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Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by eakins, Nov 19, 2013.
Lolo Motorway on Monday, lots of downed trees, and the snow was sticking. Ride report here.
Has anyone posted recently on how the fires are affecting the route? We are scheduled to leave for Glenns Ferry this Thursday.
There was a fire a couple miles north of Magruder, toward the west end, on Labor Day weekend. Very smoky, but got through OK. Don't know anything more recent.
I was sitting in warren today and some asshat adventure rider riding solo south to north hopped on the air strip and raced down the middle.
Lots of people headed both ways.
It's too bad any rider would ride on an airstrip anywhere. That certainly doesn't make locals fond of motorcyclists.
When doing Moon Pass in section 6 (I think that's the section it's in) when going into the tunnels honk your horn and watch for critters in the tunnel. Honking your horn helps if another vehicle is coming into the tunnel from the other way and if there are animals in the tunnel hopefully it will get their attention.
In the summer when it's hot out the tunnels are nice and cool which invites wildlife in. If it's a busy day on the road chances are less but if it's not busy you never know what you might find in one of the tunnels.
This pic was taken by LittleWan a number of years ago when BigWan and her rode IDBDR.
I just finished riding the Pine-Lolo section south to north (BTW not me on the airstrip!) Lots of other riders and no problems to report with downed trees or fire closures. Lots and lots of smoke though, which obscured the views and diminished the fun. Lots of fire related service vehicles to be wary of and the road was being graded near the Buck fire south of Yellow Pine apparently in an effort to assist fire fighters. Lots of hunters out camping and on ATVs and I suspect we can thank them for clearing all the recently fallen trees. Magruder was fast but thankfully not the perfectly manicured road the whole way that some comments here led me to believe.
Because my memory is poor, the official closure of FR385/Banner Creek road had me worried for a bit as the bypass to highway 21 on Little Beaver Creek Road was closed for construction through the month as well. I timidly passed the road closed sign and its somewhat threatening language and was relieved to recognize the washed out culvert that I'd seen photos of in this thread. A little excitement getting through that washout and I was on my way.
As I exited on highway 12 between Kamiah and Orofino, the road was open in only one direction at a time due to the fire still smoldering on one side, which resulted in a 20 minute snack break. Looking forward to come back and do the whole route when it's less smoky.
I just got back from doing the route from Mountain Home thru Sandpoint. (I had done the parts north from there earlier) and here are my notes about our trip.
All of the main routes are open. There's smoke all the way, but Lolo, Magruder, everything was open when I went through last week (9/11 thru 9/18). The closest fire we got to was the Buck fire but there were no closures of the route. Heading north on the route north of Trinity Lake around road 376 I believe (Bravo21 may correct me here) there are signs that indicate a road is closed for maintenance, but the BDR route doesn't take you to that road, so you can ignore the signs. West end of Lolo there are crews putting in new culverts and we got delayed for an hour waiting for them to finish one. Talked to another couple guys that timed it better and only got delayed for about 5 minutes. Bow hunters all over the Magruder and Lolo but they're good people and drive their four wheelers sensibly, plus they were out hunting when we rode by for the most part. Bunch of too-fast side-by-sides around Deadwood Reservoir. Watch out for them. Past Pierce (we camped at Campbell's Pond) there is some logging going on and we had to contend with a lot of logging trucks, so be careful and ride right. Two of them stopped however to tell us how many trucks were behind them. Very helpful! The three of us use Sena headsets and could warn each other. We had no other issues and though the views were obscured, the smoke wasn't horrible and it was a great ride.
Someone had asked either here or on the Facebook IDBDR group page about difficulty on the route. The three of us ride 250s (2 WRs and a KLX) and had no problems whatsoever. Certainly not hard compared to the babyhead sections of the WABDR. But if you're riding a heavy bike like a 790 Adventure or an Africa Twin or heavier, there are a couple sections that might give you pause. The road up to the Blue Heaven cabin is pretty rocky and in my opinion probably the hardest stretch of road we came across. Pretty dusty too. We met a couple guys on 790's that skipped the Lolo because they heard it was hard. Perhaps for a beginner on a big bike, yes, but really that road's pretty easy. There are a few rocky spots here and there but nothing to write home about. The only other thing is the Long Creek water crossing. I've never done a proper water crossing so that had me worried, but I stayed to the left (crossing from the south) and it was only about a foot deep. Dramatic with all the water splashing but that's it. Don't veer right though - it's deeper as one of my group found out.
A couple more things I'd like to add. The Idaho drivers on the back roads are the nicest I've met (on this trip). Every time we came up behind one, *every time without exception*, they pulled over as soon as they could and let us by. I've ridden other places (including Idaho) where they just figure you can eat their dust. The other thing is it was great to meet other riders on the route. We passed some heading south and because we were all riding right, passing each other was no biggy. Plus it was nice to pass info on to others and have the same done for us.
Enjoy the ride and let me know if you have any specific questions I could help with.
We got back last night from doing the route North to South. I'm wondering if there's anyone here who knows anything about the rider that had an accident on a long downhill and passed away on the scene? I don't recall exactly where we were at the time.
I think we met you on the trail the next day. Thought you said the accident was on the Magruder Corridor.
Thanks, I think you're right! I was hoping to find out more about what happened to the rider in the accident.
I was just up there 2 days ago...enjoying the ride - had I known this it would have been different.
Rest in Peace Bradford
That's to bad.
I've ridden the Magruder over 6 times. Usually from the Idaho side to Montana ( I live near Hamilton)
Just came back over from Elk city again on August 5th.
This year the Magruder is the smoothest I've ever seen it.
Did have some close calls with FS trucks pulling trailers coming over from the MT side near Kim Crk saddle tho.
Thanks for the link...I was hoping...as bad as that sounds...that there was a connected medical issue/event that caused the accident, rather than just bad luck or rider error.
What's a Honda BTM?
I was wondering that myself. Vaguely rhymes with Africa Twin - I suspect the reporter heard it wrong.
Rode sandpoint to Wallace Saturday, all clear lots of great work by those clearing downed trees
Grassy mountain summit, a bit ironic, maybe in the spring..
Yes, appreciate those out clearing trails! @madrider5150, what tail box are you using?
If you were wondering how deep the snow gets at the my blue heaven cabin, I took this photo while snowmobiling in 2006. The hump of snow is the cabin and the black spot is the stovepipe.