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Old 08-17-2009, 10:14 AM   #91
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You're one 'ard lady!!

...still lovin it though!!
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:46 PM   #92
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Location: 79.6 miles south of Suches
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My god that sucks a big one. I hope that you guys are able to continue.

I'm no KTM Adventure expert, but I wonder if it would be help to loosened up the triple clamps top and bottom and make sure that everything is aligned properly? I know that they can get tweaked from a big hit. Is it tracking straight?
1971 Honda Z50A K2 Mini Trail
2006 Suzuki DR650SM

chipwich screwed with this post 08-17-2009 at 02:55 PM
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:02 PM   #93
BigWan OP
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Day 11 continued...

Matt still had concerns about whether or not the bike could continue. He was just hoping that it could get us home via the highway. He was afraid that I didn't want to continue off road and the thought of not finishing the TAT made him reluctant to bring it up. I, on the other hand, just assumed that of course we were still doing the trail, so I didn't bring it up either. Instead we just rode and rode.

It helped that the area was so pretty.

Of course, that didn't last. Eventually, we were riding on more two track with silt and sand. In some places it was rocky, too. That felt great. Each and every bounce made my ribs scream.

Ugly high voltage lines.

The worst stuff of the day was this loose red lava rock. It was piled up thick on an old railroad bed and it made for an uncomfortable, unpredictable ride. Ugh.

It just went on forever. Finally, we decided that today was the day for saying "f*ck it" and when we had a chance, we hopped on some pavement and slabbed into Silver Lake. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), it sounds like we missed a really interesting rocky section by doing so. Oh well.

When we got to Silver Lake to re-fuel, the girl at the gas station was really nice. She asked if we were doing "that trail thing." When we nodded, she said sympathetically, "Oh, were you really lost today?" As a mater of fact, we were. "Yeah," she said, "everyone who comes in here who's doing that trail complains about all the bad information they got from the maps and stuff. They're all lost and then they're really unhappy when they get here and there's no food." I had overheard her talking about lightning, so I asked if they were expecting some. She said that yesterday, Silver Lake had had the worst thunderstorm ever, and that there had been a ton of lightning strikes. "They're tracking the lightning again today and it's coming this afternoon." Oh, goody. She told us that most people abandoned the trail here and got on the highway instead.

We briefly discussed staying in town so we could pick up the trail in the morning, but the lack of food was kind of a bummer. Instead, we compromised. We would get back on the TAT and do as much as we could. If it got unbearable, we would take it easy on ourselves and slab to Gilchrist.

As soon as we got back on the TAT, I was disappointed to see this:

Thank you, Sam, may I have another...

Thank you, Sam, may I have another...

Hope these aren't going to bring lightning.

For me, the last straw was the gates. I just couldn't work them with my hurt ribs. I was fighting with one of them, swearing like crazy, and Matt could tell I was right on the edge of freaking out. We left the trail to try and find the highway.

We actually passed Gilchrist and went to Crescent, OR. I had seen a review of The Woodsman Country Lodge and it looked really nice. We pulled into the lot and Matt went inside to get a room. He came out a short time later and said that the woman at the desk told him that, "unless he had a prior reservation, there weren't any rooms available." I was so disappointed. I really wanted to stay there. The woman had recommended the motel across the highway (the Lake Terrace Motel?), or the Gilchrist Inn. We tried the Lake Terrace. After ringing the bell and waiting around with no response, we went to the Gilchrist Inn. Again, after ringing the bell and waiting around, we had no luck. Now what?

We went back to Crescent. As we pulled into the Lake Terrace Motel's lot, I noticed that the sign for the Woodsman Country Lodge still showed "vacancy." I had the phone number from the online review and I decided to call. A woman answered and I inquired about a room for tonight. She proceeded to go into detail about the rooms available and the amenities of each one. WTF? Matt was pissed. I sweetly told her that I'd be interested in a basic room and she happily booked one for me, telling me that my confirmation number would be her name, "Barbara." She asked when I'd be arriving and I assured her it would be very soon. After hanging up, I walked across the highway.

