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Old 05-25-2009, 12:42 PM   #31
M.M.S. Tommy
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Joined: May 2009
Location: TN
Oddometer: 371
Great report, myself and a couple of buddies just did the TN and MS section last week when (what day) did you start the trail? where are you right now? watch out for those creek crossings they are slippery watched all my friends go down i luckly made it
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:11 PM   #32
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Thanx for the PM's and the links on the TAT guys! I got it now.

Never heard of it before...but I'm gonna have to give it a go now.
Funny thing, is that it ends just 30 miles South of where I live! who knew???
"Good Times & Good Friends Make Life Better"
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:30 PM   #33
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Location: Jennings, Louisiana
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Originally Posted by DrLewall
So many riders comming to play in my backyard and I have no one to play with. Hope everyone has a safe and fun TAT ride! Perhaps our paths will cross at Oark Cafe'
I'll be sure to let you know next time I'm in Arkansas. If we would start getting decent weather patterns, I need to take the Bandit dancing there. Of course we just do slow and medium fast dances. Just too dang old for fast dancing anymore.

A '00 KLR 650 40,000 miles, A '07 1250S 74,000 , A '03 5.3L Chevy Truck 78,000 + '43 style dude , Simper Fi ;-)
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:34 PM   #34
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:59 PM   #35
The Tourist
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Originally Posted by Patrick46
Thanx for the PM's and the links on the TAT guys! I got it now.

Never heard of it before...but I'm gonna have to give it a go now.
Funny thing, is that it ends just 30 miles South of where I live! who knew???
Did you just volunteer yourself as support crew for the end of the trail?

Keep the great RR coming TJ Willy.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:43 PM   #36
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Team Pterodactyl
1000 Miles South of HQ
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:40 PM   #37
Brown Dog
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Originally Posted by juniorsktm
Great Reporting! I am leaving on July 1st. No chance of catching you, and I can't wait!
i sure wish i could go wit u & elton.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:58 PM   #38
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: DFW area
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I am in...keep it rolling....literally!
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:42 PM   #39
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Location: Coweta, Ok
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Really enjoying your ride report. Thanks for doing it.

I rode the TAT from OK to OR last Sept. Enjoy seeing the Eastern part, because I have not been on it yet.

You are doing a great job on it. Keep it coming.
"I don't want a pickle, I just wanna ride on my motorsickle" (Arlo Guthrie)
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:43 PM   #40
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Location: Boone, North Carolina
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I'm starting to plan my solo trip from CO or OR next summer. Love reading this stuff
Live or die, it's all the same,
life or death, it's just a game.

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Old 05-25-2009, 08:06 PM   #41
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Location: Wichita Falls, Tx
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Originally Posted by bigdoggscott
Hey Phil, Great report keep it coming. I'm glad you made it further than I did. You really made some good time once you got going.
I am home now, I have to wear a back brace for 10 to 14 weeks, but at least I don't need surgery. Someday I will be back to finish the TAT.


Good to hear from you. What a way to spend the summer... damn.

I was really busting ass to catch up to you guys.

Glad to hear you got home safely.

Things could have been so much worse - and it is amazing you are ok - in relative terms.

2009 Solo TAT Ride Report
01 F650 Dakar | '99 Triumph Trophy 1200
SmugMug Goodness Coupon Code (GZnn7vYHaHJjg)
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:13 PM   #42
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Location: Wichita Falls, Tx
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Originally Posted by GSdiablo
I'll be watching this one closely. I recently decided to standardize on the Dakar so I am very curious how it does off road. Are you running the standard sprockets? Can't wait til Colorado
Standard sprockets.

Don't believe the hype. The Dakar is a plenty TAT capable bike. Though the weight is tough sometimes... just don't drop it!!

(coming to a ride report near you very soon.)

I know there are some tough trails further west than I made it... but I don't think any tougher than what I have already put the bike through (not necessarily on the TAT). Rocks and gravel are actually easy on this bike. Mud is the problem. So depending on your weather, it could be tough going. Some of the mud on the TAT is pretty bad. OK comes to mind. Same with UT. I was in some pretty slick, thankfully not deep mud, in CO. I have been riding for years but fairly new to DSing but the skills come quickly.

It just hurts sometimes!

