Life off Interstate 84 - Idaho

The BondyWeb in Mountain Home

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Newsflash

(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 http://bondyblogs.com  Different address, different system but same type of great articles, photos, stories and information. 

 
You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor Local Outdoor News

Idaho Outdoor News

Description coming soon.

Large Chunk of Boise National Forest Opens

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It's Open Mostly
A large area of the Boise National Forest to the north and northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho has been closed to all types outdoor recreation since the Sept 2013 wildfires.  As of Thursday November 6th, 2013 most of the area is now open to recreation, but not all. 



Seeing is Understanding.  A Picture is Worth a 1000 Word

Here are a few ways of visualizing this reduced fire closure area for our local Boise National Forest area.  You can always visit the local office, or National Forest website for more information.

Here is a PDF Map:  bondyweb.com/other-images/Nov-2013-Elk-Fire-Closure-Map1.pdf

Here is a Google Earth KML File:  (Right click the file.  Click “Save Link As”.  Remember where you save the file.  Open File in Google Earth)  bondyweb.com/other-images/FireEmergencyClosures-06Nov2013.kmz

Meaning fishing the South Fork below the dam and many other activities previously outlawed due to dangerous post-wildfire conditions are now possible.



Do You Care? 
As of 2:30 pm on Nov 8th, 2013, our local newspaper, City and County websites plus the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce seem to have ignored this news.  That leaves it up to someone (The BondyWeb.Com) who cares about local outdoor recreation, communication and spreading this incredible good news far and wide.  That's right, I'll pat myself on the back while the people who should be reporting this news head out to lunch.


This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho





Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 14:38

Hike the North Bank of Long Tom Creek

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The idea of hiking along the north bank of Long Tom Creek where it dumps into the Reservoir has fascinated me for a few years now.  And with a strong cold front moving through this area, I decided I needed to stay close to Mountain Home, not stray too far off the beaten path but explore a new place.  The area north of Long Tom Reservoir was the perfect location for a hike.

Stay High and Dry
Being a very dry year, Long Tom Creek is probably at historic lows and the size of the reservoir probably wasn't anywhere near normal either.  I figured hiking the ridge-line north of the creek would give me a good vantage point to check out the surrounding scenery.  It did.



The cold front was obviously moving in rapidly as dark, gray and steadily lowering clouds moved in from the west.  I knew it wouldn't be long before it started to rain.  The only question was how hard and how long would it rain.  The rain started just as I reached the ridge-line above Willowdale Creek that dumps into the northern side of the reservoir.  This would be my turn back point.

The Apocalypse Landscape
Plain and simple, the area around Long Tom Reservoir got burned pretty badly during the August 2013 Elk Complex Wildfire.  And my path took me straight through the burn scar and this wasn't something I had thought about until I hopped across Long Tom Creek at the beginning of this exploration hike. 




I knew this area wasn't a rock hounding spot so scenery, the exercise and exploration were the only reasons to be out here.  Unfortunately for me and the land, there were places on this hike I felt a Hollywood crew could film a realistic type apocalyptic, end of the world as we know movie without any problems.  The fire burned off a vast majority of the sagebrush leaving near bare ground.  It was just plain ugly and empty in these places.

Low, Sandy, Easy and Wet
When the rain started, I had a few choices.  I could head north, get on the dirt road and head back.  I could head back along the ridge-line I just walked.  Or I could take the easy way back to the car along the now dry Long Tom Creek-bed.

I headed down to the creek bed and headed due east.  This was some easy hiking on the sandy shores of Long Tom Reservoir and Long Tom Creek.  The rain continued for the entire hike back.  Fortunately for me, the rain was relatively light.

