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Old 08-30-2009, 03:16 PM   #76
toneout
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Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:39 PM   #77
skierd OP
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Neat, learn something every day. Its probably best I didn't just randomly stop in after all.
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"We wish your trail a long one" - Darlene "Sid" Dowd ~ Never run out of traction, ideas, and real estate at the same time.
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Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:41 PM   #78
MeefZah
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Great RR so far!

You are an inspiration to WR owners!
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:04 PM   #79
Jim Krikit
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Nice trip, I too was recently in the Deals Gap area and really impressed by the roads and scenery. I'm on a 250 klx and find 250s perfect for that type of riding. Fun on the twisty roads and take any dirt trail you like.
Say hi to Baltimore for me I used to live in Fells Point.
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Jim Krikit screwed with this post 08-30-2009 at 08:43 PM
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:12 PM   #80
Edmond Dantès
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Skierd,
great RR . An area of the U.S that I haven't visited yet, but is in the cards. Thanks for the info.

Ques: What is a Clif bar ?
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:18 PM   #81
avbjessup
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Location: Sadly, Flatistan :(
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Seems like only yesterday, but it was 30 years ago that I rode the Skyline Drive on a bicycle with 3 friends. Took us 2 weeks to go up the Drive and back down through the Shenandoah Valley. I went back a couple of decades later and was disappointed in how it seemed to have changed. Maybe it was only me that changed . . .

Great RR!!! Keep it coming!
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:37 PM   #82
skierd OP
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Day 9 - into Oklahoma

Woke up early to the sounds of insects buzzing around my campsite, the bugs here were simply horrible. Fortunately I had gotten pretty efficient at packing up camp by this point so I was able to get out without getting bit or stung again...

Back on the wonderful national forest roads!


Finally came to whats considered the first truly difficult section of the trail, Warloop Road. This is a big reason I stopped early the night before, as I didn't want to go down it tired.


Not so bad at first.


Around this corner, it basically turns into a large and loose rock strewn piece of single track for about a mile.


While I had seen worse trails back home, it was by far the worst actual "road", with signs and houses on it, I have ever been on up to that point. Definitely not terribly big bike friendly, but so long as you look ahead and take your time its not too difficult. Thankfully it sees some maintenance, couldn't find the ADV log though...


Being comfortable enough on the bike and on the dirt to look ahead was probably one of the biggest things I gained during this trip, followed closely by being way more comfortable standing and operating controls on the pegs. Both make riding on roads of questionable character so so so so much easier. Looking ahead was a skill I had originally learned autocrossing, and I remember the feeling of when I finally "got it", and it was the same feeling I started to get in the Ozarks and cemented on Warloop. In both cars and bikes, its what really allows the rider and the machine to work together as one...

Enough philosophy for now, there's miles to cover!

Crossing into Oklahoma:


Out of the mountains and into the prairie



I loved these old river cuts


I made it to Pryor, OK and had to make a stop at the local library to sort through a few things.


Specifically tires:



The rear wasn't too too terrible, but I was very worried about the front. All the gravel was particularly unkind to them both and I was starting to worry about the safety of riding on them, especially with how misshapen the front knobs has become. I searched a little in vain for shops along the route, made a few posts on the WR250R mega thread, and decided to soldier on, praying they'd get me to Colorado.

Is it getting flat yet?




Great sign for a dual sport!


Home... home on the range...



I absolutely loved the landscape in Oklahoma. Wide open spaces stretching to the horizon in all directions. No hills, trees, and barely any structures to obscure the view. Simply fantastic, and very humbling.

Another day, another reroute... well, lets investigate...


Nope, definitely closed lol.


Crossing into the Cherokee Reservation


Another cool old bridge


I ended up making it to Sedan, KS and stayed in the only motel in town. They were familiar with people on the trail, were nice enough to let me park the bike on the lawn in front of my room. I went a step further and parked the bike inside the room as it and I had attracted a little too much attention riding out to get dinner. Even with the computer break for an hour in Pryor, and the tires, the roads in Eastern OK were very nice and allowed me to motor at a pretty good clip and managed to make 300 miles on the day. I was defintiely getting tired and frustrated by this point too, and was starting to have my doubts about being able to finish the trip.

I was just about settled in for a decent nights sleep to continue worrying about the tires and the ride, when the phone rang. It was another ADV'er, Highfive, offering up tires and a place to do some maintenance in the morning. Only problem was, HF lives a solid 100 miles back the way I already came... took one more look at the tires and said "I'll see you in the morning".
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"We wish your trail a long one" - Darlene "Sid" Dowd ~ Never run out of traction, ideas, and real estate at the same time.
2008 Yamaha WR250X
Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:42 PM   #83
skierd OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edmond Dantès

Ques: What is a Clif bar ?
Clif bars are basically healthy candy bars. Instead of being made of sugar and chocolate, they're mostly made of soy, oats, dates, and other natural (and usually organic) ingredients, depending on the bar. I also find them delicious, easy to carry and eat, and packs 240 much needed calories into a very small, easily digestible bundle. A box of 6 at Walmart is usually under $6, and I can fit two boxes (out of the cardboard) in my camelbak no problem, so I also get some variety out of them too.

http://www.clifbar.com/
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"We wish your trail a long one" - Darlene "Sid" Dowd ~ Never run out of traction, ideas, and real estate at the same time.
2008 Yamaha WR250X
Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:01 PM   #84
skierd OP
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Day 10 - Rancho Highfive and more of the great plains

Time for a high speed run back to Tulsa. How does the bike handle high speeds? How does the lil 250 handle the revs? Put it this way, I held the throttle to the stop for 90 miles, tucked down into a stiff headwind, and all that happened was my gas mileage went to shit (ran dead out at ~90 miles). Used the rotopax out of necessity for the first time and rolled into Rancho Highfive a little later than I wished.

