28 January 2006 By Dan Bachman • Day-Spent-Fishing • Comments (3)

Twenty miles from home I began to think that the wrong choice was made when leaving my driveway this morning. After passing 7 cars that have already slid off the toboggan run, known as Interstate 84, it only snows harder. Visibility is maybe 100 yards as the horizontal snow buffets my car and I peer into the nothingness trying to find the Mountain Home exit to the Boise South Fork. There it went. Anti-lock brakes grind and several hundred yards later I throw it in reverse and drive timidly down the off ramp.

Boise South Fork during Blizzard South Fork Sign

Road conditions on Highway 20 become worse with every foot of elevation. Traffic in both directions creeps at 15 to 20 MPH. When turning from 20 onto the dirt access road the wind and snow becomes so bad that I stop for several minutes before I can see an off color stripe that shows me where the road leads. Passing 2 road graders with plowing blades I see that I would never have gotten this far if it were not for them. Drifted snow is 5-6 feet deep along the serpentine road that falls to the river.

The 25 minute drive from Mountain Home to the river takes an hour and 45 minutes. And after 3 white-knuckle hours on white roads with blizzard conditions I have arrived safely at my chosen destination—campground #2. I’ll just pull over here and…

Can you see the road? Dug Out

Surveying the situation from outside the car I realize what happened. Drifting snow gives the appearance that there was a road where I wanted to park when in fact there was no road. The front half of the audi is buried and the right side of the car is on the soft shoulder. Who invented these soft shoulders anyway? I am miles from nowhere and who knows when one of those graders will make back down to where I am at. But as luck would have it – no scratch that – as the mind of a finely tuned eagle scout (emergency preparedness merit badge earned) would have it, I have an Indigo avalanche shovel sitting in the trunk with the price sticker still on it. After another stuck in the snow bank episode in December I thought it best to pick one of these babies up. I’m thinking I pretty smart about right now. One pint of sweat and 15 minutes later I am “safely” parked on the road.

3 hours are spent fishing in white out conditions mixed with the occastional lull while mother nature rests before the next blow. My effort is futile. Not a single fish is landed, not a single bite is felt. I experienced the sterile awesomeness we call winter though and my wife is glad that I am back home.



  1. 30 January 2006 Craig

    Two things… 1) You are totally insane :) and 2) I am glad you made it home safe! To bad you didn’t catch anything though….sorry to hear that.

  2. 31 January 2006 Dan Bachman

    ha-I wasn’t going to let a little snow stop me.

  3. 31 January 2006 Craig

    hehe I was going to go fishing yesterday just here in town but I decided I would rather stay inside. I am not really partial to being wet and cold but I do like to fish… it is a constant battle.

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