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Old 06-19-2009, 11:21 AM   #151
TwilightZone
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>"2-up on a KLR on the TAT does not sound like fun to me "

May not be that bad of a plan. One to steer, one to push.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:07 PM   #152
skierd
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How hard was it to find gas along the trail? I noticed that you almost ran out a few times, I'm doing about the same route as you in August (hopefully minus the slab detours) and the little tank on my WR250R doesn't hold much.

Also, thanks for the reroute info for the Mississippi bridge, I'll make sure to add that to my route.
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Old 06-21-2009, 06:18 AM   #153
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im doing TN & MS july 1st on my 950 SE with some friends. my
tank holds 3.5g. im taking a 1gal rotopax on my tail rack. i hope
i dont run out.
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Old 06-21-2009, 06:19 PM   #154
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I remember reading in Dr. Rock's TAT report that the furthest distance between available gas on the TAT was in the Western section and was either 165 or 185 miles excluding any backtracking. My plan for September is to swap out my stock 2.1 gal tank for the KTM XC tank at 3.4 gal and add a rear side tank for an additional 1.5 gal for a total of 4.9 gal on my 250.

Sam's maps/route sheets are annotated with suggested gas stops but there is no guarantee that they will have fuel so best to stop whenever you are near available fuel. Stressing about fuel is not fun out west.
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:34 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajayhawkfan
That house is the old HQ for the Pacheco Ranch. The ranch leases the house to hunters during the different hunting seasons. A group of my friends have been leasing the ranch for antelope hunting for over 15 years.


Two year ago while hunting I noticed a couple of riders.



I stopped them to ask what they were doing. That is when I learned the TAT when through the ranch.
Interesting!

So I guess the fuel was left over from a previous lease. Well... either your friends or the next group that lease the place will find the 5 bucks I left. It should more than cover the little bit of fuel that I 'borrowed'.
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:55 PM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierd
How hard was it to find gas along the trail? I noticed that you almost ran out a few times, I'm doing about the same route as you in August (hopefully minus the slab detours) and the little tank on my WR250R doesn't hold much.

Also, thanks for the reroute info for the Mississippi bridge, I'll make sure to add that to my route.


Like AF said fuel stops are planned. Or should be. The furthest I have read is close to 200 miles between stops and, yes, it is out west. The thing you have to be careful with staying on the trail out west in NV. If you get off track, then you have to follow the fence to the next gate. That could greatly increase your need for fuel. The trail looks like a rabbit path at times! There are plenty of reports that talk about it and show pics.

For me, I failed to bring some of my maps with me so I did not have all of Sam's gas stops in front of me. I did not program them in the GPS because I meant to bring the maps.

The GPS gives you the closest gas but I think that was in straight line distance and that does you little good out in no man's land.

I purposefully did not follow the 200 mile a day ride Sam plans and stayed away from many of the little towns he routes you to for hotel stays. Where I paid the price was fuel. I always thought I would find something near route since I was not going past CO. But as you read, that may not work all the time.

I got lucky. But I advise anyone doing what I did to at least plan their gas stops once they get to central/western OK. Before that, gas is not a problem.

Enjoy your ride!!! It is an adventure to tell the grand kids about one day.

"Papaw. Will you tell us about that time you took your motorcycle across the US on dirt roads???"

It is quite an accomplishment for most of us.

Funny thing is, I road all those miles, all those states, (actually 9 - TX, AR, TN, KY, MS, OK, KS, NM, CO) and only had one close call. Less than 10 miles from my house about three weeks ago a F-250 put me and my other bike out of commission by pulling out in front of me AFTER coming to a complete stop. I think I am going to sell both of my bikes now and pick riding back up in a few years. I have a 20 month old a baby boy due September 13th. I gotta be around for those boogers.

Don't skimp on the camera. I did and regret it. When it is over, it will be the pictures you look back on. Do them justice. Well as much as you can with a camera.

RIDE SAFE.... and enjoy your trip. I look forward to reading about it.

