Empowering The Bicycle Traveler

“Diamond A Desert” by Bicycle

“drink muddy water, sleep in a hollow log”
Three of us set out on the bicycles to find Arch Canyon in the Bruneau Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness. On day one we missed our turn and ended up at Dead Horse Spring. The next day we saw a dead horse, got disoriented and lost our way, traveled through the high desert with thunderstorms and were rescued (indirectly) by ATV’s. On the last day we found the road we meant to take the first day. We never made it to Arch Canyon but we found exactly what we were looking for.

bicycle in the desert

canyon road

Bicycle in the canyon

Road out of canyon

Fine stone work

Old Stone Building

desert track

Desert camp

Dead Horse Camp

Light and sky bike packer

river crossing

field of weeds bikepacking



thunder clouds

Desert ruins

Sign to Arch Canyon

Desert Spring

Bike Hermit at home




More weeds. 150 years of cattle grazing will do that.

Pushing Bicycles


So, what did we learn?
On the way back to the vehicle we were wishing we had left trail markers at the various Y’s in the road. The route we had taken on the way in was not always apparent, especially after the rain, and landmarks look different approached from the opposite direction. We didn’t really learn it on this trip but the need to filter water at every opportunity and to seek out water sources was reinforced. We were reminded of how remote this country is and another person might not be seen for days. There is a reason for that; the desert doesn’t want us here. Even the Shoshone abandoned this area. A Spot satellite transmitter would be a good investment in case anything goes wrong. At the very least, one should make sure somebody knows where they are going.

9 comments… add one
  • Sky King September 6, 2016, 5:33 pm

    And of course, we can’t wait to go back!

  • Josh September 6, 2016, 5:53 pm

    Beautiful pictures of an amazing landscape! I know the feeling of not making the destination, but still finding what I was looking for. It has been years since I’ve been there–not since studying geology at Boise State, and these pictures revive the desire to move back home. Thanks for posting these and for the write up!

  • Pam mcknight September 6, 2016, 6:38 pm

    Great write up. Good things to keep in mind. Glad you made it back safe.

  • Robin bosworth September 6, 2016, 8:09 pm

    I like the comment “and of course we can’t wait to go back” ; sorry to miss out on this adventure looking forward to more in the future!!

    • Sky King September 7, 2016, 8:03 am

      Can’t wait to have you back on the bike and joining in. Counting down!!

  • Pondero September 6, 2016, 8:50 pm

    Wow…the photos! I look at an embarrassing number of bike touring photos in my spare time, but this set has me starving to get out there more than any others recently. The landscape, colors, and sky just pulled me in. Thanks for that!

    • Bike Hermit® September 7, 2016, 10:39 am

      Pictures can’t do it justice. And the silence…………….

  • NDN September 7, 2016, 10:36 am

    “what is he thinking about?” The Owyhee wilderness is a place where I think bout life, let the mind wander , hopes, fears , goals , sometimes I cry, pray, give thanks just sit and say nothing . Put life in perspective . That is the Owyhee’s . My home .


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