Chunder, Chumstick and Chuckleheads...riding WABDR north to south

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by powderzone, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    30 May 2019

    My god that was a friggin long winter! True to form, we have been thrust straight from icy blizzards to fire season here in Alberta. My original plan for this trip was to finish the final western leg of the TCAT on Van Isle but as the weather has been shaping up to be gorgeous in the PNW, I was easily convinced by my Welsh riding sidekick (Dragonman) to check out the WABDR.

    The rough plan was to jump on the Best Rest NW Passage trail in MT and head west until we intersect with the WABDR then ride to Hood River, check out the coast the hammer it back home. I’ve been getting updates re trail conditions on the BDR and l think it’s fair to say that we’ll be expecting “springlike” trail conditions in some spots. Hopefully the snow has melted by the time we roll through. Ya right!

    Here’s a little photo teaser since we’ve just ridden 4 days (day 2 on the BDR).

    2FDF7E68-BB78-40A6-9FD9-2E37CC76EE54.jpeg

    9507E3E2-A778-4F20-BC61-0FBECFF5A969.jpeg

    2CF04740-FDF3-40FF-8132-762EF98464DF.jpeg

    D667AC20-994E-41ED-AABB-982F84D9DE22.jpeg
    #1
  2. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    31 May 2019
    Smoke, Trannies, and a Priest
    700 km Calgary - Priest Lake, ID

    After hugs from the family, we headed out to escape the smoke. Slabbed it to Fernie and grabbed a great Vietnamese wrap from the Chopsticks food truck.

    0187AEB7-BFBA-4735-BF24-1EB323466B73.jpeg
    Woof!

    CCE64966-54AA-47C8-85E6-4B5033506ABC.jpeg

    The Roosville border crossing was backed up a kilometre and with the temperature climbing, Wales and I elected to get on the gravel to shortcut from Kikomum to Moyie Lake and head to the border crossing south of Yahk. Stopped for ice cream from 2-Scoop Steve’s and ended chatting with two transgendered gals (guys?) with a parrot. You can’t make this stuff up. Super nice people regardless.

    Other than asshats in a diesel pickup trying to drag race while being overtaken, it was an uneventful ride until we headed into the Kootenai Nat’l Forest in northern Idaho. The beauti-o-meter got dialed up big time. Gorgeous place with deer, and bald eagles everywhere.

    We then jumped on a Greasy track from Sandpoint to Priest Lake. The kind of slippery shit that has a rider swapping ends real quick. Couple of close calls then took it easy and rolled into the campground at 7pm. Long day. Beers ensued. Tent camping right down by the lake.

    CB87ADC3-8FF6-43BA-A03D-06D1B66D19A2.jpeg

    D5C4308E-5279-449C-BEA5-DD52901CD3FA.jpeg
    #2
  3. Manrider218

    Manrider218 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Oddometer:
    421
    Location:
    USA
    Very Nice
    [​IMG]
    #3
    powderzone likes this.
  4. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    311
    Location:
    Alice Springs
    Other than asshats in a diesel pickup trying to drag race while being overtaken,

    Everyone loves a trier.....
    #4
    powderzone likes this.
  5. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    1 June 2019
    450 km Priest Lake - Omak - Conconully

    I had a detailed write up for Friday which just disappeared. Frack!

    Plan changed - foreign object in my eye. Hightailed it south to a hospital instead of riding north of Priest Lake to Lost Lake. Look at me...making grown up decisions. Only took 50 years

    Wales looks bored.
    0BAC6977-C618-48E0-AC74-B3E7E4434C19.jpeg

    E63EF809-E821-4D43-9AA9-640B741E197E.jpeg

    Eye sorted, we headed due west to make up some time. The roads were beautiful. Ended up riding north on the BDR to Conconully since hwy 20 was closed so to connect the sections south of 20, we would ride north then west to Winthrop then back south to bypass the landslide / closure.

