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. 

You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor

Idaho Outdoor News

Rock Hounding Alder Creek Road of the Owyhee's

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Rock hounding off of Alder Creek Road south or Oreana, Idaho promised to be epic.  Or so I thought.  While the rock hounding wasn't great, the scenery, sense of exploration and future possibilities made this trip rather great.  In the 5.5 hours we were out in the desert, the sounds of a helicopter(s) off to the southwest for most of the day and the one truck we passed made it feel downright crowded out there. 

Pushing Further South Than Ever Before
This trip, on a warm Sunday November 10, 2013, started just off the Oreana Loop Road around 12:00 pm.  During our trip (click here to read about it) in this same area on Oct 27th, 2013 we only made it about 4.5 miles into the Owyhee Front due to the cool stuff we found.  On this trip, we decided to head further south and get more into what I'll call the old mining district of Castle Creek.  

Rocks Change and Change Again
The mixed-up cobble rocks of the first 4 miles we saw during our last trip gradually changed to a more white quartz based environment at the 5 mile point.  The change was easy to see even while riding on an ATV.  As a matter of fact, there were places where the shear amount and coverage of bright white quartz was pretty darn impressive.

We stopped for lunch, which was just a good excuse to rock hound, at the area where thick veins of the white quartz intersperse with pyrite/mica crossed the road.  While impressive looking, we found no real keepers during the walk up to the ridge to our west.  But the views from up there were quite nice.

By the time we got to the intersection of road and C701 and C707 down into Spiry Place, the rocks changed back to a more cobbly mix of  'leaverite' and much less white quartz.  We continued on C701 to the southwest and down into the Alder Creek canyon.  I'm beginning to think the buildings we discovered at the end of the road (for us) are old 1920's mining buildings.  If anyone knows, be sure to drop me a line...Please.

The Old Mining District of Castle Creek
The mining district, as seen on our topo maps, was our real goal for the day.  We figured there might be some cool rocks, gems and crystals to be had in this general area.  And if we could stay off “claimed and private lands”, we might come home with some excellent rocks. 

We searched low and high, wide and deep but couldn't find any really cool rocks.  We searched around old mine tailings, new tailings, streambeds, ridgetops and everywhere else where the topo maps showed mines and old prospects.  About the only thing we brought home from this area was one question.

What the heck were these miners seeing that made them dig deep into the dirt?

The Adventure Scorecard - 5 Stars or Worse
  • Remoteness:  4 Stars - While less than 15 miles from the town of Oreana, this is a remote place. 
  • Beauty:  3 Stars
  • Cleanliness of Our Lands:  2 Stars - lots of cow patties but human trash was all focused on the roadside for the most part. 
  • Rock Hounding:  3 Stars but the promise of a 5 star location could be just over the next hillside.  Frustration!
  • Wildlife:  2 Star - Birds, a snake and a few rabbits were seen on this trip. 
  • Overall Score:  3 Stars  
View a map of the area at:,-116.42212&z=13&t=T

View some more photos at:     (may not be accessible to everyone at all times...sorry)

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

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 15:42

Costly Idaho Races

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Quick Stats

So, you want to be a US Congressperson or Senator from Idaho? Better have deep pocket and rich friends. And if you really want to win that race you better outspend your opponents by a significant amount.

Here is the election spending as of approximately the middle of October 2008.

Idaho District 1 House Seat
Winner:  Democrat Walt Minnick: $2,298,776
Loser:  Republican Bill Sali : $982,442
Yearly Salary of US Congressmen: $169,300
Terms of Office: 2 Years

Idaho's US Senate Seat
Winner:  Republican Jim Risch $3,042,892
Loser:  Democrat Larry Larocco $1,324,039
Yearly Salary of US Senator $169,300
Term of Office: 6 Years


Last Updated on Monday, 10 November 2008 23:04

Interstate 84 Traffic Counts Statistics

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Average daily Mountain Home area traffic count on Interstate 84

 Mtn Home Traffic Count

How many vehicles do you thinks pass by Mountain Home each day on Interstate 84? 5,000 cars and trucks? 10,000? 20,000? Maybe 50,000 vehicles a day? The answer to this question can be found by hitting the Idaho Transportation Department website.

