Tonight we are in Bayview, Idaho and have realized this is more or less the first 1000 km (621 miles) into our trip. We are on Day 9 of our trip but the last 3 or 5 days (who remembers these things?) have been mostly off-road. We’ve been eating dust (mostly me) and drifting corners (mostly Dave) on a series of gorgeous backcountry roads through BC and Idaho. We have gone from the small BC towns of Revelstoke to Rossland and Nelson then on to Kimberly and Creston. While riding through BC, we were treated to some great family time visiting cousins, aunts and uncles on both mine and Dave’s side of the family before crossing at the Porthill border near Creston and dropping into the US and the state of Idaho. This was where we really set in to our trip; camping at 5000ft passes, waking to frost on our bikes and eating rapidly-cooling oatmeal from our small camp stove. We are travelling south to Mexico via a series of backcountry roads put together by Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR), a non-profit organization that has put together a series of backcountry routes throughout many Western US states. We will take advantage of 2980 miles (4796km) of theses routes leading us through Idaho, Utah and Arizona. The routes focus on off-road travel and in some cases are tagged as ‘expert’. I had a swift kick in the butt on one of these experts roads the other day when I dropped my fully loaded 650 GS sideways on a particularly steep section of rocks and ruts. The spill was enough to pop the rack for my panniers off, which Dave noticed when we’d stopped for ice cream at a Conoco in Samuel, Idaho. We are wondering if we might be some of the first few people who get to ride the entire IBDR of the season as many sections of it have been closed due to fires in the area. In fact we passed several hot spots on the road and I even saw a flare up in the trees not to far from my handlebars. The Discovery Routes are all about dirt, which is why we had to pick up some eye wash solution for me at a Walmart. Following Dave on these roads gives me a face full of grit. But this is our intention—to travel around the world on as many dirt roads as possible. That’s why we need two years 🙂 We only have a few photos as my laptop battery is dieing—more to come later. Hope you enjoy and feel free to comment.