Life off Interstate 84 - Idaho

The BondyWeb in Mountain Home

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(19 April 2014)  My name is Tim Bondy and the owner of this website.  As of Jan 1st, 2014 we moved to a different domain.  Please head over to the Bondy Blogs Website at  Different address, different system but same type of great articles, photos, stories and information. 

You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor

Idaho Outdoor News

I moved to here so I could enjoy the great outdoors.  With Mountain Home, Idaho my base I spend a lot of time in the Owyhee Mountains, the Boise National Forest and the Sawtooth National Forest.  Most of my trip reports will center around biking, hiking, gold panning, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) rides and rock hounding.  I also do enjoy trout fishing the small streams of Idaho.

King Hill Idaho Mule Memorial

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Click image to see a bigger and clearer version.

We were out near King Hill, Idaho on Thursday November 21st, 2013 looking for a new place to rock hound and just to get out of town and the house.  We came upon an unusual structure and a memorial for a mule team called Tom and Jerry just off Old Highway 30.

What Does it Say?



We'll let you head out to this spot and read the rest of the memorial and see Tom and Jerry's grave site for yourself.

Coordinates of Memorial:  42.970090, -115.156737    -   location is just my best guess as I didn't have my GPS unit on at the time.  But the coordinates will get you close.
Grave Site Yes, But the Other Structure Is?

Click image to see a bigger and clearer version.

This structure is located right next to the grave site of Tom and Jerry.  Don't know if it's part of the memorial or something else.  Let me know if you have the answer.

Rock Hounding Results?
As this was a rock hounding exploration trip I feel it necessary to tell you we found nothing of interest but had a good time doing it.

This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 November 2013 08:08

Large Chunk of Boise National Forest Opens

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It's Open Mostly
A large area of the Boise National Forest to the north and northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho has been closed to all types outdoor recreation since the Sept 2013 wildfires.  As of Thursday November 6th, 2013 most of the area is now open to recreation, but not all. 

Seeing is Understanding.  A Picture is Worth a 1000 Word

Here are a few ways of visualizing this reduced fire closure area for our local Boise National Forest area.  You can always visit the local office, or National Forest website for more information.

Here is a PDF Map:

Here is a Google Earth KML File:  (Right click the file.  Click “Save Link As”.  Remember where you save the file.  Open File in Google Earth)

Meaning fishing the South Fork below the dam and many other activities previously outlawed due to dangerous post-wildfire conditions are now possible.

Do You Care? 
As of 2:30 pm on Nov 8th, 2013, our local newspaper, City and County websites plus the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce seem to have ignored this news.  That leaves it up to someone (The BondyWeb.Com) who cares about local outdoor recreation, communication and spreading this incredible good news far and wide.  That's right, I'll pat myself on the back while the people who should be reporting this news head out to lunch.

This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho

Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 14:38

The Unique Idaho Ghost Town - Silver City

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This article was written in August 2012 for another website I created.  Unfortunately, that website and idea went the way of the dinosaurs.  But it still fits the bill for including on the Bondyweb, don't you think? 

Silver City Idaho














Does unique have to be small or just a cool idea? Or can it be big, like a ghost town in southwestern Idaho? I think Silver City, Idaho, in Owyhee County needs to be classified as unique in a big way. Read on to find out why...

The Road to Silver City isn't Paved

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Toni, Addie and I or the entire Bondyweb Adventure Team team headed up into the Silver City Mountain for a visit to this bustling ghost town only 50 miles south of Boise. That's 50 miles as the crow flies but on this trip we decided to go by Arctic Cat ATV at least for the rougher parts of the journey.

The road to Silver City can get rather rough but by Idaho standards, it's darn near as smooth as a State Highway :-) With about 20 miles of dirt/gravel roads it's suitable for almost any car that has some tread left on the tire. In our opinion, all the rough and tumble driving is worth it just to see and experience Silver City.

Take the Video Tour



See the Photo's in a Slideshow
If you cannot see or view the "Photo Slideshow below, go to the following link...


Thanks for stopping by the Bondyweb website.


Last Updated on Friday, 04 October 2013 05:38

Rock Hounding Alder Creek Road of the Owyhee's

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Rock hounding off of Alder Creek Road south or Oreana, Idaho promised to be epic.  Or so I thought.  While the rock hounding wasn't great, the scenery, sense of exploration and future possibilities made this trip rather great.  In the 5.5 hours we were out in the desert, the sounds of a helicopter(s) off to the southwest for most of the day and the one truck we passed made it feel downright crowded out there. 

Pushing Further South Than Ever Before
This trip, on a warm Sunday November 10, 2013, started just off the Oreana Loop Road around 12:00 pm.  During our trip (click here to read about it) in this same area on Oct 27th, 2013 we only made it about 4.5 miles into the Owyhee Front due to the cool stuff we found.  On this trip, we decided to head further south and get more into what I'll call the old mining district of Castle Creek.  

Rocks Change and Change Again
The mixed-up cobble rocks of the first 4 miles we saw during our last trip gradually changed to a more white quartz based environment at the 5 mile point.  The change was easy to see even while riding on an ATV.  As a matter of fact, there were places where the shear amount and coverage of bright white quartz was pretty darn impressive.

