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Outstanding!! Gotta admit.....disappointed the trip's ended already.

Seriously, was great to follow. Such great pics & story telling. Felt like I was there. Although.....I would have taken a dip in those waters!! :)

Thanks so much for taking us along! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Outstanding!! Gotta admit.....disappointed the trip's ended already.

Seriously, was great to follow. Such great pics & story telling. Felt like I was there. Although.....I would have taken a dip in those waters!! :)

Thanks so much for taking us along! :cool:
Oh the trip is not over... Day 4 is Darby to Elk City. I mean yeah we are already back home, but we are only about a third of the way through this BDR ride report.

Having now read this back, yeah it does seem like I was ending it in my last post. But I'm sad to say you folks still have to put up with days 4-8 of posts. o_O
 

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Superb ride report so far bro!! (y)(y)(y)
 

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What a well told adventure!
Other than the flies and the screaming night critter your back road discovery sounded ideal.
Will stay tuned for your travel gear tips, what worked and what didn't.
 

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Thanks very much for the write up. I just shared the idea with my wife and she left the room...sigh.

One more thing, honestly, the place was called "Hemlock" - "HEMLOCK" - I'm surprised you both made it out alive!

Great story, and I sure hope I get to do something like this some day. We just got back from a vacation in Montana & Idaho and all I could think about was how many great trails there were for the TDub (that sat lonely in our garage in So Cal.)
So while my wife is not up for this (ever), with two college-ish age boys, there is hope.

(PS Is there a picture of a map, or a google map or something that show the actual roads you traveled?)

Thanks again and please let your wife know she is hero and needs to post here also!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Thanks very much for the write up. I just shared the idea with my wife and she left the room...sigh.

One more thing, honestly, the place was called "Hemlock" - "HEMLOCK" - I'm surprised you both made it out alive!

Great story, and I sure hope I get to do something like this some day. We just got back from a vacation in Montana & Idaho and all I could think about was how many great trails there were for the TDub (that sat lonely in our garage in So Cal.)
So while my wife is not up for this (ever), with two college-ish age boys, there is hope.

(PS Is there a picture of a map, or a google map or something that show the actual roads you traveled?)

Thanks again and please let your wife know she is hero and needs to post here also!
Yeah there is a map. Just Google Idaho Backcountry discovery route. There is a website ridebdr that will show an interactive map. We travelled the in reverse from top to bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Day 4
Hamilton MT to Elk City ID

The night at the hotel in Hamilton was much needed. We had a chance to wash clothes, relax and get a good night's sleep. That morning we woke up ~ 530AM and started getting ready for the day. We changed our air filters and lubed the chains. As a tip if any of you are doing longer trips on motorcycles it is much easier to pack additional pre-oiled air filters in a Ziploc than to actually clean the filters. Today we were travelling the Magruder corridor road. It is something I have wanted to do for many years. The Magruder corridor road, for those that don't know, is a wilderness road that runs across the center of Idaho and splits the Selway Bitteroot wilderness to the north and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to the south. While on this approx. 100 mile road, there are no other roads, services etc... This was one of our favorite days. It may not have had the absolute best views of the whole trip, but it for sure had the most views.

The morning had us leaving from Hamilton MT and doing a small highway stretch heading south towards Darby. A little south of Darby you head west on road 473 and turn onto Nez Pierce road. This road will eventually turn into the Magruder Corridor road. It was nice that morning being able to ride a little bit of slab (which my wife referred to as "butter" after all of our off road riding). The was our first day where the high was going to be less than 100°F. I believe the hottest it got was ~85°F which was so nice. After going over Nez Pierce pass the road eventually turns to dirt and into the Magruder. The track follows the river for a few miles until you start to climb out of the valley. The track keeps going up and up and up until you reach observation point campground. There is a tree stump cut out like chair with the view from observation point.

Sky Cloud Plant community Plant Mountain


These are more of the Idaho mountains I am used to. Super tall rocky high desert/forest. It is a big difference from the mountains in northern Idaho.

