Owyhee Books & More

Owyhee River Canyon - Color Photo Books

The Owyhee River Journals  by Bonnie J. Olin – Photography by Mike Quigley.

Owyhee Canyonlands – Photography by Mark Lisk, Essay by William Fox

Owyhee Guide Books

The Owyhee Canyonlands: An Outdoor Adventure Guide by Steve Stuebner

Owyhee Boater Guide & Maps – Order from BLM office. Waterproof boater guide includes the Owyhee, Bruneau and Jarbidge Rivers.

Other Books About the Owyhee & Regional Authors

Showdown in the BIG QUIET  by John P. Bieter, Jr. – this is an excellent read for the non-academic reader, about LAND, MYTH AND GOVERNMENT IN THE AMERICAN WEST. The Big Quiet, otherwise known as Owyhee County, Idaho, is the largest and least inhabited area in the lower 48 states. “Showdown in the Big Quiet” explores over a century of violent mine wars and environmental conservation disputes as people in the West battled over the role of government and notions of American identity on this desolate expanse of land.

The Oregon Desert  by E.R.Jackman and R.A.Long – 118 Photographs (From the book back cover – “Reub Long is a cowboy who thinks like a scientist and Jackman is a scientist who thinks like a cowboy. They have been close friends for many years and this book is an outgrowth of their mutual liking for the desert.) 

Historic Silver City  by Mildretta Adams
Sagebrush Post Offices  by Mildretta Adams
The Best of Jordan Valley  by Hazel Fretwell Johnson
In Times Past  by Hazel Fretwell Johnson
Owyhee Graffiti  by Michael F. Hanley IV
Owyhee Trails – The West’s Forgotten Corner  by Mike Hanley with Ellis Lucia
Sagebrush & Axle Grease  by Michael F. Hanley IV w/Omer Stanford 

Tales of ION Country  by Michael F. Hanley IV
Journal of Michael F. Hanley IV
The Triangle Outfit  by Nita Lowry
Big Foot  by Bennett L. Williams
Life Among the Piutes  by Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins
Life on the Urban Frontier: Silver City, Idaho  by Julia Conway Welch
Owyhee Outpost: Transportation by Owyhee Co.Historical Society #35
Early Owyhee County  by Owyhee Co.Historical Society #36

Other Beautiful Reads About Exploring Rivers

*** Pacific Northwest Rivers ***

Astoria – by Peter Stark – (Quote from his Website) “Unfolding from 1810 to 1813, Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship, drawing extensively on firsthand accounts of those who made the journey. My take? I found Astoria to be a real page turner, and a read every bit as good as The Emerald Mile.

Sources of the River – by Jack Nisbet – Re-creates the life and times of David Thompson – fur trader, explorer, surveyor and mapmaker. From 1784 to 1812 Thompson explored western North America and was the first to chart the entire length of the Columbia River. Thompson spends much time in the Canadian Rockies, searching for the headwaters of the Columbia. My Take? This is a great read – yes, another one, and a great companion piece to Peter Stark’s Astoria, as William Price Hunt is conducting the same search, only further south, in Idaho and Oregon. It’s also ties in nicely with John Roskelley’s guide book on the Columbia and the rivers’ current condition.

The Last Voyageur – by Vince Welch – a wonderful re-telling of the life of Amos Burg and the Rivers of the West, and a beautiful companion story to that of Buzz Holmstrom in the book The Doing of the Thing. My Take? Vince Welch writes with heart.

The Doing of the Thing, the Brief Brilliant Whitewater Career of Buzz Holmstrom – by Welch-Conley-Dimock – Winner of the national Outdoor Book Award. Buzz Holmstrom was from Coquille, Oregon, a humble man of amazing ability. From the books back cover, “Alone, in a boat he designed and built himself, he navigated over a thousand miles of the rapid-strewn Green and Colorado Rivers.” My take? I thank co-authors, Welch-Conley-Dimock, for bringing attention to the quiet accomplishments of Buzz Holmstrom. More Oregonians should come to know him. I was rooting for Buzz all the way.