We stopped for lunch, which was just a good excuse to rock hound, at the area where thick veins of the white quartz intersperse with pyrite/mica crossed the road.  While impressive looking, we found no real keepers during the walk up to the ridge to our west.  But the views from up there were quite nice.

By the time we got to the intersection of road and C701 and C707 down into Spiry Place, the rocks changed back to a more cobbly mix of  'leaverite' and much less white quartz.  We continued on C701 to the southwest and down into the Alder Creek canyon.  I'm beginning to think the buildings we discovered at the end of the road (for us) are old 1920's mining buildings.  If anyone knows, be sure to drop me a line...Please.

The Old Mining District of Castle Creek
The mining district, as seen on our topo maps, was our real goal for the day.  We figured there might be some cool rocks, gems and crystals to be had in this general area.  And if we could stay off “claimed and private lands”, we might come home with some excellent rocks. 

We searched low and high, wide and deep but couldn't find any really cool rocks.  We searched around old mine tailings, new tailings, streambeds, ridgetops and everywhere else where the topo maps showed mines and old prospects.  About the only thing we brought home from this area was one question.

What the heck were these miners seeing that made them dig deep into the dirt?

The Adventure Scorecard - 5 Stars or Worse
  • Remoteness:  4 Stars - While less than 15 miles from the town of Oreana, this is a remote place. 
  • Beauty:  3 Stars
  • Cleanliness of Our Lands:  2 Stars - lots of cow patties but human trash was all focused on the roadside for the most part. 
  • Rock Hounding:  3 Stars but the promise of a 5 star location could be just over the next hillside.  Frustration!
  • Wildlife:  2 Star - Birds, a snake and a few rabbits were seen on this trip. 
  • Overall Score:  3 Stars  
View a map of the area at:,-116.42212&z=13&t=T

View some more photos at:     (may not be accessible to everyone at all times...sorry)

This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 15:42

Hike the North Bank of Long Tom Creek

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The idea of hiking along the north bank of Long Tom Creek where it dumps into the Reservoir has fascinated me for a few years now.  And with a strong cold front moving through this area, I decided I needed to stay close to Mountain Home, not stray too far off the beaten path but explore a new place.  The area north of Long Tom Reservoir was the perfect location for a hike.

Stay High and Dry
Being a very dry year, Long Tom Creek is probably at historic lows and the size of the reservoir probably wasn't anywhere near normal either.  I figured hiking the ridge-line north of the creek would give me a good vantage point to check out the surrounding scenery.  It did.

The cold front was obviously moving in rapidly as dark, gray and steadily lowering clouds moved in from the west.  I knew it wouldn't be long before it started to rain.  The only question was how hard and how long would it rain.  The rain started just as I reached the ridge-line above Willowdale Creek that dumps into the northern side of the reservoir.  This would be my turn back point.

The Apocalypse Landscape
Plain and simple, the area around Long Tom Reservoir got burned pretty badly during the August 2013 Elk Complex Wildfire.  And my path took me straight through the burn scar and this wasn't something I had thought about until I hopped across Long Tom Creek at the beginning of this exploration hike. 

I knew this area wasn't a rock hounding spot so scenery, the exercise and exploration were the only reasons to be out here.  Unfortunately for me and the land, there were places on this hike I felt a Hollywood crew could film a realistic type apocalyptic, end of the world as we know movie without any problems.  The fire burned off a vast majority of the sagebrush leaving near bare ground.  It was just plain ugly and empty in these places.

Low, Sandy, Easy and Wet
When the rain started, I had a few choices.  I could head north, get on the dirt road and head back.  I could head back along the ridge-line I just walked.  Or I could take the easy way back to the car along the now dry Long Tom Creek-bed.

I headed down to the creek bed and headed due east.  This was some easy hiking on the sandy shores of Long Tom Reservoir and Long Tom Creek.  The rain continued for the entire hike back.  Fortunately for me, the rain was relatively light.

It was kind of cool seeing the river bottom I fished back in April 2012.  You can read the story at 

The Adventure Scorecard - 5 Stars or Worse
  • Remoteness:  3 Stars - I doubt many people venture out here.
  • Beauty:  2 Stars
  • Cleanliness of Our Lands:  1 Stars for the copious amounts of burned cow patties and scorched landscape. 
  • Rock Hounding:  Not Calculated
  • Wildlife:  1 Star - Only saw a few birds and very little sign of any big game in this area.  Weird
  • Overall Score:  2 Stars  
View a map of the area at:,-115.56879&z=14&t=T

View some more photos at: 
(may not be accessible to everyone at all times...sorry)

This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho

Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 09:10

North Fork of Boise River Bridge Vehicle Restriction

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Barber Flats Bridge in Idaho

The bridge across the North Fork of the Boise River at Barber Flats has new restrictions on what types of vehicles can cross it. The Boise National Forest issued the restriction order on April 27, 2012. The date when the bridge will be repaired has yet to be determined.

Barber Flats Bridge Restriction Information

Interactive Map of the Area

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Hope this information is useful to a few people out there. I'd hate to get all the way out to the Middle Fork only to discover I couldn't drive my truck over the Barber Flats Bridge and along the North Fork of the Boise River. Leave a comment if you wish.



Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:23

Clams, Rams and Badlands Near Browns Creeks of the Owyhees

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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”.

Click for a bigger version

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
Map of General Area:

This is my Life Off Interstate 84 in Mountain Home, Idaho

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 11:39

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