Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route IDBDR - July 2019

Discussion in 'Adventure On Four Wheels' started by Turbodb, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    PNW
    July 17, 2019.

    (I should note that this trip report is in a 1st gen Tacoma, but I've gotten so much great info from advrider in the past that I felt like it was worth giving a little back...)

    We've run two Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDRs) in the past - Oregon in 2017 and Washington in 2018. So, when it came to planning for this year, we decided that we'd run what we thought would be one of the coolest BDRs out there - Idaho.

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    Little did we realize that it would mean spending most of July in the beautiful state - we had, after all, just finished exploring the southeast and then the central parts of Idaho a couple weeks before we'd planned to embark on this south-to-north traverse of the state.

    Not that we were complaining - this was clearly, our year to explore Idaho!

    As far as the route itself goes, at 1,250 miles the IDBDR is much longer than either Oregon or Washington - understandable given that Idaho is as tall as the other two states combined.

    Over the eight stages, we'd have the chance to traverse both the historic Macgruder Corridor and the Lolo Motorway; to experience highs and lows - the route rising and falling from 1500' to over 8600' above sea level; to see and experience much that the state has to offer - from dry desert to temperate rain forest.

    Of course, through it all, we knew we'd encounter some obstacles - we just didn't know what they'd be. Like Oregon had been, we'd be going solo; unlike Oregon, we and the truck were significantly more prepared and capable.

    We'd allotted up to 11 days to complete the trip - unsure whether the roads would be fast (like Washington) or slow (like Oregon) - hoping that we could cover a section each day, with a couple days travel to-and-from home.

    We'd start in the historic town of Jarbidge, NV as we made our way north - mostly on dirt roads - towards Canada and the Rykerts crossing. We'd surely pass countless fire lookouts and hot springs. If we were lucky, we'd see a wide array of wildlife - deer, elk, moose, perhaps even a bear or mountain lion.

    And so it was, that on a Wednesday in the middle of the month, we packed up our passports, a few changes of clothes, and enough food for most of our trip, and headed east - a cool 717 miles standing between us and the beginning of our IDBDR adventure.

    It was midnight when we finally found camp a few miles outside of Jarbridge, having just missed hitting a cow calf who wandered into the road in front of the truck. Exhausted, we climbed into the tent and were asleep within minutes, excited for what the next day had in store!
    #1
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  2. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    July 18, 2019.

    ...And then - in the distance - a cloud of dust. Unsure what it was, we continued on. Eventually, the source became clear - dual combines churning through a field of wheat. Like any kid at heart, I've got a soft spot for big machines like this, and having never seen a combine at work up close, I couldn't help myself but to climb out of the truck to stand on top of the @Cascadia Tents RTT to snap a few photos.

    The grin on the combine driver's face said it all - even with some weirdo standing on top of his truck, snapping photos - he too was enjoying the experience.

    Read the whole story and see all the photos at IDBDR Pt. 2 - Across the Snake River Plain

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    From IDBDR Pt. 2 - Across the Snake River Plain


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    #2
  3. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    July 19, 2019.

    ...With only 35% of the day's route behind us at this point, you can imagine our joy when half-an-hour later, we were stopped in our tracks by a road closed sign...

    Without cell service, and with BCN showing that the only re-route was to backtrack southwest - even further along Highway 21 - we noticed that if we buried our heads in the sand and headed east, Jackson Peak fire lookout was a mere 24 mile round trip away. Distracted as squirrels, we decided to go investigate.

    Read the whole story and see all the photos at IDBDR Pt. 3 - Stymied By Gates

    #3
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  4. lanztek

    lanztek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Lewiston, Id
    We met you guys at Shiefer campground. The rest of the group met up with you on the Magruder after I split off to head back to Lewiston

    Hope you had a great trip
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    #4
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  5. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Was wondering if you'd be here! :) Was a fun time for sure, and nice to meet you guys.

    Can't see the attachment for some reason.
    #5
  6. davidaid

    davidaid Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    55
    Read your whole report on your webpage. Fantastic. Makes me think about getting a bed tent for my truck so the wife can go along.
    #6
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  7. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    July 20, 2019.

    ...In no time flat, we'd reached the water crossing. And, while I guess it was technically a water crossing, to suggest that it was any kind of trouble - much less the kind that deserved a skull and crossbones on the map - was pushing it.

    For good measure, we went through three times. You know, just to make sure we didn't miss anything.