Oh and skierd, the slab detours for me were with good reason. Not because of terrain or gas. (though it would have been smart to get gas once) The main one was to skip over the part of the TAT I had already done previous year. One to try and catch up to a friend (about 75 miles). And the other was, well... the ghost car circling me spooked the shit out of me so I hightailed it to the closest hotel on the GPS.

Depending on your time frame and rain fall, you should be good.
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TJ Willy screwed with this post 06-22-2009 at 12:00 AM
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:17 PM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ Willy
Interesting!

So I guess the fuel was left over from a previous lease. Well... either your friends or the next group that lease the place will find the 5 bucks I left. It should more than cover the little bit of fuel that I 'borrowed'.
Hunters only lease the house. The out buildings are stilled used by the ranch.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:14 PM   #158
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I officially moved the TAT off my dreams list and onto my goals list last year. I need to work harder at making it happen. Still trying to convince the wife. I don't want to have to play my "I'm a man and I'm going to do this, damnit" card unless I absolutely have to....... but after a year, it's looking that way.

Thanks very much for sharing. I enjoyed every word.

But would it have killed you to get a picture of the bartendress at the micro-brewery?!
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:14 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanStreaker
But would it have killed you to get a picture of the bartendress at the micro-brewery?!
sounds like your wife may have a valid reason for you NOT to go
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:45 PM   #160
skierd
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Just thought I'd bring this up...

So I found myself riding in the rain on my first day out of Jellico on the TAT. Somehow, I ended up on the same damn trail you did and realized it as soon as I went down those rock steps. My pics from the same area...

Quote:
Originally Posted by skierd
Time for another reroute! It finally stopped pouring, at least for a while and I was motoring down this nice smooth wonderful gravel road when I looked down and noticed my Garmin had me turning. To where? Left of course, on a little road I didn't see that even existed when I first went by.


Screw it, its an adventure, lets see where this goes. After all, this is a road. Right?



Oh wait it gets better...



Then...



Here's my little ride report..

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=500618


Oh yeah, thank you for the reroute info in Mississippi! I cruised along without a hitch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ Willy
DAY 3: Continued.

Here is the second trail.



The soft sloppy fairly undisturbed mud hole at the beginning should have been a clue. I saw bike tracks stop here and turn back. But the GPS said it was only .5 miles through here and back to my TAT.

I got off the bike and hiked in 100 yards or so. It looked fine, so I hopped on the pig and we made our way in.

LESSON LEARNED NUMBER ONE. - HIKE IT! Explore what you are about to embark on if you are not 100% certain of the outcome... at least when you are in the middle of nowhere and solo. (I'll recap these at the end - for the studious.)

Not far past where I hiked to, I saw some rock ledges approaching. I did not have time to look at the GPS screen because I was too busy picking my line and avoiding deep quad tracks and so I just bounced down them. It was a two step drop. And they were substantial. It was here, I told myself that I was committed to this route. I did not know how I would climb back up those on this bike.

So on I went.

Sorry I don't have too many pics of all this. I was "on the clock" you might say. Just too busy keeping the bike up and down the trail to worry with taking pics.

The trail did get relatively easy from time to time and grabbed this pic when I stopped for a drink of water.



The trail is now a full blown quad trail. Ruts, rocks, roots, mud... all things one goes in search of on a fast 2 stroke or nice light and nimble DS bike. It is one recovery after another. Sweat is pouring down my face inside my helmet and every yard is an accomplishment. It was like wrestling with a bigger, tougher opponent who has you severely out skilled.

LESSON LEARNED NUMBER 2 - Elevation changes. If the area is wet... and you are in elevation changes... THERE WILL BE WATER pooled at the bottom. Water in the form of mud. I either skirted or powered through several mud holes ranging from the innocent to the bike eaters.

Finally I emerge into a small clearing. I stop. Catch my breath and assess my situation.



I know right??? A little late for the assessing step...

