On July 7th, I set out to accomplish another riding goal. I wanted to complete a Butt Burner. For those not familiar with the Iron Butt Association they have a list of rides that people can do for a certification. Last July I did the “entry level” ride called a saddle sore. I rode 1060 miles in about 16.5 hours. The butt burner (BB) is 1500 in 36 hours or less. There are also two more extreme versions, BB Gold (BBG) same distance 1500 is 24 hours and BB Silver which is doing the 1500 Miles in 30 hours. I have read many write ups about others doing BBG and I thought it would be doable. Well let me tell you the BB is one of the hardest rides I’ve ever done. Both mentally as well as physically. Doing that distance on 24 hours is hard core to say the least.
I started my journey in Vancouver,WA at a early 4:15am I made my way to I84 E and started to scoot. Gresham, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, Hood River and the Dalles all clicked by rather quickly.
In Boardman I stopped for a quick fuel break and to stretch. Then back up the road to Courd A’Laine. It was only 9 :45 PST and I had already cruised 400 miles. Leaving Courd d’ Lane my fate took an unexpected turn. I had not planned to encounter major traffic on I90 E.
My pace was slowed drastically and construction continued the entire route to Missoula a 170 Miles took my almost 5 hours. By the time I arrived in Missoula it was about 3pm MST and I was drained from the constant stop and go. I stopped for a bit in Missoula to weigh my options. I could press forward knowing that I had only completed 500 miles in the past 10 hours and that a 1000 plus lay in front of me or I could turn around and head home. Still completing a SS1k but not what I had set out to do. I decided to journey forward hoping that the roads would clear up and I would make up some time. From Missoula I headed SE towards Butte, MT this section of road was thankfully pretty uneventful. One of the main reasons I chose this route was to opportunity to ride in Montana. I’ve been to a lot of States but there is something about Montana that I really love. Maybe it’s the vastness maybe it’s the stunning views. Huge mountains one direction, broad plains another. The rest of my ride through Montana would be filled with these sights and views. From Butte I left I-90 E and headed more southernly and set my course towards Boise, ID on I-15 S. On my course towards Boise I stopped in Dillion, MT. Dillion is a small town in the SW corner of Montana it has a population of about 4K and seemed like a mostly agricultural town. It was one of those places that makes me smile when I ride in just because of the all Americana feeling. I get the feeling that in this world life is a little bit simpler and the problems that I deal with living in a larger metropolitan area may not exist in this environment. I was also excited because Dillion represented my half way point.
Once fueled up and with a bit to eat I continued my journey south towards Boise. That section of the ride was relatively uneventful. I was cruising through this beautiful part of the country trying to make up some time from my earlier issues with construction. At 9pm MST I rolled into Idaho Falls. I was 900 miles in and started to think about what the next course of action would be. It was pretty clear that getting home tonight wasn’t going to be the best option. I had 600+ miles to home and already had been riding for 16 hours and with 10+ hours of riding left I started to think about lodging for the evening. My first thought was to get to Twin Falls and just get a room. This proved to be poor planning. With my wife looking online from home and me calling we struck out. We ended up finding a place in Mountain Home, ID which was about 95 miles away. I got geared up and headed towards a bed. It was a feather quick ride. I was in the middle of nowhere and I used the open roads to get to Mtn Home in about an hour. Once there I quickly crashed out. I did however learn a valuable lesson to not wing lodging on a ride like this. I think i would of been able to hit the Silver BB mark of completing this ride in 30 hours had I planned better.
On the morning of the 8th I woke up at 6:15 am. This was later then I had wanted to get going. Turns out that either my alarm didn’t go off or I slept through it. Either way I’m beyond thankful for my wife calling to see if i was up yet i didn’t sleep until later and risk not making the 36 hour timeframe. The remainder of my ride was pretty uneventful. Early on a Sunday morning the roads were pretty clear and I made great time. I filled up once in Baker City, OR which is a charming small town that still holds that classic American feeling and a second time in Boardman at a Loves right off I-84. There is always something special and great about coming home down the Columbia River Gorge. It holds a different kind of natural beauty and ruggedness then other parts of this great country I have seen. I got my closing receipt at 1:08pm, 33 hours after I had initially taken off for this adventure. Over all it was a great ride and I was excited to have checked this adventure off the list. I’m still waiting on the official certificate from the Iron Butt Association but regardless of that I feel accomplished having ridden that distant in that time frame.
Ride Safe, Brady