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Lack of snow, or rain, or dark of night, I made a plan for a quick (not) solo ride up in the Owyhee Mtns.

Part 1 of 3 of my ride in the Owyhee Mtns. In part 1 I rode from Reynolds to the Wagontown Cemetery which is the only thing left of Wagontown. In between, I stopped and explored a few mines. Not a whole lot to see at each but still interesting to me.

Route Info


Take off and landing zone


Stopped at the Reynolds Cemetery for a rest after riding a mile!


Doesn't look scary on a nice sunny day


Grave protection device. You can see the old Reynolds schoolhouse in the background. No trespassing signs kept me away from the school. I didn't like school anyway, so there!


Just by accident and not the real reason I stopped at the cemetery, I happened to find a geocache just outside the cemetery fence. Only a sign-in cache.


What the [email protected]#%! OAF (Oregon Air Force) has sent a helicopter with some kind of Admiral capture device slung below into Idaho Territory. I'll have to have a word with the Idaho Border Patrol's Commanding Officer about this. As it happened, I avoided capture and was able to continue my adventure


Old homestead west of Reynolds off Whisky Mtn. road.


Ida Belle Mine. I think this was a mine shaft which has since caved in but not sure.


Old cowboy cabin near near Succor Creek and the Bergh Mine


Evidence that Beavers had inhabited the area before man arrived near the cowboy cabin


Bergh Mine DO NOT ENTER!!!!


Actually, you wouldn't get very far anyway


Just around a couple corners and up and down some hills I entered the Monarca Mine area


This shack is not on the National Historic Register me thinking


Across the way is the main part of the Monarca Mine for what I gather...and can see. The shack is down below in the tree's in the center of the photo (but you can't see it from here)


Quaking Aspens done lost their leaves for the winter. Monarca Mine closer in


More Monarca Mine living quarters


Needs a fair bit of upgrades to bring it up to code


Here's the main Monarca Mine trench what I could see when I was across the valley, or gulch as we call it here in Idaho


Looking down the trench from a tailing pile


Pretty sure this is where they stopped digging



Part 1 to be continued
 

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Part 1 continued

I can't believe it's 71 degrees in the middle of November. No snow neither! But I'll take it!


Almost looks like some grain fields up top on my way over from the mines down to Wagontown


What came to mind as I sat here in awe was the song America the Beautiful...and amber waves of grain! Yep, that's what I was thinking.


Went up, down, and around some hills and finally made it to Wagontown Cemetery




My thought was the wrought iron fencing around the graves was before a fence was put up around the cemetery but I don't know that for sure. Just something I made up to satisfy my own question of why.


So, is the fence to protect the tree or did a tree grow up in a grave?


And being it was Veterans Day I paid my respects. Side note, 1983 was the newest date I saw. Most burial dates were from the late 1800's to very early 1900's.



End of Part 1
 

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Dang! You made it all the way from Reynolds to Wagontown Cemetery and back in ONE day in the middle of November?!! I tried to find that cemetery for half an hour a year ago from the Dewey road without success. I think that POI on Garmin maps is just plain wrong. Now, why do I have this fetish about old pioneer cemeteries? Could it be that I'm becoming more aware of my ultimate demise....after so many hairbreadth escapes over the last 50 years? Nah, couldn't be that. :p

If you've got a track I sure would like it for future trips. We're selling the ATV so any future trips I take to the Sliver City area will be with the TW, solo. But there are a few roads (!) I will never tackle down there again! :eek:
 

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Dang! You made it all the way from Reynolds to Wagontown Cemetery and back in ONE day in the middle of November?!! I tried to find that cemetery for half an hour a year ago from the Dewey road without success. I think that POI on Garmin maps is just plain wrong. Now, why do I have this fetish about old pioneer cemeteries? Could it be that I'm becoming more aware of my ultimate demise....after so many hairbreadth escapes over the last 50 years? Nah, couldn't be that. :p

If you've got a track I sure would like it for future trips. We're selling the ATV so any future trips I take to the Sliver City area will be with the TW, solo. But there are a few roads (!) I will never tackle down there again! :eek:
I didn't start riding until about 1030 as I thought it would be too cold if I started earlier. Had I known it was gonna be this warm I would have started at least an hour earlier. I wasn't really concerned with making the loop in time until my arrival at Wagontown around 2:00. I guess I spent way too much time walking around in the mine areas earlier. My goal was to be back to the truck around 3:30 but after a couple wrong turns which added a lot of time I didn't get back until about 5:00. At least it was still daylight...barely! :p


I ran into a couple "trouble" spots on the trail on my return, wrong turns, closer to Silver City. As you well know, it can get pretty gnarly when you get on the jeep trails off the more used roads. Even some listed as roads have some really tough spots for sure.

The route I used to get from Reynolds to Wagontown was pretty easy, with the exception you have to be careful through mud puddles and water crossings. It would be more difficult in the spring if the mud puddles were filled with more water from spring runoff. In the video's I show most of the worst water crossings so not too bad in the fall. I suppose there has been some recent snow up there but I didn't see any. Could be a different story if I would have ridden up on War Eagle Mtn.

