Hi Mark... thanks for weighing in; much appreciated.
I have been travelling in this general area on trips for a bit over 35 years now, but they have always been trips in and out off the slab to a specific spot in these National Forests for flyfishing, kayaking, to take off on a backpacking trip, etc. I have never taken the time to specifically ride/drive a calculated route through here, thus my lack of general knowledge of the area for that sort of a ride.
I have read both of those ride reports of yours previously. But they're a good read, so what the hell, I went and read them again. I have some first hand knowlege of what Wallace was like back when its previous main attraction was still roaring along, accompanied by equally crazy shenanigans in the local bars which would have resulted in the Mounties throwing all concerned in jail if it had occurred back home in Canada. It was a popular destination for young bucks on their days off from the local mines and sawmills back in the 70's, and I left a good part of my paycheque in those bars and backroom card games a few times back then.
One thing I didn't notice the first time around was your buddy who joined you for the ride with a Giant Loop and fuel blivet. Sort of the same setup that I run:
It seems a few of us are finding these fuel blivets in conjunction with a Giant Loop works very well - I do like being able to roll that sucker up to minimal size when it doesn't need to carry fuel and just stow it away. And I'm basically a motorcycle tourist these days - the sales pitch for the Giant Loop about it being great for going like your hair on fire with gear aboard wasn't what sold me. It just works, that's all. Although I do keep eyeballing that Wolfman Expedition setup you're running... I will probably talk myself into that eventually as well...
Given the legs of the trip plan to date (partial trip .gpx file attached), the fuel blivet gives me all the legs I need for the longer runs, with a safety margin in case of downed trees, side route wandering (I am infamous for that), etc and so forth.
Anyways... I don't see any .gpx tracks for your travels through the same area, but your narrative mentions many of the same places so I assume I'm roughly on the same path as your two trips above. I do note you headed a little more west to Priest Lake, while I'm currently planning on just touching CdA before heading back east towards Eureka.
I suspect it is hard to pick a boring route through these areas, and now that I'm a Montana guy living a couple of hundred miles away, I'm hoping/assuming I'll have many trips into these NFs in the future. However, for some of the guys hoping to come along on this ride, this may be their one and only kick at the cat, so I'm hoping I get this ride planned out right as best possible for them.