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Old 04-22-2013, 08:22 AM   #1
zekester63 OP
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The Roxy Report

Here are a list of shortcuts to each of my short ride reports in this thread.

Bridges and Okmulgee State Park - posted 4/22/13
Natural Falls Ride - posted 4/28/13
Frog Rock Ride - posted 5/5/13
Out and About - posted 5/20/13
Westward Bound - posted 6/6/13
New Mexico - June 2013 - posted 7/17/13
A Three County Kind of Day - posted 7/22/13
Thanksgiving Ride - posted 12/03/13
Osage County Dual Sport Ride - posted 3/31/14
Clayton Lake, K-Trail and More - posted 5/12/14
Roxy goes to Utah

* * * * *


With a few exceptions, I’ve been mostly lurking here for a while now, enjoying the ride reports of many a rider as well as gleaning a lot of technical expertise from others. What a great site this is! I must admit though, that the reports of the TAT have captured my interest the most, and even more so when someone is riding a WRR/X. A buddy (okraider81) and I have agreed that we want to do part of the TAT in the future, but first things first - transitioning from primarily single track on dirt bikes to dual sport bikes, and everything that goes along with adventure riding. We understand that the TAT is not to be underestimated, so there’s a lot of planning and preparation that is required before setting out on trips like that.


It’s been a fairly short transition from dirt only to dual sport riding. Both of us have owned street bikes in the past, so that aspect of it wasn’t an issue. Okraider81 decided he wanted to keep his capable DRZ400 (aka QEII) and just try to make it street legal. He succeeded with that relatively painlessly. I sold my KX250F and replaced it with Roxy, my 2008 Yamaha WR250X, that came shod with R wheels with knobbies, but also included the original X wheels. The X wheels (now) have 80/20 tires on them, as most of the riding in this area doesn’t require much more than that. My R wheels have a fairly new set of 606s on them, but I save those for when I know we’ll be riding more aggressively or the terrain just demands more. We still love the dirt, so we still occasionally trailer the bikes somewhere to ride.


Here’s Roxy in both flavors:






Roxy came with most of the typical mods for the WRR/X; AIS removed, EXUP removed, opened airbox, FI programmer, skid plate, rear rack, etc. I have, however, had quite a lot of fun doing additional things though, such as adding a 12V and USB outlets up front for my GPS and iPhone, adding a set of Hotgrips (that I found in the Flea market here on Advrider), Flatland radiator guard, Scotts Stabilizer, tool/fuel tube, and several other odds & ends.

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Old 04-22-2013, 08:22 AM   #2
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So, Iíve been really wanting to go on some dual sport rides this spring. Long stints of slab on Roxy just arenít terribly appealing to me, so Iíve been looking for just about anything around this area with some dirt roads and varied terrain. Okraider81 and I were planning another ride this past weekend, but that was postponed, so I decided Iíd find somewhere else I could ride instead. In the approximately 7 months Iíve owned Roxy, other than some local commuting, Iíve only had the opportunity so far to go on a couple of nice day trips (one can be found here) and several shorter rides (30-50 miles) around the Tulsa area, so Iíve been itching to get in another decent dual sport ride.


I started with Google maps and began mapping a route that looked somewhat interesting. My initial goal was to find as many dirt roads as I could, and then see if there was anything noteworthy to see along the way. I sure wish Google Maps had a feature to show unpaved roads! Anyway, I found a few bridges in the general area I was looking at that might be worth checking out, and also thought a loop around Okmulgee Lake would be nice and give me a halfway point to grab a snack and relax a few minutes. My route back would be more of the same, as long as I didnít follow the same route I just rode.


After I had the route drawn in Google Maps, I imported it into Basecamp to do the final tweaks (and create the file for my Garmin). The last step in my process is exporting it into Google Earth to basically ďflyĒ the route, looking for gates or other things that I may need to change. One thing I have discovered is that ďroadsĒ that are depicted (and even labeled) in Google Maps/Earth, are not necessarily even roads at all. They may have been at some time, but often are nothing but worn down paths, usually inside fences or private property. Many of these roads in Oklahoma lead to oil & gas wells as well, and usually are gated.


