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Old 10-22-2013, 10:40 AM   #31
California
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JEALOUS

love every single post, picture, word of this. Thank you for sharing it with us!
keep it coming!
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California View Post
JEALOUS

love every single post, picture, word of this. Thank you for sharing it with us!
keep it coming!
Best username to-date right there!
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'76 Xl250 '04 XR250R '09 DR650 '10 TR450
Ride The West - OBDR, CDR & western TAT - July 2013
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:19 PM   #33
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Sorry

Sorry for the delay in getting this ride report updated and completed. I've been obsessing about sailboats and starting a new job.

Back to it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #34
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Nice loop, thanks.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #35
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Alright.. Sorry about the delay.

Moving along!

Moab had been the first and last protracted stop of the trip. It felt great to stick around one spot for a few days, relax, work on the bikes, and have the time to explore. We had experienced flash floods, the most intense lightening storms I think I've ever witnessed and sampled the amazing local riding and scenery. It had been a great few days, but with Rob's flight back home to New York fast approaching it was time to start laying down some miles.

Riding west out of Moab we soon found ourselves sliding around in the red Utah silt.

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It was warming up steadily and starting to get really hot. We had been hoping to get an early start out of Moab to avoid the worst of the heat. For us that meant hitting the road before 1. At least we are consistent. We kept an eye out for shade to take a break in and cool off as we rode but it was becoming more and more difficult to come by.

When we were lucky we might encounter something like this.

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But most of our stops looked more like this.

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We eventually found ourselves at the notorious Black Dragon Wash.

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The riding was a fun mixture of loose silt, and rocky obstacles and climbs. We ran into some beautiful scenery and found some scattered petroglyphs.

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We kept catching glimpses of wild horses in the surrounding desert.

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Overall the riding was really enjoyable. The techy rocky climbs kept it interesting.

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At times it got pretty loose.

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But we plodded along moving west through the desert mile by mile working our way towards Nevada.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:19 PM   #36
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FANTASTIC!!
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:32 AM   #37
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!!
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'76 Xl250 '04 XR250R '09 DR650 '10 TR450
Ride The West - OBDR, CDR & western TAT - July 2013
Instagram with plenty of bike pics.
Read my homie's underway Africa trip RR - Round Africa with a Surboard
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #38
BucketFoot
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Thumb Tracks available?

Super trip. We want to duplicate it. Any chance you might have the gps tracks somewhere ? Appreciate all the posts!!!
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:21 PM   #39
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Hey man -
For the tracks, I used the following sources:
OBDR - GPSXchange.com
Divide - Cannonshot's tracks from ADVrider - see his big thread.
TAT - bought and paid for from Sam who made the TAT.

They are all easily available to grab yourself. I did very little map prep other than loading those tracks onto my Montana. I spent most of my prep time on bike and gear set-up, and the gamble paid off... we got lost basically never and were off course for maybe an hour out of 30 days' worth of riding.

I haven't had time to edit the logs from my Montana. That will take quite some time, as my Montana likes to randomly insert 600 mile / 10000mph via points every so often into every single one of the tracks.

GOod luck!

-Rob
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'76 Xl250 '04 XR250R '09 DR650 '10 TR450
Ride The West - OBDR, CDR & western TAT - July 2013
Instagram with plenty of bike pics.
Read my homie's underway Africa trip RR - Round Africa with a Surboard
WTB: Clarke tank for DR650 for cheap - any color but blue.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:27 PM   #40
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As we worked through the final stretches of Utah crossing into Nevada the riding remained remote, hot and loose. We had been riding for days through silt, but now found ourselves following long straight roads of sketchy, loose, deep gravel as we passed by salt lakes and herds of pronghorns that kept track of our progress.

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With our bikes pointed west we rode on towards Great Basin National Park, where we planned to stop and camp, excited to check out one of the United States' least visited national parks.

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Great Basin was cool, but unfortunately I failed to take a single picture there choosing instead to document Rob's new favorite chewing tobacco.

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We carried on across the desert, almost tasting home and the end of our trip.

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We had heard rumors of the endless amounts of fences encountered in Nevada, and it certainly turned out to be true. At times we were off and on our bikes every 5 minutes opening and closing the gates that separated the tracts of land around us.

