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Old 06-28-2009, 07:06 AM   #31
Dark Helmet
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Thanks!

Great thread, and nice job on the RR. Been thinking more and more of the eastern TAT on my big pig 1100GS. Maybe in the fall?

Good luck on the next section, I will be looking for the RR.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:46 PM   #32
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Well I just got home from doing the New Mexico- Colorado and into Moab section. I have a lot of pictures and a story to tell. Details coming.
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:39 PM   #33
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By late August it looked like I was going to be able to sneak away to do the next section of the TAT so I ordered the New Mexico, Colorado and Utah maps from Sam and then sat down with Map Quest again.

As a side note, I found some gps tracks of the Trans American Trail and considered just using them. I have read things from others here on Adventure Rider that it is important to buy the maps and plan the trip with them. To be honest I could have done without buying the maps but it did help me a lot to use them in trip planning and I used them on the trail occasionally. I am glad I bought them and I recommend anyone getting ready to do the TAT to buy the maps.

Another thing to consider is Sam put a lot of effort in setting it up and that is one things that enabled me to do a very epic journey that I will never forget. Cheap at twice the price.

If you will remember from the first section of the trip my rear tire was one of the themes of the ride. I thought I would just wear out what was left of my old Kenda 270 and swap to the new one I was carrying somewhere along the way. That tire made the entire trip and the new one was just in my way the whole time.

I won’t make that mistake again and started this trip with less than 1000 miles on the tire. With what I learned on the last trip I was sure this one would make the round. I have a before and after picture of the tire so you can determine their longevity yourself.









I live in Iowa so I took off from home on Saturday August 29th around noon to pick up the Trans Am Trail in Oklahoma. I am not headed for the beginning of Oklahoma were I left off earlier in the year. I have lived in Oklahoma and although I love Oklahoma and I like riding the vast open areas of it I really want to get to New Mexico and start the trail there.

Besides I will get enough vast openness in Kansas on the way there.

I catch one of those good Sonic burgers and shakes in Atchison Kansas.




The flint hills area is beautiful if you get off the interstate. I lived on the interstate system for 10 years and avoid it all I can. Today was no exception and I was rewarded with good riding.






I made it to Greensburg Kansas as it was getting dark.. Greensburg is known for the largest hand dug well in the world but more recently for being nearly wiped off the map by a tornado in May of 2007.

I quickly found the city park and set up camp. I bought some chicken strips at the new local store and had supper at my campsite with three cats. They seemed to enjoy my company and my food.




489 miles is not bad for starting at noon.



I will start day two later. Thanks for tuning in.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:14 PM   #34
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Laugh Another DR650 - I guess I need one!

Ed, great RR going, again. Please give us a few details on the gear on your DR. Like: windshield, bags, trunk, etc. Any special prep? Good luck on the New Mexico section.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:13 PM   #35
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Ed,

If you ever pass back thru the Oark, Clarksville area again let me know. I have relatives there, I might even talk my Dad in letting you stay on his boat on the Arkansas River, located in Knoxville, Ar.

Dan
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:47 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Jay
Ed, great RR going, again. Please give us a few details on the gear on your DR. Like: windshield, bags, trunk, etc. Any special prep? Good luck on the New Mexico section.
My DR has a cee-baileys windshield, The IMS 4.9 gallon tank and Corbin seat. The big tank and seat are a must have for a DR650.

The trunk is the cheap JC Whitney one. It works fine but if you will notice there is a bungee cord around it. The latch broke a long time ago. It did survive a hard roll over when I hit a deer once. It got scratched on top but otherwise took the hit very well.

It has Nelson-Rigg CL850 bags and the ebay racks designed for them. Both are very good although I did rip the tie down straps off the bags dropping the bike a few times in Colorado as you read about later in the report if you don't get bored before then.

The DR650 comes with a tall or short suspension setting. I have mine short because I am. That limits ground clearance so I have an aluminum skid plate. The skid plate got used several times on this trip and in the past.

I could go on and on about the great bike a DR650 is but you can learn all about that over on the DR650 thread.

Thanks for the questions and interest.
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:35 PM   #37
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Day Two

The next morning I packed up and toured the town a little. There are not many older buildings in Greensburg. Just newer ones and although they have made good progress it looks like they still have a ways to go.






I told you I would be getting vast openness in Kansas




I am a sucker for historical markers when I am on the bike. The bike is so nimble it is easy to stop, read the monument and enjoy the ambiance of standing where what ever happened in history to make a marker there warranted.








