July 4, 2022.
Just five months ago - almost to the day we set out - the Wyoming Backcountry Discovery Route (WYBDR) was released by the BDR organization. Totaling 967 miles and blocked by snow until summer, it winds through one of the last frontiers in America - some 48% of the state being public land - perhaps the most remote adventure of all the BDR’s created to date.
As always, we wanted to run a BDR this summer, and I'd had my eye on Colorado or Utah as both are always beautiful states through which to travel. But the pull of a brand-new route - through a state that I've done relatively little exploration of - was simply too great.
As we travelled the route, we couldn't have been happier. With a late spring and summer, we were the very first four-wheeled vehicle to complete the entire trail, parts of it inaccessible even just a week before we arrived. And, with no fires to speak of affecting the route, we enjoyed warm temps, blue skies, and a pleasantly varied terrain as colorful wildflowers and spectacular views presented themselves around every turn.
By the end we both agreed, it was our new favorite Backcountry Discovery Route. (Yes, the Nevada BDR and Idaho BDR are still pretty great.)
As usual, BDR routes can be found on the RideBDR web site. I always find there's a little work to get them into tip-top shape, but that just gets you a little more familiar with the route before you embark yourself!
I Think We're the First - WYBDR Prologue - There are several reasons that @mrs.turbodb and I like to run Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDRs). Some of them are selfish - the trip planning has been done for us by the good folks at RideBDR; some of them are nostalgic - our first trip in the Tacoma was on the… Red Desert - An Underwhelming Start - WYBDR X - Having arrived at our middle-of-a-random-field BLM camping location just after midnight, there was no getting up for a pre-6:00am sunrise. Rather, we climbed down the ladder at nearly 8:30am to temperatures that were already in the mid 70s °F. With no breakfast to make - as we'd decided to skip… Baggs to Centennial - "Yeah Buddy," Into the Sierra Madre - WYBDR 1 - Unlike most other BDRs we've done, getting to the start of Wyoming Backcountry Discovery Route, for us, meant travelling just a bit of the route backwards - south on WY-789 towards Baggs - first. And Baggs - it turns out - is a couple miles north of the Wyoming-Colorado border.… Centennial to Elk Mtn - Top of the World - WYBDR 2 - Having pulled into the Centennial Historical Museum for a photo of the train depot, @mrs.turbodb and I each spotted displays that we wanted to check out, so we popped out of the Tacoma for a few minutes to do just that. I headed over to an old Union Pacific caboose,… Elk Mtn to Alcova - A Most Welcome Detour - WYBDR 3 - We had a hell of a time getting out of Elk Mountain. Well, not exactly out of town per-se, but out of the Conoco fuel station along I-80, just a few miles away. With gas prices as they are, I'd downloaded the Conoco app to save $.10/gal; let me tell… Alcova to Atlantic City - Disappointment - WYBDR 4 - Heading out of Alcova, we were driving into the sun. I'm never a huge fan of this, since it makes it harder to enjoy the landscape into which we are adventuring, and I hoped that we'd find somewhere to camp quickly, or that we'd turn north so that the sun…
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