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(27 October 2013) A rock hounding exploration trip into the Castle Creek and Browns Creek area south of Oreana, Idaho turned out much better than could have been expected. We did this trip on our ATV's during a beautiful early Fall Sunday in October 2013. The rocks, solitude and hounding potential has me itching to head back to this area and forge further into this lesser explored area of Idaho.
Bighorn Sheep Runs
Just to get this out in the light of day...I've never seen a bighorn sheep in wilds of Idaho so it was kind of exciting and a “day-maker” getting to see one of these majestic beasts. The area we were in is known for bighorns but I've come to realize these shy animals aren't easy to spot most of the time. So when I saw what I thought was an elk by the canyon rim I smiled. But once the bighorn started running, I could easily see the big curl on his head. As they say “pictures or it didn't happen”, so I'll be heading out that way again...soon.
Clams in a Sandstone Matrix
Another discovery on this trip were the clam and other types of old seashells we found on a hillside. The shells or maybe I should call them fossils? were mostly embedded in sandstone near the top of a peak closer to Castle Creek than Browns Creek.
This obviously well known area (except to me) has a dirt road leading up to a saddle just below the peak. The area is strewn with broken rocks where other searchers of fossils have left there mark. Not that finding fossils out in this area should amaze anyone but finding obsidian mixed in around these sedimentary rocks might. Volcanism and sandstone seem to be oxymoronic to me.
Want the location of this spot? I'll barter for info on one of your rock hounding spots in southern Idaho. As it says in the Bible (Rock Hounding Bible), “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a lat/long for a lat/long”.
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Badlands Are BadA$$
Spent time in the Badlands of North and South Dakota and found them cool to see. But you expect them to be there and their scale is pretty amazing. But in southern Idaho? I'm coming to enjoy our limited Badland areas more and more each year. I'm now to the point of thinking our badlands are just plain bada$$ and want to further explore these areas. Of course it helps when the lighting is just right so it highlights their cool color schemes.
The Adventure Scorecard - 5 Stars or Worse
- Remoteness: 4 Stars - Hunting season on a Sunday with great weather and not one other person, car or ATV seen the entire trip.
- Beauty: 4 Stars
- Cleanliness of Our Lands: 3 Stars - Sporadic junk but cow patties seemed to be missing in many places :-)
- Rock Hounding: 4 Stars
- Wildlife: 4Stars - Bighorn Sheep? That's an auto 4 Stars +
- Overall Score: 4 Stars
Photo album: You may or may not have access to these photos. Let me know if you cannot view the at https://picasaweb.google.com/112532322025941965882/20131027?authuser=0&feat=directlink
Map of General Area: http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=43.007226~-116.375162&lvl=13&dir=0&sty=r&form=LMLTCC
This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho