Debris flow creates a big rapid on the Salmon River (central Idaho)

The new “Black Creek Blowout” could be the biggest rapid on the river-

This is big news for all who float or boat the main fork of the Salmon River below the Corn Creek put-in. I’d like to know more about what caused this blowout on April 1.

White water created on Salmon River by blowout. By Eric Barker. The Lewiston Tribune as reported in the Idaho Statesman.

Obscure mountain ranges of southern Idaho, NW Utah, and Eastern Nevada

Updated Feb. 12, 2010. This has been a very popular post. I first posted it about 3 years ago, and now I have enlarged and updated it. Ralph Maughan

Ah the Tetons, Wind Rivers, Sawtooths and White Clouds, Wallowas, Bitterroots, Beartooth, and Unitas!
I love all the mountains. I decided to do a major photo essay on the little-known and often little-appreciated ranges of the NW Great Basin. I have left out the Wasatch Range, Ruby Mountains, Schell Creek Range, and Snake Range because I think they are much more prominent in the public’s eye.

Albion Range (Southern Idaho)-


In the photo is Cache Peak, taken from near Almo, Idaho. Copyright © Ralph Maughan

This is an unusual range consisting mostly of just two big mountains, Mt. Harrison and Cache Peak (the highest mountain in Idaho south of the Snake River). The range is just east of Burley and Oakley, Idaho. The amazing Silent City of Rocks is at the range’s southern end.

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Idaho Fish & Game Director Among Elk Hunters Questioned for Trespassing

There are bumper stickers on every IDFG vehicle that say “Ask First to Hunt and Fish on Private Property”. Honest mistake? Maybe, but who knows what the implications are.

Idaho Fish & Game Director Among Elk Hunters Questioned for Trespassing.

Outdoor Recreation slows the passage of time

The perception of time is subjective, and you can slow it down-

Today I read this article, “Where Did the Time Go? Do Not Ask the Brain.” New York Times. It is about the sensation of passing time. Sometimes days, months, decades seem to whiz by. People commonly say that time passes more rapidly as you age, but I know the passage of time for me at least, slows when I am outdoors.

Late yesterday afternoon I drove out to American Falls Reservoir, which is currently frozen and windswept. I can barely remember the details of what I did when I came home or before I left.  On the trip to the reservoir I can remember almost everything — the number of geese flocks that flew overhead, the nondescript agricultural roads I drove, how far I walked in the freezing wind, every photograph (including those I deleted), my side trip to Bannock Creek (and the lone duck on its half frozen waters). You get the idea.

Just after sunset on Jan. 8, 2010. American Falls Reservoir. Copyright Ralph Maughan

I can remember the details of hundreds of outdoor trips, including not so eventful ones like yesterday.

My conclusion is spend part of each day outdoors, you will live longer.

Now what did I do this morning? It’s already after 2 PM.

The Moral Call of the Wild

A study suggests that spending time in nature changes our values-

The Moral Call of the Wild. By P. Wesley Schultz. Scientific American.

Being outside almost always improves my mood, and a lot of my best ideas have come in the wide open spaces, not sitting at a desk or computer.  The outdoors seems more real and time passes more slowly because events are not so repetitive that one days blurs into the next. I can tell what I did each day during my February and March trip to Arizona, Nevada, and California. I can’t remember what I did last Wednesday here at home.

Too many people don’t have a real life. They watch reality TV hoping that someone does 😦

Photos of Wyoming Range

Protection of the Wyoming Range was one of the big achievements of 2009-

B. Henrie, who posts here under another name, provided the blog with some fine photos of these splendid mountains. He took them on a Sept. deer hunt. No doubt they are now covered with snow.

A million acres was withdrawn from oil and gas development by Congress in the Omnibus public lands bill supported by the Wyoming delegation.  Believe me these steep mountains so full of deer and elk would have been all slashed up. Thanks!


Toward Mt. Coffin from Wyoming Peak. View is to the north. Copyright B. Henrie

West from Wyoming Peak

West across the Greys River and Salt River Range from Wyoming Peak. Copyright B. Henrie


Cow flop? No, an unusual fungus

Out walking in cow country in the mountains above Pocatello, ID the other day, I came across this large fungus. Does anyone know what it is?


In the Bannock Mountains. SE Idaho. Copyright Ralph Maughan. Oct. 2009