Monday, December 19, 2011

Over the Plateau and Into the Canyon

With this belated post, I'm returning to our last trip north, which was now more than a month ago. At first I thought I'd do this in the spirit of Evelyn Mervine's geology picture a day — but these are not all geology photos, and I'm going to bunch 12 together, hoping that will hold me until I can get around to another continuation, whenever that will be.

Our November trip north began here, with some wintry views and with us leaving the Great Basin for the Snake River drainage, and continued here, as we drove by an intrusive contact and then north into Idaho.

The 3 Creek Road begins in the tiny burb of Rogerson, which sits along Highway 93 between the Nevada-Idaho stateline and Twin Falls, ID. From Rogerson, the road rambles west toward Salmon Falls Dam and points beyond (MSRMaps location). The sign at the beginning of the 3 Creek Road says Salmon Falls Dam 7, Murphy Hot Springs 49, and Jarbidge, Nevada, 64. Possibly you can guess our destination.
Here, not long into our side trip (the side trip being the main point of the entire trip), we are driving over the old, one-lane Salmon Falls Dam.
At this point, the 3 Creek Road still shows signs of the earlier snowstorm: a bit of snow on the sides of the road, and ice in shadowy curves. The Jarbidge Mountains sit in shadow in the not-so-far distance.
The 3 Creek Road crosses miles of plains consisting of fairly flat plateaus and rolling hills, all variably incised by creeks and rivers draining northward to the Snake River.
A snowy but inviting road traversing the hills to the north catches my eye. If driven, would it take us all the way to the Snake River?
This is a typical view of the southern part of the Snake River Plain, looking west from the 3 Creek Road where it is about to descend into one of the intervening valleys.
We finally left the 3 Creek Road, dropped into the gorge of the East Fork of the Jarbidge River, came to The Jarbidge Forks, and drove south into Nevada along the main fork of the Jarbidge River. Hoodoos in the rhyolitic Cougar Point Tuff appear near the Idaho-Nevada state line.
Most of the hoodoos are in Nevada, certainly the best ones are!
A bush or small tree grows atop a double hoodoo.
The snowy road curves ever onward, giving us glimpses of the canyon walls and mountains above Jarbidge.
Sun glows on the hills we hiked in the summer of 2010, on stands of subalpine fir, limber pine, and whitebark pine.
We arrive, get a room in the middle of a locally critical football game, go for a walk through the snow, and end up at the Red Dog Saloon for beers and burgers.


Anonymous said...

Interesting country! I'd be tempted stop at every road cut and smash rocks. Of course, by time I got to the saloon, it would probably be closed!


Silver Fox said...

You'd have to get into the canyon before dark then! And you can always use the old pay phone outside the saloon to call and get hold of someone - if they aren't too busy elsewhere.