2021 Idaho BDR trip

Overview

Well. Month of Montana and riding the XR around the area has been an absolute blast. Kinda bummed to leave Missoula, who knows if I’ll ever be back. But, what better way than to leave MT for good, then to do the Idaho BDR. I wasn’t really sure what to expect despite having watched a ton of YouTube Idaho BDR vids. The riding looks pretty easy to be honest, but who knows how long we’re going to ride each day. I want to have a balance of riding and hanging out, having fun.
Also, my iPhone camera broke due to vibration from the iPhone GPS mount. Oh well. So, I bought an old 80’s Nikon rangefinder point/shoot 35mm camera and 5 rolls of film. Gotta be honest I’m a little bummed with the results. In the future I don’t plan to use this camera again, and I’ll use my legit 35mm film camera. Is what it is, was still fun to shoot the pics.
And I’ll say it again. The XR650L has turned out to be such a great, inexpensive, solid, bullet-proof bike. Work horse. Can do 75 on highway all day and then tight gnarly technical dirt bike stuff no problem.

Quick Ratings

  • Cliff factor = 12/10
  • Isolation factor = 10/10
  • Off-road difficulty = 7/10
  • Tiring factor = 7/10

Day 1 – Missoula MT to Wallace ID

  • Leave Missoula for good. Was a blast.
  • Meet Adam an hour west at a tiny town called Superior. Four Aces bar. Beers. Good time. Talk about horses. Head out.
  • Arrive in Wallace, gas up, head into mountains on dirt roads.
  • Quickly find a great little camp spot along river. Booze on river, then pass out.
  • Meet a group of guys on KTMs who are boozing but still riding.
  • 3500’ elevation.
  • I slept like shit. Woke up to piss at midnight at it was semi-snowing wtf was def freezing temps.

Day 2 – Wallace to Pierce ID

  • My new sleeping bag is legit so I wasn’t cold at all through the night but you can still tell it’s freezing outside.
  • Wake up and had a rough time getting going. Was so fucking cold and we were in a little pocket covered by trees, so never got sun.
  • Coffee, pack up, head out cold.
  • Arrive in Avery, cool little town. Gas up, coffee, hang for a few in sun, then head out.
  • Did about 120 miles in total today, and man it was tiring.
  • The off-road riding is not hard… it’s just so long and so much of it. Hard to be focused and “on it” that many hours.
  • A million mountain passes. Some all dirt. Some ultra loose gravel. Some slow rocky / rutty.
  • Was fun. But I’m tired now.
  • Stopped in Pierce ID for gas and a Timber-Burger. 3/4lb whoa.
  • Head back out to find camp. At a nice spot at 6000’ elevation, hope it’s not too cold.

Day 3 – Pierce to Darby

  • Super warm night really surprised.
  • About 6 hours of riding.
  • Did a portion of BDR that was closed to fire but we didn’t know. The closed signs were only on the far other side when we ended.
  • Was def gnarly.
  • Real tough riding.
  • Rocky, loose, steep, sketchy, just not safe.
  • Would not do this portion on a bigger Adv bike no way.
  • Finally make it to Locksaw Lodge. Beers / burger.
  • Then did Lolo Pass off road which is cool.
  • Then highway did an hour to get near Darby.
  • Camped near Darby at Como Lake. Hobo Fish tacos dinner.

Day 4 – Darby to Elk City ID

  • Grab decent diner breakfast.
  • At breakfast there were two strippers who I’m assuming had gotten off work a few hours before. They were in the diner same time as us. When they left the old guy next to us says; “huh look at them, you’d catch a fish with her shoes” ha.
  • Head towards Magruder pass which is basically a gnarly dirt mountain pass for over 120 miles. I guess it’s kinda famous out here.
  • Super fun, real flowy. Almost felt like riding bmx at times pumping the lines.
  • I had a ton of fun doing this route.
  • See two other XR650L with easily double the amount of gear we’re carrying, wtf.
  • See a group of GS1200s and 1 new Africa Twin who look like they’re ready for battle ha.
  • I think the big Adv bikes are pretty dumb and impractical.
  • End in Elk City. Would recommend.
  • Another solid burger.
  • Camp spot on a babbling brook with swim hole. Was sick.
  • Take a bath and clean up. Was warm enough for me.
  • Woke up at 1am by large animal snarling at us from outside our tents as loud as it could 15 times. I shit myself it was fucking scary.
  • A random local guy later next day said prob an Elk or deer pissed we were in it’s area.
  • The one BW film roll might be ruined? I had to crack the light seal.