    586A69B0-E0D8-4BFE-B732-2488376FBE77.jpeg

    D71680F9-2E38-4389-84F1-E7F05E838629.jpeg
    #5
    Cal, Fatallybitten, BenzADV59 and 2 others like this.
  6. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    2 June 2019
    Miles of Gorgeous
    327km Conconully - Winthrop - Shelan - Ardenvoir

    The eye is feeling much better this morning. After a decent breakfast in town we headed off via back roads and mountain passes to Winthrop where we grabbed lunch w the other tourists.

    E0E2844D-770D-4451-984C-396450D380A1.jpeg

    EEB45A8F-A567-4A58-9298-8C87342832B6.jpeg

    Great ridge riding and drop into Shelan (surface of the sun hot). Nice town. A lot like Kelowna - minus the biker gang thing. The next section b/w Shelan and Ardenvoir was an absolute dream...exposure, pine needle strewn dual track, vistas, technical sections. It had it all.

    In the middle of this section we met 4 Canuck riders heading the opposite direction...one of whom was being towed. Apparently he biffed on a shallow sandy patch and cracked his engine case. No judgment from me. I’ve dropped my bike in a parking lot. A moment of inattention and your doomed. Long tow out. Ugly.

    50DFDE5A-17B3-4EF9-8EF1-08416822714E.jpeg

    8D0AF561-94CD-4DAA-84F8-6BB1984F3094.jpeg

    This seemed like a massive day. I guess it only had a wee bit of pavement so maybe 250km of dual track...most of which needed your full attention.

    Had a really basic meal (truly awful - Wale’s trip advisor rating is 1/2 a star lol) at the Ardenvoir general store before heading up to Jack Pine campsite to bed down.
    Cracked beers, had fire, men happy.
    #6
  7. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    And just a quick comment about trails on the east side of WA. They’re awesome...and multiuser. Equestrian, hikers, bikers, dirt bikes. The trails are endless. Lots of single track as well - we’ve been sticking to the dual track but I’m definitely coming back with my 300 one day.

    A few more pics

    3E72005E-22D2-4A2C-8C88-42E5781A5699.jpeg

    B54394E2-B3E5-48C7-967E-6CDFC20C7417.jpeg

    46A552FE-6BF9-43D9-AA28-6F30C5C4DE99.jpeg

    60A87D23-D4B7-46CE-A841-2C196F0CC3EF.jpeg
    #7
  8. visovm

    visovm Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Good stuff and great pics!
    I take it the sections you road are snow free and passable? Looking to get some BDR action in the near future!
    #8
    White Owl and powderzone like this.
  9. alutii

    alutii n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Nice pics, following. We leave on the 10th going north to south too so definitely interested in how your trip goes!
    #9
    powderzone likes this.
  10. Jaynes

    Jaynes Still a n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Great pics. Heading S to N in a couple weeks, so I'll definitely be following along to see how everything goes. Good luck and enjoy!
    #10
    White Owl and powderzone like this.
  11. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    Thanks for the comments gang. It’s been great but challenging riding the last two days with our daily mileage dropping each day, due in part to our fatigue but also the conditions are getting tougher as we move higher into the mountains.

    For those doing the WABDR in the next two weeks, get some intel on Bethel Ridge first. We got turned back yesterday afternoon by snow and DEEP mud ruts. Currently passable only in a Jeep (maybe) or a very light enduro bike (again...maybe).

    We’re both from enduro backgrounds and the 300yards to get to this point had me literally shaking from the exertion. This is right at the Bethel viewpoint at the top.

    075223CE-2862-4A0E-8968-060A7ED817F4.jpeg

    7C43F3BA-D8F2-479E-8772-2A9598EA3ED6.jpeg
    #11
  12. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    3 June 2019
    Vistas, Spills & Taverns
    260km Ardenvoir - Cashmere- Ellensberg

    Woke up at 3am to sounds of a bear in our campsite. Grabbed my pepper spray, held my breath and waited. Then the sound of urination off in the trees. Lucky for Wales, I didn’t fill him in with bear spray. Back to sleep.

