RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Monday, July 18, 2016

This is Us: Washington Back Country Discover Route - Section 2

This is Us: Washington Back Country Discover Route - Section 2

The day started out ok. Leaving the town of Packwood and heading out on the WA BDR route section 2 for the weekend. The section from RimRock Lake to Niles was scenic and very doable. Things changed once we reached the hamlet of Niles on State hwy 410. We took FS road 1701 up to FSR 1711. All was good until we go to this section called "Baby Head Hill" Holy F#$!! it was hell. For about 2.5 miles up it was a bastard. The entire mountain is comprised of basalt rock from lava. It had been broken down over time on the road into softball to fist size round rock that made going up a real chore, but going down was even worse. I ended up riding both bikes up while Lori hiked up the hill. At one point, I lost traction on Lori's F700 and laid it down. The back end was precariously hanging off the side of the road down a steep gully. It took all we had in the muscle dept to get the bike out and recover it. But we were only 2/3 of the way up at that point. I laid the Dakar (Dazee) down on her side to park it, No way could we set it on the side stand due to the slope and the deep ruts in the road. Unfortunately, my fuel cap wasn't shut tight and I lost about a gallon of fuel. To make things worse it leaked all over my soft luggage. My sleeping bag and camp pillow smelled like gas for the rest of the trip.  ....  In any event,  the ruts were packed with logs and debris. Not big bike friendly at all. We muscled the bikes to the ridge above. The goal was to head to Cleman Mountain and then head down. As we started to descend, Lori lost her bike, not once but twice and had two very out of control down hill runs. Her bike (Jethro) took a thrashing. We had some other BDR riders pass by and they mentioned that the hard stuff on Bethel Ridge was easier than the shit we were now in. At 8:00 we called it a day and set up camp about a 3rd of the way down the mountain. The road was all rubble at this point an riding it down was a mixture of skating on marbles and skidding on the rear tire. I had no issue with Dazee, but Jethro was set up for Lori and was low.. a bit like a clown bike for a 6'3" sasquatch like me. As a result it was bit more of a riding challenge for me. After a nice night, we were faced with getting off the mountain. We had to ration water because it was hot and I had to ferry the bikes down by playing leapfrog with them. Meaning, I'd ride one bike down several hundred yards and then hike back up. We did this for several hours. Just as it was getting better, a group of 7 riders came flying by us. They were doing the Wa BDR on small bikes and had a support team at each of the exit points... meaning they carried minimal gear. Lucky for us, the stopped for lunch as we rode by them nearly at the bottom. However, Lori's nerves were frayed and the road was still a bit rough in spots.  The very last downhill section, Lori lost control and ended up dumping the bike off the edge of the road into a very large gully (actually the bottom run out of the canyon). It was steep and she ended up rolling head over heels for several yards before coming to a rest. She was lucky the bike didn't follow her down. Lucky for us the 7 riders we passed came by and helped us fish the bike out. Actually we walked it down the steep embankment (it took 5 of us) and it was slippery as hell. We had to dig troughs for the tires and make a semi road for it till we reached the bottom. From there, one of the riders (2 of them were professional bike racers) rode it out of the gully and back up the road. We thanked them and then rode out. Lori was having severe pain at this point in her hip. She could hardly ride. She bit her lip and said lets go and didn't even hesitate to evaluate the water crossing at the bottom... she gunned the engine and rode right thru the murky waters which came up to our mid shin... WOW. From there we road to Yakima to lick our wounds It was at this point she stated that she couldn't get off the bike. I quickly pulled up a map and we promptly rode to the nearest ER hospital to get x-rays. Thankfully no broken hip. Just a sprained wrist and a severe hematoma on her hip.  An overnight stay in the local Howard Johnson and I rode home to Snohomish to get the truck and trailer. Thankfully Lori is alright, a bit bruised and a sprained hand, but it could have been worse. Her bike has severe cosmetic damage and needs a couple of bits (mirrors, rear brake lever, hand guards, etc..) We are thankful that she is alright. The bike can be repaired and brought back to new ... human bodies on the other hand... well. we are both over 50 years old and things don't heal like they used to  :-)

Looking toward Rim Rock Lake from White Pass

More lake

Lori and the mounts


Some pictures don't need a description

Above Niles before the nasty stuff

Along the ridge line... Very Scenic

Rough Day Indeed!!

"Prairie Dog" Camp midway down Evans Valley

Damn tough day... The out of focus view is a reflection of the mood

Breaking Camp in the morning

Showers in the distance

Exiting the ER and hospital

Poor Jethro... Here needs some hospitalization as well

Getting read to leave Yakima and head home

All's well that ends well.

Whew!!! What an adventure.

Until next time....


  1. Wow! What a ride. Glad you're both OK.

    Any photos of the "rough stuff?"

    1. No photos. Sone video. My mind was preoccupied when lori crashed.