My Bike wanted to try the yellow brick road in the land of OZ.



Then I entered Oklahoma and the riding got more interesting. This is not on the Trans American Trail but is very near it and should be on it. When just wandering around in a general direction I seem to always find interesting less traveled roads. These were no exception and although it eats time going these routes it’s more than worth it to me.












Finally I decided I should get to Boise City and start the trail proper. As you get to New Mexico you get to see ruts from the Santa Fe Trail. Very cool.








At the welcome to New Mexico sign there were some recent knobby tracks from two bikes. It had been raining here so I knew they were not to old. I was hoping to catch up to whomever it was so I ran a pretty good clip.




I had considered riding from Iowa to Colorado Springs and venture onto The Trans Am Trail from there. That would have been a mistake. Don’t skip New Mexico.














Stopped at the Branson Colorado jail for a picture.



The ride into Trinidad was open and uneventful. The skies were starting to threaten some moisture. My bike is starting to not like the altitude. It is running rich and I didn’t bring any jets. I took off the air box cover and that leaned it down just right. The bike ran flawlessly the rest of the trip.






On Sams map it says among other things “Trindad to Salida is a long day on the trail. You should be on the trail by 7 am and limit your lunch stop to 20 minutes. “

So let’s see it is 3 pm and the skies look like precipitation is near. Let’s give it a shot.






I ended up dodging a lot of the rain but I did finally get caught in it. I put on my rain gear after I was wet and rode on. Caught a little hail.




I got as far as Westcliff before it got dark. Because I was wet and cold I opted for a room rather than pitch the tent again. I stayed at the Golden Corner Suites because Charlie gave me a good rate. The room was very nice and more of an apartment than a motel. You could live there indefinitely. http://www.goldencornersuites.net/

I think I probably passed the bikes that left tracks at the New Mexico border somewhere in Trinidad. It was a very good day with lots of scenic beauty and I covered a lot of ground.




I will pick up with day three later.

edstoll screwed with this post 09-07-2009 at 05:03 AM
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:46 PM   #38
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Great ride! Can't wait for the rest
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:39 PM   #39
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Glad to see you back.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:02 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N9BAV
Ed,

If you ever pass back thru the Oark, Clarksville area again let me know. I have relatives there, I might even talk my Dad in letting you stay on his boat on the Arkansas River, located in Knoxville, Ar.

Dan
Thanks for the offer Dan. I like Arkansas but it is not on the schedule for a very long time. Too many other places I have to get to first.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:22 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by fotobo
Glad to see you back.
It's good to be back with another story to tell.

Isn't there a famous old west female outlaw burial site not too far from Coweta somewhere?
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:36 PM   #42
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Day number three I wake up with great anticipation. I know this is going to be great because I will be crossing many mountain passes and I have seen pictures from other ride reports going through here.
First the ride to Salida.
























I couldn’t resist this next one If you remember when I was going through Arkansas I found a place that had two water crossings right beside each other. One had tubes under it and the other just let high water over it. You had your choice. Here is the picture of it.




They do the same thing in Colorado. Here you have your choice of going over the cattle crossing or the road beside it. Either way was effective.




More in a minute. I have to fill my water jug.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:46 PM   #43
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Next into Salida for gas and food and then up into the high mountain passes. This is what I was really looking forward to. It did not disappoint and I hope all of you get to see some of these scenic vistas someday. I will let the pictures speak for themselves but as usual they do not do the area justice. You need to be there in person to truly “see” it.

St. Elmo






























Unbelievable beauty. More of the high Colorado mountain passes coming up.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:15 PM   #44
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This was fabulous riding on the southern Colorado Trans American Trail.



















































