Part time TAT
So as I sit here looking at the keyboard I wonder who in the world would want to read a thread about two middle aged dudes on big girls that don't have the time to ride the thing all at once. It seems as if there are way too many good reports to read here on ADV that cover the trail in detail and all we have to offer is more of the same. I guess at this point I am thinking this may be a way to document the trip as we will be taking long weekends and maybe a week at a time to make it work as best we can with our schedules so here goes nothing...
We have four days to get from north central Kentucky to Tellico Plains and west to Mississippi, doesn't sound too hard so me meet after work on a Thursday and slab it down to the Cherokee NF to camp in some really out of the way place way up in the hills. Since it was about 1AM we didn't get any pictures of the first night, all we managed to do was set up camp, drink a beer or three and fall down.
This is a nice empty overflow camp at Indian Boundary the next morning
Up way too early after a little sleep because there was some sort of carpenter bee nest in the fire pit. Those things are big enough that their wings create all kinds of noise and they were all over both our tents and actually woke me up. Very strange.
So we decided to pack up camp and find some coffee and a bite to eat. We headed back down to Tellico for some grub and the start of the trail. I was a little preoccupied about the condition of the water crossings and all since we have had a bunch of rain and we were riding the big pigs. The trail started nice enough
and then quickly gets a little rough for the big bikes. Totally doable on anything with a little suspension but we just had to go a little slower than usual no big deal.
In the first stretch of the trail I think there are four water crossings, nothing really bad about these even on a pig
But there is one catch! I think it was the third one that has some exposed slippery rock on the right and loose gravel over on the left side. We decided that I would go first and I went right. Problem was that the rut I was riding through was really tight one wrong move would have caused a fall. After I crossed we decided that Josh should try the middle as it was a little wider so he went...
and as you can see wound up walking her out :clap
I think he tried to change the path mid stream and I couldn't get to my camera fast enough to get a picture of him picking the bike up so this will have to do. The bike was still running so no real troubles, we decided to get his electronics all dried out and take a break, 15 minutes into the ride :rofl
We did find a few dings on the bike where it had hit the exposed rock and then Josh found his rear brake lever all bent up
Trail side fix resulting in...
The remainder of the day was nice riding and after that first section was either nice graded gravel and dirt or small paved roads.
I really think Tennessee gets a bad rap from lots of the hard core off road guys but for the big bikes we really enjoyed it. There were some interesting sections and we made the most of it.
I think we made it as far as Monteagle, TN where we found a room and got a bite to eat. We were both tired and crashed out early.
Cool, now we have some pictures to look at! I will add more ASAP
Seems like we had made it out of the mountains and were now down in the valley, lots of farms down here with pretty good roads.
Good thing we had come down out of the mountains as Josh was worried about the rear brake pads on his bike. He had just purchased the Strom right before this trip and had only a little bit of shake down before we took off. He had done some looking and we were able to find a Honda dealer only a few miles off the track so we headed that direction and got him a new set of pads. Just so happens a CBR600 uses the same part :D
Just as quick as we were in town we were headed out again and into the country side. Lots of wild life down here, deer and turkeys all over the place.
Looks like lots of folks head this way and there are people who cater to our ADV types
still day two
Early this morning while packing up we were checking the weather. It seems there has been storms just to our north and west and they would be moving our way some time later in the afternoon. With the Strom sorted we were heading west along the trail when Josh needed to stop for a smoke and get his rain gear out and handy.
Well what do you know, now we hear thunder off in the distance and the skies are not looking to inviting off to the west. :eek1 CRAP! too early in the day for this mess...
I'm absolutely sure that my inability to prepare for the weather caused the storms to blow up over us as I had no rain gear. All I could do was zip on the wind breaker and go.
About an hour into the rainy ride I hit something in the road with my rear wheel but since it was raining I decided to push on until I could safely take a look. A few more minutes down the road the rear end starts to feel a little strange so I pulled over for a look. Josh was in the lead and took off down a narrow hill. As I hopped off the bike I kinda slipped and as I tried to gain my footing, the bike slipped from my hands on the hill and it was over. :baldy My only thought was how in the world was I going to right the big pig with fuel spilling out all over the place, in the rain, by myself. I must have found some super human strength cause she came up easy enough and by the time Josh got back to check on me I had fixed the handlebars (adjustment) and picked up the broken turn signal. No real harm done other than my pride. I think Josh has a picture of the oil slick.
Turns out the rear tire is fine and I really didn't do any damage so all of this was just me being stupid...
We rode on for about an hour and the rains just kept coming and seemed to get heavier. Josh had a fantastic idea about a spot he knew of and it was decided! We would head off the trail a bit to get to some warm dry clothes, beers and boobies!
