Life off Interstate 84 - Idaho

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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 Not so local Outdoor News

Idaho Outdoor News

Description coming soon.

The Unique Idaho Ghost Town - Silver City

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This article was written in August 2012 for another website I created.  Unfortunately, that website and idea went the way of the dinosaurs.  But it still fits the bill for including on the Bondyweb, don't you think? 

Silver City Idaho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does unique have to be small or just a cool idea? Or can it be big, like a ghost town in southwestern Idaho? I think Silver City, Idaho, in Owyhee County needs to be classified as unique in a big way. Read on to find out why...

The Road to Silver City isn't Paved


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Toni, Addie and I or the entire Bondyweb Adventure Team team headed up into the Silver City Mountain for a visit to this bustling ghost town only 50 miles south of Boise. That's 50 miles as the crow flies but on this trip we decided to go by Arctic Cat ATV at least for the rougher parts of the journey.

The road to Silver City can get rather rough but by Idaho standards, it's darn near as smooth as a State Highway :-) With about 20 miles of dirt/gravel roads it's suitable for almost any car that has some tread left on the tire. In our opinion, all the rough and tumble driving is worth it just to see and experience Silver City.

Take the Video Tour

 

 

See the Photo's in a Slideshow
If you cannot see or view the "Photo Slideshow below, go to the following link...
https://plus.google.com/photos/112532322025941965882/albums/5773685916175570289?banner=pwa

 

Thanks for stopping by the Bondyweb website.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 04 October 2013 05:38

North Fork of Boise River Bridge Vehicle Restriction

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Barber Flats Bridge in Idaho

The bridge across the North Fork of the Boise River at Barber Flats has new restrictions on what types of vehicles can cross it. The Boise National Forest issued the restriction order on April 27, 2012. The date when the bridge will be repaired has yet to be determined.

Barber Flats Bridge Restriction Information

Interactive Map of the Area

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Comments
Hope this information is useful to a few people out there. I'd hate to get all the way out to the Middle Fork only to discover I couldn't drive my truck over the Barber Flats Bridge and along the North Fork of the Boise River. Leave a comment if you wish.

Thanks,


tim-signature

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:23

Fishing in Idaho - Take a Survey

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Idaho Fish and Game Survey

The Idaho Fish and Game folks are looking for your opinions. If you fish or call yourself an “Idaho Angler”, you can take a rather longish survey to help shape what our streams, rivers, reservoirs and lakes will look like in the future.

Survey Link:  https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/portal/form/public-2011-idaho-angler-opinion-survey

It took me about 5-10 minutes to complete the Fish and Game survey but I think it's worth the time and effort. Head over to the link above and do your part to improve your Idaho fisheries.

Thanks,


tim-bondy-idaho-blogger


Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 January 2012 10:46

Top 3 Idaho Outdoor News Stories

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Found some interesting articles about getting into the great Idaho outdoors that you may find useful.

idaho-grizzly-bear
1. The Grizzly Bear Returns to Idaho Outdoors: Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman posted an article on November 20th, 2011 titled “Grizzly encounters may be Idaho’s new normal”. While there is a little sensationalism sprinkled throughout the piece, it's a fairly informative story. The basic premise is, grizzly bears are starting to migrate out of Yellowstone and Montana in increasing numbers into Idaho.

Link to the story: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/11/20/1886263/grizzly-encounters-may-be-idahos.html

grizzly-warning-idaho

My Opinion: First of all, I've spent some time in grizzly country. It's a little uncomfortable sharing a fishing hole with these magnificent creatures. Hunting, hiking and fishing becomes a little more complex knowing you'll be sharing the trail with a bear than can ruin your whole day and maybe your whole life. But for Jim Unsworth, Idaho Fish and Game deputy director to say “Grizzly populations throughout the Northern Rockies have grown enough that Unsworth would like them all delisted [from the threatened list]” is almost laughable. 

idaho-sagebrush-geocache

2. Geocaching Idaho's BLM Lands: In what I suspect is our federal government's effort to attract more visitors to our public lands, the BLM is encouraging the GPS Sport of geocaching. Why in the world do we want regular people trampling around the sagebrush covered land armed only with a GPS unit, an old peanut butter jars and a pencil?

