Sunday, March 18, 2018 was a sunny and warm day with the forecast for 60% chance of rain, a temperature of 46 degrees, and estimated winds in the mid-teens. Nonetheless, this did not deter the fearless Ride Leader from his appointed mission. Prior to the ride, the weather predictions were constantly changing and Friday night, a day and a half before the ride, the Ride Leader declared the ride must go on! Well, that is what it all felt like.
The morning of the ride started with 20 machines and 28 enthusiasts from the Magic Valley ATV Riders and Boise Valley Clubs, all members of the Southwest Idaho ATV/UTV Ride Center met in Hammett and proceeded to the unloading area approximately 10 miles southwest of town. There was a chill in the air, overcast sky, and a moderate breeze. After a short overview of the days ride and safety briefing, the ride was off.
The ground was sandy so the rains and snow held the dust at bay. As the ride progressed, we got a glimpse of structures at the Sailor Creek Bombing Range. As the ride turned westward, a lone antelope ran ahead of the group leading the way. Our first stop was near the old wooden tower that once helped train pilots during WWII. We then road north and were given a grand view of the backside of the big sand dune at the Bruneau Sand Dune State Park. At first, it was grey and blended in with the rest of the surrounding hills but within a few minutes of the sunshine, the dune turned its infamous light grey color.
We continued our trek to the southwest and then west to the Bruneau Canyon where we had great views of the canyon wilderness area. We had lunch at the Bruneau viewpoint and were disappointed to find the restroom door locked. (I later learned the door does not have a safety mechanism to prevent it from accidentally locking as a person leaves. BLM is working to fix the problem.)
After lunch, we started our return trek to the east. We passed old bomb ruminants and close to the bombing range. The ride took us approximately 68 miles through the desert and at the end of the ride, everyone had smiles on their faces as they returned to the vehicles. Thanks to everyone who came and made it an enjoyable experience.
Kent Oliver ~ Ride Leader, MVATVR