On some of those pictures you can see my bike is not on much of a trail. There is a point on the roll chart that says “ right, jeep rd. to Corkscrew. Find It !! “ which lead me to believe it would be an unmarked somewhat obscure turn off. Of course there were no gps coordinates for it. I located a right turn but it was about a mile short of where the track I had drawn on Mapquest said I should turn. Maybe it was the high elevation or something impairing my judgment but I thought I would give it a try. It started out as a decent two track but after crossing a summit it began to deteriorate very quickly. I was going down down down in tight switchbacks and loose rock. The trail was getting less and less visible and my gps said I was off track more and more. I was thinking to myself there is no way I can make it back up what I just came down. This has to go somewhere I’ll just ride it out. As it became less and less a trail I began to start thinking about what supplies I had and what my options were. I knew I wouldn’t die but this could turn out real bad. About that time I came to a spot where the side hill ( do you call a side hill on a mountain a side hill or side mountain? ) had a rock slide completely blocking forward progress. The trail had vanished altogether and the only way down started with about a 50 foot drop to a creek. I could see rock road many miles distant downhill. My options were to abandon the bike and walk / climb there or go back the way I came. Not much choice so I struggled to get the bike turned around, rested a moment and put it in attack mode. I used a lot of the clutches life. The rear tire was punished. Whenever I could get momentum I would go as fast as I could jarring everything on the bike over the rough surface. The switchbacks were difficult because they were so tight and steep with very loose rocks of all sizes. I dropped it a couple of times and it always took a lot of effort to start moving again. I had to rest a few times but in the end I was so relived to pass back over the summit and to the trail I had turned off of in error. A mile down the road there is a sign for corkscrew. It was not obscure turn at all and I just pulled a three hour dumb move.

It was a good workout and a great adventure but I am now off schedule time wise and out of range of my planned fuel stop. I made a detour off the trail into Telluride and back to the trail. I wasn’t able to make it to Monticello Utah as I planned so I camped at West Deloris. I got there right at dark and setup camp. Great day in the saddle.






I will work on day four tomorrow.
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:59 PM   #45
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Day 4 and I am up early packed and moving.
The rest of Colorado is still pretty but a changing landscape. Some of it appears to have burned recently.














I could tell by the maps Monticello is just a gas stop and out of the way if you don’t need it so I took a short cut. Along the way I found another historic marker. I love those things.






I was just south of La Salle store when I met two dual sports coming at me and turning at the same place I was . It turned out to be trailryder42 and imgoing from Texas.. They were riding the Trans Am Trail from Boise Oklahoma to The Oregon coast. They had just blown the corner and came back to it. Because I was just about at my turning home point we weren’t going to get to ride together . We exchanged names and screen names and headed on. Good luck Derek and Noel. Ride safe and I look forward to reading your ride report. Derek on a KLR and Noel on a KTM.




My plan was to leave the Trans Am Trail at Kokopellis Trail and detour off of it to see the Top of the World outlook. That would be the climax to my trip and the turning point to go home. I ended up riding the La Salle loop and when I got to Kokopellis Trail I was not sure on my fuel range. Rather than make another bad judgment call I decided to ride into Moab, get gas and then ride to the Top of the World and Kokopellis Trail.







I stopped in Moab just long enough for food and fuel. While I was sitting at Wendys eating, the yellow sign caught my eye.




I have been to Moab a couple of times and it is one of my favorite places. I am going to save spending any real time there for the future when my wife can see it. Here are a few pics of the area as I sped through.













I made it to the Dewey bridge and rode Kokopellis Trail to the Top of the World turn off.







The trail to the Top of the World gets real technical. I struggled on for quite a ways until I came to an area of huge rock steps. I looked it over awhile and although I think I could get over them I decided it wasn’t wise to try it by myself. According to my gps it was only about another mile and a half to the overlook. I decide to hike it. I switched to shorts and a sun cap, strapped on my camelbak and away I went. I left my bike and gear unattended and unsecured. I was reasonably sure there would be nobody showing up to this remote location. Besides it's just a three mile trip, I’ll be right back.

About a ¼ mile into it I am gassed out. I was climbing in the hot sun and the rock ledges were getting bigger. Even if I would have made it over that section with my bike it got bad enough on up that I would have had to walk anyway. I thought constantly about giving up and turning back but this was after all the climax of the trip and the turning point. I have to make it. I finally did and all I can say is WOW. It was worth it. I wish the pictures were clearer. I am told it is probably the California wildfires causing the haze but even so it was spectacular.














My 27th anniversary is in a couple of days and I couldn’t help but think about how cool it would be to share this view with my wife. Since she wasn’t there I thought I would take a special picture for her.



Bet you can’t go find that one honey. Hint: it is on the rock that juts out by my head in this picture. It is kind of uneasy to stand on it.





The hike back to the bike was much easier going down. Rode back out and along Kokopellis Trail.




Ended the day at the state campgrounds in Fruita Colorado.
Isn’t $20 a lot for a place to plant a tent overnight? I guess it helps they have showers. Then I find out you have to pay extra for the showers. I wined about it but didn’t let it ruin my day. Like all the others on this trip so far it was a very good day.




That is it for day 4. Just two more days.

edstoll screwed with this post 09-08-2009 at 07:13 PM
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