It was kind of cool seeing the river bottom I fished back in April 2012.  You can read the story at http://bondyweb.com/mountain-home-outdoors/53-elmore-county-outdoors/530-early-season-fishing-at-long-tom-reservoir 

The Adventure Scorecard - 5 Stars or Worse
  • Remoteness:  3 Stars - I doubt many people venture out here.
  • Beauty:  2 Stars
  • Cleanliness of Our Lands:  1 Stars for the copious amounts of burned cow patties and scorched landscape. 
  • Rock Hounding:  Not Calculated
  • Wildlife:  1 Star - Only saw a few birds and very little sign of any big game in this area.  Weird
  • Overall Score:  2 Stars  
 
Links
View a map of the area at:  http://www.acme.com/mapper/?ll=43.29782,-115.56879&z=14&t=T

View some more photos at:  https://picasaweb.google.com/112532322025941965882/20131102?authuser=0&feat=directlink 
(may not be accessible to everyone at all times...sorry)


This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho




Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 09:10

John Hoffman Reservoir Near Mountain Home Idaho

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The John Hoffman Reservoir is located about 6 miles northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho yet I doubt many people have been there.  I have seen this agricultural reservoir from the nearby Bennett Hills and the peak of Teapot Dome but never took the plunge and walked out there.  Finally on October 20th, 2013 the BondyWeb Adventure Team of Tim and Addie the Plott Hound made it out there.

 (Click to get a bigger version of this photo of the Hoffman Res Outlet)

It's Dry and Rather Uninteresting
I admit it...the area around this reservoir is rather boring and even worse, the John Hoffman Reservoir was completely bone dry.  The prerequisite cow patty mess is unavoidable and the ever present acres of non-native cheatgrass latches onto socks, shoes and any cloth items is comes in contact with.

But if one doesn't look too close, this walking spot is actually rather nice.  First of all, it's close to home for a quick Sunday afternoon, walk the dog spot.  The sweeping views of the Bennett Hills, Danskin Mountains, solitude and local desert make for a better than an in-town walk.  Maybe a return in the springtime would be a good idea to see a full reservoir?    

 (Click photo for a larger version)

Failure of Technology
Technology let me down today.  Digital photos of the bone dry reservoir and shots of a mostly decomposed cow carcass were corrupted and not viewable.  My recorded Garmin Oregon 500t GPS track was mysteriously off by 100-1,500 yards.  I use the GPS track to Geo-sync my photos and my photos were obviously misplaced.  A problem that is easily remedied with the geomarking feature of a program called “Picasa Photo Album”.   

 

 (The above photo is quite large and clear.  Go ahead and click it for the big version)

Map Link:  
http://www.acme.com/mapper/?ll=43.18565,-115.58784&z=15&t=T&marker0=43.18565%2C-115.58784%2C10.2%20km%20NE%20of%20Mountain%20Home%20ID

The Adventure Scorecard - 5 Stars or Worse
Remoteness:  2 Stars
Beauty:  1 Stars
Cleanliness of Our Lands:  1 Stars - Sporadic junk found along entire hike. Lots of cow patties too.
Rock Hounding:  0 Stars
Wildlife:  1 Star - Birds and lots of them plus much dried up deer, antelope pellets.
Overall Score:  1 Star
Remember, this is an Adventure Score and not a enjoyment score.  

 

This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho

 

 tim-bondy-idaho-blogger

 

Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 19:55

Review of Idaho's Elmore County Fair 2012

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(Thursday July 19th, 2012) If you don't understand small town charm, the Elmore County Fair in Glenns Ferry will school you in the way it used to be way back when and you'll be glad for the education. I certainly enjoyed "going to the fair" for the first time in a long time. Read on to find out more...

Elmore County Fair Art and Painting Display
Elmore County Fair in Glenns Ferry Idaho

Mid-Week and Early Bird Special
I drove into the Elmore County Fairgrounds on Thursday at 12:00 Noon. I paid the more than reasonable $3.00 entrance fee and parked in the grass covered parking lot. All in all it took 5 minutes from the time I drove into the fairgrounds to the time I was "in the fair". In short, attending midweek during the day means you will avoid the crowds but also miss some of the entertainment.