The Answer
The answer to how many vehicles pass by Mountain Home each day on Interstate 84 is:
Exit 90: 20,000 vehicles
Exit 95: 16,000 vehicles
Exit 99: 12,500 vehicles

This means we have almost 6 MILLION cars and trucks pass by our fair city each year. For local businesses, the next question might be, "How can I get some of that traffic to veer right, get off the freeway and visit my business?"

Thanks for visiting and feel free to comment on this story,

Tim Bondy
The Bondyweb.Com webmaster

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 December 2009 02:25

Elmore County Mystery Photo #3

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Where was this picture taken????????

ANSWER is now posted below!

Elmore County Mystery Photo #3
Click the photo for a larger picture

It's not smoky and it's not real fog but it's natural.
Piney feathers might be nearby.
Road to Warbois Creek.
Hot spot in one of the Forks.

Answer: Six people from Mountain Home knew where this picture was taken. About 10 people total sent in a guess.

Answer to Mystery Photo 3
Click Icon for Answer

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 May 2009 22:44

We Met the Idaho Political Candidates

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The Mountain Home Senior Center hosted a Meet the Candidates Night on Monday October 25th, 2010. I was there and so were about 50 other folks from around the area. This was a great learning experience for me and hopefully the candidates learned something about Mountain Home Idaho.

Meet the Political Candidates Night in Mountain Home Idaho

Some Made it Easy
Candidates Brian Schad, Tim Corder, Rich Wills, Connie Cruser, Judy Mayne and Art Nelson showed up and made the decision to vote for them easy. They were well spoken, explained their positions and impressed me enough to get my vote.

Some Made it Difficult
  • US Senate Candidate Tom Sullivan showed up in a big way. He was extremely well spoken, explained why he is qualified to be a US Senator and even looks like a statesman. This makes my decision on who to vote for in this race very difficult. Why? Sullivan's opponent, Mike Crapo did not show up for this forum. Guess Mountain Home isn't important to Mr. Crapo so maybe my vote isn't important to him either.
  • Idaho's Governor race just got tighter in my opinion. While Keith Allred did not show up at least he had someone who knows his platform stand in his stead. The formidable Mrs. Allred made a good case of why we should vote for her husband Keith. A few days ago Butch Otter may have been a a shoe-in to get my vote, but he didn't didn't show up and neither did Jana Kemp or Ted Dunlap. Sorry Butch, Jana and Ted. My vote will likely go to Keith.
  • Eldon Wallace the Democratic candidate for Idaho's Lieutenant Governor will likely get my vote. Even though he didn't appear to be a real personable guy or well spoken, he did show up in Mountain Home. That goes a long way towards telling me he cares about us little city folks. Would I want Mr. Wallace as my Governor if something happens to the standing Idaho Governor? No but what are the chance of something happening??? Eldon may be hungrier and more eager to do a good job for Idaho than Republican Brad Little.
  • The race for the Superintendent of Public Instruction / Education is a toss up for me. Stan Olson sent his aide to schmooze the Mountain Home citizens. Tom Luna, the Republican incumbent didn't send anyone. So unless Tom has a letter from his mom, he may be looking for another job. In any case a few weeks of detention is in order for not showing his face. I'm a little scared of what will happen with Stan Olson as "Idaho's School Principal".

Impression of Meet the Candidate Night
In short, the Senior Center did Mountain Home proud. They hosted 19 candidates and about 45-65 citizens. I do think future "Meet the Candidate" meetings need to be advertised more. I'd also like to see some youngsters attend these important functions. The average age of the attendee was much closer to "retirement age" than "legal drinking age". It was also good to see one City Councilperson in attendance. Alas, our city government legally must conduct business but I would excuse Mayor Rist and the other 3 City Council members if they wanted to attend this meeting once every couple years.