What you don't see in that pic is a fork in the trail. I kill the bike and study the GPS. That .5 mile trail --- well that bitch was a ghost in the machine my friends. It is no where on my GPS screen now! :eek:

If I zoom out far enough I can see that the TAT is on my right. So I decided take the fork on the right. But just in case I was wrong I continued straight... reason being the trail to right was it was a rocky descend to not one but TWO huge sloppy mud abysses. Think wolf in sheep's clothing. They looked tame enough at first but when I investigated, I saw that there was no way my loaded bike with my skills could get through them without burying.

The trail that continued on straight was a dead end.



And that stuff looks dry. It was - kinda - but once your bike peels away the dry looking top layer, it is a sticky mess.

Back to the trail on the right....


I grew up in South Arkansas with a four wheeler from the age of 10. I can read mud pretty good but I thought I would test it anyway.

I found a sturdy stick and probed out to see how soft the bottom was. Yep... SOFT. The stick just kept sinking the harder I pushed it into the mud. There was a go around for the quads on the first one so I walked the bike around it... but not before almost getting stuck.

Check out the pics: Just keep in mind the rule of pics not doing justice to the real things. If you have overcome crazy terrain and then took pics of it, you know what I am talking about.



This pic was taken while I was walking around surveying my situation. Remember those rock ledges I stumbled down earlier? Well those things were the reason I knew I could not go back the way I came.

So I devised a plan of attack and went about it. I rode the bike down the hill and got her stopped right before the first mud hole. I tried to take the go around but even the elevated "dry" area was soft and the front wheel just slid into the hole. I rev the bike riding the friction zone while trying to keep her balance. (I'm only 5'9" so this is more than a simple task with this bike loaded.) The rear tire begins to spin and dig. Panic number one.

Real quick and with cat like reflexes, I position myself more the front of the bike, twist the throttle and ride the clutch... the Lady Dak roars to life and pounces out of the mud.... MUCH to my relief. I probably looked like some kind of DS contortionist out there.



Where my rut is there was high ground when I started. But it was just too close to the edge. The space to the right looks really wide now and I am not sure why I did not go further to the left. There must have been a reason, but I don't remember.

Time to gain my compsure for the next hole. There was no go around really that I saw. Trees were down around me, but there was a high ledge to left and right of the mud hole. The right ledge was narrow and had a huge rock in the way. Plus if I had chosen that side, I would have had to walk in the sloppy suck mud that was that hole. The left look tough but promising.

I took the left.



The only tricky part here was not losing grip on the bike right toward the end when I had to squeeze by the tree you see there. The ground was sturdy and I made it through just fine.



The trail opened up to a field again. I stopped and drank some more water. Rechecked the GPS and found no sign of where I was at. This trail did not make even the topo maps.

There was formidable sand to be had as well. This trail gives you your monies worth!



This was a welcomed bit of trail.



I started noticing some fairly significant elevation changes and I was headed down... I know what this means by now.

I should note that I am almost three miles into this .5 mile trail now. I was pissed.



Under controlled circumstances this would have not only been fun, but something I would go in search of. But this was not my reason today. I was making good time on a wonderful trail hoping to meet up with my new friends real soon.

The Zumo is robbing me of this!!!

Anyway... I continue on through some tricky sand that just does not end. I manage to keep the bike up but I don't know how. I did not have much speed. I just gave it lots of throttle every time I thought I was about to go down. It seemed to work.

Finally a huge HUGE tree blocked my path. I stop.

When I kickstand the bike, the bitch sinks into the sand and I barely grab it in time before it falls over. I heave the bike up loosing my footing and fighting for every scrap of ground I could keep. I felt like I was holding some hill in a huge battle. THIS TRAIL WAS NOT GOING TO SEE THE SIDE OF MY BIKE. N-O-T , T-O-D-A-A-A-Y , S-I-R!!!!!

I keep it up and kick a nearby piece of bark over to use a foot for my stand.

There was a vague go around someone had made with a quad but instead of going around, I decided to do what I should have done in the beginning. SCOUT THIS TRAIL!

