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I've hunted out in SW ID/SE OR in December before. Wasn't able to get into the actual Mountains - but you can find some nice stuff on the lowlands, soooooo

Where I was in NV I took some people out to a spot near Fernley around the end of April and it snowed on the way home.....that's incredible for that area that time of year. And as you said.....it started early. 

I only got about a 3 week summer out here.  It rained until June then the smoke set in a few weeks later and I spent my time trying to survive hazard to dangerous levels of smoke until a few weeks ago........and now it's rain. Almost continually.  We've had 2 days of sun this weekend and it's the first time I've seen it in weeks.

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Its hard to say.  This is an unusually early winter- earlier than I can ever remember.  But sometimes an early winter will lead to an early spring; that happened in 2014-2015, when it got really snowy in mid-November, but things dried out and people were hitting the trails by late February.  Or, it could just be an exceptionally long winter, like last year.  Its too hard to predict; I don't mind a little snow but if it keeps this up all the way into May like last year, then, that will suck.

I tried to do a bike ride into the higher elevations in the mountains above Boise and the mountain roads (at or around 6000 ft.)  were already blocked with snow, and I never remember that happening in October before.
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Oxenkiller, based upon your experiences, do you think this winter is shaping up to be like last year?
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This weather is crazed.  I'd stay low right now no matter where you decide to go.......and make sure where you drive is dry if it's not at least grated gravel.  You don't have to sink very far for some of that mud to refuse to let go of you. Almost like driving through glue.
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Winter has already arrived in the Idaho mountains, so I would be sketched about taking to the high country right about now.  It is already snowing up there- it's an unusually early winter for our area.  You should be okay in the lower elevations, such as the Marsing/Homedale foothills (i.e. Graveyard Point area.)
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We are currently camped along the Columbia River courtesy of some property owners we met last year. Found some agate, jasper and jaspagate. Pretty easy to just pick up along sid3 of road and hillsides, my kind of rockhounding, lol.

Yes, I believe our best luck will be near Tonopah at least as far as roads. We left later than we wanted to due to some last minute projects. Still, a day camping and rockhounding is better than just about anything.

Not really sure where to go around Owyhee, maybe Graveyard Point but not sure exactly where. We found out about Columbia Basin agates when we met a couple from Tri Cities along the Oregon Coast.

I guess we need to be aware of rattlers in Owyhees. We have no rattlers where we live but are extra cautious when east of the Cascades or a Great Basin Area.

Will try to give updates if we have a connection.
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Many people in rock and gem, mining, and cattle grazing are very familiar with this land grab that is going on via the BLM and USFS.  If you read an earlier post I made somewhere, McDermitt is also under threat........for a "national monument".   In Idaho and E OR 10 million acres are at threat of shut down.......to save a bird that is not even endangered.  It's a ruse....it's unconstitutional.  It's governmental theft, plain and simple.  UT, MT, ID, OR, and TX (at least) are all in legal battles against the feds over our public lands. 

It's the reason for the Bundy standoff in both NV and Burns. It's not just public land......if you own, lease, or claim the right private ranchland and they want it......you're just screwed.  In S OR and N CA, mining claims, both permitted and on private land have either been shut down, with a few private cabins having been destroyed by USFS, or claim access roads being shut down to even the permitted claim owners. 

The amount of legal action going on in the Western states against BLM and USFS is staggering right now.

A good place to keep up on real facts about what's going on is:  http://freerangereport.com/

Here's a few snippets that might be of interest to you.

Idaho ranchers have had some success:
https://wlj.net/article-permalink-14144.html

More land in the Sage Grouse issue:
http://www.aspentimes.com/news/feds-sage-grouse-plan-vs-moffat-countys-natural-resources-in-spotlight/

Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom Forced Response to Senator Mike Crapo Inquiry"
http://usfspayettenationalforest.blogspot.com/2017/10/forest-supervisor-keith-lannom-responds.html?m=1

Legal cases building against BLM officer Dan Love (Bundy standoff)
Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom Forced Response to Senator Mike Crapo Inquiry

Wild Country Environmentalists - RE: abuse of the Antiquities Act
http://www.letfreedomringblog.com/?p=22468

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Some background, in 2016, two billionaires from Texas, Dan and Ferris Wilks, purchased two hundred thousand acres of land in Idaho- that's HUNDRED thousand acres.  Some of this land had been private all along, owned by large timber and cattle companies, but some of it had always been public national forest land.  And ALL of it, both NF and timber company land alike,  had been open to the public for hunting, biking, hiking- and (most importantly) rockhounding.  As soon as the Wilks family grabbed all this land, the "No Tresspassing" signs went up- everywhere.  Not just on the undeveloped and pristine forests, but even on the roads that passed through these forests- they had locked gates installed on what used to be (and technically still are) public roads. (Remember, a road is technically public right of way even if the land it crosses is not.)

Among the areas affected by this land grab was the quartz and epidote crystal dig area near Paddy Flat road near McCall, Idaho.
This site was not that well known publicly; although some rockhound literature listed a spot in the general area as being productive for quartz and topaz, the actual directions to the dig site itself were never published (not that this was a bad thing) and it was only after a couple trips, and with a LOT of luck, that I was able to find it.  The pale citrine quartz crystals were really nice but the epidote crystals were among the finest I have seen anywhere.  I never found topaz, although some sources say it occurred alluvially in the nearby streams. It is important to note that because this spot wasn't easy to find, few people came here to dig and consequently it never got trashed or cleaned out like so many other, more well known, rockhound sites.  So, in other words, there is nothing rockhounds could have done differently here to keep it open- the Wilks family has indiscriminally locked the public out of all 200,000 acres of their (and formerly our) land.

So the issue isn't necessarily whether the Wilks family had the right to post "no trespassing" signs on their own private Idaho, or even if, given the right to do so, it is the right thing to do.  Right or not, it must be stated that this is a controversial move that has righteously angered many people- remember we are talking hundreds of thousands of acres here that are shut down, not just one rockhounding spot.

Many people assume that our right of access to the outdoors, for rockhounding or other pursuits, are under attack from the liberal/democratic party wing of the country. And while I do not deny this is true to an extent, it must be said that the Wilks family were hard core republicans who donated millions to Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, and who wish to see ALL public land sold to private interests- and "No Tresspassing" signs covering every single last acre of public open space.  Remember Ted Cruz had campaigned to do this very exact thing.  And much of the Wilks ill-gotten gains were actually once public land- not all of it was private- they convinced the government to sell it to them.

If we want to continue to have public access to the outdoors, then we should continue to police ourselves- do the right thing, respect the land, be discreet with our locations just like the Paddy Flats Epidote/Quartz dig site, and do on.  But also, do what we can to fight against the powers to take our lands from us- whether liberal environmentalist bureaucrats, or conservative privatizing land-grabbing barons.
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OFF THE TOPIC / Re: This a Test This is a Test
« Last post by Markphoto3 on October 10, 2017, 06:01:41 PM »
oops I said the ite was tinypictures.com however the correct site is www.tinypic.com Markphoto3
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OFF THE TOPIC / This a Test This is a Test
« Last post by Markphoto3 on October 10, 2017, 04:04:16 PM »
Well I know how we all love pictures here on this site and since Photobucket has started charging almost $400.00 a year for 3rd party web hosting of your own pictures it has cramped my style.  So Lizzybird informed us of a site called tinypicture.com.  So I joined this site and uploaded a few pictures to give it a shot and see if it works like Photobucket used to work. 
Cooper checking out the big pieces of Nyssa Pink Plume Agate


As you can see it works just like Photobucket used to.  Markphoto3
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