The important part, and you probably don't care, is I learned about some of the candidates that will be on my ballot next week.

Please vote but vote intelligently on Tuesday November 2nd 2010.

Tim Bondy

The Bondyweb.Com author

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 21:01

24% of Idaho Voters Voted for an Unwilling Candidate Mike Crawford

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"I'm frankly not that dissatisfied with Mike Simpson as my congressman. By and large he's done an O.K. Job for this State." - Mike Crawford, 2010 Democratic Candidate for Idaho's 2nd Congressional District

What The Heck Idaho
Can you believe almost 25% of all Idaho 2nd Congressional District voters decided to vote for a man who does not want to be your Congressman. That's right almost 50,000 Idaho voters cast a ballot for Mike Crawford. And of those 50,000 votes almost 1,000 of them came from Elmore County voters. We've all heard of elections where candidates who are currently in jail get elected. Or the election were a dead person won the election. But these elections took place in "other States". This is Idaho for Pete's sake and we're better than this. How does this happen? Why does this happen?

Some Ignorant Idaho Voters

A Quote That Fits This Insane Situation
"you got some 'splainin' to do" Idaho - Ricky Ricardo from the 1960's TV show, I Love Lucy.

Ignorant Idaho Voters? Some, Not All
Look, I get it. Not all 50,000 Idaho votes for Mike Crawford were made out of complete ignorance. Some were likely "protest votes" or votes "to send a message". But my guess is a majority of votes cast for a man who didn't want to be your Congressman came from lazy voters who couldn't be bothered to do some research. Just ask yourself, would you want a unwilling Congressman, your Congressman, voting for things like "Should we go to war with country X?". Do you want this unwilling congressman in Washington voting "Aye" to a 50% tax increase?

What I though was a good quote from George Jean Nathan may need to be modified for this situation.
"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote [or make uneducated votes]."

Who Mike Crawford?
I don't know Mike but he is from Mountain Home, Idaho so he must be a good guy. In reality, this article has nothing to do with Mike Crawford. The Democratic Party basically talked him into being a "placeholder" for the election. He had no intention of running a campaign or even trying to whip up on Congressman Simpson. What I'm trying to say is I have nothing against this citizen and it turns out he became my "placeholder" for this article. In short, the names WERE NOT changed to protect the innocent.

If you voted for Mike Crawford for the Second Congressional District, leave a comment about why you voted for a man who didn't want nor need this "job". I'm just curious.

Tim Bondy

The Bondyweb.Com author

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 21:29

Top 4 Issues for the Mountain Home City Council Election

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Bondy highlights the Top 4 Mountain Home Candidate issues

Bondy Lays It On the Line
My name is Tim Bondy and I am your candidate for the Mountain Home City Council election. This will likely be my last campaign post so I'm laying it all on the line for the voters. For better or worse, I want you to understand what you'll be getting if I am “hired” as your City representative. Better to know now than discover the truth over the next 4 years when it's too late, don't you think?

Top 4 Issues from the Mountain Home Idaho Voters:
Here is a list of the top 4 voter issues compiled from e-mails, personal contacts and political forums. I address each issue below.

  1. Lack of Communication Issues
  2. Improving the downtown business sector
  3. Taxes
  4. Golf Course

Mountain Home City Council Communication Issues

Bondy Addresses the Biggest Issues
1. Communication, or lack of communications between City Hall and our citizens, was the single biggest issue by far. While no one ever came right out and said “communication” was a problem, most issues boiled down to lack of communication. I grouped concerns ranging from “why a certain street hasn't been repaved?” to “what can be done about all the garbage in my neighbor's yard?” into communications issues.

The Problem: People get annoyed and frustrated when they believe the City isn't responding to obvious problems in their neighborhood. Everyone has a hectic life, without enough time to get answers during “normal business hours” right? But come Saturday or Sunday morning, these same issues start flooding back into our thoughts. The problem stews in our brains all weekend, then gets put on the backburner starting Monday morning.

