Show us your dirt roads

  • on the way to work Fri am

    yesterday looking for cliffs. I love maple sugar but not fond of this modern method of making it. I know its what you have to do to pay the bills, My family does it like this. Still just don't like it..


  • Dirt roads? Idaho, Utah, & Nevada have some wide expanses of dirt roads.

    Idaho dirt road at 10,000' in the aptly named White Cloud Mountains.


    50 mph Nevada dirt road.


    Dirt road into the one-time mining boom town of Gold Hill Utah.


  • @NickG Interesting. I had no idea this was the "new normal" for harvesting maple "syrup". Nor that such immature trees are used. I do love real maple syrup. We watched an eye opening, for me, at least, documentary about the fraud involved in modern maple syrup production a while back. Let's see if I can find it... just a moment please.... 😜

    Ah, yeah... was a Netflix Dirty Money Docuseries. Iirc, the episode in question is from Season 1, as we've not watched Season 2. 😜

    Here's some more info from a blogger about the Great Maple Syrup Heist:

    The quick version is as follows: In 2012, officials at the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ) discovered that over 1,000 barrels worth of maple syrup had been stolen from one of their warehouses, which is a big deal because a barrel of pure Canadian maple syrup is worth more than a barrel of crude oil.

    There is much more to the documentary than this aspect and it's an informative good watch. 👍

  • sugaring is big agg these days with all the modern methods that implies.. vacuum systems to suck extra sap out of the trees. thousands of acres of forest trashed with pipeing etc, etc....

  • Dirt roads around here are different.

    How so? Well, any road that goes anywhere that people live is paved, so, once you're off the pavement, you're on a logging road. None of this "gorgeous Idaho views at 10,000 ft," or "touristy fall colors in New England".

    If the logging road is active, you can drive it safely at weekends. And weekdays if you have a properly programmed transceiver. But the views are... how to put this? Maybe "less than spectacular" is the best bet. As in this photo:

    Logging road view.jpg

    The good and the bad, right? Look at that gorgeous rock face up there. And the ugly logging slash below.

    And if the logging road is not active, it doesn't take long before it looks like this (which I have posted before in the New Routing thread).

    The road.jpg

    Yeah, Andy is actually walking on a road. Or what was a road a couple of years ago.

  • I reckon I ought to post some more of them Great Basin dirt roads.

    Car camp on a dirt road at about 9,000' in Idaho's Lemhi Range in 2009. There was no problem with other vehicles coming by.


    Things happen on Idaho dirt roads. I barely got over this 9,000' summit in an intense Lightning & hail storm. The remote road behind me washed out in the deluge & was closed for a couple of weeks.
    7-20-08  Loon Creek 023.jpg

  • Wow. Maple syrup will never taste the same to me. I understand supply and demand but the modern method of extraction is heartbreaking. I am sure it is much more so for the families that have been in the business for generations.

    I was in the logging business for a while, clear cutting was ugly. Although they replant and Southern Yellow pine forests grow relatively fast with thinning pulp wood in 8 years, another thinning at 13, you have saw timber in 18 years. Basically it is farming, just at a snail’s pace. Landowners offset property tax by leasing the land to deer hunters, who will pay a premium for deer and turkey rights.

    The sad part is they harvest all the hardwoods (for lumber and pulp) then spray the tract to kill what hardwoods aren’t harvested and only plant the fast growing pines. In short our deciduous forests are dwindling away.

    I will upload some pics tomorrow of logging and local dirt roads. When I was a youngster you could drive from S. Carolina to Florida and never leave the red clay roads (if you knew how to read county road maps).

  • the families who do it don't even notice. they are just stoked to not have to gather buckets and to increase production. Of course as with everything in agriculture you are always chaseing the dragons tail. Every time you increase production you have more bills for equipment, land etc this shit ain't cheap...
    the thing that really sucks is that the lines stay up year around... they are always there. Even when a sugarbush gets abandoned for whatever reason all that plastic spider web stays there for eternity...

  • back to dirt roads.
    I live a few miles past this spot.

  • coming soon

  • Mid-June 2019, my SLC pal Jerry & I ventured south from Wendover, Nevada into "deepest" eastern Nevada. After a sleepy reservation village, where the pavement ended, we followed the old Pony Express Trail/dirt road for about 50 miles, before turning off to explore the little-mentioned Kern Mountains.

    The rather beat-up pavement just ended.

    We found some small granite domes & some muddy roads, wild horses, & wild flowers, & after burying my SUV in a mudhole, some adventure too.

    Jerry walking back from confirming this road is a decent road.


    The dirt road got better after a while, then much worse.


    Along the way, I was skirting a mudhole and slid sideways into it & buried my SUV to the doors. Jerry easily pulled me out with his big Chevy.


    After finding a great camp spot, we hiked up the road for a couple miles, with wild horses hiking in front of us.

    The next day, we explored more dirt road "terra incognito, over a high pass, then down to some old mines & a minor ghost town or two. The wild flowers were spectacular.


    After another night of dirt road car camping & exploring another old mining town, we once again picked up the Pony Express route, bounced over another pass & hit pavement, after about 130 miles of dirt road adventure.

  • that looks like a bad mud hole!

  • As you likely know about my occupation from my posts under the moniker, Timid TopRope on ye old Super Topo; I am a certified arborist and certified utility specialist contracting with the most maligned company in California, PG&E.

    A couple weeks back they had me test driving a new I Pad program requiring exact GPS locating so I had to get up this very loose soiled road, made worse from the Carr Fire west of Redding near the ignition point where I took this photo at
    Whiskeytown National Rec area now a national wreck. This particular fire started from a burning Winnebago not PG&E about 2 months before the Camp Fire in Paradise.

    Anyway, I would have felt safer on a quad although I am happy my company bought me a new 2020 Tacoma 4 by with all the bells and whistles but those extra cabs make for 17 point turns to flip it around without going home in an ambulance.

    resized Whiskeytown.jpg

  • @Alfalfa Good thing you didn't drive any further. Looks like serious drowning potential.

  • @David-Harris there are a lot of places you just don't want to go there 😉 although my friend, Aqualung might

  • Clear cutting in Talbot County, GA, on PO’ Biddy Road. If I remember correctly this was the third crop of planted pines on that tract.
    “Dirt” road on a friends farm. The chapel is over 200 years old, originally built outside Mobile, AL, but dismantled and reassembled in Harris County GA.
    Dirt road covered with leaves on another friend’s farm.

    Old pulpwood road I cleaned up with a bulldozer and made it wide enough to drive around the boundaries & through my property.


    One of the few remaining covered bridges in GA, most got washed away in a “500 year flood” in the early 90’s.

  • my road fri morning going to work.

  • @NickG Great Thread! I'll have to make time to try and find some of mine.

  • 2006 in deepest Owyhee County, Idaho.

    Ghost town road.
    8-1 Owyhees 014-small.jpg

    The nice man who owned the ghost town told us this road to War Eagle Mountain was in fine shape. He did not mention I was going to scratch the schist out of my SUV.

    8-1 Owyhees 049-small.jpg

    There's a road in there. War Eaglle Mt.
    8-1 Owyhees 033 - small.jpg

  • my road election day. its all melted now,

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