ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Day Trippin'
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-08-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 654
Taking the new guy to the limit across Idaho’s Hawaii

A small stretch of imagination is required to conflate dry sagebrush plains with a tropical island. Look a few feet under the surface, though, and Idaho’s Owyhee County and the islands of Hawai’i are much the same, each formed by ages of volcanism, each resting upon millennia of basalt flows.

It is not this similarity for which the Owhyees are named, however, but rather to honor a small party of Hawai’ian fur trappers found killed about 1820 near the Snake River (Roadside History of Idaho, p. 172). It has always been a land equally fascinating and fatal.

“Hey, I think I’m gonna take tomorrow off,” I sort of mention to my co-workers. Family obligations and a sketchy forecast have ruled out weekend riding but the new tire, freshly synchronized throttle bodies and sunshine require something.

A note about my plan on the Boise section of ADVRider.com catches the attention of a new dual sport rider, Ben. He tells me he’d like to go. Great! My wife Jessica is glad I won’t be out there alone.

5696649961

red route track

Ben and I are going to take Pleasant Valley Road south to Grand View and a nearby pioneer cemetery that a friend at work has told me about.

5697091158

I am pulling off helmet and gloves at Denny’s by the airport when a guy on a KLR wearing a high-viz jacket and toting a waterproof duffel bag—all proud hallmarks of adventure riding—pulls up

I reach out my hand. “Ben?”

“Yeah.”

5697088930

We get acquainted and review the route over his omelet and my Moons over My Hammy.

“How fast do you go on the gravel?” he asks. He hasn’t been on a ride like this and is a bit anxious.

“Well, that depends,” I explain. “If it’s straight and I can see far enough ahead, I might go seventy or eighty.” I guess that might not be the answer he wanted, so I add, “just go whatever speed you’re comfortable with. There’s no hurry.”

I gather from his comments that this new endeavor is part of a little lifestyle adjustment. “I feel kinda like a dork,” he says, noting his still-pristine riding gear.

“I’m sure we’ll take care of that,” I reassure him.

Leaving Denny’s behind, I see dust billowing in my mirrors as Pleasant Valley Road turns to gravel. I speed up thinking to create some separation but the air is still and the dust lingers. After the next intersection we ride side-by-side.

The pungent smell of manure signals our approach to Grand View along the Snake River, home to a cattle feedlot that “boasts the largest holding capability in the United States, with a one-time capacity of 150,000 head” (Simplot). It seems an odd point of pride, like boasting you have the largest garbage dump or most polluted river.

5697092482

After gas and snacks at the Grand View Shell station, we follow Mud Flat road to the old Turmes Ranch, a rest stop to travelers in the late 1800s. The family burial ground, Shoo Fly Cemetery, is across the road at the foot of the ancient Lake Idaho shoreline (Owyhee Uplands Scenic Byway, p. 16).

5697116428

Ben and I pull off to look at the cemetery and curious geology. The epitaphs are notably laconic. “Father,” “Mother,” without elaboration, much like their own history, reduced to a couple nondescript, unoccupied stone buildings amidst miles of emptiness.

5697114982

the Turmes homestead by the tall trees in the mid-distance

Someone has taken time to honor the dead, albeit with dollar store flags and plastic flowers.

5697097106
5696519945
5696522981

We notice the sand here, when inspected closely, consists of spherules rather than grains. “It looks like the fertilizer I just put in the yard,” I observe. We climb to the rocks above the cemetery, which have the whimsical forms of volcanic tuff, and see they’re composed of the same spherules, cemented together in fluid forms.

5696527169

The natural sculpture garden before you is a section of the Glenns Ferry Formation called the Shoofly Oolite. Oolite (egg stone) is sedimentary limestone composed of tiny ooids, which form when calcium carbonate precipitates in concentric layers around individual grains of sand. The Shoofly Oolite is one of the largest freshwater lakebed oolites known in the world.

Erosion carried away softer siltstone and volcanic tuffs but left the more resistant oolite to weather above the mud flats … In some places, the upper surface of the oolite has been sculpted into hummocks, small arches, and other intriguing shapes.

The physical and chemical properties of the Shoofly Oolite provide the foundation for the unique set of plants and fossils found here. Few other lands in Idaho support such a rich suite of rare species in such a small area (BLM Information Panel, also Mud Flat “Shoo Fly” Oolite).

5697104978

“Have you been to Leslie Gulch?” I ask. “It’s like this on a larger scale.”

“No I haven’t,” Ben answers.

We walk around making separate inspections of the contorted rocks, small flowers and mosses springing from their crevices. I see two jack rabbits hop hurriedly away, perhaps leading deeper into wonderland. Beds of dry grass and twigs suggest the many diminutive hollows are home to the rabbits and their ilk.

5696531197
5696532915

“I would have loved to come here with my toy trucks as a kid,” I observe. It’s fertile ground for a young imagination. “You know, I think I’d have fun playing trucks here right now,” I add.

