Moby Goes on the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway Scenic Drive

Good gravel road, fantastic high desert country, amazing stormy sky.
Good gravel road, fantastic high desert country, amazing stormy sky.
Owyhee Backcountry Byway Map
Owyhee Backcountry Byway Map

We took a long weekend and drove the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Uplands Byway through the southwestern corner of Idaho. Although the sky was stormy, the most moisture we got was a few flakes of snow.

Larry says you can tell this juniper is old because the top is round.
Larry says you can tell this juniper is old because the top is round.

Grassland here is fragile, and years of overgrazing and fire suppression have enabled junipers to encroach on what was once good grassland. Ranchers are beginning to aggressively go after the junipers, but it’s going to hard to stop the spread. This one older than the overgrazing and fire suppression, and Larry gives it a thumbs up.

Bright sun and dark skies made for a wonderful drive.
Bright sun and dark skies made for a wonderful drive.
If these clouds deliver as promised, this might become the great lake it once was.
If these clouds deliver as promised, this might become the great lake it once was.

Who knew? Oolite (egg stone) is sedimentary limestone composed of tiny ooids, which form when calcium carbonate precipitates in concentric layers around individual grains of sand. The Shoofly Oolite is one of the largest freshwater lakebed oolites known in the world. Most signs around here show evidence of target practice. Does everyone hate oolites . . . or the BLM . . . or what?

Is this safe?
Is it safe to camp on a slope like this?

Larry suggests we camp on this hill. I think it’s a bad idea. There’s a serious cliff into the canyon at the bottom of the hill. Larry insists its fine. What do you think?

Just to be sure . . .
Just to be sure . . .

Larry says we’re safe, but I don’t feel safe until I put this giant rock behind Moby’s back wheel, and even then, I wake up during the night to see if I’m still alive.

Larry looks annoyed, but he's really wondering how he can trade this for a desk job and a tie.
Larry looks annoyed, but he’s really wondering how he can trade all this for a desk job and a tie.

Larry fries up some potatoes and eggs for breakfast while I stay inside Moby and enjoy the propane heater. Maybe that’s why he looks annoyed . . . ?

Little Jack's Creek Canyon
Little Jack’s Creek Canyon

The canyon is so choked with willows that even Larry doubts he will ever fish it, so he decides to chase chukars instead. It’s beautiful and nobody is here but us.

 A chukar feather.
A chukar feather.

Larry finds a chukar feather–our first solid evidence that chukars live here. Larry’s excitement will soon wither when no actual birds materialize.

Little Jack's Creek
Little Jack’s Creek

We hike through the canyon and over the canyon but find only a few chukars that fly away before Larry can blast them. But it’s beautiful day. The sky is amazing. Who needs dead birds when you can have clouds like these?

Little Jack's Creek
Little Jack’s Creek
Little Jack's Creek
Little Jack’s Creek
Little Jack's Creek
Little Jack’s Creek
Little Jack's Creek
Little Jack’s Creek

The score at the end of the day: Chukars = 0 / Trout = 0.

But what a day anyway.

4 thoughts

  1. Nice to see you two ‘up and running’ again! Nope, no Moby envy for me but glad you guys still love it. Happy Thanksgiving!

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