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Old 08-31-2009, 07:43 AM   #91
Cycletroll
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Your fuel stop off the BRP on Rte 80 was about 10mi. from where I used to live. You probably got gas at Ballew's store. Rte. 80 along the South Toe River valley is so fun on two wheels; lots of tight twisties as I'm sure you found.

Awesome Ride Report!
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:00 PM   #92
code
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I'm Lovin' it. Much better then mcdonald's and I'm actually loosin' weight

Admire the fact that you went it alone too! Live it up now...when you get more responsibilities life tends to backhand you on these types of adventures. Not that having a kid and being married is bad, they provide a different sort of adventure

Any plans for next years ventures?
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:31 PM   #93
Boxall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by code
Live it up now...when you get more responsibilities life tends to backhand you on these types of adventures. Not that having a kid and being married is bad, they provide a different sort of adventure
AMEN! I built a new house 3 years ago, have a daughter who is a high school senior, a wife and a full time job. I'm not complaining but life does have a way of adjusting priorities.

I guess that I why I love reading all the ride reports, I'm dreaming about getting back to riding one day. Thanks to all of you who post reports!
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:38 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxall
I guess that I why I love reading all the ride reports, I'm dreaming about getting back to riding one day. Thanks to all of you who post reports!
One day you'll be doing this report. And to think, if you're lucky and can get your daughter to tag along (like I'm hoping my son will do) you'll have someone special along the side of you to share in the adventure and the RR.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:52 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierd
I hit a bee at 40mph, stung me in my neck when I hit it, went down my jacket, and stung me 3 more times before I could stop the bike and get the little fucker out.
I did the same thing last week. Hurts don't it.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:21 PM   #96
eastcoastzigzag
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no not fair! i thought i was going to be able to finish reading the report!

your fellow wrr rider is subscribed and anxiously waiting!
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:40 PM   #97
donnymoto
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Nice RR, enjoying this!
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:19 PM   #98
rydnseek
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great report, skierd.. I'm also interested in how the wr works for you, since i've just changed rides myself.. i've got a wr250x that will be my new 'adventure bike'. Luggage doesn't seem to be a problem.. fuel is. I'll probably do like you did & just pack some extra cans along.. finding the most simple, cheap & efficient is the trick!

Kudos again on the good pics, descriptions, & occasional philosophizing..

scotty
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:29 PM   #99
bash3r
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rydnseek, be sure to post us up some photos in the WR forum of your X once you get it adventure'd out. I've only seen a few X setup for dual sport so, we'd all like to see yours.

welcome to the gang!
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:31 PM   #100
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Day 11 - More Oklahoma

I'm starting to feel good again. Weather was not:


Decided to take the "wait n' see" attitude... nope, lets get breakfast.


The storm passed quickly, maybe a half hour thundershower, and it was time to get back on the road. Moar nice gravel:


And sunshine returns!


So did the clay, for a few miles:


Caught this old homestead/farm out of the corner of my eye. One of the things I was continually amazed at was the sheer number of former homes that were either victims of tornados or some other forms severe weather. I lost count of how many Wizard of Oz'd houses and barns I came across, but this was by far the most interesting (to me anyways).







Seeing stuff like this, all I could think is... who lived here? Did the survive the storm, assuming they were here when it hit? If not, why did they leave? Where did they go? The left piano kinda got to me a little, you could almost here the ghosts of a long gone family...


Fuel was getting low again, so I had to cut back up to Kansas to Kiowa for gas. When was the last time you saw a gas station like this?


Another place with just 87 and diesel, oh well...

Glad I wasn't there, she would have had a field day with me.


Coming back to OK:


More open range...


and more cows...


One of my favorite pics of the trip. Flyover states? Hardly.


The road meandered like this over about 50 miles of ranch land, very few fences, almost no structures, just wide open space as far as the eye can see. And then, a reminder to its not so civil and peaceful state...





You gotta wonder how many times this story was repeated during the 1800's, but went unnoticed... As peaceful as it seems today, its hard to imagine this whole center section of the country as essentially a lawless war zone for the better part of a century.

Moo cows!