The Woodsman Country Lodge.

When I walked in, wearing my gear and carrying my helmet, I got a sour look. I'm sure that my limp and my busted up, swollen, bloody lip did not help. I said, "Oh, hi, are you Barbara? I'm Kelly, I just spoke to you on the phone." Man, the look on her face. I continued, "I think there might have been a misunderstanding, because you told my husband that you were booked. Are you sure that there's a room available?" She quickly explained that she had "had a cancellation." Oh, wonderful, I gushed. So, I can have a room? I got a grim smile in return. As I was filling out the forms, I made sure she knew we were on a motorcycle - did she still need the license plate? no? okay.

Meanwhile, Matt was still across the highway. The very nice woman at the other motel, and her friend, were telling him how Barbara was notorious for refusing to rent rooms to anyone who was not white. She also hates motorcycles and won't rent to bikers.

Once Matt came over to the Woodsman, he told me what he had learned and asked if I still wanted to stay there. You bet I did. It was a nice room. And, if I had forced that woman to give a non-white biker a room, I was going to enjoy it.

Dig this crazy toilet seat - those are bullets.

Crescent was an interesting place. We ate dinner at The Mohawk. The previous owner was a taxidermist and bottle collector. As expected, it was full of bottles and stuffed dead animals. It was a weird restaurant and it really creeped me out to try and eat dinner while surrounded by so many dead things. At least our waitress was really nice and they had ice cold beer.

Once we got back to the Woodsman, Matt wanted to fiddle with the bike. He turned the forks around, in hopes that it would solve some of our issues. I'm sure Barbara loved that.

Whew. Made it through another day of the TAT.

When we got back to our room, Matt brought me a bucket full of ice. I iced my left knee, my face (my chin and gums were pretty bruised up and my lips were right out of "The First Wives Club."), and my ribs (as best I could). We each took a half a vicodin and a motrin and tried to get some sleep.

We were going to finish the TAT if it killed us. And it was starting to seem like it might.

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:11 PM   #94
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Thumb awesome!

Mrs Nowthen and I have been taking our 990 up and down some silly roads too. It is great to see that there are other couples out there doing hard stuff. I started off thinking 'great, I need to show this thread to the Boss', but maybe I will just keep quiet about it. We were thinking to start a thread where we could see who's pillion puts up with the worst(best?) days. You guys are great. Thanks so far
where does that road go?
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:38 AM   #95
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What a country!

Originally Posted by BigWan
Day 11 continued...

Meanwhile, Matt was still across the highway. The very nice woman at the other motel, and her friend, were telling him how Barbara was notorious for refusing to rent rooms to anyone who was not white. She also hates motorcycles and won't rent to bikers.

America, the land of tolerance is filled to the freakin' brim with bitches like Barbara!

If adversity breeds charachter, this is an epic novel in the works here.

Excellent RR - thanks for sharing your ADV experience.
"The True Adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate"
~O Henry

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Old 08-18-2009, 08:17 AM   #96
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Maybe when you get home you can send Barbara a copy of the 13th ammendment, preferably delivered by a lawyer. Love your report and the the "tyranny of the trail" mindset. If there was ever a place to give it up it is in Oregon.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:50 AM   #97
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Lost in Oregon? Ahh, that old chestnut.
I recognise the turn in to the dead end - I met an englishman down there cutting wood!
I spent hours lost in the forest coming to dead end after dead end. Finally ringing my wife back home in the uk to say I loved her and not to mourn me!!

That was an hour or two before staying The Woodsman Country Lodge too.

very quaint!

great report
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:17 AM   #98
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8/4/09 Day 12 of the TAT: Crescent, OR to Port Orford, OR aprox. 380+ miles

According to google maps, it takes 240 miles (5 hrs, 43 minutes) to go from the Woodsman Country Lodge to Port Orford via the highway.