Anyway, I started this thread as a ride report, so letís get on with my ride!
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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Here’s what my route looks like:




And my trip stats:




Before the ride, shiny and clean, while it lasts:




I had to run into town to fill the tank before heading out. Even running premium “real” gas, it’s fun filling the tank for $10, knowing how far it’s going to take me and the enjoyment I’ll get out of it. And for the observant ones noting the amount of gas I got, I have an IMS 3.1 gallon tank.




The first bridge I wanted to see was on a road that was closed. Well, I figured I’d see how “closed” it was before just skipping over it. With the recent rains and not running my R wheels with 606s, I was a little hesitant getting too far off the gravel to get around the road block, but I managed to squeeze right through the middle, no problem.




Made it to the bridge without any issues Pretty cool!




There were mounds of dirt on both ends, but no big deal to ride over.




Got a kick out of this:




From there it was miles and miles of nice, gravel roads like this. As you can see above from my Garmin stats, I was able to average around 30mph, but most of the time I felt comfortable going 35-40 on the gravel:




I got to one section that I was a little skeptical about when reviewing it on Google Earth. I couldn’t tell if it was gated or not, so I took a chance to see. I was real glad I found it. It started like this:




But quickly started deteriorating:




I’ve ridden quite a bit of single/double track in the past, so it wasn’t unfamiliar territory. The recent rains made a few sections pretty questionable without my 606s though. In fact at one point I almost got stuck, but just kept pressing on until I made it through. I didn’t think to grab a shot of that section as I was just glad I made it through without having to get all muddy and push her out...




At the end of that section of road, I turned back and saw this sign. It was obviously very old, and from the looks of it, the gate hadn’t been closed in a long time. Oh well, there wasn’t anything indicating it was private on the other end so I didn’t feel too bad about it. This section was one of the highlights of the ride.




More awesome roads:






I saw quite a few bridges on gravel roads that looked like this:




I’m glad the signs were there...wouldn’t have wanted to get too close to the edge of this one!!!




Enroute to my next waypoint I came to this intersection: :)




I kept my camera in the outer pocket of my Wolfman Enduro tank bag, and that worked great. In the past I used my phone, but with it mounted in the case on the bars, it was a pain to take out and put back in every time I stopped.




This bridge was kinda cool. I’m not really “into” bridges, but it did give my ride a purpose of sorts, and gave me something to do and an occasional break.






We’ve had a lot of rain the past couple of weeks, with a real gulley washer this past week. There were obvious signs of that here. If I had been a day or two earlier, I doubt I could have made it through this section. In fact all day I saw signs of recent flooding.






Oh good, another bridge. I’ve always liked one lane bridges for some odd reason.




Notice all the debris:






A little asphalt and then I get to the next bridge. Some of these didn’t really have a place to pull over, but there was very little traffic on these rural roads, so I wasn’t too concerned just parking right along the side.







Lots of muddy water in this river. I guess it’s the Deep Fork River, which, according to Wikipedia, is an Oklahoma tributary of the North Canadian River.




I saw several signs/entrances to the Okmulgee Wildlife Management Area. Supposedly it contains the largest known tracts of old growth Post Oak/Blackjack oaks found anywhere. Also, according to the website, “Many of the area's post oaks are likely over 350 years old, making them some of the oldest trees found East of the Rocky Mountains in North America.” That’s kinda cool.


More miles of this (and the upcoming hill was surprisingly steep!).


Had some nice twisties as I approached the Okmulgee Lake area:



The lake’s spillway was a popular place. Several cars were stopped to take pics and quite a few kids were down playing in the water below:





Arrived at the state park:


Oh yeah.... unfortunately the speed limit was only 25mph, and “enforced by radar”. Didn’t want to take any chances either since there are usually park rangers and such in places like this:



Water level looked pretty high:



Perfect timing:


Then break time:



Not much, but it hit the spot after a couple hours of riding:


Here’s my navigation setup. Garmin 62s in a RAM mount and iPhone 5 (running the Trapster app), both plugged into power outlets that I installed.