Link to the article: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/recreation/what_do_you_want_to/Geocaching.html

My Opinion: I say, “It's about darn time”. While I have promised myself that I will start getting into geocaching, I just haven't found the need to yet. Mainly because to plant geocaches, it requires the planter to revisit the geocach site from time to time. I hate having to revisit my steps out in the expansive Idaho outdoors. There are just too many new places to explore. But I know others who don't mind doing this. But the article certainly refired my desire to start a new hobby of geocaching.

Your Idaho school children are in extreme danger

3. It's just too dangerous for our children to walk to school: I've heard it mentioned at school board meetings that the children need buses to get to school. Some parents say cars speeding by present a danger they aren't willing to risk without buses. Even our City Council tells us sidewalks must be built and/or smoothed out and repaired because of tripping hazards. Our children might have to negotiate these extremely dangerous hazards on the way to school.

Link to article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8890836/Chinese-children-endure-worlds-most-dangerous-school-run.html

My Opinion: Seriously? Sidewalks or no walking to school? What the heck are we teaching our children. I remember climbing trees before school...and that was without a safety harness, safety glasses or even a hard hat.

Idaho schools say walking is dangerous

But my “old timer” experience pales when it comes to what 80 children in China have to go through to get to school. A 1,000 foot cliff, 4 single plank wide bridges, and if they are lucky a camel ride is part of their 120 mile journey to school. And it's too dangerous for the children of Mountain Home to walk that 1 mile of treachery to get an education? I say again...Seriously? Those Chinese children get an excellent education on the way to, and on the way home from school.

Got a Comment?
I know at least one of the stories provided above got your “commenting juices” flowing.


tim-bondy-idaho-blogger
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 November 2011 10:13

Scenic Silver City Area ATV Ride

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Scences from an ATV Ride through the Silver City Idaho Area

The days are getting shorter and cooler so we decided to explore the roads around Silver City, Idaho on our ATV. Of course we would be keeping one eye on the scenery and one eye on the road cuts for cool rocks. It was and crystal clear day with warm temperatures and not much wind.

The Video: 6 Minutes Through the Silver City Mountains of Idaho

6 minute video....

Getting There from Mountain Home
Head south out of Mountain Home on Airbase Road. Go southwest on Highway 67 towards the town of Grand View. Head west at the intersection of Highway 67 and 78. Once on Highway 78 you travel about 26 miles were you turn left or south on the paved Silver City Road. This road is paved for about 7.4 miles when it turns into a good gravel road. We parked our truck were Silver City Road intersect the North Fork of Sinker Creek giving you about 4 miles of gravel road driving.

Heading up to New York Summit and Over
We unloaded the ATV (Coordinates: 43.065333, -116.634173) and headed west on Silver City Road. This gravel road heads steadily up to the New York Summit at about 6,700 feet or about 2,900 foot elevation gain in 7 miles. This road, while bumpy can easily be made by a normal passenger vehicle.

From Silver City Idaho Atv trip in Sept 2011

The road follows the now mostly dry Scotch Bob Creek for the 1st 4 miles of this ride. The vegetation gradually changes from the typical mountainous desert landscape to mountain pines on this 3,000 foot climb. And the Snake River Plains views dramatically open up to the northeast-southeast as you near the summit. Not a thing you'll want to miss and maybe a good reason to head up to this area.

The road from the summit down to the outskirts of Silver City has some fine views of Florida Mountain and into the Jordan Creek Valley. This portion of the road is a little steeper and much rougher but still passenger car capable into the town of Silver City.

From Silver City Idaho Atv trip in Sept 2011

Following Jordan Creek to the West
We chose not to head south into the town but instead headed west-north-west along the road that follows Jordan Creek. This road is quite a bit narrower and rough and I'd say a 4-wheel drive would be better along this section but still passable in a normal car.