5697110920
5696536973
5697100900

I imagine families pulling up to the Turmes Ranch a century ago, perhaps on their way to a gold prospect or returning the opposite direction from tragedy. The parents are tired and dusty, ready for respite, but the kids, having been cooped up in the covered wagon, are excited when the Turmes kids offer to show them around.

They climb the hill across the road to these rocks where, for an hour, they are friends, as kids can be, and perhaps fellow sea captains, or soldiers in pursuit of Indians.

5696518651

We have seen all we can without some hiking. “Ready to move on?” I ask.

“Whenever you are.”

We have a lot more to see.

these images are hosted at flickr
this post was automatically generated from my blog
text and images are © Copyright 2011 Jason Abbott. All Rights Reserved. ■
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/

Jason Abbott screwed with this post 07-27-2011 at 01:46 PM
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
Wolfgang55
Beastly Adventurer
 
Wolfgang55's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Next to Rio Bravo
Oddometer: 3,318



Good start.

Hope the light shoes the KLR rider has on gives enough protection.
Wolfgang55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
benwiggin2
Beastly Adventurer
 
benwiggin2's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Red stickered, in the wild, wild, west
Oddometer: 2,066
Your way with words, links to history, and fine photos have sucked me in to this one.....
benwiggin2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
obrianmcc
Gnarly Adventurer
 
obrianmcc's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Boise Idaho
Oddometer: 458
__________________
2006 DRZ 400 E / Plated - 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere

OBR ADV Gear
Website - www.obradvgear.com
Facebook - OBR ADV Gear
obrianmcc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 08:56 PM   #5
ryanwilliamcantrell
Get Out and Ride!!
 
ryanwilliamcantrell's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Oddometer: 3,859
Looking good...
__________________
Ride your own ride & enjoy your ride.


ryanwilliamcantrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
badmemory
Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Boise
Oddometer: 31
badmemory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 07:08 AM   #7
Sasquatch
Banned
 
Sasquatch's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Boise, Idaho
Oddometer: 4,770
Sasquatch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 07:47 AM   #8
Idahosam
Set Adrift
 
Idahosam's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Here and There.. but mostly in the Desert
Oddometer: 4,109
So, as all others I to am awaiting Wonderful preamble, now on the to the masochistic mud bogging and initiation of the new guy.
__________________
My Ride South of the Border
Riding Nevada's Pony Express Trail May 2013

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
Aldous Huxley
Idahosam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 03:37 PM   #9
243Win
Studly Adventurer
 
243Win's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Oddometer: 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Abbott View Post
· · · · A small stretch of imagination is required to conflate dry sagebrush plains with a tropical island.


Not really, the first time I flew into the Kona Airport on the NW side of the big Island from Seattle I thought to myself "That was a Hell of a long way to fly to end up in Yakima."

It's a desert in that region.


__________________
Excellent, our country is now run by folks that would allow you to smoke pot in Washington State, but not buy a Big-Gulp in New York.

10 State Trip 2010
2011, $1000 in the pocket, how far can we go
243Win is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 04:20 PM   #10
Idahosam
Set Adrift
 
Idahosam's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Here and There.. but mostly in the Desert
Oddometer: 4,109
Quote:
Originally Posted by 243Win View Post
Not really, the first time I flew into the Kona Airport on the NW side of the big Island from Seattle I thought to myself "That was a Hell of a long way to fly to end up in Yakima."

It's a desert in that region.
[/INDENT]


Very true as the westside of the BI is much like the owyhees
The Green Beach


Yup, can you believe this is Hawaii




Still awaiting the embarkation of your part into the abyssal outland
__________________
My Ride South of the Border
Riding Nevada's Pony Express Trail May 2013

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
Aldous Huxley
Idahosam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 05:03 PM   #11
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 654
Part 2 of 4: Homestead

The river canyons in Owyhee County have been called the largest concentration of sheer-walled volcanic rhyolite and basalt canyons in the western United States. Many of the canyons are more than 1000 feet deep, nearly twice as deep as the Washington Monument is tall (History of Owyhee County).

From the oolite and interred Turmes, Ben and I follow the gravel Shoofly Cut Off Road east to Highway 51 where we turn toward Nevada. We quickly gain over two thousand feet of elevation as we rise from the bottom of ancient Lake Idaho, the “mud flat,” up the southern shore to what was once savanna roamed by camels, mastodons and saber-tooth cats.

The modern roadway terrain is less exciting—continued sagebrush spreads uninterrupted across the plain. If destinations were selected based on what’s visible from the highway, we wouldn’t come this way.

5696541603

Twenty miles later, we reach Battle Creek Road which runs nearly perpendicular to the highway, east and west, over to parallel canyons that drain north to the primordial lake bed behind us. East is the Bruneau Canyon where I camped with others a few weeks ago. Today we’re going west.

The bleak road belies a dramatic history.

Battle Creek is named for a fight between Bannock Indians and Euro-Americans that occurred near the creek in July 1864. Among those killed was Michael Jordan for whom Jordan Valley, Oregon, and Jordan Creek are named (Owyhee Uplands, p. 12).

