I knew I wanted to go west after Craters of the Moon but I didn't know whether I wanted to go north or south. Keith's wife, Mary, suggested I head to the Sawtooths so off I went. In order to get hiking information I stopped off at the Visitors Center and actually had this conversation:
Cham: I want to know about hiking in the Sawtooths.
VC Lady: You can't hike, it isn't hiking season.
Cham: There is a hiking season?
VC Lady: Yes, it starts after Memorial Day. Right now you can't hike because it is too muddy.
Cham: Is someone going to arrest me if I hike?
VC Lady: No.
Cham: Then it IS hiking season, isn't it.
Apparently, in Idaho, they like to stick to schedules and rules. Since I am from Maryland I see no reason to stick to Idaho's schedule. Not only was it not hiking season but there was some weird rule that all the campgrounds were closed too because it wasn't camping season. But if you camped anywhere else but a campground then it was all legal and okay. Don't ask me about that, it doesn't make sense. So the two nights I spent in the Sawtooths I created my own little camping spots and nobody seemed to care. I met Dale along the way, who had a harley and a moutain bike (see pic). He left home over a year ago for a 3 day weekend and hasn't been back. Us road hobos can spot each other a mile away.
I had an inflamed toe on Thursday and took the day off to create some special art photos of me for the ranger. On Friday I hit the trail at Iron Creek. The Forest Service was pretty adamant about not letting people hike, they even shut down the road. But I have strong legs and simply walked down the road a bit to get to the trail. Then I had to fill out some sort of permit form for a day hike. There still was lots of snow on the ground so I knew conditions would be at their worst. I chose the high gaiters for the trip which worked well. Idaho, I took care of everything for you, since you are all off hibernating I took the liberty to break trail at Iron Creek. Everything is all set.
I managed to make it about 3 miles up the creek until the stream crossing. I lost the trail due to the high snow so I took a few more art photos and then headed back. I found a deer leg on the trail on the way back which means something put it there, most likely a bear. But I didn't spot him, he probably was around somewhere.
Friday night, at Keith's suggestion, I headed over to the Boise National Forest to soak in some hot springs. I couldn't find the springs that Keith had suggested but I did find some wonderful springs anyway. Boiling Springs are a set of springs that are easy to find and are open to the general public....after Memorial Day. But, again, since I am from a non-hibernating state I decided that I would go to the springs anyway via the trail. I got there early and cleaned up a bit, washed my hair, shaved my pits, and figured someone would come along at any time. I was there for 2 hours and nobody came. Idaho people do not violate any rules, regulations and laws I guess.
I hiked up the Payette River Trail a bit and then decided to head back to the car. I am right outside of Boise now and will be heading west soon.
Here are the pics: