Cap CityThursday, June 19, 2014
When it comes to love of the Great Outdoors, it would be hard to be more devoted than Scott Gauvin of Springfield. An avid hiker, kayaker and camper, Gauvin shares his adventures with the world through his blog, www.hikingforward.com. And it was his blog that earned Gauvin a chance to go on his biggest adventure yet. Gauvin is one of 14 people from around the country chosen to participate in the Hell Hike and Raft, a 10-day outdoor excursion through the 650,000-acre Hell’s Canyon Wilderness in western Idaho. The trip was organized by outdoor gear companies as a way to put their products to the test in real world situations by dedicated outdoor enthusiasts who have a major social media presence. “I’m stoked,” Gauvin says. “This is like a pilgrimage for me. It’s a new location and a new adventure.” He leaves Springfield Sept. 1 for Idaho, then begins a seven-day group hike through Hell’s Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America. (Yep, it’s even deeper than the Grand Canyon.) After the long hike, the group will raft down the Snake River for three days. Gauvin says it will be his first time whitewater rafting, although he’s an experienced kayaker who traverses the Sangamon River regularly. He’s looking forward to putting the test gear through its paces, but he’s even more excited about the relationships that are already starting to form among the 14 members of the expedition. “The big thing for me is the camaraderie, the trail family that develops,” he said. “I know a couple of these people already, but most of them I’ve never met, and we already feel like family.” For more information, visit www.hellhikeandraft.com.