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With the landscape changing around us mile by mile we eventually came upon a small shack that we recognized from numerous other ride reports that we had obsessed over in the months spent preparing for our trip. The shack was filled with graffiti from other riders who had passed through while riding the TAT over the years.

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It had been an exhausting day of riding. Tired we kept an eye out for a hospitable place to camp, preferably somewhere with water.

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It soon became apparent that a campsite with water was not in our immediate future however. Exhausted, barely able to sit on my bike any longer, and with the sun going down we settled in for some desert camping.

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Old 11-18-2013, 09:23 AM   #41
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Looking at these pics 4 months later, it's hard to believe it was real.
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'76 Xl250 '04 XR250R '09 DR650 '10 TR450
Ride The West - OBDR, CDR & western TAT - July 2013
Instagram with plenty of bike pics.
Read my homie's underway Africa trip RR - Round Africa with a Surboard
WTB: Clarke tank for DR650 for cheap - any color but blue.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #42
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The report and pics have had me staying up way too late for the past three nights and wishing I were there instead of at work!!

Great report!
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Old 11-29-2013, 05:31 PM   #43
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With a beautiful night of sage brush camping behind us, we packed up our stuff and hit the trail.

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The only thing cooler than stumbling upon wild horses while riding is stumbling upon wild burros. I'm not sure why this made me so happy, but who doesn't love a burro.

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We had been given a taste of just how remote and isolated Nevada riding can be. Hitting Battle Mountain, we knew we had a very long stretch of riding between gas stops with reports that there was no longer fuel in Denio Junction. We had already had a few close calls with running out of gas, so filled up empty gatorade bottle with extra fuel, gorged on french fries at the local snack bar and hit the road.

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The riding was fun and beautiful as always and we were soon filling our tanks.

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It was disgustingly hot as usual and we were parched but still found the time to stop to snap the occasional photo.

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Rob had to pull over to conduct a few roadside bike repairs, and Mike and I took the opportunity to check out the cool mushroomy rock formation and soak up some much needed sun.

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Of course, we made sure to never stray too far from the cows who had been our constant companions for the entire trip.

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When we stumbled upon a swimming hole in the middle of the desert in some sort of proximity to Denio Junction, we were overjoyed and promptly jumped in in all of our clothes. As our taint spread across the cool pristine waters, we worried that our filth might have ruined this amazing spot forever.

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It was still early, but attached to the swimming hole we decided to stay there forever, or at least for the night.

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Out of fuel for my pocket rocket stove, Rob showed me the ways of the home made redbull alcohol stove. This saw me through the rest of the trip.

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Setting off in the morning, I started wishing I had brought more extra fuel. Already we had taken a few wrong turns and done a bit of back tracking. The miles we had left in comparison to our remaining fuel started to weigh on me. We couldn't afford any more mistakes.

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Unfortunately - with almost perfect route finding for the entire trip - our biggest mishap took place while stressed for fuel.

I have already mentioned that Mike was riding without any GPS, or route finding capabilities of any kind. Totally dependent upon Rob and I, I think he realized his mistake as the riding got more remote and the consequences of getting lost more dire. We had been riding staggered to stay out of each others dust. At each turn we would wait for the rider behind us, who would then stop and wait for the rider behind them.

Unfortunately during one of these stops, with Rob ahead of me and Mike behind, I rode away thinking Mike had spotted me and the turn as he approached. He missed me completely and kept on riding along the fire road.

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I soon realized the mistake and turned around to try and chase Mike down. Unfortunately he was blasting along the fire road at 60 mph unaware that he had missed me. After chasing him for over 10 miles I started to realize that I couldn't afford to go much farther without running out of fuel before reaching the next gas stop in Oregon. Eventually Mike figured it out and turned around. Reunited we backtracked having added over 20 miles to our already long ride with limited fuel. We pushed back to the turn off, waiting around for Rob for an hour, worried that he had backtracked in the opposite direction searching for us. We didn't manage to find each other. Leaving a message for him written in rocks on the trail we set off again, hoping that he was somewhere ahead.

