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John65 01-08-2013 12:04 AM

Trans-Eastern Trail Florida section
I've never done a ride report, but since no one else seems to want to do one on the TET-S (Trans-Eastern-Trail, south), I decided to give it a try
The TET begins West of Roanoke VA, and runs down to Dillard GA, then starts a loop, going across north GA through Chattahoochee NF and into Alabama, through Talladega NF, continuing down east side of AL, into Florida (Jackson county), down to Carabelle FL, across north FL through Osceola NF, into SE Georgia, up to Augusta, into SC, back into GA, up to North Carolina, back into GA, where the loop is ended. The loop around GA is a little over 1300 miles, but we covered more like 1800, since we did it in 3 different rides.
In comparison to the first 800 miles of TAT (old route), This is overall the best ride, by far...

In August 2012, Larry (LJHRider) and I rode the Florida section. We had ridden the Alabama section earlier in the year on the way to Lynville TN to ride the 2nd 400 miles of the TAT. The Alabama portion of the route is mostly graded county roads except for the NF 500 which goes through the Taladega NF and I didn't get much video of that ride.

A few weeks after this Florida ride, we continued the TET loop around Georgia. Depending on how hard this report is, I may try one on the Georgia portion later.

John65 01-08-2013 12:06 AM

I took very few photos on this ride, but have many hours of video, so most all of the shots will be video-capture. The quality is not as good as still photos, and the first half day has raindrops on the lense, but they're good enough to see what the route was like.

My route (not the TET) covered on this ride (starts and ends at my house)

Complete TET route (excluding Dillard to Virginia portion)

John65 01-08-2013 12:08 AM

Larry and I met and started the route in Jackson county Florida, which is about 15 miles from my house. The roads through Jackson county are 90% graded county roads, and then you cross the Chattahoochee River and turn down towards the Apalachicola National forest on paved roads. My photos begin where we turned off county road 67 about 7 miles south of Bristol Fl.

This road, ( I think) is on private land, but there was no gate or posted signs where we turned of the county road, so we rode on

It started off like a typical wet day on NF roads

But, That only lasted about 200 yards and then this

In the beginning, we tried to ride the rim of these holes, but after 4-5 of them we said WTF and stayed in the tracks
All of these vidcaps are before we get to the National Forest roads

John65 01-08-2013 12:10 AM

Photobucket has scrambled my uploaded photos, so when I get them sorted again, I'll continue the report

John65 01-08-2013 09:15 AM

This is where the national forest begins. The other end of the road is open, but only bikes can get through on this end

continuing on FR 121, 105, 112, 111, and on and on
My apologies for these shots, but the rain has started again and drying the camera lense only lasts a few seconds

John65 01-08-2013 09:30 AM

Then, when we get to cr22 which is part County maintained and part forest road
but we see these occasionally, and maybe it won't be something we can't cross,
so on we go

Now we're not crossing ponds of water as much, but the entire road is a sand soup,
and SLICK. I never rode on slick sand before. It definetly keeps your attention.

Some of it is 2 track with grass in middle and sides.
Not too bad in these sections

John65 01-08-2013 09:57 AM

But we're not thru with the ponds yet..

The easiest riding was in the sections where the water was standing. The ground was hard
and had pretty good traction. Much easier than the sections where the sand absorbed all the
Getting in the grass on side of road had better traction

We thought we had seen reasons for the road being closed, but now we see the REAL reason

We stopped to see if it could be crossed,, (I sure didn't want to turn around).
It turned out to be a pretty easy crossing. Only 16-18 inches at deepest point.

Unclescar 01-08-2013 10:14 AM


Hope you had some good rain gear on!!!

John65 01-08-2013 10:23 AM

The route was supposed to turn off this road into Tate's Hell State Forest, but the road connecting
to Tates Hell is not in garmin maps, so we missed it. I knew it wasn't on the map and tried to find it,
but failed, When I reviewed the video, I saw it, (camera's got better eyes than I do)

This is where we should have turned south

But I missed it, so we continued on this road to cr67, then headed south to re-enter the route from east side of Tate's Hell
That was also a failure. We rode about 1 mile in 12 inch deep mud before giving up, doing an
about-face back to pavement and slabbing it on into Carabelle. (didn't have camera on at this time)

We filled the bikes and ate lunch in Carabelle before continuing on through the eastern half of
Tate's Hell.

John65 01-08-2013 10:33 AM

Afternoon ride
This is the map of the next section

The riding in this section was really easy, except for not knowing how deep the water is going to be
in the next pond we cross

These vidcaps tell the story better than I can...

Except for a few small holes, the deepest water we've crossed so far is only 12-14 inches deep.
The small holes weren't a problem either, since both wheels weren't in them at the same time
Front wheel was out of hole before back wheel dropped in.

John65 01-08-2013 11:50 AM

This is a Spring we stopped at on Old Plank Road south of Tallahassee. I looked it up on the internet, and it is called a “Spring”, but I've never seen a spring with black water coming out of it.

continuing on, we're somewhere East of Tallahassee and south of I-10.

There's water as far as I can see out into the woods

Here's an unusual site. Cattle gaps on a county maintained road.

John65 01-08-2013 11:52 AM

And more water
Photos tell the whole story

John65 01-08-2013 11:56 AM

Now we're on north side of I-10 and out of the really wet stuff
Great scenery and beautiful country, but it's getting late. We have been riding over 12 hrs and tired,

so we leave the route and find a motel about 6 miles off the route near Lake Park GA.

toolguy1 01-08-2013 11:57 AM

:lurk :clap

John65 01-08-2013 12:00 PM

Day 2
Next morning, back on route for a few more miles of good scenery

Now, we're on a road named NE 38th Drive. I thought we had been through some tough stuff, but it's like the old saying “You ain't seen nuthing yet”
Looks like a typical Florida sand road don't it.

This is the most deceiving road I ever got on. Every time I relaxed my grip on the bars, I'd lose the front end,
so, for what seemed like a couple hundred miles, I was hanging on, and even that wasn't enough a couple of times.

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