BigDog & Gaspipe Do The TransAm Trail West
I suppose it was inevitable.
Several years ago, I bought the maps from Sam, and started riding the eastern sections of the TranAm Trail on a regular basis as a 'warmup' for other rides. Over the past few years, much of the TN and MS parts have been chipsealed (and ruined) - something that pisses me off, but progress has it's way of moving forward irregardless.
The western states have long intruigued me, but responsibilities and work made exploration impossible. Until now. The rat race caught up, and I decided it's time to lighten the load of responsibility.
I sold my businesses.
"Hey Gaspipe, ya wanna ride the western states of the TransAm Trail?"
"Yeah, OK. I'm in."
It was that simple.
There were a few other dudes expressing interest, but life's hurdels precluded any other participants. No biggy, as BigDog and I are pretty used to traveling alone anyway. Two works well - faster and logistically easier anyway.
Both of use had trodden up and down the eastern states, so we decided to meet up at the Arkansas/Oklahoma border, and pick up where we'd each left off on previous rides. The closest civilization was Siloam Springs, and that's where we 'holed up', readying for 3,500 miles of Sam Correro's best of the west.
Thank doG the rain came the night before, the dust was horrific - a harbinger of things to come.
The cheapo motel has some sort of 'theme' thing going on. Somehow, we got the "TallyHo!" room :uhoh :umph :twitch :lol3
And that was how Day Zero happened - June 1st. We're outta here at 0-dawn-thirty.
O-Dark-Thirty found us ready to roll - but we had to stow BigDog's rig, and get some coffee and grub first. Watching Mark drive the 4x4 with Tec6's on was a treat :lol3
WTF :umph My 276C was not digesting the data well.....Mark spent painstaking hours converting Sam's data into GPS data using his patented 5" Buffalo Map Condenser. In a random fit of idiocy, I loaded it into my 276 using MapSource 7.0 - while Mark programmed it all in 6.0. It was useless....This created what could be a bad scene, as now we have no backup data. :cry
Problem? Nope. No hay problema. Just adds to the adventure :thumb
We headed south to the starting point - a place where each of us had stopped prior at the conclusion of Arkansas.
Mark is riding an '06 Husky TE610 - a bike that's all but unproven to date, but Mark has it well sorted out. I'm on a modified XR650R. It was quite obvious we each put a good deal of time into prepping the bikes for the ride. 3,500 miles of isolated territory tends to warrant such a thing.
The previous night's storms quickly provide us some obstacles in the form of fallen trees, shrouded in poison ivy. Yeah baby!
Although there were some additional riders that had expressed an interest in the ride, by crunch time, there was just Mark and I.
C'est la vie.
We'd each been thinking of a name for this ride - something unusual to really personalize this ride. In an unusually picturesque river crossing, Mark and I ran into a particularly pretty young lady and her friend - and his dog.
He was an ex-MX racer, and was intruigued with our endeavor. We explained that there was but two of us, the others unable to commit, and he declared the ride as 'tahlequah'.
:dunno Yup. It means something.
After the Trail of Tears, the Indian tribal elders were to meet upon this very spot to decide the future. Only two of the three elders came, and "two is enough" was decided - and that word is "tahlequa".
Perfect. How fitting.
Eastern Oklahoma sure reminds me of western Arkansas. But that'll change all too soon. But for now, run, terrapin, run....!!!!
This ride is ON! :clap
Before long, the curves all became 90 degree angles, the agricultural roads layed out in a simple one mile grid pattern.
Long, straight roads. But at least there's some elevation change still lingering on, allowing for some nice views.
The Osage Indian Reservation took us through some beautiful forests and swampland.
Fuel was a concern for the Husky - it only carried 3.4 gallons. The Honda was fitted up with a Acerbis 6+ gallon behemoth, so fuel wasn't a concern so much for it - but the fella with the least range dictates the course. And that's how we managed the fuel - by the Husky's range.
