Hours of Daylight – 12:43
We returned to Bruneau Dunes State Park on Saturday afternoon. Two reasons for the trip were 1) the Boise Astronomical Society was holding a "star party" at the Bruneau Observatory, and 2) i simply refuse to wake up in my regular place, start the day in the regular way, and go about pretending the Anniversary of 9/11 is just another regular day.
The photo at right was taken as the sun cleared the clouds off to the East on the morning of the 11th. The fog is due to the lake situated between me and the dunes. You can sort of see how fast the fog dissapates as the sun warms the morning air. Only moments before i snapped this the dunes were largely obscured by the fog. We didn’t do any climbing this time.
Before we met up Dr. Sarah Toevs and husband Kevin at the Dunes, we first took a side trip through the tiny town of Bruneau and out to Bruneau Canyon overlook. This was the third time we’d been out here, it was time we did some more exploring. In the three images you can get a sense of the trip toward the canyon. Open fields with mountains way in the distance that gives way to a sea of sage was pretty much the norm. Can you imagine the faces of the first native amercans who happened to be crossing the plain and then stumbled acoss the canyon in the third frame? In fact the photo of my VW Westy was taken with my back to the photo of the canyon. The Bruneau River down at the bottom of the impossibly steep, jagged canyon is home to some of the most challenging white water in the lower 48. According to the info kiosk there are no class I or II rapids. The majority are class III with a healthy number of class IV and, if i remember correctly, two areas marked class V. One class V mentions an available portage. Being late summer the river was hardly a trickle when we were there, but in spring the area is quite the magnet for hardcore whitewater paddlers.
On the way back to the campground i noticed these two signs. The tall skinny one is a standard trail marker, the larger was more curious. There had been other signs, shot up pretty badly, mentioning this area was part of a bombing range so i was particularly interested in the placement of these two signs. Sure enough, the first denotes the road is part of the Idaho Centennial Trail. But the second alerts the hiker that parts of the area have been removed from public use. Low flying aircraft may appear at any time and may or may not be dropping objects. Enjoy the hike.