Jordan Craters in the Jeep

View Another Adventure
May 19, 2012

Having scouted it by motorcycle with my brother Joel, we decided our first Jeep camping trip would be near the historic Birch Creek homesteads along the Owyhee River.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7670947072

Info

Camping began with a lunch stop in Marsing where the kids enjoyed a little food and a lot of swinging.

“I can go higher than you!” they wagered.

Camera Settings

http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7670955910

Info

We almost missed the turn onto this shortcut. Such an obvious road, I don’t know why. As the navigator, Jess had the opportunity to get out and learn about different stretched wire gate technologies.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7670964966

Info

This was by special request. It isn’t so obvious in this image yet but Hunter was really suffering from allergies compounded by thick dust that, unhindered by doors, could roll through the Jeep.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7670973780

Info

These ponds and lakes (the nearby Cow Lakes) are renown for their waterfowl. I saw a pelican last time through and this time a big crane. I think I’d like just to sit here in a camp chair someday and watch.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7670983582

Info

The world has room for everyone.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7670991886

Info

I was curious to see this “lake” in the lava, Batch Lake, since Joel and I passed nearby on our motorcycles in early April.

Something began tickling my foot as I stood to frame this particular picture. I guess ants don’t like their houses smashed. We continued walking after my screaming stopped.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671000870

Info

The expansive Jordan Craters lava field is an adventure for the eyes. It looks homogenous from a distance but up close is anything but.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671013294

Info

Reeds made a happy home in soupy water contained by collapsed lava tubes. No doubt there’s a metaphor here but it hasn’t come to me yet.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671026250

Info

Another reed soup bowl with Batch Lake and Mahogany Mountain in the distance. Hunter wanted to climb down but we urged him onward.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671036804

Info

Joel and I paused to look at this briefly but being on our way to well deserved burgers and fries in Jordan Valley, we didn’t look closely. It’s certainly not where I’d think to make a home.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671047238

Info

That explains why the roof has been replaced. The house seems to have historic significance but I haven’t found anything that says how.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671054630

Info

A brave smile, there. We learned the tube doors were more about fun appearance than experience, at least off-road. They rattled and let dust billow around us. I think they’re best suited for trips to the mall.

We followed what in places looked like no more than a cow trail around the south side of the lava field. There are a couple smooth places, like here, where you can drive out onto the lava.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671067636

Info

Descending along (and back-and-forth across) Birch Creek into the Owyhee River canyon helped make up for our thorough dusting. It’s an impressive place.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671075900

Info

Our dust-mobile.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671088518

Info

Jess setup our domicile for the night, Brenna and I filtered a basin of water from the river and Hunter worked on getting his and Brenna’s new poles ready.

Then the most important part: fire.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671095184

Info

When Hunter wasn’t looking, Brenna used his stick.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671103506

Info

The next morning, she looked for shells and I looked for pictures while the others slept.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671111618

Info

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671121586

Info

P in the pool? Maybe not but it is disappointing that so many of the tributary creeks are overrun by cattle.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671129350

Info

This is the look of finding four shells.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671138378

Info

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671147740

Info

The Pizza Hut jug lives on! Hunter explained to Brenna how to fish while I made some coffee and oat meal.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671158274

Info

I scouted some of the cliffs when I was here with Joel. I knew the kids would love the dangers and discoveries up here.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671167408

Info

We were looking for special rocks on the ledges above the river. We watched a couple rafters float by from our perch.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671177306

Info

The boss.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671190532

Info

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671201610

Info

We saw several antelope and a lizard. Here’s the lizard.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671211902

Info

This was a treasure trove of small crystals. These rocks have been thoroughly picked over for the bigger stuff but you wouldn’t know it from how excited the kids were about their finds.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671223742

Info

“Do you want to walk farther or stay here?” I asked.

“Stay here!” they insisted in unison.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671236358

Info

I went a bit higher on my own to see if there might be anything else the kids would like.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671250224

Info

I saw the Indian Paintbrush from afar and knew fate would have me here.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671263860

Info

This was the second treasure area complete with another lizard whose rock home the kids destroyed.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671277324

Info

They found places that surely nobody had been able to reach before.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671287614

Info

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671299068

Info

The cool river felt wonderful after climbing on the rocks.

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671311388

Info

Camera Settings

map http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/7671320210

Info

The End.