My feet are tired but my soul is wide awake – Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon National Monument preserves an other-worldly landscape in Southern Idaho. The Monument was designated in 1924 by President Coolidge to “preserve the unusual and weird volcanic formations” and significantly expanded by President Clinton in 2000 to include the Great Rift zone and three additional lava fields. Because of its expansion, it was included on the current administration’s review list. Just before we arrived, Secretary Zinke announced he had decided Craters … Read the rest
We left the Wallowas well rested, clean and with a repaired trailer, and we were excited to drive up Highway 12 in Idaho on our way to the Upper Missouri River Breaks.
The Idaho portion of Highway 12 is 174 miles running along the Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater and the Lochsa River. Aside from being rumored to be spectacularly beautiful, my interest came from the proposal to truck megaloads of oil refinery equipment (300 tons & 29 feet wide) headed to the Alberta tar sands in Canada.
The … Read the rest
After visiting Scotchman Peaks, we headed up to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, (the last stop before Canada) to do trail work with the US Forest Service. The federal government doesn’t provide sufficient funding for basic maintenance, so the Bonners Ferry Ranger District relies on state grants and volunteers to maintain their 350 miles of trails. Our volunteer trip was a weeklong backpacking trip into the Selkirk Mountains to retread trail along Parker Ridge which is part of the newly designated Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (an east/west sibling of … Read the rest
From Boise we traveled 8 hrs by car to Sandpoint, Idaho, to explore the Scotchman Peaks area and to meet the great people at Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.
We knew little about the area, so we were looking forward to meeting the Scotchman Peaks’ team. Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness were sponsoring an aid station for a 150-mile charity bike race offering chili dogs, snacks and lots of water, and we were volunteer support for the day. With a Scotchman Peaks banner displayed and wearing hats with … Read the rest
In the months prior to leaving, I happened to watch a House Natural Resource’s Comittee Hearing on the Endangered Species Act. Amoung those testifying was a representative from Heckla Mining Company. He testified on the protracted delays the ESA has caused for the company. Two proposed mines were located in prime grizzly bear habitat, and grizzly bears are protected under the ESA. The company representative extolled the extensive mitigation measures the company had committed to, but despite best efforts he lamented that ESA litigation was unfairly stifling … Read the rest
We left the Owyhee in the rain (apropos) and a bit down. Flicker (the trailer) was in disrepair and without a spare, and we had failed on our mission to visit Cedar Mt. Thankfully our next stop was Boise to see friends and visit a NAPA auto parts store.
Amazingly the rain followed us to Boise and that night brought a deluge of rain more typical of a Portland winter. In the afternoon, during a brief dry spell, we ran out to see the Birds of Prey Refuge. … Read the rest