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Explore Your Backyard

Mine is the Owyhee Mountains, Idaho.

Carol (the Jeep) and myself taking a break!

When Carol (the name of his Jeep) came to be ours, every single time I got the opportunity, I had him out there exploring! He's taken me to places up there I had no idea existed. One of my favorite trips is to Tiddy Springs. Tiddy Springs is literally a mountain spring that people caught up in a little pipe that runs out into an old tub. We take glass jars with us for this trip and come home with the most refreshing, clean, clear, cold water I've ever found. The water is actually sweet! Nothing like our well water and definitely nothing like city water!

One of the things I love about the mountains behind my home is that we are a high desert. In the lower elevations, you find the most amazing rock formations and the landscape is covered in sagebrush and all kinds of flowers you won't find anywhere else. Sage hens, rabbits, snakes, mormon crickets, and of course a variety of other critters can be seen. Birds are all over the place.

As you climb in elevation, the sagebrush turns to evergreen trees and Quaking Aspens. The shade begins to cool the air around you and create a sweet retreat. On a good day, we do runs that last 8 to 12 hours. We start in the morning and arrive home in the late evening. The heat of the day down in the valley doesn't bother us up on the mountain. It's cool in the morning in the desert area and as it heats up, we approach the dense shade trees. As we come back out of the forest area, the evening has cooled again in the lower mountain desert. It's such a sweet way to spend the day.

I don't drive Carol because of her quirkiness, so it sparked me to want a jeep of my own! A couple of years ago, I purchased my own. I bought an automatic rather than a standard and it's a little newer than his. The first thing I did was take the top off! We took her out to find out what she could do as far as climbing the trails we follow. We aren't rock crawling. We are slow and low, staying on the trails and trying to not impact the areas we travel on.

Winter makes me sad because once our trails are wet, we do not travel them. We don't want to contribute to ruts and tearing up the land so we choose to stay out of it. We get snow here in Idaho so it does create a beautiful scenery for the winter. When spring comes, we wait for trails to dry out enough to drive them. We try to get up there while there is still water in the streams so that we can enjoy the beauty as well as the animal life that congregates near them. We often see deer, elk, birds of prey, and more.

I encourage you to go off-road in your area. Find a local group if you need some support in learning how. Be sure the group you find respects the land. If you carry it in, carry it out. Pick up garbage others leave along the way. Stay on the trails and don't go off if you can avoid it. Be aware of what is around you. Enjoy yourselves!  

One of My Favorite Trails

Leaving the lower desert for the upper mountain.

Shanna Dewey
Shanna Dewey

I'm a wealth of knowledge.  LOL  Just ask me...I'll tell you.  Just kidding!  I believe in learning your whole life!  There's always more than one way to get things done so I give my opinion sometimes, but I spend time reading other's.  

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