Just a few miles after Okmulgee Lake State Park is Dripping Springs State Park. I didn’t go into the park though since my route had me going west between Okmulgee Lake and the Salt Creek Reservoir just to the south, and I really didn’t have time for the additional miles.


So, quite a few miles into my return route, I was planning to go see an old mission, called “Nuyaka Mission”. It was kind of in the middle of nowhere, on gravel roads, which was perfect for my trip!




No such luck... gate locked:


I had another waypoint for a bridge on the same road up ahead, but just passed a sign stating that the road was closed. Hmm. I figured I would at least take a few pics and check it out.



Notice all the water from the flooding. A nice couple were sitting on the bridge fishing. He said they had been there all day and hadn’t caught a thing. I asked if it was possible to get through up ahead, and he thought so.



So I tried, and of course made it over the obstacles. The other end was similarly blocked, but easy enough to ride around.



I never realized how many abandoned homes there were in rural Oklahoma. I had already seen quite a few that day, so I decided to just take a picture of one. I didn’t go look inside though -- even out in the middle of nowhere it kinda creeped me out:


Saw this interesting place. Looks like there were 2 homes, with similarly shaped buildings, greenhouse, etc.




This wasn’t too far from home, and I’d never seen nor heard about it in the past. Very cool, but I’m not sure why they are building a castle in Keifer, OK. To each his own I guess. And I bet if they have kids, that they love it and have a lot of friends!


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Old 04-22-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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So now I canít wait until my next ride. Okraider81 and I are planning to go on an overnighter to Natural Falls and explore the area between there and Tahlequah. Camping from a bike is another aspect of this new type of riding that weíre looking forward to. Iím sure one of us will post a RR.

Happy riding!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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Zekester,
Thanks for the RR, looks like a fun day. I've been on a few of those roads but I think missed the good ones.

Keep it up. you've only just begun. Lota good rides around the Tulsa area.

Nice bike!


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Old 04-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #6
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Thanks Bill!
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:41 PM   #7
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Good stuff, Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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danget, can't see the pics on my work computer......will return later.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:20 PM   #9
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Bout time you got that Yamaha dirty!
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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Out and about...

... in progress - stay tuned!
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:48 PM   #11
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Out and About

So Iím sitting at home on Saturday morning, no pressing chores to be done, mowed the yard a couple evenings ago, wife out with the youngest doing their thing, and me suddenly realizing I had a few hours free. She suggested that I go for a ride, so after determining it wasnít a trick , it took me about 2 seconds to decide I would seize the moment. I knew the forecast for the day was hot and humid, but I figured as long as I kept moving it wonít be too bad, and Iíd have water to keep hydrated, and a couple snacks, and that the uncomfort of the weather would be worth getting a chance to ride for a few hours!

I started scrambling to figure out where to ride. Fortunately, even when I donít have rides planned, I often look on maps to see if I can find new or interesting places to ride that are within a reasonable distance from home. If I rode a big ADV bike my options would open up somewhat, but riding a ľ liter ďdirt bikeĒ and only having a few hours, the thought of riding an hour or more of slab just to get to anything more exciting doesnít exactly thrill me. But Iíll take what I can get and know Iíll enjoy it anyway!

I jump on the computer, convert some of the Google maps I've played around with to GPX files, and then load them into Basecamp for some finalizing. I don't have a special route planned this time, but instead have several places that I thought might be worth checking out. The tracks I had created were somewhat piecemeal, but I figured Iíd decide on the fly, and if I hit a dead end, then Iíd just try to connect to another track I would have loaded.

I grab some snacks, a couple bottles of water and stow them in my tank & tail bags. Iím still running my 606s from when okraider81 and I did our ride to Natural Falls, so I knew Iíd be safe if I got into any sand or mud. I do the once over on Roxy, check tire pressure, gear up, and head out on my way.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:57 PM   #12
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Here is a map showing the route I ended up riding:

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Old 05-20-2013, 02:01 PM   #13
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About 3 miles from my house is where the pavement ends. Surprising actually, because there arenít any (or at least many) other unpaved roads that Iím aware of this close by. Iím glad I found this road, because it gets remote real quick and makes me feel further away from the hustle and bustle of the city than I actually am.