Crossing the Cimarron "River"




Somewhere around here, I ran into Gary. I can't remember Gary's last name right now (its in my Garmin), but he's a farmer from just outside of Gate, OK. He was coming along on his quad right about when I stopped for a quick snack under the shade trees on the edge of his property and we had a nice long chat about riding, the trail, and the region. I learned that the county I was in (Beaver?) had a population right around 1500 people, and that there wasn't a stoplight in the county. The population peaked in the early 1900's, but with mechanized and commercial farming its been shrinking ever since. Really really nice guy... he is also a huge fan of the TAT and the many riders that go by. So if you see him, stop by and say hi. He mentioned that he has a guest house on his property and any TAT riders are welcome to stay the night. Unfortunately for me it was too early to stop, but if anyone doing the trail later on is interested I will send you the coordinants.

Another small setback... my right eye had been bothering me all day the previous day and today, but I couldn't figure out why. I figured between the sand and dry heat that I was just getting dehydrated and the eye was just dry so I took my contact out to clean it. Thats when I noticed the nice little tear in the lense. Last pair of course, looks like I'm finishing the trip with my glasses that I fortunately remembered to bring as I'm blind as a bat w/o correction.

Towns so far gone, not even the ghosts of structures remain...


Another abandoned home


Horses! Smarter than cows and more predictable than deer, it was fun riding along side and behind them for a while.


Just when you think you're doing something newish and kinda unique, you see something that makes you realize you're 468 years late.



Sorry about the blurriness, now you know how I see w/o correction (j/k... my eyes are worse lol).


I kept riding until the sun setting was simply too blinding and too low on the horizon, then cut north to Liberal, KS to find a room again. There simply was no place to camp (legally) out here, and there weren't enough trees to hang the hammock for stealth camping, which is one of the two reasons I'm selling it. The other is its a bit tedious to set up quickly correctly as you have to get the tension right, which is a little too much fooling around as the sun sinks behind the horizon after a long day of riding for me. I'll be replacing my REI Halo bag and gigantor REI 2.5" camp pad with a Big Agnes bag and pad and adding a MLD bivy and MSR e-wing tarp and some bug netting. Not only will it all take up the space formerly occupied by the hammock alone, but it'll weigh less and deploy much quicker and stealthier. I don't plan on going to ground completely though, I'm looking into other, lighter, smaller packing hammock setups to compliment the bivy and tarp to work together as a system.

Tomorrow... COLORADO AND THE ROCKIES!
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:43 PM   #101
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Day 12 pt 1 - OK, NM, and CO, or I'm not quite as alone as I thought...

Another day, another county road between fields. Open range has given way to farmland at this point, so no more barb wire to divide the scenery, just fields as far as the eye can see.


More vacant homes...




Hmm... the road's starting to fade... and turning to sand...


Ah bloody hell...


F U C K

If you're gonna crash, it might as well be in foot deep sugar sand. I was doing about 20mph, got caught on the center mount, and after fishtailing for about 50 yards just completely ate it.

It gets better of course...


It was not particularly fun trying to get out from under the bike, as if I lifted it up wiggle out, the fuel can dug into my lower leg just above my ankle and if I didn't lift I couldn't move. Fortunately I found a happy medium and got out to assess the situation. No damage to the bike, and no damage to me except for a few bruises on my left side on my ribs and general soreness for the next few days.





The road eventually became good again fortunately. At the next crossroads, the Garmin had me going straight on some nice two track again, so I motored along...



DAMN it.


Some back tracking and rerouting, back on the road.













Stopped for gas in Boise City, OK, the shell station there had a pretty decent little diner inside with damn good breakfast food. Looking out the window as I finish my coffee, and I see a newer loaded up KLR pull up to the pumps, take a long look at my bike, then roll over to the air pumps. The rider walks into the diner part of the general store, see's me, and asks me about the bike, the trip, etc. Turns out he's on the TAT too and has been chasing me for the last week or so. So, meet Paul (for the life of me, I can't remember you're name and I apologize for it), another ADV'er.



There was also another guy on a nice GS whose name I didn't catch heading east.