The road conditions all day would be great on the Magruder. There were warnings online that this is an unimproved wilderness road. Ignore those. This was actually some of the nicest track we had on the whole trip. As we kept working our way west towards Elk City we could see the track going off forever on the mountains in front. Below are two pics. One of them is as we saw it. The second is zoomed in where we could see the road we were going to travel on. If you have a keen eye you will also see a small spec on right side in the zoomed in photo that is the burnt Knob lookout. This is a special advanced section of the BDR.

Sky Cloud Plant Plant community Slope

Sky Mountain Cloud Plant community Natural environment


Here is a view looking back at where we took the photos above.

Cloud Sky Mountain Plant community Ecoregion

Cloud Sky Mountain Slope Natural landscape


Just beyond where these photos were taken is the advanced section up to burnt Knob lookout. I had heard the track up to the lookout was pretty rough and for advanced riders. We decided to skip this section as we didn't want to risk getting hurt out here in the backcountry.

NOT! Haha did you really think we skipped this?! This is supposed to be adventure anyways right?! However, we did have to make some adjustments to ride this section. Whenever we get to harder sections, even riding bikes around home, I will always ride them first just to see and then let my wife know if I think she should ride it. We did the same thing for this section. After going up just a little ways I determined I did not want her riding this section with the bike all loaded up. The route was very steep with very large rocks all over the place. It's not that this wasn't within her abilities, but that it would be pushing her abilities to 90-100%, which is not what you want to be doing 60 miles from civilization. So I turned around and rode my bike back down to her. We parked her bike on the side of the trail and unloaded the luggage from my TW. This is where I will have to admit the TW surprised me. We rode two up all the way up to the burnt Knob lookout. The TW did it no problem. I would challenge anyone to do this on a larger adventure bike. In fact many of the adventure guys were skipping this section due to the difficulty of the track. This is why you ride small confidence inspiring bikes like the TW and they shouldn't be so easily dismissed for larger adventure type trips like this. Anyways here is a few photos from the top of burnt Knob lookout. The lookout is at 8159 ft.

Cloud Sky Highland Wood Slope

Wood Window Beam Roof Ceiling

Cloud Sky Ecoregion Highland Plant

Cloud Sky Plant Mountain Wood


On the way down the TW had no troubles as well. However, it did have me wishing for a little bit more bite on the rear brake, but we all know how the rear brake on the TW is.

From Burnt Knob we kept heading west towards Elk City. This section of the Magruder was actually my favorite. It had wide open track where we could get some speed. We were also riding through burned out areas and the new growth was so pretty. There were so many wildflowers. Especially these purple colored ones. In some areas there were thousands and thousands of wildflowers. It really was awesome. Here's a couple pics of Mrs. TWoDubs riding through these areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Had to make a new post to attach the pictures. Anyways here are the photos of her riding through the burned out areas.
Cloud Sky Plant Plant community Land lot

Cloud Sky Plant Plant community Slope


From here you enter into some tighter Forest roads and eventually come out the other side. Here is us finishing the Magruder corridor road.

Head Helmet Plant Sports equipment Sports gear


From here we had a short ride on mostly "butter" to Elk City. In Elk City we fueled up and got some food . You can tell the BDR brings a lot of business to some of these smaller towns. The locals are always very welcoming of the BDR riders. We were camping tonight, but had not figured out where yet. We decided to follow the road west out of Elk City per the BDR route and try and find some camping along the river. The road has you winding along the south fork of the Clearwater river towards Grangeville ID. We ended up finding a spot at castle creek campground which was only 2 miles off of the normal BDR route. This campground was really nice and has spots where you could walk down to the river. We took advantage of this by taking a DIP!!! Finally this was our first time on the trip showering in a body of water. It felt great! However, what we didn't know at the time was that we were in for another eventful night of camping. I'll save that for the next post though. In the meantime here is a photo from our campsite.
Plant Sky Cloud Mountain Larch
 

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Well here goes as I promised...

