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Old 09-03-2008, 08:02 PM   #1
Dawnzi OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Maryland
Oddometer: 44
Newbies Planning For the Tat - The epilogue

There have been many fantastic TAT reports this year and I don't want to clutter up the forum with one of lower quality, so this will be brief. Last winter we started a thread and received a lot of good info from the folks on this site. Thanks, you're an incredible resource! Here is the link to that thread.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=295963

So, how did it turn out? Well, we did it! We started on the beach in Rehoboth Beach, DE and ended up in Port Orford, Oregon five weeks later mostly via the TAT. From there we went down the coast to Fort Bragg, then cut back to Sacramento where I emptied my storage unit of furniture, loaded up a UHaul, put the bikes on a trailer and four days later was back in Maryland.

We missed about 300 of the 4800 mile TAT. Most of the missed parts were due to impassable conditions; fun things like the roads were underwater, too muddy, or simply too tough for us (sand...). We took all of Sam's recommended bypasses. Since we got back we've heard a lot of the same questions, so here goes with the answers:

We were about 60/40 motels and camping.
Our butts did not hurt at the end. In fact, we both felt better at the end than at the beginning. I lost seven pounds and had milkshakes nearly every day!
The bikes worked really well. My new 12gs was rock solid reliable. Dawn's 97 F650 had to have the steering head bearings replaced and the carbs rebuilt in Colorado Springs.
Three flats and one shreaded tire. One high speed wipeout (me) due to loss of focus. No injuries.
We never ran out of gas, but she was on fumes a couple of times. I never hit reserve.
Neither of us are thinking of doing it again. It was great, but there are too many other cool places to go. Labrador in 2010 is a possibility!
Our bike suggestion for others. Ride what you have if it is a dual purpose bike. If you want to change bikes, think about something around 400cc. Lighter is simply more fun, particularly when picking it up (each of us fell over about 20 times). There is a reason Sam is on a 400 on the website. We saw one guy in his 70's on an XT225 at Cinammon Pass. He had no problems crossing the mountains. It doesn't have the range though.
Every state had its great parts and not-so-good parts. The biggest swings of those were in Utah and Oregon.
Sam did us all a huge service by putting the route together. There were times we cursed his name, but we would give him at least an A-! We used his maps, roll charts and a programmed GPS (Garmin 478). The farthest we got lost was a quarter mile.

We had a blast and would strongly recommend it to others! My highlight was getting knocked over by a dust devil. It was just too surreal. Dawn's highlight was all the cool critters.

We put together a PowerPoint slide show of about 80 pictures with a soundtrack. It is about 15MB and the sound is linked rather than embedded, so it is better to "Open" rather than "Save". Enjoy!

http://www.usna.edu/Users/naome/phmiller/TAT2008b.pps

Good riding,
Paul and Dawn
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'97 F650 & '09 X-Country
2008 TAT Slideshow
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