Since Paul and I were headed in the same direction, we decided to ride together for a while, at least as far as Salida since thats where I was stopping on the TAT.






Out of Oklahoma



A little bit of pavement as a connector...


Then back onto the open range.



...and the antelope play! Fast little bastards, missed on 3 other shots trying to get them.






Another abandoned homestead.


almost ran over some barb wire without noticing it, would have made for a nasty surprise for sure... watch where you put a wheel out here off the roads, lesson learned.

Its obvious someone spent a lot of time building this, and a lot of effort. Hell, how far did they have to go to get the trees for the roof?! Paul snooping around





Getting into the canyons
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:08 PM   #102
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Day 12, pt 2

Remember what I said about do the trail now, because they're paving it? The west isn't immune to it either... I kinda get the feeling the cowboys must have had when they first encountered barb wire. The attempt at taming and dividing of the wilderness that simply refuses to submit. Still, its a nice view...




The pavement disappeared once we got down into the canyon






Go this way dummies!


As we both stopped to take a picture, we hear a dog barking and a tractor approaching. Meet Henry the rancher:


Had a nice long talk about the area, his ranch, and the amount of rider's he seen over the last few years. He actually put the sign up because people kept missing the turn and riding down a dead end road where some of his relatives live.

The climb out of the canyon was on a nice wide little road, lots of elevation climb and rocks and sand and loose dirt. No pics as there was no where to stop, but it was easily just as difficult as Warloop imo.

Finally, up on the Mesa at ~7000 feet.





Another abandoned home, right as you got up there. Judging by the size, this had to be a pretty nice place back in the day, just out in the middle of no where by itself.








Hmm... ominous clouds...


Branson, CO jail house


Dey gots me! (can't help it, I turn into a little kid around this kinda stuff)


Spartan accommodations, wonder if they'll let me use the hammock?


Note... don't get into Branson expecting gas cause there ain't any. Nearest gas is Trinidad, quite a ways ahead... more on that later...

It drizzled a little on the way in to town, so she decided to pick up some trail makeup.



the old church in Branson


Hmm... those clouds don't look any friendlier, lets ride!




Ended up stopping to throw on rain gear in Trinchero as it opened up pretty decently. This would be the last time I got seriously rained on for the remainder of the trip.


Waiting for another paving project, the construction workers had the road down to one lane... but the didn't have radio contact with each other. About 30 seconds after getting the go ahead and rolling out, a semi comes barreling down the hill. The driver rolls to a stop next to me... "HEY, YOU GOT ANY SMOKES?"

Why yes... yes I do. Tossed him my last cigar (bough a pack of cheapie Garcia Vegas in tubes to enjoy at a few campfires), pretty sure I made his day.


Liquid sunshine!




And I made it! Welcome to downtown Trinidad, Co.


I made it 155 miles from Boise City and used 2.021 gallons out of my 2.1 gallon gast tank, ~76mpg. No doubt the slower speeds on the trail helped, but still the bike isn't exactly unloaded as I'm about 200 pounds, probably 215-220 dressed, and carrying 50 pounds of gear. Did I mention I love this bike? Got dinner at the Main Street Diner, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Fantastic food, get your salsa hot.

Ended up bedding down at Trinidad State Park for a dissapointing night. Not only did the ranger over charge us for the campsite, I couldn't find a decent pair of trees to hang the hammock. The showers were nonexistent. The closest bathroom was in the picnic area a mile away. Lame...

Tomorrow: Salida!
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2008 Yamaha WR250X
Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:35 AM   #103
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Keen to see the rest of this trip. How's the monkey butt factor on the WRR? Nice looking countryside too.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:33 AM   #104
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Great stuff, maybe if the school thing gets you down you can write a screenplay and turn this into a tv pilot... I remember watching a show as a kid, "Then Came Bronson" where he rides his sportster around the country, getting into situations--I think this is what started it all for me--"living what most of us can only dream".

Mind me asking how you upload while on the road?
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:10 AM   #105
NewHampWoodsRider
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Great trip so far!
Im very jealous!!

Keep up the great reporting!

How did the other guys KLR handle the trip when you rode with him?
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