There are plenty of hills and obscure roads in northern Oklahoma in that Osage reservation. It was utterly devoid of humans, and just to our liking.
I skipped a fuel stop, thinking to myself "why do I want to carry all this fuel all the time?" Well, in these remote areas, it's best to just to do like you do in other countries. Fill up when you can. I almost ran out of gas on the first day :uhoh
I could just imagine this place a hundred years ago. Cimmaron!
Eventually, the sun grew swollen and fat, sinking to the western horizon. We need to be thinking about shelter.
We approached the town of Newkirk, got gas, and decided to get some grub. The Stagecoach BBQ is highly recommended. Friendly service, great food. We stuffed ourselves, and elected to get a motel for the night.
A wonky wheel bearing was re-adjusted....
And the 'waffle stomp' shower laundry set out to dry. You hard cores know what that's all about.
Day one ends, about 280 miles under our belts for the day - a big chunk of Oklahoma already chewed off the ride.
--more coming up--
More tomorrow. The 3,000 miles home beat me up.
Damn it man!!!Passed right near me(55 miles) AND stayed the night.........Fook...woulda bought ya dinner.....
oh man,this is gonna be great!!!:deal
I always enjoy your posts, GP :deal
Don't stop there
Tahlequah........Two Is Enough
Talequah---the Indian word for "Two is Enough".......... as GasPipe said this is the name of our ride.
My GPS showed 3,442 miles from the Arkansas/Oklahoma border to Port Orford Oregon-------between 1 and 2 percent were paved....I was amazed.
Here is a rough map of our route.
This is where the ride ended for me in 2004 at the Oklahoma/Arkansas border, Too Tall (Larry Taylor), Kevin Sweet, and VStromRunner (Joe Hart)---the beemers had bailed before we got here.
The bikes would never look like this for quite awhile.
Our rear tires will be toast by the time we hit Moab, Utah. Our plan is to have Fred at Arrowhead motorsports waiting there--tire irons in hand with our tires of choice for a quick tire change and maybe an oil change and filter cleaning. GasPipe owns a tent---I've heard, but I don't expect him to bring it as he will be traveling extremely light.
The Husky is all packed too. This was an exercise in not what to take--but what "not" to take.
As me and the Pipe are traveling extremely light--bulk and weight are our enemy.
Reducing Sam Correro's wonderful maps to navigate the trail to a mere fraction of the weight and size they were has become a simple operation for me after years of development---I present to you....Patent Pending 9374021-42-56-1347
The 5" Buffalo--- "Map Condenser"
It was years in development---I made it from simple items purchased at the local "Dobbs Bargain Town" and "Big Lots"---I tried using 110volts, but had to upgrade to 220--no internet connection required.
The final results.....sorry for the blurry thumbnail image.
It weighs a fraction of the original and is 1,500th of it's previous size.
The final brief facts for the ride were
5 flat tires (all GasPipes)
An invasion of Billions of giant alien crickets
5 high passes that were socked in with snow and we had to re-route.
Many stopped up toilets---as the "Turd Police" were on our tail the whole ride
Rain, sleet, snow, hail, washed out roads
Temps from 29 degrees to almost 100
Zero-----yes I said Zero bike breakdowns--amazing !!
Almost everyday---we saw absolutely nobody on the trail. It's a lonely trail--the doo-rag crowd would have had nobody to look at them.
And oh yes---we detoured down to Crater lake which had 15ft. of snow everywhere---but they had plowed it open just 4 days before we got there---I never thought I'd live to see Crater Lake---the snow made it more beautiful than ever. The top 3 things in my life that have made my mouth just drop open in awe are: Grand Canyon--Copper Canyon--Crater Lake.
GasPipe----how many stop signs did we run in Oklahoma--I forgot ????
Bravo.....this is gonna be good
I knew I should have quit my job when Mark called!!!:pimp
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