Other Information
Link to the Elmore County Fair Website: http://ecfr.weebly.com/index.html

Link to photo from my "Fair" trip:  https://picasaweb.google.com/112532322025941965882/ElmoreCountyFair2012InIdaho?authuser=0&feat=directlink


What I Saw

  • The "Beef Showmanship& Market Quality" judging. At least I suspect that was what I was watching.
  • Talked with the owner of "Simple Life Farm Alpacas". Nancy Brletic obviously has a real passion for her alpacas as she answered every question I had about these cool "fiber" animals.
  • Walked through the sheep and pig pens. Something I haven't done since the 1990's in Montana.
  • Walked through the "Elmore County Fair Exposition Building". Saw the 4-H exhibits and the "local goodies" (produce, jellies, jams) displays. Most excellent part of the fair.
  • The Food Court and Merchant area. The food court was pretty cool with chefs from as far away as Lewiston, Idaho selling their delights.
  • I walked into the Carnival area that wasn't open for the day yet.

Overall Appeal of Fair
There is good news and bad news. The bad news started outside the fairgrounds. I expected signs and arrows pointing to the entrance to the fairgrounds. There just wasn't any real signage and that seems rather weird to me as it doesn't cater to the drive-by tourist?

The good news was the fair itself. I really enjoyed the displays in the exposition buildings and viewing all the animals. Going early was good for me in two ways. First, it was a little cooler than the "after 6:00 PM" heat of the day. And second, the crowds or lack of crowds made browsing through everything quite simple.

Thanks to All
I wish to thank all the people who worked countless hours to putting on a great show for this guy. Hopefully my readers will head out to Glenns Ferry before the Fair ends on Sunday July 22nd, 2012

Enjoy,


tim-bondy-idaho-blogger


This blog post is dedicated to the friendly and cool folks in Stanley, Idaho where I can find cool articles about businesses and things to do in that area.

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2012 11:41

ATV Trip on NFS Trail 612 - Wilson Flats Video

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(June 16th, 2012) A beautiful weather forecast and a hankering to get out of town led to this ATV trip. Google Earth showed me the “virtual way” to a little visited place only about 20 air miles from Mountain Home, Idaho. It was up to me to research the legality of getting there on my Arctic Cat ATV. All the info I found said heading up National Forest Service Trail #612 near Wilson Flats / Granite Mountain would be okay...


Wilson Flat and NFS Trail 612 ATV Trip

The ATV Trip
Review
  • Parking on the north side of Anderson Ranch Reservoir, I unloaded the machine and headed up to Wilson Flat on NFS Trail #606. Addie the Plott Hound was loaded in the dog cage on the back of the ATV that she is truly getting quite used to riding on now. Even though I've been up this steep and slippery road with a shear cliff on a number of occasions, it still gets the blood moving just looking down 500 feet into the valley below.
From ATV Ride to Trail 612 near Wilson Flat in Idaho

  • Once up on “the flat” the road gets easier to negotiate but is still rougher than a cobb in places. We continued west on NFS Trail 606 towards our destination. I had to stop along Elk Creek to let the dog get a drink and explore the area for awhile. After all, “it's about the journey and not the destination”, right? With Addie filled up on water, we continued heading west towards Granite Mountain.

  • Hanging a right onto NFS Trail 611 led to a rougher and less traveled section of this area. I doubt my speed ever topped 10mph and most times it was in the 5 mph range. Not because of the roughness but the beauty and exploration value made slow speeds seem more logical and enjoyable. We came upon a downed tree across the trail at one point and not wanting to cut the trip short, I used my considerable weight to move the thing off the trail.
From ATV Ride to Trail 612 near Wilson Flat in Idaho

  • At the intersection of NFS Trails 611 & 612 we continued on 611 until it deadended. NFS 611 ends in a deeply forested spot and was quite cool and dark. Seems like a great place to camp sometime. It might also be a good spot to try for a hike to the summit of the 6,800 foot tall Granite Mountain? Who knows, maybe someday?????
Video of Ride on NFS Trail 612


  • With Addie leading the way, we headed back down NFS Trail 611 and made a left on NFS 612 and our planned destination. NFS Trail 612 is quite rough as it crosses a streambed a few times making an early season trip up this road unadvisable. But on this day, there wasn't any water at all to be found along the trail.

