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Old 01-18-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
Krabill OP
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Kiamichi winter dual sport ride from hell

The Kiamichi winter dual sport ride from hell started last year with a few brave souls exposing themselves to miserable conditions in the heart of the Kiamichi mountain range in South East Oklahoma because "it seemed like a good idea". It was 12 degrees last year. Sure. I skipped that one, but somehow let a few good riding buddies talk me into attending this year's 2nd annual winter dual sport ride from hell.

Planning started about a year ago right after they were finished with the first one. I told them that I would go this time provided the weather wasn't as extreme as it was last year. Well, after a few weeks of planning on my part I was already committed when the date drew near enough to get an accurate forecast. 14F. Shit. I was ready to go anyhow. You only live once.

I had packed up the night before as I planned on leaving directly from work on Thursday evening. This is what it looked like in my kitchen before I left the house.



I wondered why I got all the strange looks as I rode to work in the snow. Needless to say, I didn't see any other bikes on the road that morning



I could keep everything warm except my fingers. My heated grips on high did little to nothing to stave off the fridgid temperatures.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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The idea for the winter ride is to head off into the woods for 3 days and camp off the bikes. Since we're all going to have to be riding fully loaded bikes, the trails are "supposed" to be easy ones. Right.

Friday morning was spent rounding everybody up. The plan was to meet in town at 8:30 for a 9am departure. We decided to get an early start and catch up with everyone at the campground.

Ran into Monty on his way up to the store to grab a warm cup of coffee and we also got to wake up a few more campers.

Zentropa is in the foreground and I'm talking to his brother Michael in the background. They're both what you might call hard core campers. It was well into the teens and they both slept right there on the ground. Well, Zentropa got a few hours sleep but his poor brother Michael had only gotten into town at 6am and here we were waking them up at 8am. He would be working this first day on 2 hours of sleep.



A few shots around the campground while everybody was trying to figure out how to get their frozen bikes started. I think almost all of them needed a jump from the pickup truck to bring them to life.





Here is HighFive's new little blue beauty all geared up. Amazing little bike. Since it has a massive 350watt altinator, he spent the previous few days wiring it all up for his heated gear. It worked flawlessly.





HighFive and I took off for the store to wait on the straglers and met back up with Monty. Monty is great. I've ridden with him a few times in years past and we seem to fit well together as riding buddies. He's a very accomplished rider and as self-sufficient as they come.

After eating breakfast and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, it is now almost 10am and everybody else is apparently still trying to get motivated down at the campground. HighFive, Monty, and I have had about enough of this waiting crap and decide to head down to the campground to see what is taking so long. They still aren't ready to go yet and all of them want to go grab a bite to eat before they hit the trail. The three of us get directions to tonight's meeting spot and we hit the trail by ourselves.

We're running down the K-trial that all of us have ridden before. We have never ridden as far down it as we are planning on doing today, but we've all ridden the first part. Starts out kind of rough and just seems to get worse. Apparently every time it rains it washes more and more of the dirt away leaving bigger and bigger exposed rocks. This trail gets harder every time I ride it. And now we're riding it on fully loaded bikes.

When we came to "the hill" (now refered to as "blinker hill") I thought we might be heading in the wrong direction because it was nasty, and well, we weren't supposed to have to ride anything "nasty" on this trip. It matched my directions, so off we go. HighFive was in the lead, I was next, and Monty was taking up the rear. This hill is one bad boy. The rocks aren't just big, they're BIG. Rocks, steps, walls, wash-outs, this sucker has them all.

After a particularly rough section and a 90 degree right turn, I decide to take a breather on a very short step and check to make sure my sweeper was still back there. Nope. I took off my helmet to see if I could hear him. Nothing. Damn. I dismounted and started walking back down the hill and once I got to where I could see back around the corner, I found him just a few yards behind me trying to pick up his bike. It just layed over, nothing spectacular. Well, except for the smashed up blinker . . . hence the new name "Blinker Hill".

Not to long after Blinker Hill, we decided it was time for a little breather. I noticed that I had entered a geocashe a long time ago into my gps that we were almost right on top of, so I decided to go on a teasure hunt while everybody caught their breath. I found where it was supposed to be, but I also found a few fire pits and beer bottles strewn around, so I'm assuming it has been vandalized and I go back empty handed. I find HighFive and Monty crawling around on the rocks.