    Check it all out in IDBDR Pt. 4 - We're Recognized on the Trail

    #7
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  8. lanztek

    lanztek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Lewiston, Id
    Cool to see you mentioned meeting us on your blog...it's a great read...thanks!
    #8
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  9. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    We had great fun seeing you guys throughout the trip - those are the kinds of things you can never plan for, but that end up being great memories.
    #9
  10. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    July 21, 2019.

    ...the Manning Bridge. A "half" suspension bridge, it was put into service in June 2018, replacing an earlier model that was built in 1934. Just as interesting as the bridge itself - at least in my opinion - is a rock on the north side of the river, which was ground down with some circular grinder - its face polished and gray, a stark contrast to the natural rock around it.

    Read the story and see all the photos in IDBDR Pt. 5 - (No More) Gold in Them There Hills

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    A two-holer. Apparently even pioneer women always went together?

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    Read the story and see all the photos in IDBDR Pt. 5 - (No More) Gold in Them There Hills
    #10
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  11. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
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    Location:
    PNW
    July 22, 2019.

    Lookouts - little did we know at this moment - would be the highlight of the day, helping to break up the long trail, and providing surprises that we'd never imagine. From it's colorful start to it's thundering end, our time on the Macgruder was a day to remember, for sure!


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    catch up on the whole story
    [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4] [part 5] [part 6]​
    #11
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  12. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    July 23, 2019.

    ...I figured I should check the temps of the brakes - you know, just to see if there was any extra friction. And boy, was there ever. A bit of water sprayed on the passenger side rotor just spilled off onto the ground, while on the driver side - it immediately boiled upon hitting the hot metal. This was clearly not good.

    It was a day unlike any other, and the progress we were making on the route came to a screeching stop. Read it all in
    IDBDR Pt. 7 - The Curse of the Lolo Motorway

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    catch up on the whole story
    [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4] [part 5] [part 6] [part 7]​
    #12
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  13. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
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    July 24, 2019.

    ...Armed with the absolutely beautiful book Backcountry Roads--Idaho, by Lynna Howard, we had a few extra waypoints along the Lolo - in addition to the couple provided by the BDR creators - that we decided to check out. They were of course slight detours off of the route, but even a day behind schedule, we were happy to take the time to experience the area fully.

    See what the Lolo has to offer in IDBDR Pt. 8 - Driving the Lolo Motorway

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    catch up on the whole story
    [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4] [part 5] [part 6] [part 7] [part 8]
    #13
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  14. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    PNW
    July 25, 2019.

    ...From Avery, the IDBDR splits. Not for long - the two possible routes are separated only by the St. Joe River that runs between them - but each route has it's highlights. To the west, the road follows the old rail line through several tunnels. To the east, the road follows another rail line over several trestles.
    We chose the west - and will forever wonder if we made the right call! :D The tunnels though were cool, and I'm sure either route is equally intriguing.

    But tunnels aren't all we saw. See it all, including the moose, in IDBDR Pt. 9 - Move Over, Moose!

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    catch up on the whole story
    [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4] [part 5] [part 6] [part 7] [part 8] [part 9]​
    #14
  15. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    PNW
    July 26, 2019.

    ...Our answers were of course mundane. We were from Washington, but had just traveled on dirt roads all the way from Nevada to Canada - can you believe it? We had no guns, alcohol, or tobacco...much less $10,000 in cash. And we were going to be in Canada for about five minutes.

    And that, apparently, was a problem. "You mean you're just going to turn around the office and head back to the United States?" The border service officer asked.

    "Yep." I responded.

    And with that, he held on to our passports and asked us to park the truck, letting us know that if we'd just wait a few minutes, our passports would be returned to us. Awesome.

    Read the last installment - IDBDR Pt. 10 - Where Are the Nice Canadians?

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    Hope you enjoyed our adventure on the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route. Now get out there and make your own adventure!


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    catch up on the whole story
    [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4] [part 5] [part 6] [part 7] [part 8] [part 9] [part 10] [rig review]​
    #15
  16. Turbodb

    Turbodb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    PNW
    July 29, 2019.

    In perhaps our most-traveled month to date, July was nearly an entire month in Idaho. In fact, we've had four trips in the last couple of months to this tiny state - after only having visited once before. After our SE Idaho trip to Indian Hot Springs and City of Rocks, our trip to the Highest Roads in Idaho, and running the Idaho Backcountry Discovery route, there are definitely a few things worth mentioning on the rig. So let's get right down to it.

    read the Rig Review: Idaho July 2019 - What worked and what didn't?
    #16
  17. superfunkomatic

    superfunkomatic Funky Monkey Trunk

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    Calgary, Ab
    Thanks for sharing your blog. I think I'll give the IDBDR a try this coming summer from North to South.
    #17
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