Matt and I opted for the 380+ mile, 14 hour "scenic" route instead

I started off with some coffee, advil, and the last half of vicodin. It seemed like it was going to be a rough day. We had a lovely breakfast at the gas station (prepackaged bagel sticks, berry yogurt and we split a frappuccino) then we fueled up and got on the road.

The morning started out great, with lots of wide gravel roads. Super smooth and easy riding.

Pretty forest.

Things start to get fuzzy here. We slabbed part of the way to Tiller, but I can't remember why (aside from being lost, I assume). Got to Tiller and it was just a tiny market/service station. They only had 87 octane so we didn't even get fuel.

On our way out of Tiller, we saw an Oregon Highway Patrol truck coming at us. He turned on his lights and pulled us over. Apparently, Matt had forgotten to turn on his headlights (he has it set up so he can opt to turn off the lights to save the battery offroad). The OHP demanded to see Matt's license - "to see if you are who you say you are." Wow, friendly. He wrote down all of Matt's info and started to check out the bike. He asked what we were doing and when we told him, he seemed kind of interested. Eventually, he warmed up. We asked if we were close to road 3201, and he said it was about 8 or 9 miles down the way. Thank you, officer.

About a mile later, we found the turnoff for 3201. Thank you, officer!

This section, after Tiller, was really good. Sam gave us a little surprise - we got some roads with real dirt and rocks.

Fun, twisty, rocky roads with steep inclines and declines. I think our favorite was around road 32-3-32.

It just kept going, and going, with each incline steeper than the last. I was actually surprised that Sam didn't warn the big bikes about this section. I'll bet it really messed some people up.

The very last incline was steep and loose enough so that I made Matt let me get off and walk (my third and final walk of the trip). I was already hurt enough and I wasn't going to risk having a get-off in the rocks. You can't tell from this pic, but it was a long, steep walk. It took me forever! I made Matt wait at the bottom of the turn so I could take this shot.

The downhills were equally steep. Sorry, no pics, I could only hold on with my right arm.
Here's a pretty view, though.

Look, I actually remembered to take a food shot! We had a gas station lunch in Azalea. The donuts were disgusting - we ended up tossing them. The umpqua chocolate milk was good, though.

Sam has Quines Creek/Fortune Branch as a motel stop but neither of us wanted to stay there. We wanted to finish the TAT today!

The morning had been fantastic and satisfying and we were really enjoying the ride. It was fun and pretty like the old TAT, the colorado TAT, that we had loved so much. We both felt energized and refreshed and we were enthusiastic about the rest of the day. Port Orford, here we come!

We only had about 140 miles to go - it shouldn't be too bad. Right?

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Old 08-18-2009, 10:18 AM   #99
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believe me not everyone is like that in oregon
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:34 AM   #100
BigWan OP
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Originally Posted by rcook52459
believe me not everyone is like that in oregon
Oh, of course not! Just look back at that one entry - I mentioned several nice Oregonians who we met just that day:
the girl at the gas station in Silver Lake...
the woman at the motel across the street (and her friend)...
the waitress at the Mohawk...

We have lots of family and friends all over oregon!
Please do not think that we have a problem with Oregon or Oregonians!
That was just our experience with ONE person.
Anyway, California is full of assholes
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:39 AM   #101
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Darn you for posting this! Just when I gave up my dream of doing the TAT, you had to post this outrageously great RR and now I'm pulling out maps, checking my calendar, and figuring out how to tell my wife.

Thanks for posting ... and for persevering!
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:11 PM   #102
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Hi Matt and Kelly,
I have really enjoyed your trip report. I especially appreciate the witty writing--a skill which I do not posess........Kelly, you have perservered with grace through what must have become an ordeal.

My wife and I were run off from a motel in Quebec after a particularily long cold day in the rain. The woman behind the counter took one look at her and physically chased her out of there. My wife is Filipino, but I doubt that had much to do with it. She is Visian, but not really that formidable at 105#......we ended up staying at a much more comfortable B&B with a nice family.

