Fisherman Road descends at an average 17% grade on a road chiseled into volcanic tuff and cobbles

WC Survived Fisherman Road


On a map, it looks like a nice way to get from Succor Creek Road over to the Owhyee Reservoir in southeastern Oregon. Even on Google Earth it looks pretty straightforward. It’s not. Don’t drive Fisherman Road. Maybe it was the August 2016 Cherry Road Wildfire, which burnt much of the area that Fisherman Road…

Arrowrock Spillway, looking south, Boise River

Some Notes on Arrowrock Dam


Arrowrock Dam is one of three major dams along the course of the Boise River. It’s the oldest of the three, completed in 1915. At 348 feet tall, Arrowrock was the highest dam in the world at the time. It’s primary purpose is irrigation; it holds the winter’s rain and snowmelt so that water is…

Evening Grosbeak, Payette Lake, Idaho

The Same, But Different


WC spent the Memorial Day weekend in Central Idaho, on Payette Lake. At a little over 5,000 feet – an altitude that in Alaska supports only rock, ice and lichen – it presents a Ponderosa Pine forest, with trees up to five feet in diameter. True, the forest is damaged by over-cutting, wildfires and Pine Beetles,…

Almaden Mercury Mine spoil, April 2017

Notes on the Almaden Mercury Mine


Between 1932 and 1972, Nutmeg Mountain, eleven miles east of Weiser, Idaho, was a mercury mine. The mining was episodic, not continuous. Usually, it took a war to drive the price of mercury, which is used in explosives, to levels that made mining and extraction profitable. Changes in mining technology also affected the level of activity. Altogether,…

Senator Dan Foreman (R, Moscow, ID)

We Get the Government We Deserve: Senator Dan Foreman


Every nation gets the government it deserves. — Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre Idaho Republican State Senator Foreman represents – for a given definition of “represents” – the citizens, of Moscow, Idaho.1 Senator Foreman is a former fighter pilot and law enforcement officer. Whatever his education, it didn’t include science. Or common courtesy. Senator Foreman has gained…