Day 3 almost
Hemlock Ridge

Let's resume our camping story on hemlock ridge about 20 or so miles east of Pierce ID. If any of you gents want to visit this hell hole I have included the GPS coordinates of it (46.48363, -115.66023). So let me build up the atmosphere to where we left off. We just got done with a big day of riding when we arrived in Pierce. As soon as we arrived we filled up with gas and ate at the local restaurant. Food was good, but nothing spectacular. We sat there shoving it into our faces like rabid dogs as usual and filled up our water bottles. Then we were off. We had decided earlier in the day that since day 3 was going to be one of our biggest days we wanted to get a headstart on it. We decided to ride a little of the day 3 track and find a decent camping spot. Now had we done our research before riding the BDR we would have known that only a little ways down from where we camped was an actual campground, and also only a bit further was a campground with a nice lake as well. But since we were unprepared we happened upon hemlock ridge. At first sight this was a decent place to pull off the main road and just set up a quick tent and get some relaxation and sleep in for the big day 3 tomorrow.

We started by taking our gear off as it was still fairly hot outside (this was somewhere around 6-7pm). Then the flies came out from the forest. Tons. Of. Flies. All of them giant tyrannosaurus prehistoric Jurassic period horseflies. These things ambushed us. Here we are with no gear on getting bit by these giant relentless flies while also desperately trying to put up our tent. I have never been attacked by flies like this before. At one point my wife was screaming running around with a towel flipping it everywhere from being bit. You've got to realize we had no good options here. The bikes are already parked, our gear is off, and the luggage is half tore apart because we have the tent and sleeping pads and sleeping bags out. So we quickly get half the poles into the tent and I tell her to get into the tent to protect herself from the flies. I then go back to my motorcycle and put all of my gear back on since it is heavy and thick and the flies can't bite through it. So now while she is protected inside the tent I am walking around in the heat in my full gear finishing setting up the tent and camp, being absolutely swarmed by these flies with sweat just dripping because of the heat and the gear I am wearing. Also while I am setting up the tent I am handing her the sleeping pads and the sleeping bags so she can set them up inside of the safety net of the tent. After she gets the pads blown up and the bags set out I place each of our toiletries and clothes bags next to each of our doors on the tent. I quickly get out of my gear and jump in the tent. Now that we are in our safety net of the tent the flies are swarming the tent. I kept thinking to attract all of these things man we must smell so bad. I stripped down to my underwear inside of the tent because I was covered in sweat. For the next few hours if there was something near the motorcycles we needed we just decided it had to wait until the flies chill out. If we needed something from our toiletries bag we unzipped the tent ever so slightly and brought half of the drybag into the tent like an airlock to get things out of it. Fast-forward to like 9-10pm. Time for bed. The flies have finally calmed down and we can now safely journey outside the tent. After getting everything sorted that we just kind of left looking like a bomb went off because of the flies, we then settled in for the night.

Cue the quietest place I have ever camped. Which is weird, because we are on a ridge. I was expecting some sort of noise like wind or something. Now I do have to admit I am sometimes a nervous about sounds in the woods. That being said we camp all the time and it usually doesn't bother me. Hemlock ridge was different. We both drifted off to sleep only to be awoken an hour or two later to a sound that can only be described as a person sprinting right next to our tent in the middle of the dark. It was a weird gait. Did not sound like hooves. And it sounded like whatever it was was sprinting full speed. It woke both of us up from a dead sleep. I immediately got the flashlight and the gun out and was peering out of the tent. We could not see a thing. I then got out of the tent and was looking around and shouting only to be left with absolute silence. Now fully spooked I get back into the tent. Her and I are now complaining about how we managed to pick the worst campsite ever after a big day of riding and coincidentally the night before the biggest day of the trip. After some time of nothing but silence we settle down and drift asleep. And a couple hours go by. Wywywydhdjeubdjcienbtjdjbrjsjs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is my best interpretation) The screaming sound of a dying animal wakes us up from a dead sleep! This thing is screaming at the top of it's lungs. It is so close too! Bam I grab the gun and the light and look out the tent and it goes dead quiet. I then start cussing and unzip the tent. I get out, stand up, and start yelling and the animal starts screaming again. It is running away at this point as the screaming is getting quieter and quieter until we don't hear it anymore. I still don't know what animal makes that noise. It was the oddest animal noise I have ever heard. Here we are again fully freaked out, fly bitten, and so tired, but we cannot sleep due to camping in the worst spot in Idaho. The rest of the night (3 hours or so) we got marginal sleep at best. We woke up at 530 that morning to get packed up and start our ride to Hamilton. I'll spare you the details as I have been going on long enough as it is, but needless to say the flies in hemlock ridge operate on a different time schedule. By the time we were leaving we were getting ambushed again. I'll pick this thread up on the actual riding on day three here in a few hours when I have access to my photos.
Sasquatch screams. Stomping through camp is counting coup.
 