  • This trail deadends in a semi-open area that provides some grand views out towards Little Camas Reservoir and up towards the side flanks of Granite Mountain. We had lunch at this spot and headed back via a new route. Below you can see our whole GPS Track.
Interactive Map of Entire ATV Ride

View Larger Map

Comments
I hoped you enjoyed this article and it will encourage you to get out to explore Idaho either on foot, horseback or on an ATV/motorcycle. You certainly won't regret the experience.

Thanks,


tim-bondy-idaho-blogger
Last Updated on Monday, 25 June 2012 20:25

James Creek Mountain Biking Trip

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(June 13th, 2012)  The road up to the Atlanta Summit was still closed on June 13th, but that just means a trafficless mountain biking trip in one of the most beautiful places in the Boise National Forest. Normally referred to as “James Creek Road” or the “Road to Atlanta, Idaho” and it's normally one of the last roads in this area to open up each summer. So who can pass up a chance to mountain bike on a closed road? Not me.

Rocky Bar Idaho Mountain Biking

The Road Up to James Creek Summit
To avoid any false advertising claims I must point out right now...I did not make it all the way from Rocky Bar to James Creek Summit on this trip. I stopped at the Elk Creek Bridge and turned around. But you are more than welcome to do the entire trip if you think you have the chops.

From Mountain Biking James Creek Road near Rocky Bar Idaho

We parked just off James Creek Road, less than ½ mile north of Rocky Bar and right were the “Road Closed” sign blocked the way. From there it was all hike/bike on this out and back trip and mostly it was hike while pushing my Cannondale mountain bike up the road. But I can rightfully brag my partner on this trip never once climbed on the saddle during the grueling grind up the road.

Overall, the road is in pretty good condition but there are a lot of baseball to softball sized rocks lying on or slightly embedded in this dirt/gravel road. As I have hiked this road a number of times in the past, I also observed that it's much drier up there this year than the last few years. But one thing that has changed in the last 3 years is the steepness. This road has gotten much steeper since 2009 when I mountain biked this same road. Or maybe I'm more out of shape than I was 3 years ago?

From Mountain Biking James Creek Road near Rocky Bar Idaho

The “Not So Speedy” Return Trip on the Bike
The statement made by the pro mountain biker Juliana Furtado “The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash” certainly rang true on this trip down the hill. There were many near fatal crashes on this trip.

Being out of practice and having that 4 legged, non-riding partner running inches from my front tire made for a slowish ride down to Rocky Bar. Even though there wasn't any high speed bombing down the deserted James Creek Road, we made back in short order. The only downside to the speedier ride is missing the views you'd likely see if hiking.

Five Highlights of the Trip
1. Elk Creek Waterfalls: I stopped at the spot where Elk Creek crosses under James Creek Road. The waterfall was in its full glory and I had lunch beside the creek. Just a great place to stop and reflect on life.

From Mountain Biking James Creek Road near Rocky Bar Idaho

2. Bald Mountain: Something about this burned mountain peak that inspires me when I see it. And it's hard to miss when on James Creek Road.
3. Heading up a trail I've seen so many times but always ignored to get to my destination faster. I finally took the time to head up this trail at lat/long 43.723258, -115.274972
4. The solitude!
5. I came back unhurt and still able to walk, talk and see.

Map of the Mountain Bike Route  and Hike from My GPS Unit

View Larger Map
Go ahead and move the map around...if you can.


Stats of the Mountain Biking Trip
  • Total Mileage: 7.67 miles but less than half was actually “on-bike”.
  • Average Slope: 7% but when trying to ride uphill it felt more like 70%.
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,542 feet

Links to Explore

From Mountain Biking James Creek Road near Rocky Bar Idaho

Leave a Comment or Tweet/Like/+1 Me
As the headline says, get social or get out of here because this article has come to an end.

