Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route

Rob Day of Los Angeles, California contacted me in February to see if I may be interested in being his guide for the Idaho BDR sometime in the summer. With all of the commitments I already had on the books the first available dates were the 16th-24th of August. I put it on the calendar and Rob started talking to other guys to see if they may be interested in joining. Guy committed and uncommitted on almost a weekly basis. With about three weeks until kickstands up, Brad Barker of Ride of My Life joined the ride. He wanted to bring along camera equipment and a camera operator to shoot footage to make a film. He talked for about am hour and hatched a plan for me to donate a rental from my company Into the Horizon Adventure Motorcycle Tours and Rentals for the cameraman as well as to equip myself, Rob and Mark McClellen with Sena 10c and prism cameras. About five days out Brad had a conflict with a paying job and left the filming to me and the guys. I was confident that we would be able to get some great footage and gladly excepted the challenge. We had nine days and planned to complete the Idaho, Washington and Oregon BDR rides. Rob, Mark and one of Rob's occasional riding buddies from Malibu Chris showed up at my house in Boise on the afternoon of the 14th. We got the cameras all fitted to the helmets and bike and new tire mounted and made any last minute preparations on Saturday. We had be experiencing a wildfire free summer until the week before departure, but on Sunday morning the smoke was as thick as pea soup. We all agreed that it was really about the ride and not the views the guys, one of my regular riding mates Robbie Musheno and myself put the bikes in gear at sunup Sunday morning. In leu of the southern leg from Jarbidge, Nevada to Trinity Lookout we took a dirt road a couple of miles east of Boise through Blacks Creek Canyon and the tiny town of Prairie up to Trinity. We all decided to give the 1.5 mile side trip up to the lookout a go. These roads have not been maintained in decades and are very eroded. Mark and myself are the only ones who made it too the top, and Mark being the kind and wonderful gentleman he is turned straight around and went to help Chris who he had noticed had dropped his bike. I took the time to shoot some footage and photos before heading down. That night we ended up at Deadwood Reservoir to spend the night. On the Saturday before my group was unable to find a campsite and had to make due pitching our tents behind a road closed sign on a deserted logging road. This night we had the entire lake to ourselves outside of a guy from Florida on a Royal Enfield.                                                                                                                                                                                                               The next morning we broke out our Jetboil stoves and made some instant oatmeal and coffee. Yes it was Starbucks. Chris had damaged his front brake line and saddlebag in his tipover and we repaired it the best we could before heading out to Yellowpine. Experience has taught me that you never pass up the opportunity to get fuel so we topped of there. On the way to Big Creek I was run off the road by a pump truck which pumps septic tanks for the summer homes up in this area. the road is basically a two track and we met on a blind corner. My bike and I were unhurt and I waited for the guys to catch up to help me get her back on the road. Unfortunately Chris was to busy looking at my bike that he failed to see that Rob had stopped and ran into the back of his bike. The crash broke the front end of his 2000 R1150 GS up petty bad including putting a hole in his oil cooler. We managed to McGuiver it together by removing the oil cooler and cutting an ear off of it to connect the incoming and outgoing hoses together. It would not cool as well, but it would run. It got us on down to Burgdorf where we made camp for night two. The next morning Chris elected to abort and see about getting his bike fixed back in Boise and Mark went with him. The rest of us carried onward toward Canada.                                                                                                                                                                                          From Burgdorf we dropped down to the Salmon River and then up the other side to Florence, an old ghost town with a rich mining history dating back to the 1860's before finally stopping for fuel and lunch in Grangeville. One hot meal a day is about all you can really hope for on the IBDR. Later that day we decided to give Burnt Knob Lookout a go. This too was a 1.5 mile road that might as well be a river bottom. Again I was the sole surviver to the top, but the other guys gave it a good go before good sense prevailed. We camped that night at Magruder Crossing on the Magruder Corridor.                                                                                                                                                                                      The next morning we stopped in Hamilton Montana and had breakfast with fellow GS Giant and good riding buddy of mine Phil Anderson. Phil was going to join the ride at this point, but had hit a deer a few days earlier and broke his collarbone, six ribs and deflated a lung. It was nice to see him and wish him a speedy recovery. We carried on back over to Idaho and I took the guys on a nice little deviation from the BDR giving them some more technical riding. I could see their riding skills improving by the hour. Robbie rides a 2014 KTM 1190 and Rob was on a 2006 R1200GS. Have of the battle is trusting that these big bikes can do the stuff we ask them to. I was having no trouble with my 2014 R1200GSA. But with 1.5 million+ miles on a bike in my lifetime I have become very comfortable on a bike. I learned to ride on a 1970 Kawasaki 90 when I was 6 years old and have been riding bikes that are too big for me ever since. At 5'8" and 165 that is not hard to do. That night we found a lovely campground on the North Fork of the Saint Joe River north of Avery, Idaho.                                                                                                         The next morning we were turned back by fire north of Wallace. Unfortunately we had to take the I-90 to Coeur D 'Alene and the US95 on up to Sandpoint where we stopped and had lunch with the lovely Martha Forget of Black Dog Cycleworks. After lunch we detoured over to Priest Lake and over the mountain to Sullivan Lake in Washington. There we got the bad news that all of the Washington backcountry was closed due to fires. We had no choice but to call it for that trip and make our way back toward home on the tarmac. We totaled up 1650 miles from Boise back to Boise with 1150 on dirt in six days. Rob road home solo and traded for a brand new 1200GSA as soon as he arrived in L.A.         We are already starting to plan the next adventure either for Southern Utah of down the Baja to see Kurt and Martha later this year. A lot of that will be determined by whether of not I am riding the GS Trophy in Thailand in January or not.IMG_1399.JPG










Nice ride report!  You guys did it about two weeks after our group and it sounds like the fires only got worse.


I was following your progress on Facebook.  That sucks you got run off the road by that truck but I'm just glad you weren't hurt.  I was constantly on the watch for stuff like that and felt we were just lucky.

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