    Great ride up the mountain behind Ardenvoir. Pine needle dual track. Dumped the bike on a soft corner in a moment of inattention up on Chumstick Mtn. Lots of ruts on the way down - obviously a popular spot w the Jeep/4x4 crowd.

    6A2C6C63-4E9E-4D50-BB1C-6868C87607DA.jpeg

    Stopped for lunch at the tavern in Cashmere. The cast of characters reminded me of the Rodriguez song “A Most Disgusting Song” but not in a bad way. Just the typical diversity; village idiot blathering away, the fox, elder statesmen, the hunter, the tramp, and local warrior...etc. Pretty colourful group.

    61F2AC3E-3A48-4A49-BFFC-B9F68455EF96.jpeg

    There’s a pretty serious wash out b/w the reservoir and Windy Knob on the section running from Wenatchee to Ellensberg. The photo is from another rider over on the WABDR subforum going the opposite direction. This bit of fun went on for about 100 yards.

    Up on Windy Knob (who names these places?) we felt truly isolated... until two older hikers happened upon two dusty steeds and their tired riders nearby.

    336C3867-32B6-4C93-8385-72DEC505770C.jpeg

    B34CF5BA-C6BD-4EC0-B929-E6DEC4F07093.jpeg
    Showered and had pints and dinner in relative luxury at a hotel in Ellensberg.
    #12
    Oldschoolrocker, thirsty 1 and Lycan1 like this.
  13. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    The washout I mentioned in the post above. Photo from another rider a few days prior.

    9A4FA203-A0BA-48D9-A8C3-E1A1109D83BF.jpeg
    #13
  14. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    4 June 2019
    Babyheads, Chunder & Mud Hell
    168km Ellensberg - Yakima Valley - Packwood

    Had a great sleep last night. Needed that!
    Headed up to Babyhead Hill first thing this morning. There’s been so much hype about this section including some guy who accosted is at a gas station in Cashmere asking repeatedly “are you doing babyheads?” Uh...pardon?
    I was imagining a mile of steep and loose. In reality, it IS steep. But it’s only 200 yards long. In fairness we rode it downhill but I’d rather ride that stuff going up. AND if it was rainy, that entire section would be a nightmare. Babyheads would be the least of your concerns.

    7BEAD9F6-8FA4-4062-B403-06F4022D312E.jpeg
    Top of Babyhead Hill

    The next two ranges we crossed were hellish Basalt chunder fun. Great scenery but the chunder required 100% attention so lots of breaks were taken.

    A275B8A8-4ACD-45B7-951C-4A4127A8D7F7.jpeg

    Bethel ridge unobtanum. Got turned around at the summit by a wall of mud. We rode through a few hundred yards of quagmire but ultimately pulled the pin.

    7A7B777F-9110-4515-BC46-5A9C2B4BA606.jpeg

    The good news is we met an amazing family at the Elk Ridge Cabins CG. They invited us to dinner and Kris regaled us with stories of his job (F16 flight instructor at Ft Sherman). Kris, Lilli, Robyn, Liam. Awesome crew.

    D64F444D-FE70-43D6-ADFC-D8A18E192FCA.jpeg
    #14
  15. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,539
    Location:
    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    #15
  16. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    #16
    alutii and thirsty 1 like this.
  17. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,539
    Location:
    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    I
    I’m in Maupin Oregon about a hour or so south of you. Are you going north again?
    #17
  18. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Calgary
    Heading to the coast tomorrow. Are you staying in Maupin? We’re having pints on the deck of Full Sail brewery.
    #18
    eaglescan likes this.
  19. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,539
    Location:
    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    I’m camping for the night and heading out in the morning. I should be in HR around 8ish. I’m up and out. I’ll check in, in the morning when I get to HR. Coffee maybe. There’s no Tim Hortons so you’ll have to go Rogue!
    #19
  20. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,539
    Location:
    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    How was the head wind? Curious as to where you ended up? It was nice to meet you both! Thanks for the coffee!!!
    #20
    powderzone likes this.