Day 5 – Elk City to Riggins ID

  • Get a late start, feeling run down.
  • Head out and do a million more mountain passes. Mostly dirt gravel fire roads.
  • But then come across super fun all dirt section that was super flowy like riding bmx. Was a blast.
  • Get to Salmon river and dead tired, need a break.
  • Swim, eat.
  • First time in 3 years XR is at under 2000’ elevation, kinda cool.
  • Go into Riggins for gas and a burger.
  • Salmon river stretch east of Riggins is fucking insane beautiful. Hidden gem.
  • Everyone rafting, swimming, camping.
  • We camp and have drinks on river.
  • XR’s are still champs and are eating up all the riding great, fucking legit work horse.

Day 6 – Riggins to Yellow Pine

  • A million mountain passes. Don’t die cliff factor is all time high.
  • Bikes back at 8000’ elevation.
  • But then came across some more fun flowy dirt sections.
  • All I can say is so many fucking mountain passes and views it’s so staggering and tiring to focus this long. Can never relax because you’ll loose focus for 1 min and make 1 mistake and just die on a cliff. Dead serious.
  • Meet older guy ripping on a DR650 with sooo much gear. But he was cool.
  • Yellow Pine is closed wtf.
  • But then it opened back up later and we got burgers and beers.
  • Camped 2 miles down road.
  • Camped along water almost every night and always free.

Day 7 – Yellow Pine to Lowman

  • On a mountain pass a running huge Buck with 5’ wide antlers almost took me out, but I beeped and he swerved last minute fuckkkkk.
  • Fun water crossing … and lunch but yellow jacket wasps swarming was insane.
  • Met a couple older guys camping who we chatted with. They caught rainbow trout and fried us up some. And gave us beer. It was great.
  • Guy said he fell down a cliff on his dirt bike the other day. Wild. They were also boozing a lot. Guy also said in mid 1980s he broke into Boise zoo and hung with Wolves. Then years later had a pet wolf.

Day 8 – Lowman to Pine

  • Find a great natural hot spring called Kirkland.
  • Maybe best I’ve ever been to.
  • Hang for a bit and swim.
  • A million more mountain passes to Pine.
  • Cool little random hill climb we saw.
  • Pine kinda sucks, I don’t recommend.
  • Really fun riding today. White sand roads were wild.
  • Every day different epic off roads and views.
  • Camp 30 mins south of Pine along reservoir which is so shallow and low we’re basically in the grasslands instead of next to water.
  • At first I was bummed but it ended up being great.
  • Wake up to numerous coyotes howling through the night which was so cool.

Day 9 – Pine to Jarbidge NV

  • Wake up and do some fun riding through grasslands to get to Glenn Ferry.
  • Awesome breakfast at cool little diner.
  • Sick skatepark.
  • Our XR’s consume a little oil. Half a quart each on day 3 … and half a quart each today. I’m not bothered by it. We’re ripping pretty hard.
  • Then a million miles of gravel / dirt roads ripping 60mph.
  • Harness my inner Johnny Campbell and rip it.
  • Kinda wild and sketchy but fun.
  • F14 fighter plane rips past us low elevation and scared the shit out of me it was so loud. Like earth shattering speed barrier loud.
  • Rattlesnake Canyon was wild scenery.
  • Bad black flies swarming.
  • Jarbidge is kinda cool maybe.
  • In Nevada now.
  • Instead of riding… walk 1 mile from camp into Jarbidge. Get burger / beers and hang.
  • On walk back we’re drunk, oops, it’s insane pitch black can’t see anything, long dirt road in woods, and we forgot headlight lamps
    Get half way and we see something… oh shit it’s a cow in the road … we’ve seen a thousand on our ride earlier to Jarbidge. Turn on iPhone flashlight
    Oh fuck … no it’s a 7’ tall male moose with antler rack 6’ wide fuckkkkk.
  • Adam runs into the woods. I stand there in shock frozen. The moose charges towards us, and then just runs down the road. It was huge. Yikes that could’ve been bad. They’re normally aggressive I hear.
  • Wild shit.

Day 10 – Jarbidge to Wells … to Salt Lake

  • Bad wind for first time.
  • 8500’ elevation.
  • Sand challenges.
  • Wind got insane and was tornado we rode through.
  • Difference of Bisen and Buffalo?
  • Difference of Elk and Deer?
  • Hung in a shitty town of “Wells NV”.
  • Had some rain today. More annoying than anything else.
  • Eventually made our way to Salt Lake. Dropped our bikes off at a MC dealer thats basically kinda identical to Philly Cycle Center. They’re gonna hold our bikes for a week or two waiting for Haul Bikes to come get them and ship them back to Philly. Then we flew home first thing the next morning.

2 responses to “2021 Idaho BDR trip”

  1. Dirtboy says:

    Insane trip! I am Jealous AF…That’s Living!!

  2. Tom N says:

    Yooo! That sounds like an epic adventure dudes. Thanks for the trip notes and glad you didn’t fall off any cliffs.

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