Bondy's Solution: Statistics indicate 70% of our households have an Internet connection. Common sense tells me the City could reach 7 of 10 people in Mountain Home simply by providing more information on their website. This would not be an overnight project but could be a cost effective method of opening a 2 way communication pipeline between the citizens and local government. If elected I will push the idea of enhancing communication though a new robust “content management system” website.

Bondy believes Mountain Home Idaho needs more new businesses

2. Improving Mountain Home's downtown business district was a big issue at one forum as well as in my email inbox. But a City Council Member doesn't really have much say in this matter. The “quasi-public” and little understood Mountain Home Urban Renewal Agency seems to have a big part in trying to attract new business. The City's Economic Development Department seems to be the place a City Council Member would have the most influence in bringing new businesses to town.

The Problem:
- The Mountain Home Urban Renewal Agency seems like the “Black Ops” organization charged with getting businesses to relocate to our town. The recent “King's Department Store” announcement, while likely great news for most businesses in town, should also strike at least some fear in the taxpayer. With the announcement that an unnamed business will “likely” (hopefully) lease or buy the old Kings Department Store came big cheers. But first, the URA must buy and renovate the building. Ir is possible the taxpayers could end up owning this 12,000 sq foot building. If the deal for a ShopKo Express or whatever family retail store is planning to occupy this building falls through, the taxpayers get to absorb the total $835,000 cost until suitable tenets can be found. Is it a gamble worth taking?

- The City of Mountain Home, Idaho doesn't seem to have an identity. Common sense tells me we need to create a vision for the City and work towards specific goals that will attract businesses that meet our vision. In these tough economic times, just throwing money at a problem might not be the best solution.

Bondy's Solution: Please see “Bondy's Stance on Mountain Home Business Incentives” for just one of my ideas.

Sykes, Bondy and Schipani stand on taxes on Mountain Home Idaho

3. Taxes...wise use and keeping them under control. This is one of those issues a Mountain Home City Council Member has a direct impact on. The e-mails I received were overwhelmingly in favor of lowering or keeping property taxes in check. My property taxes rose in 2011 while the true market value of my home likely fell in the preceding 12 months. Hmmmm.

The Problem: It takes a lot of money to properly run a city. Property taxes are just one of the sources used to keep our streets department, water system, parks and our police department operating like we like them. Other sources of tax revenues are slowly drying up or are coming under the budget axe. This means local user fees, permit fees and property taxes have to take up the slack. A strong and growing business community would greatly enhance our tax base but only if we collect property taxes from that growing business community. Business incentives, lowered impact fees and tax exempt status eat into our tax base.

Bondy's Solution: I'll be honest, this is a rather vexing problem. But recouping money from a golf course that continually runs in the red would be a good start. Ensuring non-essential organizations have a user base that matches the funding our City provides is another idea. In other words, we need to get the biggest bang for our tax dollar funded programs. Obviously, encouraging and not standing in the way of local entrepreneurs opening businesses in town could reap immediate benefits.

Bondy's election rests on the Mountain Home Golf Course issue

4. Taxpayers subsidizing the Desert Canyon Golf Course is a hot issue for a few but very vocal folks. At the heart of the issues is the fact that taxpayers are saddled with paying off the remaining $1.185 million bond AND the total amount the golf course runs in the red each year.

Bondy's Solution: I highlighted how I stand on this issue in the “The Mountain Home Golf Course Tax Payer Funding Issue” article I posted on October 27th, 2011. Please take some time to review my ideas and rationale.

Bondy wins the City Council election over Schipani and Sykes in Mt Home

Top 4 Reasons I Will Not Win a Seat on the Mountain Home City Council
Here is the list of the reason I've been told why I'll lose:
1. I'm a newcomer and not as “connected” as the other guys.
2. We're looking for a new face with fresh new ideas.
3. I've brought up taboo issues that are better left buried.
4. No yard signs.

And in retrospect, I agree that 3 of these points are valid. I just ask that you compare my platform with all other Mountain Home City Council candidates before voting on November 8th, 2011.


Last Updated on Friday, 04 November 2011 14:51

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