Founded in 2010, Backcountry Discovery Routes is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that focuses on creating off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. The Wyoming route being premiered this summer is the 11th in their repertoire, with routes in most of the other western states and two on the East Coast.
The Wyoming BDR and its accompanying film were first brought to my attention at a 2020 State Parks and Cultural Resources Commission meeting. The Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office director, a motorcycling buff himself, was thrilled to share with the group that BDR was planning a route in our state, they would be producing a film about the route and the Outdoor Rec Office would be helping support the efforts.
Being that my husband is an off-road motorcycling enthusiast, I was intrigued to learn about the state’s budding relationship with BDR and the impending route. I think I may have even told Stu about the endeavor? On the other hand, at each of our quarterly meetings we commissioners take in a lot of information about the eight departments under the SPCR umbrella. I know I had forgotten about the whole thing not long after that meeting.
Stu and some buddies recently went on a dirt bike touring adventure to Costa Rica. One evening, while chatting about the fun they had had riding earlier that day, one of the guys brought up the WYBDR. He told the others about the new route and suggested that they ride it together this summer. He also mentioned that the WY Outdoor Recreation Office was a partner in the project.
When Stu called me that night he was excited to tell and ask me about the WYBDR. Being that the BDR folks finished the course last fall and have the movie ready to premier this spring, I had been reminded of and brought up to speed on the project at our most recent SPCR commission meeting just weeks prior. What a fun happenstance that my husband will be riding the route!
Wyoming’s is touted to be BDR’s most remote adventure created thus far. As described on their website, the route begins in Baggs and traces the mountain ranges to the east through the Sierra Madre and Medicine Bow Ranges, crosses west to the Wind River Range, then goes back east and north through the Bighorn Mountains, eventually ending at a remote Wyoming-Montana border. A thousand-mile backcountry experience not for the faint of heart.
Hopefully you’ve already secured your seats for the Banff Mountain Film Festival on April 19. If you haven’t, immediately upon finishing this column you need to go to the WYO Theater website and buy your tickets. They sell out every year and you don’t want to be stuck at home, sad and missing out.
If an evening of Banff doesn’t fill your quota for outdoor films that week, and you are looking for a family friendly, outdoorsy Earth Day evening activity, come down to Luminous to watch the WYBDR film on Friday April 22. In addition to watching a movie highlighting our beautiful Bighorns, you can enjoy lots of good company, pizza from Hetty’s and a cool beverage. Best of all, admission is free.