Guffey Butte Hike

I’ve been wanting to get more of a sense of how the landscapes I explore are changing. Usually it’s not obvious at all (to me), so I’ll have to do some research. Recently we’ve been hiking near the Snake River, and it reminds us of our old stomping grounds along the Rio Grande with lots of sagebrush and canyon cliffs of columnar basalt. A couple hundred years ago, though, there was a huge difference for the people here: salmon. Dozens of species, and runs in the hundreds of thousands of fish[source]. Now dams characterize the river and prevent salmon from running here, and also fill irrigation canals that we cross for miles on our way to the river. Instead of fishing communities the river is now surrounded by canals, corn fields, and feedlots.

Snake River Bridge

It’s so windy today that we almost turn around, but as usual are glad we didn’t. We cross the river on a bridge that roars in the wind, then climb Guffey Butte on the far side. I get interested in the bright green moss and orange lichen on this north aspect.

Sage Lichen

Moss Detail

Yellow Crust

At the top we try to look at the wild basalt towers without getting blown off a cliff.

Basalt Tower

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