My Garmin Topo doesn't even show Wagontown Cemetery. It shows "Wagontown" to the south across Jordan Creek road but not the Cemetery on the north side of the road. From what I've read the buildings from the town of Wagontown were removed/destroyed when a dredge went through the area. I could probably download my track but I took many side trails which could muck the track up for you. Still, you could see the main track. Here again, my garmin topo doesn't show all the roads that are actually there but not on the map. The track over by Silver City is much more confusing as I made a couple wrong turns looping me back on a trail I was already on. I figured it out eventually when things started to look familiar "recalculated" my course. lol

Here is the coordinates for Wagontown Cemetery: 43° 1.487'N 116° 51.666'W. There was a lot of really neat camping spots in the creek/drainage just to the west of the cemetery on the same (North) side of the road. Could be more good camp spots but this is the only place I rode.
 

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Great photo's Admiral - what most people don't realize (which is a good thing) is when you look at the Owyhee's from the north looking south, you don't realize how much gorgeous country there is out there. I love crawling all over those mountains! Thanks for sharing!
 

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Admiral, you are an inspiration to us all to get out and explore our great country. The mix of history and humor as you explore the backcountry is captivating and leaves me anxious for more.

Part 2? 3049316-9711215943-I+kno.jpg
 

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Great photo's Admiral - what most people don't realize (which is a good thing) is when you look at the Owyhee's from the north looking south, you don't realize how much gorgeous country there is out there. I love crawling all over those mountains! Thanks for sharing!
From what I remember, you are very familiar with this country. Way more than me. I should have asked you for some secret spots to find things like mines, buildings etc! Yes, you are correct, viewing them from the north they don't look very inviting. Maybe that's a good thing so word doesn't get out and it gets more crowded than it already is!:D Of course, I say that only ran into 1 UTV all day kind of contradicting the whole "over crowded" thought!
 

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So frikk'in cool. Thanks for sharing.

Wonder what the story was with the last burial being in 1983 yet everything before the 1800's. And then nothing. Love stuff like that.
 

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Admiral, you are an inspiration to us all to get out and explore our great country. The mix of history and humor as you explore the backcountry is captivating and leaves me anxious for more.

Part 2? View attachment 60138
Thanks, Fred. I think we both have our two regions covered when it comes to inspiring others to get out and ride!

Parts II and III coming up soon.
 

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Part II Wagontown to wrong turns on the trail!

I have an appointment this evening. I want to be back at the truck around 3:00 so I have time to drive home and meet Mrs. Admiral and head to the appointment.

I get to Wagontown around 2:00. I better start hauling the mail to get back to the truck!

Though the Wagontown, townsite doesn't exist anymore, just down the road is the remnants of Delamar, ID. This was a very happening mine area back in the day.


Mill ruins across Jordan Creek on private property. No further 'splorin to be done.


I'm guessing some kind of rock & stone separator


I wonder if any dead bodies were passed through here after a mining claim dispute?


Trying to make up some time, I ride fairly briskly from Delamar and turn north around Dewey a few miles down the road and continue.

Even though I'm running behind, I take some of the trails instead of the roads back to the truck. ...and this is where I made wrong turn #1 which dumped me back out on Jordan Creek rd. So I ride even more briskly past Silver City to New York Summit to a trial which will take me back to the truck. This wrong turn has cost me about 1 to 1-1/2 hours but it was pretty!


Oh, oh, but now I make wrong turn #2. Ran into a couple of tough ruts. Both had bypasses but I missed the bypass on the first rut and must ride it out! (note the long shadow. This means I'm running behind)!


Rut #2 but I see this bypass


Wait a minute. Just hold the hay fork! I've been here before...today!

A little bit further down the trail, I connect into the trail at wrong turn #1. I turn around and headed back to where I made wrong turn #2 which will put me back on course! Getting nervous about the time I've soundly added another 1/2 hour and surely I've passed the 3:00 time-to-truck rendezvous! And I still got another hour or more of riding to make it back to the truck! I purposely avoid looking at my watch At least it was scenic!


I continue my ride from Wagontown Cemetery on Jordan Creek Rd. and pass through Delmar and turn north near Dewey to head towards Reynolds. Initially, I was riding some familiar trails but turned off on one I wasn't familiar with. Thinking it would reconnect me with one I've ridden before, the trail never did. I then ended up back on Jordan Creek rd. Time to recalculate! I headed east past the Silver City and up to New York Summit whereby I started back to the truck on a trail I was familiar with...or so I thought! I made another wrong turn which brought me back to a trail I was on previously. Basically a loop. So I needed to turn around and backtrack to the junction where I took my second wrong turn. Up next. In Part III I have recalculated a second time and am on the right trail now and head back, albeit and hour or two delayed. Oops!
 

