Thursday, April 4, 2019

Go see thousands of snow geese at Ft. Boise WMA, pond-skimming at Brundage or biking

(Courtesy Idaho Department of Fish and Game)

Hi all,

It appears that we have a rainy weekend ahead, at least that's the forecast for Friday and Sunday. There's only a 20 percent chance of rain on Saturday, so there may be a few breaks in between storms or squalls where you can get out and do something fun outdoors!

I'm recommending three things for my outdoor tip of the week -- go to Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Parma to see thousands of snow geese, go pond-skimming at Brundage Mountain or dash out on your bike between rain storms.

What a thrill to see the snow geese flying around in this giant wetland preserve and cottonwood forest where the Boise River meets the Snake River near the Idaho-Oregon border.

This is the same area where trappers stopped in to trade wares at Fort Boise. After 1835, they could stop and visit with post master Francois Payette, who was a very successful trapper (see historical chapter in my Paddling the Payette book) who arrived in Idaho and the Northwest in 1818 at the dawn of the trapping era. He also had a hand in mapping the region, hence, all of the rivers and lakes bearing his name.

But think of the rich fish and wildlife resource that existed there at the time -- salmon and steelhead, sturgeon, trout, all kinds of ducks, deer, moose and maybe even elk. Payette traded with many different Native American tribes, stole horses from them and vice-verse, and he took a few Native American women as his wives. Several Indian children emerged with the last name of Payette.

Here's a link to the Fort Boise WMA web page, which has directions to the refuge and an excellent list of birds you may see there.

Here's a brave lad giving it a go! (Courtesy Brundage Mountain)
McCall Realtor Lolo Nelson has won the
contest in the past wearing a prom dress.  
2. Go pond-skimming at Brundage Mountain. Brundage is poised to receive a batch of new snow on Saturday-Sunday (up to 9 inches are expected), and you could participate in the Crazy Daze pond-skimming competition on Saturday, starting at 1:15 p.m. There's also a beer relay, poker run, photo scavenger hunt and a costume contest.

Temperatures are forecast to freeze Friday night, with a low of 27 degrees, and there's new snow forecast Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday. Watch my forecasts for the last details. 

Look for lodging deals in McCall by checking with the McCall Chamber or Maybe even Shore Lodge or the Holiday Inn Express?

3. Go for a bike ride in between the rain storms. I'm talking road biking because the Boise foothills trails will be wet after the rain we get this weekend.

  • Take a long ride on the Greenbelt and plan a stop at a favorite spot for coffee, lunch or a beer.  
  • Do the Cartwright 3 Summits Loop. 
  • Ride out to Eagle and back on Hill Road and Floating Feather. 
  • Ride to Hilltop Summit above Lucky Peak. Wendy and I did that last Saturday. We started at Municipal Park and rode to Hilltop and back, enjoying the new pavement that Ada County Parks and Waterways put in between IDPR headquarters and Diversion Dam. That ride is 27 miles round-trip, with 1,214 feet of elevation gain. 
  • Ride a loop somewhere close to your house so you don't get wet! Ha! 
  • Pick up a Boise Road Cycling Guide, a full-color waterproof map of the best road bike rides in the Treasure Valley.
All downhill from here! A bearded Steve at Hilltop Summit. 
Have fun! 
- SS 

No comments: