Moby Goes Homesteading

We made a quick run this weekend to the desert country near Big Jack’s Creek Wilderness. It’s about 30 miles of mostly dirt road south of Mountain Home, Idaho.

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Moby–on the road again.

 

We came across this old homestead, someone’s broken dream. It’s hard to imagine the hard work it would have taken to just get by in this isolated spot with only sage and rock for neighbors.

 

Larry admires the cedar shake siding.
Larry admires the workmanship

 

Rock foundation and cedar shakes
Rock foundation and cedar shake siding

 

The inside is a little battered, but the old kitchen cupboard is still here
The inside is a little battered, but the old kitchen cupboard is still here.

 

Outside, I found broken bits of kitchenware. Maybe the blue pieces were some poor woman's prized china plates.
Outside, I found broken bits of kitchenware. Maybe the blue pieces were some poor woman’s prized china plates.

 

Graffiti where maybe kids once played
Graffiti where maybe kids once played.

 

 

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The space between the outside and inside walls was insulated with rocks and dirt.

 

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Hot in the summer, freezing in the winter. Lonely all the time.

 

Goodnight Moby
Goodnight Moby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts

  1. Great pics and stories you two. We are down in Palm Desert enjoying our new home and going desert treks. Top of mt San Jacinto and San Gregornio are now checked off. Two highest peaks in S Cal. Keep on trekking.

    Burton Johnson Broker CRIS Windermere Real Estate/Lane County 1600 Oak Street Eugene, Oregon, 97401 Cell #. 541-520-7019

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  2. Those poor folks – probably lured west by a railroad company pamphlet that promised riches and success in the West, or too late in the western migration to get any good land. When they got here they were too poor to turn back and had no choice but to try to make a go of it.

    1. It was actually a pretty nice house. There was a collapsed heap of an old building nearby that looked like it could have been the original cabin. This house was made of solid lumber hauled in a long ways, as there was no nearby railroad ever in this area, and no pine trees nearby big enough to make those size planks. Too bad the locals have been taking chainsaws to the place to cut it up for campfires.

    1. It is dry for sure. But back when someone homesteaded the place I’ll bet it was not so dry. Clearly there used to be a lot more water there. They had dug a canal several hundred yards long to bring water to the house and nearby pasture land. Perhaps due to climate change, perhaps due to overgrazing, or more likely due to depletion of the aquifer by current groundwater irrigation pumping Little Jacks Creek is now totally dry in the lower end.

      About 15 miles east is the Bruneau River, and a while back (see https://mobygoes.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/moby-goes-to-the-bruneau-river-canyon/) we searched for some hot springs there, included a famously large one called Indian Bathtubs, where an entire creek once flowed with warm water. But it has all been depleted by nearby irrigation, and I would guess Big and LIttle Jacks Creeks are in the same aquifer.

      1. Wow, canal! Hard to imagine that from today’s scene. It would be cool to see photos from their homesteading days
        Dawn

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