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Old 09-13-2012, 12:29 PM   #16
Giddy Up
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Thumb BLM and camping

We camped every night expect for the two nights in Portland and it was very easy to find BLM or National Forest land for free camping. It is amazing with not much planning, you can find plenty of sweet campsites along the TAT. We literally pointed to a flat and nice spot every night and said, "Here looks great." The TAT borders and goes through public land, so obviously this helps. However, we took highways and interstates back to CO. We found plenty of free camping spots with no more than a 15 mile detour. It helps if your GPS indicates public land from private. We spent under $50 on camping at 2 campsites for two weeks of travel. One was forced as you saw we stayed at the Black Canyon due to a mechanical and the other one was at a State Park in ID as we just finished a 500 + mile day and saw the spot off of the Interstate.

Camping helped us to connect to the utter remoteness of the TAT. I highly recommend it!
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:37 PM   #17
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KLR fix

Just to clarify, before a bunch of the KLR inmates ask how I would reach my fan with the tank on. . . I actually was reattaching my gas lines after putting on all my riding gear, starting up the bike, then wondering why it stopped running.

For some reason, the KLR likes gas. Who knew?
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:15 AM   #18
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Day 4

Utah! We woke up to our friend the shot up TV and had a bit more motorcycle repair to address:




Seems that John's fan repair of yesterday didn't take. Radiator fan no mas. The Killer shall complete the trip sans fan. Let's hope it doesn't get to hot...in the desert. So it goes, we're both ready to take some Utah sand.






Black Dragon Canyon was pretty.




A surprising amount of the TAT follows I-70 through Utah. It's RIGHT there, essentially just the frontage road. Since offroad is really only cool when paired with a feeling of being 'out there', we decided to slab through the sections that mirrored the interstate.




We found a nice city park in Richfield and had some lunch. I read my book and John took a nap.


What does Diamond dream of, when he takes a little Diamond snooze...



After lunch we're back in the dirt and resume the storm chasing that we've been doing off and on the whole way. We actually got to test out the rain gear this time.




It was still hot and the rainsuits were getting a little muggy. John invents 'The Balls Fan' (patent pending).

Tired of sweating through your jean shorts cut-offs?
Motorcycle seat a little TOO hot?

try, The Balls Fan! (patent pending)




This section made for particularly interesting riding. In the tire track, you could go about 50mph. Out of it, you could go about ten thanks to the deep, loose gravel. It was like riding on ball bearings with ice skates. Much concentration was given to stay in the tire track.




These signs were sort of unlikely out in the middle of nowhere:
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:21 AM   #19
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It started getting to stopping time and the rain looked like it was going to start for real, so we set up camp at Crystal Peak.





The rain really gave us the business right as we got the flys up, so the timing couldn't have been much closer.




Thankfully it didn't last more than a few hours and led to a nice sunset.




It actually rained most of the night, but it took a break long enough for a fire.



It was a nice day on the road. I think we were both starting to settle into the trip and enjoy ourselves.

Mileage: 260
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:28 AM   #20
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ha i just watched that movie twice on net flicks!

make sure you dont blow ur lower end and buy a 175 2 stroke!
and make sure bobby practices those stream crossings not pickin up strays at the womens job center!
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:20 PM   #21
Giddy Up
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmtech View Post
ha i just watched that movie twice on net flicks!

make sure you dont blow ur lower end and buy a 175 2 stroke!

HA. There were some technical sections of this trip that I wish I had one of those old 175 2 strokes. It looked like you could toss those bikes around.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #22
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KLR Radiator Fan

The Killer's radiator fan, started to make funny noises outside of Silverton and on the drive into Montrose. I checked it at camp and noticed that one of the mounting bolts rattled off. No problem, new bolt at Davis Service Center, attached and ready to go. . . As I we are pulling into Moab, my fan started to make some very unpleasant noises, so I pull over and notice that the actual fan is really loose. (Oh no, we are entering the desert section during one of the hottest summers on record and through some of the most technical riding of the whole trip.)


We stop to get groceries and talk to a local (not the crazy offensive one) and find out about Arrowhead Motorsports (http://www.angelfire.com/ut/moab/ ). After talking to Fred (extremely knowledgeable about KLR’s and overall nice guy), he said that this is a common issue with KLR’s. (Wait a minute, I thought the only problem was the doo hickey?) We discuss ordering parts which would take too long. He mentions a quick fix with epoxy, so I risk it and I was hoping to fix it when we got to camp for the night.



The fan was in 3 pieces when we got to camp.



We drive on into the desert with no radiator fan. . .

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:53 PM   #23
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Great RR!
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2000 Cagiva Gran Canyon (Little Wing)
1997 Kawasaki KLR 650 (Rosebud)
"If you can't fly the biggest piece back, then ride it down. Fly what you have left to the ground and land the damn thing. Even in the trees, land it and walk away....." ---Mountain pilot Bob Johnson
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:07 PM   #24
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Cool2 O yea

Im in, looking good fellas; Iv'e been looking for a route like this to do
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:08 PM   #25
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I'm in. The bit about the rain reminds me of when I set up camp in the dark, in a wash. Woke up with 4 inches of water in our tent. Silly Canadian!! ain't got no deserts where I'm from... All the best boys!
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:41 AM   #26
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Day 5

Okay, I'm back to it! I got whacked with work the past few days. Excuses, excuses...