I stopped on the OK section of the TAT last week to talk to some folks who were out working on their mail boxes. They were very nice, and we had a long chat. One of the ladies, who's ranch the TAT crosses through, was disappointed that none of the TAT riders stopped and said hi. She had her grandkids there and they ran out and waved at the riders but no one stopped. Of all of the riders through the years, I was the first to stop.

I tried to explain the mind set of the TAT riders to her--having a long way to go, and a short time to get there etc. But it also dawned on me that I am never sure how people are going to react to me on a motorcycle. There is the riding gear--helmet covering your face, usually being dirty etc. But more than anything, there is the big bad biker image which is portrayed in American culture and hyped by millions of dollars of advertising by the "Motor Company." The noise, drunkenness, trespassing, and generally raising hell all work against us. I have been lost several times riding the TAT, and have had to slink up to an investigating land owner wondering if I was going to be facing a shotgun, or a helping hand pointing me in the right direction. I always try to be courteous, and if people give me a hard time, it is their bad(unless I am tresspassing). Unfortunately, TAT riders end up in the same people's back yards over and over--because they were routed there.

The lady ranch owner said she understood--that some neighbors had bought Harly's and gone to Sturgis for the debauchery. She was pretty emphatic in her belief that you are known by the company that you keep and would welcome riders. Hopefully, I left a positive image for following TAT riders.

I am not trying to hijack your thread, just comiserating. I will be finishing the TAT in early Sept.--I have ridden the first 2600 miles over the summer.

It is particularily disheartening that Sam has not updated the Oregon maps as they have caused people so much hardship over the years. In your case, you were not far from needing a life flight. Frustration can fuel bad decisions that lead to bad outcomes. There are some people who have posted work arounds and the locations of problems in OR, but none of them are on the maps I purchased. I started a Yahoo group that could be a one stop shop for such info, but frankly if Sam is SELLING the maps he should have the info on his site. You two might have have been spared a lot of pain if a simple, well documented, road closing had been incorporated in the roll charts. I have less than 2 weeks until I get back on the bike in CO, and I will redouble my work on my tracks in NV and OR.

Thanks again for the entertaining read. I am looking forward to your ending, and hope you are both doing well with your injuries.

Doug Walker
Aperture Science: "We do what we must because we can."

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Old 08-18-2009, 05:52 PM   #103
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I always amazes me what a passenger is willing to endure, mine included, and I must say Kelly, you are as tough, patient, and understanding as they come.

Thanks for sharing-
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:01 PM   #104
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You guys are doing an awsome ride and report!
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:04 PM   #105
BigWan OP
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Day 12 continued...

After lunch, we got back on the trail and everything was going really well. We were just zooming along, enjoying the ride. At one point, we thought we saw three fresh tracks - could it be Andrew, Paul and Julian? The thought of finding them again lit a fire under Matt's butt and we rode even faster than before.

Until we hit a closed road. We think it was at 481.76 - LEFT onto road 31-8-8.1 Not only was there a large tree down across the road, there were numerous stumps scattered around and the whole area had been torn up by bulldozers. It seems that there had been a forest fire since the roll charts were drawn up and most of the roads were just gone now. Matt was tempted to go over the log and poke around, but we could see that what was left of the road had been chewed up by the dozers and there were cut logs and loose boulders everywhere.

(Insert long string of expletives here)
We looked at the roll chart and tried to figure out where this closed road would have led. We went in that direction and tried to pick up other roads that might hit it. Time after time, we hit dead ends and had to backtrack.
It was so infuriating. Now what? We didn't have any forest maps and the TAT map was useless.

Our GPS showed us as a black triangle floating out in space, so that was no help (Matt would have given his right arm for a GPS with topos today!). After going so far, we wanted to finish the damn TAT. It looked like we could either backtrack all the way out of the forest and slab it to Port Orford (what a huge, huge disappointing failure that would be), or we could keep trying to pick up the trail here.