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That's a bit more adventure than I'd like alone in the Owyhees late in the afternoon in the middle of November! :eek: I think I'll do some drawing of tracks in GE this winter rather than depending on the topo, which we all know has a habit of showing roads that were last used around WWI or even earlier! :( At least the road into Reynolds isn't nearly as rough and slow as the Murphy-Silver City Rd. Maybe next June/early July.
 

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In addition to other advance planning one can try scouting via Google Earth if your region has recent higher resolution satellite imagery. The presence of wheel tracks and general road conditions are often clues to road use and thus can hint at locked gates, wash-outs, by-passes, fence lines, property ownership issues, etc.
Overhead imagery also reveals tracks, trails, roads not depicted on many maps. Many current Forest Service maps seem to be deleting marginal tracks that exist on older maps as well as in the field. Beware that the superimposed "roads" Google adds are occasionally inaccurate, look past them to confirm what is really there...or what is more importantly what is not really there.
 

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That's a bit more adventure than I'd like alone in the Owyhees late in the afternoon in the middle of November! :eek: I think I'll do some drawing of tracks in GE this winter rather than depending on the topo, which we all know has a habit of showing roads that were last used around WWI or even earlier! :( At least the road into Reynolds isn't nearly as rough and slow as the Murphy-Silver City Rd. Maybe next June/early July.
In addition to other advance planning one can try scouting via Google Earth if your region has recent higher resolution satellite imagery. The presence of wheel tracks and general road conditions are often clues to road use and thus can hint at locked gates, wash-outs, by-passes, fence lines, property ownership issues, etc.
Overhead imagery also reveals tracks, trails, roads not depicted on many maps. Many current Forest Service maps seem to be deleting marginal tracks that exist on older maps as well as in the field. Beware that the superimposed "roads" Google adds are occasionally inaccurate, look past them to confirm what is really there...or what is more importantly what is not really there.

I usually do quite a bit of map (different maps), google earth, etc. when planning a ride. The big change I've done now is I started using waypoints instead of tracks or routes, at least for this type of riding. Mileage is not usually a factor nor is sticking to a predetermined route. This allows me a lot of latitude to explore other trails or change my intended route as I wander down the trail. Too often I missed interesting things I found out later because I was so intent on sticking to my planned route.

I have my exact tracks from the GPS once the ride is over and can share with others but a user would soon see a cobweb of tracks as I ride too and fro!:D
 

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Owyhee Mtns Part III The final Leg Veterans Day 2016


If you want to pin me down to a time to be back from a ride today, set a time tomorrow!

Those who know me, maybe you've ridden with me, know I've come back after dark a time or two...or three...or the next day!:icon_geek:


I still had a ways to go but I could see the light at the end of the earth!


If you're running late, make it count and stop at a geocache on the way! :icon_thumright:

Another sign only cache


Hey, I'd been riding pretty hard & long and I needed a break anyway


Happy Trails


At New York Summit I got back on a trail I was familiar with only to take a second wrong turn which looped me back to where I took the first wrong turn. Yep, I'm that good! So I turned around, got back on track and headed back to the truck, but I still had about an hour of riding before I got there. It was fun and though I was about 2 hours late, we still made the appointment.
 

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Great story telling Kris!
And the color saturation seems to get so much better in your photographs as the sun sinks, lengthening your shadows while shortening your day.:sunny: Capture5 (800x449).jpg
The Super Moon would have been up soon illuminating trail options on way back, it sure seemed really bright while I was out.
 

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great stuff Kris! I was wondering what happened to you, glad to see you're putting your time to great use. nice pictures. how did the trials tire treat you?
Glad I got the ride in when I did. Cooler temps and rain are now ruling the day but probably not as bad as you've had it. While the cooler temps have arrived, if the ground is good and there ain't any rain or snow, I'll keep on riding. Until it goes below 0 C (32 F). I have my breaking point!:p

I can't really tell the difference between the 241 and the 244 at this point. Moab sand will really tell the tale. So far in the non-sand conditions, they feel about the same. The difference I can really tell is with the Ceros ATV rear tire. Holy buckets of spoiled cows milk this tire has traction!
 

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Great story telling Kris!
And the color saturation seems to get so much better in your photographs as the sun sinks, lengthening your shadows while shortening your day.:sunny:
The Super Moon would have been up soon illuminating trail options on way back, it sure seemed really bright while I was out.

Any good photos are pure accident. All day I fought the camera or sun as my shadow kept appearing in the frame so I would have to move. These are just iPhone pictures.
 

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Ha, ha. Good tale....pretty exciting... But its not like someone could get stuck all night out there, and end up with SAR looking for them! :D
 

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Ha, ha. Good tale....pretty exciting... But its not like someone could get stuck all night out there, and end up with SAR looking for them! :D
It's not? I certainly think that is a definite possibility! It is really easy to get lost up there. :eek: Once the sun goes down or clouds move in, if you don't have a GPS track to follow or intimate (as in 50 years experience) knowledge of the area, you can get into real trouble! This is very remote country with a real spiderweb of trails. I would NEVER consider riding alone up there without a PLB.
 
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