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2010 Owyhee Spring
Images by Merri Melde

Owyhee Spring 30/60/75

Gallery I

Gallery II

Saturday May 1 2010

In a spring endurance ride in Owyhee in southern Idaho, you get a bit of everything: rain, sleet, wind, hail, sun, gales, bugs, cold, awesome horses, spectacular scenery, great trails, a bit of history, good friends, and of course fun. I rode the 60 miler on my pal Jose, with Steph and Rhett.

This was the brief bit of sun for the day: notice there is hardly a cloud in the sky as we are saddling up at 7 AM.

Notice, 45 minutes later, ready to start the ride at 8 AM, there's not a spot of sunshine! I'm quite glad I overpacked a duffel bag with extra clothes.

Loop 1 - 25 miles:
Heading down into the Snake River Canyon, to the petroglyphs. This is Nance and Jazzbo.

Two riders on the trail far below us.

Still going down.

On the trail along the Snake River. Here the water was glassy and looked like a lake. If you jumped in though, it would sweep you mighty quickly downstream.

We rode by some boulders with petroglyphs - some of this artwork has been dated back 11,000 years.

Richard caught up with us and rode with us the rest of the day. He's checking out the petroglyphs.

Climbing up the steep rocky trail out of the Snake River canyon.

A couple of places in the ride illustrate the expression, "That's SO Idaho!" One would be this tumbleweed barrier. When Steph was marking trail for the ride, she spent about an hour in multi-directional gale force winds trying to clear a path through this sea of tumbleweeds. She'd toss them in the air and they'd fly right back at her; she'd clear a few feet and the path would fill in again. (And note to those not familiar with tumbleweeds. They are not cuddly. They are a rolling big ball of stickers!)

The view back to the Snake River canyon.

Jose spies distant riders with his elf eyes.

There isn't a lot of choice in where you pin your trail ribbons in some of this country. Here Steph used a cow carcass to hold ribbons. Another "That's SO Idaho!" moment.

Jose is not so sure about this trail marker holder.

Loop 2 - 17 miles:

Rolling sand hills and an old cow camp.

Descending off a plateau. The old historic Oregon Trail is below, where Con Shea road is now.

Jose waiting for his pals.

We had an awesome couple miles of cantering down Con Shea road.

Climbing out of the Snake River canyon again, up onto a plateau.

Jose loves to stop and look at the views.

Vet check two: it's spitting ice balls! Notice the expression on Jose's face!

We stayed inside the truck cab and whined just a bit.

Loop 3 - 16 miles:

Steph and Rhett cruising along. Rhett always travels with his tail high in the air, waving like a flag. You can spot him anywhere.

A long road ahead of us.

There was a ridiculous amount of grass on the trail. Our horses ate a lot during the day!

This is a southern Idaho fence - about 8 feet thick on both sides with tumbleweeds. That's SO Idaho!

The typical spring weather - sun and rain/ice squalls.

Of course the Raven rode along!

Another squall.

Jose at his final vet check. He completed! We finished 3rd and 4th (Steph said we'd go 'slow' today!), and 20-year-old Rhett reached his 4000 miles today!


Owyhee Spring Endurance Ride

A new spring ride!
30, 60 and 75 Miles

You will have some new trail on this ride, and will also ride down along the Snake through the old Weiss homestead and through the petroglyph boulders. Except for some rocky sections getting out of the river canyon the footing is very good. And it's really green right now - tons of grass for the horses, it will be beautiful riding.

Much of the trail will go through the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, established in 1993 to protect a unique environment that supports one of the world's densest concentrations of nesting birds of prey. Falcons, eagles, hawks, and owls occur here in unique profusion and variety. It is part of BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). Read more about the conservation area

Ride Manager: Regina Rose
Email: rrose4u2002@yahoo.com Phone: 208.250.8862

Head Vet: Robert Washington DVM

Basecamp is at a large flat field outside of Murphy. There will be plenty of horse and people water. DOGS MUST BE KEPT TIED OR ON A LEASH.

From I-84 East (Oregon) Take Nampa exit 35 and follow signs to Hwy 45 (to Murphy)which takes you south towards Murphy. Follow hwy 78 east (left) after crossing the Snake River. Continue past Murphy and turn left (north) just before mile marker 33. This is Murphy Flat Rd and will take a few jogs, stay on the road until you see camp signs. Camp will be on the left (west) about 2 miles from the turn off of Hwy 78.

From I-84 West (Utah): Take Hammett exit 112 onto Hwy 78. Go through Bruneau and Grandview towards Oreana. Turn right (north) onto Murphy Flat Rd, at mile marker 33. Follow ribbons and signs to camp.