The ﬁrst week we traveled to the Fairview Guard Station oﬀ Pahsimeroi Road. Rolling mountains, pink rocks, and numerous streams created a gorgeous backdrop to the forested region we hiked through collecting data. In four days we completed nineteen plots covering one hundred and forty-two acres of forest. To assess the forests health and ability to be harvested we conducted four plots at each site: variable, ﬁxed, habitat and fuel transect. The data was written down on a series of forms in the ﬁeld and then transferred to a program on the computer that projects the future health of each stand.
At night we returned to the cozy, gas operated guard station. Located about one and half hours from the nearest town, we were surprised to receive a visitor each day. The ﬁrst day it was the Sheriﬀ- checking on us and letting us know whom was in the area and at which campsites. The next day a couple stopped by to tell us they saw a bear near a campsite; we radioed in their concern to central Idaho and drove to the campsite to talk to the campers. On the third day a local man brought soap and supplies for the guard station. Each visitor had ample stories to share regarding the area as well as state news.
The second week we returned to the Custer Motorway in Challis and spent two days conducting stand exams. We completed sixteen plots in two stands spanning eighty-ﬁve acres. On the ﬁrst day it rained on and oﬀ soaking the underbrush as well as our clothes. The slopes were steep and slipping was inevitable, but we weathered it well with jokes and loud laughter. On the second day the trees were super sappy and each plot ended with each us covered in more sap.