Text, images and video are © Copyright 2015 Jason Abbott. All Rights Reserved.
Topographic background courtesy of the Idaho Adventure Motorcycling Club
The last two days of 2014 are dusted with snow and colored with sun, a dichotomy I’m glad to indulge. May the new year be so beautiful.
It was down to the wire whether our Thanksgiving with Heather, Eric and kids could be at their cabin in Atlanta, Idaho. Record breaking November snowfall left the sixty mile mountain dirt road impassable. But a quick melt has things back on track. Or so it seems.
Winter came a month early. I enjoy the blanket of sparkling white and added challenge of biking a slippery path. It sure would have been great to rake the leaves up first, though. Oh well. The fiery fog and glowing hoar frost are beautiful just the same.
We must make the most of our favorite season, walks and rides, fast and furious, before the last leaf falls. We park in Bown Crossing near Brenna’s school for an evening walk along the river before sitting to dinner and perhaps a treat.
The sharp morning light of a week ago is today muted by mist rolling off the cold water along my bicycle commute to work. Lucky for me, this common autumn scene never fails to delight and I’m glad for the chance to meander.
Political outcomes won’t change it: things that brought joy yesterday are those which bring joy today — full suspension bunny-hop from asphalt to dirt, glittering leaves and deep breaths of cold air.
Something we’ve said we’d do for a while now, we load the kids up to visit Silver City then camp somewhere in the hills above. It was near freezing when I camped with my brothers recently but it seems warmer now. I hope so.
From 9,000 feet to 9,000 feet, my three brothers and I leave Washington Basin for lunch and fuel in Ketchum before beginning our westward leg along the South Fork of the Boise River toward home.
From our wet campsite along Canyon Creek below Pinyon Peak, my three brothers and I ride over Loon Creek Summit to visit the Yankee Fork Dredge then, deviating from earlier plans, we take lunch in Stanley before finding our way to camp high in Washington Basin.
Along Deadwood Reservoir, through Bear Valley to Pinyon Peak, our second day of riding treats us to vistas even more vast. We are held up by mechanical troubles but not deterred. Rocks in our path are an integral and expected part of the experience.
The first day of our seventh annual Abbott Brother Ride, this time, for the first time, in South Central Idaho. We stage at my house then head over the Boise Ridge, from desert to forest, on our way to high mountains.
Michael and I ride from Boise through Prairie and across the mountains to Pine and Featherville before turning north to camp around a high mountain lake. We cover highway, gravel, dirt roads, ATV and singletrack, a real dual sport adventure.
Jeremy and I travel from our homes to Farmington, Washington, for some quick riding with our brother Joel around our childhood stomping grounds north of Moscow Mountain.
Keeping to the recent pattern, we drive south with the kids to camp at a place in the Owyhees I reconnoitered by motorcycle, stopping along the way to see the Owyhee Museum in Murphy.
Hunter leads us up Rocky Canyon to the Boise Ridge and a great campsite he finds near Deer Point. The next morning, in spite of a warning, he decides to brave Daggett Creek.
From my secret campsite behind Silver City (disregarding the GPS track), I descend Bachman Grade to explore some lesser known canyons within the Owyhee Front.
I ride across the Snake up Reynolds Creek to explore roads and routes I’ve not seen before camping somewhere in the mountains behind Silver City.
She was so excited by the prospect of a simple walk by the river, how could I say no. So after days of intermittent rain, Brenna and I spend two hours walking the familiar paths near home.
Michael and I ride from Succor Creek Road through the Oregon Owyhees in an eighty mile loop around Three Fingers Butte.
She has been asking about it almost daily for weeks and finally we’re making it happen, a camp out for just Brenna and me. I liked what I saw last week motorcycling around Little Jacks Creek so that’s where we are headed with hot dogs, marshmallows and our best hiking flip-flops.
Per my usual process for a solo ride, I pan around Google Earth looking to see things I haven’t seen, consult with the Idaho Trails site and finally lay out a route in the GPS software. It works great thirty percent of the time.
After running through some options to break the television-watching rain routine, we settle on the forty-five minute drive to Jump Creek Falls, what some call a “locals’” attraction because of unclear, zig-zag access through private pastures and occasional use by teen revelers.
Feeling cooped up on a cold weekend while Jessica is away, I suggest a walk along the river. The inversion is finally gone. It should be nice.
Bike lanes clear of snow enable me to resume the ride to work and a more portable camera permits a few images of the dense fog we’ve experienced this week in Idaho’s Treasure Valley.
Our eldest child Laura in town on holiday break from school at Washington State University seems a good reason to soak in our favorite hot spring, Kirkham, especially since Laura has never been there.