Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (WABDR 1-6) Completed

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Seattle206

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Our group finally completed the WABDR last weekend. It just took us nearly 3 years to from start to finish. Completed two sections at a time every July, beginning with sections 1 and 2 in July 2017, sections 3 and 4 in 2018, and finally 5 and 6 in July 2019.

Our core group consisted of my 5th Gen 4Runner and my buddies 2nd Gen Tacoma. A Sequioa and a couple F150's joined us for the last leg of the trip. We never took any of the bypasses and drove through every washout we on the main route (we like a little challenge). Overall, the entire WABDR is an extremely easy route. Most 2WD trucks/suvs can finish it without much issue. The best part was always enjoying our state's different scenery and of course, spending time with good friends at camp.

WABDR Sections 1 & 2:

Day 1: 7/28/2017

Buddy and I didn't get to leave Seattle until 5pm. The two other rigs were already en route down to Carson, WA since they took a half day at work. Knowing how shitty I-5 traffic is during Friday rush hour I was estimating it would take about 4.5 hours to get down to the Bridge of Gods. Nope, dead wrong. Crashes, road work and an oil spill decided to occur at the same time we hit the road. It took 3.5 hours from Seattle to Dupont, WA(which normally takes 35 mins when clear). We didn't get to Carson until midnight. It took 7 hours total which would have been normally 3.5 hours at most from Seattle to Carson.







Finally reached the Bridge of Gods on the OR/WA border that crosses the Columbia River. BTW, there is a $2 toll for those who are unaware. It's a pretty cool steel bridge.





Topped off fuel in Carson before searching for my friends who found a cool campsite on the WABDR. Drove about another 1 hour before I found their pin-drop on Gmaps.

We reached the campsite by 1 AM tired, hungry and just wanted to sleep. I unloaded the 4Runner, ditched the tent and just slept in the back. It was dark and we had no clue how the area really looked until day break.






 
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Seattle206

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Day 2: 7/29/17

Woke up to a spectacular sight with Mt. Hood in the background. My friends found this nifty spot that can fit all 3 vehicles plus space to set up our table and cooking station.





This Fiskers axe made easy work of that log we brought. Using the logs for the evening.



WADBR map which we never used. We relied on GAIA during the whole trip. The physical map is useful to have just in case.



Tembo skottle grill cooking up our unhealthy breakfast.



Jameson with Mt. Hood, ya know to warm up the body. We woke up at 6 AM so it was kind of chilly.



and the skottle grill with Mt. Hood in the background.



Cheers!



Adventure begins.





 
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Seattle206

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Day 2: 7/29/17 Section 1

After breakfast we followed the section 1 route and visited Gifford Pinchot National Forest Ice Cave.





Cave shots.









Caught this little guy outside.

 
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Seattle206

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Day 2: 7/29/17 Section 1

Airing down for a more comfortable ride through section 1.



Went down to 20psi. The ARB deflator makes quick work on all 4 tires.





Taking a break from driving so somebody else can take the lead. Section 1 is all dirt and gravel roads, no 4WD necessary. Can be done in any 2wd passenger car. Dust kicks up so bad at times whoever is trailing needs to slow down for the dust to clear before proceeding





Finished section 1 to Packwood to refill on fuel and water. Off to section 2!



En route to section 2: Packwood to Ellensburg, WA.

 
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Seattle206

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Day 2: 7/29/17 Section 2

Burnt forest


Airing up/down/up/down started becoming a routine by now.





Rimrock lake and Mt. Rainier in the background.





Off a basalt rock cliff.





 
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Seattle206

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Day 2: 7/29/17 Section 2

Section 2 is so much better than section 1 in every way. More scenic, tighter and more technical trails. Not difficult at all but just more entertaining.







Even the big tree can make it through the tight turns.





 

Seattle206

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Day 2: 7/29/17 Section 2

By 7 pm we decided to find a good spot to set up camp. Got to this nice clearing on Bethel Ridge to rest for the night. Time for dinner, we were hungry after hours of trail time.





Marketing shot for #YETI and #Scepter MWC



Kevin putting in work on the skottle sauteing some mushrooms and onions.



Cooking up some andouille sausage with mushrooms and onions.



USDA choice Ribeyes on the charcoal grill. Sorry, but the Tembo skottle grill can't cook a steak right. We eating good tonight.





Finished off the night by killing the bottle of Jameson by the camp fire.





 
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Seattle206

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Day 3: 7/30/17 Section 2

Sunday, last day of our trip and to finish off section 2. We had a great nights sleep with surprising low wind. Cooked up breakfast, cleaned up our area and off to the Ellensburg.

Morning coffee.



Shoooot...we are Asian after all so we made some fried rice with the skottle grill. This thing is quite versatile.



Our view from camp before we say goodbye.



Found a steep hill climb to play on. All too easy.











On to our last stretch through Umtanum Ridge to Ellensburg.




