Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route


Miles Total: 698
Miles Today: 184

Our goal today was to get to Sandpoint and stay in a hotel room. This stretch should have quite a bit of pavement, so I didn’t set any kind of alarm, figuring I could sleep in. Well, I made until 6:30a.

We started off easy today with my dad leading. We wanted to let him get used to the bike without the steering stabilizer on it. The first bit of the ride was along pavement into the town of Metaline for some fuel.

After the fuel stop we had another short section of pavement before hitting dirt again. We saw some turkeys and deer along the road today – no pictures. We also crossed into Idaho, which was marked by a post next to the road.

We decided to take the easy bypass option as we neared Priest Lake. Well, the track that we were following did not match the road we were on. Fortunately, there weren’t really many choices for us to make…just stayed on the same road and it eventually connected with the main track. I’ll bug BestRest Products when I get home and see if they want my track for that section.

Rest break before the easy part.


All along this dirt section, there were these yellow bear identification signs. I guess there are enough grizzly bears around that this is an issue. Should make camping in my hammock more exciting going forward. Fortunately I got used to sleeping with the grizzlies on my Alaska trip. (Not…).



When we got to Priest Lake State Park, we decided to pay the day use fee and eat at the picnic area. We paid the fee at the entrance to the park, but when we got to the picnic area, it was closed! So, we went to an overflow parking lot and improvised a picnic spot.


While riding along today, we decided that we would take a rest day at a hotel tomorrow and watch the Seahawks game before starting the Idaho BDR. I tried to use Expedia at the state park, but had a poor connection. It was good enough for me to see that most of the hotels in Sandpoint were full.

I called my awesome wife and asked her to book a hotel for us with a good internet connection from home. She ended up getting us a room for two nights at a Casino in Bonners Ferry. I programmed the destination into my GPS and hit the go button. It ended up taking us down on some highways. When we arrived at the hotel and I checked our track, it turns out our planned route to the area cut the corner to Sandpoint, so if you are following along on spotwalla (, you will see the discrepancy.

As we were passing through Sandpoint, we stopped to pick up some tools so my dad could reinstall his steering stabilizer. And then it happened! As I was pulling out of my parking spot, the pavement jumped up and pulled my bike down to the ground…after 5 days of riding on dirt, I finally dropped my bike on a flat paved parking lot. I didn’t get any pictures, if you want to see one, you can check out my dad’s blog at

The hotel room is nice, and should be a good place to rest up.


There is a restaurant here with a view of the river.


I ordered the Prime Rib with a loaded baked potato.


Got some apple pie for dessert.


After dinner, we went back to the room and watched the WSU/Boise St game. The Cougs did not have a good start, but almost pulled it off in the end. Go Cougs!



Miles Total: 205
Miles Today: 205

We hit the road today! Had a bit of a late start, we stalled until the rain stopped. This worked out perfectly – we didn’t get rained on at all. While I was waiting for my dad to show up, I had to take a picture of the bike fully loaded and ready to go,


We got on the road a little after 10a. It didn’t take too long before we hit our first problem. My phone was not connected to the charger correctly and it kept making noises in my headset every 30 seconds. I figured that the cable was loose or something. We pulled over in a Target parking lot so I could check it out – it seems to be an issue w/the USB port I was using to charge. I switched to a spare and all was good.

We stopped in Darrington to pick up some snacks and so my dad could top off his tank. We met a couple there from Metaline Falls (which is on our route) who invited us to camp on their property if the timing is right. We got directions, hopefully I’ll remember them if we need to use them.

Next stop was the Diablo Lake overlook. I ate my munchies that I picked up in Darrington, and then walked around to take some pictures…

Diablo Lake


Bikes in the parking lot.


The next stop was at the Washington Pass overlook. Not much to see here, too many trees and we didn’t feel like getting off the bikes and hiking. Another bike picture


Did get a peek-a-boo view of this…Looking at the map, I believe that this is Early Winters Spires South.


From here we motored on to Mazama. We topped off our tanks and aired down the tires – it was time to hit some dirt! Didn’t stop to get any pictures. We were on some pretty straightforward gravel roads that didn’t really present any challenges. There were some rocks here and there, but you could easily have taken a passenger car down the entire route. The views were pretty cool in spots, with cliffs going straight up on one side and straight down on the other. Tried getting some 360 video – hopefully they’ll turn out.

We are camping at a WDFW campground just north of Winthrop. Not a ton of amenities here – just a couple of pit toilets. There is a ton of room and only a couple of other rigs here. I did almost tip over while trying to turn around in the campground – while we were exploring around, I tried to do a u-turn onto another road, and it had a bit of a rut in it. Just gave it some gas, and powered through ok.

Here is a quick pic of my hammock setup for the night


Once camp was set up, we rehydrated dinner – I think mine was pineapple chicken.  I also had some freeze dried cheese, which was kinda nasty.

Amazingly, there is cell phone coverage here, so I should be able to get this posted in a timely fashion!