decided we wanted to do something with each river. We had never done a whitewater trip on the Moyie, so that was a choice for one segment. Additionally, we found a couple with a cabin on the Moyie who lived just a mile from the border. Another piece for the program was in place.
With the Upper Priest River we knew about the waterfall on that waterway that sits on the border at the end of Idaho's Centennial Trail. A hike to American Falls would provide another segment.
Three Heart Outfitters also does horse packing in the area and we were able to go with them on a ride to the top of Shorty Peak lookout just a few miles from the border. It has great views of both Canada and the Selkirk Mountain Range in Idaho.
Finally, we found an Idaho Fish and Game Wildlife Management area below the Selkirks that is right on the Canadian border. Its northern edge is marked by Boundary Creek and that creek is also the official border.
To me it's satisfying to take the concept of a program from paper, to capturing images in the field, to writing a script and then working with our editors to match words, visuals and music into a completed program.
While it is ten plus hours to reach this far northern area of Idaho, it's certainly worth the drive and the effort to get there. This is a part of the state that has so many exceptional qualities it's worth returning to again and again. It was my privilege to showcase it for Outdoor Idaho.