Boy were we disappointed when we found this! CLOSED!!!
Josh tried the website and everything he could think of to make sure we weren't going to miss this but it was not meant to be :cry
He was real sad we had to ride on...
But it was all good, we rode down into Alabama to get out of the rain and got a free BBQ sandwich from the nice folks at Lawlar's BBQ in Athens! Highly recommended!
I was going to get a picture of the food but it was gone way too quickly
Since it was warm and dry in Alabama we figured we would do a little sight seeing and riding around the north of the state.
Josh is goofing off as usual!
We were going to stay in the Joe Wheeler State Park but they wanted about $40 to put up two tents on two sites :eek1 We told them what they could do with that and went to find a room in nearby Rodgersville and have grub in town. Good day all in all but I will always wonder what would have went down if Josh would have been let loose in the Booby Bungalow!!!???
Looking Good !
Third and final trail day
We were a little quicker to move this morning as we had a good nights rest and were ready to hit some of what Josh was calling better roads. Don't get me wrong, up until this point there were some great roads but I definitely think the roads get better as you move to the west of I-65...anyway a few shots of the goodness!
Now since the only water we rode through yesterday had been the rain, I was really waiting for the wide crossing that everyone is supposed to have trouble with. I was surprised at how many water crossings we did today, maybe six?
Some not too deep but careful, it could be slippery!
Now it seems to me about this time that the landscape is changing a little and we have some nice views, not to mention the roads were starting to impress me more and more. This is what I always thought the TAT would be about!
Some more water to clean off the bikes
Real hard to see in this next photo but the road is about dead center and we were headed that way, good fun riding here!
We both thought this sign was funny so we had to get a pic :D
Wow, now that I am looking at all these photos I'm starting to wonder if I ever led? For some stupid reason I made the tracks into routes and not all of them would work. Josh says he uses tracks and I think in the future I will do the same!
and good riding while headed towards Picwick
There is one bridge that I didn't document that has been noted in other reports as having a hole in the right side at the far end. As we started on a road I don't remember the name of it was paved then shortly turned to dirt and gravel. As we went by there was a family standing out in the front yard and some kids with dirt bikes so I waved...little did I know that they would fire them up and chase us! :eek1 COOL KIDS! We got down to the bridge and someone had piled up a bunch of dirt just in front of it maybe to keep folks from going thru but that wasn't going to stop us! The kids rode right in behind us and I think they were waiting to see if we would turn the big girls around but we were having none of it, a little dirt kicking and mashing and we were both up and over. The little dudes both followed for a bit and then went screaming off to the north in some adjacent corn field. If you are in the area of the Tennessee River just before you come to the dam you may see these two young advriders so stop and say hello.
Obligatory photo op of the adjustable turbine...COOL stuff for sure!
Now there was a few little wooden bridges but I think this is the second one. Loose boards but fine for the bikes.
Then more of this before you hit the lake and on to Mississippi!
CAN'T WAIT TO RIDE THE NEXT SECTION! :freaky
thanks for the vote of confidence Ron! This is the first RR I have ever attempted after lurking for years. I must say there is some gratification in saving my memories! Hopefully many more to come!
Great read. Sounds like a regular trip with fun galore, neat sites to see and why we ride. Thanks for taking the time to post.
You are very welcome! I am enjoying this emminsely and jope to have more for you in the not to distant future...
Geez Tim way to leave something out for me to heckle! Great write up. I sent you the link to my pics but I may have a few on the phone as well. As soon as I get to it I will pull the videos from the Gopro, including my Friday fall in the creek, and get them to you. Folks if you could only see this grown mans face when the bungalow had the signage removed. He looked so devastated, as of he could not go on. Also, the truck stop at that exit with the greasy spoon inside is currently closed for remodelling.
I do feel that I need to note, in order to receive the free really delicious BBQ sandwich, you need to stop at the AL welcome center for a coupon/business card and then tell the fine folks at LawLers where you are from. Really nice people there serving some great grub.
This was my second time running TN and the tracks were a little different than the roll chart and topo. The big bikes were much more fun than the KLR last time. All in all it was a great ride with good company. I'm sure more will come to me later but I'm busy trying to reintegrate at my local watering hole right now.
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Hell yeah bro! Can't wait to ride some more of it! Good times for sure:freaky
Can't wait to see some of the GoPro vids
Great rr Tim. Wished I could have come along...maybe next time.
Wow...throwing insults at Josh. Calling him a "middle aged dude" Phuck, I've got skin tags older than him. :lol3
I know I saw that too. WTF?
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Works for me either way!
LOL well I guess it could have been two middle aged dudes and an old guy if you went!
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