There are wonderful places to pull well off this gravel road down to nice flat camping areas along the creek. We rode down into one area that I suspect you couldn't negotiate in anything other than a 4-wheel drive or ATV. And it was here that we had our picnic lunch and enjoyed walking along the creek.

Trout in Jordan Creek in Idaho's Silver City Mountains

Almost every place we stopped along the creek we saw fish in the larger pools. Most places the creek is only about 5-15 feet wide and rarely deeper than 3-4 feet. This is cattle country so expect to see cow patties along the road and right down to the creek bed.

We only traveled 4.2 miles along the Jordan Creek Road before turning around. But it seemed like we went much further. The first 2 miles were typical sagebrush, many pines and big areas of rocks. There's lots of quartz in them, there rocks along this section. Might be well worth rock hounding that section.

From Silver City Idaho Atv trip in Sept 2011

But after about 2-2.5 miles the geography/geology changes rapidly to a “lava” and high desert surroundings. Much like riding around the area north of Mountain Home. As the valley widens out some in this section, there were lots of campers (hunters) taking advantage of some of the nicer spots along the creek.

Rock Hounding This Trip
We didn't find much of interest but the 2-3 miles section west of Silver City appears to be prime time for some good rock hounding. According to my information most of the land along both sides of Jordan Creek are public lands out to 43.039067, -116.763906. I don't believe I saw any mining claim signs or posts. That may or may not be a telling indicator of what's out there.

From Silver City Idaho Atv trip in Sept 2011

We had a Good Time
This trip was quite nice, it was relaxing and relatively uncrowded. If you'd like more info about this trip or have questions, let us know by making a comment.


Bondy signature from Silver City

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 September 2011 21:55

Owyhee's Horsehead Spring Hike and Rock Hound Trip

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Owyhee Mountain Horsehead Springs area

Horsehead Spring in the Owyhee Mountains is located just off Mud Flat Road 20 miles south of Grand View, Idaho. This hike generally follows a mostly dry creek bed (I'll call it Horsehead Creek) that gradually became more remote and scenic. It doesn't take much effort to find some solitude and pretty views in this area.

Rock Hounding was a Bust
The route I took on this 4 mile round trip hike was rather barren of any rocks worth collecting. About the only thing I found interesting was some lava columns comprised of what I think was vessicular basalt. And these types of columns are rather common in this area of the Owyhee's. In short, I'd say you can cross this area off your rockhounding "wondering" list. I've hiked other peaks in this area and found nothing interesting, but your mileage may vary.

The Horsehead Spring Hike
The day started off with a few light rainshowers but eventually the skies cleared and it turned out to be a magnificent November Idaho fall day. As with every Owyhee hike I've taken, I encountered no one else out there.

Fall colors in the Owyhee Mountains of Idaho

The Horsehead Creek draw was a nice hike as I gained almost 2000 vertical feet up to my stopping point just short of the true Horsehead Spring. There were scattered clumps of trees in the draw displaying with their waning fall colors. The bright yellowy-orange foliage certainly contrasted nicely against usual tan-brown-silver colors of the landscape in this area.

As there are virtually no hiking trails in the Owyhee's, this hike was mostly cross-country. But this is ranching country. Most every valley or draw you chose to hike there will be cow trails. In places the cow trails along Horsehead Creek were better maintained than some National Forest Service trails. This makes for easier going through the brambles of sagebrush and thorny bushes close to the dry streambed.

My Hike Location by Coordinates
Note: Copy/Paste the above lat/long into Google Earth or Google Maps will give you the exact location.

Animals, Hunters, Cows, Ranching and the Environment
Hunters are always a concern when I hike Game Management Unit 40 in the Owyhee's during Oct/Nov. Thankfully I saw no hunters but that doesn't mean they didn't see me. I saw many places were big game bedded down recently. Obviously the deer, elk and/or antelope saw and smelled me and headed towards a safer place before I got near them. It appears as if the upper portions of this hike would be prime hunting grounds for the adventurous hunter. But there aren't any roads or ATV trails close so filling a tag means a rough trip out with 100-150lbs of dead weight.

