Associate professor to continue exploring trails

Tracy Deutmeyer

He is the modern day version of Lewis and Clark.

And 11 years after his first expedition, Professor Steve Russell said he wants to continue exploring Nez Perce Indian trails.

Russell, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, said he travels on many trails in western Montana and northern Idaho that explorers Lewis and Clark once traveled on. Russell hikes every summer for two months.

“This past summer I traveled over land that was the best of the best. It was called the Hungry Crick segment, and the name preserved itself from when Lewis and Clark named it,” he said.

“About six years ago, I went on a trail ride on a path that had not been traveled since the war of the white man and the Nez Perce Indians in 1877.”

Russell is the national president for the Nez Perce National Historical Trail Foundation. He also interacts with National Forest Service.

Russell said he began to explore because he has always had a fascination and talent for discovery.

“I love to hike and I love to do it by myself. Every once and while, somebody twists my arm so they can go with me,” Russell said.

“I took my daughter up on a hill in this part of the land and we could see over 70 miles with no lights,” Russell said.

He said there are significant stretches of land that have not been touched by modern development.

“I can hike for almost a week without seeing another person,” Russell said.