No more greater joy can come from life than to live inside a moment of adventure
– Frosty Wooldridge
As winter recedes and spring inches near, our high passes start to thaw with potential once again of reaching their summits. One in particular has peaked my interest as a possible looping route on our dual sport motorcycles. The Bachman Grade, or Triangle Road, that climbs over Toy Pass, sitting just shy of 6000′.
The Bachman Grade/Triangle Road appears to make a nice loop opportunity for the Owyhee Backcountry Byway … otherwise known as Mud Flat Road. Bachman Grade makes it’s way over Toy Pass and then into Triangle where a couple of options are present either along Flint Road or Antelope Ridge in reaching the Byway. A 4 wheel recon trip is in order to assess snow line and road conditions!
Triangle Rd starts it’s advancement towards the pass from the small ranching community of Oreana. The landscape out of Oreana is typical rolling high desert with scattered sage brush that runs along the ancient shorelines of Lake Idaho.
… towards snow covered ridgelines
The road starts to develop more character as it meanders through one drainage into the next …
As the road climbs signs present themselves warning passing travelers that requesting rescue from the local Sheriff will incur a hefty price, literally get stuck and pay the bill. Sounds fair enough …. onward!
Bachman Grade starts its ascent and winds gracefully up the mountain side. The road surface is wet, but in otherwise great shape. After about a mile or so I start to make my way into the lingering snow. It is not deep, but consistent enough that I stop at the next available wide spot. Not familiar with the road and whether or not there is ample opportunity to turn around just ahead I decide to not push any farther. The snow covered pass is visible in the distance … but I’ll leave it for yet another day. No point in tearing up the road and/or getting stuck!
-Back towards Oreana
I’m parked just below an unnamed peak that is insistent of even better views, so with bluebird skies … I make the hike.
-Panoramic goodness from unnamed peak (Left to right)
See the truck! …. Boone, Quicksilver, and Hayden Peaks in the distance ….
I find some interesting rock formations, both natural and manmade atop unnamed peak. The man made portion appears that of a wind break for a campfire …. quite the view!
With Toy Pass in my rearview I head back towards Oreana and the cutoff road ….
Being in close proximity to the Mountain Home Air Force Base … the Owyhee Desert (1) (2) has a scattered history of once holding launch sites for ICBM Trident Missiles. Long since gone leaving behind imaginative what, when, and where were these sites? Dirt Biking the washes in the past I remember an old bunker that sits prominent against the desert landscape…. this site, evidently not part of the Trident program but of an Army Pershing 2 rocket program that was scrapped. This site was never activated and was ultimately dismantled. Today I can afford a closer look at what’s left over!
From here I continue along the cutoff road until it intersects with Mud Flat Road …. I’m curious, not ever being on Mud Flat before, so I head west with the intent of turning back after about 15 miles or so.
Snow and a soft road surface has other plans and right about the 15 mile mark points me back in the direction I came.
My goal today was not to complete the Byway, so I head back towards Grandview leaving this crossing for another day ….
I follow the straight line into Grandview and connect to the Baja Road, which follows the Snake River along it’s eastern edge. The Baja Road is in surprisingly good shape, again straight, but drives nicely towards Swan Falls where I reconnect the pavement and make my way home.
Dust, to snow, and back to dust …. Final shot