The day is still young making my choice clear …. right, along Anderson Ranch towards Fall Creek. This will extend my ride a few miles with fuel reserves looking satisfactory ….
Being that this is Memorial Day weekend …. the South Fork Boise has just opened up to fly fishing. Traffic on the road is moderate with cars parked along its edge every 1/4 mile (+/-) …. I blast through straight to the dam.
Anderson Ranch Reservoir
The water release is from the bottom portion of the reservoir making the water below very cold …. glacial Oregon Coast type cold!
I make my way past the spillway and then start my traverse along the northern shore of Anderson Ranch Reservoir towards Fall Creek.
I reach Fall Creek to find it fairly quiet for a holiday weekend, but with the cool temps most of the masses must have remained at home or are recreating elsewhere …
I turn north along Fall Creek Road … Rd 129. The fires of the last few years have left a resounding impact on this area. Most of the drainages are all but scorched, but it is nice to see some new private construction and rehabilitation activities taking place …. a foreign concept to the USFS evidently?
My intention is to connect with Meadow Creek Road, which will steer me towards Prairie, but when I reach Meadow Creek Rd it is closed … option 2 is Rd 159, which is further north towards Trinity.
I reach Rd 159 and to my relief it is open ….
Some falls along Fall Creek …
159 flow ….
Rd 159 takes me over a ridge just south of Lava Mountain before dropping me down the west side into the Prairie valley.
The pass …..
The pass opens up as an old landing. I’m crossing through State Endowment Lands at this point, so this landing might be used once again in the future.
To be continued ….
As I continue along the Oregon Trail Byway, I drop into a small agricultural valley to find yet another historical point of interest …. Canyon Creek Station.
Efforts are currently underway to stabilize the remains of this stage stop after fire destroyed most of the station back in the 70’s ….
Immediately on the opposite side of Canyon Creek I pick up Immigrant Road …
Immigrant Road continues east across the desert, north of Mountain Home, and south of the Danskin Mountains ….
As I proceed along Immigrant Road I stop to adjust my OBR ADV Gear 38l Adventure Saddlebag … while doing so I see a dust plume, which would be hard to not to be explained as a middle eastern dust storm … over the rise reveals the source as a southern Idaho ranch truck … and trailer. Not wanting to find myself behind this dust generator… I hastily complete my adjustment, fire up the Z, and maintain my lead in front of the ranch truck!
Not all flat desert… there are a few ups and downs…
After a few miles… Immigrant Road makes it’s connection with Hwy 20. By connecting with Immigrant Road I have shortened my pavement connector to Cow Creek to approx. 4 miles ….
Cow Creek Road connects Hwy 20 to Rd 113 that runs along the South Fork of the Boise … a very popular section amongst fly fishermen.
Cow Creek Road
I suppose this is how this stretch got it’s name?… do cows appreciate the view?… I named this one double w/ cheese!
Cow Creek winds along before dropping down into the river canyon making the connection to Rd 113 via the Cow Creek Bridge ….
Now a decision has to be made …. left through Prairie and the shortest route back to the truck …. or right along Anderson Ranch to Fall Creek, then up towards the Trinities?
Which way do I go? …. to be continued
After riding through the open valley below I find myself ascending quickly towards the peak. The grass along the hillsides is still present as a flowing green over outstanding views of the canyon below. The timber along the upper reaches of the peak are all but burnt due to the fires of the past few years …. sad actually… as these timber stands used to represent a healthy section of forest. We’ll see what the coming years hold for recovery?
I climb only to find the gate closed and locked. Tire tracks and a view of the Lookout confirm that it is presently manned. I’m not surprised, but disappointed. I enjoy visiting the lookouts with no one around … mainly due to the fact that a lot of present day attendants are not as friendly towards visitors as they once were?
Danskin Peak LO
I decide to park at the gate and hike up the next few hundred yards to see what view can be had on the other side.
SW towards Mountain Home
A bit more to the Southeast from the same vantage point
Swinging over to view the South Fork Canyon
back down the road to the Northeast (Prairie)
The attendant stayed tucked away in their cabin, so I ventured no further up, but rather hiked back down to the bike to continue my day.