I did upgrade the front fork springs. Added a bunch of stuff, but the rest of the suspension and mechanics are stock.
2009 Solo TAT Ride Report
01 F650 Dakar | '99 Triumph Trophy 1200
SmugMug Goodness Coupon Code (GZnn7vYHaHJjg)

TJ Willy screwed with this post 05-25-2009 at 08:54 PM
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:23 PM   #43
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Here is a video taken from day 3 (first day on the TAT). It is within the first 50 miles of the Jellico.

Excuse the poor quality and rider diatribe. I was a little excited.

2009 Solo TAT Ride Report
01 F650 Dakar | '99 Triumph Trophy 1200
SmugMug Goodness Coupon Code (GZnn7vYHaHJjg)
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:33 PM   #44
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Location: Wichita Falls, Tx
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Day 4 - TN to MS.

I was awoken during the night to wind in the trees and lighting flashing. I contemplated moving to the pavillion that was offered me but I could see stars above me and the lightening looked like "heat" lightening... so I crawled back in my tent and passed out. I did not even put the rain fly on.

I am camping with a Alps Zephyr 1.0. It is an all mesh tent suitable for uber lightweight backpacking. It is sorta cramped - even for a fella my height but comfortable either way. The solid mesh sides and top make for a nice cool(er) summer camping experience. It is free standing so there is more tent pole to lug around, but they are really light. I used a Mystique 1.5 from Alps last year on the TAT and I actually enjoy that tent more. two doors... huge vestibules, but not all mesh and it must be staked to stand erect. The trade-off is smaller poles to lug around. The mystique offers more room inside for your riding suit though. I like to bring that in with me to keep the bugs out of it. Boots stay in the vestibule with other gear. The question is, Do you want a free-standing or staked tent? That is the deciding factor. I can attest to the Mystique keeping me 100% dry in a HEAVY long down pour. Can't speak about the Zephyr in the rain... yet.

My morning routine consists of suiting up, taking care of the personals, firing up the jetboil for coffee, and packing up. The entire fiasco takes me about 20 mins with a few at the end enjoying my coffee.

When that was over, I routed back to the TAT and started my 4th day of riding.

I had to stop and take a pic of this poor lonely Jeep out in the field. Man - it would be nice to breath some life back into that fella.

Along the way, you see all kinds of barns and other structures... some modern with all the accompaniments and others like this on the sides of big hills.

This is just the perfect idea (my idea) of a homestead. Beautiful log home with the lush green forest as your backyard. As soon as I become an internet billionaire, I will have one on the TAT somewhere and all you freaks can stop by for a rest!

Cow getting a morning bath.

Traveling along on an old paved road in some pretty fun curves and I come upon another cool TN bridge.

The creek that is spans.

You start to get pretty confident on the gravel. It is nothing to push 70mph on the decent stuff enjoying the scenery and the tunes (if you have them.) I come around a corner pretty fast and down a hill and see this just in time to get stopped.

This is one of the famous slippery water crossings. They look so innocent! Very shallow... moving at a nice pace over the rock... refreshing even.

I decided to make a small video of me walking across it to illustrate how slippery it really is. Even walking you can slip and slide.

Again, turn the volume down if you don't care to hear my near useless commentary.

Imagine a loaded bike... one false move and your going down. I chose to not ride across any of them. I have seen in many many reports down bikes across these things.... This particular crossing was the one I still managed to almost drop the bike. The front tire was stopped by a large crevice in the rock and when I applied the throttle, the rear end walked away from me. When I tried keep the bike up, I lost my footing but managed to regain it in time keep the bike up. Way more work than it should have been.

I have to say it might have been easier to just ride across it. But I digress. I'll just use the excuse that rationalized me not riding it and that is that I was solo. Falling wrong on this stuff could have put me in a bad position.

If there is any negative to riding solo, it is your ability to take chances... or I should say my ability. I was way more cautious than I normally would be. Hard to imagine from reading my above posts, but I felt I used a few of my lives on that particular adventure and I still had a ways to go.

According to the GPS - this is the famous Natchez Trace. I have ridden some of the MS portion but never this far north into TN.

The dark underside of the Natchez Trace:

The other side had some interesting graffiti but it also contained some rather graphical imagery and language I would hate to be responsible for your kids seeing.... so I will leave that to someone else.

