Wednesday and Thursday June 24 and 25, 2015, Scott’s Ranch, by Rowland Nevada on the Bruneau river
Sunflower Flat homestead
I woke at the old ranch near Sunflower flat this morning. Looking across the beaver pond, I could see two deer working their way down to the pond off the hillside. They were skittish and likely knew I was there. Here’s one of the bucks as it retreats back up the hill.
It was cool in the morning, so I went for a walk around the beaver pond to see what was around it. Lots of weeds and flowers.
It’s always interesting to reflect what went on here in olden days. Did the kids have a swimming hole close by or a fishing hole?
I hung around there until just before noon when the day started to warm up. Here’s a view of the old ranch as I was leaving. Could you imagine this with a blanket of snow and some smoke raising up from the chimney.
Not far from that place, just up the road a short distance there was another old cabin with this huge beaver pond. Here’s one of the beaver lodges.
I wasn’t sure where I was headed today. Right now, I was headed to the Bruneau River crossing camp. On the way I passed by some county road grader guys grading the road. I talked with one of them for a bit while waiting. He said, not much snow pack this year, but recent rains have caused the grasses to really grow. I’ll agree with that as there’s been tall grass in all my camp spots.
I stopped at an old spring shortly after I met the grader guys and was getting some water when I heard one of the graders coming, so I had to abort that as he wanted to get by. I have enough water, just wanted to top it off. I know of another spring if I need water.
It was really warm when I got to the Bruneau river crossing camp spot, so I stayed for a while, then decided to head another five miles or so to Scott’s Ranch also on the Bruneau, down river a bit. There were some ranch houses and barns there and some big trees, so off I went.
Just leaving the Bruneau bridge there’s a Y in the road and I turned left towards Rowland.
From past experience I know to put the van in low range, low gear as this is a steep hill I have to go down and it would take a lot of braking if I didn’t do that. Just starting down the steep part in this photo.
As I was descending this antelope took off up the hill.
Just past that area, I was driving along when I saw something flutter on a bush by the side of the road, so I stopped not expecting to get any photos, as I was too close for anything to stay put, but you never know. Some kind of hawk, maybe on the young side?
My view as I drove down the road headed to Scott’s Ranch up in that canyon.
As I got closer to the ranch, big trees appeared, so I was hoping for some shade, almost there.
There’s a wooden bridge that crosses the Bruneau just before getting to the ranch. Here’s looking down stream where the ranch is.
There are some houses and old barns here, but no one is living here. The property seems to be owned by some conservation group. As I was passing this building I saw something move inside which turned out to be this horse who was using the building to stay out of the sun I thought, but later I realized it was using it to keep away from the bot flies that were landing on it’s back and trying to bite and lay eggs there.
The horse was sorta friendly, it didn’t run off.
I parked under the big trees and looked around. It was about the same as last time I was here.
Here’s the old corral area, hasn’t been used for a number of years.
The marmots were giving the alarms as I walked around. Here’s one of them.
The barn in the back is large and well constructed.
I walked up to see the horse and later it came down to the van and hung around for awhile. Here’s my camp spot under the big trees. Lots of grass not good for camp fires.
Last time I checked the weather report, in Owyhee a couple days ago, it said it was going to warm up and it has. This is the first time I’ve been in this area that the temps have been over 100 degrees F. That mostly just means I’m not doing as much walking around as I would like. The nights have been cooling down nicely for sleeping thought. There are some pretty good breezes to help with the heat.
I haven’t decided what to do next. I may stay here for a day, or I may move to another spot, we’ll see.
Thursday June 25, 2015 Scott’s ranch
It looks like I stayed another day. When I looked out my van window this morning around seven, I saw this marmot sitting on a close by shed checking my van out. There’s a lot of these guys around the barn yard. There seems to be a nest of them under that shed and a lot of other places too.
I watched it for about ten minutes sunning and checking the van out, looking at it this way and that. It finally worked it’s way off the roof top.