Thanks,


tim-signature

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 June 2012 21:22

Trout Fishing Lime Creek

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(June 7th, 2012) This trip was to a creek that I suspect few fishermen venture to even though it's not too far from Mountain Home, Idaho. There are a few minor obstacles to overcome if you wish to tread where not many have gone. The road to the trailhead and the trail down to Lime Creek might be a sticking point. Read on to find out what it's like down there.

Fishing Idaho's Lime Creek

Getting to NFS Trailhead 193
I chose to park just off Anderson Reservoir Road and head to the trailhead on my Arctic Cat ATV. This isn't completely necessary but it gave me the opportunity to explore a few places after the hike if I wished. Just a word to the wise, the dirt road called NFS #181A to the trailhead is rather narrow, rutted in places and in places susceptible to rock falls onto the road. Still, the road is suitable for any high clearance vehicle.

From Trout Fishing Lime Creek


The directions from Anderson Reservoir Road are pretty straight forward:
  • At the intersection of Anderson Reservoir Road and High Prairie Road (coordinates 43.368145, -115.239203) make a left onto Moores Flat Road or NFS Road 181.
  • Continue on NFS Road 181 for about 4-5 miles until you see the left onto NFS Road 181A.
  • Continue on NFS Road 181A until it dead ends.

The Steep Hike Down to Lime Creek
Where NFS Road 181A ends, NFS Trail 193 begins. This is a short but rather steep trail that heads straight down to Lime Creek. Be aware motorcycles and horses are allowed on this trail. And it appears as if horse traffic is the main mode of transportation down to the creek.

From Trout Fishing Lime Creek


The 2nd half of this steep trail actually parallels a semi-annual creek and occasionally is part of the creek. But even after some recent rains, this small creek was completely dry. But in the early season I'd say you might want to avoid NFS Trail 193 if you are hiking.

The Lime Creek Area
The Lime Creek area is quite lush, green and beautiful. There are plenty of cool grassy camping spots if you decided to spend the night here. The creek itself was easily “wadeable” in many place when I was down there. But creek gradient sure doesn't support many pools or calm areas to wade through.

From Trout Fishing Lime Creek


There is an old pack bridge over Lime Creek but it is “posted” as closed. The decking of the bridge seems a little iffy and I suspect that is the reason it's closed. I didn't chance using the bridge but my hiking companion wasn't as cautious.

At the pack bridge the trail splits. NFS Trail 630 head northwest away from Lime Creek and NFS Trail 193 follows Lime Creek upstream for about ½ miles before leaving the creek behind. I traveled on both trails for a short distance. The only thing you need to know is it beautiful down there.

From Trout Fishing Lime Creek


Fishing Lime Creek
First things first. I caught 2 trout on this trip. The biggest one measured in at close to 4 inches long. Obviously the other fish was smaller. I had a few nibbles and following fish but none that were quite as big as the one I caught :-)

Lime Creek, at least in the area and time that I was there, is a tough fish. The swift current and lack of any sizable pools isn't exactly suitable for ultra-light spinning gear. But it was fun and challenging casting into small eddies knowing tree branches were just itching to grab my lure before it hit the water.

What was that? You asked, was it worth the effort to hike down into Lime Creek just to catch 2 minnows trout? Well, of course it was. I'm already planning on another trip down there in mid-July. Maybe as the stream flow decreases, some nice pools will be there for me. And even if I don't catch any trout, who cares...the experience alone is worth the effort. This is one area that requires more than one visit just for its scenic setting.

Interactive Map of NFS Trail 193 and Lime Creek

View Larger Map

The Stats for the Hike

Call to Action
In the blogging world, asking people to leave a comment or question is a “call to action”. I ask all readers to leave a comment, Facebook Like/Share, Google + me or Tweet about this article. If you enjoyed the post, send a link to someone else who might get some value out of reading it.

Thanks,


tim-bondy-idaho-blogger
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 June 2012 08:00

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