The road off Danskin Peak, don’t miss a turn…. you’ll end up in the river
Lookout Rd below … I remember a hunting camp we set up in the drainage to the left about 15-20 yrs ago. The area looks very much the same except for the burnt trees …
I descend the Lookout Rd rapidly and get back on course to Immigrant Rd, my connector to Hwy 20
Full throttle ….
….. to be continued
I make the climb up the Danskin Peak Rd and over the first pass … the sight lines are incredible at this point … the clear air and the green rolling hillsides cause me to take a momentary pause.
Sea of Green ….
The road is fast, but requires full attention to navigate the random tire ruts left behind by exploring motorist during the Spring thaw …
The road meanders for a few miles before a trail head appears … here the road takes a hard 90 deg right turn towards the East and starts the final climb up to the peak.
The Danskins have been closed to all motorized access due to the fires from 2yrs ago. Reports were that the area would be opening this season as resource repairs are completed. Area closed signage was still posted at all trail heads, but quite a few people were out and about.
Danskin info …
The road follows a creek for a mile or two before sharply starting it’s final accent…. this area is familiar, but it has been about 15 yrs since I tracked any dirt up this way …. I’m excited to see how changed … or unchanged it really is.
Sans bike …
As I continue my climb the South Fork Canyon comes into view below …. this is a canyon that one needs to see in person … pictures hardly show the impressiveness of this crack in the earth! The attached images pan from Left to Right, Prairie Id and the Trinity Mountains in the background. Cathedral Rocks in image 2 …..
….. to be continued
After a quick visit stop at Inscription Rock I continue my journey south to the Danskin Peak Rd. Cloud formations are starting to rise in the south and I want to make my destination of Danskin Peak early just in case any storms decide to blow in ….
View down from Inscription Rock …
Clouds forming to the south …. I’ll be keeping an eye on these!
There are still a few miles of riding to get to Danskin Peak Rd …. more twists and turns with random off shoots directed at I-84 and North Mountain Home …
My OBR ADV Gear 38l Adventure Bag also works great for day trips …. compression straps allow me to secure the contents when the bags are being used under their rated 38l capacity.
More interesting rock formations start to present themselves along the road …
I arrive at Danskin Peak Rd as soon as I stop taking pictures of random rocks 🙂
The road immediately starts to climb with the valley dropping quickly behind my shoulder ….
Danskin Peak in the distance ….
…. to be continued
After quickly exploring the remaining structures of Mayfield … I continue on my way down Mayfield Road.
The road twists and turns staying true to it’s path along the Danskin Foothills.
When selecting this route … it actually was not obvious to me the significant history that this road holds. Points of interest along the way help to paint a picture of what it was like for early settlers to make this journey across this high desert.
One such site is that of Inscription Rock along Bowns Creek, a school bus sized rock that was a lay over location for weary travelers. To leave messages for travelers from behind, messages would be left on the rock face out of axle grease…. Some plenty visible still today.
Messages from the past ….
….. to be continued
Spring this year has been rapidly passing me by with little to show for it in terms of riding. Excuses being a dime a dozen I figured it was high time to get the wheels rolling and the tires dirty.
Memorial Day is staring me down with a threat of “clear” weather most of the weekend… Most all of Idaho has been afflicted with fairly threatening thunderstorms the past few weeks … and one thing I don’t play chicken with is lightening!
Even with our reported dismal snow pack this season, most high passes are still fairly snowed in with roads being closed…. so the question is asked … where do I feel like pointing the bike today? … Danskin Peak Lookout sits along the southern edge of the …. yep … the Danskin’s …. and is a destination that I have not visited for years.
I decide to trailer the bike to a staging point along Blacks Creek Road … this will cut out some tedious commuting across the valley and extend my fuel range. From the staging point I back track to Mayfield Road and start heading south.
The pavement only lasts maybe a mile once on Mayfield Road …. hello dirt! The landscape at this point is heavy sagebrush and cool rock formations.
My OBR ADV Gear Switchback Tank Bag keeps my camera close ….
The first part of todays route is a back country byway that follows the Oregon Trail …..
After a few miles some old buildings come into view. One appears to be an old hall with a stage visible through the window. Across the road are a couple of homesteads. I’m sure life was much simpler back in those days …. and complicated ….
…. to be continued