knittingknots (knittingknots) wrote,

Pleasant break from routine

Yesterday, we went up for a drive to Idaho City (once upon a time a gold mining center, but now a recreational/tourist/getaway site amongst other things not too far north of Boise) and drove around a bit.  It's snuggled around the edges of the Boise National Forest and state recreational lands.  We were checking out to see if some of the roads into the forest areas were still snowblocked, (some of them were), and hubby wanted to show me this area by one of the reservoirs where he thought we might like to go fishing or camp.

It's beautiful country.  Counting on what aspect the mountains face, the mountainsides are either covered by Ponderosa pine or sagebrush and grass, and because it's snowmelt runoff time, the grass was very, very green.  The main road going north runs along a stream called More's Creek.  It was swollen and nearly as high as it gets, running with swift, clear water.  At a few places, we saw it pool out, caught by beaver dams and willow thickets.  The willows had not yet leafed out, but the branches themselves had begun to color and everywhere, the red dogwood osier was, well, red stemmed.

Now, I'm a little squeamish about drop offs on mountain roads, and some of them give me what's pretty close to anxiety attacks, and hubby was afraid the road around the reservoir would do that to me, but no, I did fine.  There are two dams in a row we went past, Lucky Peak dam, which makes a reservoir that is the main recreational lake, probably for Boise, and above it, Arrowhead dam.  Not far from the dam itself, the road switches from hard paving to gravel, but it's a good road, a bit narrow at places, meaning mostly one lane wide with lots of turnouts so you can pull over to let oncoming traffic get by.  It's a low traffic place, and roads like that work well, but it's a windy road, cut into the mountainside above the reservoir.

Lucky Peak lake was not yet at full capacity, but Arrowhead was.  The water was beautiful, there was only three or four people we passed using the area, too (nice thing about doing these trips on week days) and we drove about seven miles up from the dam until we reached another stream called Cottonwood Creek.  Just up the road along the creek, there is a FS ranger station that is still used in the summer, and it has that quaint look all ranger stations have, but unlike some which have been abandoned due to changing ways of managing the forests, this one still gets used, and it looked like there were people already there for the season. 

Very peaceful, with  mountains surrounding the area, no cellphone coverage, decent toilets occasionally scattered at some picnic or camp areas.  I hope we get to go back there.

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera.  Here's a pic from an earlier trip in the area:


While we were there, we saw deer, antelope, an osprey catching a fish, a bald eagle, and moose tracks.  Surprisingly to me, I saw no sign of coyote.  I know there are wolves not far from here, too, and I am certain there are mountain lion and black bear that live in the area, but it was too early for black bear, and you almost never spy lion; you find out about them because of their kills and their scat.  Did see a lot of deer scat and we found what was evidently a wild turkey kill, probably by a raptor bird, because of the way the feathers were laid out.  Nothing really there except the feathers, so it wasn't particularly gross.  Hubby grabbed some of the better feathers to take home with him.

I love being in the outback (although, to be honest, this is probably best considered semi-outback).

And once again, as I hiked through a lovely green meadow, I wondered about all those writers who have Inu and Kagome lay down in the grasses near a tree with nothing under them...You ever really look at what a wild meadow is actually like?  rocks, sticks, weed stalks, rodent trails from when the snow was over the meadow, scat, and who knows what else...nothing like a well groomed lawn.  Ah, poetic license....
Tags: life, nature

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