 
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Seattle206

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Day 3: 7/30/17 Section 2 completion













Finally put that Rotopax to use. First time using for an "offroad" adventure and the spout decided to break. I think this thing is better suited for filling up the lawn mower.



Last air up before we hit the highway back home.








And 2.5 hours later we make it back home to Seattle. This time the view of Mt. Rainier is on the other side. Rig is covered with dust inside and out. Going to spend several hours cleaning and wiping everything down and storing the gear away until next time. Checked out my tires afterwards and the rocky trails really tore up my tread on the Ridge Grapplers.


 
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Seattle206

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WABDR Sections 3 and 4 July 2018:

Two rigs, my 5th gen 4Runner and my buddies' 2nd gen Tacoma. Left Friday evening around 5:30 to Ellensburg where we began section 3. We relied mostly on downloaded .gpx tracks off Gaia GPS. Initially, we read that there were a couple major washouts in section 3 south of Cashmere, north of Mission Peak that were almost impassable unless you're a GOOD driver. There is a bypass you can take to HWY 97 for those who want to avoid those washouts but that of course would be too boring. The washouts on section 3 turned out to be very simple to get through, no more than 4HI. We crossed them thinking "okay, now where are those REAL washouts everybody mentioned? This can't be it, or can it?". The majority of the section 3 &4 were done in 2WD and only exercised 4HI now and then.

Finished section 4 by early Sunday afternoon as we head down toward Lake Chelan. Overall sections 3 &4 was quite easy. Any 4WD rig would complete this route with ease. I'd say even a 2WD truck with some decent ground clearance wouldn't have many issues either. We did sections 1 & 2 last summer and found 3 &4 a little more less involved as far as skill wise goes. Section 2 is still my favorite by far. We have plans to complete the WABDR next summer by finishing in the ghost town of Nighhawk at the WA/Canada border.

Packed up and ready to leave Seattle for the weekend.



Beginning of section 3 in Ellensburg.





Stopped by Lion Rock for some beautiful sunset poses lol.











Got to camp around 10:00 pm and set up for the night. Next morning we worked some breakfast before we continued section 3.







Working some bacon and chorizo on that Tembo skottle grill.



My girl on egg duty.



Our view from camp.

 
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Seattle206

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First washout on Liverty Beehive Rd/NF-9712 in section 3. There was another down the road which was easy to get through as well.








Made it up to a peak for a break.









Finished section 3 and into town for a refuel and coffee break.



Stopped by the 911 Memorial as we were in Cashmere.

 
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Seattle206

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I found section 4 to be a bit on the unenthusiastic side in regards to the drive. Majority of the roads were cliff side gravel roads and took us a while before we found a suitable place to set up camp.



Had to break out the blue label after driving for 7 hours. Kilt it.



Kabobs and longanisa on the gas grill.



Kevin cooking up some asparagus on the skottle.



Sun sets as we prepare dinner.





Called it a night around the "campfire". (Portable propane campfire due to burn ban)





Using whatever extra fuel I carried before we head back home to Seattle. Sections 3 & 4 complete!

 
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Seattle206

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WABDR Sections 5 and 6 July 2019:

7/19:

Starting off Section 5 in Chelan, WA.



Not necessary at all but airing down to 20psi makes the ride so much more comfortable.



Found our camp spot in Section 5. A couple buddies in their F150's joined us as well.



Cooked our late lunch. The Traeger and skottle grill came in handy of course.



Setup for the evening.



BioLite smokeless firepit works for charging your iPhone as well.



Can't stand beer, always need hard liquor every time I go camping.

 
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Seattle206

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7/20: Chelan to the small town of Conconully, WA section 6.









Found our camp site in section 6, an old deer camp.





Even had an old makeshift toilet.



 
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Seattle206

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7/21: Continuing on section 6 to Nighthawk, WA - Canadian Border.











The road that separates Washington and British Columbia. We spent 10 minutes goofing around and not a single vehicle in sight.





And that's the end of section 6. We've completed the WABDR in it's entirety.



 

Ghost

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I instantly knew what bridge that was. (BOG) I was on it yesterday. Great pictures, food prep looked next level and I do love me some Jameson while sitting around camp!

Living a couple miles from the southern end Im adding that trip to the list.
 

DashTrash

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Sweet!! Thanks for sharing. We did sections 1-3.75 (stopping in Wenatchee to return to Portland) this last weekend. Had a blast and can't wait to finish the rest!
 

oldmopars

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Thats an awesome trip. I did sections 1-4 on a Motorcycle a few years ago. Lots of fun. I now live about 5 miles from the gates you had to close on section 2 near Yakima. I plan to do it in the truck this year.
Looks like you all had a good time, thanks for sharing.
 

J&J Offroad

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Hey, I just wanted to say congratulations on completing WABDR. My wife and I completed it on 7.12.19. Thank you for all the great pictures, it brought back a lot of fun memories, and it's fun when you recognize all of the places.