Day 5

After almost a full night of rain, we woke up to cloudy, but mercifully rain-free skies. The temperature was perfect, the trails were tacky, it was going to be a good one. We dropped off of Crystal Peak and shortly thereafter found ourselves entering the mighty wastelands of Nevada. Little did we know that the majority of our formative memories would be made here. For the next few days, our contact with our fellow species will dwindle to nearly nothing.





Right at the border is the aptly named Border Inn. We get gas, call home, and, praise lil' baby Jesus, take a shower. Well, I took a shower. After his phone call, John was missing the girls and antsy to get back on the road. Diamond don't need no stinkin' shower! (yes he did)




We decided later that out in the middle of BFE, no business can survive if it just does one thing. This place was a gas station, a motel, a cafe, a laundromat, and a casino. If you can't do it at The Border Inn, you shouldn't be doing it. With both of us gassed up and half of us clean, it's off into the desert, which looked suspiciously un-desertlike on this particular day.







Somehow we chased storms all day but never actually got rained on. The temps we fantastically mild and the trails were bordering on muddy all day. It was like every section of trail got rained on 20 minutes before we got there. It made riding an absolute joy.


"Grip it and rip it!"


Today was our introduction to ranch land as well. We'd be seeing a lot of these in Nevada. Eventually I started getting annoyed by all the stopping, fence undoing, bike pushing, and fence redoing, but at this point it was still sort of novel.





Sam mentions private property a bit in the maps and charts, but we never really got comfortable with the idea of trespassing. On this occasion, we came out of the desert into somebody's yard and had to drive down their driveway and go out through their entry gate, which was emphatically marked NO TRESPASSING. Since we came from the back side of their land, we couldn't have known, but we both felt a bit guilty about being there. We closed the gate and moved on, secretly glad to have avoided being shot at.






From here we got a bit of pavement en route to our next gas stop. There is, shall we say, tremendous opportunity for expansion in Nevada:







A bit of pavement leads us to the booming metropolis of Preston. 'Town' is probably a big word to describe Preston. More like a few trailers, some houses, a lot of cars on blocks, and the ubiquitous motel/gas/cafe/casino/laundry/shooting range/taxidermy/haberdasher/cheese operation on the outside of town. This one left an impression on both of us. The gas station was manned by a high school kid who looked like a fat Napoleon Dynamite. I'm not thinking he got much business in his little 6x8 gas shack. When we rolled up, he was staring at the wall, sweating and swarmed by flies. Just sittin' there...wearing a huge 'Just Do It' T-shirt. We tried to talk to him, but he wasn't much of a conversationalist, probably because he was in a rush to get back to sweating and staring at the wall. That's Preston for ya.


"I'll sweat whenever I want...GOD!"


We saw some for sale signs on the way out of town and got into a contentious bidding war. We were both captivated by this beautiful mountain hamlet and were loathe to leave it's beauty behind us.

Lucky 7 screwed with this post 09-18-2012 at 08:00 AM
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:56 AM   #27
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Back to the mountains! More tacky trails and overcast skies await.







Eastern Nevada is beautiful! There's National Forests, craggy mountains, water, trees...just like how you imagine planet Earth. This was going to change in a quick hurry, but for today we were loving it.




Toward the end of the day we came into this old abandoned mining camp. The old buildings and equipment were pretty cool to check out. The relatively new pole barn was a bit eery, though. It was still full of remnants of its use but was well on it's way to decay. The old mattress inside looked like a good place to camp, but John wouldn't even go in.








I guess this is better. We found a proper campsite for the night, had a fire and turned in.





Against all odds, this was my favorite day of the whole trip. Nobody seems to have much good to say about Nevada, but the central eastern portion was really fun. Granted, a lot of it had to do with the weather we got, so your results may vary, but there is some amazing scenery and very fun riding to be had in this part of the state. Just watch out for fat Napoleon.


Mileage: 236
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:07 AM   #28
Giddy Up
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Talking Eastern Nevada

I second G's nomination as one of the best days of the trip as riding through Eastern Nevada. After talking with my family in the morning, I was missing my wife and my baby girl. I was / am very thankful for this trip and that we were able to work out the logistics with additional family members flying in to help with child care. It was great that I was able to leave for 2 weeks. I realized the great support we have with our extended family and missing them was overwhelming. I think that was one of the reasons the riding was so great as I was able to put that energy into the riding.

It also helped that the weather made the dirt tacky and perfect.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:49 PM   #29
Giddy Up
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Here are some more photos from the day.

Trails were just slightly wet and really perfect for riding.



Long and straight. Gavin was flying down this road.



Cool photo of G. This is Nevada. It was small mountain range, then a deserted valley, then another mountain range.



The cattle are very coordinated in Nevada. :-)

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Old 09-20-2012, 09:32 PM   #30
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I dont know why this RR doesnt have 15 pages of replies by now; I think its awesome. Hows that KLR handling the rougher stuff? My DR is about the same and im curious if im going to fight hell doing the type of exploring you guys are

I think everyone gets caught up in the wilderness of Alaska or the mountain view scene of Colorado; it seems they neglect the beauty of places like Nevada, Wyoming, etc.. Sometimes the openness is exactly what I want to feel, and those states excel in that. Yet another report thats influencing my ride next year
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