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  • Writer's picturefherbolsheimer

STeve + frANK =STANK

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

STANK. No, it was not the smell that was radiating off our bodies after 16 days on the Idaho Centennial Trail (ICT) without a shower. Friends have called my brother and I, Stank, when referring to the two of us together, instead of saying Steve and Frank. Stank Adventures was so named to create a platform on which we could look back on to remember and also to share our journey on the Idaho Centennial Trail see map, and our future adventures as well.

"I wish I had done something like that when I was younger." "You have to do that while you are young because there is no way I could do it now." Though it is great to hear support, like the above quotes, our reasons for doing this hike are more than that. While it is true that we are seizing the opportunity, it hasn't come without sacrifice, research, and persistence.


What sparked our interest in thru-hiking? In 2018, during a summer road trip through a national park, Steve and I saw and spoke with some thru-hikers hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and knew then that a thru-hike was going to be in our future. Not knowing which of the trails we would choose, we set a goal to thru-hike a trail before we were 30 years old. The definition of thru-hiking, or through-hiking, is hiking a long-distance trail end-to-end within one hiking season. In the United States, the term is most commonly associated with the Appalachian Trail (AT), the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), but also refers to other end-to-end hikes. We count the ICT in the ‘other’ category.

Why the ICT?

Dave and Nancy, our "Adoptive Idaho Parents", the only ones who really know how to describe the ‘stank’ after 16 days on the trail, volunteered to pick us up near Stanley Lake after we completed the first 252 miles of the trail. When looking back to how we decided to hike the ICT, a weekend trip to the Shaw cabin with Dave and Nancy stands out. We conversed about a news article about the ICT. See Article The Shaw's had known about our desire to do a thru-hike and have been wholly supportive of the idea. Leaving the Shaw cabin that weekend we were set on the ICT. They are incredible people and we are sincerely grateful for their support and their kindness throughout our time in Idaho.


In our experience, a backpacker learns how to live simply - without life's luxuries. Practicing simplicity over time we have managed to set aside money in order to get a chance at completing this trail. Saving money is easy when there is a goal in the back of your mind. Is it worth working your entire life to save up for retirement - a time when you may no longer be able do the things you wish you would have done in your twenties? We get mixed responses from people on this issue, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter what others think. You do you and be happy with it. I'll let you know in my sixties how I turned out.


We began to research the hike about six months prior to starting by first gathering information online about water caches in the desert and resupply locations for food. Second, we gathered maps and reached out to previous hikers for information. The ICT is not widely known nor completed in its entirety often, therefore information was difficult to gather. Most of the planning for the ICT was starting from nothing, scouting out the route, and organizing where the supply points would be. We enjoyed the challenge. Here are the supply points we are using.

Hammett, ID > Hwy 20 > Atlanta, ID > Stanley Lake > Pistol Creek LS > Campbells Ferry > Wilderness Gateway > Mullan, ID > Clark Fork, ID > Naples


A start date is an important part of planning a thru-hike. From our research we found that starting in the middle of May was the best option to beat the heat of the desert. We also acknowledged that we could possibly run into danger once we reached the Sawtooth Wilderness from high river and creek crossings. The snow melt from the mountains can make even a small creek in the summer a raging river in the spring. We also can't wait too long to complete the hike due to the threat of wildfires in the national forests in July and August. Our plan was to start in the desert May 21, 2021 and hike to Stanley Lake using the Mattingly Creek - Alturas Lake trail instead of the west route of the ICT through the Sawtooth Wilderness, thereby avoiding a dangerous crossing of the South Fork of the Payette River. We organized the date of our pick-up from Stanley Lake to be June 5. During the month of June, we planned to hike in the Sawtooth's and our plan included a three-week break - off the trail - to attend two weddings, heal our bodies, and resupply our packs. It also gave us a test run to see what gear worked for us and reassess how we would tackle the next section. We have completed that section of our hike as planned and are looking forward to getting back on the trail July 10th. Track us here



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