BACKGROUND I've been doing these Montana rides since the original Montana 1000 rides that occurred in 2009-10. When the original planners didn't want to plan another ride, I stepped up and planned the first of the rides that have been named 'Best of the Montana 1000' or BOM1000. My first routes were extracts from the first two rides and mixed up to provide a new riding experience. I first met Ron Haraseth (Wansfel) in 2010 when I was the first to come upon him after he had a pretty significant get off up above Canyon Ferry Lake. Over the course of two hours we got his bike in "rideable" condition so he could make it off the mountain. He then acquired the necessary parts to fix the bike and rejoined the ride a few days later. This began a friendship that continues to this day. Ron gradually became the chief route planner with me providing a little cheer leading and suggestion support. As we were completed the 2015 BOM, I suggested to him that we consider going east and keep the ride inside Montana (a novel thought since this was supposed to be the Best of the "Montana" 1000 ride and the last few events included some riding in Idaho). Over the winter of 2015-16 Ron dreamed and planned and drew upon his planning resources including prior BOM's, input from Big Dog, some 4x4 routes, other Montana riders, and the ever present Benchmark Atlas. In June, 2016, he pre-rode much of the route and pronounced it worthy of a BOM1000 with a start from and end in Stevensville, MT on Saturday, July 16 and last for 9 days (the longest BOM1000 to date) and cover around 1,500 miles (oops, do we need to rename the route?). For me, this year would be the third year I've done the ride on my WR250r. I did change out the fuel pump because of periodic stalling. Otherwise, all I did was spoon on a new rear tire, and pack up. Here's my setup. What would change is that I desired to truck or trailer the bike over to Stevensville from my home near Seattle. I was tired of burning off my knobbies on a boring pavement ride. While I hadn't found a trailer yet, a new rider from Lake Stevens, Larry, offered me space in his pickup truck; and I gladly accepted. We left my place around 2:45pm on Thursday with a desire to make a big dent in the drive over. In Washtucna, WA, we took a little break. Here's part of the little display they have in the town. We camped overnight in Diamond at my Brother in Law's place and got an early start out before 6am on Friday, July 15. The only two trees to hang my hammock from were apple trees and I heard the "thud, thud, thud" all night long. A few even bounced off the rain fly. We enjoyed a nice breakfast at the KOA restaurant in Kamiah, ID before enjoying the 99 miles of scenic twisties over LOLO Pass. Here's the sign that signifies the end of the 50 mph speed limit and welcome to Montana at the top of Lolo Pass. When we arrived at Ron's around 1:30pm there were about 5 or six of us that all arrived around the same time, so we set up camp in the field next to his house and enjoyed renewing friendships and sharing some drinks and food. I had the opportunity to transfer the tracks to Scott's Montana GPS. Red came fully prepared with a pop up awning which was good to get out of the sun under. Here's Red, Big-T, and Dryfuse (Larry). Todd, Scott, and Clayton were just arriving and Big Dog's and Road Dad's Transit vans are in the background. Later that whole area in the background would be full as riders continued to arrive until around midnight. We ended up that night at Ron's with 20 plus riders from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Wyoming, Nevada, Canada, Washington, Idaho, & Montana. Other riders stayed in nearby locations and would meet up with us at the starting point in Florence the next morning. Ron barbequed some brats and his puppies were clearly ready for handouts. The night came and riders began making their way to their sleeping arrangements in anticipation of the 2016 BOM. Were we all ready for Day 1 of the ride the next day? Stay tuned.