Trans American Trail
This is my first real attempt at a ride report here. I have lurked forever and educated myself here. I hope someone gets some enjoyment or benefit from this.
I also needed a place for my family and friends to see what I have been up to without trying to explain it over and over.
It all started with a desire to ride the Trans American Trail. www.transamtrail.com
. The route runs across the United States using dirt roads, gravel roads, forest roads and farm roads. It drops down into dried up creek beds and runs atop abandoned railroad grades.
The problem is it is 4800 miles long and would take a lot of time to complete. I decided to break it into sections and am beginning with the official start of the trail in Jellico Tennessee. In this report I will ride Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. The plan is to ride to Jellico, ride the trail and somewhere in Oklahoma turn back towards home. I hope to ride the rest of the trail in the future. .
First I bought the maps and spent some quality time with Map Quest getting the route ready to download to the GPS. I also built a route to Tennessee that will keep me off the major roads. Then I got my DR650 all kitted up for the ride and waited for a weather window. Notice the new tire. I didn’t want to put a new knobby on and just wear it out riding pavement to Tennessee. I figured I would just ride on the mostly wore out one and it will be toast by the start of the trail. I can swap it out anywhere..
I wait while storm after storm moves through and finally on Wednesday the 17th of June it looks like I have a shot. I leave early in the morning from home in Osceola Iowa. I am planning two days to ride 760 miles to Jellico.
When I take these rides a big part of it is to locate a cheese burger and chocolate shake. This chain store never disappoints.
I did not take pictures on the way to Jellico. I made very good time and it looked like I was going to get to Jellico the first day. Everything was going great and then mother nature steped in. It seems I hade out run my weather window and caught up to some severe weather in western Kentucky.
I was planning little to no motel use this trip to save money but I was so soaked I checked in to the Motel 6 in Morgantown Kentucky. I laid out my stuff to dry and put my wet shoes on the heater vent.
606 miles for the first day is still pretty good
I got up early on the 18th and did the final 175 miles to Jellico
The tire doesn’t look like it has hardly worn down anymore. I guess I will just go ahead and leave it on awhile. I can change it anytime and I may as well get the goodie out of it.
After you leave town you get to twisty gravel right away. I was ½ day ahead of schedule and having a ball.
Then mother nature stepped back in. The clouds looked ominous so I got off the trail near Winfield Tennessee and found shelter in a car wash.
That worked out perfectly and I stayed dry as a mean storm blew through. I waited awhile until the roads dried up some and then hit the trail again. I had read where many of the Tennessee roads have been paved. I found that to be true but they are still fun roads. They are narrow and twisty and through some very beautiful country.
Through out this trip I crossed many small rivers that people were out enjoying and swimming in.
If you will notice I still didn’t need the new tire yet.
While out of a forest service road I caught up to another motorcycle rider unmistakably doing the same thing as me. I met Brian from New Hampshire. He had ridden from New Hampshire and was going to spend the next 8 weeks doing the entire Trans Am Trail and then ride back to New Hampshire. Wow.
We rode together for a day. It was a regular thing to stop for gas since Brian was running the stock tank on his XR650R. He only had about a 90 mile range. I hope he gets that changed before he gets out west. Gas stops frequently get a visit from curious locals. I really enjoy that stuff.
We got to Rock Island State Park as it was getting dark. This was Brians planned stop for the night so after a few pictures of the waterfalls we setup camp.
420 miles for the day. It was a long but good day and I am still ½ day ahead of schedule.
That is it for day one on the trail. I have to get another cup of coffee before posting more.