Monty and I



Monty and I again



HighFive and I



The view



The three amigos



Heading on down the trail, there was clear evidence of the kinds of temperatures we're dealing with here as all of the mud holes were frozen over.



more later . . .
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:25 AM   #3
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Nice .... at least you're riding!

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Old 01-19-2009, 08:18 AM   #4
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Please post your tracks. Us regulars the the "Kiamooch" wann know what trails you're on.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:28 AM   #5
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I'll get all the tracks up before this thing is finished. I will say that even though I've been down in that area quite a few times, the tracks that ScottH had laid out for us on this trip were absolutely spectacular. Friday was kind of rough, but Saturday and Sunday were just nice, easy rides through some of the most beautiful scenery I've seen anywhere, let alone in Oklahoma. Stunning. But I'm getting ahead of myself . . .
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:55 AM   #6
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We continued on down the K-trail as the first day's trail directions consisted of "ride the K-trail until you hit the highway". Sounds simple enough and just by looking at the gps it appears to be a fairly straight shot, but what you can't see on the map are all the rocks, hills, wash-outs, and small furry animals you might encounter along the way.

Although, somehow, someone actually got a school bus up here. The only explanation is that it was driven up here many, many years ago when these trails used to be somewhat maintained. There is no way on earth one of these would make it this far down this trail today.





Somebody also got an old BSA up here at one point. Seems to be extra engine parts in the box beside it. Anybody looking for a project?



More ice. Monty tried going around the left side, but if you look close, you can see where he broke through the ice. Everything turned out alright, but I certainly didn't want to risk going down in the water in these temperatures. Hypothermia and frost bite are real dangers. HF and I took the loooong way around this hole by bushwacking our way through the tall grass.



Shortly after that, we stopped for lunch. Mmmmm . . . Mountain House right in the middle of the trail. Good stuff.

more later . . .
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:57 AM   #7
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:00 AM   #8
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Hi Don
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:27 AM   #9
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I thought about making this ride and wussed out!
Too cold for me!
I have some new to DS guys that I am planing to bring up to that area and do some exploring.
Did you guys ride where you have to get the permit?
I don't think I have ever ridden the K Trail.
I am anxiously awaiting the Tracks.
Have you been back down that hill to the river where we had trouble getting back up?
Good Times!
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:31 AM   #10
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Yes, you still need a permit. They raised the prices this year, though. I believe it is $85 for out-of-staters now. Seems ridiculous to me, but what are you going to do?

From knowing what I know about how you like to ride, I would avoid the K-trail if I were you. You would absolutely love Saturday's and Sunday's ride, though. I'll be sure to point out the "good" stuff from the "bad" stuff when I get the tracks all sorted out and uploaded.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:43 AM   #11
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Thanks,Steve.
I have learned quite a bit in the last few years but the K trail may be too much for me. I think I would like to try it!
I plan to do the TAT one of these days. I understand that it goes down K trail. If that is true, I will have no choice.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:47 AM   #12
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I'm sure you could do it, but the work-to-fun ratio would be highly in favor of the "work" side

I don't believe the TAT runs that far South, but since I don't have any 1st hand experience with it, I can't say for certain.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:15 AM   #13
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I'm assuming the K-Trail is what you guys are calling the INT (Indian Nations Trail)?? It's the yellow paint on the trees.

I've been to the busses many times.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:22 AM   #14
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The INT is farther North than the K-trail. K-trail = knarly Jeep trail & the INT = singletrack.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:31 AM   #15
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Ktrail & TAT

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdon
Thanks,Steve.
I have learned quite a bit in the last few years but the K trail may be too much for me. I think I would like to try it!
I plan to do the TAT one of these days. I understand that it goes
K trail. If that is true, I will have no choice.
The Oklahoma portion of the TAT does not go down the Ktrail. The TAT is a good gravel/sand road ride (except when it's been raining).

Last year the permit for the trails around Clayton was $25 for non residents (for a year). It could be bought at about any of the gas stops in Clayton. I don't know the costs this year be a quick phone call to OK. dept of Conservation would let you find out. jim
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