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Well told adventure with impressive photos. You two have likely made a lot of us envious.
Think I'ld want to tack on a few extra days than your average back road discovery riders to simply stop and embrace the experience. However understand the time contraints most face.
Like your tip r.e. spare air filters. (y)
A fairly new rider, Oldworld 124, recently converted me to carrying a zip locked clean oiled air filter...will wonders never cease?
 

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Sasquatch screams. Stomping through camp is counting coup.
I shared the description with my daughter, who is well versed in all things mythical/paranormal/evil. She assured me that it was, without a doubt, a Wendigo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I shared the description with my daughter, who is well versed in all things mythical/paranormal/evil. She assured me that it was, without a doubt, a Wendigo.
Didn't know what a wendigo was. Now I'm scarred for life. We also had a local person say this as well after we told the story. Won't be able to camp near Pierce again.
 

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Great writeup, @TWoDubs. I'd like to tackle this route one of these days. I did a run to Missoula last week for work. That area between Grangeville and Lolo is one of my favorite regions on earth.
 

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Had to make a new post to attach the pictures. Anyways here are the photos of her riding through the burned out areas. View attachment 229039
View attachment 229038

From here you enter into some tighter Forest roads and eventually come out the other side. Here is us finishing the Magruder corridor road.

View attachment 229040

From here we had a short ride on mostly "butter" to Elk City. In Elk City we fueled up and got some food . You can tell the BDR brings a lot of business to some of these smaller towns. The locals are always very welcoming of the BDR riders. We were camping tonight, but had not figured out where yet. We decided to follow the road west out of Elk City per the BDR route and try and find some camping along the river. The road has you winding along the south fork of the Clearwater river towards Grangeville ID. We ended up finding a spot at castle creek campground which was only 2 miles off of the normal BDR route. This campground was really nice and has spots where you could walk down to the river. We took advantage of this by taking a DIP!!! Finally this was our first time on the trip showering in a body of water. It felt great! However, what we didn't know at the time was that we were in for another eventful night of camping. I'll save that for the next post though. In the meantime here is a photo from our campsite. View attachment 229041
Great writeup, @TWoDubs. I'd like to tackle this route one of these days. I did a run to Missoula last week for work. That area between Grangeville and Lolo is one of my favorite regions on earth.
Kamaiah to Lolo.
 

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Although descriptions can vary somewhat, common to all these cultures is the view that the wendigo is a malevolent, cannibalistic, supernatural being. They were strongly associated with winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.

Seems a bit hot for Mr. W to be making an appearance. Unless of course, you were like really, really hungry.
 

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:rolleyes: Okay. You can explain to us how Santa can't possibly deliver all the toys in one night next.
 

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The animal with the sreeming sound that came through your camp could very well have been a cougar. I witnessed one many years ago go after a yearling deer, The sounds that they made are very similar to what you described. The cougar had grabbed the deer and was dragging it down a trail. Sounded like a sreeming child. The cries Chilled me to the bone. Could also have been a cougar that was in heat and was looking for a mate. They also make a pretty good screeming sound.
 
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