The Curve of Time: The Classic Memoir of a Woman and Her Children Who Explored the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Northwest – by M. Wylie Blanchet. This is a biography and astonishing adventure story of a woman who, left a widow in 1927, packed her five children onto a 25-foot boat and cruised the coastal waters of British Columbia, summer after summer.Muriel Wylie Blanchet acted single-handedly as skipper, navigator, engineer and, of course, mum, as she saw her crew through encounters with tides, fog, storms, rapids, cougars and bears. She sharpened in her children a special interest in Haida culture and in nature itself. In this book, she left us with a sensitive and compelling account of their journeys.

Temperance Creek – by Pamela Royes – A Memoir, love story, of two nonconformists in the 1970’s, learning, finding their way, by living their life in the rugged beauty of the Wallowa Mountains, Hell’s Canyon, Snake River country, on their own terms, sheep herding for work. My take? I loved her writing style, her truth, her observations, and identified completely with the solace she found in living in the wild places, living simply. And for what these types of experiences teach us, in skills developed, and in the  understanding of nature and our place in it. It’s a beautiful story of living life fully.

Voyage of a Summer Sun, Canoeing the Columbia River – by Robin Cody – My take? This is a beautifully written literary book, not a guide book, although there is much in it that could be used to guide one on such a journey.

Paddling the Columbia, A Guide to All 1200 Miles of Our Scenic & Historical River – by John Roskelley – My take? This is the first comprehensive guide to this iconic river, from its headwaters in Canada to the Pacific Ocean. Roskelley has divided the river into five distinct segments. Within each segment are “legs” or stretches of the river often doable in a day. For each “leg” he covers distance, paddle time, river view, river flow and season, put-ins and take-outs, nearby services, camping, passage (which is his personal experience down the “leg,” and maps. He leaves nothing out, so that by the time you read each leg, you have a pretty good idea what the challenges are, as well as the logistics of the run. But even if you have no plans to paddle this river, you might enjoy this book for another reason. Within each leg Roskelley has included what he calls a “sidebar.” As he explains in his book, “I include detailed informational pieces about the river, the people who have influenced its development and the environment through which it flows. These “sidebars” are nuggets from the river’s history. They are fascinating to read, and a call to action to right the mistakes made against the river and its indigenous people.

*** Desert Southwest ***

Desert Solitaire, A Season in the Wilderness – by Edward Abbey – My Take? Read him, and any other book by this eloquent and independent spirit.

Sunk Without a Sound, The tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde in 1928 on a Scow – by Brad Dimock. A great historical account of this tragic voyage and early river running boats and techniques.

The Emerald Mile – by Kevin Fedarko, about the fastest run on the Colorado River. My take? Don’t be fooled by the title because this book is about so much more. Beautifully written, wonderfully researched, it was my book pick of the year for 2015, and was the winner of the National Outdoor Book Award. Highly recommended.

Raven’s Exile – by Ellen Meloy – Ellen Meloy writes of her seasons running the Green River, Desolation and Gray Canyon’s, with her husband. My take? Beautiful writing, wonderful use of vocabulary, full of the geology, wildlife/sciences and sensuality of canyon/river life.

Wind in the Rock: The Canyonlands of Southeastern Utah – by Ann Swinger – Lively, readable nature writing. As she details several treks through the beautiful, rocky canyons, [Zwinger’s] feel for the animals and plants native to this arid region enhances the precise sketches which punctuate the text. Readers interested in ancient Indian cultures of the Southwest will also find fascinating reading, as Zwinger describes their campsites and lifestyles. —Library Journal

*** Other Parts of the Country Rivers ***

Paddling to Winter – by Julie Buckles – Julie Buckles and husband Charly Ray, built their own canoe and paddled from Lake Superior to the Arctic, wintering at Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan. My take? Wonderful true story.