It was getting kind of late in the day to be screwing around like this, but what choice did we have? There was still lots of daylight and we had plenty of gas. So, we kept searching. TAT uber alles! We went down road after road, hoping that one of them would hit the trail or a road that actually showed on our TAT map.

Saw pretty views.

Once the trip was over, we were going to be getting back home right around my birthday.
As we were bouncing down a particularly awful, rutted road we had a little conversation:
me: hey, matt?
Matt: yeah?
me: I think I know what I want for my birthday.
Matt: (nervously) um. yeah?
me: an MRI! ha, ha! ow, my ribs...

Went down lots of f'ed up logging roads. They were torn up, with stumps everywhere and lots of soft, loose dirt.

It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Undeterred, we just kept going down roads, looking for the sign numbers we wanted, riding them until they dead ended. We were pissed, frustrated, and caught up in the tyranny of the trail.

But, eventually, that insane stubbornness paid off and we found one of the roads from the TAT! We got onto 3348 and picked up the MF trail. We only had about 2 hours of daylight left and not a whole lot of gas, and we still had to hope that we wouldn't lose the trail again further down the line.

We could tell that we were getting closer as the fog rolled in.

Got a tantalizing peek of the ocean.

The sun was starting to set.

Now it was going to be dark AND foggy.

Matt was so upset that we wouldn't get there in time to see the ocean, he was riding faster and faster.

Pretty soon we were following the roll chart by flashlight...

The end of the trail! The TAT ends here, at Hwy 101.

We could still see the ocean! kind of...

I can't believe these photos turned out. It was 9pm and dark.

So freaking happy! It looks like our faces are dirty, but it's just the weird light.

We hadn't eaten anything but gas station food all day. Once we were caught up in the tyranny of the trail, we didn't take a single break - not even to pee or drink water. Unfortunately, we discovered that most of the oregon coast shuts down around 9pm! We were lucky enough to find a bar that served food, so we had burgers and beer for dinner.

Afterward, we went to find a room, and found that all the motels were closed. WTF? How is that even possible? We rang the bell at one place (the Sea Crest) and the owner stuck his head out. We told him we were hoping to find a room and he rudely told us we'd have to drive to Gold Beach (28 miles south). Nice. His place wasn't full and all he had to do was unlock the office and take our money, but he couldn't be bothered. After the Woodsman Country Lodge, I couldn't help but wonder if he would have had the same attitude if we were in a nice SUV, and not on a dusty bike.

Luckily, as we headed south on 101, I saw a sign for the Arizona Beach Lodge. The motel was open and the folks were really nice - they had no problems giving us a room, even though it was after 10pm.

The next day, we went back into Port Orford and took some photos.

This is for you, Mr. Sea Crest Motel!

Yesterday, when we were hitting our umpteenth dead end, Matt apologized for making me do the TAT. He said he really wished we had just taken the money and gone to Hawaii for 2 weeks. I told him he was crazy. I was so glad to have done the TAT, mostly because if we hadn't done it, he'd still be talking about it years later But also because I really enjoyed it. Sure, there were times that were horrible and difficult, but those are the days we'll look back on and remember the best.

I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Maybe not tomorrow, mind you, but someday. I'm still kind of upset that we didn't go back and do Marshall Pass (the bypass for Hancock Pass) - I had wanted to stay an extra day in colorado to that one as well, just to keep riding in that area. So, if we do the TAT again, I think we should do all the regular trails PLUS all the bypasses as well. What do you think, Matt?

It was sad to slab home. I kept looking at all the gates and fences, looking for dirt.
Be careful what you wish for...
Matt, happy to oblige, took me on the Lost Coast and Usal Road.

It was fun for a while, but the ruts got the best of my ribs. Then, we hit a bunch of mud. That shut me up for a while
When the road was finally over, I was relieved.
Okay, back on the slab, please!

We tried the fire extinguisher when we got home. It didn't work. Piece of crap...

The End.
Okay, guys - thanks for reading! It was fun to re-live most of it. Hope I didn't screw things up for those of you trying to get the wife to do the TAT and/or ride two up!

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