There are several miles of this type of gravel road, very well maintained (although sometimes a bit excessive on the loose gravel, making things feel a bit squirrely at times), and somewhat straight and flat - the typical Oklahoma grid with stop signs every mile.

After a few miles on this gravel road I turned west, south of Keifer and towards some hopefully interesting terrain that I havenít explored before. At least Google maps make it look more interesting! Speaking of Google maps, as I am about to find out (and have experienced several times before), you just cannot trust them (probably any maps to be honest, but since I use Google, thatís who Iíll call out) to plan a ride. Iíve found that there are a whole bunch of roads that are clearly marked as roads, numbers and all, but then are either private, gated or just donít exist at all except for faint tracks in the grass later when viewing from Google Earth. When I have the time, I typically like to look fairly closely on Google Earth before I go anywhere so I donít waste a bunch of time hitting dead ends. This time I didnít have the time though, so I knew it was going to be a gamble with many of the places I had planned to go to.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:07 PM   #14
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About 15 minutes into my ride, I find myself on a very narrow, but paved, road. It wasnít very well maintained, but there werenít any indications of it being private either, so I keep pressing on. There was a gate, but could tell it hadnít been used in many, many years. It also looked like there were more than just one house/farm ahead, so I didnít feel like I was in someoneís driveway. The asphalt soon ended, and before I knew it I was on this really nice road/trail.



While stopped to take the above picture... as Iím putting my phone back in itís place, I see a single headlight approaching quickly in my mirrors. I had noticed a GoldWing at a farm a little ways back, so that was my first thought, but didnít think this sandy road was much of a place for a 700+lb bike. I kill the engine and wait for his arrival. He pulls up next to me and turns off his bike. Heís interested in what I was up to and where I was headed. I told him that I was just out exploring, and asked if this was private property. Sure enough, it was the property owner. I quickly apologized, telling him that if there had been any signs indicating that it was, or closed gates, that I wouldnít have even considering passing. I showed him my GPS, telling him that at least Google thinks thereís a road through his property, and then discussed my planned route. We actually talked for quite awhile - real nice guy. He asked me where I was from, about my ďrigĒ and then told me I was welcome to proceed and explore his property. He said there was a gate at the other end (where I was headed), and it might be locked and have to backtrack, and if so, just to stop by his place on my way out so he knows I made it out safely. He said his main concern is lawsuits - if someone comes onto his property and gets injured... and that itís sad our legal system has made this such a common practice.

He pulled up ahead of me and amazingly proceeded to turn his bike around in this stuff. He managed just fine, thanks to his handy dandy reverse gear.

I take off then, thanking him again and headed out, following my tracks. I never made it to any gate - one dead end after another. Where my Garmin was telling me to turn, there wasnít even a trail, just a foot or two of grass (I think power lines ran through there), and I wasnít sure the landowner actually intended for me to go offroading to that extent, even though he seemed familiar with where my tracks led to, taking me past a couple large ponds in that direction, etc. So I turned around for the last time and headed out, feeling somewhat guilty about being there in the first place. I stopped at the place with the GoldWing out front, and saw him and a couple others doing some fence work. I talked to him for several minutes again. He told me he liked my rig, talked about living in the country, farming, and grass root values (he said most people donít even know what that really is...). I told him I grew up on a farm with all the typical animals, 20K broilers every 10-12 weeks or so, milking cows (by hand), haying, you name it. It obviously scored brownie points with him, as I could tell he knew then that I understood what he had been talking about and wasnít just some city boy. He told me that Iím welcome to come back and ride and get as muddy as Iíd like on his property any time I want to. Donít know that I will, but it was nice that he offered.

Another shot of the trail on his property.

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Old 05-20-2013, 02:09 PM   #15
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Iíve seen this place before - most of the structures are built as domes, including a greenhouse and some of the outbuildings. What I hadnít seen previously was this sign on their gate, indicating that it was a snake farm. No clue if it actually is, and donít really want to find out! Iíve always thought that the only good snake was a dead snake.

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