5696542943

“Zeno Falls is that way,” I point, “but first I wanted to go up here a couple miles,” I explain, nodding in the opposite direction, “to what is supposed to be a canyon overlook.” We’ve come to a stop at an intersection by a large Bureau of Land Management map display.

“Sure,” Ben answers. I think he’s up for whatever.

5697120796

The road is a bit more fun this way—a few little rocks to dodge and some dry ruts to zip around. I watch Ben in the mirrors. No problem.

5697123696

Then a problem. The GPS says to turn but I expect the empty sign post wants to tell us not to. I walk over to check. Yep. The sign is face down in the dirt, broken from its mounts, I’m sure, by an unhappy rider. I set it against the post.

5696546333

“I guess we won’t go that way,” I lament. “At least we didn’t come far. Was that road okay for you?”

Ben answers “yep” so we pick up the pace a little as we head the opposite direction to Buncel Place along Duncan Creek. Little rocks become big rocks and the terrain turns rough. This is more like it.

5697125942

“This is cool,” Ben exclaims as we pull in front of the abandoned Buncel Place. A little hodgepodge house and nearby stone barn speak of lives played out over decades.

5696570531
5696556619

I notice the house is shingled with large tin cans that have been cut and unrolled. That’s resourceful. Were they saving cans from their regular food supplies? Or did they visit neighbors on horseback, asking, “hey, do you have any cans you’re done with?”

Buncel house
5696563803

The barn is also built with available resources, local rocks stacked into walls without any mortar that I can see.

5696554225

“There were some big trees here,” Ben calls from the other side of the house. No large trees grow naturally among the sagebrush so the family must have planted saplings and nursed them to maturity.

5696560149

All that remains of the trees are old bones crumbling into the ground and bleached white under years of desert sun. Two snaking lines of stones mark a garden path near the rotting trees. The path is now so obscured by sagebrush that you have to be on it to notice. The trees, the stones ... someone cared about this yard. It must have been pretty.

“I bet the wife was bored and did all this,” I joke. Ben replies in kind, though we don’t imagine that’s quite the truth.

5696558109

The area is dotted by sandy mounds, homes to the remaining inhabitants. “I’ve always thought red ants were meaner than black,” I comment as I stoop to watch several pull a beetle to it’s demise atop a mound, “but I’ve not read any science on it.”

Fire ants,” Ben answers, two words to confirm a shared impression.

Fire ants, killer bees … I think there’s a generation of boys haunted by these things. Weren’t they supposed to be moving up from Mexico to kill our pets, perhaps kids too?

5697137766

“Are we gonna cross that?” Ben asks, looking to Duncan Creek just below the house.

“Yeah. You want to walk over and take a look?” We walk a few yards and realize the wire fence will force a long way around.

“How ‘bout we stop to check it out when we get there?” I suggest. “I’ll ride across first. You can watch me, see how it goes. Then give me a moment to get the camera out,” I finish with a smile.

5696566065

This will be Ben’s first water crossing and he wouldn’t mind a few tips.

“Well, go ahead and stop at the edge to have a look but once you’re in the water, focus on the opposite bank and go,” I advise. “Don’t over-think it.”

“Are you ready?” I ask.

these images are hosted at flickr
this post was automatically generated from my blog
text and images are © Copyright 2011 Jason Abbott. All Rights Reserved. ■
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/

Jason Abbott screwed with this post 07-27-2011 at 01:48 PM
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 08:39 AM   #12
Idahosam
Set Adrift
 
Idahosam's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Here and There.. but mostly in the Desert
Oddometer: 4,109
Well dang, I'm not seeing any mud yet, but it sure is green out there right now. Regarding the New wilderness, I anticipate numerous locals are not happy, and will take time, a long time to come to grips with it, for some. I've not seen that land change in my over 20 years of playing out there, hell the the bovine and indigenous fauna out number the periodic bipedal by 100 to 1 easy. Alas this is progress.... I guess. All that said I would never vandalize like that. but for some they need to vent their emotions, kinda like the person that yells at the clerk over the price of gas.

End Rant you my continue
__________________
My Ride South of the Border
Riding Nevada's Pony Express Trail May 2013

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
Aldous Huxley
Idahosam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 09:44 AM   #13
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahosam View Post
Well dang, I'm not seeing any mud yet
That'll be part four. You know, the climactic conclusion.

Quote:
Regarding the New wilderness, I anticipate numerous locals are not happy, and will take time, a long time to come to grips with it.
It's easier being sort of new to that area—the closures don't feel like something taken away. I never had that access. If the government blocked access to areas I'd been able to visit for years, I'd feel a lot differently. Up north it was usually logging companies blocking roads. Not that I'm proud of it, but I circumvented several of their gates when I was younger (and rode a smaller bike).
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 09:55 AM   #14
MoBill
Smiles when says dat
 
MoBill's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 13,385
MoBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 10:25 AM   #15
badmemory
Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Boise
Oddometer: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Abbott View Post
Not that I'm proud of it, but I circumvented several of their gates when I was younger (and rode a smaller bike).
Hang on, are you saying you're now limited by the GS? I call bs!
Beautimous photos btw.
badmemory is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014