Today I started driving home. I decided to take the backroads – the blue route. The road was scenic and remote; in places slow and twisty. The road north of Burns had a rhythm; twisty-turny up hill, pine forest, a summit sign, twisty-turny down hill, then valley grasslands; repeat. It took me 7 hours to drive it. I’m guessing I saw a total of forty cars the entire day, except for the short stretch on Highway 26 and at Burns. An enjoyable road.
I had been wanting to go to Silver City for years, ever since I had seen the TV show Northwest Backroads on it. I think that show was about eight years ago. When the snows came on Saturday, I was wondering if I might not make it in this trip. But I decided to hang around and let the roads dry out for a couple of days. Today: Silver City or Bust.
I took the road from Jordan Valley. It is a gravel road freeway all the way to the DeLamar mine that is now closed. After that the road is a single lane windy, twisty, road that I drove at 5 to 20 mph. I was glad I had waited two days for the roads to dry. There was still a bit of compacted snow on the road in a few locations. Following are photos from the drive.
Everything about the area screamed that I was not in Seattle.
This time of year the geese are heading south. Flocks would leave at sunset and sunrise each day I was at Antelope Reservoir. I must have taken over hundred photos of the sunrises and sunsets. Below is my favorite.
I am not an avid rock hounder and have little experience in rock hounding. And I don’t know much about rocks. But I love geology and I like the concept of rock hounding. Today I visited a place south of Succor Creek State Park to look for fossils. I had been to this place before with a geologist, someone who gave me a clue of what to do. I had a chisel and hammer with me ready to split open the rocks looking for leaf fossils. Success.
Today would be a lazy day. A day to let the roads dry out.
Rocket and I went on a walk along the road follows the shoreline. I reflected on our public lands. I was camping for free, with a million dollar view; our public lands are a national treasure. We have something very special in the US.
I had read that the Owyhees was rattlesnake country. One of the hunters I talked with didn’t bring his hunting dog with him because of the snakes. Another group had all their dogs given the rattlesnake vaccine. I took this chatter as a serious warning. Rocket would have to stay on a leash.
On our walk up Juniper Gulch we fortunately saw no snakes. The next day I walked up the Sage Creek track.
Before my next stop, a surprise leak in the trailer had to be dealt with. Water dripping outside the trailer was what I saw when I reached my brother’s. Darn. I dealt with it by draining the water tank and released the pressure from the water system. I grabbed a beer and decided to ignore the problem, I could deal with it later. Today was later, and I had to deal with the problem.