Mountain Matron

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Home Below Hell's Canyon | A Closer Look at the Book by Grace Jordan | Mountain Matron

Posted on August 7, 2017 at 11:45 AM

Home Below Hell’s Canyon | A Closer Look at the Book by Grace Jordan | Mountain Matron

Copyright © 1954 by Grace Jordan (April 16, 1892 – September 20, 1985)

Have you ever taken the history, recognition, and experience of your own explorations and examine the depth through someone else’s word? Explorers and Adventurers since ancient era have taken journal to their findings and experiences. Home Below Hell's Canyon written by Grace Jordan, is just that. A piece expressing the day to day of a family who spent their years on a sheep ranch during the depression era far below the rough ridges of Idaho at the hands of Hell’s Canyon

Let's back up for just a second. A couple years ago during the summer of 2015, I found myself taking part in the largest and longest solo adventure to date, willfully entering the deepest gorge of North America. Only I wasn't exactly solo. 

I, alone, away from my family, flew more than 800 miles from my home in Arizona to Boise, Idaho having my first handshake with a dozen other enthusiastic adventurists. We all loaded a passenger van, traveled through Riggins, Idaho and began to backpack the Seven Devils Mountain range into Hell's Canyon along Little Granite Creek; after a night on the river we were to board a raft and paddle down the Snake, exiting at Pittsburg Landing. Taking rest along a 5 day route we spent our first days in the wilderness of Idaho then along the banks of Snake, including a night at Kirkwood Ranch; home of Grace, husband Len, and three Jordan children during the 1930’s.

Route Markers of My Travels

  • Hell’s Canyon
  • Little Granite Creek
  • Martin Hibbs Camp
  • Suicide Point
  • Len Jordan - Kirkwood Creek - Kirkwood Ranch
  • Pittsburgh Landing

Home Below Hell’s Canyon, is a retell of the unique and extraordinary life starting in Spring 1933. Grace Jordan along with her three children, ages six, three and a half, and seven months traveled a weary, resistant journey by train, bus, and boat holding a knapsack full of fruit, milk, eggs and sandwiches, blissfully full of hope in arriving to Kirkwood Ranch. Husband Len Jordan (later becoming governor of Idaho and a United States senator) who had hurried ahead to secure the land purchase waited joyfully, as all were ready to endorse the canyon life for the next many years.

Read the 243 page book and better understand a place that may only be approached by boat, foot or horseback. The memoir is commonly recognized as Grace Jordan’s best work, translated into many languages.

 *After traveling 800 miles by airplane, two hours by automobile during my 2015 Idaho visit, I had a wonderfully perfect overnight stay held at the Meadows Valley Motel, New Meadows, Idaho. They are ready for the weary traveler and can accommodate you during your own backpacking adventure.


Categories: Articles Of Aspiration, Travel

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