Thursday, April 29, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
(Click on map to enlarge)
In case you'd like to stay close to home, in between working in the garden or mowing the lawn, consider heading out for a hike, trail run or a mountain bike ride in Polecat Gulch, a relatively new open space reserve and trail system in Northwest Boise.
While you're there, you can ponder that the City of Boise this week announced the purchase of an additional 80 acres of land in Polecat Gulch for $270,000, even though it was appraised at $500K. Check out the article in the Statesman.
Over the last several years, the city has spent more than $2.2 million to purchase 520 acres of land in Polecat Gulch. The area lies in between Cartwright Road and Hill Road near N. Collister Drive. Trails in Polecat are featured in my guidebooks, the Boise Trail Guide and Mountain Biking in Boise.
There are eight miles of trails in Polecat Gulch. It's all singletrack. Several sections that parallel Cartwright Road are sandy, so watch out for that. The Polecat Loop Trail traces the tops of numerous finger ridges as it does a circular tour of the gulch. The Doe Ridge spur trails and Quick Draw Trail add variety. I like to turn on the tunes and just cruise around in there and try different variations.
Overall, it's a 5-mile loop to circumnavigate Polecat Gulch, but by mixing it up, you can add more distance, if you're on a bike. It takes about an hour to do the loop on a mountain bike and a little longer running. Hiking time is two hours.
Check out the map for details and have fun! Watch for wildlife. You'll see red-tailed hawks flying overhead, and if you're lucky, you might see some of the resident deer. This is one area where an albino deer has been seen.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Lower Owyhee. Great campsites!
Here's some video of running the lower Owyhee.
- River Odysseys West (ROW)
- Idaho Adventures
- Wapiti River Guides
- Far & Away Adventures
- Payette River Co.
- Wilderness River Outfitters
Every outfitter has their particular style of trip. Ask questions about what's important to you -- food, drink, side-hiking, interpretation, putting up your own tent or having them do it for you -- all of these things may be different with each outfitter.
If you're going on your own, pick up a good river map from the BLM office in Boise so you know how to get to the boat-launch site, what kinds of rapids to expect in various river reaches, where to find campsites, etc. River shuttle services can be found here.
The main thing is to get out and experience these stunningly beautiful river canyons right in our backyard. All you have to do is seize the day and do it before the water goes away ....
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Have you ever thought about multitasking outdoors?
Back in the day (before kids), I used to try to jam as many outdoor activities into one day as I could. Especially in late March or early April, when Bogus Basin is still open, you can get out and do a few activities before heading up to ski, and then, if you still have some energy, do some more in the late afternoon and evening.
Everyone has different favorite activities and a different quiver of outdoor toys. But the opportunities for multitasking are limited only by your quiver, outdoor skills, energy and fitness level, and your imagination.
Here's what I've done:
- Get up early.
- Play a few holes of golf or some tennis with a friend.
- Head up to Bogus Basin and ski for an hour or so.
- Go back home. Strap on the kayak on the roof rack or load up the raft and go whitewater boating with a bunch of friends.
- Go mountain biking when you get back.
- Cap off the day with a little fishing, backyard badminton or volleyball.
- And then it's time for BBQ and beer (drinking arm-exercise)
Triathletes do this kind of thing all the time, but they log serious miles in the pool or the lake, and then go biking and running. Adventure racers do that, plus all kinds of other activities for more than 24 hours at a time.
My method can be a little more fun because it's less physically taxing, and more of us mere mortals can do the lower-key types of outdoor sports.
Here's a video called "the Magnificent Seven" from Mitch Knothe, who pulled off seven activities in a single day. Mitch knows how to enjoy life.
Bogus won't be open too much longer, so see if you can pull some friends together for a friendly and fun day of multiple outdoor activities.
Read all about Steve's outdoor trips in Idaho, including hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, camping, trail-running, whitewater boating, canoeing, SUP’ing, skiing and snowshoeing.
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