Life off Interstate 84 - Idaho

The BondyWeb in Mountain Home

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(19 April 2014)  My name is Tim Bondy and the owner of this website.  As of Jan 1st, 2014 we moved to a different domain.  Please head over to the Bondy Blogs Website at  Different address, different system but same type of great articles, photos, stories and information. 

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Mountain Home Idaho News and Adventures

Photos from an Excellent “Dam” Hike

There are “horrible damn hikes” and then there are excellent “dam” hikes. And this hike fell into the excellent dam hike category. Where does one head for a great dam hike?

Anderson Dam Hike near Mountain Home Idaho

(February 5, 2012) Looking for easy hike in the snow where I wouldn't have to trudge through 1 foot of crusty old snow was the plan for this Super Bowl Sunday. The other criteria were I had to be back home by Kick-Off. I got more than I bargained for with this hike Along Anderson Ranch Dam and Reservoir.

The Dam Hike
Parking on the north side of Anderson Ranch Dam, my plan was to head towards the Little Wilson Creek area about 2 miles up the road. And let's face it, a walk along a fairly flat plowed surface isn't exactly exciting or blog-worthy.

What I didn't think would happen was experiencing a blue-bird day with almost no wind. These conditions gave me an opportunity to see and photograph some extraordinary sights. So I wanted to share a few pictures I took along Anderson Ranch Dam and Reservoir.

Some Photos
  • Water Reflections #1
From Anderson Ranch Dam Hike

  •  Frozen Waterfalls
From Anderson Ranch Dam Hike

  • Water Reflection #2
From Anderson Ranch Dam Hike

Link to the full 8 picture Photo Album:

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 08:23

Strange Find in Owyhee Desert

Recently, I was on a rock hounding trip south of Grand View, Idaho in the Owyhee Desert when I came upon a weird and unidentified man-made structure. Can you tell me what this thing is?

Strange Structure
Photo of strange Owyhee structure
Photo of the strange structure from the front, looking into it.

Dog for Scale
My Plott Hound gives some scale to the Owyhee structure
Addie, my dog is featured to give some scale to this strange structure. She is about 3 feet from nose to butt and stands about 2 feet from ground to top of her back.

Under the Roof
Looking under the Owyhee structures roof
Concrete base with some type of “turkey baster” or suction device lying in the bottom of the basin. Obviously the picture was taken on a slant so you have to adjust for this “oops Kodak moment”.

Location of Structure

What the heck is that thing? Leave a comment or use my Contact Us form if you have an answer.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 09 February 2012 08:52

Rock Hunting Owyhee Peak 4189

Want to try some wintertime rock hounding in Idaho? Hiking in the Owyhee desert is the perfect cold season get-away. How about blazing your own trail up peaks only but a few have attempted? All this and it's just a 1 hour drive from Mountain Home.

Rock hounding Owyhee Peak 4189

(February 2, 2012) This rock hounding trip was a long time coming. I've been eying this small but completely cool looking peak along the Owyhee Front for over 3 years. With obvious “volcano” looking characteristics, I was hoping to find some cool rocks. The hike was wonderful with brilliant blue skies and the usual solitude of the high desert.

The Hike
One of the problems in this area is finding a parking spot off Poison Creek Cut-off Road. Yeah, you can pull off the shoulder of this gravel road but one never knows how soft and gooey the shoulder will be until you get down there. So I decided to play it safe and park on the side of a double track trail heading almost straight towards Peak 4189.

Rock hunting trail to Owyhee mountain peak

My dog Addie and I headed south on foot along double track trail. Pretty simple walk that gradually climbs the further south you go. Once this trail ended, we headed off-trail straight towards the easily identifiable Peak 4189. Again, the grade is rather slight as it approaches the base of the peak.

Once at the base of Peak 4189, the climb gets steep and rocky. But it wasn't long before we summited out. The sweeping views from the summit are incredible even though the peak only rises about 500 feet above the plains where we parked. As usual, the winds on these Owyhee peaks were quite a bit stronger than down below.

Views from Rock Hunting Summit in Owyhee County

The hike back to the car was mostly off-trail along 3 different dry washes. We explored a few man-made objects out there and followed a few game trails. Yep, there are still deer, antelopes and coyotes alive and roaming the Owyhee Front. Plenty of tracks and scat to prove it.

