After doing the same thing annually - for five years running - it's probably safe to call it a tradition. Backcountry Discover Routes (BDRs) have become that for us. Oregon got us hooked, and after adding Washington, Idaho, and Nevada over the last several summers, this year we decided that we'd make a run at New Mexico.
Weaving our way more than 1,200 miles back and forth across the Continental Divide, our elevation varying from 3500- to 11,000-feet, and with temperatures predicted to be 100°F (or higher) for much of our journey, we knew it was going to be quite the adventure.
As if that wasn't enough to get us excited, we tacked a few more places onto the itinerary in a while-we're-in-the-area sort of fashion... because who doesn't want to spend a few extra showerless days in triple digit temps?
In the end, our stops in Utah's Cedar Mesa and New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park on the way down, and Colorado's Alpine Loop and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on the way home would prove to be fantastic additions.
In the end, it was fabulous - and as seems to be the case, there's not doubt in my mind that we'll be returning to New Mexico for more!
Headed South, We Dive Deep into the Past - NMBDR Prologue - It was four years ago when we ran our first Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR) - or at least, we attempted to run a stage of the Oregon BDR and failed miserably. Later that same year, we successfully conquered the route, and since then we've tackled one BDR every summer -… Dell City to Ruidoso - Hot, Hot, Hot - NMBDR 1 - Stage 1 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route - Dell City, TX to Ruidoso. It was 4:30pm when we finally rolled into Dell City, TX - definitely not an early start to the first leg of the New Mexico BDR! It'd taken us two-and-a-half days to get here, but… Truth or Consequences to Reserve - Over the Continental Divide - NMBDR 3 - Stage 3 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route - Truth or Consequences to Reserve. As we made our way through T-or-C, a huge mural of Geronimo caught our attention. Given that we were - essentially - travelling through Apache lands for much of this adventure, it seemed only appropriate… Reserve to Fence Lake - Out of Fuel - NMBDR 4 - Stage 4 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route - Reserve to Fence Lake. I don't know if it was entirely due to our disappointment at lunch, but at least partially due to our disappointment in how our visit to Reserve turned out, we decided to forego purchasing fuel in… Fence Lake to Grants - Don't Miss El Morro - NMBDR 5 - Stage 5 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route - Fence Lake to Grants. Within 5 minutes of arriving at Fence Lake, we were once again on our way. The highlight of our morning - and perhaps of the entire BDR - was just a couple hours ahead of us;… Grants to Cuba - Finally Out of the Woods - NMBDR 6 - Stage 6 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route - Grants to Cuba. It wasn't even 4:00pm when we headed out of Grants to kick off the sixth stage of our route. With only two stages remaining, it was looking like we'd complete the entire route in just under a… Cuba to Colorado - A Sloppy Finish - NMBDR 7 - Stage 7 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route - Cuba to Colorado. We'd entered Cuba from the south on NM-550, and we exited the same direction - though on different pavement - for the first 20 miles of the stage. Cuba then, is a stop for fuel - and… Wow, That's a Lot of Pavement - NMBDR Epilogue - The New Mexico Backcountry Discovery route is our 5th BDR in as many years. Through the running of each one, @mrs.turbodb and I are - as you can imagine - regularly comparing the current BDR to the past ones. I figured that though I've never done it before, I ought… Wet and Bumpy through the Alpine Loop - Having spent the last six days on the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route (NMBDR), there were a few things that needed our attention before we knew exactly what our next move would be. Pulled over where the last of the dirt hit CO-17, we each had one bar of LTE… Rig Review: What worked and what didn't - Summer 2021? - August 1, 2021. It's been a while since the last Rig Review. Since then, I've put five trips and 20K more miles on the Tacoma. It has - as always seems to be the case - been fantastic. Scouting Black Rock Desert (Apr 2021) Owyhee West (May 2021) Forty-One Miles…