I’ve been outfitting and guiding in Idaho and Alaska ever since.
In 1996, I met Michelle, a Challis, Idaho native. We were married in August of 1998 and soon after, our two sons, Steven and Joel, joined us to make a family.
Idaho Wilderness Company, is the outfitting adventure business that we started and have thoroughly relished through these years. The office view is phenomenal.
We live in the remote town of Challis, Idaho. Challis has a population of about one thousand and is located just outside the Frank Church “River Of No Return” Wilderness. Challis is sixty miles from the next equal sized town, and is a two hour drive from the nearest Walmart.
The Zettel’s home is located on the Salmon River with migrating salmon & steelhead, elk, whitetail, mule deer and much more right out the back door.
I’m Past President of the Idaho Outfitter and Guides Association (IOGA).
Allow me to introduce my eldest son Steven, born in 1997.
Steven was raised in wall tents, on the river and mostly in construction dust. He spent the ﬁrst 13 years of his life living through two major home remodels. He was a strong academic student, ran cross country, participated in most of the youth athletics available in Challis, and moved to Post Falls, ID for the last two years of High School to improve his wrestling skills. He was accepted into Grand Canyon University in 2015.
Steven is first and foremost a wrestler. He is now an 8 time Idaho State champion, including a High School State Championship as a freshman. His wrestling passion greatly influenced his choice of colleges.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Steven is an IWC guide as well as a licensed guide in Alaska, where he guides for Lance Kronberger, owner of Freelance Outdoor Adventures.
I would like to introduce my youngest son Joel, who was born in 1998.
Although a year younger, Joel has survived all the same outfitter lifestyle challenges as his brother Steven. Joel has never met a stranger and if you have ever spent time with Joel on the river or at camp, then you have memories of this special little boy that will last a lifetime.
If you have never met Joel, you can only hope that someday you will be fortunate enough to share some time with him. He plays football and, as always, he is a “wrestler”. He never misses a social event and will probably be Governor some day. We invite you to visit Joel’s website at meandjoel.com and become the ‘me’.
On December 27 of 2014, my wife and mother of our two boys passed away after her 14 year battle with breast cancer. Since her passing I have been asked countless times if there was going to be any kind of a fund set up in her name.
After much consideration I have come to the conclusion that no one will feel the loss more, nor be as negatively impacted, as our youngest son, Joel. If you’ve ever met Joel you know he is as special as they come.Two characteristics about Joel that have never changed are:
- He has never met a stranger, and
- He has never met a woman that didn’t love him
Although Joel has Down Syndrome, we have never treated him as such, nor has he lived life less. We have always held him to high standards and pushed him to be the best he could be, and Joel has responded by accomplishing amazing things.
If you would like to be part of Joel’s future, you can contribute to “Joel’s Future” fund at:
Contributing to the fund is not the only way that you can be a part of Joel’s future.
You could consider including him in your next adventure, in the workplace, or practically anything you think would be beneficial for Joel and yourself.
We also encourage everyone interested to visit Joel’s website http://meandjoel.com. This website was designed to jump start Joel’s entrepreneur occupation while bringing forth awareness of his situation and others much like him.
On behalf of Michelle and the boys, I would like to thank everyone for their kindness to the Zettels over the years.