Hunting Some Cool Rocks
The rock hounding was a little disappointing on and around Peak 4189. There is an abundance of bright white quartz and some near clear chunks up there. But nothing I saw made me want to bring a specimen home with me.

Mining claim in Owyhee Mountains

Obviously someone found something of interest on the flanks of Peak 4189 as there is a mining claim marker up there. Because the claim marker was just lying on the ground, I suspect the claim is abandoned. I'm reasonably sure if I had made a real effort, I would have found some cool rocks but this was just an exploratory trip. In other words, there wasn't any “low hanging fruit” just lying on the ground. I'll be back for some serious rock hounding later in the winter or early spring.

GPS Track Map of the Peak 4,189 Rock Hounding Trip

View Larger Map

Peak 4189 Hiking Statistics
Total Distance of Hike: 3.56 human miles. About 20 Addie Dog miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 553 feet
Average Slope of Entire Hike: 6%
Average Slope from Base to Peak: 20.1% in about 1/5 of a mile

The Land
The entire hike was done on public lands with a majority owned by the State of Idaho. BLM lands, as usual in the Owyhees, made up the ownership of the rest of the hike.

Cheat Grass invasion in Idaho

This is ranching land and the entire hike was done on the East Castle Creek Rangeland Allotment. Expect cow patties along any route you take from car door to the summit of Peak 4189. The predominate vegetation was unfortunately “cheat grass” with areas of sage brush.

The Rough Mountain Quad Topo Map show this peak has an elevation of 4189, while my GPS unit showed the (un)-true elevation at 4,140. I seriously don't know if my GPS unit is off by almost 50 feet or the 1992 Topo Map is wrong.

Thanks for visiting the Bondyweb,


Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 20:35

Snow Level Hiking in the Bennett Hills of Idaho

So where the heck is the snow line in the Bennett Hills? How deep is the snow along any section of Bennett Mountain Road? Why you might need to plan 3 different hikes during the winter. Is Ron Paul a hunter? Is backcountry skiing possible near Mountain Home, Idaho? Find out the answers to these questions.

Bennett Mountain Road hike with views of Idaho's Snake River Plains

(January 29th, 2012) Needing to get out of the house, I planned a short trip in the Bennett Mountain Road area north of Glenns Ferry. The snow level was a concern as it would determine which path I would take. With 3 plans mapped out, Addie, my dog and I headed up to “the hills”.

Addie the Plott Hounds hikes with Tim Bondy north of Glenns Ferry

Ron Paul Makes Hiking Option “A” is a No-Go
My first plan was to hike straight west along the “Bennett Hill Front” where I suspected the snow would be gone. The drive up the paved part of this road had me excited. I could see that the route Plan A would follow was basically snow free. I headed up to the paved parking area on Bennett Mountain Road but encountered a hunter with dogs just getting ready to head out in the direction of my hike.

I chatted with this gentleman and indeed he was going hunting along my planned route. Not a problem for me except...This hunter looked and sounded exactly like the Presidential Candidate Ron Paul. It wasn't Ron Paul, or was it?

Snow line on Bennett Mountains is at the road closed sign

Plan B Option has a Barrier
Plan B was to drive about 1 mile past the paved parking lot, park and hike along a creekbed to the west.
As you can see from the picture above, the road was closed by snow. So I decided this was more ambitious than I wanted to get. Hiking 1 mile on Bennett Mountain Road and a few miles off-trail in 6-12 inches of crusty snow did not sound like fun. And if it's not fun why hike it? Plan B was a no-go.

Plan C is the Only Option
Plan C was the simplest and most flexible plan. That is, just walking along Bennett Mountain Road. And that's what we did. It was a nice 3.2 mile hike along Babb Flats. The road, as I mention was closed to cars and trucks but open to snowmobiles. I really enjoyed this walk in bright sunshine and warm temperatures. Bennett Mountain Road has become one of my “go to” places because of the easy access and scenic aspects.

Snow Levels At?
The snow level on January 29th, 2012 was approximately 4,400 feet give or take a dozen or so feet. I'd say the average snow pack was about 8 inches along the way.

Backcountry skiing in Idaho's Bennett Mountains

Backcountry Skiing Possibilities
I've never really thought about backcountry skiing but it seems like Bennett Mountain Road could provide some excellent places to ski. A lot of the hillsides are treeless and the hike/ski/snowmobile into these peaks wouldn't be all that bad for the person in good shape.

Thanks for Reading!


Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 08:28

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