"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." ~Goethe~

27 May 2009

Owyhee Upland Byway

A couple of weekends ago, we decided to venture out to an area we have never been in our state.  We have been back in Idaho for some time now and have never traveled on the Owyhee Uplands Byway, which goes along the south side of the Owyhee Mtn. range.  We always get to look at the north side from where we live.

So we all got up quite early because it is an all day drive being the road is only 1 1/2 lanes wide, gravel and you only go about 35mph the whole trip.  You wouldn't want to go any faster.  You would miss all the wonderful sights!  And that is the reason for going on the trip.

There were tons of wildflowers to be seen.  These were my favorites.  Wild lupines.  Gorgeous!

One view of the Owyhee Mtns. we never get to see.  You can't help but feel a sense of calm come over you when you are out in this great expanse of openness.  There are a scant few who live out in the area around the BLM area and you can't help but wonder about the slower simpler life that is to be had out here.  I think I would love it.  You would probably find me sitting outside in the grasses taking in all the sights and sounds, when I should be doing something else.  :)  It was nice to get out along the way to take in the sights and sounds and take in all the fresh air.  And of course the girls would get out to look at the wildflowers and ... yes you guess it, rocks.  LOL!!!

You come the canyon where you start heading downwards to get to the North Fork campground.  Very simple.  Not a lot there.  But at least a restroom.  There was a trail you could walk on to explore the area.  That was cut short because along the trail a baby bunny was seen and quite some time was spent adoring him.  So we ended up back in the truck to head up out of the canyon to see more sights. 

The North Fork campground from above.  
And yes, you would know that the drop off would be on my side of the truck.  :)

I even caught Mr. Bunny taking in the sights along the way.  Little Moose was napping with Brenna about this time.  Early morning wake up you know.  :)

We came upon Graves Creek reservoir, which was more like a large pond compared to the reservoirs around where we live.  The little creek that ran from it was so pretty and the sound was wonderful.  Oh how I would love to have it in my yard to listen to it every day.  That would be heaven!  Everyone pacified me and let me walk along it so I could soak up the sights and sounds for a good bit.  I finally came to my senses and realized that I couldn't stay all day.  So off we were again, down the road for more exploring.

There were lots of cows wandering the road that we had to slow down for.  You hit them, you pay for what that cow would have been worth at selling time.  I don't have that much in my pocket.  There were a few that got very close to the truck and the girls took the opportunity to try to talk "cow" with them.  It wasn't much of a conversation as one could imagine.  :)

There was a creepy critter that was slithering across the road that Glenn and the girls had to stop and watch.  Yes, they stayed in the truck.  I kept locking the doors on everyone so they couldn't get out.  My back is crawling just looking at the pic.

Thunder eggs were to be seen along the side of the road.  The majority of them had been busted up from others who may have been trying to release them from the rocks they were embedded in.  Such a shame.  Some look like they actually had crystals in them.  They are very fragile.  That was very neat to actually see some instead of seeing them in books and on the net.

Old homesteads were barely standing.  Could you imagine the stories these places could tell.

There were quite a few corrals to be seen along the way.  There are a lot of cows wandering around these parts.  That would be way to cool to actually see the cows being rounded up by the ranchers.  The ranches are HUGE out here.  Way cool!

At one point we stopped and had lunch along the side of the road.  Nothing like a bring your own stuff on the cooler and making a big fat sandwich after all the exploring that had been done so far this day.  And the girls loved walking around exploring while hanging on to a yummy sandwich.  Nothing like "breaking" the rules and not having to sit down while eating.  
We had a marvelous view still of the Owyhee Mtns. still.  That mtn. range is really big.  Never knew they were so long.  And the other neat thing was that to our south we could see the mountain ranges in Nevada!  WOW!

By the end of the day, we had come to the end of the byway.  Which was kind of sad being we had such a good time seeing everything we could.  We will definitely have to make another trip again so that we can stop and explore more areas we missed.

At the end of the east side of the byway we came upon the Turmes Ranch which used to be a traveler way station for the pioneers who came through the area.  The stone buildings are still standing.  A true testament to all the dedication and hard work that the Turmes family put into their property.  Wouldn't that be the neatest thing to live in a house built with all that stone and know that it would not easily fall apart on you.  I think that would be wonderful right about now, with how I'm feeling about my house lately.  

Across the byway was the family graveyard where at least four Turmes family members are laid to rest.  There is something that comes over you when you see the years that a person was born and when they past away, 1840-1904.  And the work, respect and craftsmanship that went into a tombstone in those days.  It was breathtaking.  

After getting off the byway, we made our way back towards Mtn. Home.  And can you believe we didn't stop at Golden Crown (our most FAV. chinese rest.) for dinner!  Everyone was too tuckered out to stop even for take out and so down the road we continued to get home.  I was starting to wonder if something was wrong with us because we never pass that up when they are open.  Lapse of insanity!  :)

We saw lots of new, neat, wonderful things that day.  Pronghorn antelope, bunnies, birds, cows, the landscape, etc.  Idaho is truly a beautiful state.  We have such a vast array of landscape that it blows my mind.  High desert, prairies, farmland, foothills, lava flow areas, mountain peaks, etc.  It's just simply beautiful.

Have a great day everyone!  Hope you find something near you that takes your breath away!



  1. Wow ......how amazing to live where you do ! lovely pictures.. and so good for the children
    Kieren x

  2. Hi Kar!! What an awesome post!! I love to visit new places with bloggy friends!! What a wonderful day you had, and so many neat things to see!! I would be captivated by the old homesteads and farms. When we were in St. Augustine at the top of the fort, all I could think of was ships sailing in to attack the fort and what life must have been like back then. It's really compelling if we just take some time to consider it.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to put this together for us!! I really enjoyed it!!

    Have I already told you how much I love the photo in your header??!!

    Blessings, sweetie,

  3. Hi Kar, I've been following your blog for a long time, but I just had to comment today.

    We are a military family and are currently stationed in Arizona, but two years ago we were in Mountain Home AFB, we were there for 10 years and fell in love with Idaho. We are headed back in about two years when hubby retires.

    What brought great memories to me reading your post was The Golden Crown. Our absolute favorite chinese restaurant and we miss it dearly. Thank you for bringing back such fond memories, we can't wait to move back to Idaho :)

  4. Beautiful pictures, I am glad to know you and your part of our country, amazing!

  5. Wow your pictures are awesome...and I love lupines. I tried transplanting some that I brought back from up north and I'm hoping they will do well.