It was nice and cool this morning so I went for little walk back to where the bridge is that crosses the Bruneau river to get here. It’s maybe a quarter mile back up the road or so. You can see where the bridge is as approached it this morning.
The water is backed up where the bridge is, but I don’t see an easy way down to it. There seems to be a beaver dam down there as far as you can see on the river.
This is what I think is a beaver dam. It’s a bit higher than the ones I’ve seen in other places. I need to find a way down to the water so I can check it out better. I should have looked to see how far this dam backs up the river, but I didn’t, next time, maybe in the morning.
Here’s what looks like a big beaver dam on the Bruneau river, just below the bridge. I’m thinking this must be the ranch swimming hole and likely their main fishing hole too.
Last time I was here, a year or two ago, I thought this was also the Black Rock river crossing and I looked for the road out, up to to the east and I never found it, but thought it might be behind the old house trailer that was parked up here off to the right, so I checked for a road. This is the ranch dump site, a road right by the bridge.
The house trailer was gone, but I did look for the road and there wasn’t one there. Now, I know this isn’t the Black Rock river crossing, it’s up the main road a few more miles. I’ve never been to it, yet. But this place, where I’m at, also showed a road up into the hills to the east that went up there and dead ended, but I haven’t found it yet.
Here’s my view as I walked back to the main ranch area in those trees.
As I was walking by the building where the horse was yesterday, I startled it. It had gone down river yesterday evening on the road that goes down that way where I know there is a large pasture with lots of grass and likely a drink of water place too. I thought I heard it go by the van this morning while I was still in bed, but wasn’t sure.
Anyway, there she is in her spot. Her spot isn’t that trampled and it only looks like she’s been here for a day or so. She looks nice an healthy with no shoes. It’s interesting, but with no shoes, I had a hard time seeing it’s prints on the dirt road where I watched it pass shortly before.
It was still cool when I got back to my van around ten. I decided to stay the day here, so put up my bug screens in the van openings. I have them for the front windows and the side door. I haven’t had much of a problem with insects here. A few mosquitoes in the evening and otherwise some fly’s flying around a bit, but not going after me, just a nuisance.
As I was sitting in the van looking around, I noticed there are lots of caves up in the rocks around here. I was thinking I would be up there in my younger years.
But for now I’ll just take it easy here in the van as I know the heat is coming. At noon I had a good nap until about three when I realized it was fairly warm. There is a cool breeze that comes and goes.
As long as it was already warm, I made a cup of coffee, which seemed to make me feel cooler, but maybe it was the breeze.
After that cup of coffee, I made up some bread dough which I will turn into bread sticks when it cools down this evening.
It’ five PM now and starting to cool down some. I’ll give it a couple more hours and it should be nice. I’m thinking of walking back to the bridge to see if I can find an easy way down to the river water, we’ll see.
Sitting here has given me more time to reflect on what the different people that lived here experienced. I’m sure there was more than one family that lived here through the years, as the buildings that are here go from old time construction to newer construction, up to about the 1960’s or so.
About seven PM, I headed back down to the bridge to see about finding some access to the water and check out what I think is a beaver dam below the bridge.
I went along the weeds on the ranch side of the bridge and I was able to find a path to the beach below the bridge, here.
I could hear and see the dam down below the bridge, but could I find a way down to check it out? The dam is down there.
I walked through these weeds to get down to the dam where I found a way down to it.
Not a beaver dam
It turned out not to be a beaver dam after all. It looks more like a main ranch dam that is still holding back some water.
After that I headed back to the ranch where my campsite is looking like this.
I took a break for awhile, then decided to walk the road down river a bit which looked like this. Another marmot resting on the road and didn’t want to give it’s spot up, but finally did.
Even though the road stops shortly after this on my map, it keeps going along the river to I know not how far as I’ve only been on it a short ways, a couple years ago, but it looked interesting. Down here is where the horse heads just before dark and comes back in the morning.
That’s about it for the day. Time to get something to eat, maybe cook some of that bread dough I made earlier.