Moby Goes to the Bruneau River

We kicked off the summer of 2014 with a trip in May to the Bruneau River in southern Idaho’s desert country. The road to the river crosses a seemingly endless plateau, part of which belongs to the Air Force Base at Mountain Home, ID.

Yikes! Run away!
Yikes! Run away!
Indestructible road sign
Indestructible road sign.
Our first night's campsite.
Our first night’s campsite.

Because the canyon is steep, there is only one road in 50 miles that crosses it. We take the long rocky route with wildlife viewing along the way.

Long road down.
Long road down.
A scorpion about the size of my thumb.
A scorpion about the size of my thumb. Run away!

We see some interesting sights.

The canyon has several old mines. This truck is perched  on a flat spot above a mine on the canyon's edge.
The canyon has several old mines. This truck is perched on a flat spot above a mine on the canyon’s edge.
The truck was used to run a ?????XXXXX?????.
Some fine mechanical engineering went into converting the truck to a winch.
Mostly due to overgrazing, native grasses have been replaced by cheat grass which seeds early, dries, and burns easily. ???XXX???
Mostly due to overgrazing, native grasses have been replaced by cheat grass which seeds early, dries, and burns easily which then kills the native grasses before they can seed.

We find a spot for Moby right on the river.

I worry about flash floods. Run away!
I worry about flash floods. Run away!

This section of the Bruneau River (Indian Hot Springs) is privately owned, and you can still see the remnants of the old homestead.

Old homestead looking west. Notice the hot spring (near the river on left) and the rock cabin (top right).
Old homestead looking southwest. Notice the hot spring (near the river on left) and the rock cabin (top right).
The old bridge is okay for walking, but not for Moby.
The old bridge is okay for walking, but not for Moby. Larry tries to catch a trout in the pool.
Old rock cabin.
Old rock cabin.
Homestead looking south, a lonely yet beautiful place to live.
Homestead looking south, a lonely yet beautiful place to call home.
The hot spring is amazing with an abundance of scalding water. A group of kayakers kindly left their new (and clean) tarp behind, allowing us to soak in this otherwise rusty and leaky tub.
The hot spring is amazing with an abundance of scalding water. A group of kayakers kindly left their new (and clean) tarp behind, allowing us to soak in this otherwise rusty and leaky tub.

But enough of this! There are fish to catch, so we walked along the river in search of trout.

Larry surveys the river from the hot, rocky trail. Where are the trout?
Larry surveys the river from the hot, rocky trail. Where are the trout?
Here fishy, fishy . . .
Here fishy, fishy . . .
A group of kayakers check out the confluence of the Jarbidge (bottom) and Bruneau (top) rivers.
A group of kayakers check out the confluence of the Jarbidge (bottom) and Bruneau (top) rivers.
Few fish but plenty of poison oak. Run away!
Few fish but plenty of poison oak. Run away!

The Jarbidge and Bruneau Rivers both have their headwaters in northern Nevada and flow north into Idaho where they eventually join the Snake River (aka Idaho’s sewer) and become water for Idaho’s farms and dairies.                                                                                                                     Read more about our big sewer at https://www.hcn.org/issues/46.13/idahos-sewer-system-is-the-snake-river

Confluence of the Bruneau (clear) and Jarbidge (muddy) rivers. The Jarbidge is muddy because ??XX??.
Confluence of the Bruneau (clear) and Jarbidge (muddy) rivers. The Jarbidge is muddy from snowmelt in the Nevada mountain headwaters. Notice Larry fishing in a tangle of brush, bottom right.

The fishing was crappy, with the river yielding only Northern Pikeminnow (aka Squawfish) but it it was an interesting hike anyway.

Red canyon and blue skies.
Red canyon and blue skies.
How old is this fence?
How old is this fence gate?

These 50 miles of deep canyon waters are designated as a Wild and Scenic rivers and are part of the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness created in 2009. These rivers attract kayakers and crazy rafters during the spring runoff when the worst rapids are in class V range and above. Class V rapids are dangerous even for experts. Class VI means portage or die. Run away!

10 thoughts

  1. Objects falling from the sky and scorpions!!?? Definitely a “run away” kind of adventure!! Great pictures and story though!! Hugs!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s