Approximately eight years ago, when I was flying a B36-TC, I took a two-hour lesson from Lori and a year later took the Mountain Canyon Flying course. Both were excellent, and I was able to handle the easier strips immediately after the lesson. I wouldn't consider flying into any of the ID backcountry strips without at least a private lesson. I flew into Bear Creek many times (long before the restaurant was devastated by fire) because it was my favorite strip. Johnson Creek was another favorite, but it always seemed more of a challenge than Bear Creek. As for stone chips, there undoubtedly were some, but they weren't obvious. At the time, most of Bear Creek was grass.