Parked next to the infamous R²:


The man himself:


We basically pulled the equivalent of a NASCAR pitstop for dual sports and had the tires changed, wheel bearings repacked, and air filter cleaned in 2 hours. And by we, I mean HighFive. He and I both knew better than to let me get in the way. Rolled in with dead tires, left with a basically new OE front trailwing and a brandy new rear Dunlop D606.

Of course, then it was time to play a little. Got to see the brandy new motocross track he was building in his backyard, made me kinda upset to have all the luggage and live so far away. I also had the opportunity to ride R² and see what all the fuss was about. The power mods are now a definitely consideration, it definitely wakes the motor up all over but especially up top, and the added oomph would definitely be a fun addition. I also got to ride his son's KLX250S and came away very glad I went blue instead of green.

Highfive is also trials rider, and a good one at that...


with his own little playground in the backyard.


He even let me putter around on it



That may have been the most nervous I was the entire trip. After all his generosity, the last thing I wanted to do is drop this thing. So light and easy to control, there's definitely a fairly steep learning curve to riding one skillfully I imagine. A 280cc 2-stroke with controls so light that they work when you think about it and no seat to sit on will do that. I need one of these once I get a car again, I can see this being illegal amounts of fun, especially around campus and my apartment complex.

After riding, I was invited in for lunch and got to meet the whole family. A nicer and more generous group of people I've ever met. Again, thank you so so much for the tires and help and restoring my faith in people, and allowing me the phyiscal tools and mental refresh/reset to be able to finish this ride.

Back on the road again, and back to the reservation and on the trail. Another cool old bridge:


and another

and another...



the bridge from yesterday


Shortly afterwards, the road turns into the open range land. I saw a lot of these oil storage tanks and wells pumping away across the state.


An abandoned farm house that looked like it was an extra from the wizard of oz



And then there's this...




I just had to stop, turn the bike off and take my helmet off, and just sit. It was entirely empty of human presence and except for me, the bike, and the road, and so utterly beautiful its beyond description to me. I could have stayed there all day, just staring at the rolling hills and the grasses dancing in the wind. But I knew there were still a lot of miles to go, so back to it...

A short detour. HF had told me it was more than worth my while to make it into the Tallgrass Prairie preserve, and I'm very glad I did.


Cows have to be the dumbest and laziest creatures. As you approach them, they will first get up, and look at you like "are you really going to keep coming and make me move?" Then, as you get closer, they run just far enough to get out of the way... in possibly the lest graceful fashion I can imagine a 4 legged animal moving.


Ohh... hello...


Thats right, free range bison. Thousands of them. No fences, no controls, nothing between you and them. They're smaller than I imagined, but have a... fierceness in their eyes utterly devoid in the eyes of their bovine cousins. The signs explained it, but looking at them made it clear that these were wild animals. Its a shame there are so few left...




As you leave the buffalo range, you come up over a hill and see this giant goddamn TREE. Now, I haven't seen a tree this big since I left Arkansas some 300+ miles ago. There isn't anything this size as far as the eye can see in any direction, and there wouldn't be anything like this again until I got to Colorado. Its completely dead save for the small bit at the top.



Riding into the sunset of another day...


I only made about 150 trail miles (another 300 on the bike though) and ended the day in Blackwell, OK. Tomorrow would get me most of the way across OK and the next day would see me into Colorado...
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"We wish your trail a long one" - Darlene "Sid" Dowd ~ Never run out of traction, ideas, and real estate at the same time.
2008 Yamaha WR250X
Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:44 PM   #85
ramon
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:45 PM   #86
bash3r
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awesome, great RR, and I'm glad you were able to stop and enjoy the treasures of the ride! And then there's the hospitality of HighFive, God Bless HF!!

Man, this could make a movie!
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:33 AM   #87
EvilClown
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Location: In the shadow of the Uncanoonucs...
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Great RR!

Hats off to Highfive!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skierd
...

And then there's this...




I just had to stop, turn the bike off and take my helmet off, and just sit. It was entirely empty of human presence and except for me, the bike, and the road, and so utterly beautiful its beyond description to me. I could have stayed there all day, just staring at the rolling hills and the grasses dancing in the wind. But I knew there were still a lot of miles to go, so back to it...

...
Quite an experience, ain't it? Really puts things into perspective.



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Old 08-31-2009, 07:51 AM   #88
Boxall
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Talking You are the man!

Awesome ride report! Keep it coming!
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:57 AM   #89
Kath
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Those bison do look small...they almost don't look like pure bison. The ones I've seen out at Yellowstone (and around here on farms for that matter) are much bigger looking.

In any case, I'm loving your RR!
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:24 AM   #90
MeefZah
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