Thursday, September 26, 2013

Owyhee Canyonlands Outdoor Adventure guide; McCall Fat Tire Fest; Nat'l Public Lands Day

Browns Creek canyon, Owyhee Front 

We hiked Browns Creek last year when Huck was 8 weeks old ... 
Fetching views at Succor Creek State Park with Steve and Drew 
Hi all,

In case you haven't seen our Kickstarter.com campaign on twitter or Facebook, fine arts photographer Mark Lisk and I are collaborating on a new guidebook for the Owyhee Canyonlands. The book will be titled, The Owyhee Canyonlands - An Outdoor Adventure Guide. We are expecting it to be ready for Christmas sales in late November.

We launched the Kickstarter campaign about 10 days ago, and we've already reached our minimum goal of $6,500 to cover printing and production costs. Woo-hoo! But the campaign still will run for another 19 days, so this is a chance for folks to capture some sweet deals in terms of buying an autographed copy of the hard-copy guide, buying several autographed books for Christmas gifts, getting a combination of an autographed book plus a Mark Lisk 2013 calendar, or an autographed book and a Mark Lisk photo print of your choice.

We have a whole bunch of options if you'd like to check it out at the Kickstarter site. We have a video that explains how the book project came together along with details about the guidebook. We'll have 55 hikes and mountain bike rides in the book, and as our loyal and faithful followers know, I've been providing sneak previews of a number of these hikes and bike rides in my blog over the last couple years. (see below)

The Owyhee Canyonlands are a real treasure here in SW Idaho. There are many hidden slot canyons to explore, super-scenic mountain bike rides you've never ridden before, a few hot springs worthy of visiting, and a whole bunch of trips in the new Owyhee Wilderness areas. The scope of our guide spans from the closest Owyhee Wilderness areas in Big and Little Jacks Creek near Grand View, to the Jarbidge/Bruneau/Sheep Creek canyons south of Bruneau, to many hidden jewels in terms of slot canyons in the Owyhee Front between Grand View and Marsing, to the spectacular Southern Utah-like rock formations of the Leslie Gulch area.

Here are the links to those sneak-peek trips, if you'd like to head out for a desert hike/bike ride this weekend. The cool weather will be perfect! This will give you a taste of what to expect in the guide. Nine-tenths of the challenge in the Owyhees is to learn how to get there, have a sturdy, dependable rig to take you there, and navigate a big wide open area with very few signs or no signs, and no services. Map-reading skills are important!


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Given the weather in the last few days, it's almost feeling like winter, but it's going to warm up a bit this weekend, so it should be perfect fall weather for mountain biking in McCall. The Central Idaho Mountain Biking Association (CIMBA) and local retailers are hosting the first-ever Fat Tire Festival in McCall, beginning Friday night and going through Sunday.

Here's the calendar of events for the busy weekend. If you've been wanting to learn more about the mountain bike trails in the McCall area, this is a perfect opportunity to do so with local ride leaders. Organizers have laid out a great slate of group bike rides for the weekend, geared to different ability and experience levels.

On Saturday, there's a women's beginner "Zen Ride" going on at the very family friendly Bear Basin Trail network near McCall, rides at Jug Mountain Ranch, Payette Rim Trail, Elk Trail at Brundage and more. From 4-9:30 p.m. that day, there will be a beer garden party at Depot Park downtown, dinner and live music. Perfect way to round out the day.

On Sunday, there will be more guided rides including the fun and challenging the Goose Creek Trail, East Fork of Lake Fork and Bear Basin.

In case you're thirsting for more rides, my guidebook, Mountain Biking in McCall, will keep you busy with 40+ rides to explore in the Valley County area, including all the rides mentioned above.
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It's the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day
Saturday is also the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day. The Bureau of Land Management is hosting two volunteer projects -- one in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, south of Kuna, and another in the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness, southeast of Grand View.

The birds of prey project will involve planting shrubs and perennial grasses below Swan Falls Dam. If you'd like to participate, meet at the picnic area by the dam at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Bring a lunch, wear sturdy shoes and bring gloves. The work day will be over around 1-2 p.m. Contact Barb Forderhase at the BLM for more information, 384-3485.

The Little Jacks project will involve taking down some barbed-wire fence and building a new trail in the Shoofly Creek area. Volunteers should meet at the Poison Creek picnic area, on the right side of Mud Flat Road, or the Owyhee Backcountry Byway, south of Grand View, at 8:45 a.m. It's a full-day project, with horseback support for hauling trail-building materials. Free T-shirts for volunteers! Contact Dave Draheim at the BLM for more information, 384-3358.

Every Friday morning, I talk about my outdoor tip of the week on 94.9 FM with Ken Bass and Misty Taylor. Up to now, the segments have been airing at 7:10 a.m. This week, they'll move to about 7:40 a.m. Just a head's up! See River Interactive for more details and audio of previous shows.    

Have fun!
- SS

1 comment:

Michelle Reagan said...

Should be a super fun weekend with some great riding!