Riding hard we passed through the Sheldon Antelope Refuge, passing herds of pronghorn as we pushed for Oregon.

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After a long, hard ride we eventually found ourselves in Oregon. Essentially out of gas we were lucky that the last 10 miles or so was a descent into Lakeview. We coasted into town out of fuel and pushed our bikes to the gas station happy to have made it. Rob was sitting on a park bench waiting for us, and we quickly made a beeline for the local Mexican restaurant where we gorged ourselves on burritos and margaritas and met a TAT rider from years gone by who told us about his future plans to ride the Forever West trail.

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The day had been filled with delays and unfortunately for Rob it meant that he no longer had the time to finish the trail if he was going to make his flight back to New York. He let us know that he would be slabbing it back to San Francisco the next morning. Tired, exhausted, and anxious to be home it was tempting to ride with him. Having come so far though, I was determined to see the TAT through to the end. Mike and I decided that we would ride on the next morning and push through to the end in two days while Rob hung up his moto jacket and started his trip home.

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Old 12-05-2013, 07:44 PM   #44
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We said our goodbyes to Rob and pushed on west anxious to get through the final miles of the TAT as quickly as possible.

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We soon found ourselves back in the Umpqua National Forest, riding though the same country we had started our trip with so many days before.

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We had expected fast, easy, straightforward riding but the trail wasn't done with us yet. Mixed in with the fire roads and Oregon dirt, we still found plenty of loose riding through sand, downed trees, and long steep hill climbs to contend with.

Paper plates counting down the miles adorned the trail, put up to cheer on another group of riders. Still they signaled the end for us as well, and encouraged us as we pushed on mile by mile towards the end.

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At one point we lost the trail. The track showed a path connecting two separate fire roads, but the trail was overgrown and blocked by numerous downed trees. As we doubled back trying to find a way out and back to the TAT the air started filling up with smoke. A fire was burning very close, and we were relieved to find our way back to the fire road, where we passed fire crews just arriving and getting geared up to fight the fire. As we pushed on through logging roads a pickup moved to block our path, and a guy working for a logging company accused us of trespassing despite the fact that we were riding through public lands, and wrote down our license plates implying an association between us and the fire.

As we pulled away from the area we were able to look back down on the smoke.

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Leaving the small forest fire behind us, we found a campsite next to a river and settled in for our last night on the trail.

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We set out the next morning determined not to stop until we had reached Port Orford. But we did not count on the fact that half of Oregon was on fire. Riding into a small town, we could see helicopters and planes battling huge forest fires that looked to be directly where we needed to go. There was no way around. We either would need to abandon the TAT and backtrack to a highway which we would then ride to the coast or push on.

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After so many miles, and so close to the end we were very reluctant to give up on the trail so rode on finding that we were able to make our way around the first fire in our path. Unfortunately, another loomed directly in front of us.

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In the end we spent half the day riding around fires. I'm still amazed that we were able to get through, and if we had been a day later I'm sure we wouldn't have. The last fire that we rode through was the closest. The trail kept turning into the smoke and flames and we stopped several times to discuss turning around. In the end however, we were able to push through and finally put the fires behind us so that we could start making some progress towards the end.

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This really marked the end of the photos for us. Clearing the fires we rode hard for Port Orford. The miles seemed to count down very slowly. We rode into the darkness, carefully making our way along the trail as deer and newborn fawns were everywhere. Starving, exhausted, and freezing cold we eventually dropped into Port Orford. At the end of a long trip we expected cheering crowds to run forth pushing beers into our hands, but instead found a dark, quiet, sleepy town devoid of so much as an open restaurant, or a vacant motel. We did manage to sneak into a grocery store in the final minutes before closing and by a huge bag of snacks.

With no choice we hopped back on our bikes with bags of groceries between our legs and plunged south through the cold, dark and foggy night, riding highway 1 in search of a warm place to sleep. We eventually found one 30 miles down the road. I had never been so happy to see a open motel. We went into town for a celebratory drink and called it a night. The next morning we were back on our bikes riding the coast to San Francisco and the end of our trip.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:56 PM   #45
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Reading this makes me want an Ol'fashioned and a plug of chaw
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