The numerous cow trails along Horsehead Creek is a blessing and a curse all in one. The easier hiking is offset by the sheer amount of cow poop in places. While all the cow patties I stepped over, in and around were old, it certainly still attracted clouds of flies. Once I got into the rougher sections of this BLM and State land, the flies magically disappeared.

The only animals I saw during my hike were 7 or so rabbits and lots of the normal birds. This is coyote territory and I saw plenty of evidence these animals call Horsehead Creek their home. While this creekbed is dry, I found 4 places with standing water in the low spots. I'd like to head up to this area again during the morning or early evening for some wildlife viewing.

I've done a fair amount of hiking and rock hounding in this general area. I've been off the beaten trail to places I'd never expected many or any people have ever been to. But these are the places I've found trash and other signs of stupid people. On this Horsehead Creek hike, the land was clean except the ever present ranching stuff.

rock hounding the Owyhee Mountain of Idaho

Land and Fences
All the land I traveled on during this hike was either "owned" by the BLM or the State of Idaho. One would think fences wouldn't be a problem out in this isolated area but they are. Grazing allotments seem to blanket the Owyhee's and I suspect each allotment is fenced off??? Even where there are gates, they are difficult to figure out how to open them. This leaves the hiker, hunter or rock hound only one option and that is to find a place to climb over or under these barriers.

Advice to Hikers and Rock Hounds
Owyhee County is close to Mountain Home and a perfect place to get out to experience our vast public lands. Hiking is wide open down there and with a little research, you can easily avoid private lands. For rock hounding, the wide open public land is an invitation to get out to find some cool rock, gems and geology. All this land is as close as 45 minutes from Mountain Home. Using Mud Flat Road means you get to avoid bad roads completely.

More pictures from this rock hounding and hiking trip: http://picasaweb.google.com/tim.bondy/HorseheadSpringsHikeInTheOwyheeMountains?feat=directlink

Have any questions about this article? Want some digital products from this hike? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Tim Bondy

The Bondyweb.Com author


Last Updated on Sunday, 07 November 2010 14:24

Idaho Ski Season, Tamarack Resort and Lift Ticket Prices

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Tamarack Ski Area might open in 2010

With the Idaho ski season just around the corner, the saga of the Tamarack Ski Resort on Lake Cascade continues. It's possible Tamarack could open for skiing this December 20th, 2010. They just need investors and some operating capital. It's sad a ski area with such great potential has so many problems. Read the latest news about Tamarack at these 4 links:
1 October 2010 News: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/10/01/1362543/tamaracks-lifts-will-open-dec.html
12 October 2010 News: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/10/12/1376980/tamarack-lawyer-to-judge-2m-loan.html
13 October 2010 News: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/10/13/1378336/idaho-judge-keeps-tamarack-in.html
The Tamarack Website:  http://www.tamarackidaho.com/

Ticket Prices - Adult High Season Rates
Affordable skiing in Idaho isn't hard to find but lift tickets at some resorts are approaching the $100 level. As a matter of fact, some ski resort are trying to mask the price of their tickets. I searched some of the most famous ski resort website and a few of them make it difficult to find the price.

Graph of Lift Ticket Prices
Idaho Ski Resort Ticket Price graph 2010-2011

As you can see there is a big difference between the price of ski area lift tickets. At least you have price options.

Ski Area Lift Ticket Price
Brundage Mountain $55.00
Bogus Basin Mountain $48.00
Sun Valley Resort $85.00
Soldier Mountain $36.00
Jackson Hole, Wyoming $94.00


Get You in the Mood Video
The YouTube Video below was taken during the epic 2005 ski season in Europe. Nothing too extreme....just some great scenery with very deep powder skiing.



What are your thoughts about the Tamarack Ski Resort saga? What is your favorite Idaho ski area? Is the current economic recession going to affect your ski season? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Tim Bondy


The Bondyweb.Com author

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 October 2010 07:23

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