I had to route off the TAT for fuel now and come upon a small town. I did not get a pic, unfortunately, but the Zumo listed this as an Exxon. It might have been back in the day, it was no more than a Mom/Pop station/garage with two old style pumps... Sparcely stocked home made shelves, standard home refrigerator for cold drinks, dusty old car parts, nick-nacks of all shape, form, and fashion. No 5 hr energy drinks, no counter side impulse buys, no capuccino or parot ice vending machines, no bud light beer displays, nothing... and no need to pay first for gas here. The back of the store included a bay door and an old tire bead breaking/changing stand. There were four gentleman sitting in a circle inside just shooting the breeze.

I must have looked like an alien to them because they were speechless when I walked in. One guy actually tried to give me a hard time about why I was there?? I just smiled and said I did not mean to interrupt their conversation and if I could buy gas, rest my ass, and buy a coke, I'd be on my way.

The other old guys said not to mind him and we all got a laugh.

Turns out this town was home to Sheriff Buford Pusser. He was a one man army that was responsible for 'cleaning up' the area... He was not my kind of guy... He rid the area of moonshine and gambling and 'other vices' that riddled the TN/MS border. He was the inspiration of many books and movies.

Ironically enough, he died behind the wheel after consuming too many 'vices'. Wikipedia does not say this, as I researched it... it paints a picture of a conspiracy theory involving murder. My information came from one of the old men at the gas station. So who knows.

Buford was a tough son-of-a-gun though as he was shot 8 times and stabbed 7, during his reign as Sheriff.

An interesting story either way.

Approaching the TN river valley:

A tribute to TDP!

A levee?

The weather was phenomenal:

If you are wanting to go the Dark Side but don't know the way, I found the road: (I got a waypoint for ya)

TN River... the only one *I think* that runs backwards:

The cool houses on the banks of the TN we have seen in TAT reports in the past.

But I don't remember seeing a picture of the front of them:

The gate was locked into the homes and nobody was around. They appear to be either rentals or vacation style homes. There were two 'settlements' of these.

What a view:

I saw a sign for a bridge closing but I pressed on. I soon saw this:

I investigated further (This trip is about exploration right?) to learn that there were workers painting the bridge. It was closed for painting.

There was a full crew there but they were about to break for lunch. The only problem with going on through was a huge steel cable stretched across the exit about two feet high.

The other workers scrambled out of there but one guy stayed behind to help me cross the cable. He was the job foreman. I removed the Pelican's to make the bike a little lighter and he and I lifted it over the cable.

Reroute averted!

The only casualty was a nice pair of sunglasses... my only pair that would soon be replaced by cheap gas station ray blockers. But the story and experience was worth it.

Soon after I found myself at Satillo Landing on the TN river.

This fella took a liking to me and followed me around:

He did not like kids though. Just after I snapped that pic, he began to growl and bark at some kids walking up. He must have been mistreated in his past.

There was a huge ruckus over at the launch.

I thought it must be a nice day to hang around the river... but I was wrong.

Tons of people were in the parking area and there were cops and boats around the landing.

There is a huge group of people behind me in this pic:

Everyone is waiting on something....


I got back to the store and order lunch. While I am in there, I learn that last night a couple guys in a truck, snookered out of their gourds, ran their truck off into the river. The driver escaped and the passenger was believed to be inside the truck still.

I ordered what was to be the very best burger I have ever had. Pan Seared Cajun Bacon Burger ala Cajun Fries.

As my food was being prepared, I took a short video of the retrieval:

Nothing was happening fast so I returned to the restaurant and my dinner was waiting on me with a window seat.

AND OH BOY! They had cold PBR as well!

To save battery life, I waited a bit and took this pic:

No passenger. He must have been swept out of the truck. Turns out they divers knew there was nobody inside so they began to look downriver (north) for the passenger. Nothing was found while I was there.

I continued on. Scott warned me of flooding the area previously. Sure 'nuff - he was right, but it appeared some of the water had receded.

more later....
2009 Solo TAT Ride Report
01 F650 Dakar | '99 Triumph Trophy 1200
SmugMug Goodness Coupon Code (GZnn7vYHaHJjg)
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:52 AM   #45
The silent voyeur
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