LESSON LEARNED NUMBER THREE! - DON'T no matter what you think, how you feel, or how big of a hurry you are in run as you scout. I guess I was getting pretty damn anxious to get out of here and I jogged the trail as I scouted. I began to hear water running. ****.

Sure enough a huge swell of a creek was flooded and totally obscuring what was left of the trail. I mean... there was no way to even tell which way the trail went through this flood. It looked deep and I knew sand was under there somewhere. NO WAY could I even attempt to cross this.

I reach for my camera to take a pic and the damn thing had fallen out of my pocket. ****!

I quickly look for a bushwacking avenue around this thing and there was no way... NONE. There were huge house sized boulders to my right and I could only see water straight ahead and to my left.

Panic knocks at the door as I walk back to my bike.

I am facing the reality of having to go back the way I came.

Each and every sand pit, mud hole, rock ledge, rut, and root I had tackled I would have to battle once more.

It was like something out of the show Lost. I felt like the 'Island' was designed to beat me.

I found my camera near the bike and began to make my way out.

Surprisingly, getting out was much easier save one experience. That last big mud hole you saw above.

I had to bushwack my way around that thing. I scouted a fairly good path that consisted of tree dragging, hooking saplings behind other trees, kick rocks and chasing off a snake... that last bit was an accident. :eek:

I grabbed my trusty steed by the bars and we set off both on our own power across this rutty field. I entered the woods right here.



And we were to travel through here: I had already cleared out the majority of the blockages.



The remaining parts of the trail seemed easier the second time. I carried a lot more speed with me and only nearly lost it once.

I saw those rock ledges coming up. I could not believe I was already back to these things. I had been dreading them and praying for help the entire time I was riding back.

What I could not see going down them was this nice little line to climb up them. I had I seen that, I would have turned around A LONG TIME AGO. The drop off each one was so far, I did not think I could back up them. It never even crossed my mind as a possibility.

But sure 'nuff there was a way... I rolled up to the first one and gave her the juice... the "too heavy, terrible trail bike, that is the Dakar (as everyone says)" rolled up that ledge like it was nothing. The second one was more tricky and I gave a bit too much power bringing the front end up but I rode it down and I was done!

Around the next bend... GRAVEL!!!!!

I got out of there and was so elated!!! I wanted to get off the bike and make gravel angels but instead, I powered on out... I back tracked only getting turned around once. But this one was worth it because in my celebration, I actually jumped the bike for the first time.

There were several small burms across the trail one after the other... each one I got a little more confident and the last, I yanked hard on the bars and gave her the go juice. The bike came to life and for a second, I was flying. Just like when we were kids and we jumped our bicycles the first time. It was exhilarating. I admit that I did not mean to quite do that. I did not think I would get so high and go so far. So from then on, I just played it safe.

I was in a big hurry at this point so I did not stop for any pics. But soon, I was back on the TAT - safe and sound. It was about 2 hours from in to out. My days distance and plans (however loose they were) were blown.

So to recap:

Lesson one - HIKE IT: If you find yourself in a similar situation with similar conditions, hike the trail... just do it. I figured, I was up to whatever challenge... and it was only .5 miles right??? Just do it... especially if you are on somewhat of a schedule.

Lesson two - ELEVATION CHANGES: IF it is wet and you are in an area with ups and downs, you will find water in the 'downs'. Some or eventually one will be impassible. Especially if you are on an unmarked quad trail after days of heavy rain. Duh....

Lesson three - RELAX!: Don't let the anxiety of the situation cause you to prematurely exhaust yourself. In my case, I wanted out of there. I did not mean to or even think to, but I found myself running in a fast jog while I was scouting the rest of the trail. That made my escape from the forest more difficult.

The rest, well as they say, is history...

More later.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:41 AM   #161
TJ Willy OP
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Skierd - sorry to just now see your post. I am amazed that someone else took that 'road' / 'trail'. While I am sorry for your "misfortune" (haha) I am glad someone else can backup the claims I was making about that thing.

I stuck with that damn thing all the way to BIG creek that closed it off. Then had to backtrack my way out.

.... just read your report as well... will comment over there.
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